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Gyllenhall to produce and star in film version of ‘Fun Home’

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Jake Gyllenhall (Image courtesy Broadway.com/Photo Credit: Emilio Madrid)

“Brokeback Mountain” star Jake Gyllenhaal has been set to produce and star in a film adaptation of “Fun Home,” the Broadway musical based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel of the same name.

Winner of the 2015 Tony for Best Musical, “Fun Home” was originally adapted from out cartoonist Bechdel’s groundbreaking 2006 memoir by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori; it depicts Bechdel onstage at three different ages, as she delves into memories of her dysfunctional upbringing – especially those surrounding her closeted father – in a home that also served as the location for the family’s mortuary business.

According to Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye, the Oscar-nominated Gyllenhall will take on the role of Bechdel’s father, Bruce, which was originated onstage in a Tony-winning performance by Michael Cerveris. The show’s original director, Sam Gold, who also took home a Tony for his work, is on board to direct the film version as well.

Gyllenhall will produce through his company, Nine Stories Productions.

In addition to Cerveris, the original Broadway cast included Judy Kuhn, Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas and Emily Skeggs; the production received a total of 12 Tony nominations, of which it won five – the aforementioned nods for Cerveris, Gold, and the show itself, as well as Best Score and Best Book. At the time of its Broadway run, it was heralded as a major step forward for queer female voices in theatre, with original author Bechdel telling Playbill, “Even musicals about women, where women are the central characters and not just a romantic lead and really have a story of their own [are rare]… The moment with Small Alison singing about the butch delivery woman feels huge. To have a child sing about desire and identification; it’s brilliant.”‘

As for Gyllenhall, he is no novice when it comes to material from the theatre. He starred in an acclaimed production of “Sunday in the Park with George,” Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s iconic musical about artist Georges Seurat, which enjoyed a limited run on Broadway in 2017, and was recently seen there in “Sea Wall/A Life.”  He has also produced the hit Broadway production, “Slave Play,” and is producing an updomiing revival of Tony Kushner’s musical, “Caroline or Change.”

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Eastern Shore chef named James Beard Finalist

Harley Peet creates inventive food in an inclusive space

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Chef Harley Peet works to support the LGBTQ community inside and outside of the kitchen.

In a small Eastern Shore town filled with boutiques, galleries, and the occasional cry of waterfowl from the Chesapeake, Chef Harley Peet is most at home. In his Viennese-inflected, Maryland-sourced fine-dining destination Bas Rouge, Peet draws from his Northern Michigan upbringing, Culinary Institute of America education, and identity as a gay man, for inspiration.

And recently, Peet was named a James Beard Finalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic – the first “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” finalist representing the Eastern Shore.

Peet, after graduation from the Culinary Institute of America, took a position as sous chef at Tilghman Island Inn, not far from Bas Rouge. Falling in love with the Eastern Shore, he continued his passion for racing sailboats, boating, gardening, and fishing, and living his somewhat pastoral life as he opened Bas Rouge in 2016 as head chef, a restaurant part of the Bluepoint Hospitality group, which runs more than a dozen concepts in and around Easton, Md.  

Coming from a rural area and being gay, Peet knew he had his work cut out for him. He was always aware that the service and hospitality industry “can be down and dirty and rough.”

 Now as a leader in the kitchen, he aims to “set a good example, and treat people how I want to be treated. I also want to make sure if you’re at our establishment, I’m the first to stand up and say something.” 

The Bas Rouge cuisine, he says, is Contemporary European. “I’m inspired by old-world techniques of countries like Austria, Germany, and France, but I love putting a new spin on classic dishes and finding innovative ways to incorporate the bounty of local Chesapeake ingredients.”

His proudest dish: the humble-yet-elevated Wiener Schnitzel. “It is authentic to what one would expect to find in Vienna, down to the Lingonberries.” From his in-house bakery, Peet dries and grinds the housemade Kaiser-Semmel bread to use as the breadcrumbs.

Peet works to support the LGBTQ community inside and outside of the kitchen. “I love that our Bluepoint Hospitality team has created welcoming spaces where our patrons feel comfortable dining at each of our establishments. Our staff have a genuine respect for one another and work together free of judgment.” 

Representing Bluepoint, Peet has participated in events like Chefs for Equality with the Human Rights Campaign, advocating for LGBTQ rights.

At Bas Rouge, Peet brings together his passion for inclusion steeped in a sustainability ethic. He sees environmental stewardship as a way of life. Peet and his husband have lived and worked on their own organic farm for several years. Through research in Europe, he learned about international marine sourcing. Witnessing the impacts of overfishing, Peet considers his own role in promoting eco-friendly practices at Bas Rouge. To that end, he ensures responsible sourcing commitments through his purveyors, relationships that have helped create significant change in how people dine in Easton.

“I have built great relationships in the community and there’s nothing better than one of our long-standing purveyors stopping in with a cooler of fresh fish from the Chesapeake Bay. This goes especially for catching and plating the invasive blue catfish species, which helps control the species’ threat to the local ecosystem.

Through his kitchen exploits, Peet expressed a unique connection to another gay icon in a rural fine-dining restaurant: Patrick O’Connell, of three Michelin starred Inn at Little Washington. In fact, Peet’s husband helped design some of O’Connell’s kitchen spaces. They’ve both been able to navigate treacherous restaurant-industry waters, and have come out triumphant and celebrated. Of O’Connell, Peet says that he “sees [his restaurants] as canvas, all artistry, he sees this as every night is a show.” But at the same time, his “judgment-free space makes him a role model.”

Being in Easton itself is not without challenges. Sourcing is a challenge, having to either fly or ship in ingredients, whereas urban restaurants have the benefit of trucking, he says. The small town “is romantic and charming,” but logistics are difficult – one of the reasons that Peet ensures his team is diverse, building in different viewpoints, and also “making things a hell of a lot more fun.”

Reflecting on challenges and finding (and creating) space on the Eastern Shore, Peet confirmed how important it was to surround himself with people who set a good example, and “if you don’t like the way something is going, fuck them and move on.”

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PHOTOS: Night of Champions

Team DC holds annual awards gala

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Team DC President Miguel Ayala speaks at the 2024 Night of Champions Awards on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Team DC, the umbrella organization for LGBTQ-friendly sports teams and leagues in the D.C. area, held its annual Night of Champions Awards Gala on Saturday, April 20 at the Hilton National Mall. The organization gave out scholarships to area LGBTQ student athletes as well as awards to the Different Drummers, Kelly Laczko of Duplex Diner, Stacy Smith of the Edmund Burke School, Bryan Frank of Triout, JC Adams of DCG Basketball and the DC Gay Flag Football League.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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PHOTOS: National Cannabis Festival

Annual event draws thousands to RFK

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Growers show their strains at The National Cannabis Festival on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2024 National Cannabis Festival was held at the Fields at RFK Stadium on April 19-20.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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