Tag: Joins

Margaret Cho Joins Good Trouble For The Season 3A Finale

Margaret Cho Joins Good Trouble For The Season 3A Finale

This is a Good Trouble season 3A finale recap. Mild spoilers below. 

It’s hard for me to watch ensemble shows.

I have a tendency to gravitate to a few characters while growing to loathe a few others. I’ll devour storylines featuring the characters I care about — especially the ones who reflect some part of myself back at me — while begrudgingly sitting through (or, let’s be honest, fast-forwarding through) the storylines featuring characters I don’t. Coming into Good Trouble, the likelihood of this show falling into that trap seemed inevitable: after all, but for this show being a spin-off of The Fosters — an extension of the lives of Callie and Mariana Adams Foster — I might not have watched in the first place. They were the characters I cared about…and I couldn’t imagine caring for this ragtag bunch of folks at their intentional living community as much. Surely, there’d be someone I’d want to fast-forward through.

But, as I sat through last night’s midseason finale, I realized that Good Trouble had surpassed all my expectations. I cared about all of them. I wanted Alice and Mariana to find success in their respective careers. I wanted Davia and Malika to let themselves be happy…even if it wasn’t in the future they’d imagined for themselves previously. I wanted Alice to get the girl and for Callie to stop worrying so much about the boys. I wanted Gael to get out from under the thumb of his abusive boss. I wasn’t begrudgingly sitting through any storyline, I was rapt through all of them. Every. Single. Storyline.

Good Trouble has hit its stride this season: not just because it’s found a way to make everyone’s storylines compelling — though it has — but because the show’s writers have found a way to achieve balance in their storytelling. From the outset, I worried about the show “endeavoring to tell more stories than the show has time to tell well” and this year, they’ve really found that balance. Not a second of the midseason finale feels wasted or unnecessary…and while a lot happens (A LOT) it never feels like too much. The show’s writers also found a tonal balance this season: remaining committed to addressing the serious issues that have been Good Trouble‘s hallmark while not allowing it to eclipse the heart of the show. It was a damn good hour of television in what has been the show’s best season yet. In fact, as soon as it was over, I wanted to do two things: 1. watch it again and 2. fire off some tweets to Freeform asking them to return new episodes of Good Trouble to my television ASAP.

This week on Good Trouble, Alice and her fellow comedians perform, "Alice the Dumb Asian," as part of the diversity workshop's showcase.

Alice shows up to the CBTV workshop and is surprised to see Ruby there. She reiterates her interest in talking about Alice’s text and promises that they’ll do it soon. Alice settles in as Scott sets the stage for the day’s activities: a run-through for their upcoming showcase in front of the diversity program’s most famous alum, Margaret Cho. Alice is thrilled about the prospect of performing for her idol but then Derek wonders aloud how Margaret will react to their “Alice the Dumb Asian” sketch and, all of a sudden, all of Alice’s enthusiasm is gone.

They run through the sketches: Derek, an Indian comedian, does his “Great Al Qaeda Baking Show” sketch, Lindsay mocks the use of pronouns in their sketch and then Alice takes the stage with her fellow comedians for “Alice the Dumb Asian.” The audience, including Margaret and Ruby, break out in riotous laughter throughout the performance but, inside, Alice hates every second of it…and is dispirited to see her comedic hero laughing so hard at jokes she finds offensive.

After the run-through, Margaret approaches Alice and tells her she’s funny. It’s high praise for the young comedienne who kept Notorious C.H.O. on a continuous loop when she was nine. Margaret extends an offer to provide Alice with advice or answer any questions she might have and Alice takes advantage of the opportunity immediately. She asks Margaret if they made her lean into being Asian when she was in the program too. Margaret admits that things were worse when she participated but because they were allowed to write their own material, they leaned into the stereotypes for themselves. That confuses Alice — why play to stereotypes at all if you don’t have to — but Margaret points out that they did.

“It’s what the network wanted. And we wanted money and agents,” Margaret explains. “When you make it, you can change things, but your one job now is to play the game and get past the gatekeepers.”

But the dynamics have shifted: Margaret Cho’s made it, she’s no longer trying to get past the gatekeepers… so why, Alice questions, isn’t she helping to change what it takes to play the game? Before Margaret can answer, Scott pulls her away to talk to the rest of the workshop participants.

The participants in the CBTV diversity workshop lament the state of the program at the Coterie.

Later, at the Coterie, Alice and her fellow comedians are eating pizza, drinking and lamenting the state of the program. Everyone has the same complaint: they’re tired of putting this “stereotypical bullshit” out in the world. The alcohol’s flowing so everyone’s feeling a bit more combative than usual so they all agree to take their power back. But the next day, when everyone’s sober and they’re back in the real world, forced to play the game, not everyone’s still spoiling for a fight…even after Shaun is dismissed from the program. Only thing? No one told Alice.

She doesn’t understand why Shaun had to be cut or why fear and money are being used as motivation in the program. Alice voices the group’s frustrations about performing racist and transphobic sketches and insists that if they’re going to be forced to perform jokes about their identities, they should be the people writing them. Scott criticizes Alice as being part of the “PC police” and insists that jokes are meant to provoke. Alice pushes back — old stereotypes aren’t provocative, they’re lazy — but Scott reminds all of them what’s at stake: a Saturday Night Live test and a $70k talent deal. He asks the group if anyone else has a problem with the material and, unsurprisingly, they all stay silent.

“You know, we don’t need to do this program at all. We’re just doing it so that you get the opportunity, And I’m sorry, Alice, if you don’t want it, you can leave.”

And then, with her mentor, her comedic hero and her would-be girlfriend sitting by and saying nothing, Alice leaves… her integrity in tact but her future in comedy very, very much in doubt.

Here’s how the rest of the residents of the Coterie ended the first half of Good Trouble‘s third season:

Callie faces off with Jamie in court on this week's Good Trouble.

Callie: Lots of developmets on the personal and professional fronts for Callie this week. Professionallly, Kathleen Gale and her three associates step into the courtroom with just enough information to secure a two week continuance in their murder case. But before Kathleen can present the case, the FBI steps in and arrests her for witness tempering. Kathleen taps Callie to handle the motion which she does with aplomb (and even channels a little Kamala Harris in her back and forth with Jamie). And then — for reasons that don’t make sense to me at all — Kathleen recruits her associate who’s been a defense attorney for just a few weeks to be her lawyer.

On the personal front, Callie’s looking to — for once — avoid the complicated. She opts against hooking up with her co-worker, admitting that her heart’s with someone else. Her co-worker thinks she means Jamie but, really, she means Gael….but that doesn’t go according to plan either.

Davia gets a surprise guest on this week's episode of Good Trouble.

Davia: Alice isn’t the only person standing up for herself this week on Good Trouble. When the probation officers come into her classroom looking for Andre Johnson, Davia puts herself between the police and her student. Matt stands up next to her and they both refuse to let Andre go. Later the principal comes in and he doesn’t blame Andre for what happened, he blames the teachers for implementing an unapproved program. Davia, Gael, Matt and Jordan (the head of the Equity Committee) argue for the effectiveness of the restorative justice program and eventually the principal relents.

Inspired by his teacher’s activism, Andre decides to take a stand on his own: he and other kids in the program are circulating a petition to get the cops out the school. If the principal doesn’t agree, the students will refuse to take the Common Core test (which controls the school’s purse strings). Davia’s reluctant to sign the petition — after all, she could lose her job — but Matt reminds her that there are other, more important things, that they could lose if they don’t sign it. At that moment, Matt’s never been sexier…and Davia kisses him and invites him back to the Coterie where he spends the night.

Later, when Davia’s making tea in her robe, Dennis saunters in behind her (I screamed!). He admits that he’s been an idiot…he was looking for something to guide him out of the darkness but she’s always been his light. Before she can interrupt, Matt stumbles out of Davia’s loft, wearing her robe, and Davia makes the most awkward introductions ever.

Isaac and Malika talk about the state of their relationship on this week's Good Trouble.

Malika: We finally return to Malika’s counseling session this week and Isaac’s blindsided by Malika’s admission that she wants a relationship with Isaac and Dyonte. Isaac doesn’t know what to say so he just gets up and leaves. He apologizes later for his actions and Malika responds with her own apology for cornering him. She assures him if he objects to her pursuing a relationship with Dyonte, they can just stay monogamous, but Isaac doesn’t want her to put her feelings aside just to keep him.

“Look, if this is who you are, I don’t want to change you,” Isaac tells Malika. “So I guess the only option is — if I don’t want to lose you — is to find a way to accept this.”

Right now, though, Isaac doesn’t know how to be cool with losing her or with Malika seeing Dyonte, so he asks for a break to process it all. Heartbroken, Malika preemptively breaks up with Dyonte — after they share their first kiss — because she thinks the best way to prove to Isaac how much she loves him is to sever the tie between them…which: 1. is not an effective strategy if Dyonte’s still her co-worker and 2. isn’t at all what Isaac said?

Mariana and the Byte Club pitch Bulk Beauty on this week's Good Trouble.

Mariana: After Evan secures Mariana and the Byte Club a pitch meeting for Bulk Beauty, the women are left to close the deal. And, at first, it looks like they succeed — the girls dance adorably in the lobby in celebration — but then Mariana gets word that the company’s president nixed the deal. Refusing to take no for an answer, Mariana returns to the company hoping to pitch directly to the CEO. Only thing? The executive that had, originally, agreed to buy Bulk Beauty never took the app to the company’s CEO.

Mariana ends up in a confrontation with the executive: she loved the app but when she discovered that the Byte Club was allegedly behind the release of Speckulate’s salary information, it gave her pause. Standing up for themselves at Speckulate branded the Byte Club as trouble-makers — a reputation that Mariana confirmed by showing up abruptly — and the executive can’t risk investing the company’s money in a group with such a specious reputation.

The members of the Byte Club are, understandably, irritate, and direct their ire at Evan. They blast him for allowing a toxic work environment to persist at Speckulate and suggest suing him for workplace harassment…and then using that money to fund their app’s creation. Mariana objects to the idea by finally telling her business partners that she’s dating Evan.

Gael and Callie have the worst timing (again), this week on Good Trouble.

Gael: When Gael returns to his internship this week, Yuri gives him a portion of his profit from the sale of the painting that Gael “lent a hand” on (only 10% of the sale price). Gael objects to the characterization but Yuri reminds him that it’s his name that sold the painting, not Gael’s work. He promises Gael more opportunities like this one: trips abroad and access to Yuri’s professional network, on top of getting paid to make art. For a while, Gael considers it but, inspired by the students he’s worked with in the restorative justice art program, he decides doesn’t want to sell his soul. Watching Yuri sign his name to his creations was never Gael’s dream.

Having dealt with that successfully, Gael reaches out to Callie to talk about their relationship. They’ve been flirting all season long…moving closer to reuniting with each episode…and he invites her to his loft to talk about them. But when Callie arrives, the “she” from the episode’s title is, indeed, back: Isabella returns to the Coterie to tell Gael that she’s pregnant, with his child. She’s keeping it, of course, and even though she’s not looking for anything from Gael, he insists on being part of the child’s life.

Chekhov’s gun just went boom!

Now the wait begins for the second half of season three…whenever it comes, I’ll be there to recap all the drama.

Zachary Quinto joins podcast drama exploring Harvard ‘gay purge’

Boys in the Band star Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto is to produce and star in a new audio drama podcast shedding light on Harvard University’s attempts to purge gay students.

The Boys in the Band star is set to delve back into queer culture with upcoming scripted podcast series Secret Court, which tells the true story of a purge of gay students from the Harvard class of 1920.

After gay Harvard sophomore Cyril Wilcox took his own life, the university had instigated a secret court led by the university’s president and deans, which dedicated itself to eradicating rumoured “homosexual activity” among the student population.

The investigation, which was only exposed in 2002, saw the university move to purge eight students, a graduate and an assistant professor, erasing all record of their links with Harvard and severing all association with them.

The purge came 30 years before the 1950 ‘Lavender Scare,’ which saw the US government attempt to uncover gay people working in government and dismiss them from the service.

Zachary Quinto pays tribute to ‘contributions and sacrifices’ of persecuted gay students.

Penned by The Artist’s Wife scribe Abdi Nazemian and based on research from writer Rafael Moraes, Secret Court will draw on newly-uncovered documents 100 years on, including personal correspondence found in the Harvard Archives.

Quinto said in a press release: “I’m honoured to lend my voice and help amplify the story of these promising young members of the LGBTQ+ community, who were marginalized and sidelined due to the social intolerance of their day.

“A hundred years later, I am grateful to their contributions and sacrifices, and recognize that I stand on their shoulders today.”

Zachary Quinto attends the 2019 Tony Awards
Zachary Quinto attends the 2019 Tony Awards (Getty/Taylor Hill)

Secret Court will ‘let the voices of silenced men finally be heard’.

Daniel Turcan and Johnny Galvin of podcast incubator Vespucci Group said: “We are honoured to bring this true story to a contemporary audience and let the voices of young men, silenced for 100 years, be finally heard.

“At the centennial anniversary of the events at Harvard 1920, this project also provides an important opportunity to explore the ways in we’ve progressed as a society, but also the places where we’ve fallen short in terms of queer expression and freedom.”

Alia Tavakolian of production company Spoke Media added: “This is an important story that needs to be told.

“Brigham Mosley, the creative lead, has done a brilliant job of drawing out a beautiful narrative. Yes, there is tragedy and pain here, but there is also joy, happiness, and inspiration.

“And we’re thrilled to create a piece that showcases all the bravery and vitality of these tremendous young men who chose to pursue community and understanding despite living in a world that attempted to wipe out their existence.”

Kellyanne Conway joins Trump in testing positive for coronavirus

Kellyanne Conway joins Trump in testing positive for coronavirus

Kellyanne Conway at a White House news briefing in January 2020 (Alex Wong/Getty)

The former senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway is the latest member of Trump’s inner circle to test positive for coronavirus after attending a Rose Garden event last week.

The crowded ceremony in which Trump announced his anti-LGBT+ Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, is already being called a “super spreader” event after at least seven guests tested positive for the virus.

Conway, 53, was seen mingling closely with attendees, touching her face and wearing no mask during the ceremony.

“Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19,” Conway announced on Twitter less than a week later. “My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians.

“As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic.”

However, it was actually Conway’s daughter Claudia who first broke the news. The outspoken 15-year-old, whose parents recently booted off social media for expressing liberal, pro-LGBT+ views, took to TikTok to share her mother’s symptoms.

“My mom coughing all around the house after Trump tested positive for COVID,” she wrote to her 900,000 followers as she lip-synced the lines “that’s weird, that’s suspicious”.

“Update my mom has COVID,” she added on Friday night, half an hour before her mother made an announcement. “I’m furious. Wear your masks. Don’t listen to our idiot f**king president piece of sh*t. Protect yourself and those around you.”

Claudia also posted another controversial video, which has since been deleted, that blames her mother for refusing to wear a mask and in turn infecting the whole family.

Claudia’s strident left-wing views have repeatedly brought her into conflict with her parents. In August Kellyanne Conway announced she would be stepping down from her political role to focus on her children, saying she wanted to give them “less drama, more mama”.

Before her resignation she was the highest-ranking woman in the White House and one of Trump’s most anti-LGBT+ advisers.

In 2002, Conway complained that the media reported too much on LGBT+ issues and too little on gun rights, claiming that gay rights were “not important to Americans”.

She added that the media had pushed changes in the public school curriculum, and said that “they’re so worried now about how many mommies Heather has that [the teacher] runs out of time” to teach basic civic lessons.

According to GLAAD, in 2017 Conway gave the keynote speech at the Family Leadership Summit, an event hosted by anti-LGBT+ group The FAMiLY Leader, which describes LGBT+ people as “practicing distorted sexual behaviour”.

In the same year, she spoke alongside Trump at the anti-LGBT+ hate group Family Research Council‘s Values Voter Summit.

Conway has also been accused of supporting conversion therapy.



Tony-nominated Sydney Lucas Joins EPIC for new virtual series – Lesbian.com

Tony-nominated Sydney Lucas Joins EPIC for new virtual series –

EPIC Players Inclusion Company is proud to release their fourth virtual performance, Ring of Keys from the Broadway production of Fun Home. The video features a duet between Tony Nominated Sydney Lucas and EPIC company member Nicole D’Angelo. The performance is part of EPIC’s new virtual performance series, EPIC Sings for Autism, which was started after EPIC’s spring/summer performances were put on hold due to the COIVD-19 Pandemic. The New York City based neuro-diverse theater company created the series so their autistic performers could have a creative outlet and find some normalcy during this time.

Lucas shared what drew her to collaborating with EPIC, “Fun Home has had such a positive impact on so many people. I recognized this very early on and have always felt a responsibility to tell Alison’s story to the best of my ability. Learning that it touched Nicole (D’Angelo) and really spoke to her, touches my heart as well.” She went on to say, “I wanted to raise more awareness about autism because it’s another story that needs to be told, and another group of wonderful people who need to be recognized and acknowledged. After all, Ring of Keys is a song about recognition. Meeting Nicole over ZOOM was extra special and getting to sing Ring of Keys together with her is the cherry on top. Fun Home has taught me that when you invest in matters that have the ability to reach into another’s heart, your heart is all the fuller for it. It’s really a beautiful thing to experience!”

EPIC company member D’Angelo went on to say, “Fun Home is the reason I am in theater, and in many ways saved my life. It was such an honor to perform a song from the first show I ever saw that made me feel like there was a place for me, a queer, socially awkward introvert, on a stage, and to share that performance with Sydney Lucas, who helped to shape and create the musical that means so much to me.”

Ring of Keys from the Broadway Musical Fun Home

Book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori. Featuring Nicole D’Angelo and Sydney Lucas.

In an effort to spread some much-needed joy and inspiration, EPIC’s company members,’ which feature artists on the spectrum, will continue to share a series of virtual performances throughout the Spring. Many of the video’s will be in collaborations with Broadway talent. The company would also like to connect with additional Broadway talent who may be interested in working on a virtual performance with EPIC. Interested individuals can contact Aubrie Therrien at aubrie@epicplayersnyc.org

Individuals living with autism and other neuro-diversities have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered many of their essential resources, programs and supports and left them even more vulnerable to anxiety and distress.

Additional Videos from EPIC’s Virtual Performance Series:

A Whole New World from the Broadway Musical Aladdin

Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Tim Rice. Featuring EPIC company member Jordan Boyatt and Telly Leung who played the title role of Aladdin on Broadway. Accompanied by Scott Evan Davis.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/_tfIqUsJ_NA

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/414538753

Who I’d Be from Shrek the Musical!

Performed by EPIC’s Travis Burbee and Henry Houghton, and featuring special Broadway guest, Analise Scarpaci (Lydia Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical!/Broadway). Lyrics‎ by ‎David Lindsay-Abaire, and music by ‎Jeanine Tesori.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/SE2Mqi27pnc

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/410846266

If the World Only Knew

This original song was created by award-winning composer and lyricist Scott Evan Davis who also wrote and composed the new musical Indigo, which workshopped on Broadway this past fall. If the World Only Knew was created for the autistic community and was shared with EPIC for their Lincoln Center cabaret.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/9Ch58BdhYzk
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/404823802

EPIC Players — which stands for empower, perform, include and create — is a nonprofit, neuro-diverse theatre company in New York City. Founded in 2016, EPIC seeks to use the performing arts as a vehicle to empower neuro diverse artists and pioneer increased inclusion in the arts. EPIC also provides free performing arts and careers classes for all participants. The company’s productions feature neuro-diverse artists that work in all capacities of theatre including acting, writing, stage management, design and backstage work. Past productions include neuro-diverse adaptations of The Little Prince, The Tempest, Peter & the Starcatcher, Dog Sees God, You’re A God Man Charlie Brown, Little Shop of Horrors, and numerous cabarets as Joe’s Pub, HBO Headquarters and Lincoln Center.

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