Class of Queers, Brian Zimmer, and Foxes on Fox

Class of Queers. We didn't exactly love high school the first time around, but after a day at Homo High last month, we'd go back in a minute. Well, almost. With the Jackie Ohs as chain-smoking hall monitors and Miss Richfield teaching elocution, how could we not love this fund-raiser for Minneapolis Youth Diversion? This time around, we went straight to learning truly useful things: how to fold napkins and construct a guest list for a dazzling dinner party (invite attractive people, but nobody younger than the cut of meat you're serving), which lube to use and when (sooo important), and how straight people got to be that way (it's probably genetic, but, there's still "hope for change"). Boy cheerleaders! Girl quarterbacks! A principal who offered spankings for even the smallest disciplinary infractions! We even tried hard to fail drivers' ed so that the Dykes on Bikes could teach us twice.

Mounted for Suitable Framing. Brian Zimmer is, hands down, the handsomest dancer in the Twin Cities. At least, that's what we've always believed. Now we have proof. And we plan to convince our out-of-town friends this holiday season by sending them proof. At only $2.95 a shot, Zimmer features prominently, and numinously nude, in a series of photos shot by local photog Kai Holm. The gorgeously lit snaps are mounted on blank ecru cards and are available at Rainbow Road (109 W. Grant; 872-8448). There's Brian by the window, Brian with gladioli, Brian on the futon. His torso is Apollonian; his musculature a Donatello sculpture. Zimmer's beaded nipple-ring--an added fillip--is merely the first of a trio of adornments which hang with pleasing aplomb. Across the aisle from Holm's full-color musings is a card rack featuring the Minnesota gay rowing team as captured by Tom Bianchi. These wet hardbodies frolic and scamper in and out of Ol' Man River, and in and out of their regulation trunks. We bought the card showing a line of scullers standing on shore, holding their dripping oars aloft. Hmmm, we thought cold water was always supposed to shrink things.

Cold Porter? Don't challenge Drew Jansen to a round of Scrabble. Or Boggle. Or Upwords. The guy has downloaded Webster and Roget directly into his cerebellum, and for the past several months this Golden Valley songwriter con brio has been tossing off lyrics with all the alacrity and verve of a Tin Pan Alley cat. He wrote a piece ("Imagine a World") for the Human Rights Campaign dinner--the kind of high-pop grand anthem usually rendered by Peabo Bryson over the end credits of a Disney movie. The crowd loved it. A firm that specializes in producing special events loved it enough to want to use it (with a few changes, of course) for an upcoming pharmaceutical gala in Albuquerque. Jansen turned down the offer and the big bucks: "I wrote that song for a specific event, a specific cause." A cause which Jansen, being partnered and, as he puts it, "witness to a beautiful family for over 10 years," feels especially strongly about. More recently, Jansen's been busy polishing his words and melodies for How to Talk Minnesotan--The Holiday Show. There's a scent of more than evergreen in the verses for his "Lutefisk Tango"--"Erupting like some slimy gray volcano/Por favor, señor, no es muy bueno /Still some find it difficult to say no/To fish that has been festering in Draino." Our sentiments exactly. We can't imagine a world without our very own Noël Coward of the North.

Foxes on Fox. This winter, we're using our vacation time to catch up on the Fox TV afternoon lineup of kid's shows. Number one on our list is Young Hercules, the live-action half-hour adventure series produced by the same artistic cadre which gives us Hercules and Xena, Warrior Princess. Young gay boys will especially appreciate the thoughtful, more sensitive version of adolescent Herc portrayed by Ryan Gosling, complete with thoughtful, blond Dawson's Creek hair. Their older brothers will probably be watching Herc's hunkier buddies Iolaus and Jason (Dean O'Gorman and Chris Conrad) as the trio sweats and strains their teenage muscles (and their leather harnesses and leggings) while battling demons and demigods. Lesbians will appreciate the fiery Lilith (Jodie Rimmer), the only female member of the Academy where Hercules and his heroic friends sharpen their skills of derring-do. How do those ancient Greeks maintain such perfect teeth?

Nuts! With Kevin McCormick now residing in New York City, those wacky balletomanes at Ballet of the Dolls have had to toy a bit with this year's Nutcracker?! storyline. Without giving it all away (something we have been known to do from time to time), we can tell you that Flo, not unlike that darling Debbie Reynolds who has so often fallen on hard times, hits the skids. With Barbie doll in tow, Marie ships herself off to Uncle's house in Paris, and according to an anonymous source close to this year's production, "It will be all French fabulousness!" The unanswered question is what role The Body Elect Ventura will have in this production. The Nutcracker himself, perhaps? (By now we've all seen him in tights!)

Gem Dandy. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but our new favorite friend is dripping in rubies: Ray Gettle, the newest owner of Ruby's Cafe on Loring Park. Not that we didn't like the old Ruby's, but this one is so much kinder on our complexion, with a spiffy new paint job that brings out our eyes (and a dreamy wait staff that keeps our eyes open!). The menu hasn't changed much: The omelets and sandwiches remain like our closets--crammed with a rich array of goodies. Open dawn to mid-afternoon with an intensely sunny window (feel free to strip down to your tank top between noon and 2 p.m.), we predict Ruby's will become known for who's seen sitting in the window and with whom!

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