Time to vote for the Readers Voice Awards!

YIt’s been a tradition for more than a decade: Every January, we kick off the new year by considering what made the last year so great in North Texas’ gay community. Who, for instance, is the sexiest bartender who pours your drinks? What is your favorite brunch … or other Sunday Funday excursion? Who do you trust to sell your house, prepare your taxes, give you a man-pedi or adjust your spine? And who do you think the best actors in Dallas are right now? That’s what we ask about in the annual Readers Voice Awards.

There are nine areas to vote in, with around a dozen categories per, but even if you don’t vote for everything, you can vote for what you want and make sure everyone else knows who the best of the best is … who, in fact, is your hero. And just voting gets you entered in a prize drawing.

Don’t wait too long, though. Voting has already started, and ends at Jan. 31. The Readers Voice Awards issue will be out in March. And the prize winner will be profiled in the paper along with the top vote-getters. Don’t let Iowa and New Hampshire steal all the voting thunder! Get voting!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

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Our Readers Voice Awards issue is out now, and you see what won all the favorites of our readers — from favorite personal trainer to hottest bartender to top local chef — but there’s also tons more going on in town this week.

Friday, you have two chances to see Del Shores’ one-man show at the Rose Room — at 5 p.m. and then at 8 — which will be recorded for an upcoming DVD release. Standing-room-only tickets are available for as little as $10, but if you are one of the first 10 people to email kristamartinpr@gmail.com, you can win free tickets to the show. Also at the Rose Room for two shows this week? Comedian Bruce Vilanch. He’ll be performing March 28 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

On Saturday night, DIFFA returns with its second year featuring smoking jackets. Once again, runway legend Jan Strimple is in charge of the show, so it should be a hoot. It’s at the Anatole starting at 6 p.m. You can also get your fashion fix this week at Legal Hospice of Texas’ Fashion Cited event and Dress 4 Yellow, both next Thursday.

On Sunday morning, the inaugural Big Gay Brunch Party gets going at Blue Mesa Grill in Addison, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with DJ Michael Evans spinning.

Two indie theaters have very gay-themed plays opening this week. Up in Addison, MBS Productions is staging the original work The Futility of Hope, pictured, about a teenage girl who seeks out her birth father, only to be shocked to find out he’s a gay man. Over at the Green Zone near the Design District, Bruce Coleman has written and directed two one-acts he collectively calls The Apartment Plays: A Conversation with a (Potentially) Naked Man and Larry Kramer Hates Me. And at the Kalita for a one-night-only event you can see old-school DTC veterans Carole Cook and Tom Troupe in a staged reading of the Pulitzer-winning play The Gin Game on Monday at 7 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Voting for Readers Voice Awards made easy!

We are in the middle of our annual Readers Voice Awards polling, which, as always, is your opportunity to let your opinions be known about your favorite people, places and things in North Texas — with more than 100 categories in total.

Not only that, but you can also get to help choose the cover image for our issue of March 22 by voting for the Top Hat: We picked our top nine readers’ submissions, from sexy to fashionable to cute to edgy and let you decide which one will grace the cover. The winning submission will have a donation made in its name to its charity of choice.

Finally, voting qualifies you to enter a drawing to win two round-trip tickets on American Airlines! Trust us: That’s a pretty awesome prize, as our prior winners will tell you.

Here’s how to vote (or get people to vote for you):

—  Arnold Wayne Jones