Takei, Aiken adding gay fabulosity to new “Celebrity Apprentice”

George Takei

I have sincerely admired George Takei ever since 2005 when he publicly came out as a gay man. And I have been a real fan for the last several months, ever since I “liked” his Facebook page and got the chance to see and appreciate his unique sense of humor.

But I am not a big enough fan to watch George in his new gig, because his new gig is being a cast member of the new season of Donald Trump‘s Celebrity Apprentice. And I hate Donald Trump and I hate Celebrity Apprentice way to much to ever watch the show, even for George T. I made myself a promise after listening to Trump’s “presidential campaign” tripe that I would never watch this show, because I never want to do anything that might even remotely put money in his bigoted pockets.

So, love ya George, but I just can’t watch that show.

There will be at least one other gay in the cast to keep George company: Clay Aiken of American Idol and Spamalot fame. And other “gay interest’ cast members are ’80s pop star Debbie Gibson and equal-opportunity-insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli.

I’m not gonna list the whole cast here. You can go over to FoxNews.com to get that (where, by the way, the describe Takei as “Star Wars actor George Takei”). Let it suffice to say that the cast does include Mafia princess Victoria Gotti and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.

—  admin

QUICK BITE: GOOD 2 GO TACOS

2011 was the year we leapt the threshold between “taco” and “burrito” and the distinction began to seem meaningless.

In Mexico, tacos are petite things meant for quick snacks: A shaved bit of protein, a dollop of salsa, some melted cheese, a garnish of cilantro, maybe garlic. Whatever. The are designed to be small bites — one is rarely enough for a meal. You want a big meal? That’s a burrito.

But Texas proudly claims it does everything bigger, and that counts for tacos, too. And few are as big as the tacos at Good 2 Go.

At about four bucks each, they’re pricier than Jack in the Box — for good reason. I’ve never had more than one at a sitting, though I’ve certainly craved them.

The menu (it’s open for breakfast and lunch only, five days a week) is limited but endlessly inventive and devilishly clever, thanks to the camp sensibilities of partner-owners Colleen O’Hara and Jeana Johnson.

Feel like chicken spiced with jerk seasonings? It’s called the “Navin R. Johnson” — after Steve Martin’s name in The Jerk. Unlike Martin, I doubt this taco was born a poor black child, though it does have the taste profile of Jamaica, with coconut rice and mango conjuring a day in the islands — a terrific fantasy as the winter weather sets in.

The equally groan-inducing “swine bleu” (pictured) is actually exactly what its name implies: braised pork and blue cheese slaw. And boy is there pork:  The flour tortilla is as bulbous as a cast member of 16 and Pregnant: The ladle of slaw looks like it might smother the pork, but no: The flavors meld better than a barbershop quarter, the tang of blue cheese pitch-perfect.

Service is friendly and knowing. A taco I ordered to eat-in came out faster than a male drum major at band camp; a few minutes later, when I walked back in to grab some utensils to tame the cabbage and pork overflowing the large tortilla, the busboy barely glanced up before grabbing a fork and walking it toward me. They’ve seen this kind of behavior before. It’s weird feeling like you’ve been bested by a taco. But so worth it.

— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Don’t forget the thrilling season finale of “The A-List: Dallas,” with guest star Ann Coulter

For those who love to hate A-List: Dallas, you’ll either be sad or glad to see the show’s season come to an end tonight. And by the previews, boy does it. Taylor Garrett needles at the community with his friendly exchange with conservative pundit Ann Coulter. Castmate Chase Hutchison is naturally infuriated but then also has to deal with Garrett lip-locking on his sorta beau Levi Crocker. As the season comes to a close, I’m fascinated that we never got to see the incident that happened at Jack’s Backyard. Remember this whole to-do?

I tweeted a couple of the A-Listers about what to expect on tonight’s episode. Hutchison was kind enough to reply.

“Tonight’s episode is definitely going to piss a lot of people off, including myself,” he tweeted back. “Everything comes to a head tonight; relationships, politics, friendships… And having Ann Coulter being part of the show was enough to make my blood boil with Taylor. But I do like that very different views are being shown, as much as some of those views disgust me. It will be worth watching for sure.”

Fellow reality star, Drew Ginsburg from Bravo’s Most Eligible Dallas chimed in as well with his response to tonight’s episode.

“Supporting Ann Coulter is a like a Jew supporting the Nazis,” he tweeted.

The Hayyy List is hosting a watch party tonight with cast member James Doyle at Axiom Sushi, or you can seethe or snicker on your own. Either way, here’s the preview clip after the jump to get you going before tonight’s episode.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Fire Island reality series seeks gays to audition

If you think reality TV has made gay Dallas look a little crazy lately, well, here’s you chance to bring a little Texas-crazy to New York.

You have until Friday to apply to become a cast member of the Fire Island Summer Project (a working title, we’re assuming), a new series from the producers of RuPaul’s Drag Race. And here’s the best part: You don’t need to be from the NYC area — they want folks from all over to apply!  Filming begins this summer, probably in a beach house the Pines (despite a fire recently that scorched parts of the island).

The application has some pretty straightforward questions, plus a few that indicate the casting agents’ interest in seeking diverse and charged action on the show, such as “What do you think makes you stand out from the crowd?,” “What role do you play in your social circle?,” “Do you have any quirks or strange habits? and “What is your craziest Spring Break story?” And you never have to have vacationed on Fire Island before to be eligible.

If you think you might be interested, click here. And if you end up getting cast and turn out to be the asshole villain on the series, do us all a favor — say you’re from San Antonio!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Levi Crocker claims he was attacked in OKC by 4 gays who hate ‘The A-List: Dallas’

If you’re heading to tonight’s A-List: Dallas watch party at Axiom, you might ask host and cast member Levi Crocker if his head is feeling any better. Gay blogs have been buzzing about Crocker’s tweets from the Thanksgiving weekend in which he claimed he was assaulted in a bar in Oklahoma City. Crocker now seems to be downplaying the incident, but not before posting this pic of what looks like a bloodied scalp after he was apparently hit with a bar stool. Crocker claims the attack was perpetrated by four gay people whose motive was the fact that they don’t like the show.

According to the Oklahoma City Police Department, there is no record of Crocker filing a report about the incident. I tweeted Crocker seeking more info. “I decided to leave this subject alone for now,” he responded earlier today.

This incident comes on the heels of fellow cast member Taylor Garrett’s claims that he was assaulted in Oak Lawn earlier this month.

Crocker’s tweets are after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

GOProud’s LaSalvia slams ‘gay left’

Homocon leader, set to speak Saturday at Metroplex Republicans’ Grand Ol’ Party, downplays competition with Log Cabin

LaSalvia.Barron

Jimmy LaSalvia, left, and Chris Barron

JOHN WRIGHT |  Senior Political Writer
wright@dallasvoice.com

When Taylor Garrett, a gay Republican cast member from The A-List: Dallas, recently claimed his apartment had been vandalized by a “liberal,” Jimmy LaSalvia wasn’t surprised.

As executive director of the national gay conservative (or “homocon”) group GOProud, LaSalvia said he’s grown accustomed to attacks from what he calls “the gay left.”

“The gay left is the most hateful, intolerant, disgusting group of people I’ve ever come across in my lifetime, and everything we do is criticized by them,” LaSalvia told Dallas Voice. “They hate gay conservatives more than anything in the world, and I don’t know why. It’s just a matter of time before violence like that happens.”

Coincidentally — or not, depending on who you believe — LaSalvia had lunch with Garrett in Los Angeles just prior to the rock-throwing incident being reported.

They were joined by conservative pundit Ann Coulter — who serves as honorary chair of GOProud’s Advisory Council — and Logo filmed the rendezvous for an upcoming episode of The A-List.

The timing led some in the gay blogosphere to suggest that LaSalvia put Garrett up to falsifying his report about the rock, which allegedly shattered a window at his apartment in the Dallas Design District — perhaps to generate hype prior to the premiere of the show.

Again, though, LaSalvia said he wasn’t surprised. After all, when he reported that he’d been the victim of a hate crime in Washington, D.C. in July — and used it as an opportunity to craft an op-ed in support of gun rights — he, too, was called a liar.

“I think that is absolutely appalling that someone would question that, and until you’ve been through what I’ve been through, shut the fuck up, because I know what happened to me,” LaSalvia said. “It was very traumatic for me, and that is why I wrote about it, as a way to help me deal with what happened to me.

“And I would say the same for Taylor. He told people about it as a way for him to deal with what had happened to him. And it’s just appalling to me that anyone would question that, and then to speculate that it was a coordinated effort — that I would tell Taylor, ‘Oh yeah, fake a hate crime, you know, get lots of attention,’ — that’s just absurd. And I would just tell all of those people, until it happens to you, shut the fuck up.”

LaSalvia and GOProud board chairman Chris Barron, who co-founded the organization together in 2009, will be in Dallas this weekend for the Grand Ol’ Party — the annual fundraising dinner held by Metroplex Republicans of Dallas, formerly Log Cabin Republicans Dallas.

Also attending the dinner will be Garrett, according to Metroplex Republicans President Rob Schlein.

In a wide-ranging interview with Dallas Voice last week, LaSalvia criticized Log Cabin Republicans National — where he once served as director of programs and policy — for its recent decision to de-charter the Dallas Log Cabin chapter.

The decision was based in part on Schlein’s decision to invite LaSalvia and Barron to speak at the Grand Ol’ Party. LaSalvia said he believes Log Cabin leaders mistakenly view GOProud as a threat, even though the groups have different missions and donor bases.

“While there are dozens and dozens of gay organizations on the left, the fact that one other right-of-center gay organization exists is not acceptable to Log Cabin,” LaSalvia said. “They have a very specific mission, and they work within the gay establishment organizations in Washington to do their thing.

“We’re working in the conservative coalition with tea party groups and conservative organizations advancing a conservative agenda, and that’s very different from what they do in the Gay Inc. world of Washington.”

Grand Ol’ Party
Saturday, Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m.
MetroplexRepublicans.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 4, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Senior class

Gay director John De Los Santos keeps his elders in line in his annual ‘Senior Follies’

STEVEN LINDSEY  | Contributing Writer stevencraiglindsey@me.com

choreographer John de los Santos
SANTOS GOLD | If a hip goes out, choreographer John de los Santos is ready to jump in.

SENIOR FOLLIES
Eisemann Center,
2351 Performance Drive, Richardson.
Sept. 3–5. $10–$50.
SeniorFollies.com.

You’re never too old to tap dance.
While that’s not the official mantra of the Spectacular Senior Follies 2010, it should be. The singing, dancing, variety extravaganza from producer Mark Carroll is back and as choreographer John de los Santos has learned in his second year on the show, age is just a number for the over-55 set.
“Botox has been very kind to them,” he jokes.

De los Santos, whose choreography credits include hits for Uptown Players, the Fort Worth Opera and last year, Carmen at the Kennedy Center for the Washington National Opera, has had to learn to quickly switch gears when juggling shows simultaneously. By day, he’s working on the U.S. premiere of the Pet Shop Boys’ Closer to Heaven for Uptown Players and by night, the Senior Follies, which opens this weekend.

“I’m going from 18-year-olds to 88-year-olds,” he laughs.

His oldest cast member is a spry 92. He says that working with the seniors is great because not only do they have lots of life experience and wisdom to share, they’re happy to be performing again.

“Most of them had stage experience. A few of them were in vaudeville or burlesque back in the day, but they all have different backgrounds,” he says. “Some were tap dancers who are singing now. Some were cabaret singers who are now doing complicated staging. We wouldn’t have cast them if they didn’t already have some experience.”

But choreographing an aging cast does have its challenges. The young whippersnapper has to keep his cool when dealing with all this experience — and personality.

“You just have to be very, very patient and optimistic all the time,” he says. “The minute you get frustrated or impatient, they just shut off. I have to keep a smile on my face and try to make them laugh.”

But de los Santos keeps a trick up his sleeve.

“It’s funny because the gayer I act, the more they like me,” he laughs before breaking into a mock old lady voice, “I’ve got a grandson that’s just like you!”

The show, which is similar in style to the legendary Ziegfeld Follies, features standards from the ’30s and ’40s, just a tad before 29-year-old de los Santos’ time. But that isn’t even an issue.

“I’ve done a lot of shows from pretty much every period, so I’ve kind of gotten used to it,” he says. “I did a lot of show choir when I was younger. Part of the reason they hired me in the first place is because I know a lot of this material already.”

The finale of the show is one of the biggest numbers de los Santos has to stage, and it’s the one the Senior Follies is perhaps most famous for: a performance by 12 showgirls ranging in age from 55 to 84.

“Some of the gams on these women are to die for,” he says. “They maintain pretty well.”

But for now, he’s just got to get through opening night to be able to relax a little. Even then, there are always unknowns that could pop up when working with seniors. What if someone breaks a hip during a dance number?

“I’ve already planned for that. I’m gonna don a wig, grab a walker and I’ll just do it. I’m sure a lot of people would love to see that.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 3, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas