Review: 8-Prop and Problem

Another event celebrating the birth of the Spectrum Center was the first ever reading of the play “8” by Dustin Lance Black. It was an interesting experience. I had never been to a live play reading before. It was sort of like watching a regular play, except the actors carried the scripts around on stage with them and didn’t deliver the lines quite as well as they would have, though they still did an amazing job. It was also really great because many of the actors were the same Broadway UofM alumni that had performed the night before at the Pink Carpet Gala.

The play was based on the transcripts of the trial in California fighting against Proposition 8. This amendment to the Constitution of California banned gay marriage and recognition of same-sex marriages. The trial was not broadcasted nationally,

If you want to get in your best shape ever, look at insanity

although the plaintiffs did fight for it to be. Because of this, the only record we have of the trial is the transcript, and from this document Dustin Lance Black wrote a creative interpretation. His play will be making a tour around the country at many universities. Hopefully it will help spread awareness of what is happening in California and in the rest of the country when it comes to the rights of TBLG people.

Attending this event was sort of like attending a court trial, as it was staged like one, except that it gave us the bullet points of what happened and also introduced the families that were fighting together against the proposition and the ad campaign used by the supporters of Prop 8. It was sort of funny watching this depiction of the trial, because I’ve always wondered how conservatives defend their “values” like banning same-sex marriage. I always wonder what kind of evidence and argument they can come up with. This is exactly what I thought it would be like. The defense could not provide evidence or even an argument. Its witnesses were absent from court because they were afraid to defend their own words on the witness stand. The one witness that did get cross-examined ended up supporting the plaintiff’s argument, completely crushing any chance the defense had.

The outcome of the case was that same-sex marriage would not affect the rate of different-sex marriage or the rate of procreation, which is the argument the defense was trying to use. The plaintiffs won, though it is being repealed and we are still fighting Prop 8 to this day. The best thing we can all do about it is to stay informed and educate others on what has happened. I believe that is what Dustin Lance Black is trying to do with his play and I hope it works.

For more info on Prop 8, please visit or search it online for other websites that you might prefer. Also, just a fun video that came out around the time of the trial;

Prop 8 the Musical
Prop 8 the Musical

Sending you love and light,

Danny Fob

(Coffee is on me if you can name the show that my sign off is from!)

Review: Gala Greatness-Let’s Do it for 40 More!

The Spectrum Center’s Pink Carpet Gala event happened this past Friday at Hill Auditorium, and both I and my colleague Kayla Silverstein enjoyed it thoroughly.

Want to get fit? Try insanity workout

Since she already gave it such a raving review of the event, I would like to just provide my own personal experiences with the show, because it really was all that Kayla said it was, and more.

The speeches were incredible. Absolutely inspiring. Especially as a gay identified student here on campus that has spent a lot of time in the Spectrum Center and learned so much from the volunteers and employees that work so hard there. I am proud to have been able to celebrate so many milestones in my past three years here with the Spectrum Center. Their programming took me to the National Equality March in 2009, MBLGTACC 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin, gave me the opportunity to participate on an executive level with the planning of MBLGTACC 2011 here at the UofM, and has helped me become the proud Gay man I am today. This event meant so means so much to the community because it was the first ever office on a college campus to deal with LGBT issues, and as the co-founder and first publicly out gay person in Michigan, the speech of Jim Toy was the most hard hitting for me. This man is a legend in the LGBT activism world, and it is an honor to have met him on numerous occasions.


The speeches of Chris Armstrong and his father also brought me and most of the people around me to tears. It wasn’t so long ago that Chris was being targeted and slandered, and his family is so moved that our campus stood up and supported Chris in such a huge way. I’ve known Chris ever since my freshman year. He is a fantastic individual and it makes me proud to have been there with him, standing on the diag and at Gayz Craze with him. Andrew Shirvell approached me one time during his time here on campus, and him knowing my name and face before he met me was a little terrifying, so I can only imagine how Chris felt. UofM has proven once again exactly what the Michigan Difference is and that we will stand by our own.

Anyway, to the performers, since that what I’m really supposed to write about. Gavin Creel is amazing. I have to admit, I knew nothing about any of the performers before Friday (I’m more of what I like to call an “Old Gay” in that I listen to people like Patti Lupone, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters, Dick Van Dyke). I absolutely loved Gavin Creel though. This man, I believe, was THE performer of the night. He sang Something’s Coming from West Side Story and I swear I couldn’t stop gripping the arm of the person next to me. He was amazing.

Gavin Creel...All I can say is Yummy!
Gavin Creel...All I can say is Yummy!

Everyone that performed was amazing. I think Kayla pretty much sums up how I feel about the other performers, and about how the crowd felt in her review, so I won’t make you read it all again. I really just wanted to report how amazing it felt to be in such a large crowd of LGBTQA people with highly supportive performers and University of Michigan faculty members. The love available in this community is really like nothing else you can ever experience. Plus, we throw the BEST parties!

Stay tuned for more about the Spectrum Birthday Weekend! (And of course by stay tuned I mean read my other review!)
Sending you love and light,

Danny Fob

REVIEW: The Little Dog Laughed

Going into “The Little Dog Laughed,” I had no information about it other than my friend was the assistant stage manager. As I looked at the program I was uncertain of how the play would unfold. I could infer that it was about celebrities of some sort and that it was a comedy. I saw the play on November 18 at the Walgreen Drama Center at 11PM. The set was so simplistic and yet it delivered the necessary atmosphere for the play. The show was put on by Basement Arts and involved four characters: an actor, his agent, an escort, and the escort’s “girlfriend.” Each actor portrayed an interesting personality. Madeline Sharton, who played Diane, was not afraid to get wild and she had unlimited movements, which made for a very exaggerated performance (in a good way). The audience at the show contributed a lot to the quality of the mood of the show. They laughed in all the right places and knew when to be silent as well. The play had a powerful message that I think a lot of college students can relate to because it was about staying true to yourself no matter what the circumstances. I really enjoyed this play because the acting was brilliant and the plot was wonderful. It was also cool seeing so many people that I have seen in plays around University of Michigan in the audience for a change. This play made me realize how much I love the University of Michigan theatre department because it is simply amazing that I can see such a high-quality play for free. I would encourage everyone to attend as many plays put on by Basement Arts and other drama groups here at our school because they are full of talent, emotion, and brilliance. To check out more events like this one go to:

REVIEW: Broadway Comes Home

Our Women’s Glee Club president snagged free tickets for a few of us to go to the “Broadway Comes Home” concert Friday night, featuring Michigan alumni that have made it on Broadway. All I had to hear was Broadway, Gavin Creel, and free to nearly tackle our president, Allison, for a ticket to the show.

Rackham was lit up pink for the “walk the pink carpet” theme of the event. Fabulously dressed men took our pictures as we filed in and awkwardly avoided their lenses. Allison said it was formal attire required, so I felt especially classy in my slacks, boot, lacey top, and pearls. A man seated behind me was slightly classier, however, rocking a cocktail dress, heels, and sequined purse.

The event was dedicated to celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Spectrum Center. The Spectrum Center is an organization on campus that actively supports the LGBTQ community in Ann Arbor, offering guidance and support in a safe and welcoming environment. Interspersed between performances, many active members in the LGBTQ community spoke about their experiences and how the Spectrum Center has influenced them. It was possibly the most inspiring part of the evening. I heard how so many people have been impacted by the Spectrum Center and motivated with the knowledge that “it gets better.” The speakers, including our past student body president Chris Armstrong, were incredibly uplifting, spreading love, strength, and pride. The messages were universal, and I doubt there was a single person in the audience who walked away uninspired.

The musical performances, as my initial reason for coming, were just as inspiring. Gavin Creel, tony-nominated Broadway star, recruited several other Michigan alumni to accompany him in performing at this event. Creel was absolutely amazing and kicked the evening off to an outstanding start with “Could Be” from West Side Story. His enthusiasm on stage was infectious. His voice was beautiful. His shining moment of the night was his concluding song, “Let the Sun Shine In” from the musical Hair he himself sang on Broadway. The freshman class of the musical theater program this year accompanied him, encircling the audience and wowing us with their powerful sound.

And Gavin Creel wasn’t even the best performer of the evening (it was a close tie between all the alumni, in my opinion)! Other returning Wolverines included Celia Keenan-Bolger, an incredibly adorable person with a beautiful voice, and Maddy Wyatt. Those two sang a song they wrote together about gay marriage that was both hilarious and powerful. Others included Daniel Reichard, who starred in Jersey Boys on Broadway and actually sang “Don’t go, Baby” from that musical while backed up by three men from the musical theater department. The other featured performer was Danny Gurwin. I know him as having played Laurie in Little Women the musical on Broadway and a few other notable roles. What’s crazy too about Gurwin is he is actually directing the Little Women production U-M is doing in December (I’ll be previewing and reviewing that performances as well – can’t wait!!). Towards the end of the evening, all these Broadway-bound alumni joined together to sing “Ordinary Miracles.” It was gorgeous and gave me serious goose bumps.

When speakers weren’t presenting or Broadway alums weren’t singing, the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble was performing. I’d never heard them before, but they were so talented. I was blown away.

As you can probably conclude, this night marked one of the most epic performances I’ve attended all semester. So many amazing performers, speakers, and musicians – it was fantastic. I was absolutely inspired and I hope you get a chance to go to one of the Spectrum Center’s events because it is an admirable organization that deserves all the recognition it has acquired.

P.S. For more information on the Spectrum Center and the resources available there, check out their website:

Preview: The struggles of Nearly Modern Milk – “8”

Dustin Lance Black accepts GLAAD award for 8

From the Academy Award Winning Screenwriter of Milk, Dustin Lance Black, comes a new and modern representation of the struggles that the LGBT community is facing today. Mr. Black depicted the hardships that Harvey Milk was facing in the 70’s in a film that made a big splash in 2008. Milk, starring Sean Penn, told the story of the San Francisco politician and of his assassination in 1978. Black’s new play, “8” brings to light the struggle that Proposition 8 has produced in California recently. Prop 8, or the California Marriage Protection Act, is a constitutional amendment in California stating that, “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” This one amendment nullified all same-sex marriages that had already been allowed in California and prevented any future ones from happening. In the past few years, the LGBTQ and Ally Community have been working strenuously to get it repealed, and this play tells us the story of the act’s regrettable life. Please Join the UofM Spectrum Center for their 40th Anniversary this weekend and attend this free event. It takes place at 7:30pm at Stamps Auditorium in the Walgreen Center on North Campus. Yes, I know, it’s north campus, but it is sooo worth it!

Academy Award Winning Milk
Academy Award Winning "Milk"

For more info about events happening for the anniversary, please see my post on the Gala event of visit the Spectrum Center Website.

Sending you love and light,

Danny Fob

(Coffee is on me if you can name the show that my sign off is from!)

Preview: Who wouldn’t want to walk the Pink Carpet at a Celebrity Gala?

Spectrum Anniversary Doing it for 40 years!
Spectrum Anniversary "Doing it for 40 years!"

Have you heard? The University of Michigan Spectrum Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary of being here on campus and we have all

been invited to the multitude of events they are putting on, and have put on, all year long. This coming weekend is the biggest weekend of the year, full of events, shows, parties, alumni, food, football, and anything else you can think of to do here on campus. For those who don’t know, the Spectrum Center is the first ever office to deal with LGBT affairs on a college campus. It is now the oldest one and has inspired countless others in universities all over the United States. Founded by Jim Toy in 1971, the office helps students from all parts of campus to become active in the LGBTQA community, to become more comfortable with themselves, and educates the campus community about what it means to be LGBTQ or an ally.

That being said, let’s talk about this weekend! So many things are happening that I had to choose, so of course I went with the Gala full of Broadway celebs and David Burtka, American Actor and Chef, engaged to Neil Patrick Harris. The show includes performances from musical theater stars and also a tribute written specially for the Spectrum Center’s anniversary by Laura Anne Karpman, a UofM School of Music Graduate.

Cutest Dads EVER!
Cutest Dads EVER!

Feel encouraged to check out the Spectrum Center’s website for more info about other events happening this weekend and to explore a little bit more of their history and function.

The Pink Carpet Gala Event takes place at 8pm in Rackham Auditorium. Tickets are free, so I highly recommend coming to this event. How often do you get to see something so fabulous?

Sending you love and light (all that’s needed to make a rainbow),

Danny Fob