Look out, ATL! Here come Cyndi Lau­per, Joan Rivers, the B-52s and the Vil­lage Peo­ple.

GA Voice - - Front Page - by LAURA DOU­GLAS-BROWN

The B-52s

Fri­day, June 28, 8 p.m. At­lanta Botan­i­cal Gar­den www.at­lantab­otan­i­cal­gar­den.org

Gay fac­tor: Lead singer Fred Sch­nei­der and gui­tarist Keith Strick­land are both gay, as was found­ing mem­ber Ricky Wil­son (brother of B-52s mem­ber Cindy Wil­son), who died of AIDS in 1995. Mem­ber Kate Pier­son op­er­ates a funky Catskills re­sort with her life part­ner, Mon­ica Cole­man.

The B-52s head­lined At­lanta Pride in 2000, driv­ing what still may be the fes­ti­val’s largest ever sin­gle-day at­ten­dance. The band, and Fred Sch­nei­der solo as a DJ, have per­formed for mul­ti­ple gay and HIV causes.

Re­cent work: On top of plenty of live per­for­mances, the band re­leased “The B-52s With The Wild Crowd! Live in Athens, GA” on CD & DVD in 2011 and re­leased “Fun­plex,” their first new al­bum in 16 years, in 2008.

Fans will go crazy for… “Love Shack” (re­mem­ber RuPaul in the video?), “Roam,” “Rock Lob­ster,” “Pri­vate Idaho,” “Planet Claire,” and more.


Satur­day, June 29, 8 p.m. At­lanta Sym­phony Hall www.at­lanta­sym­phony.org www.tick­et­mas­ter.com

Gay fac­tor: The “Queen of Com­edy” is not gay, but when it comes to gay fans’ well-known ten­dency for diva wor­ship, Joan Rivers ar­guably earns it.

She re­cently smooched a woman (telling the To­day Show ear­lier this year that it was like the Katy Perry song, “I Kissed a Girl”), has of­fi­ci­ated at a gay wed­ding, and joined an on­line cam­paign this year with celebri­ties post­ing pho­tos of them­selves hold­ing signs ad­vo­cat­ing for an Is­raeli gay cou­ple to be able to have a child through sur­ro­gacy.

Re­cent work: Along with tour­ing, she hosts “Fash­ion Po­lice” on Fri­days on E!, sells her Classics Col­lec­tion on QVC, and is in­fa­mous for her red-car­pet com­men­tary. Her most re­cent book, “I Hate Ev­ery­one… Start­ing with Me” came out in 2012. Her YouTube se­ries, “In Bed With Joan,” fea­tures Rivers in­ter­view­ing per­son­al­i­ties, lit­er­ally in her bed; she also ap­pears in a WEtv re­al­ity se­ries with her daugh­ter, Melissa Rivers.

Fans will go crazy for… Ex­pect plenty of un­in­hib­ited com­edy in her show; gay fans will surely love celebrity snark, ref­er­ences to gay folks and her sig­na­ture line, “Can we talk?”


Tues­day, July 2 At­lanta Sym­phony Hall www.at­lanta­sym­phony.org www.tick­et­mas­ter.com

Gay fac­tor: Cyndi’s not gay (when we asked her in 2010 if she had ever kissed a girl, she replied, “Yeah, I tried it. Just wasn’t for me.”), but she has a les­bian sis­ter and you would be hard-pressed to find a more sup­port­ive celebrity ally.

Her sec­ond al­bum, 1986’s “True Col­ors,” in­cluded the achingly beau­ti­ful ti­tle song, which was quickly em­braced as an an­them of ac­cep­tance, as well as “Boy Blue,” ded­i­cated to her friend who died of AIDS.

In 2007 and 2008, she hosted the True Col­ors tour, which brought to­gether a di­verse group of LGBT and sup­port­ive mu­si­cians. In early 2010, the True Col­ors Res­i­dence — led by Lau­per as hon­orary chair — broke ground on New York City’s first per­ma­nent sup­port­ive hous­ing for young LGBT peo­ple ages 18-24.

She also launched the “Give a Damn” cam­paign to en­cour­age straight peo­ple to care about LGBT rights.

Re­cent work: Not just a singer, Cyndi just won a Tony Award for Best Score for

the mu­si­cal “Kinky Boots.” She has a New York Times best-sell­ing mem­oir (ap­pro­pri­ately ti­tled, “Cyndi Lau­per: A Mem­oir”), and has a re­al­ity TV show on WEtv called “Still So Un­usual.” Her most re­cent al­bum is 2010’s “Mem­phis Blues.”

Fans will go crazy for… Mark­ing 30 years since her de­but al­bum “She’s So Un­usual” pro­pelled her to star­dom, Lau­per will per­form the en­tire al­bum in or­der. Get ready for “Money Changes Ev­ery­thing,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time Af­ter Time,” “She Bop,” “All Through the Night,” and more.


Fri­day, July 12, 8 p.m. Cobb En­ergy Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre www.cobben­er­gy­cen­tre.org www.tick­et­mas­ter.com

Gay fac­tor: Launched in 1977, the in­fa­mous disco party band is widely be­lieved to be based on gay ma­cho Green­wich Vil­lage stereo­types, and fans read plenty of in­nu­endo and irony into songs like “YMCA,” “In the Navy” and “Ma­cho Man.”

But in 2012, mem­bers Felipe Rose (Na­tive Amer­i­can) and David Hodo (con­struc­tion worker) drew head­lines when they told a doc­u­men­tary film­maker “there was not one dou­ble en­ten­dre in the mu­sic.”

The band’s lineup has changed through the years, and sev­eral mem­bers have been gay. In ad­di­tion to Rose and Hodo, the cur­rent Vil­lage Peo­ple are Ray Simpson (cop & lead singer), Alexan­der Bri­ley (G.I./Mil­i­tary), Jeff Ol­son (Cow­boy) and Eric An­za­lone (Biker).

Re­cent work: The Vil­lage Peo­ple’s last al­bum of new mu­sic was 1985’s “Sex Over the Phone,” but a full sched­ule of tour­ing, tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances, com­mer­cial cameos and more have kept their pop­u­lar­ity high.

In 2008, they got a star on the Hol­ly­wood Walk of Fame (next to Lib­er­ace!). In April 2013, they recorded a new song, “Let’s Go Back to the Dance Floor.”

Fans will go crazy for… “YMCA” (of course!), “Ma­cho Man,” “In the Navy,” “Can’t Stop the Mu­sic,” and “Go West,” among oth­ers.

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