Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (July 6, 2007)

If you missed it when it was in theaters earlier this year, Maria Maggenti‘s romantic comedy Puccini for Beginners is now available on DVD. The film centers on Manhattan author Allegra (Elisabeth Reaser), who has been dumped by her girlfriend, Samantha (Julianne Nicholson). While she’s on the rebound, Allegra starts dating Columbia professor Philip (Justin Kirk). She thinks it’s just a fling, but Philip breaks up with his long-term girlfriend for her. Simultaneously, Allegra starts dating an investment banker named Grace (Gretchen Mol).

In Shauna Swartz’s review of the film last February, she wrote: "The film is polished and entertaining in a breezy way. It is not necessarily challenging to viewers, but it seems to make the point that nobody really wants to be challenged all the time, anyway."

Shauna, I know what you mean. I’m certainly tired of being challenged. Maybe it’s the summer — all that sunblock must leach out the brain cells. We could show you the trailer, but wouldn’t you rather watch Gretchen Mol in bed with Elisabeth Reaser? Here you go:


THINK GLOBAL, PARTY LOCAL has always had an international audience, which is why we try to keep our entertainment coverage broad in scope. But we know there’s a ton of cool entertainment options available in your hometown, and we’re going to start visiting various locations around the world every month to bring you a taste of local lesbian life. Yesterday we kicked off a new monthly column, Scene, with my take on San Francisco. Next month, Karman’s going to give you an insider’s glimpse into the L.A. celezbrity scene, and a guest-star writer will take you on a tour of her own stomping grounds every month after that.

Meanwhile, here are some local happenings to keep an eye on this weekend:

Friday night in New York, comedian Julie Goldman (The Big Gay Sketch Show), premieres her latest work-in-progress, Julie Goldman’s Pre-Emptive Strike, for one night only at the Culture Project’s Women Center Stage. According to the press release, "Taking on religion, gender politics, the war, and the confusion of heterosexual morality, Julie comes out guns-a-blazin, shooting at all that she doesn’t understand, and makes sure to attack everything before it attacks her, following our President’s lead with this PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE."

Saturday night in Chicago, the organizers behind Queerfest Midwest, an alternative, queer music festival, are throwing a fundraiser and dance party at Ronny’s (2101 N. California Ave.), featuring performances from Katastrophe and Nicky Click. Queerfest Midwest, scheduled to take place Aug. 25 at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse in Chi-town, features bands such as The Ex-Members (a trio featuring former members of The Butchies, Team Dresch and Gerty), Chicago’s own Office, electro-pop duo Team Gina and others.

All this month in Boston, Queer Soup Theater celebrates its five-year anniversary with a festival of new plays under the title Lost & Found: The Anniversary Series at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Queer Soup, which is the only theater company solely dedicated to performing original work by queer artists, aims to "cultivate new works that introduce, unite and incite audiences by using laughter to smuggle ideas across society’s borders." Go to for tickets and more information.

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