Bill Maher gays it up (even more than usual) on HBO’s ‘Real Time’ this Friday

It’s no secret I think Bill Maher is a dangerous (in a good way) comedian, and love that he says what a lot of people feel uncomfortable giving words to (like on particular word he called Sarah Palin at the Winspear earlier this year). He’s proven over and over what a great gay ally he is, and he does so again this week with a roundtable lineup that includes openly gay newsfolk Rachel Maddow and Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan, of course, is famously conservative, but he’s also intellectual honest and very pro-gay. Should be a good discussion.

The new episode airs live on Friday at 9 p.m. on HBO, with replays all week (including one at 10 p.m.).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

You may see Israel Luna’s burning bush today

On today’s very special episode of The 10%, host Israel Luna and company are going to broadcast nekked. Yes, nude radio and video streaming. Why? Well, according to Facebook, “to strip down the issue of nudity.”

“One of of the topics on Tuesday is how America is okay with TV shows raping women, killing them, slaughtering them, shooting them (CSI, L&O, House, Dexter, etc.) but aren’t okay with nudity,” Luna posted Sunday on his Facebook. Which was followed by this male-heavy poster:

A slightly different tone came from today’s post (yes, also from FB) saying, “Like being naked? Thought about being naked with others in public? You may not be the only one.” Whoa. From rape to just being nude, clearly today’s episode will cover (nyuk) a wide range of nude issues while the host and panel broadcast in their birthday suits. I may have to watch to see if the subsequent show’s hosts wipe down their seats.

The 10% airs today on RationalBroadcasting.com at 3 p.m. Video of the show streams online from the site as well. We’ve fallen for it so we’ll be there. Today’s poster is after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

From Broadway to broadcast: London staging of musical ‘Fela!’ comes to Angelika screens tonight

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  |  Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

When Stephen Hendel first approached out choreographer Bill T. Jones about directing Fela!, Hendel’s hoped-for musical about the life and work of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, Jones had absolutely no experience on Broadway.

But that was OK — neither did Hendel.

“I’d never produced a musical — not any theater show — before. And this was the first time [my wife] Ruth and I had lead-produced before, though Ruthie is a Tony voter. And the show was out of left field from the mainstream fare on Broadway,” Hendel says by telephone from New York.

This week, the culmination of their efforts will be seen by the largest audience ever, as Fela! airs as part of the National Theatre Live series of stage productions filmed for moviehouses opens at the Angelika, starting tonight.

The path was one of mutual enthusiasm by relative novices. Hendel was put in touch with Jones through a mutual acquaintance. Hendel had already spent several years trying to generate interest in his idea for a non-narrative musical overloaded with dance and tribal rhythms. And Jones was very interested.

“I could see he was really, really brilliant and that many of the themes — of an artist in society, of being a political artist and being a black man — were all issues will had spend him career exploring and living. We agreed when and if I got the rights [to the music and story], Bill would direct and choreograph the show.”

It took nearly a year for that to happen. In the interim, Jones got an agent who secured him choreography duties on an off-Broadway play called Seven. One of the hopefuls was not cast, but Jones loved his energy. He would eventually originate the role of Fela on Broadway.
Jones, for his part, made an impact as well, winning an Tony Award for choreographing Spring Awakening and becoming a hot property in the theater community. And Hindel got him started. (Hendel himself has continued his theater work, co-producing American Idiot, another outside-the-box, Tony-nominated musical from last season.)

The journey from New York stage to London stage to, this week, movie screens across the world, was a surprisingly natural progression.
“We opened on Broadway and got amazing reviews, and the National Theatre [in England] came to see it. Nick Hytner, their artistic director, called me to talk about bringing it to the Olivier Stage in London, so we created a production for the National,” Hendel says. He then learned that the National was beginning its second season of broadcasting stage works from its and other London stages to movie theaters across the world.

Hendel was in. The version airing this week at the Angelika Film Centers in Dallas and Plano was shot with nine cameras at the London shortly before Fela! closed its original Broadway run earlier this month. That means the broadcast is the only way an American can see the show for the time being.

“It’s like having the best seat in the house every minute, only you get things you can’t see sitting in a Broadway house,” Hendel says. And it is just one more way people in the U.S. can experience a musician Hendel has long loved but most people have never heard of.

“People thought we were crazy [doing the show] — who’s ever heard about Fela Kuti and would want to see a show about a Nigerian they’d never heard of?” he says. “It has been a big challenge making audiences aware of what it’s about and why it’s so entertaining and important. We want people all over the world the see the show and why we’ve spent eight or nine years working on it. It’s been a total joy and a total thrill.”

Still, Hendel says the cinema version does not replace seeing it live, which he hopes will happen; he is planning to announce soon a U.S. and international tour to start mid-2011.

Until then, though, the Angelika’s the place to be.

Fela! airs at the Angelika Mockingbird Station Jan. 19 and 20, and at the Angelika Plano Jan. 22 and 23, at 7 p.m. Visit AngelikaFilmCenter.com for details.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Beefy Cowboys tonight at the Round-Up on Monday Night Football

Dallas Cowboys need you more than ever

Jason Whitten

Let’s face it, this isn’t a great season for the Cowboys and it’s just not looking good for Super Bowl dreams. Going into tonight’s game against the New York Giants with a 1-4 record just hurts to think about. But, with Rangers fever running rampant, maybe some of that winning spirit will transcend over to Cowboys Stadium. The Giants are coming off a three-in-a-row winning streak but we hear some buzz on the Interwebs that the Cowboys are favored for tonight. Time to cash in on those miracles we’ve been praying for.

Otherwise, go Rangers!

DEETS: Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road. 7 p.m. Airs on ESPN. RoundUpSaloon.com

—  Rich Lopez

Logo’s ‘Bump!’ features Dallas

Resource Center Dallas reports on Facebook that Logo’s “Bump!” was scheduled to feature Big D on Wednesday night. Logo crews were at RCD’s “the Five Factor” and Gaybingo Dallas last fall. Filmmaker Robert Camina says the episode was also to include Michael DiQuinzio, Rodd Gray, Hungdinger, Wayne Smith as Cher, ilume, Derrick Brown, Station 4, the Round-Up, Sue Ellens, the Tin Room, Hotel Palomar, Woody’s, JR.’s and the Dallas Diablos. Wow!

According to the Logo website, the show was scheduled to air at 6 p.m. local time and again at  10:30 a.m. Thursday. In case you’re not familiar, here’s a description of the show:

Join hosts Charlie David (Dante’s Cove), and Shannon McDonough as they tour the world in search of the most fascinating and engaging destinations for LGBT travelers. Every episode showcases a different gay-friendly city and all the fun and stylish activities they offer.

—  John Wright