Kitchen Dog Theater lands permanent new home (and it’s near me!)

Posted on 12 Oct 2016 at 1:09pm

kd_beckett_projectpr1Kitchen Dog Theater has long produced underground and edgy theater, and for most of its 26 year history, it was performed at Uptown along McKinney Avenue. But earlier this year, that venue — the MAC — was razed for a new development. For the past 15 months, Kitchen Dog has been an itinerant company — first at the Green Zone in the Design District (right behind Dallas Voice offices, in fact), then at the Undermain Theatre in Deep Ellum; its latest production, A Stain Upon the Silence: Beckett’s Bequest (pictured), is playing at Uptown Players’ old stomping grounds: The Trinity River Arts Center in the Medical District. There was talk the company would eventually settle in The Cedars, but that fell through. Now comes the official work: Kitchen Dog will finally have a home of its own… and it’s back in the Design District.

KDT will break ground soon on a 10,000 space near the intersection of Irving Boulevard and Inwood Road, at 4774 Algiers St., co-artistic director Tina Parker revealed today. The complex will house the company’s performance venue, rehearsal space, administrative offices and shop. It will modify the current home of Presidio Tile into a 140-seat auditorium — the largest theater space in the company’s history. The renovation comes at a price tag of nearly $1 million, making it a major development in the Dallas arts scene (especially on the heals of controversies about the funding of the AT&T Performing Arts Center.) KDT will own the space outright.

The move-in target in 2018, meaning the TRAC will probably continue to be KDT’s home through next season,


WATCH: Tyler Glenn’s ‘Shameless’ video

Posted on 12 Oct 2016 at 11:22am

shamelessEarlier this week, I interviewed Tyler Glenn, the out frontman of pop quartet Neon Trees, about his new solo album, Excommunication, which drops on Oct. 21. It was an amazing conversation — look for the interview in next week’s Dallas Voice — and we talked about his dance-y first single from the disc, “Shameless,” which has this electric, Frankie Goes to Hollywood vibe. You can see the video here. And check out the album (and my interview) next Friday.


Dallas City Council names Union Station for EBJ

Posted on 11 Oct 2016 at 1:55pm

Dallas City Council voting to name Union Station for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (photo courtesy Mayor Mike Rawlings)

The Dallas City Council just voted to rename Union Station in honor of U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernie Johnson.

Johnson has represented the 30th District since 1992. Her district includes parts of Oak Lawn and Oak Cliff. Before entering Congress, she was a state senator and worked in the Carter Administration.

Mayor Mike Rawlings tweeted, “Rep. EBJ has been a strong advocate for Dallas residents. It is our pleasure to name Union Station in her honor.”


UPDATE: Geico nixes National Coming Out Day

Posted on 11 Oct 2016 at 12:57pm

Geico isn’t very progressive

How are you celebrating National Coming Out Day?

Well, if you work at one of the many companies that have employee resource groups, you might be sitting at a table with a display and information.

Then again, you may be working at a company like Geico.

Employees in the company’s diversity group in Richardson planned a celebration during lunch with a display. The company stopped that, “because it would be a sensitive subject to some of our employees to discuss.”

Yet the company has allowed displays for Women’s History Month, Black History Month and Cinco de Mayo.

In order to not offend anyone, the table and exhibit were replaced by the company with a one-paragraph, easy-to-delete email that mentions it’s National Coming Out Day.

Geico is a division of Berkshire Hathaway. So are Nebraska Furniture Mart, BNSF, Acme Brick, Fruit of the Loom and many others. On the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, Berkshire receives a score of zero. That means it doesn’t even have a simple, no-cost nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation or gender identity.

Other insurance companies with offices in the DFW area include AIG, CNA, MetLife, Nationwide, New York Life, State Farm and Travelers, all of which have a rating of 100. Liberty Mutual, which is moving its headquarters to Plano, has an 85.

Some companies with low ratings don’t actually translate those poor policies into outright discrimination. Geico did. After the Pulse shooting, a gay couple, who each work for different insurance companies, discovered that where you work makes a difference. They had lost a friend in the massacre. The partner who worked at New York Life was offered counseling by his company. The partner who worked at Geico was sent home on leave.

When employees tried to put together an LGBT employee resource group at Geico, they were accused of trying to start a union and threatened with dismissal.


According to sources, even the promised National Coming Out Day email never went out, going back on the little the company’s area management said they would do.


‘Coming Out’ for National Coming Out Day

Posted on 11 Oct 2016 at 8:50am

rick-peters-left-and-alden-peters-right-in-coming-out-courtesy-of-wolfe-videoAlden Peters is a typical young closeted gay man. He’s been coping with his sexuality — or more directly, hiding it — his entire life. Then, when Princeton student Tyler Clementi commits suicide after being outed, Peters realizes that could have easily been him. So he decides it’s time to tell the people in his life. And being a millennial with a camera, he decides to do it on film.

The 2015 documentary Coming Out, now available from Wolfe Video, tracks Peters’ process — first telling his older brother, then his friends, his mom and stepdad, and finally his dad and younger siblings … all with the camera rolling.

What’s distinctive about Coming Out is how ordinary and undistinctive it is. Peters hand-wrings about what kind of reaction he’ll get, especially from his parents. Will they be shocked? Hate him? Reject him? But first and foremost, they love him. And seeing that love manifest itself in the most prosaic of ways — “That’s cool, son,” a hug, even an awkward conversation with a younger brother who thinks doesn’t “act gay” — have played out for most of us in nearly identical ways across the years.

dvd-cover-coming-out-courtesy-of-wolfe-videoOf course, there are much worse stories of rejection, even violence. Not all coming out processes are as smooth and supportive. But the message is, and should be, that even the “bad” coming outs are ultimately positive experiences for the one coming out. Admitting who you are — not just to others, but to one’s self — is an important, even necessary step toward long-term happiness and acceptance. It’s one reason why gay people refer to each other as “family” — because even when our blood relatives aren’t there for us, there’s an entire chosen family anxious to step in. Even today, coming out can be difficult. But it’s also amazingly important — psychologically, emotionally, politically, socially.

Think about all that when you watch Coming Out, and remember that today, Oct. 11, is National Coming Out Day, a date once each year that says, “Why not come out now? You’ll feel better about yourself.” But that’s not an excuse to wait until next year if you don’t today. There’s no wrong time to come out … whether one-on-one to your mom or on film for the whole world to see.


DVtv: Getting in the mood for Halloween with Dark Hour Haunted House

Posted on 10 Oct 2016 at 4:52pm

Brad and Amy tour Dark Hour Haunted House

Brad Pritchett and DVtv vist Dark Hour Haunted House and get ready for Halloween. (Watch for the Cuss Counter!)


A loss by N.C. Governor could be an LGBT rights turning point

Posted on 10 Oct 2016 at 2:10pm

Gov. Pat McCrory

The Washington Post said a loss in November by N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory would be watershed moment in LGBT rights at the ballot box. Post writer Dana Milbank wrote it “would be the first case of a prominent official being voted out of office because his anti-gay actions backfired.”

After the N.C. House and Senate both passed HB2, the “bathroom bill,” in less than a day of its introduction, McCrory signed the bill that night. Since then he has defended the law and blamed the state’s subsequent economic woes on the LGBT community and businesses that have limited travel to the state or scaled down business in the state. Human Rights Campaign estimates HB2 has cost the state half a billion dollars so far. The Williams Institute estimated the law could eventually cost the state $5 billion.

Since the bill’s passage, the governor’s favorability rating has plummeted from 54 to 39 percent. In election polls, he trails N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who opposes HB2, by 4 points.

After years of suffering election defeats, especially in the area of anti-marriage amendments, this would be the first time an elected official was thrown out of office specifically because of his support for and enforcement of an anti-LGBT bill. What’s even more significant is the anti-trans hatred written into the law and the majority of North Carolinians unhappy with the entire law. Only 34 percent believe the law should remain in place.

The New York Times noted that if the courts strike down HB2, it would be the 14th law found unconstitutional since Republicans took control of the N.C. Legislature in 2011.

While Gov. Mike Pence signed an amendment to the Indiana bathroom law as soon as a backlash against his state’s anti-LGBT law threatened business and basketball in his state, McCrory has become more strident. As he’s become more defiant against those opposing HB2. That may be his undoing.


PHOTOS: DIFFA’s Burgers & Burgundy

Posted on 10 Oct 2016 at 10:34am

The annual Burgers & Burgundy fundraiser for DIFFA Dallas moves from a Preston Hollow estate to the Ron King Pedestrian Bridge with its breathtaking views of both Downtown and its neighboring “Large Marge” Bridge.

The evening got off to a slightly late start, as the health inspector loped around before signing off on the cooking stations, but when it got into full swing attendees were greeted by excellent gourmet burgers from chefs at Knife (pimento cheese!), Five Sixty (lamb!), The Grape (the famed “Uncle Herky mini!), Common Table, Madrina and more, represented by culinary masters like Sharon Van Meter, Casey Thompson, Brian Luscher and more. Check out some  scenes from the event.



PHOTOS: Rodd reupholsters Richardson

Posted on 07 Oct 2016 at 1:45pm

Additional photos from Rodd Gray’s amazing home transformation in Richardson. To see the full story of Rodd’s year-long project, click here.


If you never felt sorry for Sen. Ted Cruz before …

Posted on 07 Oct 2016 at 9:36am

cruzsad1Sen. Ted Cruz was at Republican Party headquarters in Fort Worth yesterday making calls for Donald Trump. Even if you never felt sorry for him before, you have to have some empathy for the pain he that, based on some of the photos, he was going through making these calls.

Some of the tweets accompanying these pictures included:

“I, Rafael Edward ‘Ted’ Cruz, am being held here against my will. My captors have treated me well, providing regular bread and water…” and “Yes, that same Ted Cruz. Yup, he called my wife ugly. Yes, he did say my dad killed Kennedy. Why am I doing this? Because I hate myself.”

But maybe this sums it up:

“Hi, this is Ted Cruz. Is your refrigerator running? Yes? Vote for it. HAHAHAHATAKETHATTRUMP!”

The photos are by G.J. McCarthy who noted that Cruz had trouble getting a live voice on the line.

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-9-32-00-am screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-9-32-14-am screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-9-32-29-am screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-9-32-56-am