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  Alyson Stoner, actress/singer/dancer on Ms. Jackson, acting, coming out

Being in the glare of the spotlight—especially for those who have been in the public eye since childhood—can be harsh. However, Alyson Stoner, 25—who many may remember as the dancing girl in Missy Elliott's videos such ...


  Glad Rags' 'Wonder 'Under': An emotional kaleidoscope

Local queer psychedelic orchestra band Glad Rags' second full-length album, Wonder Under, is an eclectic and weird ride in all the best ways. Although bringing to mind Tom Waits, with rich vocals graveling over horn and ...


  SHOWBIZ Rihanna, 'Riverdale,' Glenn Close, Ezra Miller

Rihanna reportedly sent President Donald Trump a cease-and-desist letter after learning that her music was being used to hype up the crowd at his political rallies, noted. According to Rolling Stone, the singer's legal team ...


  Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace debuts side-project album

Transgender punk rocker and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace's new side project, The Devouring Mothers, unleashes kinetic energy with an intimate touch in Bought to Rot ( Bloodshot Records ). She's joined by Atom Willard, ...


  Amy Ray on new album, acceptance and rock 'n' roll

Indigo Girl Amy Ray's September release, Holler, is a rich mixture of folk, Southern rock, mountain music, bluegrass and gospel, with her characteristic thoughtful and layered lyricism. Windy City Times talked with Amy about the album, ...


  Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles to honor Stonewall, LGBTQ history

It may be a difficult, shaky time for equality right now, but Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles continues to play on, promoting positivity and love: The 2018-19 season will honor the rich, diverse legacy of LGBTQ history ...


  Olly Alexander, Out British singer on band, queer artists

British pop band Years and Years is composed of Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Turkmen. Their sound is mix of electronic, pop and dance music. The first album, Communion, had a hit single with "King" ...


  SHOWBIZ Streisand, GLAAD book, Spice Girls, Boy Erased, Rhapsody

Barbra Streisand has released an LGBTQ anthem that doubles as a statement against President Trump, reported. The legendary singer's latest album, Walls, includes plenty of shots at the current administration, including the title track. The ...


  Measure for Measure, Chicago Sinfonietta, Swing Shift Orchestra and more

The Hindu celebration of Diwali, the five-day festival of lights, will be marked by the Chicago Sinfonietta with concerts in Naperville ( Nov. 10 at Wentz Hall ) and Chicago ( Nov. 12 at Symphony Center ...


  pronoun talks about name, breakups

Out singer Alyse Vellturo ( aka pronoun ) is attempting to outdo her counterparts—and going by the name pronoun is just the start. The songwriter grew up in Boston and graduated from the Berklee School of ...


  Measure for Measure, classical music in Chicago

As part of its newly expanded arts coverage, Windy City Times is resuming Measure for Measure, a monthly digest of news about classical music in Chicago that first appeared in 2000 but has been on hiatus ...


  Festival celebrates queer punk rock for people of color

On Oct. 20, the Black, Brown, and Indigenous Collection presented the 2018 edition of "Will It Explode?," an annual festival celebrating queer punk rock for people of color. The festival featured afternoon workshops such as "Punk ...


  SHOWBIZ: Jamie Lee Curtis, Latifah, Jim Parsons, 'Heathers'

Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis revealed to People magazine that she struggled with an opioid addiction she kept secret from the world since the late '80s, Page Six noted. She explained that she was prescribed painkillers ...


  The Dinah accepting artist applications

The Dinah—advertised as "the largest queer girl party music festival in the world"—will take place April 3-7, 2019, in Palm Springs, California. What is new is that event organizers are offering a chance for an unsigned ...


  Queer singer Mary Lambert on her poetry collection

Mary Lambert first experienced what she calls "radical vulnerability" at age seven, when she started a group therapy session at a friend's sleepover. "I've been in therapy since I was 5," said the queer performer and ...


  Tenor shines on stage in 'Idomeneo,' finds true love off stage

David Portillo makes his role debut as Arbace in Mozart's Idomeneo at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The tenor has been out on social media for years, but his interview with Windy City Times marks coming out ...


  CSO performing with 'Frankenstein' screening Oct. 26

Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform Academy Award-winning composer Franz Waxman's score to Bride of Frankenstein at an Oct. 26 screening of the film at 7:30 p.m. at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave. The 1935 film, ...


  Swan Lake

Composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky At Joffrey Ballet at The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.; 312-386-8905;; $35-$195. Runs through: Oct. 28 A story of magic, mystery and an impossible love bourrées onto the stage ...


  Aguilera, Sivan deliver sick shows

The Chicago Theatre packed in the audiences this past week with two shows that stood out for queer attendees. Starting with pop singer Christina Aguilera on Oct. 16, this landmark venue filled up for the two ...


  SHOWBIZ 'Orange' ending, 'Tales of the City,' Rihanna, Jussie Smollett

Lionsgate's Orange Is the New Black, which streams on Netflix, will end with season seven in 2019, reported. Season six dropped in its entirety on June 27. Creator Jenji Kohan said in 2017 that she ...


  Glad Rags, Garbage perform

Out troubadour Glad Matt and his band, Glad Rags, played a pre-siesta show at The Hideout Inn on Oct. 14 in support of their latest full-length release, Wonder Under ( on bandcamp ). The band played ...


  Noah Cyrus gives fans a 'Good Cry'

Singer Noah Cyrus just gave Chicago a "Good Cry" at the House of Blues recently. Her new Good Cry EP covers a very public breakup with rapper Lil Xan, the passing of collaborator XXXTentacion and her ...


  David Hernandez,'Idol' alum on new CD, recovery and self-love

American Idol finalist David Hernandez's new self-released Kingdom: The Mixtape shows a great maturity from 2011's I Am Who I Am. While it explores depression, substance abuse and frustrations with the music industry, Kingdom also celebrates ...


  Entertainers come out for Michigan Avenue event

National Coming Out Day, observed Oct. 11, had the crowds coming out to AT&T's downtown flagship store, 600 N. Michigan Ave., for an event celebrating people being their authentic selves. LOVELOUD and The Trevor Project joined ...


  13th Annual Chicago Latino Music Festival to feature free shows, plethora of genres

The International Latino Culture Center ( ILCC ) of Chicago kicks off its 13th Chicago Latino Music Festival this week. From Wed., Oct. 17 through Saturday, Nov. 18, ILCC will oversee eight concerts at venues throughout ...


  Lakeside Pride celebrates love and marriage

Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles kicked off their season with the first of six themed performances honoring the legacy of the Stonewall Riots last Saturday, Oct. 13. The "Love and Marriage" show by the Jazz Orchestra covered ...


  SHOWBIZ Michael Urie, Todrick Hall, Streisand, Met Gala

Torch Song Trilogy is back on Broadway, with Michael Urie in the starring role ( and Mercedes Ruehl as his mother ), Vulture noted. Torch Song is a condensed version of Harvey Fierstein's trilogy about a ...


  Ravinia launches "Bridges" competition fusing jazz, classical music

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ravinia's Steans Music Institute ( RSMI ) last summer, Ravinia launched a competition for composers who could fuse the worlds of jazz and classical music. Due to its success, ...


  Illeana Douglas

Illeana Douglas is a renaissance woman. Her distinguished career includes theater, standup comedy, movies, including several Martin Scorsese films, TV, writing, music and producing. She exemplifies an artist who never stops creating and generating her own ...


  Twelve Chicago-based LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations to perform together

CHICAGO, October 11, 2018 — Chicago Gay Men's Chorus celebrates 35 years of making music with their upcoming holiday show 35th Anniversary Holiday Hullabaloo. The chorus will be joined by 11 additional Chicago-based LGBTQ+ performing arts ...


  Martha Wash, dance-floor diva talks Chicago musical, new CD

Even those who may not heard Martha Wash's name have certainly heard her voice. From the dance classic "It's Raining Men" ( recorded with the late Izora Armstead, Wash's partner in the duo The Weather Girls ...


  Composer Libby Rudolph turns music to activism

When composer/vocalist Elizabeth "Libby" Rudolph was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, one of her professors gave her some guidance that changed the shape of her education. "He told me I was shouldn't write music ...


  Alsop leading CSO in concerts Oct. 18-20

Marin Alsop—the openly lesbian music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor designate of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony—will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ( CSO ) in subscription ...


  NUNN ON ONE Trans singer Kim Petras talks family, transition, big break

Transgender singer Kim Petras is performing for the first time nationwide at large concerts, thanks to Troye Sivan, who is on his "The Bloom" Tour. Born in Cologne, Germany, Petras knew her identity at age 2. ...


  La Boheme

By Giacomo Puccini At: Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20. N. Wacker Dr. Tickets: 312-827-5600;; $49-$279 . Runs through: Oct. 20 Opera takes the elevated form of classical theater and replaces spoken word with music. From ...


  Personalities speak against anti-LGBTQ bullying for Spirit Day Oct. 18

Videos below

New York, NY, Monday, October 11, 2018 — GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender ( LGBTQ ) media advocacy organization, today recognized National Coming Out Day with a launch the official countdown to Spirit ...


  MUSIC Zaena x Jason Maek release new work

Chicago duo Zaena x Jason Maek celebrated the release of their new visual album, Freshman, on Sept. 28 at Cerise. The event kicked off their 30-city Freshman Tour with iHeartRadio, KISS FM, Rolling Stone and more. ...


  Musicians strike, Lyric goes silent

The Lyric Opera of Chicago has gone silent this week in the wake of a strike announced Tuesday by the Chicago Federation of Musicians ( CFM ). The CFM represents the Lyric's orchestral musicians. After the ...


  SHOWBIZ Madonna, Matt Bomer, bullying movie, Janelle Monae

In a new interview with WWD, Madonna talked about her MDNA Skin lineup—and confirmed that a new album of music is on the way, reported. "I'm finishing my record, which I'm going to release next ...


  Carlie Hanson talks new CD and coming out

Singer Carlie Hanson has gone from serving hungry customers at McDonald's in Wisconsin to performing for huge crowds in large venues across the country. YouTube videos were her inspiration to make music and, after posting a ...


  Bowersox, Mizrahi at City Winery

Former American Idol finalist Crystal Bowersox and actor/fashion designer/singer Isaac Mizrahi will be performing at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Oct. 8. Bowersox will perform songs her latest album, ALIVE—which incorporates musical genres such as ...


  Tenor Michael Fabiano makes Lyric debut in La boheme

For many Windy City opera fans, it has taken an unconscionably long time for the internationally acclaimed singer Michael Fabiano to make his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. So there was much excitement when ...


  NUNN ON ONE morgxn carries queer 'weight'

Indie artist morgxn started music at an early age and eventually left his roots of Nashville to make pop-soul music in LA. The new singer prefers his name in lower case and came out at age ...


  Angela Ingersoll salutes Judy Garland with an evening of song

Angela Ingersoll has a theory about the eternal impact of Judy Garland, especially within the LGBTQ+ community. "I think it has do with the unconditional love she showed. And her vulnerability," Ingersoll said. "Her concerts were ...


  Marin Alsop leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in world premiere

New Work Commemorates 100th Anniversary of World War I Armistice

CHICAGO—Marin Alsop, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor Designate of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony, leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ( CSO ) in subscription concerts on ...


  SHOWBIZ Aretha, Justin Bieber, Wanda Sykes, 'Wicked,' Robin Williams

The American Music Awards will honor Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin on Oct. 9, according to Page Six. Dick Clark productions said that Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans and musical director Rickey ...


  Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles 22nd season to honor Stonewall Riots legacy

Oct. 13 begins celebration of LGBT History Month

CHICAGO, Ill. ( October 2, 2018 ) — Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles is honoring the legacy of the Stonewall Riots. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the riots in June 2019, our concert series will ...


  Streisand releases single "Don't Lie To Me," Walls album preorder available

Today, Columbia Records has released "Don't Lie To Me," a new single written and recorded by Barbra Streisand from her upcoming album Walls, due out November 2. It's Streisand's first album primarily consisting of original songs ...


  'La Boheme' at Lyric Oct., Jan.

Giacomo Puccini's romantic opera La Boheme ( which, among other things, inspired Rent ) will run at Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., on Oct. 6-20 and Jan. 10-25. The two-hour, 15-minute co-production ( between ...


  Christina Aguilera in Chicago Oct. 16-17

As part of her first tour in more than a decade ( The Liberation Tour ), Grammy winner Christina Aguilera will stop at The Chicago Theater, 175 N. State St., on Oct. 16-17. Christina released new ...


  Year and far, Holly Near talks '2018'

Singer-songwriter/longtime feminist/anti-war activist Holly Near's new album, 2018, is a thoughtful mirror on the craziness, worry and fear that defines the year of its namesake. Windy City Times: The album is titled 2018, which is an ...


  SHOWBIZ Greg Berlanti, Rihanna, 'Downton Abbey,' Ralph Lauren

Producer Greg Berlanti has taken on a side project—a one-night-only reading of Paramount Pictures' Terms of Endearment at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 1, to benefit Stand Up To Cancer, noted. ...



The number 13 turned out to be lucky for the 2018 edition of Riot Fest. The future for this festival started looking dim after the death of founder Sean McKeough in 2016—just before the glut of ...


  Highland Park Strings Announces 40th Anniversary Season

CHICAGO ( September 21, 2018 ) — Highland Park Strings, under the direction of Principal Conductor Dr. Robert G. Hasty, is pleased to announce its 40th anniversary season titled "Highland Park's Got Talent," featuring three free ...


  NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Lavender Country's Patrick Haggerty on family, comeback

Patrick Haggerty might not be a household name, but Lavender Country sure should be. It's the name of the band led by Haggerty, an activist and known as the first out gay country singer. The gay-themed ...


  Holly Near in Chicago Sept. 28

Musician Holly Near will perform Friday, Sept. 28, at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., at 8 p.m. Near is celebrating her first album in three years, Peace Becomes You, and she's ...


  FALL OPERA PREVIEW Operas cover love, lust and lesbians

Replete with princes in crowns, queens in leather, women in love and womanizers in lust, the start to this year's opera season is rich with traditional blockbuster, off-Loop revolutionaries and superstar voices. Don't know where to ...


  SPOTLIGHT Elider DiPaula

Out Brazilian concert pianist Elider DiPaula is launching a four-concert series that will bring out, internationally acclaimed musicians to Berwyn. The True Unity Classical Concert Series kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, with German ...


  SHOWBIZ Trans singer, Viola Davis, Jim Parsons, 'Wicked'

Filipino pop star Jake Zyrus—formerly known as Charice when he was on the TV show Glee—has released "Diamond," marking his first English-language crossover since coming out as a trans man last year, noted. In the ...


  MUSIC Cris Williamson talks music, love and the industry

Cris Williamson—the legendary singer-songwriter, feminist, activist and trailblazer for women in the music industry—received the Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement Award on Sept. 12 from the Americana Music Association in Nashville, alongside longtime friend and Olivia Records ...


  Cher to perform in Chicago in 2019

Cher is set to hit the road with the Here We Go Again Tour beginning January 17, 2019 in Ft. Myers, FLorida—and Chicago is among the tour stops. She is scheduled to perform Friday, Feb. 8, ...


  Spotlight on Banned Together

The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus kicks off its 35th season with Banned Together, a cabaret of songs that were banned or censored. Director Terry Wittenberg, a 33-year member of the chorus, helms an ensemble of 22 ...


  NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Tom Bailey takes 'Science Fiction' on the road

English singer Thomas Bailey will always be remembered as the lead vocalist and composer for the band Thompson Twins. Thanks to a string of hits like "Hold Me Now" and "Doctor! Doctor!," the group was kept ...


  SHOWBIZ Creative Emmys, Terrence McNally, singer Teraj, Lady Gaga honor

At the Creative Arts Emmys on Sept. 9, Queer Eye won for Outstanding Structured Reality Program ( and other awards as well ), noted. Also, Strong Island—a true-crime documentary film directed by trans individual Yance ...


  BENT NIGHTS Chicago Jazz Festival; Giorgio Moroder

As cool gusts of wind knocked those 95-plus degrees outside down to a more civilized 80 degrees, day after day brought violent thunderstorms and the seemingly endless invasion of cicadas has dwindled down to a scattered ...


  Elton John kicks off Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour

New York, NY — September 9, 2018 — Saturday night, superstar Elton John kicked off his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA, the first show of more than 300 scheduled ...


  Riot Fest featuring full-album sets

Riot Fest—a celebration of punk, rock 'n' roll, hip-hop, metal, indie rock and roots music—will take place in Chicago's Douglas Park on Sept. 14-16. This year's highlight will be that several acts will perform their seminal ...


  Cher to release ABBA covers CD Sept. 28

Cher to release ABBA covers CD Sept. 28 On the heels of appearing in the film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again—which features ABBA songs—Cher will be releasing Dancing Queen, a new album of all-ABBA hits, ...


  Music of the Baroque holding September concerts

Music of the Baroque kicks off its 48th season with the free event "Baroque in the Park," the organization's Millennium Park debut, on Wed., Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Longtime Music ...


  SHOWBIZ Sia, Rain Dove, Justin Bieber, Grace Jones, Kathy Griffin

Australian singer Sia told Rolling Stone about that one time she refused to get her picture taken with Donald Trump, citing her queer and Mexican fans, LGBTQ Nation noted. In 2015, she performed on Saturday Night ...


  BENT NIGHTS Sugarland; Smashing Pumpkins; Ben Folds, Cake and Tall Heights

Nostalgia, reunions and smart asses... Its late summer and painfully clear that much-hyped rock-concert reunions and nostalgia are the only safe strategies for putting butts in stadium seats. Now that the massive festivals have come and ...


  'La Vie en Rose' at Acorn on Sept. 1

"La Vie en Rose: The Songs of Edith Piaf"—with Robert Swan and Martha Cares—returns to the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan, on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. ET ( 7 p.m. CT ). Familiar ...


  Jamaican trans event Sept. 7

The Jamaican Fruit & Flowers Arts Experience will take place Friday, Sept. 7, 7-10 p.m., at 5400 S. Pulaski Rd. The event will spotlight Jamaican-American transgender men Armani Dee ( an artist, author and mentor ) ...


  Leonard Bernstein's son discusses father's legacy

Leonard Bernstein would have been 100 years old this August. As one of the foremost composers of the postwar era, his legacy has resounded into modern times. Among his most famous works are Candide, Symphony No. ...


  SHOWBIZ Cher, Hayley Kiyoko, 'Book Club,' EJ Johnson

Cher recalled when actor Jack Nicholson and director George Miller made her feel insecure about herself, deeming her "too old" and "not sexy" enough to star in the 1987 film The Witches of Eastwick, Page Six ...