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Personalities

Personalities

Celebrity Interviews

Friday, May 26, 2017

And Then There Was Nun

Filmmaker Ryan White keeps viewers riveted with The Keepers

Almost 50 years after Sister Cathy Sesnik, who taught at Archbishop Keough, an all-girls high school, was murdered in Baltimore, there are still many unanswered questions about the case. Not only has that not stopped former students of hers from seeking the truth, it also caught the attention of gay filmmaker Ryan White (The Case Against 8), director of Netflix doc series The Keepers. White, whose maternal side of the family has roots in Baltimore (a family member was also one of Sister Cathy’s students) initially thought he would be making a feature-length doc about the murder. Before he knew it, the project took on a life of its own. I spoke with White about The Keepers in May 2017.

Friday, May 12, 2017

True Blue

An interview with singer/songwriter and Broadway actress Morgan James

If you haven’t heard Morgan James sing, then you don’t know what you’re missing. A white girl from Idaho with the voice of a black gospel choir soloist, James has careers on Broadway (Motown: The Musical, The Addams Family, and more) and as a singer/songwriter (her debut studio album came out in 2014). More recently, she released an EP and completed a new studio disc of original songs. She can also be seen performing Joni Mitchell’s Blue in its entirety on her YouTube channel (Youtube.com/user/morganjamesonline). In fact, if they’re still looking to cast the movie version of Sheila Weller’s Girls Like Us, about Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Carly Simon, James would make a far better Joni than Taylor Swift. I spoke with Morgan in advance of her 2017 concert tour.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Touch of Mink

An interview with Mink Stole

Every single one of John Waters’ movies has its memorable and quotable lines. Mink Stole, an actress who has appeared in every Waters feature has had the privilege of saying many of them. In Serial Mom (Shout! Factory), for instance, as Dottie Hinkle, a woman being relentlessly harassed by someone calling her and spewing a string of obscenities. Dottie finally has her fill and, in a hilarious courtroom scene, unleashes her own nasty mouthful. Serial Mom, in which Stole co-starred alongside Kathleen Turner as the titular murderous mother, holds up well nearly 25 years after its theatrical release, providing plenty of laughs and gross-out moments. I spoke with Stole about the collector’s edition Blu-ray reissue of Serial Mom in April 2017.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Lucky Charmer

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.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

World of Wonder

An interview with Ian Axel and Chad King of A Great Big World

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.

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