“Lighting, sweetie, lighting!” is Tori Amos’ theatrical retort to my compliment about how she’s still looking as radiant as she did at the launch of her career more than three decades ago. Now 50, and with her acclaimed 14th album, Unrepentant Geraldines, she’s facing age head-on. Candor isn’t unusual for the composer; from rape to religion and even her MILF status, she’s approached a bevy of topics too controversial for most artists.
That same directness extended to our recent conversation, prior to her appearance in Dallas on July 29 at the Winspear Opera House in support of the album, during which Amos chatted with our Chris Azzopardi about the LGBT influence on “Promise,” a duet with her daughter; being the muse for the big Frozen ballad; and the gay fans who share their “traumatic experiences” with her.
Dallas Voice: How did your last several projects — Midwinter Graces, Night of Hunters and Gold Dust — reenergize the contemporary songwriting heard on Unrepentant Geraldines? Amos: All of them fit into giving me fresh perspective. Starting with Midwinter Graces, I was thrown into the deep end, studying carols from the last few hundred years and just immersing myself in a different genre. It’s almost as if it became a baton hand-off, from Midwinter Graces to Night of Hunters and Gold Dust, back and forth with The Light Princess [a musical written by Amos], which was floating between all these projects, because she’s been in development for five years. All of them were giving inspiration to the other. Each one was giving some kind of spark.
The spark linking all of those works is very evident. They’re very interconnected, and The Light Princess cast recording — I’m producing that for Mercury Universal — will be out globally in early 2015, and we’re making the record on the tour, so [Unrepentant Geraldines] will be affecting that. They all gift each other something. I don’t always know what it is when it’s happening; you just get energy from one that propels another.
There is a freshness, a new perspective [on the new CD] that I was able to bring to contemporary writing because of all these other projects that had shown me different possibilities in structure and different possibilities in line. In that way, I feel like I’ve been rejuvenated by these other projects. When these songs were coming, they were coming not for me to make a record; they were just coming so that I could process what I was going through. And I didn’t share them with anybody. They were for my own private notebook.
Attorney and activist Mike Anglin of Dallas is the recipient of the 2014 Kuchling Humanitarian Award, which will be presented at the 32nd annual Dallas Black Tie Dinner in November.
BTD officials made the announcement Thursday during the Black Tie Dinner Sneak Peek event at Park Place Motorcars in Dallas.
Anglin is being honored for his long record of activism in the Dallas LGBT community, starting in the late 1970s with the Dallas Gay Political Caucus and threading through the community’s story, up to present day when he was a founding member of The Dallas Way history project.
For the complete story, read the Friday, July 25 issue of Dallas Voice, or find the story here on our website.
Two weeks ago, I posted a notice about an open casting call for Dallas Theater Center‘s upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show (they are looking for engaging side-show-like acts). Well, some of the information has changed. Due to a schedule conflict with director/choreographer Joel Ferrell, the event will now be held at the Wyly Theatre (instead of the Rose Room) and the time has been compressed. The correct information is below:
Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St.
Saturday, July 26
Check-in at 2:45 p.m., call from 3–4 p.m.
Chris Miklos, the popular bear who died suddenly in his sleep this week at age 40, will be remembered by his friends Friday night with a celebration at the Dallas Eagle. “Join us for a night of celebrating and dancing, the way Chris would have wanted us to,” the invitation reads. Folks will gather to remember Chris starting at 11 p.m.
You can read the invite and spread the word here.
Last weekend, over the course of a brief 24 hours, three different charities — AIDS Services of Dallas, Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage and AIDS Arms — received an awful lot of love from the Dallas gay community … and did so with a lot of costume changes.
On Saturday, The Summer Party, a 12-year-old pool bash at a private home in East Dallas, raised money for ASD, and included a fashion show by Skivvies, as well as a sarong contest for the gathered guests. Later that evening, The Red Party, a fundraising group benefiting Legacy, staged a poolside fashion show of its own at the ilume, with vodka by Hudson Ferus, snacks and margaritas from Mi Cocina and swimwear by Aussie Bum, ES Collection, Marek+Richard and others. Then on Sunday evening, the Rose Room gave over to the Miss LifeWalk contest, a fundraiser for AIDS Arms. Thousands of dollars were raised … and a lot of eyes popped.
If you’ve ever wondered what to read before visiting a state, Vulture.com, the online entertainment portal owned by New York Magazine, just made the list for you. In choosing 50 nonfiction books to read about 50 states, the website includes both national treasures like James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Alabama), Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on the Road (Florida) as well as some kitschier choices like Vice President Joe Biden’s Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics (Delaware).
Before even scrolling down, I assumed their choice would be kitschier, if not dismissive. (Think Rick Perry’s presidential manifesto Fed Up.)
If you want to learn about Texas, Vulture.com suggests the groundbreaking Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by the late Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, a well-known Chicana lesbian activist and writer born in the Rio Grande Valley. Released in 1987, the semi-autobiographical book challenges and explores, through poems and prose, concepts like borders and identity.
If you’re interested, the book is available at Amazon.com and if you’re lucky, your neighborhood library.
I first met Chris Miklos about eight years ago, when he was the partner of a friend of mine, but anyone who met Chris even once would remember him for a long time. Tall, fit and handsome, he was a staple in the gay community, especially popular within the bear culture, spotted instantly for his smile and personal magnetism.
So the Dallas community, and beyond, was shocked to learn Monday afternoon that Miklos died in his sleep, apparently of a heart attack. He was 40. Reports say he was discovered by a neighbor Monday, though he had not been seen since Saturday night.
Chris graduated from the University of Akron and was a clinical research associate, performing medical testing on experimental drugs to treat a variety of ailments, including HIV. He traveled weekly for his work, which he loved. His friends remember him for all he did for the community.
He leaves behind a younger brother and his parents. Services have not been announced.
… Heidi Liqueur!
Last night in the Rose Room, the LifeWalk Green Team contestant faced off against three other awesome drag divas to take the crown at the 11th annual fundraiser preliminary for October’s walk, which benefits AIDS Arms. Heidi’s dazzling beaded gown, in the same red-and-white colors as her Chick-Fil-A dress (which she performed to the “Hold On” parody “Chow Down”) while serving chicken tenders to the audience, won over the judges (and I was one of them!) in a satisfying finale. But all four entrant were insanely talented and impressive, from Siena Silver’s rainbow-accented dress following a champagne accented evening-wear gown, to Rosio Bencos’ back-up dancers and elaborate costume, to Brianna Michelle’s pink-and-emerald palette.
Heidi won individual awards for Spirit of Miss LifeWalk and for evening wear and talent in addition to the overall prize, while Siena took Miss Congeniality and Brianna won Miss Moneybags for raising the most for AIDS Arms — $7,400! In total, the event took in a staggering $21,628 — $4,000 more than last year.
The show was a hoot, with primary host Heather Thomas bullying the crowd into donating more and more money, and five former Miss LifeWalk winners performing, with all money going to the charity. Victoria Weston wowed the audience with two live performances. Outgoing Miss LifeWalk Vida Chardonnay did a tribute to Elaine Stritch that stunned everyone. View pictures in our full slideshow here.
LifeWalk takes place Oct. 5, and it’s never too late to volunteer or participate.
On Friday, July 25, we at Dallas Voice will publish our 2014 Family Issue. To get ready for that, let me share with you this trailer for a new sci-fi film called Credence, from director Mike Buonaiuto.
Says TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com: “Ever wondered what it might look like if a science fiction film presented LGBT people the way it should be done? Credence will be the first sci-fi of its kind to challenge the way gay characters are portrayed in film.”
It is the story of the end of the earth, the last days, when ever-more-violent storms are making the survival of the human race impossible. Fortunately, new worlds have been discovered that will support the human race. Unfortunately, limited rocket capacity and the realities of the human life expectancy mean only children are being evacuated to these new worlds. And the cost means only the children of wealthy people are able to afford tickets to these new worlds.
Credence tells the story of a gay couple, fathers, who make the heart-rending decision to get their daughter on one of the rockets, giving up all their possessions to be able to afford the ticket, even though it means never seeing her again.
Buonaiuto has an Indiegogo account established to help fund the production of the film, in case you are interested. And by the way, thanks to my friend Misty Hillin who posted this on Facebook, where I saw it.