WATCH: Trans comic Robin Tran

Transgender comic Robin Tran — “total coincidence” she assures us — has been around a while, but I only discovered her recently on a Facebook link for a video she did about being trans for But I found this latest posted routine (from earlier this week) about her obsession with Facebook. Since I found her on Facebook, I thought it would be a fun way to introduce her. Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Want to be in an opera? The DO could use you for something fishy

moby_12The Dallas Opera’s season kicks off in a few weeks, with the return of the Jake Heggie-Gene Scheer adaptation of Moby-Dick, and while all the singing roles have been cast, there are still a few openings. The DO is looking for me who are “athletic, agile, adventurous, and unafraid of heights” to be supernumeries (extras) in the ocean-set opera. You don’t need to sing, just be willing to be eaten by a great white whale.

The open call is that the Karayanis Rehearsal Center on the Fair Park grounds on Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m., but you need to respond with your interest no later than noon, Oct. 1 by emailing

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: ‘Danny Says’


Pristine Condition and Danny Fields

Danny Feinberg was just another “little faggot from Long Island” when he came of age just after World War II. He went to college and was admitted to Harvard Law School while still in his teens because he was fairly brilliant, although he would eventually drop out. No wonder; he preferred to smoke dope and hang out with the other outsiders and faggots and generally serve as handmaiden to the shaker in the underground art movement in Greenwich Village that would really set the tone for the second half of the 20th century.

He remembers seeing Nina Simone for the first time and being wowed. He knew instantly that Edie Sedgwick was a transformative presence. He was responsible for circulating John Lennon’s claim that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” And he knew Lennon was right.

By the mid-1960s, Feinberg — now known as Danny Fields — was himself what today we might call an “influencer.” He was a talent manager for Elektra Records just as that label was leading the way for the psychedelic rock era. There are some that say punk rock wouldn’t have existed without Fields… probably among them, Fields himself.

He burned bridges, spoke truth to power, coddled infants terribles like Jim Morrison and had a hand steering careers from the Ramones to Iggy Pop to Alice Cooper. He led, in short, an amazing life.

And he’s still living it, in more retrospective form (he’s 77) in the documentary Danny Says (which plays Saturday at the Texas Theatre at 7 p.m. with filmmaker Brendan Toller in attendance). Danny Says — it takes its title from a song Joey Ramone wrote about Fields — premiered at SXSW in 2015, and is finally getting a theatrical release, and thank heavens. It’s a fascinating and exhausting film, as much a piece of pop art itself as the people it’s about. The director pieces together interviews with Fields, John Cameron Mitchell, Cooper, Pop and countless execs and friends who lived this amazing roller coaster of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Toller comes close to overdoing it, though, with a degree of sensory overload: Conversations, photos, subtitled and a required working knowledge of pop culture that taxes the memory of even a professional writer of pop culture. But the payoff is a nearly orgasmic expiation of the alt-rock-art scene.


Director Brendan Toller, sporting a famous Stones cover, will be in attendance at a screening of ‘Danny Says’ at the Texas Theatre Saturday at 7 p.m.

It’s an exhilarating exploration of  journalism, sexuality, art and the counterculture from the framework of a smart-mouthed cynic whose arrogance is undercut by his incomparable instincts and insights. Fields refers to 1965–66 as “the year that everything wonderful happened,” and snarkily observes that “everything good starts by being hated by the New York Times.” This is a history lesson like the world might not be able to tell anymore. We’re culturally obsessed with Kim Kardashian’s ass and Brangelina divorcing; Fields & Co. were surviving the thriving. The photo collages alone are amazing, especially compared to the soulless eyes of Instagram selfies and self-indulgent Snapchats and brain-dead Trump supporters. Danny Says reminds us that once, long ago, art mattered.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gyro worship

Our drive-by tasting of the trendiest new restaurant:
The Halal Guys

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Executive Editor

img_5609Dallas: Buckle of the Bible Belt. A city so conservative and Christian, even the gays flock to church in droves. Why, the thought that Red State U.S.A. would permit Islamic fundamentalism is as unthinkable as… as… well, as the city’s largest daily endorsing a Democrat for president.

See? Times change.

Dallas may split near the center along liberal-conservative lines, but it’s also the premiere foodie city in America. We dine out more often. We embrace more chain concepts (Brinker, Romano and Lombardi are all based here) and more chef-y boutique restaurants (Pyles, Fearing, Rathbun are here as well) than just about anywhere on the planet.

So yes, Christianity may thrive here… but who doesn’t enjoy a little halal cuisine?

That would explain why there’s often a line out the door at The Halal Guys, the traditional Middle Eastern fast-caz resto that opened this summer in the gayborhood. (Halal is basically the Muslim equivalent to Jewish kosher rules regarding food handing and preparation.)

It’s new to Dallas, although the food cart version has been a staple in New York for a quarter-century. The concept is basic, as most edgy cultural touchstones are: A small menu of gyro (beef) meat, chicken and falafel, served in a pita or as a platter with rice and veggies, plus a few sides and a wedge of baklava for dessert.

That’s it. If you’ve spent more than $15 on yourself, you’re a glutton.

The sunny, cafeteria-style setting assembly-lines you through a limited but inviting selection of proteins and presentations. You’ll probably be tempted on your first visit to overdo it; resist the urge if you can, as you can always come back, line or not.

The ingredients are fresh and colorful (and the meat, of course, prepared in accordance with halal rules). Two sauces are available, called simply “hot” (red) and “white” — a proprietary blend that’s essentially a spicy mayo. The red version, even by Texas standards, is a peppery concoction.

You can ask for either or both upon ordering; even better, there’s a roaming “sauce guy” — an employ who comes around not to refill your water glasses, but to brighten up your meal with an extra dollop. Go ahead, ask for a squirt; that’s what he’s there for.

Obviously, this is not fancy dining. Soft drinks are self-serve; employees have been friendly but unobtrusive; the baklava (a honey-nutty confection of phyllo, moist and sticky) comes in a plastic clam shell.

Who needs fancy?

But neither does it convey the whiff of corporatized cuisine, processed and churned out. It is, rather, addictively delicious.

Lean beef (not the more classical lamb, sadly) melds well with the perfectly cooked rice and medley of veggies; white-meat chicken shredded fine with a clean, succulent flavor.

The Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, the “sacrificial feast,” passed last week. Perhaps you thought of celebrating with a trip to the Halal Guys. But even if you knew nothing of it, it’s not a religio-political statement to stop in for a gyro. Palate comes before politics every time. It’s the American way.

  • 5444 Lemmon Ave. Open daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m.



—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: Video for Lady Gaga’s ‘Perfect Illusion’

Lady Gaga releases her next full-length album, Joanne, on Oct. 21, but the single “Perfect Illusion” is already out. Here’s the video for it. Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cedar Grove brings back Drag Brunch this Sunday!

IMG_0021When Dish in the ilume announced it was closing in February, everyone in the gayborhood wondered: What will happen to Drag Brunch? Owner Tim McEneny told me in June, when the new concept, Cedar Grove, opened, that Drag Brunch would return … but didn’t have a firm date.

Well, now we do! It’s this Sunday, Sept. 25, with three-courses-and-a-show for $35. And you can also get lunch now every Friday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Emmys queer it up

louie-andersonIt was a gay ol’ time at the Emmy Awards last night, especially in the comedy and limited series categories. Indeed, the show got off to a very gay bang. Among the first winners were best supporting actor in a comedy series for Louie Anderson, pictured, playing Zach Galifiankis’ mama in Baskets; that was quickly followed by best supporting actress in a comedy for lesbian Kate McKinnon, mostly for her take on Hillary Clinton as part of the Saturday Night Live cast. Although the variety series has fared well at the Emmys with its guest hosts, McKinnon becomes the first regular cast member since Gilda Radner in 1978 to win an Emmy for the show. And Jeffrey Tambor repeated as best actor in a comedy playing a trans woman in the Amazon series Transparent. He made a plaintive call for producers and casting agents to give trans talent a chance. Also honored were recently out Transparent creator Jill Soloway for repeating as best director of a comedy. Best actress went, for the fifth consecutive time, to Julia Louie-Dreyfuss for Veep, which also won best comedy series.

Under limited series or movie, the big winner was the Ryan Murphy produced The People vs. O.J. Simpson, which took home trophies for outstanding limited series, writing, directing, supporting actor (Sterling K. Brown), leading actor (Courtney B. Vance) and leading actress Sarah Paulson, who thanked her girlfriend, Holland Taylor. Supporting actress went to Regina King for American Crime, which this season dealt with a gay teens.

Best actress in a drama went to Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black, in which she plays clones, including a queer one. Otherwise, the drama category was dominated by Game of Thrones, which won best drama series, directing and writing. Best actor was Rami Malek for Mr. Robot and supporting actress went to Maggie Smith for Downton Abbey. The biggest surprise of the evening was Ben Mendelsohn winning best supporting actor for the Netflix series Bloodline.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS by Arnold Wayne Jones: Maui now-y

—  Leo Cusimano

UPDATE: Trans actor and activist Alexis Arquette has died

UPDATE: People Magazine has reported that a source close to the family says Arquette died of AIDS-related complications.


Aalexislexis Arquette, one of the famed Arquette acting family whose siblings include Academy Award-winner Patricia and Scream star David, has died at age 47, her brother Richmond confirmed this morning. Alexis was surrounded by family after “battling an illness,” although no specific cause of death was given. The death, Richmond reported, was “fast and painless.”

Alexis, born Robert, came to prominence first as an actor, most notably in the Adam Sandler comedy The Wedding Singer. She was one of the most prominent and earliest entertainment celebrities to identify as trans. Alexis officially came out as transgender and documented her transition in the 2007 documentary Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother. In addition, Alexis was a singer and activist on GLBT issues.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: Happy Bourbon Month!

hudsoncocktailBelieve it or not, it was all the way back in 1964 — the era of Don Draper, naturally — the an act of Congress declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit;” in 2007, the U.S. Senate named September “National Bourbon Heritage Month.” Well, we here at Cocktail Friday are never ones to let a celebration go un-toasted, so here it is: Your bourbon recipe for the month, the Tuthilltown Toddy.

2 oz. Hudson Baby Bourbon

3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

4 oz. very hot water


Cinnamon sticks and clove-studded lemon slice (for garnish)

Making it: Add lemon juice, a heaping teaspoon of honey and bourbon into a tall glass (or ceramic mug); fill with hot water and stick. Add garnish.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones