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Gregg Shapiro – QNotes

Screen Savor: Bottom’s Up

A Review of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Sadly, the late, prolific playwright August Wilson who died in 2005 never got a chance to see the movie versions of two of his plays; “Fences” from 2016 and 2020’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix). He probably would have been particularly pleased with the performances of Viola Davis, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Fences” and appears to be a shoo-in for an Oscar nod for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Werner is a Winner

A New Interview with Singer/Songwriter Susan Werner

Whether you know it or not, singer/songwriter Susan Werner is a national treasure. Born, raised and educated in the heartland, she firmly established herself as a performing musician while living in Philadelphia in the 1990s before embarking for Chicago in the early 2000s.

Frank Talk

An Interview with Actor Peter Macdissi

“Uncle Frank” (Amazon Studios), the second full-length feature from gay, Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Alan Ball (“True Blood,” “Six Feet Under”), takes us back to the last half of the 20th century, and the less tolerant South.

‘Neon’ Glow

An Interview with Jaime Wyatt

One thing’s for certain, Nashville’s not what it used to be. While there have probably always been LGBTQ folks in Music City, with each passing year (or maybe even minute), that community is becoming increasingly visible, thanks in part to artists such as the newly-out singer/songwriter Jaime Wyatt.

Capital Idea

An Interview with Kim Roberts, Editor of ‘By Broad Potomac’s Shore’

As compared to New York, San Francisco or Chicago, Washington, D.C. might not be among the first places the average person thinks of when it comes to poetry. But thanks to queer poet/historian/educator Kim Roberts, that is changing.

Busting Out All Over

An Interview with June Millington of Fanny

June Millington is the very definition of a living music legend. A founding member of celebrated all-female rock band Fanny in the early 1970s (one that was signed to a major label!), Millington and her bandmates, including sister Jean, paved the way for everyone from the Runaways to the Go-Go’s and the Bangles to Team Dresch and Sleater-Kinney to Ex Hex and Chastity Belt.

Eye-Opener

An Interview with Queer Singer/Songwriter H.C. McEntire

On her exceptional second album “Eno Axis” (Merge), the North Carolina-based H.C. McEntire expands on the promise of the first record, delivering 10 breathtaking songs (including the instrumental “Sunday Morning” and a stunning reinterpretation of Led Zeppelin’s “House of the Holy”), resulting in one of the best albums of 2020.

Still Chirping

An Interview with Natalie Maine, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire of The Chicks

Way back when, during the early reign of George W. Bush (kind of miss him now, don’t we), musical country trio The Chicks (FKA Dixie Chicks) did the unthinkable. Not only did they speak their minds about Bush as POTUS, but also expressed their displeasure that, like them, he was also a Texan.

Rufus Rules

An Interview with Rufus Wainwright

For those who have been counting (and patiently waiting), it’s been eight (!) years since Rufus Wainwright has released an album of original pop music. Rest assured that with “Unfollow the Rules” (BMG), Wainwright doesn’t disappoint.

From Ana, with Love

As Victor’s mother Isabel, Ana Ortiz is given an opportunity to stretch as an actress and play a wide range of emotions. In Ortiz’s more-than-capable hands, Isabel is a complex and multi-faceted character and it’s a pleasure to see such a talented actress give her all to her performance.