“Unsanitized” for your protection: an interview with Bianca Del Rio

Could there possibly be a better way to spend one’s birthday than interviewing RuPaul’s Drag Race’s season six champion Bianca Del Rio? I’ll have to get back to you. But that’s precisely what I did in June 2021. We talked about her writing career, her success as a podcaster, how she passed the time while isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, of course, about her new live show Unsanitized. Coming to a major metro area beginning in September and continuing through November, Bianca Del Rio promises her devotees a night of no-hold-barred barbs and laughs.   Gregg Shapiro: It’s nice to speak with […]

Here, there, and everywhere: an interview with Dar Williams

First of all, if you haven’t seen Antje Duvekot’s stop-motion animation music video for “Today and Every Day,” from Dar Williams’ amazing new album I’ll Meet You Here (Renew Records/BMG), what are you waiting for? It’s the kind of perfect pairing of audio and visual that will remind viewers of the magic of that craft, and make you nostalgic for the heyday of MTV. Of course, “Today and Everyday” is merely one of the 10 incredible songs on what is best described as Williams’ best and most consistently enjoyable album since My Better Self. From the brilliant opener “Time Be My Friend,” featuring guest […]

The Way of the Force: an interview with Q-Force’s Gabe Liedman

Do you love to hear cartoon characters swearing and talking dirty? What about seeing them naked, muscular, and anatomically correct? Oh, and can you dig a story involving brainwashing, world domination and LGBTQ+ folks saving the planet? If so, the hot new Netflix series Q-Force is meant for you! Featuring the voices of a stellar cast of queer and queer-friendly actors including Sean Hayes (voicing Steve Maryweather aka Agent Mary), Wanda Sykes (voicing Deb), Patti Harrison (voicing Stat), Matt Rogers (voicing Twink), Laurie Metcalf (voicing V) and Gabe Liedman (voicing Benji) in lead roles, as well as several other guest stars, Q-Force takes animation […]

Rufus still rules!: an interview with Rufus Wainwright

It’s been said that timing is everything, and in the case of gay singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, the saying holds true. In July of 2020, at least seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, he released his eighth pop music studio album Unfollow the Rules. It was significant because it was his first in 12 years. Full of drama, hopefulness, and humor, it was among his best work, and even earned a Grammy nomination. In the past, Wainwright would have embarked on a multi-city (and continent) concert tour, but that was not possible now. As inventive as ever, Wainwright began presenting a regular series […]

MAX TALISMAN: Bringing LGBTQ Voices to the Silver Screen

Writer, filmmaker, and actor, Max Talisman is a trailblazer among LGBTQ millennials. The Bethesda, Maryland, native is fighting for diversity and focusing all his efforts in creating content that will bring about change in the entertainment industry. Recently, Talisman spoke to Baltimore OUTloud regarding his upcoming work Things Like This, which is set to begin production this fall. Not only will Talisman star in the film, but he will make his directorial and screenwriting debut. The film, which has assembled an ensemble cast including Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins (TLC), Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), Krista Allen (Significant Mother), Dyan Cannon (Kangaroo […]

Serious Adverse Effects: A Timely Production

Running until Sunday, May 23rd, Rapid Lemon Productions presents Serious Adverse Effects both on the in-person stage at the Motor House, as well as streaming platforms.  The production, written by Derek McPhatter, explores the story of an unconventional scientist on the cusp of a cure for a mysterious disease. But to complete her research she must find forgiveness from a family with no reason to trust her and embrace the transformative potential of her own healing. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Ohio-native, and playwright Derek McPhatter to discuss the upcoming performance. Frankie Kujawa: In your own words can you tell […]

Two Strikes Theatre Collective Illuminates Black Female Voices

Baltimore’s newest theatre company, Two Strikes Theatre Collective, recently announced their 2021 season complete with virtual devised works, staged readings of original plays, a podcast, and the second annual Brown Sugar Bake-off play festival. The independent theatre company, founded in July 2019, celebrates, promotes, and encourages the intersectional voice of Black women and how it can be used for social change through art and community engagement.  Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Aladrian C. Wetzel, Executive Director of Two Strikes, to discuss the upcoming season, their upcoming work The Crown is Mine (May 22nd – See Sidebar), and why now more […]

Two Strikes Collective Theatre Presents This Crown is Mine

On Saturday, May 22nd, Two Strikes Theatre Collective will showcase the production of This Crown is Mine, which will feature a series of original performance art about hair types, acceptance, and the perception of curl patterns by others.  The production asks the question ‘How have Black women learned to love and appreciate our hair?’  Executive Director, Aladrian C. Wetzel chatted with Baltimore OUTloud about the upcoming performance.                “This Crown is Mine was created because we wanted to talk about Black hair.  It is a central part of being a Black woman.  Our hair has been politicized, it’s been sexualized, […]

Artist Scott Ponemone On His “2 by 2” Series

Scott Ponemone began capturing portraits of pairs in 2017 for his “2 by 2” watercolor series. Evidently, some would go on to feature masks. He discusses capturing America, choosing subjects, and why he’s really an ethnographer. You typically approach strangers in public at the start of your portraits. What are your best ice breakers? Scott: I’m very straight forward. I approach people with “can I ask you a favor? I’m an artist and I do watercolor portraits of couples.” I show them a finished painting on my phone or an 8 by 11 glossy if I have one with me. […]

Spring into a new book: poetry

After a brutal winter, made even more difficult by the pandemic and killer storms, the Spring Equinox and warmer weather days are in sight. The following new poetry titles are another way to welcome the change in seasons.   As I said in my blurb for Lambda Literary Award-winning lesbian poet and memoirist Maureen Seaton’s Undersea (JackLeg Press, 2021), her “sun- and sea-drenched poetry collection combines all of her strengths:  teacher, lover, observer, seeker, reporter, tour guide, singer, naturalist, rover, sibling, and wordsmith. Seaton invites readers to a faulty but irresistible paradise, complete with detailed instructions, and we’d be foolish not to accept. […]