Applause: Broadgay at Winspear

Lexus series adds queer event to upcoming season of musicals

What’s gay about ‘Jersey Boys’? The GLBT Broadway subscriber series at the Winspear will tell you.

The Lexus Broadway Series offers a muscular lineup of shows that feature classic stories and contemporary rock ‘n’ roll. But they go one step further in the 2011-12 season with the stage equivalent of special edition DVDs, featuring enhanced performances and pre-show engagements for subscribers — including its gay patrons.

Dallas Voice Life+Style Editor Arnold Wayne Jones will host a conversation every second-week Tuesday about 45 minutes before each show. The series, called GLBT Broadway, will highlight the appeal for queer audiences for the shows in the series. The discussion will touch on issues of gender identity and sexuality in regards to the show and the teams behind them. Some — such as the season lead-off, Hair — might be easier to analyze from a gay perspective than, say, Jersey Boys, but that’s part of the fun of the series.

The season starts with Hair, which won the Tony in 2009 for best musical revival. Youth in 1960s America are all about peace, love and understanding — including nudity and homosexuality — in this iconic musical. Sept. 20–Oct. 2.

The epic Les Miserables follows with a new 25th anniversary production. Dec. 20–Jan. 1.

Best musical Tony winner In the Heights details the immigrant experience as characters find a new life in their new country. March 13–25.

Alt-rockers Green Day went Broadway with American Idiot, touted as a mashup of a rock concert and staged musical. May 8–20.

The season concludes with Jersey Boys and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Classic hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” tell the tale of this well-accomplished music group from the ‘50s. June 12–July 15.

Other subscriber series include Broadway University, hosted by SMU theater professor Kevin Hofeditz which will explore themes of the show and its place in theater history (every second Saturday matinee) and Broadway Uncorked (every second-week Wednesday), where an expert sommelier will host a wine tasting based on the show. We wonder what American Idiot’s wine will be.

— Rich Lopez

For more information on the Lexus Broadway Series and its enhanced performances, visit ATTPAC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

L2 – Boys Or Girls

Catchy tune in which the singers worry that their “more bitchy than me” boyfriends might have an eye for the dudes, too. Remember Josie Cotton’s Johnny, Are You Queer? I suppose the “can’t make up your mind” and “make-up in your male-purse” bits will put some people off. L2 were formerly known as the Labbadia Sisters.

(Tipped by JMG reader Chev)

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

When Concerned Women were but Slightly Agitated Girls

The birth of one our most vocal opposition groups, as chronicle by a pre-Reagan AP.:

201101191757

Baptist anti-feminist trains to lead crusade against gays [Ancient AP via Google]



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‘Gay Boy’ makes D Magazine’s ‘Best in Music’

I was glad to see someone took notice of Farah’s dreamy single “Gay Boy.” I hardly expected it to be the peeps at D magazine, but since it won’t be on my list, props to Christopher Mosley for giving it attention.

The song, which came out back in March, was annoying as hell in the beginning for me, but then her lyrics, or talking rather, grew increasingly clever. How many girls did/do we know like this? All in all, it’s a flash of brilliance with lyrics like How could I dance in these heels?/How could I not?

Thanks for the reminder, Mosley.

LISTEN: “Gay Boy” (or if you have trouble, just go here)

—  Rich Lopez

Indigo Girls + Chely Wright Invite You To Girls-Only Christmas Party

Well folks, it doesn't get any lezzier than this: Chely Wright performs holiday tunes with the Indigo Girls, aka Bristol Palin's favorite band. [CBS Early Show]


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Bristol Palin Responds To Cho With Odd ‘Indigo Girls’ Logic

Bristolpalindwts Margaretchodwts

Margaret Cho's assertion this week that Bristol Palin's mother pressured her onto Dancing With the Stars prompted a response from Ms. Palin, one that has people wondering if the 20-year old took a jab at Cho's bisexuality.

Though insistent she and Bristol are friends, Cho wrote on her blog that "someone who should really know" told her Bristol was forced onto the hit ABC show, and asserted, "The only reason Bristol was on the show was because Sarah Palin forced her to do it."

"Sarah supposedly blames Bristol harshly and openly (in the circles that I heard it from) for not winning the election," Cho claimed. "And so she told Bristol she 'owed' it to her to do DWTS so that 'America would fall in love with her again' and make it possible for Sarah Palin to run in 2012."

Well, Bristol responded on Facebook last night and, following Cho's suit, reiterated that the women are friends, but remains "taken aback" by the comedienne's comments.

"I will give my friend credit for creativity, and extra points for getting so many 'facts' wrong in so few sentences," wrote Palin. "Let me be blunt: my mom did not 'force' me to go on DWTS.  She did not ask me either. The show approached me."

Palin goes on to declare "politics had nothing to do with [my decision]." She also argued, "I seriously doubt anyone who considers herself a student of American politics truly believes I impacted even one vote in that election."

It's a pretty politically worded letter for a non-political person, and fairly persuasive. Bristol's end note, however, brings the entire thing back into partisan light, and it's distinctly lavender.

Writes Palin, "You say you 'don't agree with the family's politics at all, [but] if you understood that commonsense conservative values supports the right of individuals like you, like all of us, to live our lives with less government interference and more independence, you would embrace us faster than KD Lang at an Indigo Girls concert."

In light of Palin sister Willow's recent anti-gay remarks, it's not surprising people are reading Bristol's missive as a below-the-belt attack, although it's far too illogical to be read as a directly homophobic hit. Why would Cho embrace KD Lang at an Indigo Girls concert? Or is KD Lang just a stock lesbian?

Maybe the line was meant to be "faster than a girl embraces KD Lang at an Indigo Girls concert?" Or, rather, "Faster than KD Lang embraces a lady at an Indigo Girls Concert?"

I'm confused, and I suspect Palin may be, as well.


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The Dresden Dolls and Girl in a Coma play tonight at the Granada

Girls, comas and dolls — oh my

The Dresden Dolls and Girl in a Coma are perhaps one of the better musical pairings this year. At least for the gay contingent. GIAC rocks out the lesbian in all of us and The Dresden Dolls’ is a given with its dark cabaret act resurrected by Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, much to the delight of  the fans who thought their self-imposed hiatus would never end.

DEETS: Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 9 p.m. $29. GranadaTheater.com.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Officials at Okla. high school accused of bullying lesbian students into dropping out

What happens when anti-gay bullying comes not from students but from a school’s administration?

Several lesbian former students say administrators at Del City High School, southeast of Oklahoma City, are discouraging gay students from graduating.

One girl, Kelsey Hicks, says the principal told her to drop out and get her GED because, “You’re gay, you’re not going to do anything with your life.”

Another, Melissa McKenzie, said she was expelled from Del City after moving in with her girlfriend. “He [the principal] said if you go back to your mom’s house, you can go back to school.”

Both Hicks and McKenzie also say they were kicked off the Del City High School softball team.

A third girl who graduated from Del City High School said a school official once told her that being gay is an “unhealthy lifestyle.”

“He had found out that I was gay and he was on my case about every little thing,” she said.

According to KWTV Channel 9 in Oklahoma City, the school district issued a statement saying the three girls aren’t current students and none of them has filed a complaint.

—  John Wright

Guest column by Irene Monroe: Not only “For Colored Girls”

Not only “For Colored Girls


By Rev. Irene Monroe

If you’re looking for Madea (Tyler Perry in front of the camera in drag), or Black-faced versions of Sex in the City or He’s Just Not That Into You, then Mr. Perry’s adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s 1975 womanist choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf” will gravely disappoint you.

And if you are also looking for Perry’s high-profile ensemble of African American actresses — Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Tessa Thompson, Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, and Macy Gray — to perform as “Big Mammas,” “Hoochie Mommas,” and “Welfare Mommas” mouthing off “Madea-isms,” these sister-girls will disappoint you too; they have more depth, dignity and dimensionality to their character development than that.

While the movie, in my opinion, is a must see, it won’t be blockbuster hit. You won’t have to worry about waiting in long lines. I went to view the film at prime time with an audience of six of us — all women — in the theater.

With some critics having already bad-mouthed For Colored Girls as an anti-male melodrama, emasculating black males, who would sit for 134 minutes of that?

But those critics are wrong, and let me give you some reasons why.

For Colored Girls illustrates the universal sisterhood of struggle, strife, and survival that women find themselves in certain types relationships with men.

These characters in the film are you, me, and us all at certain junctures in our life’s journey. And For Colored Girls reminds us about the ongoing “dark phrases” of womanhood that women of all colors of the rainbow, even in our supposedly “post-feminist” era of 2010, continue to confront, like spousal abuse, incest, rape, infanticide, and infidelity, to name just a few.

However, with the film set primarily in Harlem, many will see the film as solely the typical “black faces” of African American women.

But that was neither the intent of Shange’s play, nor is it the intent of Perry’s film.

“Driving along Highway 101 one morning, she found herself passing beneath the arc of a double rainbow. Seeing the entire rainbow take shape above her, Shange realized that she wanted to live, that she had to live; she had something to say, not only about the fragility of her own existence, but about the lives of the other colored girls she knew and loved and imagined,” Hilton Als wrote in “Color Vision: Ntozake Shange’s Outspoken Art” in a recent New Yorker.

Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf” was written during the height of the second wave feminist movement, giving voice and visibility to an era deluged with white women’s scholarship and sensibilities, and an era discriminated with not only their racial and ethnic biases but also with their class and sexual orientation biases.

Shange was part of the burgeoning black women writers’, poets’, and artists’ era of the 1970s where Toni Morrison published her first novel, and still my favorite, The Bluest Eye. Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, and Toni Cade Bambara, to name a few, are some of the early foresisters of the era.

With her signature style of writing — the choreopoem — blending music, dance, poetry, and an amalgamation of what she heard on the street, Shange’s play has influenced this generation of spoken-word and performance artists.

“I like the idea that letters dance. …I need some visual stimulation, so that reading becomes not just a passive act…but demands rigorous participation. The spelling result from the way I talk or the way the character talks, or the way I heard something said,” Shange wrote in Claudia Tate’s Black Women Writers at Work.

Perry directorial style in For Colored Girls captures Shange’s poetic style in each of his characters, with of course a few of his own cinematic flourishes. But none where there was room for Madea to surprisingly appear.

While many may view For Colored Girls as a melodramatic mess of black women’s misery, the play is about women’s empowerment.

The film is about teaching and illustrating to women how to have decision-making power of their own, access to information and resources for making proper decisions, having a range of options from which they can make good choices, having the ability to exercise their assertiveness, and having positive thinking of one’s ability to make changes in their lives as empowered women.

For Colored Girls is not only for colored girls because it offers a pathway to self-growth, finding our authentic power, and discovering the divine in one’s self.

In the closing scene of the film one of the women says, “i found god in myself & i loved her/i loved her fiercely.”

Aren’t we all looking for that woman?


Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Italy’s PM Silvio Berlusconi Responds to Stripper Controversy: ‘Better To Like Beautiful Girls Than To Be Gay’

Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has already battled allegations tying him to the mob, accusing him of unfairly wielding too much control of the media with his ownership stakes, and denouncing Islamic cultures. Now he's being assailed for allegedly trying to cover up his pressuring Italian police to release the granddaughter of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who appeared at one of his infamous parties at his mansion. But it's not big deal, says the PM, because having a fondness for beautiful girls is better than being a fag.

CONTINUED »


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