NBA to move all-star game out of N.C.

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 3:39pm

BasketballThe NBA announced its 2017 All-Star Game will be moved out of Charlotte.

In April, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver warned Charlotte that if the state’s discriminatory anti-LGBT HB2 wasn’t repealed, the league would pull the game out of the state. While the bill passed and was signed in one day, the legislature spent the rest of the session talking about what to do about it and the millions of dollars it lost as a result.

Today, Silver announced the league is looking at moving the game, possibly to New Orleans, but other cities have been putting in bids. The formal announcement should come later today or tomorrow.

The all-star game, which takes place in February, was held in New Orleans in 2008 and 2014.


REVIEWS: ‘AbFab,’ ‘Star Trek Beyond’

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 2:36pm

Joanna Lumley as "Patsy" and Jennifer Saunders as "Edina" in the film ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE. Photo by David Appleby. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights ReservedEarlier this summer, I heard some movie pundits sniff that when Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie came out, it would be a flop, because it wouldn’t have a laugh-track like the series does. Well, guess what geniuses? It does have a laugh-track: We call it an audience. The chuckles came fast and furious during this 90-minute, surprisingly gorgeous and whiz-bang confection, which relies on comedy largely provided by two ladies — one age 58 (Jennifer Saunders, who also wrote the screenplay) and another (Joanna Lumley) age 70. 70! And still with the comic timing of Amy Schumer.

Now, it probably doesn’t hurt to be familiar with Edina (Saunders), a public relations professional, and Pats (Lumley), the fashion editor at a high-end magazine, and how they have boozed their way through 35 years of friendship. They’re both terrible parents, terrible role models, alcoholic narcissists … and endlessly entertaining. All they lightness of their lives, however, come crashing down when Eddy’s clients dry up, her ex-husband stops her alimony and she, well, possibly murders Kate Moss.

The plot, though, is hardly the point. It’s the physical humor and absurdist digs at pop culture (Jerry Hall, talking for hours about Chanel on the red carpet; Jon Hamm, regretting losing his virginity to Pats 30 years ago, yet still unable to resist her; Pats again, dressing up as a man … and looking remarkably like Pierce Brosnan in the process) that fuels the fun. Even those unexposed to AbFab (especially gay audiences, for whom the tone seems perfectly tailored) should enjoy this breezy summer delight. Drink up, darlings! (Read our interview with Saunders and Lumley in this week’s Dallas Voice.)

Left to right: Karl Urban plays Bones and Zachary Quinto plays Spock in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm EntertainmentFrom one absurdity to another, and once again written by a cast member. Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty, scribbled out the screenplay for Star Trek Beyond, the third in the rebooted movie franchise, based on the cult series (which turns 50 this year). There are jokes here, too, but not enough to really distract us from the sloppiness of the production, a visually muddy and convoluted mess that does a disservice to the series.

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of the reboot anyway. The first one, called just Star Trek, restarted all the characters on a brand-new timeline (never one of my favorite gimmicks), which meant they could reinvent the characters any way they wanted (Spock dates Uhura!), but still get the benefit of Leonard Nimoy cameos. The second film, Into Darkness, merely was another timeline trick, basically remaking Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which was itself based on the TV series. Beyond also treads old ground … this time, sort of mirroring the plot of the Next Generation film, Insurrection (which, like Khan, depends on a madman who spends decades seeking revenge while bathing in the fountain of youth). The original series managed 76 episodes without really repeating itself; can’t the movies get through three?

Justin Lin is the director this time out, and exposition isn’t one of his strong suits. He overloads the screen with so many crazy camera angles, accented by ear-splitting sound effects that drown out much of the dialogue and an underlit set that makes the film seem murky and confusing, that you can’t really follow what’s going on. Something about an ancient relic. Something about an amazing weapon. Hard to follow. But ask me to summarize the plots and motivations of any of the original six films, and I can cite you chapter and verse.

And yet… I won’t say “Don’t see this.” The characters have become iconic over the decades, and there’s something to be said for discovering things still. (Sulu, we find out, is gay and has a daughter.) Chris Pine’s Capt. Kirk seems more diplomatic than hot-headed Shatner, and Zachary Quinto’s Spock is always fun to explore. Trekkies — and trust me, I am one — will think of it like returning to visit old friends. But that’s something that happens at reunions: A dozen times in, and you realize you’re all telling each other the same old stories. It gets boring.


WATCH: Bill Maher cover the GOP convention with Dan Savage and Michael Moore

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 12:58pm

MaherGOPIf you love Bill Maher — I never miss his weekly Real Time show, the smartest comedy-news program on TV — you’re as excited as I am that he will be doing bonus shows, available on YouTube, for four nights of the Republican and Democrat national conventions. Last night was the first one, and his guests includes uber-liberals Dan Savage and Michael Moore. Side-splitting and insightful. And there’ll be another one tonight! Enjoy.


Randy Rainbow’s musical take on the TP ticket

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 12:57pm

Randy Rainbow

So my friend Winter Laurel Mullenix posted a video on her Facebook page by a guy named “Randy Rainbow.” I didn’t know who that was, so I looked it up online. Here’s what Wikipedia says about him:

“Randy Rainbow is a blogger and Internet celebrity based in New York, NY, United States. Rainbow is most notable for a series of humorous YouTube viral videos in which he stages fake phone conversations with famous people by editing real audio clips of those celebrities.”

There’s more. You can read it for yourself if you want. But instead, why not watch this video he has created on the GOP’s 2016 presidential/vice presidential ticket. It’s pretty fabulous. And that starts with F and that rhymes with ….. Never mind. Just watch the video.


Michelle Obama proves Stevie Wonder really is her favorite

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 11:20am

_MG_7088At the memorial for Dallas police officers held at the Meyerson on Dallas Police Chief David Brown recited a Stevie Wonder song to hundreds of his police officers who were in the audience.

President Barack Obama, who followed Brown, quipped, “I’m glad I met Michelle first, because she loves Stevie Wonder.”

When Michelle Obama appeared on The Late Late Show’s carpool karaoke, she proved the president was right when she and James Cordon began with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered.”

“I know every Stevie song on the planet,” Obama tells Cordon.

Here’s the video that also features the Obama cover of “Single Ladies” and Missy Elliott joining to sing “This Is For My Girls.”


Williams Institute finds food insecurity prevalent in LGBT community

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 11:17am

Williams-Institute-Logo copyThe Williams Institute at UCLA, which conducts research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, released a study this week that finds that LGBT people are more likely to suffer from food insecurity than the population in general.

Among the findings, 27 percent, or more than one in four LGBT adults — 2.2 million people by Williams Institute’s estimates — experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money for the food that they or their families needed, compared to 17 percent of non-LGBT adults.

More than one in four LGB adults aged 18-44 (27 percent) participated in SNAP, compared to 20 percent of non-LGB adults in the same age range.

Food insecurity is not distributed evenly in the LGBT community: 42 percent of LGBT African-Americans, 33 percent of LGBT Hispanics, 32 percent of LGBT American Indians and Alaskan Natives, 31 percent of women, 30 percent of unmarried individuals, and 33 percent of those raising children are particularly likely to report not having enough money for the food that they or their families needed at some point in the last year. (There is overlap among those groups).


Help kick off Leslie Jordan’s Legacy fall fundraiser tonight

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 10:56am

Leslie-JordanLeslie Jordan is a regular denizen of Dallas, thanks largely to his appearance every fall as a fundraising event for Legacy Counseling Services and Founders Cottage. Last year’s big event at the Majestic Theater actually netted more than $89,000.

Well, you can be a part of it this time. Tonight in the Design District will be the kick-off and sponsorship party for this year’s event, again at the Majestic, called Leslie Jordan Uncensored. You mean he’s been censoring himself until now?

Stop by from 6–9 p.m. and get a drink or a bite for a $20 donation, and learn more about being a sponsor. It all takes place at the Allan Knight Showroom, 150 Turtle Creek Blvd, Suite 150.


Thursday is Dollar Day at the Dallas Zoo

Posted on 20 Jul 2016 at 4:48pm

ElephantsIf you haven’t seen the new elephants who call Dallas home, Thursday, July 21 is the perfect time to do that. Admission to the zoo is just $1 with dollar deals throughout the park all day including selected $1 snacks and $1 nectar to feed the lorikeets.

Extra misting stations and spray fans will operate throughout the zoo to keep guests cool. And after undergoing a $3 million renovation, the zoo’s Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari monorail is back for visitors to experience a bird’s eye view of several exhibits, including a few not accessible by foot.

The new baby elephant and his mother haven’t wandered out into the savannah yet, but several of the others have. They’re interacting well with The Golden Girls, the four females that have called Dallas home for several years.

Dollar Day last year set an all-time single day attendance record with 41,422 guests. Because of expected heavy attendance, zoo officials recommend taking DART. The zoo is on the Red Line in Oak Cliff. Dallas Zoo Station is across the street from the main entrance to the zoo.


5th Circuit Court: Texas voter ID law is unconstitutional

Posted on 20 Jul 2016 at 2:32pm

I votedThe 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling today upholding lower court rulings declaring that the Texas Voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act, the Texas Tribune and other sources are reporting.

The Texas law, passed in 2011, is considered one of the strictest of such laws in the country. It requires that voters show a state driver’s license or ID card, a concealed handgun license, a U.S. passport, a military ID card or a U.S. citizenship certificate with a photo before they are allowed to cast their ballot. Student IDs are not considered valid ID under the law.

Some people, such as those with disabilities, can be exempt. But the law caused many problems with transgender voters, whose presentation many times does not match their official ID.

Ed Espinoza, executive director of Progress Texas, said his organization is “absolutely thrilled” with the decision. “For everyone who believes in a full and representative democracy, today is day to celebrate,” Espinoza said. “Democrats have argued for more than a decade that Republican attempts to pass a voter ID bill are discriminatory. Today, the most conservative court in the country agreed with what we’ve said — that the voter ID bill is overturned because it effectively cancels the protections guaranteed by the Voting Rights Act.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, of course, disagreed. In a statement issued this afternoon, Paxton said, “It is imperative that the state government safeguards our elections and ensures the integrity of our democratic process. Preventing voter fraud is essential to accurately reflecting the will of Texas voters during elections, and it is unfortunate that this common-sense law, providing protections against fraud, was not upheld in its entirety.”


6 tips for throwing a gay pool party

Posted on 20 Jul 2016 at 1:33pm

Sit on your throne as the reigning prince of homemade homo pool parties with these tips on how to throw the dippiest, drippiest Sunday Funday this side of Fire Island.

Build a thoughtful guest list of hard bodies. If you and your friends are often mistaken for CrossFit poster boys, that’s awesome — you win at life. The rest of us, however, are rather ordinary with ordinary-looking friends, and if we’re to host a pool party of legendary proportions we have to bring in the big guns. Invite your besties, of course, but also extend invitations to all the eye candy you know better in your dreams than you do in person. Enlist your pals to invite their network of gym bunnies and bubble butts, and don’t be afraid to make a few new friends by asking some of your strictly social media acquaintances to pop by and say hi … shirtless.

Establish a barely-there dress code. A great way to dictate a dress code (so nobody shows up wearing cut-off jorts like your Uncle Rick and his mooseknuckle are prone to do) is to establish a pool-wear theme. Board shorts alone could be the order of the day — if you’re into that unimaginative bro-on-the-beach kinda vibe (and who isn’t!?) — but you can get infinitely more creative. Try a fruits-and-foodie theme, for instance, where your guests are asked to don edibles-inspired gear, like suggestive burgers-and-hotdogs swim briefs by Addicted.

Hire some muscle-bound mixologists. When I throw parties, I often employ pec-baring bartenders to take care of my guests’ libationary needs. If I’m to have the kind of time I deserve to have after cooking, cleaning, and crunching my abs to rippled perfection, I don’t plan to spend it behind a bar squeezing limes into a lifetime supply of vodka tonics. Maybe you have a hottie friend who’s hard up for cash who’d like the gig. I’ve also found it easy to hop on Craigslist and post an ad in the gigs sections for inexpensive labor that ultimately kicks my fete up a notch.

Create a playlist of Pepper MaShay proportions. Any great gay party — underwater or otherwise — is as much about the ambience as it is the music, and you’d be wise to do your research when creating the ultimate playlist. You’ll need throwback summertime staples from the Beach Boys, Don Henley and Bananarama; a few queen-tested-queen-approved anthems like the “Y.M.C.A.” and Gaga’s “Just Dance;” and samplings of fresh joint’s like J Tim’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” and literally anything by Shamir.

Throw in some phallic pool toys. There’s a penis pool float with your name on it over at Amazon if you don’t mind wading through the — gasp! — bachelorette party section. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, hunt down the skinny-dipper ring toss game that’s played exactly how you think it is.

Have a plan to transition from day to night. Don’t let the party stop when the sun goes down. After dark is the best part of partying with half-clad men who’ve been day drinking, and you should take full advantage of the opportunity to get to know your guests more intimately by preparing for an all-nighter. Light a few torches, fire up the grill and offer plenty of fresh towels so your guests can stand around in VPL-enhancing terry cloth while they hunt for a late-night Lyft … which is what you’ve been waiting for all along.

— Mikey Rox