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Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

The Hollywood Museum Announces Fourth Annual Real to Reel: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQs in Hollywood Exhibit

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Broadway World
The Hollywood Museum Announces Fourth Annual Real to Reel: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQs in Hollywood Exhibit
by BWW News Desk
May. 20, 2017

Bette Midler and Bruce Vilanch

The Hollywood Museum is thrilled to announce its 2017 salute to the LGBTQ community’s contributions to the entertainment industry. The fourth annual “REAL to REEL: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQs in Hollywood” exhibit, in partnership with Los Angeles City Council member Mitch O’Farrell, is an educational, entertaining and informative retrospective of LGBTQ images in film, TV, new digital platforms featuring costumes, props, photos, and iconic imagery all telling the story of the milestones and influence that LGBTQ characters and plot lines have had in Hollywood from early stereotypes to modern-day representations. Additionally, REAL to REEL celebrates LGBTQ icons those individuals and couples who may be openly LGBTQ or not, and who support the LGBTQ community.

The Hollywood Museum’s REAL to REEL exhibition, which coincides with the annual Christopher Street West Pride activities, offers a historic perspective spanning 100 years from silent films to today’s films, TV shows, and digital platforms. “The museum welcomes the opportunity to create and showcase this important exhibition, sharing with the public the artistic expression and extraordinary significance of the LGBTQ culture and its effect and impact on the world through the medium of entertainment,” says Donelle Dadigan, Founder and President of The Hollywood Museum located in the Historic Max Factor Building.

The exhibit revisits monumental LGBTQ moments in history with Rev. Troy Perry, including the Black Cat riots (1967), and on display – the infamous sign that once hung at the entrance of West Hollywood’s Barney’s Beanery. Exhibit highlights include costumes from Transparent, How to Get Away with Murder, The Walking Dead, Empire, Trans America, Sordid Lives, Cruising, Orange is the New Black, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ray Donovan, Mad Men, Arrested Development, Cabaret,K-11, as well as Cyndi Lauper’s Grand Marshall Costume (Toronto’s Gay Pride parade, 2015. Additional exhibit items include famous costumes from Hollywood’s leading designers – Mr. Blackwell, Bob Mackie, Rett Turner, Nolan Miller, Edith Head – to today’s Project Runway with Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, as well as Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, Scandal, Two in a Half Men, True Blood, The Good Wife, and more. This year’s exhibit also includes, Icons in the Community such as Betty Davis, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Ramon Navarro, Greg Louganis, Charles Laughton, Sam Harris, Bruce Vilanch, Sherman Hemsley, Gere Jewell, Jerry Herman, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner and many more.

The Hollywood Museum gratefully acknowledges the following ABC, Amazon Studios, BBC America, CBS, Discovery Life, Focus Features HBO, Logo, NBC, Netflix, OWN, Showtime, TLC and 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, as well as organizations serving the LGBTQ community including ONE Archives, Christopher Street West, The Lavender Effect, and The Glaad Awards, amfAR and more

ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM IN THE HISTORIC MAX FACTOR BUILDING:
See 10,000 Authentic Show Business Treasures spanning more than 100 years of Hollywood history! Located next to the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building houses the largest collection of entertainment memorabilia on display in the world. It is home to thousands of costumes, props, photographs, posters, celebrity automobiles and other treasures from some of the most iconic films and TV shows ever made! See Hollywood legends – past, present, and in the making! The museum attracts thousands of fans from around the world and was recently named one of the top tourist attractions by LA Weekly and by Trip Advisor, and was voted one of the Top 10 Museums in LA by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. The Hollywood Museum is a 501©3 not-for-profit organization.

REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm (Exhibit: Fri, June 10th – Sun, Sept 4th)
TICKETS: $15 Adults: $12 Seniors (62+): $12 for students with ID and $5 Children under 5.
ADDRESS: 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90028 MUSEUM INFO: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com or Tel: (323) 464-7776

FOLLOW THE MUSEUM:
WEBSITE: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com

FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/TheHollywoodMuseum

 

TV Writer Bruce Vilanch Tells Us How He Slipped Sly Gay Jokes Past the Censors

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Unicorn Booty
TV Writer Bruce Vilanch Tells Us How He Slipped Sly Gay Jokes Past the Censors
May 7, 2017
By Matt Baume
Regular Contributor

Bette Midler and Bruce Vilanch

Bruce Vilanch was toiling away in a perfectly adequate newspaper job in Chicago when Bette Midler came to town. She wasn’t quite famous at that point — an appearance on Broadway and some bathhouse concerts were her credits — but Bruce went to check out her show. Afterwards, he wrote a glowing review, and she called to thank him.

“You should talk more,” he told her.

“You got any good lines?” she asked. He did, and she hired him.

Forty years later, Bruce’s work has touched just about everyone in America. He’s written some of the most famous variety shows ever broadcast, crafted jokes for the Oscars and Emmys and Tonys for decades, and has appeared on everything from RuPaul’s Drag Race to Hollywood Squares to The Simpsons.

I interviewed Bruce Vilanch on my podcast The Sewers of Paris, where every week I talk to gay men about the entertainment that changed their lives. For Bruce, an important early influence were big movie and stage extravaganzas like The Greatest Show on Earth and a Carol Channing flop called The Vamp.

“I taught myself to read with the movie ads,” he recalled. He was obsessed with showbiz from an early age, though his parents tried to steer him toward more reliable work as a doctor or lawyer. They’d take him to films set in courtrooms and point out that attorneys get to perform; but he knew he needed a different kind of limelight.

“I used to have a routine in a hula skirt that was embarrassing to everyone,” he said. “I would have taken a job on the hood of your car, jiggling as you drove.”

An adventurous aunt told him stories of the world and accompanied him on trips into Manhattan. He attempted a career on stage, but discovered that his look and his skills were a little too idiosyncratic. So he went into journalism, and that’s where he had his big break when he wrote about Bette Midler.

“She found the beauty in trash,” he said of her at the time. She’d come out on stage looking a little disheveled and unpredictable, though “the talent was there.” Audiences loved it, particularly when she was on tour and told jokes about local landmarks and figures. The secret of those jokes was that Bruce would leverage his journalism connections to write them, calling colleagues at local papers to find out what the big scandals were before Bette arrived in town.

Eventually, he made his way to Los Angeles, where he’d get his start writing variety shows for Cher, the Brady Bunch, and the Manhattan Transfer. When he could, he’d slip sly queer references into the shows, though they always had to be coded.

“Did you feel exasperated that you couldn’t say gay?” I asked him during our chat.


“It was challenging,” he replied. “It wasn’t frustrating because it hadn’t been done. … That was a couple years off.”

Nevertheless, he still delighted in the sly gay references he was able to place in shows like Hollywood Squares. “It was ‘inside,’ we called it,” he said. “The ones who get it will laugh and the ones who don’t will say ‘what was that?’”

It’s a vastly different world now, of course. But the freedom that gay writers and comedians now have on television is only possible because of pioneers like Bruce.

Listen to the full interview with Bruce below or at SewersOfParis.com.

‘Kings & Queens in Their Castles’ is an intimate look at LGBT lives

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

The Washington Post
‘Kings & Queens in Their Castles’ is an intimate look at LGBT lives
By Michele Langevine Leiby April
Untitled-11489608001


When Tom Atwood decided to launch himself into fine art photography, it was mostly because he wanted to see a different image of gay men. Until not long ago, most photographic images of gay men fell into one of two categories: a display of the ravages of AIDS or a paean to the idealized, sexualized beauty of the masculine form (usually nude or in advanced stages of undress).

Atwood’s new book, “Kings & Queens in Their Castles,” offers an alternative view. His style, the photographer says, is a studied melange of portraiture and architectural photography.

“I try to challenge my subjects by showing as much of their environment as possible in the frame of the camera,” he says. “I also use a wide-angle lens and a wide depth of field so that both the subject and the background are in focus.”

Atwood, 45, a self-proclaimed autodidact, has no formal background in photography or art history. His approach was honed through trial and error and a passion for his subject matter.

“I started out photographing gay people at home because I am gay and knew a lot of gay people,” he says. “And I think a lot of gay men especially have a flair for design and live in some really playful places.”

Atwood’s subjects in “Kings & Queens” include more than 160 members of the LGBT community. They’re urban and rural, famous and anonymous, beautiful and plain, extraordinary and decidedly ordinary. His work, displaying an intimacy sometimes bordering on voyeurism, captures LGBT men and women in the process of living their private lives.

Some of today’s tumultuous social movements rely on a fair amount of identity politics. This book isn’t about that. Says Atwood: “I thought it would be interesting to photograph this group of people just in everyday moments since, for most people, their sexuality is a part of who they are, but it’s not the predominant part of who they are.”

Here are six of the book’s compelling stories:






Don Lemon

When Atwood arrived at Don Lemon’s Harlem home, the CNN anchor was getting ready to walk his dog. “He’s very friendly, very easygoing, very approachable,” Atwood says. “I realized he’s just a really a social person that’s part of a neighborhood.” He shot Lemon sitting on a skateboard on his balcony, his neighborhood as a backdrop. “I really wanted to shoot people in their everyday environment and show what their private lives are like rather than focus on their public images.”

HollyTaylorAlisonBechdel1489605841

 

 



Holly Taylor and Alison Bechdel

Atwood photographed the women in the garden of their Jericho, Vt., home. Holly Taylor, a self-declared “compost maven,” and Alison Bechdel, a cartoonist and the author of the Broadway musical “Fun Home,” live in the woods. “I love this photo,” says Atwood, himself a Vermonter. “I think it really shows a real Vermont sensibility in a number of ways. They’ve got a garden. They chop their own wood. They heat their house with wood.”





Mother Flawless Sabrina

Considered a pioneer in the transgender and gay communities, Mother Flawless Sabrina ran a national drag pageant enterprise between 1959 and 1969 that put on shows across the country, culminating with an extravaganza in New York. The 77-year-old lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side surrounded by a bevy of quirky possessions: a 1980s-era telephone with giant buttons, wigs strewn about, jewelry draped on an ornate desk. “She’s a female impersonator, which I guess is a little different from a drag queen, but don’t ask me the difference because I’m not sure I know,” Atwood says.

 

James McGreevey


The former governor of New Jersey will always be famous for the 2004 news conference in which he publicly came out of the closet, his pained wife by his side. “My truth is that I am a gay American,” he declared. Today McGreevey is a Prius-driving resident of Plainfield, N.J., where Atwood photographed him, clad in shorts and a hoodie, pruning ivy in front of his house. “He did go through some difficult times,” Atwood says, “but he seems to be still happy and proud and willing to share his life through this book.”

 

 





Bruce Vilanch

Loyal viewers of the television game show “Hollywood Squares” will surely recognize the unruly mop of comedian Bruce Vilanch, whom Atwood photographed ferrying groceries back to his West Hollywood apartment. “I think this is a fun shot because Los Angeles has a lot of outdoor/indoor living spaces,” Atwood says, and Vilanch’s apartment building has hallways that are outside rather than inside.




Randal Kleiser

“I don’t think it’s that common to keep barn animals in Los Angeles,” Atwood says of the menagerie of pets that share the home of film director Randal Kleiser. “It was an otherwise suburban ranch house.” Kleiser, known for such films as “Grease” and “Big Top Pee-wee,” enjoys a spectacular view of the L.A. skyline from his swimming pool. “I like that there’s this strong light from the side in this picture and you can see a lot in both the foreground and background,” the photographer says. (Can you find BOTH horses?)

Kritzerland Announces THE APRIL FOOLS Concert with special guest, Bruce Vilanch

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Broadway World
Kritzerland Announces THE APRIL FOOLS Concert
by BWW News Desk Mar. 17, 2017

4-27-2013 3-29-19 AM

Kritzerland has announced a new concert event coming on Sunday, April 2, 2017 entitled “The April Fools.” This entertaining evening will take place at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal in North Hollywood, California.

For the 76th Kritzerland show, we have our annual wild and wacky April Fools show, always a favorite for us at Kritzerland. You can always expect the unexpected – you’ll get some Spring songs, some April songs, and some Foolish and crazy songs – as always, you’ll know some and many you won’t know at all – for this iteration, we have songs from several flop musicals we all know and love, including Carmelina, Bring Back Birdie, We Take the Town, Minsky’s, and others, while we also have songs from Promises, Promises, Hallelujah, Baby, Annie, Newsies, as well as some classic pop standards. We’ve assembled a merry and fun cast for this one as well as our hilarious guest star, Bruce Vilanch and we can only say that what he’s doing in this show you will not want to miss. So, come join us in the merriment and mirth and tuneful evening we have in store. Kritzerland is produced and hosted by Bruce Kimmel and co-produced by Doug Haverty.

Included in the line-up are:

Will Collyer [Regional: Breaking Through (Smith) Pasadena Playhouse; Parade Mark Taper Forum; Carousel (Enoch Snow, Jr) Hwd. Bowl, Local: MTG, WCE, Boston Court, Odyssey]
Jennifer Foster [Off B’way: If There Is … ; Regional: Merrily We Roll Along, Hair, Carrie: The Killer Musical; TV: Looking, Glee; Film: Looking; Disney: Frozen: Live at the Hyperion]
Hadley Belle Miller [Voice, Lucy van Pelt, Peanuts Movie; National Tour: Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan (Michael); (www.hadleybellemiller.com)]
Kerry O’Malley [B’way: Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), White Christmas (Betty), Billy Elliot (Mum), Annie Get Your Gun (Dolly), On a Clear Day (Sharone); TV: Shameless, Boardwalk Empire, etc.]Jenna Lea Rosen [Regional: Parade, Ovation Award 3DT; TV: Sofia the First (Shelly, Clio, Hildegard), Elena of Avalor (Ciela) Disney Jr. series.]
Hayley Shukiar [Meet Me In St. Louis (Tootie); Peter Pan (Wendy); Little Mermaid (Ursula); Willy Wonka (Veruca Salt) Cabrillo; Studio singer for Hal Leonard Publishing.]
NICK TUBBS [Regional: Assassins (Balladeer), Forever Plaid (Jinx), Les Miserables (Enjolras) The Full Monty (Malcolm); Other: Princess Cruises, Kit and The Kats]
Robert Yacko [Do I Hear a Waltz? (Renato) MTG; Addams Family (Mal) 3-D; Parade (Dorsey) Mark Taper, Company (Paul) w/ Carol Burnett, Sunday in the Park with George (George) LA Premiere]

Bruce Vilanch (Special Guest) [B’way: Hairspray (Edna); Off B’Way: Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous; Film: Mahogany; TV: Hollywood Squares, The Simpsons, The Oscars (2 Emmys/Writing)]

RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED!

IMPORTANT RESERVATION INFORMATION!

The only way to reserve is via Brown Paper Tickets! It’s easy! Go to sterlingsupstairs040217.brownpapertickets.com.

Dinner reservations: DOORS OPEN 5:30pm. SHOW STARTS 7:00pm

Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal is located at 5303 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601

SAGE honors Vilanch, Jewel Thais-Williams in L.A.

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Washington Blade
SAGE honors Vilanch, Jewel Thais-Williams in L.A.
March 10, 2017 at 11:38 am EDT | by Karen Ocamb

Bruce_Vilanch_and_Jewel_Thais-Williams_insert

LOS ANGELES — The fundraiser for SAGE USA March 4 in the Hollywood Hills felt like a reunion, a coming together of a generation of LGBT people with shared memories and a desire to confront aging, an issue, SAGE Board Development chair Bill Weinberger said, he heretofore had avoided thinking about. Honorees Jewel Thais-Williams and Bruce Vilanch, however, exemplify how LGBT people can age as respected elders with grace, continued activism, and humor.


Weinberger introduced Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, whom he has known since the early 1980s. Shortly after, Wilson discovered he was HIV positive. He noted that while “many of us were dealing with whether we would survive or not, SAGE has always believed we would.” Wilson shared how Thais-Williams bravely opened Jewel’s Catch One Disco as a refuge for LGBT people desperate for a place where they could be themselves.


“Jewel has been a leader, a hero, and a visionary and an advocate for a long, long time,” Wilson said. “Jewel was one of those ‘bridge’ people,” linking the LGBT African-American community to organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and her alma mater, UCLA. You always speak up, whether you’re afraid or not.”


Thais-Williams joked that she was honored to be honored, having spent the last 42 years at Catch One “partying,” adding that she will turn 78 in a couple of months. “To be of service to my community has been a great joy,” she said. “But there is still a lot of work to do. Remember to always reach out to those in need.”


“There has never been a more important time to come together,” SAGE CEO Michael Adams told the diverse crowd of SAGE board members, staffers and supporters at the elegant home of James Frost and William Yi. “We are living in very challenging times,” a notion received with a knowing chuckle for its understatement.


A civilization is historically measured by how it cares and supports its children and most vulnerable and how it supports its elders, Adams said, not just the “right kind of elders….We owe it to our elders, the pioneers who paved the way for the equality we celebrate today….We need the wisdom of our pioneers, our elders.”




Demographic estimates predict that there will be 6 million LGBT people age 65 years or over in America by 2030. That sets the stage for a potentially disastrous future since, as SAGE notes, LGBT seniors are “twice as likely to be single, twice as likely to live alone, and four times more likely to be without children than their heterosexual peers.”  And, Adam said, facilities that take care of the aging population are “woefully unprepared” to take care of LGBT seniors who fear having to go back in the closet in order to get care and treatment without discrimination.


In introducing comedic writer/actor Bruce Vilanch, SAGE Board co-chair Elizabeth Schwartz—whose co-chair is former LA-based board activist Kevin Williams—said Vilanch’s appearances on “Hollywood Squares” were “instrumental in shaping gay images.” Watching him, “we didn’t have to speculate obsessively” about whether he was gay “as I did over Kristy McNichol.”  She was also grateful that he was also out about being chubby. Vilanch, she said, has a “tireless dedication to the LGBT community.”


In accepting the handsomely shaped glass award, the legendary Oscar writer said that when he was told he was being honored by SAGE, his first thought was: “You have the wrong envelope,” referring to the Best Picture mishap at the Academy Awards.


However, a recent interview with a young journalist underscored that he is now arcing “into my dotage.” The young gay man had no idea who Ted Mack was, though “Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour,” the variety-show precursor to shows like “American Idol,” launched the careers of such future celebrities as Pat Boone and Ann-Margret.  The young man sat stone faced at the mention of her name.


“When queens don’t know who Ann-Margret is, we’re in trouble,” Vilanch said to an uproar of laughter.


“Senior gays are not venerated,” he said. “But we are valued because we can pick up the check or write it.”


As to his decision to be openly gay at a time when being out was a brave decision, Vilanch noted that he worked in the more accepting entertainment industry. But early on, he worked as a journalist writing features for the Chicago Tribune and tried to get gay stories into the paper. Vilanch cited a quote that stuck with him: “A faggot is a homosexual gentleman who just left the room.” He determined to be “the faggot who stayed in the room.”


LGBT progress is result of taking action. “We did the bravest thing—we came out and that changed everything,” Vilanch said. But the LGBT community cannot rely on help from outside. “We have to do it for ourselves….[and] we’re not done yet.”


SAGE CEO Michael Adams also announced the launch of a new initiative in conjunction with AARP—SAGETable— to build “intergenerational connections in the LGBT community” by “breaking bread with your LGBT family on May 18. Visit sagetable.org.

Stoli® Vodka Honors the Legacy of LGBTQ Bartenders in the Movement for Equality, Kicks Off Fourth Annual Key West Cocktail Classic Competition

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

PR Newswire
Stoli® Vodka Honors the Legacy of LGBTQ Bartenders in the Movement for Equality, Kicks Off Fourth Annual Key West Cocktail Classic Competition
Mar 01, 2017, 08:57 ET

4-27-2013 3-29-19 AM

NEW YORK, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/—Today, Stoli® Group USA, LLC in partnership with the Key West Business Guild, is returning to New York to kick off the world’s largest annual LGBTQ bartending competition, the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic. Now in its fourth year, the competition will feature more contestants, participating cities and charitable donations than ever before.

In addition to recognizing the talents of the industry’s top LGBTQ bartenders, the Cocktail Classic celebrates the role that gay bars have played in the movement towards equality as original community centers. The competition will culminate in Key West, FL, a diverse and accepting city with a thriving LGBTQ community.

The world’s largest annual LGBTQ cocktail competition, The Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, returns for its fourth year, showcasing the creativity and talent of mixologists and bartenders in the LGBTQ community. Seventeen regional finalists will compete for the 2017 Cocktail Classic Champion title at the Grand Finale during Key West Pride 2017.
The world’s largest annual LGBTQ cocktail competition, The Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, returns for its fourth year, showcasing the creativity and talent of mixologists and bartenders in the LGBTQ community. Seventeen regional finalists will compete for the 2017 Cocktail Classic Champion title at the Grand Finale during Key West Pride 2017.
The Fourth Annual Key West Cocktail Classic finale is generously being hosted and judged by actor and musician, Jai Rodriguez, and past as well as returning celebrity judges include president of the Harvey Milk Foundation, Stuart Milk; writer and Emmy Award-winner, Bruce Vilanch; American Idol’s Latoya London; fashion designer and nightlife personality Andrew Christian; and Key West’s drag queen star, Sushi.

“Every year we look forward to bringing together the people, charities and business that make up our extraordinary LGBTQ community,” said Patrik Gallineaux, Stoli’s National LGBTQ Ambassador and Brand Manager. “While our mission is to recognize the most talented and innovative bartenders, community will always be at the heart of Cocktail Classic. It has been a privilege to support and grow together over the years.”

A maximum of six LGBTQ trade staff and/or allies from 17 cities across North America will be selected to create an original cocktail using Stoli Vodka as their primary ingredient. A panel of judges and 100 eligible audience members will evaluate each cocktail based on taste, balance and presentation, as well as each bartender’s authenticity, knowledge, and creativity in presentation and performance.

The finalist from each regional competition will win a six-day, all-inclusive trip to participate in a week of events and celebratory entertainment culminating in the grand finale during Key West Pride 2017. In addition to being named the 2017 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic Champion, the winner of the final event will ride in the Key West Pride Parade as Honorary Grand Marshall and receive:

$12,500 grand prize for a pre-selected charity of his/her choice;
a victory celebration and charity check presentation at champion’s home bar hosted by Stoli Vodka;
and an all-expense paid exclusive Stoli Vodka destination event
The first runner up to the 2017 Champion will also receive $2,500 for their chosen charity.

“Stoli’s work through the Key West Cocktail Classic is an example of how companies can use their resources to make a difference both large and small,” stated Matt Hon, Executive Director of the Key West Business Guild. “From the charitable monetary donations to general awareness, the Cocktail Classic has significantly impacted our local community by becoming a destination event for the city of Key West. In 2016, we saw tourism and revenue increase by 20-percent on the island during Pride!”

The 2017 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic Tour Schedule:

Kick Off: New York, NY: Boxers – March 1
Dallas, TX: Round-Up Saloon – March 6
San Diego, CA: Rich’s – March 22
Los Angeles, CA: The Abbey – March 25
Denver, CO: Hamburger Mary’s – March 27
Atlanta, GA: Swinging Richards – March 30
Miami, FL: Score – April 5
New Orleans, LA: Oz – April 12
Philadelphia, PA: Franky Bradley’s – April 18
Washington, D.C.: Nellie’s Sports Bar – April 24
Chicago, IL: Sidetrack – April 26
Dayton, OH: MJ’s on Jefferson – May 1
Boston, MA: Club Cafe – May 4
Toronto, ON: Gladstone Hotel – May 11
Portland, OR: CC Slaughters – May 16
Vancouver, BC: Numbers Cabaret – May 18
Northern California (San Francisco): Club 21 – May 22
Finale: Key West, FL: Bourbon St. Pub– June 10
Last year’s Champion, Rocky Collins from the Round-Up in Dallas proudly competed for DIFFA/Dallas and which raises funds for organizations that support education programs, treatment and direct care services for people living with or impacted by HIV and AIDS. Rocky also won a matching $5,000 donation to the Wesley House Family Services in Key West, an organization he represented on behalf of the Key West Business Guild. Rocky’s winning cocktail and presentation best embodied the spirit of the Key West community and the heart of the competition. Named ‘The Key West Kitty Kat,’ Rocky’s original Stoli cocktail is made with 2 oz. Stoli Vanil, 2 oz. coconut simple syrup, 1.5 oz. pineapple juice, 0.5 oz. key lime juice, coconut cream, grenadine, cinnamon and garnished with a pineapple slice and served over ice.

For more information about the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic including how to apply, rules, guidelines and the full schedule of events, visit http://www.out.com/keywestcocktailclassic.

About Key West Business Guild

The mission of the Key West Business Guild is to promote LGBTQ travel to Key West through marketing and the promotion of specialty events; to support gay-owned, gay-managed, and gay-friendly businesses; to strengthen the Gay community’s position within the local community by supporting relevant LGBTQ issues. The KWBG was founded in 1978 by 8 local gay business owners and has grown to approximately 400 members, which work together to continue efforts to brighten the rainbow over the island, an island now known as Gay Key West. Promotion of events, such as Key West Pride, Tropical Heat and Womenfest, has made Key West a year-round LGBTQ travel destination. For more information visit www.kwbgonline.org.

About Stoli Group, USA
Stoli Group USA, LLC is a U.S. importer and marketer of alcoholic beverages, headquartered in New York City. Stoli Group USA is a subsidiary of SPI Group based out of Luxemburg, one of the world’s most dynamic wine and spirits organizations. Formed in 2013, Stoli Group USA’s current portfolio of brands includes the Stolichnaya® brand of premium vodkas and Stoli Ginger Beer, ultra-premium elit®Vodka, Louisiana-distilled Bayou® Rum, artfully designed KAH® Tequila, Achaval-Ferrer™ from Argentina, and Arinzano wines of Spain.

Media Contact:
Patrick Rizzuto
Golin for Stoli Group, USA
T. +1 212.373.6015
PRizzuto@golin.com