June’s L&G news

Two pieces of recent news from the L&G world: a Tony for Fun Home (on the L side), a NYT interview with the French ambassador to the US (on the G side). Bonus on the G side: a photographic tribute to David Hockney.

The Tony. On the musical Fun Home, from Wikipedia:

Fun Home is a musical adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir of the same name. The story concerns Bechdel’s relationship with her gay father and her attempts to unfurl the mysteries surrounding his life. It has been called “the first mainstream musical about a young lesbian.” It is the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist.

The musical was developed at the Ojai Playwrights Conference in 2009 and at the Sundance Theatre Lab and The Public Theater’s Public Lab in 2012. It opened Off-Broadway at the Public Theater in September 2013 to positive reviews. Its run was extended several times, and it ran until January 2014.

A Broadway production began previews at the Circle in the Square Theatre on March 27, 2015, with an official opening on April 19, 2015. The original Broadway production won the Best Musical Award at the 69th Tony Awards [June 7, 2015].

At the Tonys, with a wonderfully lesbionic Bechdel and the creators and cast of the musical:


Bechdel on this blog:

5/10/12: Alison Bechdel: Bechtel and her graphic memoirs, Fun Home and Are You My Mother?

5/14/12: More quiffs

10/10/12: A tribute to Life in Hell

Winning the Tony has been fantastic for ticket sales, and will probably lead to the licensing of amateur performances and touring companies. In any case, the award has expanded the audience for the show enormously (though of course the subject-matter makes the show absolutely unacceptable for most evangelicals/fundamentalists).

Interview with the ambassador. Maureen Dowd’s op-ed column in the NYT June 6, “From Paris, With Tough Love”, began:

Washington. I’m a little worried about the French ambassador.

Sure, he’s good-looking and charming and popular and lives in the most romantic chateau in town.

But I fear that he’s one glass of silky Beaujolais and one tart tweet away from blowing up his life.

At 62, after a distinguished career in the French Foreign Ministry, including turns as France’s ambassador to Israel and to the U.N., the very correct Gérard Araud is throwing caution to the winds.

“I’m taking the risk, in a sense, but it’s my last posting and I’m at the highest level of the ministry, so I can afford taking risk,” he mused, looking beautifully tailored in charcoal J. Crew and onyx cufflinks from his partner, talking over a breakfast of steamed eggs with duck prosciutto and truffles at his residence.

He has not only shrugged off concerns about the stuffy French Foreign Ministry to break decades of reticence on the topic of his sexuality — acknowledging his role as the first French gay ambassador to Washington, trumpeting his support for gay marriage and revealing that his longtime partner, a photographer named Pascal Blondeau, has moved into the official French residence.

More striking, he has invented a new form of digital diplomacy for our cacophonous, hyperconnected age, a zesty undiplomatic diplomacy that has shaken up this staid marble capital.

… “I was an outsider socially at first because I come from the lower middle class from a provincial city and not Parisian at all, in a profession in which Parisians have a huge presence,” said the Marseille native. “And also because I’m gay, so I’ve always felt that I was not totally in a mold.”

Background from Wikipedia:

Gérard Araud (born 20 February 1953) [in Marseille] is the Ambassador of France to the United States [assumed office October 2014]. Before that he was Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Director General for Political and Security Affairs of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (France) [he joined the diplomatic corps in 1982].

… He is openly gay. His long-time partner is photographer Pascal Blondeau.

Blondeau and Araud at an Alliance Française gala 12/13/11:


Tribute to David Hockney. Blondeau’s photography covers a lot of territory, but some of it is of gay interest. Here, for instance, are four shots from his series “Swimming Pool, Tribute to David Hockney” (honoring Hockney, the fan of swimming pools and men’s bodies):





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