An Interview With Gay Writer James Hart, Former Husband Of Carly Simon
You could probably also call James Hart’s memoir Lucky Jim (Cleis Press, 2017), Lucky to Be Alive Jim. After all, he survived a traumatic childhood with an abusive father, the loss of a close friend (and first love), life in a Catholic seminary, alcohol and drug abuse, a pair of failed marriages, including one to superstar singer/songwriter Carly Simon, and the death of his son. He also came out as a gay man in the process. Hart doesn’t hold back in the telling of his warts-and-all tale, and there will be plenty of readers drawn to all the gory details. Especially fascinating are the number of high profile celebrities with whom Hart came into contact during his marriage to Simon, including Mike Nichols and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I spoke with Hart about the book in the spring of 2017.
With only two full-length albums to its name, pop duo A Great Big World, comprised of Chad King (who publicly came out as gay in 2014) and Ian Axel, appears to have the world at their feet. Hit singles such as the Grammy-winning ballad “Say Something” (a duet with Christina Aguilera) and “Hold Each Other” have cemented their relationship with fans worldwide. Influenced as much by artists such as XX fun. and Ben Folds as they are by the music and lyrics of Alan Menken and Howard Menken, A Great Big World is the musical equivalent of a great big hug. I spoke with King and Axel shortly before they embarked on their spring 2017 U.S. concert tour.
It’s no exaggeration to say that you haven’t seen anything like Moonlight). Written and directed by Miami-native Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is based on a short play by gay playwright and Miami-native Tarell McCraney. Presented in three separate chapters, Moonlight tells the heartrending story of Chiron, as a child, a teen, and an adult, growing up in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. The three actors – Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes – are exceptional, and the supporting cast, including Mahershala Ali (drug kingpin Juan), Janelle Monae (Juan’s girlfriend Teresa), Naomie Harris (Chiron’s mother Paula), and André Holland (the adult Kevin, the great love of Chiron’s life), are all outstanding. That sound you hear? That’s the well-deserved Oscar buzz about Moonlight. I spoke with Tarell McCraney about the movie at the Standard in Miami Beach in October 2016.
If Simon Helberg didn’t already have a substantial gay following from the comical interplay between his character Howard and Raj (played by Kunal Nayyar) on the beloved sitcom The Big Bang Theory, his Golden Globe Award-nominated portrayal of sexually ambiguous pianist Cosme McMoon in Florence Foster Jenkins (Paramount) will remedy that. Based on the true story of society hostess Jenkins (played by Meryl Streep), an opera fanatic with a tin ear when it came to her own operatic renditions. But that didn’t stop her from performing concerts, including a legendary one at Carnegie Hall. McMoon, hired by Jenkins and her paramour St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), to be her accompanist, is portrayed magnificently by Helberg. The actor gives the character dimension and depth in a stellar performance. I spoke with Simon about the film at the Faena Miami Beach Hotel.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A thousand words don’t even begin to describe the amazingly talented work of local artist David Roesner. The Maryland native and former Mt. Vernon resident, has garnered a lot of praise for his surreal aesthetics and design.
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