All posts in the Musicals category

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Portia Nelson

Published April 8, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

portiaFor generations of children the scariest thing about the distinguished Portia Nelson was probably the fact that her decisive Sister Berthe didn’t like Julie Andrews’ lovable Maria in the 1965 film version of The Sound of Music. But Nelson’s friendship with author Tom Tryon actually resulted in a role with even more haunting consequences. Cast as Mrs. Rowe in the atmospheric film version of Tryon’s The Other, this eclectic artist found herself as a part of the cinematic universe of one of the most popular horror novels of the early ‘70s.

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But Nelson, who was also an influential author and songwriter, was perhaps best known for her work in the cabaret. Her beautiful soprano voice, which deepened adroitly with age, was nimble enough to find subtle meanings in the songs she sang, allowing listeners to, as her most popular lyrical composition attested, “make a rainbow” in their minds.

Nelson, whose poem Autobiography in Five Chapters is a notable tool for those in recovery, also battled cancer for many years. Ever the warrior, she, ultimately, lost her life to the disease, at the age of 80, in 2001.

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Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Alexis Smith

Published December 18, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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Not many can say that they were romanced by Humphrey Bogart and killed by Jodie Foster, but the classically beautiful, smoky voiced Alexis Smith can wear both of those cinematic crowns with pride.  As the proud Cecily Latham in The Two Mrs. Carrolls and the even prouder Mrs. Hallett in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, she truly helped create celluloid magic.

And while her death by cellar door in the twisted and macabre Little Girl is certainly memorable, fans of a certain set will surely find her take on Stephen Sondheim’s Could I Leave You from Follies much more compelling by far.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Jackson Headlines Musical Horror Story

Published December 15, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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There is nothing that a gay dude loves more than a diva. Well, maybe there’s…but s-h-h-h…I can’t talk about that here. Anyhow, in my book, if anyone could take on Jessica Lange in the Chicago theater community, it’s the divinely eclectic Caitlin Jackson. Nicely, she seems to be doing just that with her role of Reverend Mother in The Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre Company’s Ryan Murphy send-up Musical Horror Story Exorcism.

From all glimpses, this production promises to offer a bit of blood, a lot of humor and, well, Ms. Jackson (pictured, right, in the photo)! There are only 3 performances left – Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 15-17th, at the Charnel House, 3421 W. Fullerton, in Chicago. So throw all of your bad habits onto the CTA (or however you get about in this unholy city) and head on over!

More information is available at:

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Music to Make Horror Movies by: Lauren Bacall

Published September 26, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan


She had one of the most distinctive speaking voices of all time and the irreplaceable Lauren Bacall also used those smoky tones to subtle singing effect in such Broadway musicals as Applause and Woman of the Year.

Best known for her alluring performances in a series of noir classics with (her beloved, first husband) Humphrey Bogart, Bacall jumped on the early ‘80s slasher bandwagon by playing a theatrical diva whose life and limb (and sequin suits) were threatened by a smooth and menacing stalker (of the self loathing variety) in the underperforming (but twisted and enjoyable) The Fan. lauren-bacall-fan-2

Of course, here she is in complete control, singing I Wrote the Book (to a devoted Wayne Newton and others) from Woman of the Year, a role that won her a second Tony award.


…and if that doesn’t make you want to do a soft shoe, in the afterlife, with an old school diva…then nothing will.


Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Carly Simon

Published April 26, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

I once wore white socks with my business suit and my boss, the Dragon Lady, never let me forget it!

Thankfully, 30 years ago, the interstellar Carly Simon, along with director Jeremy “Dead Ringers” Irons, blended styles much more successfully with their video for Tired of Being Blonde.

Released as the first single off of Simon’s 1985 commercially aggressive pop offering Spoiled Girl, this visual bombshell contains moments of film noir rhapsody, science fiction glamour and exquisite Ingmar Bergman style angst – all wrapped in the sugary sheen of bubblegum goodness.

Carly Simon as Barbarella? Carly Simon as Bibi Andersson in a cocktail dress?!? Best video ever, no?!!!?

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Marcia Lewis: To the Edge of Night with Broadway’s Bloody Wonder!

Published April 29, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

Brass Beds, Brass Monkeys, Brassy Dames! Big Gay Horror Fan will take the latter, thank you, especially if it is the grand, larger-than-life goddess of stage and screen, Marcia Lewis (1938-2010).

Lewis made her Broadway debut opposite such powerhouses as Phyllis Diller and Ethel Merman in a production of Hello, Dolly! Their combined magnificence obviously gave her a clue on which coat rack hook to hang her professional personality. Lewis became best known for belting out the goods as the comically evil Miss Hannigan in Annie (appearing with Jason Goes to Hell’s Allison Smith) in the 80’s and as a superior Big Mama Morton in the award winning 90’s revival of Chicago.

Ice Pirates

Ice Pirates

But, this saucy wonder also appeared in such science fiction efforts as the original Bionic Woman (as an aggressive wrestler on the second season episode ‘In This Corner, Jaime Sommers’) and 1984 goof-fest The Ice Pirates (whose jaw dropping supporting cast included Anjelica Huston, Ron Perlman, John Carradine and Bruce Vilanch).

Terror and thriller enthusiasts were also glazed over with happiness when Lewis appeared in a couple of horror influenced offerings in the late 70’s, as well.

nighttheytookmissbeautifulIn 1977 television film The Night They Took Miss Beautiful, a handful of glamorous pageant contestants are kidnapped by a group of ruthless, politically charged outlaws. Suffering from roulette style degradation and aggression, these pretty ladies (including genre regular Rosanne Katon, Dallas’ Victoria Principal and Karen Lamm from Ants, AKA It Happened at Lakewood Manor, and The Unseen) soon find their worst enemy just happens to be Lewis’ drippingly sweet, completely savage Mrs. Barrett. As mother to Lamm’s sweet Cindy Lou, Lewis is a wicked wonder. Lewis’ Barrett is so determined that her daughter escape with youth intact, that she offers her up, willingly, as a sexual conquest, to one of the amorous vigilantes. When Lamm/Cindy Lou finally rejects her mother in the telefilm’s final moments, Lewis shows shocked vulnerability yet a steely determination to go on – it is a bravura performance (worthy of a Tennessee Williams’ subplot or two) in an enjoyable yet unsubstantial suspense offering.

nightwarningIn 1982’s Night Warning (AKA Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker among others), which was filmed in the late 70’s, Lewis brings an appropriate yet over-the-top charm to her nosey Margie. As best friend to Susan Tyrell’s increasingly unhinged lead, Cheryl, Lewis radiates with personality. She hits the nail on the head as the much seen housewife who truly wears the pants in the family. It’s a theatrical performance, but one grounded in reality. Concerned yet sneaky, Margie soon faces down the psychotic Tyrell with an emotional resourcefulness brined in great fear. Incidentally, Night Warning has become a deserved cult classic due to it modern take on the Gothic esthetics of hag horror, it’s even keeled treatment of gay characters and subtle looks at the venomous effects of racism.

Here is a fun clip of Lewis trying to manipulate the legendary Phil Silvers in The Night They Took Miss Beautiful:

Be sure to check back often as Big Gay Horror Fan ( frequently looks at the magical majesty of women in horror.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Music to Make Horror (er-r-r – Fantasy) Films By: Kevin Hanna’s Rose’s Colored Glasses!

Published April 14, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

Through the fog drenched parking lot of the noir style gym where Big Gay Horror Fan works out, a pack of the ravenously handsome men (that he had been cruising within) descended upon him. Well, actually it was a group of wilding dogs that smelled the barbeque on his sweatpants – but when you’re desperate, who’s complaining?!?

The delightful Rose in evocative director Kevin Hanna’s forthcoming musical short Rose’s Colored Glasses actually envisions fantasies of a brighter hue, however, whenever she dons her magical spectacles. The dramatic twists in this piece actually allow her to eventually confront her life, head on, as well. H-m-m… Imagination and truth in equal basis – sounds like a remedy for a successful life, Rose!

For more information on the delightful adventures of Rose and Hanna, feel free to visit


Big Gay Horror Fan is always kicking up his ruby heels at, as well.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!