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BINGHAM CUP 2010
6.21.2010 - BINGHAM CUP 2010
by: Memo Menos

Minneapolis hosted the 5th biannual BINGHAM CUP Rugby Tournament over the weekend, with nearly 30 teams competing from around the world. The countries of Australia, Ireland, England, Canada, and of course, the United States were represented. New York won the Cup with a victory over Sydney, which missed a field goal try as time expired which would have tied the match. New York won 18-15.

Los Angeles and Ireland won in the secondary divisions, with victories over Manchester and Washington, D.C. respectively.

Alice Hoagland, mother of Mark Bingham, one of the heroes aboard Flight 92 which was thought to be headed for a crash collision with the White House, but was brought down by a group of athletes including Bingham, was on hand throughout the weekend, mixing with the players, and presenting the trophies at the end of a very entertaining weekend in Minneapolis.

BINGHAM CUP 2010
BINGHAM CUP 2010
BINGHAM CUP 2010
BINGHAM CUP 2010
BINGHAM CUP 2010



photos by: Zaki Muniz & Bill Manuel



Winsconsin pride
6.15.2010 - MILWAUKEE PRIDEFEST - IT'S LIKE WOODSTOCK FOR GAYS
by: Memo Menos

Milwaukee is a city known for it's festivals. Situated on the same lake as Chicago, with winters worse than the windy city, when summertime rolls around, residents of Milwaukee, and much of the state feel like they've earned a summer celebration, and do they celebrate.

With Polishfest, Italinfest, Mexican Fiesta, and the mammoth Summerfest, Milwaukee knows how to throw a summer party. The lakeside parkland is almost entirely dedicated to hosting the summer lineup of food and music binges. Summerfest is an insane 11 days long, with hundreds of entertainment acts on 12 stages. This year's lineup boasts Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston, Eric Clapton, Roger Daltry, Brooks & Dunn, Usher, Santana, Stevie Winwood, Rush, Carrie Underwood-Shall I go on?-Counting Crows, The Scorpions, Offspring, Puddle of Mudd, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, YES, War, The Moody Blues, Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Gavin Rossdale, Sheryl Crow, B.B. King, Blue Oyster Cult, Thievery Corporation, and Passion Pit, just to name a few! I'm not kidding. There aren't that many superstars of the music business at the Grammy Awards each year, and they are all performing here in Wisconsin by the lake!

MILWAUKEE PRIDEFEST happens 2 weeks prior to Summerfest, almost like a warmup, with the GLBT community the beneficiary. Held on a condensed version of the Summerfest grounds, PRIDEFEST 2010 featured a more manageable 5 stages over 3 days.

Headlining the vast musical lineup were 3 main shows happening at 9pm each night. KATHY GRIFFIN was the headline act Friday, PATTI LABELLE on Saturday, with JOAN RIVERS closing the festival Sunday night. But each of them followed acts of varying fame and talent in the evening main events; and the stages were packed with a wide range of acts throughout the weekend. It's like Woodstock, but without the mud. Guests can avail themselves of a variety of seating options, including reserved seats up close to the stage for an additional fee; bench and picnic table seating included with admission to the festival; VIP seating, including food and beverage for a special price; and, standing room only for the main stage, which was flooded with energetic audiences each night.

Stages other than the main stage had seating or you could watch standing with little trouble.

Dance PavillionAnd then there was the Dance Pavilion. Having covered many pride events, as well as many circuit dance parties, I was floored by the covered dance stage at MILWAUKEE PRIDEFEST. It was so much more like a circuit party, than a dance "tent", which is what most pride events offer. A cavernous space, with a runway stage, along with a 50-foot video wall and laser effects better than most circuit parties I've attended, made the Pavilion a spectacle each night. The space must have housed thousands, all dancing to an amazing sound system and superstar DJ's.

Chicago's CYON FLARE was the mistress of ceremonies each night, and she threw it down with style. On Friday she introduced an Australian singer, all the way from Darwin, VASSY, who sang her hit song "History." Saturday the legendary SNAP! made their first US appearance in years, performing their classic club anthems "The Power" and "Rhythm is a Dancer". It was momentous. Sunday night NYC impressaria AMANDA LEPORE bared all onstage, performing her old favorites "Cotton Candy" and "My Hair Looks Fierce." Who knew that the act following AMANDA would bring the "tent" down, knocking the crowd off their feet. KACI BATTAGLIA was both gorgeous and fierce, threatening the club kids with an intimidating version of "Crazy Possessive."

Cyon Flare
Cyon Flare
Vassy
Vassy
Snap
Snap!
Amada Lepur
Amanda Lepore
Katie Bataglia
Kaci Battaglia

That was just the dance tent.

During the day at the main stage we witnessed 2 incredible shows by 2 enormously talented young ladies. HOUSE OF WINEHOUSE is a local group, by way of "Essex." DANA DELORENZO and a very talented band including trombone, trumpet and sax channeled AMY WINEHOUSE and crew, as if Lake Michigan was the pond and we were all in London. The girl is a musical theater buff, and she was WINEHOUSE, from abusing the audience to hitting all the right notes of some very difficult songs. My favorite was "Valerie", but she connected on "Rehab" and "You Know I'm No Good", bumpit and tatoos and all.

Lina KatinaThen on Saturday, LINA KATINA of t.A.T.u. fame put on a show of immense emerging talent. A spirited group of young Milwaukeans knew it. She hails from Russia and has been singing since she was 8. But she came to national attention with the single "All the Things She Said" in 2008 with co-singer YULIA VOLKOVA. The two have gone separate ways, and LINA is ready for her spotlight. This was the first real performance as a solo artist, or so she said. The singer now splits her time between Moscow and Los Angeles, is writing original material and plans to tour.

She performed t.A.T.u. favorites along with some new stuff, enthralling her fans and winning over the larger block of the audience who were gathered for Miss PATTI LABELLE.

Patti LabellePATTI gave an energetic performance, closing with "Lady Marmelade" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." She was introduced by a funny BRUCE VILANCH and preceded by CHARICE, an 18-year old from the Phillipines with a foghorn of a voice for a little girl. You might have heard her before; she does a spot on version of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." That song was about the only song that wasn't performed over the weekend.



It was an amazing musical festival, on the shores of Lake Michigan, at MILWAUKEE PRIDEFEST.

As Oleta Adams, (I'm certain a former Milwaukee festival singer) would say-"Get here, if you can!"

photos by: Zaki Muniz & Bill Manuel



Rue McClanahan

6.3.2010 - RUE McCLANAHAN GONE AT AGE 76
by: Memo Menos

RUE McCLANAHAN, the tramp from the GOLDEN GIRLS, and the ditz from MAUDE, died last night peacefully in her sleep. She was a cancer, stroke and heart bypass survivor, and her death leaves BETTY WHITE the sole surviving "Golden Girl."

All four "girls" BEA ARTHUR, ESTELL GETTY, BETTY WHITE and RUE won Emmys for the wildly successful show about 4 aging old ladies living together in Miami Beach. It still runs repeatedly each day on numerous networks in syndication, with fans coming from all age groups, even those who weren't alive during it's prime-time run from 1985-1992. BEA (Lead Actress) and ESTELLE (Supporting Actress) won in 1988. RUE won (Lead Actress) in 1986, and BETTY WHITE won (Lead Actress) in 1985.

RUE played the Southern belle/slut on 4 different shows-The Golden Girls, Golden Palace, Nurses and Empty Nest.

She also was a fixture on the ensemble show MAMA'S FAMILY, which got it's start on THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, and later in it's own prime-time run. That show also featured BETTY WHITE, with CAROL BURNETT, VICKY LAWRENCE, KEN BERRY and a host of other fine comedic and dramatic actors.

RUE McCLANAHAN, who was married 6 times, most recently and at the time of her death to MORROW WILSON was asked about her signature character, BLANCH DEVEREAUX:

"People always ask me if I'm like Blanche. And I say, "Well, Blanche was an oversexed, self-involved, man-crazy, vain Southern Belle from Atlanta. I'm not from Atlanta!"

 



Long Beach Pride

5.16.2010 - LONG BEACH PRIDE 2010

Seaside Lagoon, in downtown Long Beach, easily the coolest spot in the nation for a pride event with the Queen Mary, the former Spruce Goose dome and the high-rise art deco buildings of Long Beach as the tableau, played host to the Long Beach Pride 2010. The event drew thousands to the beach, witha thriving hip=hop dance tent, a packed Latin stage, country western section, plenty of food vendors and a main stage that included dance divas LINDA CLIFFORD, CRYSTAL WATERS and MARTHA WASH, as well as newcomer, and American Idol favorite, ALISON IRAHETA on Sunday evening.

LINDA CLIFFORD started off the divas with energetic renditions of her classic disco hits, "RUNAWAY LOVE" and "IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME", as wellas a new single, due out in weeks, "AS LONG AS I'AM WITH YOU".

CRYSTAL WATERS followed with a bring-the-house-down set including "GYPSY WOMAN", "100% PURE LOVE" and "DESTINATION UNKNOWN". The place was rocking and CRYSTAL and her dancers were putting it down, big time. These songs are classic crowd favorites, no matter how old, or how played they are.

MARTHA WASH then took over the stage with a voice that sounded fresher than I've ever heard it. She belted out "EVERYBODY DANCE', "EVERYBODY" and her signature anthem, "RAINING MEN". MARTHA looked young, and lean, or leaner, than she has in quite some time. It was quite a surprise.

As was ALISON IRAHETA, who has grown up significantly since her American Idol debut on the music scene. This girl is a real rock and roller, plowing through a set of her original material, and covering a couple of JANIS JOPLIN songs. It was her first gay pride event, and she was worth the top billing.

Long Beach Pride kicked off the weekend with a "Pink" party on Pine avenue Friday evening, highlighted by thousands of people partying on the open air downtown street, with a drag contest and an introduction of the gay bachelor competition.

Long Beach Pride picture galleries:
GALLERY 1
GALLERY 2
GALLERY 3
GALLERY 4
GALLERY 5
Pink party picture galleries:
GALLERY 1
GALLERY 2
GALLERY 3
GALLERY 4
GALLERY 5
photos by: Bill Manuel & Zake Munis

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