Stage and screen actors starring in this year’s movies include Kathleen Turner (High), Richard Chamberlain (My Fair Lady), Dolly Parton (9 to 5), Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu), John Waters ("Hairspray"), Jennifer Coolidge (Elling), Heather Matarazzo (The Women), Leslie Jordan (Lucky Guy), Esai Morales (Salome), Lance Bass (Hairspray), Clay Aiken ("American Idol," Spamalot), Carol Channing (Hello, Dolly!), Seth Numrich (War Horse), Matt Doyle (War Horse) and comedian Margaret Cho.
As previously announced, Outfest 2011 opens with the “Gun Hill Road” screening July 7 at 8 PM at the Orpheum Theatre. According to press notes, "After three years in prison, macho Enrique (Morales) returns home to the Bronx and finds things changed. His wife, Angela (Judy Reyes), is distant, and his teenage son, Michael, has come out as Vanessa, a transgender woman. Unable to accept his child for who she is now, Enrique clings to his masculine ideals while Angela attempts to hold the family together by fiercely protecting Vanessa. Still under the watchful eye of his parole officer, Enrique must become the father he needs to be or once again risk losing his family and freedom."
"The Green," directed by Steven Williford, stars Jackson and focuses on "Michael Gavin and his partner Daniel [who] trade the rat race of New York City for the idyllic charm of the Connecticut shoreline, with hopes of a simpler life and time for Michael to finish his first novel. All that changes when one of Michael’s high school students accuses him of 'inappropriate conduct,' and the town rushes to judgment."
Alan Brown's "Private Romeo" stars Numrich and Doyle in an all-boy staging of Romeo and Juliet. "Brown transfers the setting from fair Verona to a high school military campus where a small group of boys from rival schools act out the tragedy in real life. This bold adaptation eschews convention and challenges common perceptions of masculinity, gay youth and the military."
"Carol Channing: Larger Than Life," directed by Dori Berinstein, is a "delightful and delicious documentary [that] traces Channing’s extraordinary history, from her early success as a classroom mimic to her late-in-life reunion with her childhood love. Everyone from Debbie Reynolds, Chita Rivera, and Bruce Vilanch to Channing’s devoted chorus of 'Dolly Boy' dancers pops up to pay tribute to this amazing performer." Parton's music will be featured in "Hollywood to Dollywood," directed by John Lavin with a cast that includes Jordan, in a story that focuses on a set of gay twins. "Gary and Larry have always loved Dolly Parton. They left their small town home ten years ago to make it in Hollywood and are finally ready to get their script to Dolly. In a RV named Jolene, the boys embark on the adventure of a lifetime. This road trip is also a journey of self-discovery and an attempt to resolve mommy issues that have divided them since childhood."
"Mangus!," directed by Ash Christian, also features Jordan as well as Waters, Coolidge and Matarazzo in the story of Mangus Spedgwick. "When a freak accident leaves him paralyzed, Mangus wanders through the desert of small-town life, until he is shown the way by a vision of Jesus in a titty bar."
Closing the festival will be “The Perfect Family" screening July 17 at 8 PM at the Ford Theatre. Starring Turner and featuring Chamberlain, the film is described as such: "Dedicated churchgoer Eileen Cleary (Turner) will bend over backwards to portray her dysfunctional brood as the Catholic ideal, even though her son (Jason Ritter) has just left his wife for the woman he really loves, and Eileen's daughter Shannon (Emily Deschanel) is about to marry her lesbian lover."
Other festival events include the Under the Stars series at The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, kicking off with the classic Dolly Parton movie musical “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"; and a panel for Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva," which includes Cho, Bass and Aiken. The discussion follows a sneak preview of an upcoming episode inspired by the headline-making true story of Mississippi teen Constance McMillan who was denied access to her high school prom because she wanted to attend with her girlfriend. This special episode will air during the upcoming third season of “Drop Dead Diva,” which returns June 19 on Lifetime at 9 PM ET.
For more information on the 2011 Outfest festival, visit www.outfest.org.