This year, Uptown Players got to do something they haven’t done since their first season: Open a late-autumn production. Since it was close to the Christmas holiday, they chose a (kinda) religious-themed play to inaugurate their new time-slot: Paul Rudnick’s sassy The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. A riff on the right-winger mantra of “The Bible speaks about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” Rudnick goes ahead and makes it about Adam and Steve (and their lesbian counterparts, Jane and Mabel … instead of Cain and Abel). Adam and Steve are mostly naked for the first 15 minutes or so.
Let’s face it: This is provocative stuff for the Bible Belt. Co-founder Craig Lynch even acknowledged that some gay theatergoers may not appreciate a satire of the Old Testament. Then again, isn’t pushing boundaries what theater is supposed to do sometimes?
Apparently, not everyone agrees. Lynch informs me that as of the start of this week, the company had already received 800 protest emails, though he attributed the vast majority of them to a robo-email program sponsored by a right wing religious organization. One patron even called and offered to buy out every seat for the entire run with the intent not to use the seats, to prevent any audience for the gay-themed play.
Similar protests have been logged in Oklahoma City and Austin, with varying degrees of success. One Catholic group has even called for a “Rosary of Reparation” on Sunday, to protest the show at the Kalita Humphreys.
Call me naive, but inviting hundreds of your followers to show up at a theater is a great way to give a troupe free publicity — which, I admit, is what I’m doing as well.
Of course, peaceful protests and disagreements are one thing; intimidation, violence and threats are another. So far, The Most Fabulous Story Even Told — which opens tonight, and runs until Dec. 15 — seems to have avoided any scary-level protests. I expect it will stay that way. After all, doesn’t the Bible say something about turning the other cheek? A good Christian should know about that.
For the second year, the Chinese Lantern Festival lights up acres of space at Fair Park with new features, including an acrobat show.
One of the highlights among this year’s displays is a replica of the White Pagoda built in 1204 in Yunnan Province. The nine spires stand up to 52 feet tall, about the same height as the original, and is made of 68,000 porcelain plates, cups, bowls and spoons hand-tied together.
Other features include a floating dragon boat that reflects in the lagoon, a multi-story castle and gardens of mushrooms, tulips and bamboo-eating pandas.
Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park. Dec. 5–Jan 5. 5:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Adults $22, children 4-12 $14. Parking $15 or take the Green Line to Fair Park Station.
When Dallas’ newly designed Arts District went officially online four years ago, it promised to be a kind of clearinghouse for the arts community, a place where patrons could congregate to see opera, music, theater and dance in one place. Well, that promise has come to fruition in an inventive way.
Early this morning, Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the D-PASS, the Dallas Performing Arts Subscription Series, which unites seven Dallas arts organizations in an effort to expand the performing arts in the area. Starting with a three-show package at $75, and increasing in $25 increments to all seven shows, the D-PASS allows you to decide which shows you want to see and get them for a flat rate (fees are included). “These packages are a creative way to share great performances with new audiences,” the mayor said.
The package, which will be available now through Jan. 15, allows you to choose any combination of the following shows (three as a minimum).
Dallas Opera — The Barber of Seville.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra — Bernadette Peters in concert.
Dallas Theater Center — Fortress of Solitude.
Dallas Summer Musicals — Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
In an announcement that surprised precisely no one, British Olympic diver Tom Daley has come out.
This is sort of like how, for a while, I referred to Emmy-winning actor Jim Parsons or CNN hunk Anderson Cooper, or Oscar-winner Jodie Foster as gay, even though they hadn’t officially come out. But, c’mon — they weren’t foolin’ anyone. (Neither are you, Kevin Spacey!)
Daley, who medaled at the London Games last year, has been a hunky little twink on YouTube for a while now; about two years ago, I blogged about his homoerotic beach video set to LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” From then, it was pretty clear no straight guy would post this on the Web.
In a five-minute video posted on YouTube overnight, Daley officially came out as gay while announcing being in a relationship with another man since spring. And best of all: His next stop is Texas! (He’s headed to Houston for a training camp through Christmas.) It’s a sweet video, which you can watch after the jump. But to Tom, we want to say: Welcome to the party! Your toaster oven is on its way.
You won’t find a class that analyzes RuPaul’s influence on culture at Bob Jones University, but head over to Occidental College, and you will.
The liberal arts institution in Los Angeles is offering a new course in the spring called “Reading RuPaul: Camp Culture, Gender Insubordination, and the Politics of Performance.” The class will study the LOGO television series from a gay and feminist perspective.
The course description notes:
While RuPaul’s show brings the art of drag performance and gay subculture issues to a wide audience, the course will consider how it addresses the history of drag and U.S. gay culture, as well as a broad range of issues such as transgender identity, HIV/AIDS, bullying and violence, racial identity, gender identity, body size, and LGBT political activism.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6 is months away, but you can see a short trailer here:
Bob Harper, from the reality weight loss competition show The Biggest Loser, came out to help a contestant who was struggling with his own sexuality. The Huffington Post reported 48-year-old Harper came out Tuesday.
Contestant Bobby Saleem Saleem came out as gay on the show, but struggled to break the news of his sexuality to his father. To help encourage Saleem to come out to his dad, Harper decided to share his own story.
“I haven’t talked about my sexuality on this show ever,” Harper said. “And now, meeting Bobby, I really do believe this is the right time. I want to show Bobby that he doesn’t have to live in shame.”
So, Harper sat down with Saleem on camera and publicly came out for the first time.
“I’m gay. I knew I very long time ago that I was gay,” the Tennessee native said. “When I came out — when I was 17 years old — it was one of those things where I realized that there was going to be so many obstacles, but being gay doesn’t mean being weak. And being gay doesn’t mean that you are less than anybody else. It’s just who you are.”
The really unmissible film to see over the Thanksgiving weekend is certainly Philomena. It has everything: Old people (especially an enchanting Judi Dench) for mom and dad; a gay subplot for you; humor, tears and the structure of a detective novel. And it’s all thanks to Steve Coogan.
Coogan is a familiar face whose name you probably don’t know, appearing, as he says, “as Part No. 4 in someone else’s movie.” But the British comedian has also written some funny stuff, including The Trip, which you should check out if you haven’t already.
Coogan co-wrote and co-stars in Philomena, and sat down with us when he was in Dallas earlier this month to talk about how he discovered the true story of BBC reporter Martin Sixsmith and his travels in helping an elderly Irish woman (Dench) find the son she gave up for adoption.
Dallas Voice: How did you find this story? Steve Coogan: I was just treading water [in my acting career], so I was looking for a project that was different for me — and outside comedy, because I wanted to do more nuanced stuff. No one was giving me a break, so I decided to create a break for myself. [I happened upon a magazine article about Philomena], and I thought I could turn it into some kind of drama.
You play Martin, a disgraced BBC reporter who’s quite cynical when he agrees to take on this “human interest profile” and gets transformed by Philomena in unexpected ways. Did you understand him? Yes. They say write what you know about, and I felt a connection to Martin — a liberal intellectual – but I also knew who Philomena was: A working class Irish woman. And her story could have happened to anyone. And I liked the idea of showing that older people were once young people. There were lots of reasons I felt connected to it.