EXCLUSIVE: Grammy-Winning Singer Susan Graham Talks About Her Philly Recital Engagement

susan graham opera singer

Grammy Award-winning and international mezzo-soprano star Susan Graham will be making her Kimmel Center recital debut on April 2nd. Graham, known for her interpretations of the Frenchrépertoire (especially Berlioz), has also found much fame performing the works of Mozart and Strauss in almost every major opera house in the world. The American-born singer hails from Midland, Texas, where every 5th of September has been deemed “Susan Graham Day” in her honor. I had the opportunity to ask the down-to-earth diva about her concert in Philadelphia, her upcoming engagements, and what role she’s dying to play.

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GIRL TALK: A Conversation with Factory Girls Creator Katie K Rex

Photo by Mario Manzoni.

Photo by Mario Manzoni.

The Stones and Warhol both had their factory girls, and now the Gayborhood does, too. The all-girl, gender-queer party Factory Girls has evolved over the years to become a staple of the Philadelphia nightlife scene. The next party is the femme-licious Galentine’s Day rager starring rapper Kid Sister.

In anticipation of the evening, I had a chat with Factory Girls “madam” Katie K Rex. We chatted Factory Girls history, favorite headliners and about her rumored plans to take the party to New York City.

Take me back. How did Factory Girls get started?
At one point it was just a weird idea about how to play music. I had just started DJing, and obviously no one would book me because I had nothing to show for myself. So I decided to make my own gigs. My girlfriends and I were able to create a space for us to dress-up, drink champagne, act a fool, and play music in a city that is dominated by the male gaze and musical “boys clubs.” I hit up Xavier B. of FNGR BNGR, who forwarded me to Oronde of South Street’s late, great Fluid Nightclub, where we were graciously given a Thursday night in October of 2011.

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GIRL TALK: Karmin Raps About Their New Album, Tiffs With L.A. Reid and More

karmin band

On Friday, vocalist Amy Heidemann and (ooh-la-la) pianist Nick Noonan, better known as sassy pop duo Karmin, are coming to the TLA to perform tracks from their first studio album, Pulses. I called them up this week to chat about what they’ll be doing in Philly, the tiff with their label that kept delaying the album release, and how the lovebirds manage to keep from strangling each other after having to work together every day.

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Girl Talk: Chatting Up HBO ‘Looking’ Star Jonathan Groff

Jonathan Groff plays Patrick in the new HBO gay dramedy, "Looking."

Jonathan Groff plays Patrick in the new HBO gay dramedy, “Looking.”

In writing, Jonathan Groff sounds like the celebrity version of your average too-good-to-be-true OkCupid profile: He’s young (28!), nerd-cute, passionate, well-kept, fit (have you seen that Out photo?), a nonstarter on the tabloid front and is, tonally, refreshingly upbeat. He’s the guy you proudly trot around the Christmas-party circuit and smugly show off to the folks while on holiday.

And thankfully, this is one celeb who, in conversation, matches the pristine profile word for word.

Tomorrow, Jonathan Groff (who, fun fact, derives from Lancaster) will make his premium-cable debut in HBO’s San Francisco-set Looking — what has been dubbed by many as the gay version of Girls. (Though, of note, the network made it a point to avoid making it a mere carbon copy of Diva Dunham’s cult-following hit – hence why it’s not called Gays.) I caught up with Jonathan this week to chat a bit about what to expect in the pilot, how Grindr plays into the show (sadly, he wouldn’t tell me if he uses the app), how Looking is of a different breed than the ever-beloved Queer As Folk and – of course – whether he’s got a boyfriend. (Don’t lie: You want to know.)

Catch the convo after the jump

GIRL TALK: My Interview with Philly Top Model Finalist Cory Wade Hindorff

cory

Interview and photos appear in the winter issue of G Philly. All photos courtesy of Steven Laxton.

This summer, 23-year-old wedding singer Cory Wade Hindorff gave Philadelphia a whole new reason to tune back in to America’s Next Top Model, appearing on Cycle 20 as the reality show’s first openly gay male finalist. Here, the Queen Village resident opens up about behind-the-scenes moments with Tyra, what it was like living with all those hot male models, and his new role as spokesperson for nelly gay men around the world.

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GIRL TALK: My Interview with Glee‘s Alex Newell [UPDATED]

alex newell glee banner

Next weekend, Glee star Alex Newell will roll into Philly to be honored at the Attic Youth Center‘s (AYC) 20th Anniversary Gala. The 21-year-old Boston native made his world debut on the The Glee Project, where he competed to earn a spot on Glee. Though he got runner-up, producers took notice of his talents and cast him in a recurring role as transgender student Wade “Unique” Adams. If you haven’t seen him perform, get one thing straight: This kid can SANG. (Just check out his performance of “And I Am Telling You.”) He’s had some fab moments on Glee, taking on all kinds of homo-tastic tunes, like “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Material Girl.” (See that medley here.)

My Q&A with Alex Newell after the jump »

Interview with “Same Love” Songbird Mary Lambert

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On a recent whirlwind tour through Philly, Mary Lambert — the haunting vocalist on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘s “Same Love” — stopped by the Trocadero to open for spoken-word artist Andrea Gibson. During the performance, Lambert — not a mere pretty voice — shared some of her original poems, including a lesbian spin of Wheatus’ hit “Teenage Dirtbag,” and an exciting extended chorus of  “She Keeps Me Warm.”

After the performance, I had a chance to slip back stage to ask her a few questions, where she gabbed about how she came to work with Macklemore, offered up some advice for struggling youth, and opened up about her battle with bipolar disorder.

My interview with Mary Lambert after the jump »

Are These Actors Overexposed?

R. Eric Thomas, Daniel Student and Jennifer MacMillan (photo by John Donges)

Three people are at a crossroads. One must come out as straight. Another faces the biggest challenge of her life: buying a house. And the third muses over a gay breakup and fried chicken. During Quince Productions‘ newest show, Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show (Feb. 10 – 12), a cast of three navigate a wild night that ends revealing intimate details about each of the actors (all of whom collaborated to write the show).

Daniel Student, one of the actors and writers, says, “Each of us tells two autobiographical stories that reveal things about ourselves that are extremely personal. It’s an ‘awkward peep show’ for that reason. While you are getting to see our naughty bits (not literally, but figuratively), there is nothing particularly sexy about the view you get.”

Naughty bits aside, this isn’t a show for kids. “We do go into intimate details about our sex and sexuality, but it’s sex in all of its – messiness,” he says. “And awkwardness. I mean, really, a ‘peep show’ works because it is completely impersonal. If you got to see inside of the head of the person posing for you and what they were really thinking – oh boy.”

The play brings the wild world of Craigslist encounters, Grindr apps and dirty little secrets to life – neuroses and all. “Overexposed is a storytelling show,” says Jennifer MacMillan, another performer and co-writer, “in the vein of Spaulding Grey or David Sedaris, for example. And the pieces that the three of us have written are largely autobiographical and meant to be honest.”

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