Drama Desks awarded, Tonys next

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 10:24am

Last night, New York’s Drama Desk Awards were presented, with North Texas’ Michael Urie serving as host, in a rough preview of what to expect from the Tony Awards this coming Sunday.

Unlike the Tonys, the Drama Desks — which were founded by theater critics and journalists — award both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway productions, as well as Broadway. Therefore, shows that open in New York Off-Broadway one year and on the next are often recognized by the Drama Desks before the Tonys. For instance, this year’s Drama Desks for outstanding music and  lyrics went to David Yazbek for The Band’s Visit, which won’t open on Broadway until the fall. He defeated Come from Away, one of the frontrunners for this year’s Tonys. (Bandstand, which is produced in part by Dallas’ Terry D. Loftis, won two awards.)

The Drama Desks also present more awards than the Tonys, and in some unique categories, like solo performance and projection design. Oddly, Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon won respectively for actress and featured actress in a play for The Little Foxes, in which they alternate performances in the leading and supporting roles, which should make them eligible in the same category. They are submitted similarly for the Tonys.

Here are the winners:


Outstanding Musical: Come from Away

Outstanding Revival: Hello, Dolly!

Outstanding Director (tie): Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812; and David Cromer, The Band’s Visit

Outstanding Actor: Andy Karl, Groundhog Day

Outstanding Actress: Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!

Outstanding Featured Actor: Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!

Outstanding Featured Actress: Jenna Colella, Come from Away

Outstanding Book: Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come from Away

Outstanding Music: David Yazbek, The Band’s Visit

Outstanding Lyrics: David Yazbek, The Band’s Visit

Outstanding Orchestrations: Bandstand

Outstanding Choreography: Andy Blankenbeuhler, Bandstand

Outstanding Costume Design: War Paint

Outstanding Set Design: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Outstanding Lighting Design: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Outstanding Sound Design: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812


Outstanding Play: Oslo by J.T. Rogers

Outstanding Revival: Jitney

Outstanding Director: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jitney

Outstanding Actor: Kevin Kline, Present Laughter

Outstanding Actress: Laura Linney, The Little Foxes

Outstanding Featured Actor: Danny DeVito, The Price

Outstanding Featured Actress: Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes

Outstanding Music in a Play: Bill Sims Jr., Jitney

Outstanding Costume Design: The Little Foxes

Outstanding Set Design: The Play That Goes Wrong

Outstanding Lighting Design: Indecent

Outstanding Sound Design: The Encounter


Outstanding Fight Choreography: Sweat

Outstanding Solo Performance: Ed Dixon, Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose

Outstanding Adaptation: David Ives, The Liar

Outstanding Unique Theatrical Experience: The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

Outstanding Revue: Life is for Living: Conversations with Coward

Outstanding Projection Design: Anastasia

Outstanding Puppet Design: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Outstanding Wig and Hair: War Paint


Turtle Creek Chorale stages Dreams

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 10:08am

The Turtle Creek Chorale staged its issue-oriented concert In Your Dreams on June 2-4. They paid tribute to the victims of the Pulse massacre as well as last summer’s fallen Dallas police officers. One chorale member addressed coming out to his family as a drag queen while others talked about tackling their meth addiction. These photos, provided by the chorale, are from the dress rehearsal.


AIN stages a successful Bloomin Ball

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 9:37am

AIDS Interfaith Network’s Bloomin Ball took place at the Renaissance Hotel on Saturday, June 3. According to AIN community liaison Nestor Estrada, the evening was already the agency’s most profitable dinner — and that was before the silent auction had closed.



Wings, WNBA celebrating Pride Month

Posted on 02 Jun 2017 at 12:52pm

Dallas Wings’ Allisha Gray, No. 15, faces off against Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus as Courtney Paris looks on, during the Wings’ recent win over the Lynx. Gray was named WNBA’s Rookie of the Month for May.

The WNBA — Women’s National Basketball Association, just in case some of you don’t know — is celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month in June, for the fourth year in a row. And that includes our very own Dallas Wings (watch for special Wings/Pride Month coverage coming soon to Dallas Voice, online and in print).

WNBA President Lisa Borders said the league is “honored and privileged to celebrate the diversity of our fan base,” and that the WNBA “embraces the principles of equality and mutual respect and is always working to ensure an inclusive environment at our games and events.”

WNBA Pride Month includes four nationally televised games on ESPN2: Washington Mystics at the Dallas Wings on June 6 (7 p.m. CST), and Dallas Wings at the Los Angeles Sparks on June 13 (9 p.m. CST). On June 23 Minnesota Lynx host the Mystics (7 p.m. CST), and on June 29, the Connecticut Sun hosts the Seattle Storm (7 p.m., CST).

WNBA has also announced a collaboration with GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and Fanatics, in which fans can choose from an exclusive line of Fanatics-designed Pride T-shirts featuring WNBA or NBA team logos. A portion of the proceeds will benefit GLSEN, and the league will donate $10,000 to help support GLSEN’s efforts to create safer and more inclusive school environments for all students.

Throughout June, teams will offer special ticket packages and in-arena experiences for Pride-themed games. There will also be community outreach and activation with local Pide groups, festivals and parades, with team activities will be showcased on WNBA and NBA Cares social media channels with the hashtag #wnbapride.

That includes, for the second year in a row, the WNBA, NBA and NBA Development League marching together and having a float in the New York City Pride March on June 25.

(Dallas and Fort Worth both stage their LGBT Pride parades and events in the fall — September in Dallas and October in Fort Worth. Dallas Wings representatives have said the team plans to participate in the local Pride celebrations then.)

Dallas Wings stand at 3-2 going into tonight’s game against The New York Liberty, at Madison Square Garden. The Liberty are 2-3 on the season. Wings play the Indiana Fever (2-4) on Tuesday in Indianapolis, and are back home in College Park Center in Arlington to host the Washington Mystics (4-2). Next Friday, the Los Angeles Sparks (3-2) come to College Park Center.

For a complete Dallas Wings schedule, go here. For tickets, go here.

Additional information on team events and celebrations can be found at WNBA.com/pride. The 2017 WNBA regular season runs through Sept. 3. For more information on the WNBA, game tickets and the full 2017 Twitter live stream schedule, visit wnba.com.



No Pride proclamation from Trump

Posted on 02 Jun 2017 at 12:14pm

Donald Trump

Note to all those gay Republicans and others who claimed that President Donald Trump was going to be a friend to the LGBT community: YOU WERE WRONG.

On Wednesday, May 31, Trump signed a proclamation declaring June to be “National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, 2017.” Apparently, there is not enough room in June for Caribbean-Americans and the LGBT folk, because Trump has failed — at least so far — to issue a proclamation honoring June as national LGBT Pride Month.

(We were spoiled with eight years of President Obama recognizing Pride month with proclamations and actual celebrations; you know, like bathing the White House in rainbow lights for Marriage Equality Day in 2015.)

Trump is not only NOT a friend, he is, in fact, a huge enemy to our community, despite his daughter’s claims of love and support for all her LGBT friends.

As a statement from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation noted, “Since Day One of his presidency, Donald Trump has approved policy that systematically erases LGBTQ Americans from the fabric of this nation. From removing any mention of ‘LGBTQ’ on government websites to rescinding guidance that protection the rights of transgender students at their schools, the Trump Administration has made a point to halt full acceptance for LGBTQ Americans.”

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that thanks to Trump, Indiana’s former Homophobe in Chief, Mike Pence, is now vice president.



Mayors commit to fighting climate change

Posted on 02 Jun 2017 at 10:52am

County Judge Clay Jenkins

Mayors from 83 cities — but none in North Texas — have agreed to honor the commitments in the Paris climate accord. That includes three Texas mayors — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Smithville Mayor Scott A Saunders. Smithville is southeast of Austin.

Texas might seem like an unlikely leader in fighting climate change, but we’re the leading state in producing energy through wind power.

While Mayor Mike Rawlings is not on the list of mayors committed to fighting climate change — yet — County Judge Clay Jenkins pulled out the Ebola card, threw in some death and destruction and issued the following statement about how climate change has already affected Dallas:

“The President is abandoning the fight against the Earth’s biggest threat. Humankind is facing violent weather and dangerous high temperatures. In the last five years, Dallas County has fought two deadly emerging disease emergencies exacerbated by climate change that claimed 19 lives to West Nile Virus and another to Ebola. Increasingly violent weather claimed four lives in the flooding of 2015 and nine more in the 2016 tornadoes. Counties, cities and business will need to redouble our efforts, to demonstrate to the world that President Trump’s action does not reflect the views and values of most Americans. Everyone has a role to play. We must think globally and act locally.”

Dallas Voice has reached out to Mayor Rawlings’ office for comment, but have not yet heard back from them. We will update this post when they contact us.


A not-so-national march

Posted on 02 Jun 2017 at 7:35am


Mark Segal  |  Philadelphia Gay News
Courtesy National LGBT Media Association

Mark SegalHeads up, LGBT America: Did you know that there is about to be a national Equality March for Unity and Pride in Washington, D.C., on June 11? Chances are you may not, since the people/group “organizing” it seem to have forgotten a simple rule when putting together a public demonstration: Invite the public and then communicate the facts so people will know the importance of the event, support its goals and know where, when and what to expect.

The group organizing this has failed, but local individuals and groups have come to the rescue; bravo to them. Here are some facts to consider.

This march grew out of the LGBT outrage and resistance to President Donald Trump. That’s admirable, but taking on a national task with little experience takes a lot of time and work. It also takes incredible knowledge, and in that regard, we appreciate the organizers’ commitment. But there comes a time when you’re in over your head, and you need to request the assistance of those most affected by your event.

In this case, that would be the city that you’ve announced is hosting the event, and the entire national LGBT community, which could in part be reached by outreach to national media.

So I decided to call around to my friends in D.C. and those in LGBT media and see what’s up with the national march, slated for a little over a week from now.

Most editors I contacted around the country hadn’t received as much as a press release about the event. Meaning, to write about the march, they had to hunt down organizers.

From a source, I discovered that the organizers had just sent out a request for corporate sponsors.

Getting a corporation to react in three weeks is a tough haul. Those funds would be used for the rally after a march starting at the White House. But what I discovered most was a lack of interest.

Here’s an example from Dallas Voice staff writer David Taffet, who said a local store owner in Texas was organizing a group to attend and had heard from 40-50 participants: “I’m sure some others are just going on their own, but some of those [the store owner] spoke to didn’t have plane tickets yet. To compare, for the 1993 march, we had more than 1,000 who marched together. We know that number because of the number of Dallas signs we made up for that march — 500. We gave one to every two people and ran out.”

Tracy Bain of Chicago’s Windy City Times voiced what many of us in the media feel: “I don’t have a sense it will be massive, but I know a few folks who may go.”

A Philly group is renting a bus under the moniker “Drag Me to the March,” with a drag show featured on the bus.

The publisher of New York’s GayCityNews tells me no activist group there he knows of is engaged. And if you look on the official website or Facebook page, you’ll be treated to little information, with the exception of a list of cities that have notified organizers they have buses going to the march — 15, to be exact — and most unfilled.

But then there’s another page that lists “solidarity” events happening the same day in cities around the world — and here lies the silver lining, and an answer: Most of the cities listed on this page have local people involved in organizing local events. And as the saying goes, “All politics are local.”

This is the success of the not-so-national march, since it will continue the enthusiasm on a local level and actually create change.

For those of you who make it to D.C., organizers recently released a list of speakers. But most of us in media didn’t get it. In fact, press releases just went up on the website on May 26.

On the other hand, the local groups as well as the LGBT-organized structures of D.C. are doing outreach and will be the heroes of June 11.

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His recently published memoir, And Then I Danced, is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or at your favorite bookseller. You can follow him on Facebook at Facebook.com/MarkSegalPGN or Twitter at Twitter.com/PhilaGayNews.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 2, 2017.


PHOTOS: The fire at Rainbow Lounge and what it left behind

Posted on 01 Jun 2017 at 7:25pm

Photos of the 3 a.m. fire that destroyed Fort Worth’s iconic Rainbow Lounge, by Peter Matthews.


Photos of what the fire left behind, by Tammye Nash


DPD seeking suspects in robbery on Oak Lawn

Posted on 01 Jun 2017 at 6:08pm

Dallas Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying and apprehending two suspects who robbed an Oak Lawn Avenue Sprint store at gunpoint on Wednesday, May 31.

According to police, the two men entered the store at 11:10 a.m. and held employees of the store, located in the 3500 block of Oak Lawn Avenue, at gunpoint during the robbery. No employees were injured.

Suspect No. 1 is a black male, 30-40 years of age, 5’10” and about 200 pounds. He was wearing a red shirt, black pants and a camouflage boonie/military hat.

Suspect No. 2, also a black male, was 6’1 and about 280 pounds. He wore a dark shirt, dark shorts and a white baseball cap.

Anyone who recognizes these suspects, pictured above, or has information concerning the robbery is asked to contact Detective Stokes at 214-671-3444.


Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s Pride Month resolution

Posted on 01 Jun 2017 at 5:16pm

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

Missed President Trump’s Pride Month proclamation? Yeah, so did we. But, as usual, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson issued hers.

Johnson has worked closely with the LGBT community since she served in the Texas legislature where she wrote the first legislation in Texas dealing with the AIDS crisis. She’s consistently sponsored legislation including employment nondiscrimination and has a 100 percent voting record with Human Rights Campaign, celebrated marriage equality and mourned our losses with us. Here’s what she said today (June 1):

This June, as we celebrate LGBT Pride Month let’s renew our fight to end discrimination against LGBT Americans.

A year ago this month, the LGBT community was violently attacked at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Although our celebration this year is marred by sorrow, we must remain resilient in fighting to protect the rights of those in the LGBT community. They should be able to freely enjoy themselves in public places without fear of being attacked. So this month, we will continue to remember the 49 beautiful souls who lost their lives, and all of the survivors and family members still reeling from this hateful attack.

We still live in a time when across this country our LGBT friends and family members can still be fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartment just because of who they are or who they love. We all must to do more to protect the dignity of the LGBT community. I commit myself to continuing to fight for full legal and societal equality for LGBT people. Last month, I was proud to join 194 of my House colleagues in reintroducing the Equality Act, comprehensive civil rights legislation that will provide nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people all across this country.

Pride Month recognizes the courage it takes for LGBT people to come out as their true selves into a society that is not always accepting. It is an observance of those who have fought for equality, in some case losing their freedom or even their lives. And it is a celebration of how far we have all come, for when we are more welcoming to our LGBT friends and family we are a stronger, more resilient and more unified society.

I pledge to keep fighting to ensure LGBT Americans have the safety and security they deserve in our Dallas community and across the nation. So I am joining countless others in taking this Pride Month to recognize the significant contributions our LGBT friends and family members have made to the fabric of our nation and stand together in the fight for full and total equality.