You can be part of a ‘Sordid Wedding!’

Del-Shores-32Del Shores — he of the snarky Texas-twanged rants against religious hypocrisy and homophobia, in works from Southern Baptist Sissies to Queer as Folk— is primed to begin filming his latest movie, the first official sequel to his signature hit Sordid Lives. A Very Sordid Wedding puts your favorite characters in the receiving line of a gay wedding — which, thanks to SCOTUS, is now just called “a wedding” — and will begin filming soon in the Metroplex. But the groundwork isn’t done yet. Shores and his producer (and Dallas Voice contributor) Emerson Collins will join Louise H. Beard for a fundraising and location scouting tour of North Texas this week. If you want to be part of the producing team, you can attend an investors’ informational meeting Friday in Fort Worth or Saturday in Dallas (both at private homes, starring at 7:30 p.m.). The minimum buy-in is $25,000, but if you don’t have that much cash in a drawer, you can always pool some money with your friends … and be on the cutting edge of the marriage equality movement.

To learn more, email Del at DelShores@me.com. And if you see him around town looking at sites, come up and say howdy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Garth Brooks is back, and that’s especially good for gay folks. Here’s why

Garth-Brooks

It’s been 17 years since Garth Brooks went on a live concert tour that took him to the Metroplex. Well, that drought ends on Sept. 18 and 19, when he will appear at American Airlines Center for two concerts.

If you’re not a country music fan, you might not fully grasp how significant this is. Brooks was a sensation in the 1990s, the biggest country star — and one of the biggest crossover musicians — in history. He was a hit-maker, releasing about a dozen albums (including studio, live and compilation) in less than 10 years. And he scored 13 — 13! — Top 10 singles in a row, including 12 Top 5. And what is significant about that 14th release? It only hit the Top 20, peaking at 12 — still a hit, but not a runaway. The song was called “We Shall Be Free,” and it shocked conservative shit-kickin’, boot-scootin’ country fans at the time. Not only did it promote liberal values (i.e., American values, like freedom of religion and speech), but it also contained the following lyric: When we’re free to love anyone we choose / when this world’s big enough for all different views

Ummm … did Garth Brooks, the biggest music star in history, just come out — in 1992! — in favor of … gay rights?!??

You’re damn right, he did.

Brooks’ sister is openly lesbian, and he may be a country-boy, but he ain’t no bigot. Brooks won over a lot of gay fans with that one … and he paid a price.

For more than a decade, he’s cooled it, rearing children with wife Tricia Yearwood. But he’s back, and he was right: As of now, we all are free to love — to marry — anyone we choose.

I’ll be there. (You can too, starting at 10 a.m. July 24. Click here.)

Below is a performance of the song recorded in Houston last month — just two days after marriage equality.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Andrew Christian ‘Let the Games Begin!’ video with Dallas Voice model

10406640_10203775863378994_2949604321539858376_nIn 2014, we kicked off our first-ever Swimsuit Edition with a cover graced by a local model, named Arad. Arad was great to work with in addition to being as ripped as a dress on prom night. His career has just soared since then, with lots of underwear modeling and personal appearances. Then earlier this year, he was hired by Andrew Christian; he’s even the “profile” picture for Andrew Christian on Facebook.

He’s also one of the stars of this hot new video by the gay underwear brand. You can’t miss Arad, but he’s not the only eye candy. Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Memorial service tonight for Jac Alder

jacalder01Jac Alder, the long-serving founder and artistic director of Theatre 3 who died in late May at 80 after a long illness, will be remembered in a memorial service tonight.

The service will be held at City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., in the Downtown Arts District. Complimentary parking will be provided at the Lexus Silver Parking Garage next door. It begins at 6 p.m.

Friends and colleagues, as well as fans of Theatre 3 and Alder’s more than half-century of dedication to theater in North Texas, are all invited to attend.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: First look at Festival of Independent Theatres

StageThe fun of any theater festival is discovering new works and new voices and energetic approaches to storytelling. Of course, the risk is not all those voices are harmonious, not all of those works have merit.

The excitement, then, in realizing that The Show About Men (which I previewed here) — now at the Festival of Independent Theatres — is better and more surprising that I could have imagined, is palpable. The premise — a straight woman and her cast of men (a mix of gay/straight) brainstorm about the essence of manhood, and turn it into a show that’s part dance, part barroom sing-along, part standup and more — doesn’t do justice to this whimsical and insightful performance piece.

It starts as you might expect something experimental and self-consciously “edgy” to be: In darkened silhouette, six men line up on a stage, only in boxers, talking directly in epigrammatic observations. Then the music starts (all of the songs are original), and the catchy lyrics and engaging melodies draw you in, especially with a ribald sense of comedy: Dick… and balls / Hanging from my gut / Right between my thighs and adjacent to my butt …. And you get it: This show will be as diverse and crass and funny and sensitive and reflective as the male animal himself. The show is simply a hoot, and a true departure for FIT with its use so movement, song, jokes and real-life confessional stories.

The cast is uniformly good, though the standout is surely Colby Calhoun, whose insights into being a effeminate man in the modern world are stingingly funny and insightful. But all the stories — kind of grown-up versions of Free to Be You and Me — paint a hopeful yet complex picture of mahood.

The only bad thing about The Show About Men? For the other two performance this weekend (Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m.) it’s paired with Dangerous Things On Dark Nights by 2013 Booker T. grad Naomi Cohen. It’s logline — “It was written by a teen millennial … about teen millennials” misses the point that neither youth nor an in-person perspective are evidence of quality. It’s as if Cohen read For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, watched iCarly and listened to pop ballads from the ’70s and decided a mashup would be a good idea. It is not.

The play is a mess: Three largely uninteractive (but related) monologues by three teen girls and the petulant, misdirected actions that get them into trouble. They smoke and resist authority figures; they go out drinking and driving; they are embarrassed by their parents. Perhaps these are supposed to be insights, instead of the tritest of teenaged cliches; it’s hard to tell, since there isn’t an original idea bouncing around this slow, very poorly acted show. Duck out at intermission after seeing The Show About the Men, or catch it at one of its three other performances at FIT through Aug 1.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: Bastille Day Edition

Le Vert Cooler

If you’re a francophile, you know that July 14 is Bastille Day, the French equivalent of America’s Fourth of July. And as a francophile, you probably want to raise a glass in support. Of course, you could toast with a glass of wine (France is know for its many wine regions), but this is a cocktail recipe blog — what to do?

Simple: Make a cocktail made with Lillet, an aperitif wine that has been around since before the French Revolution and which blends well with spirits for its own cocktail. There are three kinds of Lillet — not surprisingly, the Rose, the Blanc and the Rouge (just like wine!). Here are two recipes, one with Blanc and one Rose … both delicieux!

Lillet Rose Spritz

Le Vert Cooler

2 oz. Lillet Blanc

1/4 oz. St-Germain liqueur

1 oz. sparkling wine (champagne preferably!)

Grapes, thyme.

Making it: Muddle about 10 grapes with 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, then add Lillet and the st-Germain, in a Mason jar. Screw on lid and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Top with bubbly! Salud!

Lillet Rose Spritz

1 oz. Lillet Rose

1 oz. dry grapefruit or citrus soda

Fresh grapefruit

Sage.

Making it: Add Lillet and soda in a wine glass, and top with ice. Garnish with sliced grapefruit and sage leaf. Bonne sante!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Drag Racer Pearl releases signature fragrance. You’ll never guess the name

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 11.19.17 AMHow would you like to smell like a drag queen? No, not mascara, Ponds and gin, but a perfume designed by a drag queen to reflect her unique aesthetic. So far, no alumna of RuPaul’s Drag Race has yet marketed a signature cologne … until now. And the queen with the sense for scents? Pearl.

So, if you’re Pearl, what do you call your new fragrance. Well, she came up with a doozy: Flazeda, Say it with me again: Flazeda.

Yes, the made-up word that Ru mocked her for on last season’s RPDR — Pearl’s portmanteau malaprop, a mashup of blase and “la-de-dah,” we assume — has now been embraced as her defining moment.

The cologne comes out officially on July 15 (priced: $124 for a 50 ml bottle), but you can pre-order it now here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

JHud gives surprise private mini-concert at the W’s same-sex wedding

IMG_3173I teased readers this week that they might want to attend an event, sponsored by the W Victory Dallas Hotel and the HRC, where a same-sex couple would wed. I said Lady Bunny would be the DJ, and she was. But I didn’t say who the surprise musical guest would be … because, ya know, it was a surprise. So, following the beautiful ceremony on the 33rd floor of the W, promoting the #TurnItUpForChange movement HRC and W promote, the curtain behind the grooms dropped to reveal a gorgeous, soulful Jennifer Hudson, singing to the newlyweds (with a pair of hot backup dancers). It was an awesome moment for everyone.

We should all have weddings like this. Maybe the haters were right: Gays are ruining straight marriages … or at least weddings. Cuz we know how to bring it.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Project Runway’ lines up completely uninteresting slate of guest judges for Season 14

Project runway judgesjpg

Project Runway begins its 14th season on Aug. 6, and Lifetime just released the names of the contestants (only one from Texas — and that’s Austin) and the guests judges, which has to be the least interesting slate of faux-lebrities they could drudge up.

Among the fashionistas offering their opinions will be actresses Bella Thorne (Scream) (who?!), Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) (that ship has sailed), Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) (OK), Paula Patton (About Last Night) (you mean Robin Thicke’s ex-wife?), Ashley Tisdale (Clipped) (yawn), Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer (UnREAL) (cross-pollinated from another Lifetime show); singer/songwriter Ciara; singer (arguable) and America’s Got Talent judge Mel B (hasn’t the flavor gone out of that Spice years ago?); supermodel Coco Rocha; fashion designer Lisa Perry; Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model and host of Lifetime’s Project Runway Junior (more cross-pollination!) Hannah Davis.

Now, no one tunes in solely for the guest judges. And some of these (all female, by the way) may have some real insights. But if the wattage of your stars can only be seen by the Hubble telescope, you probably need a jolt of some kind. Still, we love seeing Tim and Heidi do their thing, though we still miss Michael Kors.

Sixteen contestants will vie for the $100k prize, about half of whom are men … which, if tradition serves, means about half are also gay. It’s like Grindr with fabric swatches.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Raid of the Rainbow Lounge’ debuts today on DVD

Officers have someone on the floor inside the barIt was six years ago last week — the 40th anniversary of Stonewall as it so happens — that Fort Worth’s Rainbow Lounge was raided by police, setting off the most vocal struggle between cops and the gay community in Cowtown’s history. Filmmaker Robert L. Camina jumped into action that same day, and began putting together a documentary, Raid of the Rainbow Lounge, which had a successful run on the festival circuit. But until today, you couldn’t find it on DVD.

Now, though, you can, with the home video release, thanks to TLA Video. You can purchase a copy by clicking here.

In addition, Camina has recently completed a follow-up documentary about an historic moment in the gay experience: The arson that burned down, 42 years ago, the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans, which killed 32 people, including two gay clergyman. Upstairs Inferno received its world premiere last month in the Crescent City, and is now scheduled for a week encore screenings July 10–16 at the Prytania Theater there. And look for it to make its may to a film festival soon.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones