Champions of LGBTQ life and culture in Rochester, NY since 1973.
Wednesday September 20th 2017



Maia Sutton, company manager, talks about School of Rock, at RBTL Sept. 30

Maia Sutton

Class in now in session… Tickets to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s high-octane Broadway and West End hit School of Rock – The Musical are on sale to the public.

Rochester will be the official launch city of the North American Tour of School of Rock – The Musical with a limited one-week run at RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre Sept. 30 – Oct. 7 as part of the 2017-2018 M&T Bank Broadway Season presented by RBTL and Albert Nocciolino.

Tickets will be available via, 800.745.3000 and the Box Office. Group orders of 10 or more may be placed by calling 585-277-3325.

School of Rock – The Musical is based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same, featuring music from the movie, as well as an original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, a book by Julian Fellowes and direction by Laurence Connor.

Based on the hit film, School of Rock – The Musical is a hilarious new musical that follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pintsized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

Maia Sutton is company manager for School of Rock.

Maia says, “I’m incredibly excited to be starting this tour of School of Rock. I was a huge fan of the movie when it came out and I was ecstatic when I was offered the opportunity to get tour the country with a show that people love. I’m a huge fan of both rock and roll and musical theater, so what better way to blend the two?

“I was fortunate enough to be introduced to theater at a very young age by my parents, who are huge fans of the arts. Once I got into high school and realized that my talents did not, in fact, belong on the stage, I discovered that there were jobs that occurred in an office setting behind the scenes. I’ve always been a numbers nerd and it just seemed like a perfect fit.

“I discovered company management by sheer happenstance. I was hired for a company management internship, not even fully knowing what the job entailed. While there, we had weekly seminars explaining the various moving parts of the Broadway world and when the Company Manager spoke it was one of those moments where you just knew it was what you were meant to do. I remember getting very choked up because I felt as though I had found my community.

Most people know little about behind-the-scenes theatre. What are the challenges and rewards of being a company manager?

Maia said, “There are many challenges and rewards to the company management way of life. For instance, we are basically on the clock 24/7, especially when you are a tour manager. On Broadway it different at the end of the day everyone goes home to their own apartments and their own lives, but on the road the show IS your life. You are living and breathing the road. You are living in hotels away from your loved ones, and the people that you see the most are the ones you work with.

“On the flip side of that, it’s fun to stand in the back of the house and see the audiences’ reactions to the show that you had a hand in making happen. I get to see amazing cities across the country and I get paid for doing it! So just like all the good things in life, it comes down balancing it all.”

Second TransNation Film Festival set for L.A. in October

Clay Geerdes, The Cockettes Go Shopping, 1972

The TransNation Film Festival, presented by St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, a community health center in Los Angeles that serves one of the largest populations of transgender patients in the country, announced Sept. 19 its 2017 lineup of narrative and documentary features, experimental films, and shorts for its second annual festival.

The festival will run October 13-15 at the Silent Movie Theater in West Hollywood (611 N. Fairfax). Tickets and more information are available at

Hosted by Zackary Drucker (filmmaker, artist, and producer of Transparent), the TransNation Film Festival is a three-day event featuring an eclectic program of works by emerging and established filmmakers, as well as rare and underseen repertory gems and classics that reflect the trans experience.

“I can’t imagine a more dynamic, challenging, and crucial time for us to build community around art and storytelling,” said Drucker. “Working with a politic of love and unity, we programmed this year’s festival to highlight filmmakers and subjects that keep us critical, galvanized, and empowered. Moving through time and around the world, this year we’re featuring vintage and cult films, alongside subversive and groundbreaking narratives of today.”

Festival highlights include A Tribute to The Cockettes, the legendary San Francisco theatrical troupe, which will feature photographs, an art exhibition, and screenings of three rare Cockettes-made films: TRICIA’S WEDDING, ELEVATOR GIRLS IN BONDAGE, and PALACE. The screening of PALACE will be accompanied by a live score by Kristian Hoffman. This exhibition of original Cockettes costumes and photographs will be shown for the first time in Los Angeles, after touring museums around the country. Founding Cockette and photographer Fayette Hauser will be in attendance.

RuPaul Is Starbooty in The Starbooty Trilogy, a cult-classic from RuPaul’s early public access days, will screen with a midnight dress-up party. All those who dress up will be photographed on the red carpet and are invited to attend a pre-party outfit contest on the patio.

Two recent and acclaimed social justice documentaries that explore issues at the core of the mission of St. John’s Well Child and Family Center will screen: THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON and STRONG ISLAND.

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David France’s (HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE) THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON will open the festival and feature the film’s subject, trans activist for the Anti-Violence Project Victoria Cruz, in conversation with CEO of St John’s, Jim Mangia, who knew Marsha P. Johnson.


NYC’s NewFest announces lineup of LGBT films

Following the announcement of their Opening, Closing and Centerpiece films, NewFest, which is programmed in partnership with Outfest, on Sept. 19 announced the full lineup of their 29th annual celebration of the year’s best LGBT films from around the world.

The program of more than 140 narrative features, documentaries, episodic series and shorts runs from October 19-24 at the SVA Theatre, Cinépolis Chelsea, and The LGBT Community Center in New York City.

In addition to the previously announced galas, this year’s festival will also feature a Spotlight Screening & Conversation presentation of Angela Robinson’s PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN, the story of how the superhero Wonder Woman came to be and the secret life of her creator, Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and their lover Olive (Bella Heathcote). The screening will be followed by a conversation on bisexuality and polyamory with director Angela Robinson and guests to be announced.

This year NewFest received a wealth of international submissions, with films being submitted from 34 countries spread across 6 continents, and 33 percent of the features were directed by women. Overall, the festival will screen 40 feature length films (including over 20 feature works from first-time feature filmmakers, such as Trudie Styler), 97 shorts and an episodic sidebar featuring 8 web-based projects for a total of 145 selections.

The US Narrative, International Narrative and Documentary  Feature sections will include 11 films in each group, with 16 countries represented, including new works from the Philippines, Canada, Chile, Germany, Finland, Qatar, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“This year’s festival takes a cross-generational look at the LGBTQ community through the lens of our history, our culture, and our sexual and gender identities,” said Executive Director Robert Kushner. “Through these established filmmakers and vibrant emerging voices of LGBTQ cinema, we’re given the opportunity to reflect on our progress, highlight our strengths, and illuminate the challenges we experience both as individuals and as a community.”

“We are so proud of the caliber of films in this year’s NewFest lineup. The work from this year’s creatives shares a collective queer consciousness–looking at sexual fluidity, the gender spectrum, and resistance as a way of life,” said Director of Programming Lucy Mukerjee-Brown. “We’ve collected stories from our queer family across the globe in order to inspire New Yorkers for the 29th year in a row. Join us to take part in the post-screening conversations and make a statement about the value of LGBTQ visibility and community.”


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