Cocktail Friday: Smoke & Sophistication

Posted on 04 Sep 2015 at 1:53pm

CViche©Marple_98It’s Labor Day Weekend, the last gasp of summer. So how about trying something to soothe your life, courtesy of the folks at C’Viche down on Greenville Avenue? They know something about tequila there, and the one they came up with is called Smoke and Sophistication. (“Sip slowly, but deliberately,” they recommend.)

1 oz. Bruxton Espadin Mezcal

1 oz. Aperol

1 oz. sweet vermouth

Making it: Pour the mescal, Aperol and vermouth over ice in a rocks glass. Stir with a spoon approximately 30 seconds. Zest an orange peel and twist into the drink.


Best Bets 09-04-15

Posted on 03 Sep 2015 at 12:05pm

Friday 09.04 — Sunday 09.06


Dallas DanceFest kicks off promising season of movement in North Texas

The Metroplex is blessed with tons of dance troupes and presenting companies that offer an exquisite array of options — Twyla Tharp is just around the corner — and it unofficially launches this weekend. Not only will Texas Ballet Theater debut Liszt’s Dracula, the third annual Dallas DanceFest begins a three-day celebration with a host of performances at the City Performance Hall.  It’s a smorgasbord of movement!

City Performance Hall,
2520 Flora St. Sept. 4–4.
For full schedule and
ticket information, visit


Beebo is back — and campy as ever!

Two months ago the campy lesbian underground comedy The Beebo Brinker Chronicles — a tribute to the gay pulp fiction of the 1950s and ’60s— made a quiet splash at Pocket Sandwich … but big enough that it has returned. There are two late-night performances this weekend, and it’ll return again in two weeks …. just in time for Pride Weekend!

Pocket Sandwich Theatre,
5400 E. Mockingbird Lane
Sept. 4–5, 18–19, at 10:45 p.m.


Leslie Jordan hosts an intimate evening of storytelling

Emmy-winning actor Leslie Jordan has been an icon in the gay community for decades, famed for his roles on Will & Grace and in Del Shores plays and films, but also for his many Dallas appearances. He’s back again this weekend for an intimate evening of storytelling at The Brick. And if you think you’ve heard everything … well with Leslie there’s always more to surprise and delight.

The Birck
2525 Wycliff Ave.
9 p.m. $20

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 4, 2015.


22 films to put on your radar this awards season

Posted on 03 Sep 2015 at 8:03am

Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne as trans woman Lili Elbe in ‘The Danish Girl.’

In Friday’s edition, you can read our interview with Grandma star Lily Tomlin, who gives a dynamic, Oscar-worthy turn as an outspoken lesbian helping her granddaughter get an abortion. It got us thinking: Fall is when the award-caliber movies start to roll out, so what else out there is likely to be on deck for Oscar consideration? Here’s a roundup of 22 films, from now until the end of the year, that show the most promise to be critical darlings … or appeal to LGBT audiences.

Stonewall (Sept. 25). Gay director Roland Emmerich’s (fictionalized) portrayal of the events leading up to the modern gay rights movement.

The Martian (Oct. 2). Matt Damon in the film adaptation of this fan-favorite novel about a human abandoned on Mars.

Freeheld (Oct. 2). Julianne Moore, the most recent Oscar winner for best actress, teams with out actress Ellen Page in this true story about a lesbian couple’s fight to have their relationship recognized.

Steve Jobs (Oct. 9). Oscar winner Danny Boyle’s biopic, with Michael Fassbender as the tech genius.

The Walk (Oct. 9). Robert Zemeckis’ dizzying true story about a French daredevil who walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers. Based on the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire.

Bridge of Spies (Oct. 16). Spielberg. Hanks. Espionage.

Burnt (Oct. 23). Foodies will likely flock to see Bradley Cooper as a chef driven to success.

Suffragette (Oct. 23 — limited). Portrait of the early feminist movement in England, with Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep as Mrs. Pankhurst.

Our Brand is Crisis (Oct. 30). Sandra Bullock stars in this satire of the publicity industry.

Spectre (Nov. 6). Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in the latest 007 adventure from gay writer John Logan.

Trumbo (Nov. 6). Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston plays the most famous blacklisted writer from Hollywood’s Communist witch hunts.

Spotlight (Nov. 6). Journalists investigate allegations of priest sexual abuse in the Boston archdiocese.

The Secrets in Their Eyes (Nov. 20). English-language adaption of the Oscar-winning foreign-language film about cops obsessed with bringing a killer to justice.

Creed (Nov. 25). Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, teaming with his dad’s rival and friend Rocky Balboa (Stallone).

The Danish Girl (Nov. 25 — limited). Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne plays transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in Tom Hooper’s much-anticipated new film.

Macbeth (Dec. 4). Fassbender again, as Shakespeare’s craven king.

In the Heart of the Sea (Dec. 11). Ron Howard directed Chris Hemsworth in this seafaring epic about a ship terrorized by a huge whale.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec. 18). Come on.

Joy (Dec. 25). David O. Russell’s story about a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who becomes a captain of industry against the odds.

Snowden (Dec. 25). Oliver Stone tackles politics once again, showing us a portrait of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who revealed the world’s secrets to gay journalists Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo).

The Hateful Eight (Dec. 25 — limited). Quentin Tarantino’s new Western, with Channing Tatum.

The Revenant (Dec. 25 — limited). Leonardo DiCarprio stars in another Western from newly-minted Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman).


Carly Rae Jepsen: The gay interview

Posted on 02 Sep 2015 at 11:27am

CarlyRae4Carly Rae Jepsen is calling — and no, not maybe.

This is a real-life phone date (pegged, of course, to the release of her latest synth-pop concoction, E•MO•TION) wherein the 29-year-old is bubbly over, well, just about everything: Her career. The gays. Marriage equality. Being “the little mermaid.” And that time Justin Bieber changed her life.

Dallas Voice: Growing up in Mission, British Columbia, what was your introduction to the gay community?  Jepsen: In Canada, I had tons of friends who I grew up with who are gay or lesbian. I had one friend in particular, and I saw just how hard it was for him when his family found out he was gay — they shunned him, actually. He thought he was gonna have to make it on his own and move out — it was heartbreaking for all of us. We didn’t really understand it, and that’s probably when I began to really get angry about the pain that was caused for what I thought was no reason. Moving to the U.S. and seeing how big of an issue it is made me to want to help and bring awareness to the subject.

As a steadfast ally, that’s exactly what you’ve done. Though the group has since adjusted its policies on both fronts, you famously canceled a Boy Scouts of America gig due to the fact that gay members and leaders could not work and volunteer.  You know what, I’ve had a couple “I think I’m gonna tell my kids about this” moments. When we got marriage equality and there was a celebration for that in New York City [hosted by Freedom to Marry on July 9], it was an honor to be a part of that.

I can’t explain it. There are some performances that you do and you’re like, “That was cool, that was fun.” That one was different fun. It was so memorable and an incredible thing to be a part of. The band and I had a moment backstage where we all kind of were like, “Wow, this is really cool. This is a different kind of cool, to be a part of this.”


Dallas Opera seeks athletic dancers for world premiere of ‘Great Scott’

Posted on 02 Sep 2015 at 7:47am

ThinkstockPhotos-485293865In October, the Dallas Opera will unveil its latest world premiere, Great Scott, from out composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally. The opera, set in Texas, revolved around a football team, and the creatives at the DO are in need of some men who can dance and look athletic at the same time. “For the four male dancers, The Dallas Opera is seeking candidates with strength, athleticism and the ability to convey a well-defined stage character.” Performers selected will be compensated for rehearsal time, and receive a performance fee. And they even get to appear onstage along with acclaimed mezzo Joyce DiDonato.

To schedule an audition (which will take place at the opera’s facility at Fair Park on Sunday, Sept. 27, from 2–5:30 p.m.), email your resume to


Exclusive: Burgers & Burgundy chef lineup

Posted on 01 Sep 2015 at 10:27am

Grace's Blaine StanifordBurgers & Burgundy, the chef-driven fundraiser for DIFFA, returns on Oct. 2 to the same Preston Hollow estate where it has been for the past two years. And once again, the lineup of local and national celebrichefs. In addition to organizing chef John Tesar (Knife, Oak, El Bolero), among those area chefs coming up with creative takes on the traditional sandwich will be:  Blaine Staniford (Fort Worth’s Grace, pictured at last year’s event); Matt McCallister (FT33); Tre Wilcox; Brian Luscher (The Grape, Luscher’s Red Hots); Jason Campbell (Whole Foods) and Kevin Williamson (Ranch 616). In addition, newcomers will be Joshua Smith (Maine’s Moody Delicatessen), Kris Morningstar (L.A.’s Terrine, who recently was part of another Knife fundraising dinner in Dallas), Justin Brunson (Denver’s Old Major).

Tickets range from $85 to $150, and benefit DIFFA.


Congrats to Craig Lynch and Phillip Hearne!

Posted on 31 Aug 2015 at 9:35am

Craig and PhillipThis has been quite a weekend for Craig Lynch, co-founder of Uptown Players. In addition to opening the company’s new show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, on Friday night, Lynch married his partner of 15 years, Phillip Hearne, on a small ceremony Sunday at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Lynch and Hearne were among the first to head down to the courthouse on June 26 to obtain a license; they had 90 days to wed, and took care of it in plenty of time. Congrats to you both!


Cocktail Friday: Tennessee Peach

Posted on 28 Aug 2015 at 1:57pm

PeachAugust is National Peach Month, and as any Southerner knows, peaches are the definitive fruit for mixing in a cocktail (Southern Comfort, anyone?). As there are still a few more days left in August, we decided to share a recipe, created for us by the folks at Del Frisco’s Grille: The Tennessee Peach.

1-1/2 oz. Jack Daniel’s whiskey

1-1/2 oz. honey lime mix (equal parts honey and fresh lime juice mixed until honey dissolves)

1-1/2 oz. peach puree (peeled peaches)

2 dashes Fee Bros. Peach Bitters

Making it: Combine all ingredients into a Boston shaker, shaking 10-15 times to fully blend the puree. Strain into a glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.


Back to school! 20 dreamy teachers in pop culture

Posted on 27 Aug 2015 at 6:42am

professorjonesIt’s back-to-school season, and you know what that means, kids: nine glorious months of academic angst pining for that dreamboat professor. But if you don’t have the pleasure of sizing up the hunks destined to steal your heart on campus this semester (because you’re way too old, like me), at least you have the next best thing: memories of those academic aces whose smarty pants you were dying to get into.

In tribute to your school-boy fantasies of yore (and to satisfy my own; this one’s for you, Mr. Harris!), I’ve compiled this list of entertainment’s hottest know-it-alls, plus one real-life model-turned-math teacher who’s causing gay boys around the world to break out the rulers. How do you measure up?

Will Schuester, GleeBetween sparring with ne’er-do-well cheerleading coach and glee-club-hater Sue Sylvester and lending a comforting ear to members of William McKinley High’s New Directions, it’s a wonder Mr. Schu had any time for a personal life. But by the end of the show’s run, he was married to his “high school sweetheart” Emma Pillsbury, raising son Daniel, and occasionally showing us why he’s still the only J. Crew-clad principal in Ohio who we’d let tickle our ivories.

Prof. Henry Jones Jr., Indiana Jones and the Last CrusadeThat suit. Those glasses. That whip! You’d only have to tell us to shut up and sit down once, Mr. Jones.

Eric Taylor, Friday Night LightsFirm-but-fair Coach Taylor is known ‘round East Dillon High as a “molder of men” — and it’s easy to see why: With his quarterback frame and sexy southern drawl, we too would fall in line at the drop of a ball. Time to hit the showers!

Dan Dunne, Half Nelson. Sure, he has a nasty drug habit, but a stint in rehab would be worth it if those get-lost-in-me eyes were staring back at us in class every day.

Sam Coulson, Never Been KissedIn my world, it was called Kiss Me Everywhere Right Now, which spawned the NSFW sequel Get in My Bed, You Sexy Beast.

Ted Mosby, How I Met Your MotherMore like, How I Met Your Naked Body in the Teacher’s Lounge One Day and We Never Told Anybody About It — Not Even That Skank Who Stole You Away From Me.

Travis Manawa, Fear the Walking DeadMr. Manawa’s speech about man vs. nature in the context of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” will become much more relevant to his students in later eps of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, the much-anticipating spinoff series to The Walking Dead. But for now we’ll just savor the setup that he’s a good dude about to have his bickering blended family thrust into the zombie apocalypse — and keep our fingers crossed that he survives long enough to take his shirt off.

Ross Geller, FriendsThere was something sexy-saurus about NYU professor of paleontology Ross Geller. Even the dudes couldn’t hide their affection for him…  when grades were due, anyway.

Hank Moody, CalifornicationWhat happens when a can’t-say-no-to-temptation teacher is let loose on a college campus? Shenanigans, and David Duchovny’s bare butt in season three of this successful Showtime series.

Scott Delacorte, Bad TeacherJustin Timberlake plays a “yes man” with a penchant for dry humping. Take what ya can get, bros.

John Pressman, AdmissionI’d totally let Paul Rudd be the big spoon. Does anybody else find the older, wiser, love-handled Rudd totally turn-up-the-AC-in-here more attractive than during his skinny-mini Clueless days? Can’t just be me.

Ezra Fitz, Pretty Little LiarsNever trust a man who dates his 16-year-old students. Unless they look like Mr. Fitz. Hey, isn’t that what age-of-consent laws are for?

Colin Forrester, Gossip GirlThis walking Ralph Lauren ad never stood a chance with Serena with Lonely Boy in the picture. He should’ve offed him — if only to save us from seasons five and six.

Phil Wenneck, The HangoverMention of Phil being a teacher in The Hangover is so quick you might’ve missed it. But it’s safe to assume you’d be drunk in love if he were the head of your class.

Julian Parrish, HellcatsWhether he’s playing pre-law prof Parrish in the short-lived, Bring It On-esque CW series _Hellcats_ or devilishly handsome playboy Brian Kinney on Queer As Folk, we’d happily pull an all-nighter for Gale Harold.

PietroBoselliThe Professor, Gilligan’s IslandI mean, who else you gonna bang on that island?

Craig Robinson, Mr. RobinsonFunny guy Craig Robinson gets his comeuppance starring in this school/night club-set comedy that lets him show off his sharp wit, though that’s ultimately a little too dumbed-down to last very long.

Ronny McCarthy, The McCarthysAgainst his better judgment, Ronny accepts the assistant high school basketball coach job in Boston instead of a more exciting opportunity to spread his wings as a guidance counselor in Rhode Island. Sounds like the perfect slapstick situation for a gay character, don’t ya think? Neither did the rest of America; the McCarthys was cancelled earlier this year, despite a full season.

Jeremiah Lasky, Saved by the Bell: The College YearsMove over, Zack Morris. There’s a new looker on campus, and he’s after Kelly Kapowski’s pom-poms.

Pietro Boselli, World’s Hottest Math Teacher. Boselli, 27 (above), blew up on social media earlier this year when one of his University College London students posted a pic of him (and his Superman-like physique) to social media. As a result, he was outed as a sometimes model who specializes in computational fluid dynamics specifically as applied to the design of turbo machinery. Say what?! Either way, we’d be the a to his b+fyesplease any day. Up, up and away.


Your summer home movie screening party!

Posted on 26 Aug 2015 at 11:16am

Summer is almost (unofficially) over, and maybe you saw all the great movie blockbusters …or maybe you were too busy attending pool parties and booking overtime to take off during Pride.

So what about an outdoor screening party? It’s easier than you think. Sure, there are outdoor TVs that you can permanently install on your patio (pricey) or you can kick it old school with a professional projector and screen available at your local electronics retailer (Best Buy), or online at Amazon. But you can also skip the screen altogether and hang a white sheet on which to screen the movie, and in lieu of a projector you can turn your smartphone into a home cinema for as low as $1 using online resources.

And don’t forget the snacks —fresh-popped corn from a machine, and theater-style candy to nosh on. Your local convenient store will carry boxes of the good stuff for $1 or less, or you can stop by Costco or Sam’s and pick up bulk candy for as close to wholesale as you can get. Sharing is caring, after all.

And then, there’s the lineup. All of these movies are available for download, stream or on DVD. And all can help set the mood.

Jaws. There’s still something in the water — and it’s still scary as hell.

Wet Hot American Summer. Critically panned upon its release in 2001, it developed a cult following … so much so that Netflix debuted a prequel series based on the film last month. Plus, Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black bang, just in case you needed more convincing. (If you have Netflix, combine series and film in one!)

An American Summer. So few people have seen An American Summer, starring a very young Brian Austin Green and Michael Landes, that there’s no Wiki page or Rotten Tomatoes rating for it. But there are shirtless dudes, and beggars can’t be choosy.

Summer School. All you slackers out there will rejoice in (or resent?) reminiscing about your summer days spent in class. Though I doubt it went down anything like it did under Mr. Shoop’s watch.

Summer Rental. John Candy sure knew how to bring the laughs to a summer vacation. Even with the worst. Sunburn. Ever.

The Sandlot. There wasn’t a kid in the ’90s who didn’t want to be part of this team of baseball-playing misfits. Equally, we all had nightmares about “the Beast,” too.

I Know What You Did Last Summer. A worthy entry in the teen-slasher renaissance of the late 1990s, I Know What You Did Last Summer made us look at fishermen and Ryan Phillippe’s abs in a whole new light.

The Endless Summer. This seminal surf documentary put South Africa’s Cape St. Francis on the map, and subsequently earned a place in cinema history when the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

The Parent Trap. The Hayley Mills original, not the one with that little red-haired girl.

Dirty Dancing. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Except a shirtless and sweaty Patrick Swayze.

American Graffiti . This 1973 coming-of-age dramedy asks, “Where were you in ’62?” Hopefully having the summer of your life like this crew.

Stand By Me. Be honest: How long were you afraid of leeches after seeing this for the first time?

TheGooniesNational Lampoon’s Vacation. Clark: Can I do your back, honey? Ellen: I’ve already done my back. Clark: Could I do your front? Ellen: Go do your own front.

Do the Right Thing. Brooklyn was burning hot in the summer of 1989, and racial tensions were high. Spike Lee’s joint is just as relevant today as it was a quarter-century ago.

The Broken Hearts Club. The first gay film I saw, and it made me feel like there was place in the world for me. It also introduced me to “Meanwhile…” and the beauty that is Andrew Keegan.

Grease. Danny and Sandy go together with summer like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.

Back to the Future. This film mostly takes place in November 1955, but it was the biggest blockbuster of summer 1985. Today it’s a summer staple of free outdoor movie screenings in communities across the country.

The Goonies. Mikey and Bran were cute enough, but bad-boy Troy could get it.

Dazed and Confused. Especially for Texas! Frankly, it baffles me how much my pothead friends know about this stoner comedy starring a young Matthew McConaughey.

The Great Outdoors. Bats, bears and the Old 96’er (plus hilarious turns by John Candy and Dan Aykroyd) make this raucous-but-mixed-reviewed comedy deserving of a spot on this list.

American Pie 2. Though not as refreshing as its predecessor, at least we get some man-on-man make-out action in this still-comical sequel.

Friday the 13th. It was a warning to us all: Never mess with a momma’s boy.

Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. An entire summer without any parental supervision? My house probably would’ve been burned to the ground, but we’d have had a blast.

Weekend at Bernie’s. Basically me on the beach on a hungover Sunday. #Dead

Independence Day. Widely considered the best entry in the alien-invasion genre. It made Will Smith a movie star and Harry Connick Jr. a heartthrob.

— Mikey Rox