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Tales of Diversity

by Lorie Lewis Ham


As theatre continues to be presented online, University Theatre at Fresno State will be presenting its latest show, Detroit ’67, streaming December 4-12. The cast includes Trey Jones, Alexis Myles, Madeline Nelson, Nwachukwu Oputa, and TJ Taylor. We chatted with the director of the show, Thomas-Whit Ellis, Professor of Theatre Arts, Department Chair, Africana Studies, to learn more.

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by Joe Cosentino


In Drama Christmas, hunky and hilarious armchair sleuth Professor of Play Directing Nicky Abbondanza (Bob Cratchit), his handsome husband Associate Professor of Acting Noah Oliver (Nephew Freddy), their son Taavi (Tiny Tim), best friends Department Chair Martin Anderson (Scrooge/Carol), Ruben Markinson (Marley/Ghost of the Lover of the Past), and Martin’s sassy office assistant Shayla Johnson (Housekeeper) star in a musical version of Scrooge’s A Christmas Carol at Treemeadow College, entitled Call Me Carol! The show proves that every Christmas needs a good Carol. Nicky’s favorite target, Detective Manuello (Ghost of the Lover of the Present) and Nicky and Noah’s both sets of wacky parents, are along for the bumpy ride.

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by Steven Sanchez



We’re in the 21st century and still we hear about hate crimes taking place. After all this time, there are even now people out in the world committing acts of racism, discrimination, Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, etc., and it seems like we never progress. It’s like the 50s and the 60s all over again.

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by Sharon Tucker


What I love about each holiday season is that each is unlike any other before. The celebrations themselves usually stay within certain parameters but including different people in the mix or going to a new place during the season adds verve and just might open our perceptions. This is true of reading holiday stories from a variety of authors’ points of view, and in Festive Mayhem: Ten Stories of Holiday Mystery, Crime and Suspense (2020), Carolyn Marie Wilkins has collected works that celebrate diversity.

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by Steven Sanchez



The year 2020 has undoubtedly been a rough one for everybody. I don’t need to make a list of what has transpired during the last few months that hasn’t already been talked about, and thrown in our faces every day. It’s been quite an adjustment for all the people who have had to cope with just existing in this first year of the new decade. Some have found a way to thrive; some, unfortunately, have had a tough time. There are those who are just taking it day by day, and taking the good with the bad. For Valley resident and Olympic BMX rider, Brooke Crain, this year has been one heck of a ride.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham
& Joe Cosentino


When asked to review The Player I was immediately intrigued by the premise and said yes, and boy am I glad that I did. The Player is actually two separate cozy mysteries together, The City House and The Country House. They feature music teacher Andre Beaufort and playboy ghost Freddy Birtswistle.

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by Martha Reed



One of the great joys of writing a new mystery series is meeting the unknown cast of characters being introduced into this freshly imagined world. A reader can rely on a certain amount of trust that the author will offer insights into the human condition in addition to creating characters that are interesting enough to follow for 300 pages. An author doesn’t have that initial luxury; we operate on blind faith knowing we can put a final polish on a character through editing.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


As the arts community continues to look for creative ways to share their talents in a Covid world, many theatre companies are turning more and more to streaming shows. This includes the performing arts department at the College of the Sequoias which will be posting a show called Looking Ahead, Our Eyes Wide Open, on November 1. We chatted with Chris Mangels, Professor of Theatre and Cinema at College of the Sequoias, to learn more.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


A Body to Dye For is the first book in Grant Michaels’ Stan Kraychik mystery series. This book was originally published in 1990 and last year was republished by ReQueered Tales as part of their efforts to preserve gay and lesbian fiction. This book was nominated as the Best Gay Mystery at the 3rd annual Lambda Literary Awards in 1991. Sadly, Grant is no longer with us, but his wonderful stories live on.

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by Alexander Inglis


It’s not every day that you wake up one morning and say: “Why don’t I start a mystery publishing house?” It was almost like that with ReQueered Tales, an indie publisher of LGBTQ fiction started in the early spring of 2019. Three online friends – we’ve still never met in person – chatting in a Facebook gay mystery group were bemoaning the number of gay mystery novels that had slipped out of print. After some due diligence, ReQueered Tales was born.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


Pauper and Prince in Harlem is the fourth book in the Ross Agency series. It features private detective SJ Rook, known by most as just Rook. He works for Norment Ross and his daughter Sabrina. Rook is also dating Sabrina, or Brina as he calls her.

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by Joe Cosentino


“You gotta work it!” Don’t you just love a fashion show? The anticipation in the air, flashing lights, pounding music, enticing runway, gorgeous models, captivating clothes, and revealing costume malfunctions. I find runway shows mesmerizing. So I couldn’t resist setting the tenth novel in my popular Nicky and Noah mystery series during a fashion show.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


During Pride, we are featuring some local members of the LGBTQ+ arts community. This week we chatted with transgender designer Erin Rana from Fresno who is also involved in local theatre.

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Gay Mystery Podcast

IN THE June 27 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andPodcasts,
andTales of Diversity
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham


As we continue to feature other mystery podcasts, Pride month seemed like the perfect time to chat with Brad Shreve about his podcast, Gay Mystery Podcast. Earlier this month we reviewed Brad’s first mystery novel, A Body in a Bath House..

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