The Secret of Ryan Landry’s Success
With Mary Poppers—one of his earliest works—landing in P’town, Boston Spirit finally asked this hardcore New Englander what makes him so brilliantly hilarious
Note: The following post is adapted from a feature in the July/August 2012 issue of Boston Spirit magazine.
By Tim Sarbuals
Ryan Landry’s back in Provincetown, this time with one of the first scripts that he and the Gold Dust Orphans ever worked on, Mary Poppers. Boston Spirit caught up with the entertainment mastermind of New England to find out what keeps this brilliant performer ticking season after season after season.
BOSTON SPIRIT: So, I read that Mary Poppers was originally created in the early ‘90s but never made it to the stage. What inspired you and the Gold Dust Orphans to revisit the musical parody in 2012, almost 20 years after it was originally created?
Ryan Landry: We finally found the right “Mary” in Olive Another. Olive is everything you could want in a magical, mystical, schizophrenic, drug pushing, domestically abusive, megalomaniacal nanny. Besides the fact that she also fits in the costumes. Since we are a parodic company, it is no exaggeration that we are literally bursting with ideas at any given moment. Look at the world we live in! People are actually taking reality shows seriously! I don’t care if it’s the Kardashians or The Real Surviving Housewives of RuPaul’s Bunghole People have been dumbed down to Neanderthal levels. We as a society are in REAL trouble. So it would make sense that some ideas, even the ones we cherish, are put on the back burner to make room for the more “pressing” subjects at hand. But all the while, we had definitely planned on bringing Mary Poppers to the front. Now’s our chance.FULL ENTRY
The Human Rights Campaign has released a statement supporting Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s stance against fast food chain Chick-Fil-A’s anti-LGBT “practices”. Recently, Mayor Menino sent a letter to Chick-Fil-A’s President Dan Cathy. In the letter Menino calls out Cathy for his “prejudiced statements” against same-sex marriage and said that having a branch of the restaurant chain across from City Hall “would be an insult.”
HRC Vice President of Communications and Marketing Fred Sainz released the following statement:
“We applaud Mayor Menino for calling out Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT practices. We have been asking people to make their own decisions about whether to continue supporting Chick-fil-A based on the facts available, and Mayor Menino has done just that. Mayor Menino’s rebuke of Chick-fil-A sends a strong messages that their habit of supporting hateful organizations that demonize LGBT Americans are out-of-step with not just Bostonians, but the majority of fair-minded Americans. Chick-fil-A is on the wrong side of history, and we look forward to seeing more and more elected officials and businesses speak out against their discriminatory practices.”
Beach Blanket Perfection
The Summer Shack team shares its secret for the New England summer meal par excellence, including full recipes! Yum!
by John O’Connell
Editor’s Note: This story is adapted from a feature that ran in Boston Spirit magazine’s July/August 2012 issue.
The clambake. The epitome of the New England summer parties: elegant, casual, rustic, and romantic. We all think, at least once, “Wouldn’t it be great to throw a clambake?” and then reality settles in. With directions containing lines like “dig a two foot deep hole,” “cover each layer with seaweed,” or “keep the burlap bag moist with seawater” the project quickly becomes outside the scope of what most are willing to deal with on a given Saturday. How many in Boston own a plot of land that can spare that much square footage, let alone a shovel?
Jeff Dugan, the out Director of Operations and Partner at Jasper White’s Summer Shack, agreed to share the Summer Shack’s secrets for conquering the mighty clambake. In addition to the restaurant’s four locations throughout the greater Boston area, Summer Shack also runs the catering and snack options on Spectacle and Georges Islands in the Boston Harbor. “It’s the actual shack portion of the brand,” jokes Dugan.
The secret to a successful clambake is in the steaming. “Steaming is less messy and safer than boiling. It cooks the lobsters more gently, so the meat is more tender,” says Dugan. “If you’re near the ocean and can boil them in ocean water, by all means, do so. But boiling a lobster in tap water dilutes the flavor.” Another secret weapon is the use of an egg in the bake. If the egg is hard-boiled, the lobsters will be cooked through.FULL ENTRY
The Center For American Progress recently released the results of a wide range of polls surrounding the topic of marriage equality. The results, for those who support marriage equality, are very positive.
Among the many findings are that the majority of voters polled back the freedom to marry. The range of results is as follows:
*A Gallup poll found that 50 percent of respondents supported marriage equality
*An ABC News/Washington Post poll reported support for marriage equality at 53 percent
*An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll as well as a June CNN/Opinion Research poll found support one point higher, with 54 percent
All of these polls took place in May/June 2012
Other highlights of the report that the ‘enthusiasm gap’ (defined as those who feel ‘strongly’ one way or another, has also shifted:
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 39 percent of voters strongly support marriage equality, while only 32 percent strongly oppose. This stands in contrast to polling from just last summer, where the same poll found that 32 percent strongly supported equality and 36 percent stood strongly opposed.
As for results by age group:
A June 2012 CNN poll found that a whopping 73 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds support allowing same-sex couples to wed, far above the average of 54 percent for all respondents. In 2009 support among young people was just 58 percent, marking a substantial shift in favor of marriage equality.
Earlier today Change.org made an announcement that Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and an executive board member of the Boy Scouts of America would be joining fellow Board member James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young to help change the current Boy Scouts of America policy that bans gay scouts and leaders.
According to reporter David Taffet of the Dallas Voice, “Stephenson’s spokesman, Marty Richter told Dallas Voice he’s committed to changing the policy... Richter said he believes Turley will lead the effort to make the Boy Scouts inclusive with Stephenson’s full support.”
Stephenson’s spokesperson went on record with this commitment after Jennifer Tyrrell, a gay mom from Bridgeport, Ohio who was ousted as her son’s den leader in April of this year, started a petition on Change.org calling for an end to the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay troops and leaders, which has attracted more than 300,000 signatures. In June 2012, Tyrrell began a second petition on Change.org calling on Stephenson to work to end it. More than 75,000 people have signed it to date.
According to Tyrrell, “All I’m asking for is the opportunity to meet with a Boy Scouts official and resume my post as den leader of my son’s Cub Scout Pack -- a post that was taken from me as a result of a discriminatory policy that’s unpopular with Boy Scouts and leaders across the country,” said Tyrrell. “I hope they’ll listen to my story and the stories of hundreds of thousands who have signed my Change.org petitions.”
Now it looks as though that meeting will not take place and that Stephenson and Turley will have their work cut out for them. The Boy Scouts of America has released a statement today affirming their policy on banning gay scouts and leaders.
Said Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, “This is a missed opportunity of colossal proportions. With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued. These adults could have taught the next generation of leaders the value of respect, yet they’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.”
Stay tuned, it seems like this story is not going to go away.
The Crane Estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts
A Handful of Under-Rated LGBT New England Destinations
Including Bette Davis’ birthplace, Emily Dickinson’s home, Walden Pond, and a Cher filming location
Editor’s Note: The following is adapted from a feature that ran in Boston Spirit magazine, March/April 2010.
By Sam Baltrusis
Provincetown? Ogunquit? Been there, done that.
Why not head out to a handful of hidden gay-fave gems scattered throughout New England, like Emily Dickinson’s home, Bette Davis’ childhood home in Lowell, or Walden Pond?
What’s so gay about them? Fasten your seat belts ...
BETTE DAVIS HOUSE
22 Chester Street, Lowell, Massachusetts.
If the vibrant pink color of this old-school Victorian isn’t enough to tip off tourists, the historical plaque displayed on the front of this Lowell home dating back to the 1890s should set the record straight. The birthplace of movie legend icon Bette Davis is still standing amid a row of triple-deckers in the heart of the Highlands neighborhood near the UMass Lowell campus. In fact, most of the home’s original woodwork dating back to when Ruth Elizabeth was born in 1908 is still in tact. While the LGBT landmark is currently occupied by tenants and is off limits to Davis fans, locals seem to embrace out-of-towners wanting to sneak a peek of where the saucy Jezebel icon was reared.
Gay Factor: Birthplace of the woman who uttered some of the cattiest lines in film, like “But you are Blanche, you are in that chair!” from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? If these walls could talk.FULL ENTRY
Attendees at the Rise Above H8 vigil—to bring awareness to violence against LGBT Youth—at the Massachusetts Statehouse, June 29, 2012 (photo: Alan Tran)
By Alan Tran
On Friday, June 29, more than 50 people gathered at a “Rise Above H8” vigil in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse to draw attention to violence against LGBT youth. The vigil was one of 15 held across the country that day in response to the shooting of two lesbian teenagers in Texas the previous Saturday, one of whom died from her injuries.
While the tragedy in Texas has been a flashpoint in the national media, bringing attention to violence against LGBT youth amidst a month of Pride parades and celebrations, it is only one of several un- or underreported cases of which the vigil sought to raise awareness. Participants came to mourn for the victims of the shooting in Texas, but also to express their outrage and determination to fight against all instances of injustice and intolerance against LGBT youth.
Get Equal, a national LGBT advocacy organization, coordinated the vigil with Join the Impact, another advocacy group with a strong Boston presence. While the number of participants was modest, they represented a wide variety of community members, from advocates to allies to parents and LGBT youth, including members of the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, GLAD, Boston GLASS, and the Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth. A number of organization representatives gave speeches reacting to the violence and encouraging those attending to continue their efforts to fight homophobia.FULL ENTRY
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signing the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Act into law November 23 of last year, with, from left to right: MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, state Sen. Ben Downing, state Auditor Suzanne Bump, BAGLY Executive Director Grace Sterling Stowell, state Rep. Carl Sciortino, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition Executive Director Gunner Scott. (photo: Marilyn Humphries)
As of July 1, Massachusetts joins sixteen states and the District of Columbia in providing legal protection against discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, housing, education, credit, and hate crimes.
As of today no citizen of Commonwealth of Massachusetts can be fired from a job for being transgender. The Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Act took effect at the stroke of midnight July 1.
Massachusetts now becomes one of sixteen states and the District of Columbia to provide legal protection against discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, housing, education, credit, and hate crimes.
MassEquality, one of the primary organizations lobbying for the protections, released comments from several individuals associated with the passage of this historic legislation, including Governor Deval Patrick, and Attorney General Martha Coakley.
“No individual should face discrimination because of who they are,” said Patrick. “This law gives Massachusetts the necessary tools to stop hate crimes against transgender people and to treat others fairly.”
Coakley noted in her comments that the legislation moves Massachusetts closer to ending unfair treatment for residents.FULL ENTRY