WAY GAY SHOWS
Look out, ATL! Here come Cyndi Lauper, Joan Rivers, the B-52s and the Village People.
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.
THE VILLAGE PEOPLE
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.