Five queer alternatives to the Super Bowl

Yes, Yes… I know… plenty of gay men enjoy football, are fans even, and there are lots of LBT fans as well, but if you’re like me you greet all the hoopla over the Super Bowl with a resounding “meh.”

So if you’re looking for a way to avoid a (morning) afternoon (and evening (seriously, how long are football games supposed to be?)) of indecipherable sports jargon, over-hyped commercials and disproportionate passion for the accomplishment of moving dead pig parts 300 feet here are some alternatives with a decidedly queer bent you might enjoy (don’t worry, you can Tivo Madonna’s half time show):

1. ¡Women Art Revolution at The Museum of Fine Arts

Starting from its roots in 1960s in antiwar and civil rights protests, the film ¡Women Art Revolution details major developments in women’s art through the 1970s. The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston presents this documentary at 5 pm on Sunday at the The Museum of Fine Arts’ Brown Auditorium Theater (1001 Bissonnet). Artist Lynn Randolph and U of H art history professor Jenni Sorkin will be on hand to provide insight into the film

!W.A.R. features Miranda July, The Guerilla Girls, Yvonne Rainer, Judy Chicago, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, and countless other groundbreaking figures. Tickets are $7 and are available at mfah.org.

2. The Rape of Lucrecia at Houston Grand Opera

Written by gay composer Benjamin Britten and scored by Ronald Duncan, The Rape of Lucrecia is set during the decline of the Roman Empire. When a group of soldiers unexpectedly returns home to Rome they find that their wives have all been unfaithful, with the excpection of Collatinus’ wife Lucretia. Later that night the king’s son, Prince Tarquinius, accepts a drunken dare to seduce Lucretia. After she rebuffs his advances Tarquinius forces himself on her spurring Collatinus to rebellion against the king.

The dialogue of the Opera (which is in English by the way) is punctuated by two choruses, one male and one female, who engage the audience in the emotional responses of the male and female characters respectively.

The Rape of Lucretia plays at the Houston Grand Opera (510 Preston) at 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets start at $38 and may be purchased at HoustonGrandOpera.org.

4. The Drunken City at the Rice University, Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts

“The city’s like a monster, like a sleeping dragon or some dark creature in the night that cracks open an eye, and whispers dark dangerous dark ideas into your ear.”

The Drunken City is populated by thoroughly unpleasant people, the kind of loud sequin-wearing party girls who can immediately turn a hip bar passe and the men who hunt them. Marnie, the alpha-female and soon-to-be bride, has taken her co-worker bridesmaids out on the town for a ladies night. Seriously inebriated, they soon run into Frank and Eddie. Frank quickly takes a shine to Marnie, despite her girlfriends objections. Eddie, on the other hand, isn’t interested in any of the girls but seems to know their shared boss quite well (if you catch my drift). The play is sprinkled through with warnings about human desire and the dangers of consumption.

The Drunken City is presented by the Rice University College of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Hamman Hall on the Rice Campus (6100 Main) at 3 pm. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or by calling 713-348-PLAY .

Steve Bullitt as Hay and Mitchell Greco as Gernreich

4. The Temperamentals at Barnvelder Movement/Arts Complex

The off-Broadway hit The Temperamentals, by Jon Marans, explores the events surrounding the founding of the Mattachine Society, one of the first “gay rights” groups in America (although the Society for Human Rights has it beat by a quarter of a century). The story centers on Harry Hay (Steve Bullitt), a communist and Progressive Party activist and his lover Rudi Gerneich (Mitchell Greco), a Viennese refuge and costume designer. Set in the early 1950′s in Los Angeles, the play is an intimate portrayal of two men who created history and the epic struggle they overcame.

Sunday’s curtain for the Celebration Theater produced play is at 3 pm at the Barnvelder Movement/Arts Complex. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at buy.ticketstothecity.com.

5. Closing Night of Bring It On: The Musical at Theater Under the Stars

Bring It On: The Musical finishes up its run at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (800 Bagby Suite 300) on Sunday. Theater Under the Stars (TUTS) presents this musical re-imagining of the 2000 film with a matinee at 2 pm and an evening showing at 7 pm.

Two rival cheer-leading squads are out for the national championship, and neither is going to give up without a fight. The ensemble for the show features some of the nation’s most skilled competitive cheerleaders led by Taylor Louderman and Adrienne Warren as the leaders of the rival squads.

Tickets start at $24 and are available on-line at TUTS.com, by phone at (713) 558-TUTS (8887), or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office (800 Bagby).

—  admin

Marriage equality: Obama dare not speak his support

Kerry Eleveld’s latest column gets into an issue the Obama administration desperately wants to avoid: marriage equality. I think Kerry captures the situation perfectly:

In fact, I get the distinct feeling that the White House hopes it can simply duck the marriage question straight through 2012, and I’d also bet dollars to doughnuts it won’t be able to. What became clear to me while interviewing attendees of the August 6 meeting was that while the friendly audience may have cut the administration some slack on legislative items like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Defense of Marriage Act, the one place advocates unapologetically stood their ground was on marriage equality.

Why? Because on that issue state activists have been the proverbial tip of the spear, if you will. They may not have a front-row seat to the maddening process of trying to chisel equality from the gut of an ossified federal government, but state-by-state they have shed blood, sweat, and tears for the recognition of their love and their families.

No one more clearly conveyed this point to me than Michael Kenny of the Florida Together Federation, who was at the White House briefing.

“We want and deserve absolute full marriage equality, and we’re not going to be satisfied until the president is advocating for it himself,” Kenny said. “It’s heartbreaking because we fought marriage amendments here in ’08 and we were really in the trenches. We made personal sacrifices for months and in some cases years, and then we watched discrimination be enshrined the state constitution.”

Make no mistake, this is an issue that the president’s chief advisers have misjudged from day one. They underestimated how angry people were that candidate Barack Obama wasn’t more vocal in his opposition to Proposition 8; they dismissed the devastation felt by millions of queers who poured their hearts into electing Obama only to watch Prop. 8 proponent Rick Warren give the invocation at the inauguration; they remained silent in 2009 as gay Mainers fought to preserve their right to love, marry, and build a life with their partner; and then David Axelrod reassured the nation two weeks ago that the president still opposes granting the freedom to marry to all Americans.

When Gibbs lampooned the professional left it was code for, “Oh, it’s just those coastal big-city liberals pushing their intemperate views in the media again.”

But that couldn’t be further from the truth on the issue of marriage equality after the sting of bigotry tromped from Florida to Maine to California and nearly every state in between. The president and his advisers may hope to stay below the radar on the question of marriage straight through 2012, but they are flying blind if they can’t see that activists across the nation are already seething.

The question I have is: Do the president and his advisers even care? They sure haven’t given any indication that they do.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright