WATCH: Dwayne Johnson’s hilariously homoerotic sketch on ‘SNL’

Posted on 29 Mar 2015 at 3:51pm

This is hilarious.

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BREAKING: TITAS unveils 2015-16 season

Posted on 27 Mar 2015 at 8:01pm

Tharp Twyla by Richard Avedon

Nine Dallas debuts, including two world premieres, distinguish the 2015–16 season of TITAS, the gay-run organization that presents innovative and international dance troupes to North Texas.

The 11-show season, including TITAS’ annual Command Performance Gala, includes the very sexy BalletBoyz, the return of Complexions Contemporary Ballet (founded by Alvin Ailey alums Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden) and the world premiere 50th anniversary tour of Twlya Tharp Dance.

Although it has in recent years moved toward an emphasis of dance over music, this is TITAS’ first-ever season without any music acts presented.

Twyla Tharp Dance‘s tour kicks off the season with two shows (Sept. 18–19) at the Winspear Opera House. That will be followed by the world premiere of the avant garde urban funk of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Oct. 29–30, at the City Performance Hall.

Herve Koubi:Ce-que-le-jour

The next seven shows are all TITAS debuts:

• British-based Akram Khan Dance Company performs two shows at the City Performance Hall, Nov. 6–7.

BodyTraffic, which in three years has risen in international acclaim. Winspear Opera House, Jan. 22, 2016.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will be presented in coordination with the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Winspear Opera House, Feb. 5.

BalletBoyz combine an all-male cast with muscularity and grace. Winspear Opera House, Feb. 13, 2016.

Akram Khan

Mr. & Mme. Reve, the France-based performance-art troupe that creates dreamlike imagery through movement. City Performance Hall, March 18–19, 2016.

• La Compagnie Herve Koubi Dance. Reve is immediately followed by another French company for two shows, which TITAS executive director Charles Santos calls “surprising and fiercely masculine.” City Performance Hall, March 25–26.

• Canada’s Kidd Pivot Dance Company continues the French-language triumvirate at CPH for two shows, April 21–22, 2016.

• TITAS’ Command Performance Gala annually revives works from some of TITAS’ favorite companies and artists. Winspear Opera House, May 7, 2016.

• The season concludes with a favorite, Complexions Contemporary Ballet at the Winspear, May 21, 2016.

All performances except the gala begin at 10 p.m. Tickets are available at ATTPAC.org.

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Cocktail Friday: Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Posted on 27 Mar 2015 at 12:41pm

IMG_0221At the DIFFA gala a few weeks ago, Celebrity Cruises had a booth where they were serving a sassy little cocktail of their own making. The coolest thing about it? The addition of actual rose petals to the concoction. My friend asked, “Are they edible?” The bartender paused. “Uhh … sure, why not?” Well, we didn’t eat them. But the cocktail was fun nonetheless.

2 oz. Ketel One vodka

2 oz. brut champagne

1/2 oz. Rose’s syrup

Fresh lime juice.

Making it: Combine in a flute over ice, and garnish with rose petals.

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Judas Priest tickets on sale tomorrow

Posted on 26 Mar 2015 at 12:46pm

Judas Priest, the classic heavy metal band led by openly gay leatherman Rob Halford, will be returning to North Texas for a concert at Verizon Theatre on July 13. Tickets go on sale Friday starting at 10 a.m. Buy yours at AXS.com or by calling 888-929-7849.

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You’ll never guess what happened 40 years ago today in Dallas

Posted on 26 Mar 2015 at 8:18am

A scene from the film JawsToday is, for me, a significant anniversary. And most people don’t even know about it.

In the summer of 1975, a young filmmaker, directing just his second feature film, transformed the way we consume movies, but launching the summer blockbuster. Until then, studios just released films as they were available, sometimes waiting for the end of the year for their “prestige” pictures, but the idea of bubble-gum movies aimed at wide audiences out of school hadn’t taken hold until Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. It was the first film to gross $100 million on its initial release, and revolutionized Hollywood.

Of course, that was in the summer. So why is March 26 important? Because the very first preview screening of a rough cut of Jaws took place, in of all places, at the UA Cine cinemas (now torn down, they were near where Mockingbird Station is now) on March 26, 1975 — exactly 40 years ago today.

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BREAKING: HBO cancels ‘Looking’

Posted on 25 Mar 2015 at 10:29am

looking15_10[1]UPDATE: In an official statement, HBO confirmed the cancellation, adding, “HBO will present the final chapter of their journey as a special, We look forward to sharing this adventure with the show['s] loyal fans.

Looking, the controversial but low-rated series about gay men in San Francisco, has not been renewed for a third season, writer Kevin Sessums and star Jonathan Groff have confirmed. Groff, however, is promising a follow-up movie, according to NewNowNext. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise; HBO, which airs the series, typically announces next-season renewals early on, to convince viewers of their commitment to a show. The second-season finale of Looking aired Sunday.

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Thought of the day

Posted on 25 Mar 2015 at 10:01am
CruzMunster

Canadian born Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz and Doppelganger

One of these two creatures is a foreign-born ghoul who sucks the life out of his victims in order to further his deranged, evil ends of self-aggrandizement and tyranny. The other is actor Al Lewis.

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CD REVIEW: Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’

Posted on 25 Mar 2015 at 9:07am

HMO033015MADONNALike a virgin, Madonna is pure again. Cleansed of the unbecoming trend grabs that marred the icon’s erratic predecessors — namely the sinfully juvenile Hard Candy, and then MDNA, better but still pastiche — our Blessed Goddess steps back into her ray of light and applies a new shine to an old sound.

For once, Madonna doesn’t keep nostalgia at bay. In fact, during Rebel Heart, her most sophisticated release since 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, she keeps wistfulness close by. The result is tangled, tortured but shockingly authentic, as she basks in all the heyday glory that earned the Michigan dreamer her seat and, eventually, a crown. Whatever life’s done to Madonna lately — the kids are growing up; Madonna’s growing up — she and Rebel Heart are better for it.

Witnessing the 56-year-old in self-reflection mode, à la Ray of Light and American Life, is refreshing, and also, despite Madonna’s refusal to actually age, befitting. She holds your hand during the perseverance paean “Ghosttown,” a surging mid-tempo with a melancholic narrative reminiscent of “This Used to Be My Playground.” The world hurts, Madonna muses, but love heals. The song is a pillar of hope, a theme recycled during the uplifting “Hold Tight;” like a hug as she reluctantly sends her children out into this “mad world,” Mother Madonna is reassuring — hold tight; everything’s gonna be all right — over a sonic spill of rumbling drums and electronic fuzz. Harnessing an organic energy that’s been noticeably lacking from the fabricated Pharrell-produced pop confections of her most recent efforts, Rebel Heart gets into the groove by recapturing the rawness heard particularly on the under-appreciated American Life. “Body Shop” encapsulates that quality best, the sexy innuendo taking a backseat to the very modest, Indian-influenced folk vibe. Her voice wispy and mesmeric, Madonna sounds like she’s leading a yin yoga retreat.

Less effective are Madonna’s unabashed attempts at relevancy, when the sexual provocateur essentially parodies her own cone-wearing self on “Holy Water,” an exercise in excess. Have all the sex you want, Madonna. And by all means, make that pole your bitch. But album-audible moaning? Equating your bits to a Baptismal liquid? Love you, lady, but this just might be a good time to retire the fornication-fueled religious allegories.

The even weaker, slinky bedroom-bumper “S.E.X” doesn’t even bother with thinly veiled metaphors (at one point she randomly drops “raw meat” like an afterthought) as she promises to “take you to a place you will not forget,” but then she doesn’t. And poof. Gone.

Most memorable about Rebel Heart is Madonna as a messenger of love, unity and peace — the sorcerer down in the deep, as she puts it on the deluxe edition’s penultimate powerhouse “Messiah.” There’s an ease about Madonna during these moments of musing, where she looks inward and sends her light outward, and the crown, though briefly, comes off. The ego is disbanded. For once, whether we like it or not, the icon, the diva, the high priestess of pop — she’s real. I can’t be a superhero right now / Even hearts made of steel can break down, she laments on “Joan of Arc,” a surprisingly direct acknowledgement of facets that have, particularly as of late, evaded the star’s essence: sensitivity, candor and sincerity.

It all comes full circle with the title track “Rebel Heart,” the closer. A blast from the past, a content Madonna recounts the trail she blazed for herself — and, obviously, others — through fierce determination and, you know (and she knows), by being a “narcissist.” Madonna’s Rebel Heart album is the nearly lifetime-long result of broken boundaries and bravado … and, for the first time in 10 years, it’s beating stronger than ever.

 — Chris Azzopardi

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Ricky Martin: The gay interview

Posted on 24 Mar 2015 at 8:23am

Ricky2

He won’t make it to Dallas with his tour until Oct. 4, so until then Ricky Martin tides us over with shirtless selfies, his love life and being a gay dad. Chris Azzopardi reports.

A single tweet changed Ricky Martin’s life … and then it changed the world.

When the internationally famed Puerto Rican heartthrob came out in 2010, declaring himself on Twitter “a fortunate homosexual man” who’s “very blessed to be who I am,” Martin (now 43), stepped out of the closet and into himself. Reflecting the free life he’s currently basking in are the raw sounds and personal soliloquies on the singer’s 10th studio album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar (To Whomever Wants to Listen).

In conversation, Martin is notably laid-back, sincere and personal as he opens up about how his six-year-long relationship with Carlos Gonzalez Abella inspired his latest music (“I love being in love”), what he’s really trying to convey with all his shirtless selfies and the “powerful” coming out stories the LGBT community shares with him. And whether he’s ruminating on his two sons or anticipating shaking his bon-bon with more male dancers onstage, his smile radiates even on the phone. This is a new, happier Ricky Martin … and yes, we’re listening.

— Chris Azzopardi

Dallas Voice: On behalf of the gay community, thank you for all you do. The world is a better place because of your shirtless selfies.  Ricky Martin: [Laughs] Oh, man — thank you very much. I laugh so much at the reaction of the people; it’s so funny. It really is amazing.

I get a kick out of it, too. Are you more comfortable without clothes? Or do you feel it’s just your responsibility as a celebrated sex symbol?  I just want to let people know how normal my life is, and I try to do it with a simple picture — that’s what Instagram is about. So the other day I was laying in the sun and I was like, “Hey everyone, I’m here. I’m in a good place.” You know, I’m a little bit obsessed with social media, to be honest. That’s the first thing I do in the morning. I check out my Twitter, my HeyHey account, Facebook and Instagram, and I read what people have to say and what they need from me as an artist. It’s fun, man.

You’ve always been a sex symbol, but how does it feel being a sex symbol for a community of gay men who know you’re playing on their team? Is it different when there’s that mutual attraction?  Listen, for me, it’s about liberty and it’s about being you — me, in this case — and living life with transparency and just being. It’s so amazing to know that you have nothing to hide, man. What you see is what you get. And this is me. And I don’t wear a mask to go onstage, and the support that I’ve received from my community since I came out has been amazing. It’s one of those things that [makes] you say, “Oh my god, why didn’t I do this before?” But then again, Chris, you know how it goes — everybody accepts who they are at their own time. When I sent that tweet a few years ago just letting people know that I am gay it was the most amazing day of my life after the birth of my kids. And it is what it is. Now my life is simple and honest and transparent, and this is me. And that’s what my social media’s about: being yourself.

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‘Simply Sondheim’ honors composer’s bday with cabaret performers

Posted on 23 Mar 2015 at 4:08pm
Sondheim and Arnold Jones 1

Sondheim and me

Stephen Sondheim’s 85th birthday was Sunday, and even though he recently hated on Lady Gaga’s Oscar performance (and smirked a bit when I met him, pictured), we still love the man who gave up “Tonight,” “Finishing the Hat,” “Being Alive,” “Children Will Listen” and “The Worst Pies in London,” among other classics of Broadway. (To honor the composer, Front Line Productions is staging Simply Sondheim at the Kitchen Cafe on Wednesday. Cabaret performers including Diana Sheehan, Jennifer Kuenzer, Jay Gardner and more will sing under the direction of James McQuillen.

Kitchen Cafe, 17370 Preston Road. 7:30 p.m. $15.

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