Flashback: Playing In Matt Zarley’s Music Video Sandbox “Somebody 4 Everybody”

I recently came across the music video for award-winning singer/songwriter Matt Zarley’s upbeat “Somebody 4 Everybody” and had to smile. Not only is the 2014 single positive in its messaging, but the video (with a Dating Game theme) is fun and inclusive.

Oh, and it features a certain gay blogger you might know as the TV show’s stage manager. Continue reading “Flashback: Playing In Matt Zarley’s Music Video Sandbox “Somebody 4 Everybody””

InstaHunk Round-Up: Weekend Edition

Rodiney Santiago got his selfie on at the beach
Instahunk Ródiney Santiago got his selfie on at the beach
Instahunk Ródiney Santiago (via Instagram)

Checking in with some of our favorite Hunks of Insta this weekend.

First up, Instahunk Ródiney Santiago (above) got his selfie on at the beach.

The latest Instinct Hottie Basit Eniafe took on his Drag Race UK pit crew duties:

 

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Joel Green dropped wise words while flexing – “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to look for the excellent.”

 

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The Rock shows he’s still a beast in the gym:

 

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Chicago Realtor Greg Bloomer shows he knows how to strike a pose:

 

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Aussie pro wrestler Dave Marshall went to the beach with his big, fat championship belt:

 

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Social media model Bolu Okupe, the son of a former Nigerian presidential advisor, came out via an Instagram photo: “Yes I’m Gay AF.”

Dato Foland simply ‘was’ and it was more than enough:

 

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Professional wrestler Anthony Bowens had to work:

 

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TRR favorite Matt Zarley was in the studio for a Sunday Showtune:

 

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Dan Tai got his workout on with run:

 

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Holiday Playlist To Keep Your Christmas Day Merry & Bright

Bringing you 10 holiday songs for your uber-gay Christmas Day.

All of these artists are proudly LGBTQ and celebrated for their artistry in their respective genres.

1. George Michael (back in his Wham! days) delivered unto us this now-required listening holiday pop gem, “Last Christmas,” in 1986.

2. Out country hunk Ty Herndon takes the iconic “O Come All Ye Faithful” into African rhythm territory here, and it totes works.

3. It doesn’t get any more camp than this: the first true bear band, Bearforce1, with their holiday mashup, “Christmas is here!”

4. Two-time Out Music Award winner Matt Zarley covered Mariah Carey’s “Miss You Most At Christmastime” to spectacular result as part of his ‘UnCOVERED’ cover song series.

5. Award-winning cabaret star Ann Hampton Callaway offers this uber-jazzy “Jingle Bells.”

6. Before winning an Emmy Award as an insane murderer on American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Darren Criss’ “Blaine” was singing and dancing the holiday classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in high style with out actor Chris Colfer’s “Kurt” on GLEE.

7. Tony Award winner Levi Kreis (Million Dollar Quartet) gives you a little bit gospel, a little bit rockabilly on his new cover of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”

8. Elton John released his “Step Into Christmas” in 1973 and it raced all the way to #1 on the Billboard Christmas Singles chart that year.

9. Handsome out smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz shared this cover of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” on his 1997 release, December Makes Me Feel This Way.

10. Bright Light Bright Light gifted us with this synth-pop version of the classic “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

 

Podcast: CATS Chat With Leslie Ellis & Matt Zarley

Matt Zarley and Leslie Ellis

As a young actor, my first big break was being cast as the ‘Magical Mr. Mistoffelees’ in a brand new national touring company of the blockbuster Broadway musical CATS.

While I was ‘living a dream’ over those years back in the 1980s, a nightmare called HIV/AIDS was taking thousands of lives from us. As a company, we wanted to do ‘something.’

So in 1987, we organized one of the first large-scale benefits performances by a touring company to help those affected by HIV. Amazingly, we raised over $36K in one night.

Fast forward to today, and another viral pandemic is here. A few months ago, one of my former CATS castmates reached out to say, “Anyone want to do another fundraiser?”

And so, we did.

 

“With Love, Now and Forever! Cats4CovidRelief” premiered on October 23 and will be available until October 28. At this writing, combining donations at Broadway Cares and YouTube, we’ve raised over $20,000 and counting

Today, I’m talking to two of my closest CATS castmates, Grammy Award-winner Leslie Ellis and two-time OutMusic Award-winner Matt Zarley, about this recent company reunion.

Hit the play button to hear us chat on this recent collaboration, reminisce about life on the road as young actors, and laugh a bit about the life-changing experience that was CATS.

While our streaming event is scheduled to be removed from Broadway Cares website at the end of October 28, the video is still up at this writing on BC/EFA’s YouTube channel on an unlisted page here.

Plus, you can see Matt’s gorgeous segment featuring Leslie singing “Memory” here.

News Round-Up: August 27, 2020

L-R Michael Caprio, Matt Zarley, Chad Quintero, Randy Slovacek, Greg Chase

Some news items you might have missed:

TBT: Remembering sunsets at our pool (above) when we could actually have a group of folks over for summertime cocktails in our Olivia Newton-John cups. Ah, good times…

The Advocate: The city of Anchorage has become the first in Alaska to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for minors. This makes Alaska the 40th state where some jurisdiction has taken action against the harmful practice.

New York Times: More than 100 former staff members for Senator John McCain are supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in a show of support across the political divide. The list of signatories includes a range of people — from chiefs of staff in Mr. McCain’s Senate office to junior aides on his campaigns — who worked for him over his 35 years in Congress and during two presidential bids. Republican Voters Against Trump also released this ad today in McCain’s home state of Arizona.

OUT: A bodybuilding gay couple in Malta were brutally slain in their home on August 18. Police are looking for three persons captured on security cameras leaving the residence, as well as a suspected driver in an awaiting vehicle.

JoeMyGod: After GoFundMe canceled a crowdfunding campaign for legal costs for accused 17-year-old murderer Kyle Rittenhouse, ‘Christian’ crowdfunding site GiveSendGo raised over $59,000 in the first few hours.

ABC News: Cocky North Carolina congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, 25, got it wrong during his four-minute speech during the Republican National Convention last night when he boasted the accomplishments of other youthful politicians in history, like James Madison, who he mistakenly announced signed the Declaration of Independence.

“If you don’t think young people can change the world, then you just don’t know American history. George Washington was 21 when he received his first military commission. Abe Lincoln, 22 when he first ran for office. And my personal favorite: James Madison was just 25 years old when he signed the Declaration of Independence.” Today, Cawthorn says he was just testing the fact-checkers.

New Music: Ty Taylor & Matt Zarley Reimagine ‘Close Every Door’ From JOSEPH…

L-R Ty Taylor, Matt Zarley (courtesy photo)

 

Indie artists Matt Zarley and Ty Taylor have been friends for over 27 years – ever since they appeared on Broadway in the 1993 revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

In fact, the two talented men were both understudies for the title role.

Taylor and Zarley went on to additional featured appearances on the Great White Way (like Grease and Tommy, respectively) before moving on to successful careers as recording artists as well.

The two had been discussing recording together and they hit on the perfect song for the duo considering their shared experience with Joseph.

“When Ty and I first discussed collaborating on something together, he suggested we do a reimagined version of ‘Close Every Door,’ says Zarley. “We collectively agreed that we should do it with a more acoustic approach, sort of reminiscent of the Indigo Girls and that type of sound. As a result, we settled on just an acoustic guitar and bass as the instrumentation.”

Set in a prison cell, Joseph laments his situation and assures himself he can make it to the other side of his imprisonment.

But the coronavirus pandemic put the project on pause for a few months. When they reconvened for the project, both felt the new world of ‘sheltering at home’ coupled with the homicide of George Floyd had created a new perspective for the song.

Taylor says he looked at issues like “brutality and imprisonment, things that are thrust upon us wrongfully” as he revisited the song. In the video’s introduction, he shares, “It’s fueled with a whole different backstory than I’d ever planned.”

Shot in black and white (see what they did there?), the new guitar-driven track (thank you very much, Mike Messer, on guitar) is infused with a pop/soul flavor that instantly reinvents the song.

Plus, check out the moments at the 2:40 and 4:30 marks as each singer respectfully takes note of the other’s riffs.

Props to Zarley for the creative, current feel on the editing of the video.

Since 2015, Zarley has been producing his “UnCOVERED” series of cover songs requested by fans.

In addition to reimagining pop songs by artists like Sara Bareilles, Sam Smith, Whitney Houston, and George Michael, he’s also explored songs from Broadway shows like Dear Evan Hansen, Ghost the Musical, and Waitress.

Check out the full “UnCOVERED” series on YouTube here.