NEWSFLASH: LESBIANS STILL TRAPPED IN THE MISOGYNISTIC CLOSET
R&B artist R. Kelly‘s 23-chapter (so far) hip-hop opera, Trapped in the Closet, can be a bit difficult to wrap your mind around. (Here’s an interesting analysis from Slate.com.)
First off, there’s the fact that it’s from R. Kelly, who is standing trial this September on child pornography charges. Then there’s the fact that it’s about as curse-happy as you can get — definitely do not watch this online while you’re at the office! And then comes some news that makes me both afraid yet strangely drawn to Kelly’s series: Chapter 16 introduces a lesbian couple.
Yes, cue the collective groan. But once you watch it (the entire series is now streaming on IFC.com), it becomes clear that nothing is as simple as it seems. (Is anything? OK, well, maybe Lindsay’s alleged possession of cocaine.)
In Chapter 16, Roxanne and Tina are both working at their diner while having an argument (sung in R. Kelly’s famous R&B vocal stylings) with Sylvester (Kelly) and Twan, who may be Tina’s baby daddy. When Twan asks Tina if she wants to get back together with him, Roxanne kisses Tina and tells Twan that Tina’s with her now (in much more colorful language).
Here’s the smooch (Roxanne’s on the left, Tina’s on the right):
In Chapter 17, which picks up right after Sylvester and Twan are totally shocked by this unexpected development, Sylvester waves a gun at the two women and says, "Y’all lucky I like that kinda s—, or I would have shot both of y’all."
Infuriated, Twan demands, "You’re gonna let them get away with this s—?"
Sylvester says in disgust at Twan’s reaction, "What? Kissing?" He leaves, and Twan, who is weaponless (in more ways than one, in my opinion), ultimately has to follow (after hurling a lot more curse words at the women for daring to not adore him in all his sexist glory).
Ya know what, Twan? Roxanne could totally kick your ass, and you’re lucky she let you get away with your s—. Jeez.
KATHLEEN TURNER TELLS SARAH PAULSON WHAT TO DO
Earlier this month at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in western Massachusetts, Kathleen Turner made her directorial debut with Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Crimes of the Heart, about three reunited Southern sisters played by Jennifer Dundas, Lily Rabe and out actress Sarah Paulson.
The reviews of the production, which has finished its brief 11-day run, were quite positive. EW.com says of Turner’s directing: "Her touch is practically imperceptible â€” the sign of any well-directed show." And their opinion of Paulson’s acting? "Sarah Paulson (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) finds the protectiveness beneath Meg’s playfulness â€” she may be a drinker, a liar, and a heartbreaker, but she’ll throw everything over for her siblings."
Variety says that Turner’s "cast in the Williamstown Theater Festival production is on key, with hardly a false note throughout."
All I know is, if I were Sarah Paulson, I’d have a really hard time concentrating while being directed by Kathleen Turner, because her voice would simply mesmerize me. Line? Line, please!