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Coming Out Soon: Upcoming Gay Media

From ‘Before Night falls’ to ‘Queer as Folk,’ a preview of gay-themed movies, television shows, CDs, and plays

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Now playing in major cities: Sundance darling Paragraph 175, a documentary narrated by Rupert Everett about homosexuals living in Nazi Germany, and Jon Shear’s Urbania, in which Dan Futterman (The Birdcage) travels through an urban underworld to avenge a lover’s loss. The struggles of a group of gay men are the focus of Greg Berlanti’s The Broken Hearts Club — A Romantic Comedy , which stars Dean Cain and John Mahoney. What, you’ve never seen a gay samurai film? Check out Nagisa Oshima’s Taboo (Gohatto), opening Oct. 6. A fireman (Lane Janger) and his fiancée (Joelle Carter) dare each other to explore their gay sides in the comedy Just One Time, opening Oct. 20. Director Julian Schnabel’s Venice Film Festival prizewinner Before Night Falls, about gay Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, is in theaters this December. Also in December: Boys Life 3, the latest in Strand’s well-received series of gay-themed shorts. And Come Undone, about a love affair between two 18-year-old Frenchmen, opens next March. Though they have no gay content whatsoever, we commend your attention to the extremely hunky cast of Joel Schumacher’s barracks drama Tigerland (Oct. 6) and to the kick-ass distaff ensemble of Charlie’s Angels (Nov. 3). Finally, to be filed under Camp: Glenn Close straps on the wig and stilettos one more time for 102 Dalmatians (Nov. 22).

For gay men who find Judy Garland a figure of fascination (we think there may be a small handful): Next year, ABC will unveil Me and My Shadows, with Judy Davis, based on Lorna Luft’s memoirs. Businesses will be closing early in several major cities. In January, Brooke Shields battles for custody of her 5-year-old daughter after the death of her lover (Tony winner Cherry Jones) in Lifetime’s What Makes a Family, of which Honorary Gay Person Barbra Streisand is an executive producer. And aside from the wealth of gay characters on prime-time series and the December arrival of Showtime’s Queer as Folk, you can check out prominent gay sidekicks on two new shows: The best-buddy character Original Cindy (Valarie Rae Miller) appears on Fox’s Dark Angel, and CBS’ Bette presents musical director Oscar (Notting Hill‘s James Dreyfus) — as if Bette weren’t on our must-watch-at-least-twice-before-expressing-disappointment list anyway. Telemundo’s domestic sitcom Los Beltran, airing Sundays at 8 p.m., features gay neighbors Kevin and Fernandito (James Charles Leary and Gabriel Romero). Gay screenwriter Alan Ball, an Oscar winner for American Beauty, is developing a new HBO series, Six Feet Under. MTV has its eye on This Is How the World Ends, a sort of gay Dawson’s Creek from director Gregg Araki (Totally F***ed Up). Finally, in the NTGBCO (Not Technically Gay But, Come On) category, joyful tidings: (1) Yes, there will be a second season of ABC’s Making the Band and (2) The WB is launching its own all-girl version, Popstars, in January.

Indigo Girls: A Retrospective, a 15th-anniversary CD featuring two new songs from the Southern rock duo, arrives Oct. 3, just as the Girls begin a three-week U.S. tour. The Stephen Sondheim Album, a collection of musical-theater favorites featuring the voices of modern stage divas like Lea DeLaria and Dame Edna, arrives Oct. 1. And Poses, the sophomore album from pop traditionalist Rufus Wainwright, is due early next year.

As befits Hollywood’s most flamboyant bisexual ever, Tallulah Bankhead is the subject of two shows: Tallulah, a one-woman vehicle starring Kathleen Turner, which starts touring in October before hitting Broadway next spring, and the musical Tallulah Hallelujah!, opening Off Broadway Oct. 10. The Full Monty, with a movie-based book penned by Terrence McNally (Love! Valour! Compassion!) and featuring a major homosexual couple, opens Oct. 26. In fact, the fall season offers a wealth of plays by gay writers: Charles Busch’s comedy The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, about a Manhattan woman in the throes of a midlife crisis; Gore Vidal’s political drama The Best Man; and Prelude to a Kiss author Craig Lucas’ Stranger, starring David Strathairn and Kyra Sedgwick. October brings a Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show, and topping it all off, designer-cum-dramatist Isaac Mizrahi makes his Off Broadway debut Oct. 5 in the self-penned LES MIZrahi, in which he sings, dances, and, yes, sews, all in a cabaret setting.