Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1

Gay actor Jonathan Groff

Actor/singer Jonathan Groff (b. 1985) skipped college to tour in a production of The Sound of Music, then moved from Lancaster, PA, to New York City, a career move that he said was "to avoid having to pay back all those college loans." He never looked back. By the age of 22 he had received a Tony Award nomination for his role in Broadway’s musical Spring Awakening, went on to date Zachary Quinto, played Henry Mackler on the TV soap One Life to Live, landed the recurring role of Jesse St. James on TV’s Glee, voiced one of the major roles in the Disney film Frozen, and made his London West End debut in a stage production of Deathtrap. To date Groff has appeared in nine films, five television series and twelve professional stage productions. He is not yet 30 years old.

At present Groff plays Patrick Murray on HBO’s gay-themed original series Looking, which began airing its second season in January. In the photo at left, Groff (in a tuxedo) is about to kiss actor Russell Tovey in a recent episode of Looking. I featured Mr. Tovey in a post on February 18.

As of next Tuesday, March 3, Groff is also portraying King George in the hottest show on Broadway, the hip-hop musical Hamilton, about the bisexual historical figure Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury – his face is on every $20 bill. The musical opened last week (February 17), and the remainder of the off-Broadway run, through May 3, is completely sold out. Groff will replace Brian d’Arcy James, who earned great notices as King George but must leave the show after this weekend to co-star in another new musical. Our only hope of seeing Mr. Groff in this universally acclaimed musical is if he remains in the cast when the production moves to Broadway in July.

According to a lengthy article in The New Yorker, Hamilton is  "...rooted in hip-hop, but also encompassing R. & B., jazz, pop, Tin Pan Alley, and the choral strains of contemporary Broadway...The show is an achievement of historical and cultural re-imagining." On my other blog, Gay Influence, I wrote about Alexander Hamilton in a post that appeared in 2012. Click on the following link if you want to know about Hamilton's gay roommate, details about his lover John Laurens,* and his rumored intimate relationship with George Washington:

Jonathan Groff is certainly not letting grass grow beneath his feet. Oh, I forgot to mention that he came out as gay during the National Equality March on Washington in 2009. Since then his career has skyrocketed.

Trivia: Mr. Groff has overcome skin cancer.

More trivia: In Spring Awakening, Mr. Groff bared his butt on stage to actress Lea Michele. The two once more acted together on TV's Glee. Groff's parents, who own a farm in Lancaster, PA, named one of their goats Lea Michele (she and Groff are best friends).

*I just can't get the serial comma out of my system. Sorry.

Frat weekend: Part II


Art appreciation
Adrian Ghenie: The Bath (2007)

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977, Romania) graduated in 2001 from the University of Art and Design, Cluj, Romania. He is known for his meticulously-crafted, often brutal paintings that build upon the darker moments of European history, particularly social and political abuses of power, his personal history, and society's collective memory.

Ghenie has been the subject of solo exhibitions at museums in Denver, Ghent (Belgium), and Bucharest (Romania). His work has been included in exhibitions in Venice, Liverpool, Prague, San Francisco and Florence. Ghenie’s art is also held in a number of public collections, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp; SFMOMA; and S.M.A.K., Ghent. In 2005, Ghenie co-founded Galeria Plan B, a production and exhibition space for contemporary art. He lives and works in Cluj (Romania) and Berlin. In the following video, he speaks in perfect English, describing the art scene in Romania: 

Sunday worship (muscles):

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