Pink Magnolia celebrates first birthday with rosy party

Posted on 30 Aug 2016 at 8:25am

6-Chef-Blythe-Beck-1Chef Blythe Beck loves her babies. Not human kids, no! Her babies. Like her lettuce babies, one of her signature apps. And of course her biggest baby is her Oak Cliff restaurant, Pink Magnolia. (We profiled the path to its opening in an award-winning piece published exactly a year ago.)

Well, the baby is about to have its first birthday (not anniversary!) and mamas Beck and Casie Caldwell are ready to celebrate with a pink explosion in September. This Saturday, Sept. 3, begins with a trip down the pink carpet for a brunchtime kid-friendly party with live music by Whiskey Sour, photos with the chef, face painting, a pick pony (!), cocktails and bites. A portion of the $35 adult cover ($10 for teens; free for 12 and under) will benefit Genesis Women’s Shelter.

Then on Sept. 20, Beck will share her Think Pink philosophy for a limited-seating “lunch and learn” event. (As with the b-day party, a portion of proceeds goes to Genesis.) You can secure your spot at both at PinkMagnoliaDallas.com/tickets.

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It’s not too late to book a trip to SoDec!

Posted on 29 Aug 2016 at 1:56pm

Ace-Hotel-New-Orleans_ Alto_Fran-Parente_2Southern Decadence — also known as Gay Mardi Gras — is New Orleans’ most flamboyant event … and that says a ton. Taking place in the Crescent City over the Labor Day weekend, it’s a sea of twinks and bears, drag queens and leathermen, dykes on bikes and hell on wheels.  Still, it truly has grown beyond its “weekend” status, and now begins this Wednesday. And it’s not too late to book a last-minute trip to revel in all the frolic. (I found airfare for about $200 round trip.)

This year’s event — its 45th — has the theme Decadence Takes the World, and the “colors” are ruby red, pearl white, blue sapphire and amethyst purple.

There are tons of things to do, but readers of Dallas Voice can get some special discounts if they book at the Ace Hotel, a 1928 art deco building located the crossroads of Carondelet and Lafayette streets in the Warehouse District. If you book here and use the code BLANCHE, you can get a discounted room rate, VIP access for two to shows at its Three Keys venue (which include a Queer Bounce and Hip Hop Night a drag double-header, a Black Decadence seance and more), plus two free drinks on the property.

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Dallas Voice cartoonist nominated for important award

Posted on 29 Aug 2016 at 10:05am

Harvey_strip_2_1

Movies have Oscar, theaters have Tony, even scifi writers have Hugo. But comic artists? Well, they have Harvey. The Harvey Awards have been around for about 10 years, and recognize artists, writers, letterers, colorists and all the folks who turn pencil drawings and ideas into works of art, political commentary, humor and more. There are 21 categories, like best syndicated strip or panel (nominees this year include Pearls Before Swine and Zippy the Pinhead),best artist (with Batman and Daredevil in the running) and best online comic (including Berke Breathed and Mark Stokes).

Wait a second… Berke Breathed, legendary Texan and creator of the recently revived Bloom County… is up against… Mark Stokes?

harvey-logo-nomineeStokes, as regular readers of Dallas Voice know, contributes regularly here with his Drawing Dallas Sketches, profiling ordinary North Texans in amazingly accurate caricatures. (He also designed the Ask Howard author logo.) But Mark also has an online comic strip called Zombie Boy (we wrote about his Kickstarter campaign a few years ago). And it’s his work there that has landed him a coveted slot as a finalist for this year’s Harvey Awards, which will be presented Saturday during Baltimore Comic-Con.

“Win or lose, just being nominated it a real honor,” Mark told me about the thrill of being in the running. “It’s a slightly unreal feeling — this [recognition] is something I’ve  wanted since I started creating comics back in the 1980s.”

We’re just excited to know one of our friends is getting a shout-out for work he’s done… then again, we’ve known about his talent for a long time. Fingers crossed, Mark!

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Cocktail Friday: Throw Shade

Posted on 26 Aug 2016 at 1:42pm

Throw Shade 1Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson, the hosts of the queerish podcast Throwing Shade, bring their live show to Dallas tonight (see our interview here), so we thought it would be nice to welcome these Texans back home with a cocktail named for what they do. Enjoy!

2 oz. Sailor Jerry Rum

Juice of half a lime

1.5 oz. simple syrup

8 mint leaves

Amber lager

Making it: Muddle the simple syrup and mint. Add rum and lime juice and shake over ice. Double strain into a beer mug (or pint glass) on the rocks. Top with the lager. Garnish with lime and mine.

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WATCH: Trailer for ‘Hurricane Bianca,’ shot partly in Dallas

Posted on 25 Aug 2016 at 10:20am

Screen shot 2016-08-25 at 10.15.48 AMDrag Racer Bianca Del Rio filmed her leading feature debut, Hurricane Bianca, last summer in Texas, with local boy Ash Christian (Fat Girls, Mangus!. Petunia) serving as the film’s producer. In it, Del Rio plays a straight-laced high school teacher fired for being gay who comes back stronger than ever in the guise of Bianca. Here’s a trailer for the film, which gets its world premiere next month in San Francisco.

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REVIEW: ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder’

Posted on 24 Aug 2016 at 2:07pm

GGLAM Tour 3In the 1940s and ’50s, Britain’s Ealing Studios dominated the landscape of sophisticated dark comedies. The Man in the White Suit, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Ladykillers all starred the great Alec Guinness as the deadpan anti-hero in outrageous adventures that were far to smart to just be labeled farces. One of Guinness’ best roles, though, was actually eight roles: All the family members (young/old, male/female, gentle/wicked) tapped as victims of a murderous social-climbing illegitimate heir to an hereditary earldom in the cultural commentary Kind Hearts and Coronets. A comedy about murder? It might not have been the first, but it remains one of the best, and gave Guinness a signature turn at creating multiple memorable characters with abandon. (In recent years, no one but Eddie Murphy has really tried to replicate that feat, or at least done so successfully.)

The 2014 Broadway musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder isn’t a carbon-copy of the Ealing film (the ending is different, and of course it’s a musical), but it’s just as withering in its dissection of the British classes… and it gives actor John Rapson free rein to horse around as all the members of the D’Ysquith family, soon to be knocked off my young, ambitious Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey), the disinherited black sheep of the D’Ysquiths who wants to become earl so he can marry his gold-digging girlfriend … even though he’s actually falling for his distant cousin.

This production, at the Winspear through Sunday, had the good sense to be as fluffy and delightful as cotton candy, with a stage-within-a-stage that adds a layer of artifice: It’s an old-style English music hall, a vaudeville of jaunty songs and colorful costumes and sets. (The show it most calls to mind for theater queens might be The Mystery of Edwin Drood.) Nevertheless, writer Robert L. Freedman sneaks in some saucy political commentary among the one-liners. It’s a fanciful and clever show, a bright respite from the summer heat.

At the Winspear through Aug. 28.

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‘Valley of the Dolls,’ ‘Priscilla’ and more movie mania this week

Posted on 24 Aug 2016 at 10:31am

ValleyOfDolls_originalIf you like movies, especially those with queer appeal, this is a great week to live in Dallas.

It starts tomorrow night at the Texas Theatre with a screening of 1967’s Valley of the Dolls, the inimitable camp classic about tragic Hollywood. It’s all part of Word Space‘s “behind the screen” season announcement, which includes the film, bites and cash bar. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the screening at 8:30 p.m.

Then it’s back to the Texas Theatre on Friday with Cine Wilde’s monthly LGBT movie night, this time with the joyously campy The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, about three drag queens traipsing around the Australian Outback.

Also on Friday is the inaugural Bengali Film Festival of Dallas, which takes place at the Angelika Plano. The first event focusing exclusively on films, filmmakers and topics relevant to Southeast India and Bangaldesh — a segment well-presented in North Texas — features three features and three shorts. Two of those (the opening-night short An Unknown Guest and the closing-day feature Bhool) deal with topics of interest to the LGBT community.

Back in April, in our preview of the USA Film Festival, we profiled gay writer/director Ira Sachs, whose feature Little Men was playing at the fest. Well, it took a while, but the film — about two boys initially forced into a friendship of convenience, who unite against their parents when the adults get involved in a legal tangle — finally is playing theatrically in Dallas, opening Friday at both Angelika Film Centers (Mockingbird Station and Plano). You can read my interview with Sachs here.

Also this week, last year’s revealing documentary Tab Hunter Confidential — a bio about the 1950s heartthrob, who stayed in the closet until his 70s — came out on video. I talked with Hunter at the 2015 USA Film Festival; you can read that interview here.

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4 scientific reasons you should laugh more in bed

Posted on 23 Aug 2016 at 10:34am

Fully Model and Property ReleasedThis may sound odd to you, but I love laughing during sex. No, I’m not laughing at my partner (well, maybe sometimes0; rather, we’re usually laughing together. Maybe we missed each other’s mouths while kissing in the dark, or perhaps a hand went someplace unexpected (but probably welcomed). I enjoy laughing in bed because I don’t take sex seriously. Sex should be fun and exciting and it should feel good. And, as it turns out, laughing can contribute to all those things that make doing the deed so great. In fact, it’s quite common … and healthy. Here are a few educated reasons why.

1. Laughing during sex makes couples feel safer. If you and your partner are laughing in the midst of the bump-and-grind, you’ve reached the ultimate relationship goal of being totally comfortable while you’re naked together. I don’t enjoy being guarded when I’m otherwise completely exposed, and I want my partner to be relaxed as possible too.

It stands to reason then, as a result of your superior senses of humor, a greater sense of security is established in the relationship — a positive byproduct of giggling at each other’s real-time sexual misfortune — according to licensed marriage and family therapist Lori Schade.

“When a couple can be playful and laugh together and it is accepted, the relationship feels safer, and then they feel safer to explore various options in their sexual relationship,” she says.

Which is just one more reason for your wall-to-wall neighbors to be envious.

2. It relieves the pressure to perform. We’ve all had those nights — thank you, Thirsty Thursdays — when we’re not in the right frame of mind when it’s time to show that bar trick what’s good. That’s because we’re so concentrated on performing well (and striving for climax) that the anxiety we’ve caused ourselves overshadows the carefree romp we should be having.

“When couples get fixated on goal-oriented behavior in bed (i.e. orgasm), it often generates pressure and anxiety, which are counter to performance,” Schade says. “When they instead are just experiencing each other in the moment and can laugh together, they are more likely to increase the quality of the sexual interaction.”

The takeaway? Let out a few belly laughs in bed to blow a better load.

3. Laughing helps you relax your muscles for a more pleasurable tryst. Sex feels great (or should), but there are exercises we can do before getting down to the nitty-gritty that can heighten the experience for even more pleasure. You won’t break a sweat, either, because all you need is a robust chuckle.

Scientifically speaking, laughter can release endorphins that promote stress reduction and pain for an overall more satisfying outcome, says licensed sex and relationship therapist Courtney Geter,

“During sexual activity, our bodies may be tense and tight from stress during the day or anxiety about the sexual activity,” she explains. “Laughing before or during sexual activity is one way to help relax muscles to prevent pain or possible injury during sex. For clients experiencing anxiety during sexual activity, I help them incorporate ways to ‘play,’ including laughing with each other long before the sexual activity. This helps prep the brain and body for activity.”

4. Mutual laughter between partners means you’re both in touch with the dynamics of your relationship. Any couple who have been together for a length of time, let’s say two years or more, knows that sex can become routine, commonplace and, dare I say it, boring — because, as Schade admits, “Sexual experiences and relationships wax and wane.”

Hope is not lost, however.

The first thing you need to know is that it’s totally normal; every relationship deals with this at some point. Secondly, being able to laugh about it to keep the affection running steady when the physical aspect of your sexual relationship experiences hills and valleys is a sign that you’re in a good place.

“Laughing implies acceptance of a variety of levels of desire and performance,” Schade says.

Your relationship may not be perfect, but your ability to laugh with each other suggests that there’s a level of openness and honesty that many other couples lack. Hold tight on that revelation when things get wonky down there and you’ll be A-OK.

—Mikey Rox

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And the Voice of Pride winner is…

Posted on 22 Aug 2016 at 1:22pm

From left: Fourth runner-up Steven Patterson, Guyer, Ramalho, third runner-up Imani Handy and Gilstrap.… Alvaro Ramalho! The local singer, pictured center, took the grand prize at the Voice of Pride competition, the annual “Dallas Idol” singing rondelet that culminated last night in the Rose Room. The winner (and first and second runners-up, John Paul Gilstrap and Colby Guyer) ride in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sept. 18 and perform at Reverchon Park afterwards. Congrats!

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National Gay Media Association presents inaugural Ad POP Awards

Posted on 22 Aug 2016 at 10:38am

AbsolutThe National Gay Media Association — a consortium of LGBT publications across the U.S., including Dallas Voice — has announced the recipients of its first-ever Ad POP Awards, recognizing excellence in advertising efforts directed at gay consumers. They are awarded for both print and online campaigns in regional LGBT media. (POP stands for Pride in Online and Print.)

“The awards were created to illustrate the effective campaigns of companies that market to the LGBT community through local media,” according to Leo Cusimano, publisher of Dallas Voice. “The ads were chosen for their design and message. In addition, these ads show the fabric and diversity of our LBGT community.”

National winners were recognized in a variety of segments. The Automotive award went to Mercedes-Benz; The Pharmaceutical award (branded) went to Gilead for its Salix and Fulyzaq products; it also won the unbranded award for its “Answers” ad.

Pernod Ricard USA was recognized with the Spirits award for its Absolut campaign.

Several segments had multiple winners. The Non-Profit award went to: Harlem United; the D.C. Office of Human Rights; and the Centers for Disease Control. Financial winners were: Wells Fargo; PNC Bank; and Regions Bank. Travel winners are: Alaska Airlines; Hyatt; Loews Hotel; Key West Tourism; and Palm Springs Tourist.

Regional awards were also presented. Dallas Voice bestowed the top local award on the Dallas Conventions and Visitors Bureau for a campaign designed by Tracy Locke.

Other local winners include Cantoni; Love Field Jeep; Provincetown Tourism Office; and Capital One.

 

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