My 2012 journo year in review: Highlights from a year on the cheap, er, brink

By John Moore
Jan. 1, 2013

A professional and personal look back at the year just past. (The unemployed year, that is):

 

Favorite writings:

Eden Lane. Photo by John Moore.

Eden Lane. Photo by John Moore.

1. Eden Lane: The first transgender journalist on mainstream TV opens up about her life and challenges (see bonus extract below)

2. Personal blog: My stoma: To Die and Live in L.A.

3. A look back at the era of yellow journalism, when The Denver Post was known as “The Bucket of Blood”

4. Iddo Netanyahu interview: Is there “A Happy End” for our troubled world?

5. My first-ever byline in the New York Times: For the Colorado Rockies, a four-man rotation by committee

6. That’s one way to recover from gut surgery: Visiting 30 Parks in 30 Days

7. John Moore and Mark Collins: Two ex-theater critics, sitting around having coffee

John Hutton talks about his role in "Lincoln." Photo by John Moore.

John Hutton. Photo by John Moore.

8. Actor John Hutton on Spielberg, “Lincoln” and on being invited to the party

9. What companies can learn from the reinvention of Curious Theatre Company

10. Launch of the 2012 True West Theater Awards

11. Remembering Michael Jackson as “Thriller” turns 30 (and I interview Quincy Jones)

12. Germinal Stage’s theater to close, but company will play on

And … just for fun:

My house under attack: A blog not at all for the squirrely

Some creative writing: My short story, “-30′-

 

Videos:

Five-part documentary: “The Making of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

 

Accepting a Henry Award for journalistic excellence

Amy Board: 2012 Colorado Walk for Hemophilia

The wedding of Dan and Gary

Three minutes with … Pam Grier!

Launch party for “After the Darklights” video series

Phamaly’s Jeremy Palmer wins Denver Foundation volunteer award

Creede Rep says goodbye to Maurice Lamee

 

An added bonus: The deleted Eden Lane excerpt:

Sometimes you get lucky to find remarkable people who trust you to tell their remarkable stories. And, almost every time, some of the most remarkable parts get cut out from publication. Here’s my favorite part of the Eden Lane story. It got distilled into a few sentences in the version of the story that got published.:

 

    Sometimes the best way to know a person is through the person who loves them. Lane has been legally married for more than 10 years to a man named Don who never knew a gay person in his life until a fellow serviceman came out to him in the Air Force. His first thought: “Is he the same person he was two seconds ago? He was, of course. So I said, ‘OK, fine.’ ”

But it says much about the world we still live in that Lane’s husband cannot talk openly about his love for his wife — while also publicly revealing his last name.

The reason, Lane said, has nothing to do with shame or embarrassment. “It has to do with a safety concern for our daughter in high school,”  she said.

Because high schools still have Bunsen burners.

“I decided a long time ago there would always have to be a certain sense of guardedness,” her husband said. “I am protective to the point of overbearing. That was a decision I made early on, because I love my wife.”

Lane graduated from high school early and went off to New York, where she would later perform in one of the seminal productions in Broadway history. She doesn’t claim that experience on her resume, or her college degrees, because she did so under a name that no longer exists.

When Lane completed her gender realignment surgery, a process she finds as interesting as the details of your hip replacement, she took on her new name. She says Eden Lane “is both a way to honor my grandmother, and part of the name that I was given at birth.”

But she never tells that birth name, she said, “because it feeds into that idea that the identity I have now is somehow false.”

More than a decade ago, she moved to Colorado and began her TV career contributing to both the longtime PBS gay-issues news program Colorado Outspoken and CBS News’ Logo channel. Lane met her husband crossing paths at a 2000 charity benefit for Children’s Hospital she was covering. He was by then working in automotive sales management.

Dating for any transgendered person is fraught. The dating pool is much smaller. The danger is much higher. Lane was cynical at first, and Don knows why.  “Her cynicism was earned,” he said. “It has both protected her — and kept her safe.”

They each faced moments of truth — Eden had to tell him her story; he had to tell her he was a divorced man with joint custody of a toddler.  His opportunity came when Lane’s car broke down, and she needed help.

“I had decided that no matter who I was seeing, I wasn’t going to introduce them to my daughter until I felt some connectivity with that person,” her husband said. What better moment than to say, “Well, this is my daughter … Can you watch her while I work on your car?”

Lane never knows whether new people look at her and instantly know she’s different. She’s an evidently tall, buxom blonde who quotes Lenora Claire by saying: “I am more ample-size than sample-size.”

But do people know when they see her? Some do. Her husband didn’t.

Entertainment reporter Kirk Montgomery from KUSA Channel 9 did not know until someone from a focus group mentioned it, “and I spit out my coffee,” he said. I had no idea, and frankly it didn’t matter at all — I just felt like the last one to the party.”

Last month, Lane interviewed actor Ben Dicke, who was seriously injured just before the opening performance of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” at the Aurora Fox. Dicke watched Lane’s piece with his parents, telling them first, “I have a secret to tell you about Eden after the show.” When he told them, they were a bit baffled, these churchgoing folks who grew up in rural Kansas. “All they saw was someone who is successful, smart, well-spoken and in the spotlight,” Dicke said.

Lane has never made her medical history a secret. “To me, secrets are poison,” she said. But when it comes to a romantic entanglement, “there comes a point where you have to discern whether they know, because they deserve to know your history,” she said. “You certainly are not trying to fool anyone.”

But, she greatly understated: “Not every man can handle that sort of thing.”

Lane chose to tell her husband in what they now fondly call their “Taco Bell drive-through moment.”  She chose there because it’s a safe place. “You can get out of the car and get away if you need to,” she said.

She didn’t need to.

“For me, I was always looking  more at the person, and I liked what I saw,” her husband said. “I asked myself, ‘Now that I know the back story, do I still care about her?’ And the answer was yes.”

In the end, he decided, “People are people, and love is love.”

They have lost some friends. “But,” his wife adds, “we’ve made many more.”

 

A few favorite photos from 2012

Rose and Jim Engagement Shoot. Photo by John Moore.

Rose and Jim Engagement Shoot. Photo by John Moore.

 

My niece, Aaliyah. Photo by John Moore.

My niece, Aaliyah. Photo by John Moore.

 

Rhonda Brown on opening night of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile." Photo by John Moore.

Actor Rhonda Brown on opening night of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” Photo by John Moore.

 

Ben Dicke on opening night of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" ... my favorite photo of the year ,

Ben Dicke on opening night of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” … my favorite photo of the year ,

 

 

Arvada Center joins Broadway bigshots, Perez Hilton on “Carols for a Cure” CD

By John Moore

Nov. 29, 2012

The Arvada Center has the distinction of being one of only two regional theaters in the country invited to join current Broadway companies performing on the 14th annual “Carols for a Cure” double-CD, a mix of holiday classics and original material benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Right alongside the likes of Ricky Martin, Cyndi Lauper and Perez Hilton, there is the Arvada Center’s cast of the just-opened “Miracle on 34th Street” singing “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”

The 2012 CD features the Broadway companies of “Newsies,” “Evita,” “Once,” “Peter and the Starcatcher” and “Jersey Boys,” among others. Perez Hilton is currently making his professional theatrical debut performing in the off-Broadway revue “NEWSical The Musical.”

“Carols for a Cure” can be purchased for $20 at any performance of “Miracle on 34th Street,” running through Dec. 23 at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. (720-898-7200 or the arvada center’s home page). Start times vary, but the show, a musical variation of the classic film with music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson (“The Music Man”),  generally begins at either 6:30 or 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; as well as 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. Check the web site for exact dates and times.

The CD also can be ordered for $23 online at broadwaycares.org or by calling 212-840-0770, ext. 238, from 8 a.m. -3 p.m. MST.

Lauper, who wrote the music for “Kinky Boots,” opening on Broadway this spring with Denver’s Andy Kelso and Annaleigh Ashford in the cast, sings “Blue Christmas” on the CD. Martin, who plays Che in “Evita,” is joined by Elana Roger (Evita), Michael Cerveris (Peron) and Max von Essen (Magaldi) singing “We Three Kings/Los Reyes Magos.” Broadway legend Chita Rivera joins Stephanie J. Block, Jim Norton, and others from “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” singing “Good Queen Wenceslas.” Hugh Panaro (“The Phantom of the Opera”) sings with his castmates on an original song titled “Outside the Box.”

The “Carols for a Cure” series has raised more than $3 million since 1999, providing support and care for those living with AIDS, as well as lending support to women’s health issues. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to Denver’s Project Angel Heart, which provides meals to homebound AIDS patients.

“Carols for a Cure” song list:

Disc 1:
LOS TRES REYES MAGOS- Evita featuring Ricky Martin and Elena Roger
CALL YOUR MOM- Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ALONE ON CHRISTMAS- Chaplin
FOR MY CHILD’S FIRST CHANUKAH- Lisa Yaeger
GOD REST YE, MERRY GENTLEMEN- Newsies
GOOD QUEEN WENCESLAS- The Mystery of Edwin Drood
THE WEXFORD CAROL- Once
DOMINICK THE DONKEY- Peter and the Starcatcher
OUTSIDE THE BOX- The Phantom of the Opera
THE WREATH OF KINDNESS- The Lion King
BLUE CHRISTMAS- Kinky Boots featuring Cyndi Lauper

Disc 2:
ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH- Bring it On
A PEREZ HILTON CHRISTMAS – featuring Perez Hilton, NEWSical The Musical
NYE@THE VENUS CLUB- Rock of Ages
THE BIRTHDAY OF A KING- Mary Poppins
SOUL CAKE- Mamma Mia!
KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING- Rebecca
O HOLY NIGHT- Wicked
HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING- I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at the John W. Engeman Theatre
JOLLY OLD ST. NICHOLAS- Miracle on 34th Street at The Arvada Center
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE BABY/GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING- Jersey Boys

Another way to support those in need this holiday season:

Support KUSA entertainment reporter Kirk Montgomery’s second CD benefiting 9Cares/Colorado Shares: “Opie Gone Bad – Another Christmas.”

The CD featuring Grammy winner Dianne Reeves, American Idol’s Ace Young and Dianna DeGarmo, as well as Chris Daniels, Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee, actor Pam Grier, members of Phamaly Theatre Company and Kirk himself.

The CD is available at all King Soopers stores.

 

 

 

Video: Three minutes with … Pam Grier

In this new web series, journalist John Moore interviews prominent visitors to Denver. Pam Grier, graduate of Denver East High School and star of such films as Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” talks about her roots, women’s rights, Vietnam, working at the Denver Center Theatre Company, the work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and more. This is … Episode 1.