Call Answered: Michael Musto: "Times Squares" at The Laurie Beechman Theatre
Ever since I was a kid growing up on Long Island, I have been following Michael Musto’s career. Loving entertainment as much as I did, he was always featured in something I was either reading or watching.
It’s a real honor getting to interview Michael, who’s an iconic writer and New York institution.
Michael will be starring as the Center Square in a new game show called Times Squares (similar to the famous Hollywood Squares) at The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue, inside the basement of the Westbank Cafe) on select Friday nights at 10pm from April 12-June 21!
Joining Michael are celebrity guests from the worlds of Downtown theatre and Broadway including Ben Rimalower, Gonzalo Casals, Flotilla DeBarge, Everett Quinton, Julian Fleischer, Patrick Boyd, Duncan Pflaster, Baus & Troché and Manoel Felciano.
Times Squares will be presented on the below dates. Click here for tickets!
APRIL 12: Ben Rimalower (Patti Issues) and Gonzalo Casals (Executive Director Leslie-Lohman Museum).
APRIL 26: Flotilla DeBarge (Three Penny Opera) and Everett Quinton (Ridiculous Theatrical Company).
MAY 10: Julian Fleischer (Elevator Repair Service) and Patrick Boyd (Broadway Bares).
MAY 24: Julian Fleischer and Everett Quinton.
JUNE 7: Duncan Pflaster (Underpants Godot) and Flotilla DeBarge.
JUNE 21: Baus & Troché (Charlie Victor Romeo) and Manoel Felciano (Tony nominee, Sweeney Todd)
1. This Spring you are going to be spending your Friday nights in Times Squares (a take on the famous game show Hollywood Squares) at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. What made you want to be part of this show? I say yes to everything, but also, I always loved Hollywood Squares because it serves up a mixture of zingers and intellectual revelations (which are informative), and that's a winning mix--sort of like an SAT test where Felicity Huffman pays for you to have extra time so you can add some one-liners.
2. Why do you think now is the right time to present this show? Because if we wait any longer, I could have a stroke.
3. What should audiences know about this show prior to attending? They will be in for some heavy guffawing that might require hospitalization. They also will get to see if I'm as smart as I have always claimed to me, or if I'm just another dumbass TMZ reader. Other than that, just come ready to party and whoop it up. You might even become part of the game! Contestants will be chosen from the audience.
4. You will be Center Square. What will you bring to the center square that others have not? I am openly gay! And I will not be afraid to show the thought process that arrives at my wrong answers. I'll take the audience through the steps that got me to that place. And I will be a much worse sport about getting it wrong than any of the previous Center Squares. Otherwise, no difference!
5. What can you tell us about the squares that will be surrounding you? They will viciously try to upstage me, but I won't be having any of that. I will be carrying Mace and pictures of Jeanine Pirro to throw them off their game. But I still have every confidence that these people--who include performers Everett Quinton, Flotilla DeBarge, and Ben Rimalower--will add a lot of sparkle and humor to the evening, and will even perform in between the game show segments. And I will hate them for it.
6. If these three XXX's represented a different celebrity you have yet to meet, who would be your top 3? Meryl Streep, Judy Pace, and Anjanette Comer. You'll probably have to Google the second two. I have a good/bad movie club and they are in our hall of fame. Meryl is not in anybody's good/bad hall of fame. (We don't hold Mama Mia 2 against her. That much).
7. These three OOO's represent three celebrities you'd like to sleep with. If you could throw each of these O's around a celebrity's neck to sleep with, who would you choose? Meryl Streep, Judy Pace, and Anjanette Comer. I've never successfully slept with a woman and I want to see if achievement is enough of an aphrodisiac to make it happen. Probably not, but I can still dine off the attempt for years. If they want to start the seduction by kissing my hair, that's fine. The other reason I want Meryl, Judy and Anjanette is I'm too lazy to think of three new names.
8. After 29 years of writing for the Village Voice, what has been the best thing to happen so far in this next chapter of your life? That there IS a new chapter and that I'm not only still alive, I'm still in demand as a writer, TV commentator, and even as a friend.
I have a weekly column, I'm asked to go on CNN, Theater Talk is coming back for special shows, and my date book is very full, so I'm not quite ready for Shady Pines yet--though I'm definitely looking forward to writing the gossip column in the house organ there. "Guess who crapped her panties in the cafeteria the other day?....Me!"
9. “Musto Unfiltered” is the column you write for NewNowNext. What is something unfiltered about Michael Musto that you have yet to reveal? I am actually a nice and decent person, No, really. NO, REALLY!!!!!
10. Rapid Fire Questions:
Twizzlers or Red Vines? Twizzlers. Always go with the classic.
Favorite M&M Color? Green. I love anything green.
Boxers or Briefs? Briefs, preferably with some strategically placed rips and holes.
Favorite go to Emoji when texting? I don't use Emojis and I block anyone who does. And I block them with actual words. Yes, people, words are still usable! Let's all use them so I still have a viable profession!
More on Michael:
Michael Musto is a well-known gay journalist and TV personality who writes the weekly "Musto Unfiltered" column for NewNowNext.com. The groundbreaking author of the "La Dolce Musto" column in the Village Voice for 29 years, he's also had bylines in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and New York Magazine. Michael is a regular commentator on TV, chiming in on pop cultural topics on CNN and other channels, as well as being a cohost of Theater Talk, which is making a return this year. Michael has had four books published, including the nonfiction guide Downtown, the roman-a-clef novel Manhattan on the Rocks, and the collections La Dolce Musto and Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back. He has acted in indie films like Vamp Bikers and the upcoming Japanese Borscht, sings in Musto Duets nights at Club Cumming (for charity), and was named to the Out 100 of influential LGBTQs.