Cocktail Friday: Mai Tai

Posted on 30 Jan 2015 at 11:03am

2 MaiTai_13Tommy Bahama came up with this recipe for a classic mai tai, one of my favorite refreshers.

1¾ parts Bacardi Superior

2½ parts mai tai mix

¼ part fresh lime juice

1¼ parts dark rum

Making it: Add Barcardi, mix and lime juice in a shaker with ice; strain over fresh ice; top in the glass with a float of dark rum.


PHOTOS: Inside the Screen Actors Guild Awards

Posted on 29 Jan 2015 at 11:18am

In addition to being a standup comedian and local stage actor, Paul J. Williams is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and as such, was permitted to add his name to a lottery awarding tickets to folks other than big-name nominees and Hollywood wannabes. Accordingly, he was actually able to attend the ceremony last Sunday, which aired on TNT. Here is Paul’s journey from ticketholder to red carpet walker and proud union member.

By 9:30 p.m., we decided we had had enough. Nibbled on desserts, had some water and headed toward … the gift bag tent. Big canvas bag filled with goodies, mostly beauty stuff. As we left, a woman came up to Carol and said, “I’ve been wanting to tell you all night — your dress is gorgeous!” Carol felt like Cinderella and I like her fairy godfather.


A. Maceo Smith High School video goes viral

Posted on 28 Jan 2015 at 5:10pm

Screen shot 2015-01-28 at 5.06.13 PM

A. Maceo Smith High School theater arts teacher Scot Pankey made a video with his students that has gone viral with more than 4 million hits in less than a week. No one here in the office knows him, but among us we have hundreds of mutual Facebook friends. When we watched it, we all loved the way he and his students interact.Post away. Let’s get them up to 5 million hits by tomorrow.

The high school is near South Loop 12 and I-45.


A bit of Dallas LGBT history for you

Posted on 28 Jan 2015 at 4:04pm

Today, Chad Mantooth, the associate advertising director here at Dallas Voice, sent me a post he found on linking to a “historical photo” showing “Three supporters of Dallas’ first Gay Pride Parade — 1972.” The poster notes that written on the back on the original photo is the date June 24, 1972.

The link carries you to the website of the University of North Texas’ Portal to Texas History, where you see this photo:

Screen shot 2015-01-28 at 2.58.44 PM

(I lightened this in Photoshop and increased the contrast, just so you can see the women and their signs better.)

Read the signs they carry: “Tired of hiding — Want to be free” and “Don’t laugh — I may be happier than you.”

It makes you realize how very far we’ve come, even though we still have a long way yet to go.


Joel Grey comes out as gay, no one bats an eye

Posted on 28 Jan 2015 at 2:47pm

Grey, in his Oscar-winning role alongside Liza Minnelli

It is perhaps the biggest piece of non-news of the year to date: Joel Grey, the Academy Award-winning star of Cabaret and a Broadway legend for roles such as the Wizard in Wicked, has, at age 82, finally comes out publicly as gay, in an interview with People magazine.

If you hear crickets chirping, I’m not surprised. Despite being the father of actress Jennifer Grey, Joel has frequently been at the fore of gay causes. So why hide it for so long? (As Nathan Lane noted when he came out years ago, “I’m single, I’m 40, I do musical theater …. you do the math!”)

The People interview sheds little light on that matter, other than the fact he grew up “in a different time.” But those times have long passed, and now in his ninth decade, you’d think he would have come out long ago. But no.

Ah, well. Better late than never. Welcome to the party, Joel! Your toaster oven is on its way.


International Film Critics name ‘Boyhood’ best film of last 2 years

Posted on 28 Jan 2015 at 8:18am

Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in the best picture of 2014 and 2013, ‘Boyhood’

The International Online Film Critics Poll, an organization of which I am a voting member, only polls their constituent critics once every two years (unlike most groups, which meet annually to vote), which provides an interesting mix of apples to oranges comparisons — is last year’s best picture better (or worse) than this year’s? — which makes it an interesting amalgam of contenders. This weekend marked the conclusion of the most recent biennium, and it saw the Texas-shot feature Boyhood named the best film of 2013 or 2014, and its director, Richard Linklater, the best director of the last two years. The film’s co-star, Patricia Arquette, was named best supporting actress.

Fellow Texan Wes Anderson was also honored when his film The Grand Budapest Hotel took three prizes — for best ensemble cast, best production design and best original music score.

Among the other big winners were Michael Keaton as best actor for Birdman; Cate Blanchett as best actress for Blue Jasmine; and J.K. Simmons as best supporting actor for Whiplash. Gravity took three awards — best cinematography, film editing and visual effects — and 12 Years a Slave and Her both took one of the screenwriting prizes. (For the record, I voted for seven of the eventual winners, and among the 60 nominations I made, 29 made the final list.)

Lest you think newness is preferable, of the 14 winners, seven were from 2013; seven from 2014. And to highlight the internationality of the selections, the presence of nominees like The Great Beauty and The Hunt showed the diversity from the 20 nations represented among the voting critics, from the U.S. to Mexico to Poland, Romania, Pakistan and Estonia.

This is the fourth biannual poll. Previous best picture winners include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011-12), Inglourious Basterds (2009-10) and Slumdog Millionaire (2007-08).

A full list of 2013-14 nominees and winners (in bold) is below:

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave; Birdman; Boyhood; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Wolf of Wall Street.

Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman; Richard Linklater, Boyhood; Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel; Paolo Sorrentino, The Great Beauty; Roman Polanski, Venus in Fur.

Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman; Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel; Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt; Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game; Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue JasmineAdele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color; Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl; Julianne Moore, Still Alice; Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant.

Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton, Birdman; Ethan Hawke, Boyhood; Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club; Mark Ruffalo, FoxcatcherJ.K. Simmons, Whiplash.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave; Emma Stone, Birdman; Sally Hawkins, Blue JasminePatricia Arquette, BoyhoodJune Squibb, Nebraska.

Best Ensemble Cast: 12 Years a Slave; Birdman; Boyhood; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game.

Best Original Screenplay: Birdman; Boyhood; Calvary; Her; The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave; Gone Girl; Snowpiercer; The Imitation Game; The Wolf of Wall Street.

Best Cinematography: Birdman; Gravity; Ida; Nebraska; The Great Beauty.

Best Production Design: Gravity; Her; Mr. Turner; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game.

Best Film Editing: Birdman; Boyhood; Gravity; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Wolf of Wall Street.

Best Original Score: Gravity; Her; Interstellar; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game.

Best Visual Effects: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Interstellar; Gravity; Guardians of the Galaxy; The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.


Bijoux to close Feb. 28

Posted on 27 Jan 2015 at 1:44pm

image003Bijoux, the French-style fine-dining restaurant in Inwood Village which I selected as my top table of 2006, had decided to close its doors one month from now, according to a press release.

The owners — chef Scott Gottlich and his wife, sommelier Gina — have decided to concentrate on their resto The Second Floor at the Galleria and work on future projects.

Aside from being my favorite restaurant of its first year, Bijoux was also my restaurant of choice for a Valentine’s Day and birthday dinners. Hopefully the Gottlichs will launch an equally wonderful place in the near future.


Last chance to cast your ballot in the Readers Voice Awards!

Posted on 27 Jan 2015 at 10:20am

RVAEvery year, Dallas Voice turns over the editorial decisions to our readers, allowing them to be the critics, op/ed writers, trendsetters and opinion-makers. We call it the Readers Voice Awards, and there are nine categories representing about 120 awards — everything from best “Sunday Funday” option (is it brunch in the ‘hood or a walk around Klyde Warren Park?) to best pharmacy to sexiest bartender, favorite thrift store, best local stage actor and top chef (stalwarts like Stephan Pyles and Abraham Salum, or do you prefer a newcomer or straight ally like Blythe Beck and John Tesar?).

The issue doesn’t arrive until March, but the voting ends this weekend. If you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time, then. Click here and you can weigh in on what you like about queer Dallas. You don’t have to vote in every category, just as many as you want, but if you do vote, you’re entered in a drawing to win two tickets to see Chicago at Bass Hall, as well as dinner for two at Dish and $500 in cash!


Purple Foundation becomes No Tie Dinner’s presenting sponsor

Posted on 26 Jan 2015 at 3:49pm

Purple shirt… no tie … it was obvious

The Purple Foundation has long been a supporter of AIDS organizations, especially AIDS Services of Dallas, but the all-volunteer group is really doubling down for the upcoming No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party, the primary fundraiser for ASD each year. For the landmark 10th dinner, the Purple Foundation will be the official “presenting sponsor” — the first ever such sponsorship deal.

“This year has been Purple Foundation’s most successful year, and we could not be more thrilled to be able to celebrate that success by expanding our support of our primary beneficiary,” said Blake Baker, the foundation’s president.

The No Tie Dinner takes place March 28, and the Purple Party follows about a month later.


Thought of the day

Posted on 26 Jan 2015 at 3:09pm

If Sarah Palin were any stupider, she’d be Michele Bachmann.