Did you read Ben Brantley's rapturous (and rather eloquent) review of Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway in the times today? He totally calls Hugh Jackman gay. Like he pretty much flat out says it. The paper just did the same thing to closet-case Anderson Cooper. Is this a new trend?
As Vulture points out Brantley's review is a little curious, especially considering that the smell of gay rumors has always wafted over Jackman's career like the scent of poppers at the St. Mark's Bath. For the record, he says he's straight and married. Whatever. Here is the whole first section of the review, which is gayer than chest stubble.
Let's face it. Mr. Jackman is, unapologetically and triumphantly, the bi-est guy in town: bicultural, bimorphic, binational, biprofessional and, for entertainment purposes, bisexual.
I'm really not talking about sexual identity here. Well, I am, but only in a Platonic sense. Mr. Jackman makes a point of reminding us throughout his fleet-footed show, which combines musical numbers with an "All About Hugh" narrative, that he's a long- and happily married man, and I have no evidence to the contrary. But despite - or perhaps because of - his firmly affirmed marital status Mr. Jackman often gleefully comports himself onstage in the manner of what, in less enlightened times, might have been called a flaming queen.
First of all, the guy makes no bones about saying that he loves musicals. And male musical-comedy love is one of those red flags that naïve young women are told to watch out for when they're searching for a mate.
He says he's not talking about orientation, but is he? He then goes on to compare Jackman to Judy Garland. What, did he not want to liken him to Liberace, Rufus Wainwright, or an anal bead? The he says, "His erotic energy is purely and pleasurably consensual. For some women his double-jointedness makes him the perfect platonic lover: part leading-man seducer (who gives you the best sex you never had), part gay best friend (who picks up your spirits by singing show tunes with you)." Gay gay gay gay gay gay gay!
This would still be remarkable, but maybe a bit less so, if our favorite error queen Alessandra Stanley hadn't basically outed Anderson Cooper in her review of his new daytime talker Anderson.
Gossip magazines like Us and People, and Web sites like TMZ.com follow his exploits, but he has so far managed to avoid mainstream prying. As he put it in a 2007 interview, "The whole thing about being a reporter is that you're supposed to be an observer and to be able to adapt with any group you're in, and I don't want to do anything that threatens that."
The whole thing about being a talk show host is that you stop observing and make a spectacle of yourself, and that usually entails losing control over what you disclose and what you hold back. "Anderson" raises the question of whether Anderson is quite ready for that, and its success may hinge on the answer.
This isn't nearly as obvious as what Brantley said, but for those who know Anderson's open secret, it was very obvious what she was talking about. Hey, I'm all for the Times outing as many people as they can, but shouldn't they leave the heavy lifting of outing to their reporters and not to the reviewers?
[Images via Bauer-Griffin]