Uptown Players presents its second annual Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival just in time for Pride, starting tonight with the one-night-only staging of Dustin Lance Black’s 8, but there are seven more shows scheduled — all with a gay twist of some sort, and all getting multiple performances.
Below is a run-down of the shows … some with write-ups by others in the festival. You can get individual tickets ($13) — or a full festival pass ($53) — here. All performances upstairs in Frank’s Place at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.
Speech and Debate, by Stephen Karam. An off-Broadway hit, this dark comedy is about a gay kid and his misfit friends who seek to expose a teacher who preys on boys. Performs Friday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
The Madness of Lady Bright, by Lanford Wilson. Here’s what John Michael Colgin, star and creator of The A Gays, Stillwater, Oklahoma, has to say about this show: “I still think of Larry Randolph’s thrilling performance of an ageing drag queen in The Madness of Lady Bright. As Leslie sits in his dressing room, lamenting his youth as a glamorous performer, you wonder if he was ever happy. Randolph plunges into Leslie’s personal history with such awe-inspiring depth that you see beyond the makeup and wigs to a man battling his loneliness with the memories of past lovers.” We reviewed a version of this performance when Randolph performed it at the Festival of Independent Theatres here. Performs Saturday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8:30 p.m.
I Google Myself. Kevin Moore performed in this show a few years ago at WaterTower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Festival (we reviewed it here), but now directs this dark comedy about weirdness on the Internet. Here’s what he has to say about going from onstage to behind the scenes: “When I was approached to direct a production for Uptown’s Pride Festival, I was excited to bring this story to an audience who probably didn’t get a chance to see it the first time around. The story is simultaneously hilarious and creepy, and it brings together three pretty great actors (Travis Ponikiewski, Dan Schmoker and Andrews W. Cope, at left) that have found layers far beyond the caricatures that their characters could easily become. As an actor, you get to be pretty selfish and focus on your scenes and the relationships your character has with the people he’s onstage with. As a director, there are so many more balls in the air as you let each actor do their own thing but guide them together to tell the story.” Performs Sunday, Sept. 9 at 2:15 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 15 at 4:30 p.m.
The Still Consummate Woman written and performed by Marisa Diotalevi. After a hiatus of several years, Diotalevi revives her award-winning one-woman performance as several “wonderful and wacky women” navigate themselves through everything from children’s TV to a women’s folk music festival in the revised show. Performs Saturday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 730 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. (on a double bill with Triple Crown Queen).
Triple Crown Queen written and performed by Paul J. Williams, above. Inspired by Leslie Jordan’s recent one-man reverie that played in Dallas, Williams decided to take his own sashay down the potholed memory lane to childhood. “Triple Crown Queen is a multimedia show combining life stories with photos and video clips chronicling my days as a ‘creative child,’” he says. “and it goes all the way to the present as a ‘pink-list celebrity.’ Whether stories heard before or stories never known, come see the visuals that back it all up!” Performs Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 14 at 9 p.m. (on a double bill with The Still Consummate Woman.)
The A-Gays, Stillwater, Oklahoma. John Michael Colgin, right, performs and wrote this autobiographical piece, which he describes this way: “This college kid cuts himself off from his usual activities, because he just realized he’s gay, so he should be doing gay things. He reads Dan Savage for tips on being versatile and he gets drunk before dates because he’s nervous and he affects his persona to fit in. It’s about a boy, who thinks he’s more unique than he really is.” Performs Saturday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Why Am I Not Gay? Straight actor and self-confessed musical theater buff Jason Kane — a born bear — has a confession: He prefers the company of “the ladies” … but also Elton John, disco music, ABBA and gossip. What’s wrong with him? Using music and comedy, he explores the tragedy of a hetero man struggling to go into the closet. Performs Sunday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m.