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SPRING ARTS 2016: TV

‘O’Neals’ finds humor in coming-out journey

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gay tv shows, gay news, Washington Blade
gay tv shows, gay news, Washington Blade

Noah Galvin, center, stars in ‘The Real O’Neals,’ a new gay-themed ABC sitcom. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Chelsea Handler’s documentary series dropped on Netflix Jan. 23. “Chelsea Does” has four 90-minute episodes that each address a different topic, including marriage, drugs, technology and race. In the marriage episode, Handler examines a broad spectrum of relationships, including gay partnerships, Vegas weddings and her own failed romances.

Shonda Rhimes continues to dominate Thursday night television on ABC with “Grey’s Anatomy” at 8 p.m., “Scandal” at 9 p.m., and “How To Get Away With Murder” at 10 p.m. Rhimes’ shows are known for their diverse casts and prominent LGBT actors, characters and plots.

The first season of “The Shannara Chronicles” ended March 1. The MTV fantasy drama is based on the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. Ivana Baquero, who is best known for playing Ofelia in Pan’s Labyrinth, stars as Eretria, who is bisexual.

Openly gay cast member Kate McKinnon continues to be one of the most memorable on Saturday Night Live,” which airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC. She took over the role of Hillary Clinton, once played by Amy Poehler. Ariana Grande will pull double duty as the host and musical guest on March 12.

Season eight of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” kicks off on March 7 on LOGO. Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews and Carson Kressley all return to the judge’s table.

YouTube star Tyler Oakley is a contestant in season 28 of “The Amazing Race,” which airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on CBS. Oakley and his teammate have consistently been finishing each leg of the race in the top two. Each team this season is made up of at least one internet celebrity, including popular YouTube, Vine and Instagram stars.

Rachel Bloom stars in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Mondays at 8 p.m. on the CW. The characters White Josh and Darryl Whitefeather are gay and bisexual, respectively. Bloom recently won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her role in the musical comedy.

Ken Jeong stars in “Dr. Ken,” a sitcom inspired by Jeong’s experience as a doctor before becoming a stand-up comedian. Openly gay actor Jonathan Slavin plays a supporting role in the show, which airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

Martha Plimpton stars in “The Real O’Neals,” airing Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. Openly gay actor Noah Galvin plays Plimpton’s son, who reveals to his Catholic family that he is gay. The Family Research Council has called for a boycott of the series, which is produced by Dan Savage.

“Legends of Tomorrow” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. Gay actors Victor Garber and Wentworth Miller star in the superhero show, which is a spinoff of “Arrow” and “The Flash.” The show includes the recurring “Arrow” character Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), who is bisexual.

Rob Lowe stars in “You, Me, and the Apocalypse,” which airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Several interwoven storylines connect an ensemble cast who attempt to stop a world-ending asteroid from hitting earth. Two of the main characters are in a gay partnership. The British-American series originally aired in the UK last fall.

Daniel Franzese stars in “Recovery Road” on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. The show follows a teenage girl going through rehab in a sober living facility. It airs Mondays at 9 p.m.

“Shadowhunters” airs on Freeform on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. This fantasy series is based on “The Mortal Instruments” by Cassandra Clare. Matthew Daddario and Harry Shum, Jr.’s characters are gay and bisexual, respectively.

Jennifer Lopez stars in “Shades of Blue,” who plays an NYPD detective caught up in an anti-corruption probe. The show airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC and was renewed for a second season.

“Empire” returns to Fox on Wednesday, March 30 at 9 p.m. Lee Daniels, who is openly gay, created the series, which includes several LGBT cast members and characters. A central conflict of the show is the tension between homophobic patriarch Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and his gay son Jamal (Jussie Smollett, who is also gay).

“Live at 9:30 is an upcoming public access show, which will premiere in April. The music variety show will be filmed at the 9:30 Club and will feature performances by Tove Lo, Jess Glynne, Garbage and more.

Coming to Netflix:

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright return to Netflix on March 4 in season four of “House of Cards.” Spacey plays the bisexual, Machiavellian president in the D.C.-based drama.

Season two of “Marvel’s Daredevil” drops on Netflix on March 18. Charlie Cox plays the title superhero, a blind vigilante who defends Hell’s Kitchen. Prominent LGBT ally Rosario Dawson plays a supporting role in the series.

Also entering its second season is “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” The Tina Fey-created series stars her “30 Rock” co-star Jane Krakowski and Titus Burgess. Netflix renewed the show for a third season.

Season two of “Grace and Frankie” premieres on Netflix on May 6. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda star as two women who, despite decades of disliking each other, form a close friendship when their husbands (Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen) divorce them for each other.

In more renewal news, Netflix renewed “Orange Is the New Black” for three addition seasons beyond the upcoming fourth season, which premieres June 17. The series has been lauded for featuring a racially diverse cast and giving significant screen time to trans, lesbian and bisexual characters and actors.

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Photos

PHOTOS: Baltimore Pride Parade

Thousands attend annual LGBTQ march and block party

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A scene from the 2024 Baltimore Pride Parade. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Baltimore Pride Parade and Block Party was held on Charles Street in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, June 15. 

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Sports

Washington Mystics to hold annual Pride game

Team to play Dallas Wings on Saturday

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Mystics will be having their upcoming Pride game on Saturday against the Dallas Wings.

The Mystics Pride game is one of the team’s theme nights they host every year, with Pride night being a recurring event. The team faced off against the Phoenix Mercury last June. Brittney Griner, who Russia released from a penal colony in December 2022 after a court convicted her of importing illegal drugs after customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage, attended the game. 

Unlike the NBA, where there are currently no openly LGBTQ players, there are multiple WNBA players who are out. Mystics players Emily Englster, Brittney Sykes, and Stefanie Dolson are all queer.

The Mystics on June 1 acknowledged Pride Month in a post to its X account.

“Celebrating Pride this month and every month,” reads the message.

The game is on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena (1100 Oak Drive, S.E.). Fans can purchase special Pride tickets that come with exclusive Mystics Pride-themed jerseys. 

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Theater

Queers win big at 77th annual Tony Awards

‘Merrily We Roll Along’ among winners

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(Photo courtesy of the Tony Awards' Facebook page)

It was a banner night for queer theater artists at the 77th annual Tony Awards, honoring the best in Broadway theater at the Lincoln Center in New York on Sunday. Some of the biggest honors of the night went to the revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Merrily We Roll Along” and the dance-musical based on Sufjan Stephens’ album “Illinoise.

“Merrily We Roll Along,” which follows three friends as their lives change over the course of 20 years, told in reverse chronological order, picked up the awards for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Orchestrations. 

Out actor Jonathan Groff picked up his first Tony Award for his leading role as Franklin Shepard in the show, while his costar Daniel Radcliffe earned his first Tony Award for featured performance as Charley Kringas. 

Groff gave a heartfelt and teary acceptance speech about how he used to watch the Tony Awards as a child in Lancaster County, Pa.

“Thank you for letting me dress up like Mary Poppins when I was three,” he said to his parents in the audience. “Even if they didn’t understand me, my family knew the life-saving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgment.”

Groff also thanked the everyone in the production of “Spring Awakening,” where he made his Broadway debut in 2006, for inspiring him to come out at the age of 23.

“To actually be able to be a part of making theatre in this city, and just as much to be able to watch the work of this incredible community has been the greatest pleasure of my life,” he said. 

This was Groff’s third Tony nomination, having been previously nominated for his leading role in “Spring Awakening” and for his featured performance as King George III in “Hamilton.” 

Radcliffe, who is best known for starring in the “Harry Potter” series of movies, has long been an ally of the LGBTQ community, and has recently been known to spar with “Harry Potter” creator JK Rowling over her extreme opposition to trans rights on social media and in interviews. It was Radcliffe’s first Tony nomination and win.

Lesbian icon Sarah Paulson won her first Tony Award for her starring role in the play “Appropriate,” about a family coming to terms with the legacy of their slave-owning ancestors as they attempt to sell their late father’s estate. It was her first nomination and win.

In her acceptance speech, she thanked her partner Holland Taylor “for loving me.” Along with Paulson’s Emmy win for “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” she is halfway to EGOT status.

The Sufjan Stephens dance-musical “Illinoise,” based on his album of the same name, took home the award for Best Choreography for choreographer Justin Peck. It was his second win.

During the ceremony, the cast of “Illinoise” performed “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us!”, a moving dance number about a queer romance.

A big winner of the night was the adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel “The Outsiders,” which dominated the musical categories, earning Best Director, Sound Design, Lighting Design, and Best Musical, which earned LGBTQ ally Angelina Jolie her first Tony Award.

Also a big winner was “Stereophonic,” which dominated the play categories, winning the awards for Best Play, Featured Actor, Director, Sound Design, and Scenic Design.

“Suffs,” a musical about the fight for women’s suffrage in the U.S., which acknowledges the lesbian relationship that suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt had in song called “If We Were Married,” took home awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score, both for creator Shaina Taub. 

Had “Suffs” also won for Best Musical, producers Hilary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai would have won their first Tony Awards. 

Other winners include Maleah Joi Moon for her lead role and Kecia Lewis for her featured role in the Alicia Keys musical “Hell’s Kitchen,” Jeremy Strong for his lead role in An Enemy of the People, and Kara Young for her featured role in “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.”

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