Queer Town: Swimsuit Models and the Engaged Chorus Boy
Before the party crowd showed up at 717 Olympic—the new luxury apartment high rise on Olympic Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles near Staples Center—Dan Glenn and Rob Bartusch walked over to the poolside bar and asked for a couple of stiff drinks. They were the swimsuit models for the evening, and Glenn, a handsome and muscular guy, was feeling somewhat self-conscious.
“I’m walking around a bunch of people I don’t know in a very tight swimsuit,” said Glenn, an actor who lives in Hollywood, “so, yeah, I’m a little nervous.”
Rob Bartusch, left, prepares to meet his audience with fellow model Dan Glenn.
Bartusch, who was also handsome but less pumped up than Glenn, wore an even tighter swimsuit. He wasn’t as unnerved, but ordered a Pomegranate Cosmo anyway.
“It’s like an acting job,” said Bartusch, a Master of Fine Arts student at the University of Las Vegas, who’s spending the summer in Los Angeles. “You play the role of someone who’s wearing a swimsuit at a big party.”
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The models and their admirers enjoy small talk near the pool.
The host of the “big party” was Frontiers, the gay bi-weekly magazine, which was launching its new swimsuit issue that featured cast members from the national tour of the musical A Chorus Line. They also wore tight swimsuits, and now the actors were back at 717 Olympic, where the photo shoot took place.
“They picked us up in a car, drove us over here, and took our picture,” said John Carroll, who plays Larry the Assistant in A Chorus Line. “It was really a lot of fun.”
Carroll, fully clothed, stood in the bedroom of a showcase apartment on the 20th floor. Music blared from a stereo and mostly gay men walked in and out of the room as Carroll held an empty glass. He moved with the touring company to Los Angeles five weeks ago, right around the time when same sex marriage was legalized in California.
John Carroll, a New York City actor, spends a night off from "A Chorus Line" in downtown LA.
“It’s absolutely crazy,” said Carroll, who’s openly gay, “the fact that we were here for all of that. I’m also glad New York will recognize out-of-state gay marriages.”
Carroll was now engaged to his boyfriend, and they lived in New York City. There was no rush to set a wedding date.
“I don’t feel the constraints of the heterosexual path when it comes to marriage,” said the actor. “We can take our time, do our thing, and then get married when the time is right.”
Carroll had another four and a half months on the road until he would get back to his fiancé.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.