This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn

The big news in entertainment this weekend is the 14th quadrennial appearance of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — the first without its gay founder (Cliburn died in February of cancer). The six finalists will compete until the winner is revealed on Sunday.  Miss it, you and you’ll have to wait another four years for the next one.

Razzle Dazzle weekend is in full swing, with Thelma Houston headlining the MetroBall at Station 4 Friday night, then the big downtown party coming to Main Street Gardens Saturday night. It’s family-friendly and there are buses running from the event to locales in the gayborhood.

Sister Act, written by gay scribe Douglas Carter Beane, continues at Fair Park Music Hall for more than a week, before moving over to Bass Hall in Fort Worth. Meanwhile, the new cirque-ish show Traces opens at the Winspear on Tuesday. And the Festival of Independent Theatres — and Kitchen Dog Theater‘s New Works Festival — continue through June 22.

To get a little skin in the game, check out Adam and Eve in the Garden of Delights at the Stone Cottage Theatre in Addison, or move inside to the WaterTower Theatre mainstage for the light comedy Black Tie starring out actor Stan Graner.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

STAGE REVIEWS: FIT festival

wingspan press 3The Festival of Independent Theatres kicked off last week (a month earlier than usual) at the Bath House Cultural Center with several shows — more open this week — and, as we’ve come to expect, they push boundaries and expose audiences to unique points of view.

One of those is John Michael’s one-man monologue Like Me. As with his prior shows, John Michael starts from a rough outline rather than a script, roaming around the stage while expounding on everything from gay sex (and how his father wishes there was less of it in his work) to communing in a graveyard to Facebook culture.

It;s the latter that forms the crux of Like Me … or at least, I think it does. John Michael bobs around about his best friend, coming onto girls in high school and “orgasms of grief” without much rhyme or reason, a stream-of-consciousness rant with more detours than a Dallas street map. (“I don’t want to shove something down your throats,” he explains, “it’s not that kind of Bath House.”)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Get lost in ‘Wonderland’ at the Festival of Independent Theatres

Alice is looking a little FIT lately

The Festival of Independent Theatres is back, featuring eight local theaters and a slew of new plays. We’re curious to see how company White Rock Pollution will convey its retelling of Alice in Wonderland that looks to be a whole lot darker than the original, and in real-life 3-D, unlike that Johnny Depp movie.

DEETS: Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Through Aug. 7. $12–$16. ATTPAC.org

—  Rich Lopez