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March 22, 2012

Gay Chicago Rewind:
March 22-28, 2012

BY
SUKIE DE LA CROIX

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in...



1977



In the March 23, 1977 Chicago Tribune, Lawrence Kart reviews James Kirkwood's play P.S. Your Cat is Dead, under the headline "Homosexuality tamed by a Cat." It's playing at Pheasant Run. He describes the plot:

"Jimmy (Richard Hatch) is a young actor, a Clark Kent-ish straight arrow whose New Year's Eve is turning into a disaster. His cat has died; his girlfriend has dumped him; he has just been fired from a show; and he has been written out of a soap opera that has been his bread and butter. And a burglar who has ripped off his apartment before has sneaked back in for another try and is hiding under the bed.

"The sexual overtones begin when Jimmy stumbles on Vito the thief (Eugene Butler), knocks him out, and trusses him, belly down, over the kitchen sink. Castration is Jimmy's first plan for revenge, but then he decides to reaim [sic] his scissors and merely snip off Vito's pants. A pair of tight scarlet shorts are revealed, and Vito, a street-wise hustler, makes the obvious suggestion. From then on it's a coy ‘will he or won't he' affair, spiced with scatological one-liners and a visit from a group of Jimmy's gay friends who are into sado-masochism."

Kart describes Richard Hatch as "an appropriately pretty young man whose work on All My Children and Streets of San Francisco has won him numerous fans. Acting isn't quite the word for what he does here–he sort of gift-wraps himself and throws the package to the audience."

March 22-28, 2012
There is a Grand Opening celebration of Scalawags, 46 E. Oak St., described in Gay Life as "Chicago's Most Extraordinary Gay Bar."

(Image: The Gay/News Journal ­­– Gay Chicago News cover, April 15, 1977)

To celebrate their third anniversary, Man's Country bathhouse celebrates with a Mr. Man's Country contest, starring Wanda Lust and the contestants, with a special performance by fan dancer Sally Rand. The winner wins round-trip airfare to anywhere in the continental United States.

The Aurora Gay People's Alliance holds a fund-raising dinner at the Prairie House Restaurant, 1030, Prairie St., in Aurora. From 6:00-9:00 p.m. you can get all the spaghetti you want for $3.50.

The Fox Valley Gay Association meets at an unadvertised location to show a videotape of the Phil Donahue Show with gay historian Jonathan Katz and Dom Embinder.

White House staff members, Margaret Costanza, President Carter's Assistant for Public Liaison, and Bob Malson, a member of the White House Domestic Policy staff, welcome gay rights leaders, including longtime Chicago gay activist, William B. Kelley.

1987



March 22-28, 2012
In the bars and clubs this week famed bartender Feathers is now working at Cheeks, 2730 N. Clark St.; Every Friday, Rocks, 3320 N. Halsted, presents Miss Lori Hammel, showtime starts at 10:00 p.m.; Paris Dance, 1122 W. Montrose, presents Redwood recording artists Deuce (Jean Fineberg/Ellen Seeling and band); Every Monday there's a "Talent Search" at Off Broadway, 1004 W. Belmont; Alana Russell sings live at Scooters on the River, 1177 N. Elston; Carol's Speakeasy, 1355 N. Wells, hosts "A Night in Black Leather" with raffle prizes including International Mr. Leather Weekend packages; The Psychotronic Film Society presents O'Cult Night featuring the Southern drive-in classic Manos, The Hands of Fate, Lucifer Rising and The Invocation of My Demon Brother. Takes place at Club 950, 950 W. Wrightwood.

(Image: The Orbit Room – Gay Chicago, March 26, 1987)

Another Love Story (Otra Historia de Amor) is showing at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. Benjamin Dreyer at Windy City Times writes: "A depiction of gay eroticism and romantic content that is virtually unheard of in the history of cinema."

Black and White Men Together hold an executive committee meeting, membership social event, with raffles and games to follow dinner, at Ann Sathers, 929 W. Belmont.

1998



March 22-28, 2012
Chicago Radical Faeries celebrate the coming of spring with a week of frolicsome fun and festivities culminating in an afternoon Performance Art Circus and Spring Equinox ritual. Takes place at 756 N. Milwaukee.

Gerber/Hart Library, 3352 N. Paulina, hosts "controversial author/editor" and Lesbian Herstory Archives co-founder Joan Nestle for an informal discussion.

(Madonna "Ray of Light" Release Party – Gab, Feb. 28, 1998)

The Log Cabin Republicans Gay Crossfire Series continues with "Immigration: Too much of a good thing?" a discussion with Dr. Greg Barton and Jack Rinella at Merlo Library, 644 W. Belmont.

Radical/revolutionary lesbian writer Angela Davis makes an appearance at Afrocentric Books, 333 South State St., to sign her book Blues Legacy.

David Leddick, author of My Worst Date and Naked Men discusses his new book The Male Nude at Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N. Broadway.

The Windy City Gay Chorus welcomes the Indianapolis Men's Chorus. Together they present "Roar!" an evening of music from the 1920s" featuring Windy City Slickers and Indy-Visible. Takes place at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport.

Thanks go to publishers Michael Bergeron for Chicago Gay Crusader, Ralph Gernhardt for Gay Chicago, Grant Ford and Chuck Renslow for Gay Life and Tracy Baim for all the publications at the Windy City Media Group, which aided the above research. St. Sukie de la Croix is an internationally published reporter, playwright, photographer and historian. He is also the author of the upcoming book Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Homework (Email us or leave a comment!)

Does anyone have memories of Wanda Lust?

Who was behind the Psychotronic Film Society?

Did you meet your other half in a Chicago Gay Bar, if so, which bar?

 
photo
I wish I still had the fabulous poster of Wanda Lust as a nurse, in cap and Joan Crawford hair, doing the Uncle Sam pose, and saying, "I want you to get tested for VD."
Posted by grendelsdad on Thu, 3/22/2012 9:57 AM
I have that poster
Posted by stonehenge on Sat, 3/31/2012 2:42 AM
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