Scenes from Harvey Milk Day 2015 “Let Hope Shine” Rally and March

Posted on 23 May 2015 at 11:14am
Last night (Friday, March 22) local LGBT advocates gathered at the Legacy of Love monument to honor the late LGBT activist Harvey Milk with a rally and march ending in a celebration with a birthday cake. The rally featured readings from Milk's interviews with the press and correspondence to activists, corporate executives and even President Jimmy Carter. Speakers included local faith leaders, Resource Center representatives and others. Participants marched down Cedar Springs before ending the evening in celebration on TMC's patio.

Celebrating the legacy of Harvey Milk

March, ‘birthday party’ set in Dallas to honor pioneering activist
Contributed by Todd Whitley, Hope For Peace and Justice
harveymilk

Harvey Milk

People across the globe will celebrate the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader Harvey Milk on Friday, May 22, what would have been the pioneering LGBT activist’s 85th birthday. In North Texas, a broad coalition of area organizations will join together to celebrate Harvey Milk Day with a candlelight march down Cedar Springs Road.

The event begins at the Legacy of Love Monument, at the intersection of Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road, at 8 p.m. Friday. Following the march, everyone will gather at TMC:The Mining Company, 3903 Cedar Springs Road, for a “cake, ice cream and libations after-party.”

The Rev. Carmarion Anderson, a minister at Living Faith Covenant Church and the south regional minister for the national group TransSaints of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, will deliver the keynote address.

Others speakers include Carter and Espy Brown, founders of Black Transmen, Inc.; Mike Grossman, founding board member of The Dallas Way; Hardy Haberman, long-time LGBT activist and current chair of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance in Washington, D.C.; Yadi Martinez, minister of young people and missions at Cathedral of Hope; Leslie McMurray, freelance writer and transgender activist; Deneen Robinson and her mother Sheila Johnson; Cody Sanders, Resource Center FUSE coordinator; Rafiq Salleh-Flowers, immigration activist and community volunteer; the Rev. Steven Sprinkle, theologian in residence at Cathedral of Hope and professor of practical theology at Brite Divinity School; and Sister Holly von Acocker, mistress of house for The DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who will offer the invocation.

Local singer and “raptivist” Mokah Soulfly will entertain the crowd with her original song “We Are Everything,” which she says was inspired by the ideal that “at the end of the day, we are one love; we are all everything!”

A variety of local queer artists, including Candace Thompson, Calvin Roberts, Rafiq Salleh-Flowers, the Rev. Jeff Hood, and Todd Whitley, will also speak, reading from Harvey Milk’s various letters, speeches and other writings.

Also speaking will be Miles Dean, founder of the GSA at L.D. Bell High School and founding member of the Queer Youth Coalition of the Dallas Fort Worth Area, which aims to connect GSAs together and effect change on a greater scale than at the school level, and international baccalaureate diploma candidate.

“What better way to celebrate this important LGBT figure than by using his own words to educate and inspire Dallas to pick up the bullhorn where he left off,” said event organizers D.R. Hanson. “As they watch these performers clad in colored handkerchiefs and Harvey Milk Day t-shirts, we hope the audience will feel as if Harvey himself were at his own 85th birthday party.”

Following the march, everyone is invited to a birthday celebration, complete with cake and ice cream, on the patio at TMC: The Mining Company.

In conjunction with the celebration, Dallas Public Library’s Oak Lawn Branch, 4100 Cedar Springs Road, has created a Harvey Milk exhibit complete with a section of books from the library’s collection on Milk and others written by LGBT authors.

This will be the fourth annual event held here in Dallas, and organizers approached the 2015 celebration with the goal of offering expanded access and representation to marginalized voices while highlighting ongoing struggles for justice, peace and equality.

Event organizer Daniel Scott Cates said, “Many people know Harvey was an advocate for gay rights. But Harvey also championed the rights of women, ethnic minorities, senior citizens, renters, workers and the poor. The Dallas Harvey Milk Day Celebration is our commemoration of Harvey’s life story, message and legacy, inspiring not only LGBTQIA lives but all disenfranchised communities.

“Above all, this event is about hope,” Cates said.

Event organizer Todd Whitley added, “The emphasis of the celebration is to show a united LGBT community and indicate how Milk’s message of hope can empower us all and build coalition among and generate advocacy for others.”

The coalition of groups sponsoring the event includes ACLU of Texas, Cathedral of Hope Dallas/La Catedral de la Esperanza, Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities,

Congregation Beth El Binah, Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, Dallas Stonewall Democrats, DFW Human Rights Campaign, The DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Equality Texas, GALA Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas, Hope for Peace and Justice, Lambda Legal Dallas, Log Cabin Republicans — Dallas, LULAC 4821 Dallas Rainbow Council, Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Dallas, Real Live Connection and Resource Center.

The event is free and open to people of all ages. Signs, candles (or other preferred light source), friends, family, and voices are welcome.

For more information about the event, including sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, contact Todd Whitley at 214-351-1901 or todd@H4PJ.org.

What they have to say

 Rafiq Salleh-Flowers: “I believe that doing the right thing is always the hardest thing, and Harvey Milk’s perseverance for the fight for equality has proven that. And we also know that at times we never get the support we need to end inequality. Above all, we are always making progress.”

Mike Grossman: “Harvey Milk’s legacy and his hope message is a constant reminder that it is up to us, everyone of us, the entire GLTB community, our families and our allies to keep up our quest, the impossible dream, if you will. Our daily mantra should be ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me.’”

Cody Sanders: “Harvey spent his life making the LGBT community a visible minority that could fight oppression and win. His work gives us hope that current injustices faced by sexual minorities, like the lack of access to HIV education and prevention, can be changed with persistence and courage.”

Leslie Michelle: “The issues facing transgender people today are eerily similar to those facing the Gay/Lesbian community nearly 40 years ago. There are similar lies, myths and distortions targeting the transgender community. It’s when hope is lost, that lives are in the balance. We can’t let that happen.”

Carter Brown: “Historically and to date, hope has been a necessity for communities of color, same-gender-loving and transgender people as a means of emotional and social survival in anticipation of our human equality be acknowledged. Hope is what fuels our actions, which ultimately create change.”

Steve Sprinkle: “Harvey Milk’s message of hope and resistance was backed up by the fullest measure of devotion anyone can give for our community — his life. His strong message, speaking through us today, gives us courage and strategy for overcoming the opposition to justice we face in Texas.”

Hardy Haberman: “For me, Harvey’s message of hope reinforces our need to defend that hope against those who would steal it and drive us back into a darker past. As we get closer and closer to equality, the forces against us are reasserting their oppression.”

Yadi Martinez: “So I am here — Latino, Latina, of Mexican descent and part of the LGBTQ Community. I am an artist, a minister, a parent and believer that people — young and old, of all nationalities, genders and races — are changing the world. That was the hope that Harvey Milk spoke of when he said that the time was now for us to longer be judged by our crimes and the myths behind our race and culture. It is important to us as a community to continue to give others hope for ‘without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us’es, the us’es, will give up.’ Let us, as Harvey Milk said, give them hope.”

Mokah Soulfly (Keisha Hunter): “Giving your life is the greatest sacrifice a person can make. How amazing a man who would have the gall to be himself in a climate of hate and injustice — how grand the hope and fire his life has inspired for generation after generation to stand proud and strong for equality for all.”

Miles Dean: “In continuing our message of hope for the future so passionately conveyed by Harvey Milk, we need to remember that in order to ensure our future, the young who are expected to carry on the memory of one of our most remembered martyrs must be supported and included more than they have been in the past.”

—  Tammye Nash

BREAKING: Rep. Eric Johnson files bill to end LGBT job discrimination

Rep. Eric JohnsonRep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, today (Thursday, Jan. 8) filed HB 627, which would protect workers from being fired or otherwise discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. He did so on the 37th anniversary of Harvey Milk’s inauguration to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as one of America’s first openly gay elected officials.

Texas law currently protects workers from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age, or disability. It does not protect workers from being fired or discriminated against solely due to their sexual orientation or gender expression.

“Every Texan should have the opportunity to work hard and provide for their families,” Rep. Johnson said. “Right now, the law allows someone to be fired simply for being him or herself or for whom they love. This really is a civil rights issue.”

The bill would include sexual orientation and gender expression in the list of prohibited employment discrimination. The Legislative Budget Board estimates that under this law more than 500 credible cases of discrimination could be reported each year.

Polls show that more than 3 in 4 Texans (75.8%) of Texans support prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. “The Legislature is lagging behind the people of Texas on this issue,” Rep. Johnson said. “We need to catch up.”

Today also marks the anniversary of Harvey Milk’s inauguration as one of the first openly gay elected officials in America, in 1978. One of Milk’s first acts as a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors was to pass a landmark non-discrimination ordinance that contained the same employment non-discrimination provisions that Rep. Johnson filed today.

Nearly four decades after San Francisco adopted Milk’s ordinance, 21 states and hundreds of cities have prohibited employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

A number of Texas cities have passed employment non-discrimination ordinances as well, including Plano, Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, and Austin. However, the State of Texas has not yet joined them in enacting such protections for its workers. Rep. Johnson is looking to change that and extend non-discrimination protections to all Texas workers.

—  James Russell

Dallas celebrates Harvey Milk Day on Cedar Springs

About 150 people joined a Harvey Milk Day celebration that began with speakers and performers at the Legacy of Love monument on Oak Lawn and was followed by a march down Cedar Springs Road and a reception at Sue Ellen’s. The event was organized by Hope 4 Peace & Justice.

—  David Taffet

Activists plan 2nd annual Dallas Harvey Milk celebration May 26

Participants hold candles as they listen to speakers Tuesday, May 22, during Dallas’ first-ever Harvey Milk Day celebration at the Legacy of Love Monument. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

Participants hold candles as they listen to speakers May 22, 2012, during Dallas’ first-ever Harvey Milk Day celebration at the Legacy of Love Monument. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

Dallas activists are having a Harvey Milk celebration again this year.

The event will include speakers, music and a staged reading of “Dear Harvey” by Patricia Loughrey, which will be the first time the play has been staged in Dallas in any form.

GetEQUAL TX regional coordinator Daniel Cates, who is directing it, said he hopes to mount a full production later in the year.

“This is a beautiful piece and one that I am excited to bring to Dallas,” he said in a statement. “Harvey’s message of hope is one that all people, LGBT and not, should hear. This will be an inspiring evening.”

“Dear Harvey” is an ensemble piece created though interviews with people who actually knew Milk, his personal and political writings, newspaper stories and letters written to him from across the nation.

The cast includes the the Rev. Carol West of Celebration Community Church in Fort Worth, Lynn Walters, executive director of Hope for Peace and Justice, Jeffrey Harper, Mark Calloway, Todd Whitley and Alan Dudley of the Cathedral of Hope Theatre Ministry, and local activist Natalie Johnson.

The 2nd annual event planned by GetEQUAL TX and Hope for Peace and Justice will be 7 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Cathedral of Hope’s Interfaith Peace Chapel.

“It is important for us to celebrate and remember our history as LGBT people. No one is going to tell our story for us, we have to do it ourselves. We owe it to younger generations to let them know where they come from and how far they can go,” Cates said.

Tickets to the Dallas Harvey Milk Celebration are available here for a suggested $15 All proceeds benefit programs of Hope for Peace and Justice and GetEQUAL TX.

—  Dallasvoice

Tonight, Dallas will host its 1st-ever birthday celebration for one-time resident Harvey Milk

It’s Harvey Milk Day (he would have been 82 today), and if you haven’t already read our cover story on Milk’s time in Dallas, you should. We’ve also posted a preview of this weekend’s Harvey Milk Day Conference in Austin. But first, right here in Dallas, GetEQUAL TX will host Big D’s first-ever Harvey Milk Day Celebration on Tuesday night.

The event begins at 8:30 p.m. at the Legacy of Love Monument, at Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road. People are encouraged to bring candles or other light sources, as Milk is remembered through song, poetry and speeches.

Daniel Cates, North Texas regional coordinator for GetEQUAL, said the Harvey Milk Day Celebration was born out of his desire to remember and celebrate the LGBT community’s history.

“Especially in places like Texas, our government is not going to do it for us, so we have to be responsible to preserve and tell our own story, and Harvey Milk was a huge part of that,” Cates told Instant Tea. “He’s our Martin Luther King. That’s really sad that most schoolchildren across the country have no idea who he is.”

Cates said he expects a small gathering Tuesday night but hopes the event will grow in future years.

“Harvey Milk Day hasn’t celebrated outside of California really anywhere until the last three or four years,” he said. “It’s an idea that’s starting to catch on. No one’s going to tell our story for us. We need to do that ourselves.”

—  John Wright

Dustin Lance Black, Leo, weigh in on ‘J. Edgar’

You can read my review of J. Edgar here, but check out this interview by Chris Azzopardi with J. Edgar screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and actor Leonardo DiCaprio:

No milk for Dustin Lance Black — the 37-year-old filmmaker who says he feels 10 years older today — on this recent morning in a suite at a Beverly Hills hotel. Instead, the screenwriter is nursing a hangover after the premiere J. Edgar, with a bottle of water, joking that “it just means more honest answers; the filter’s down.”

Even without the last drops of Jack and Cokes flushing from his system (proof: lots of bathroom breaks), Black’s always spoke his mind. It’s how the writer has become one of the most admired LGBT activists of our generation, passionately speaking out on hot topics like Prop 8, being a lapsed Mormon and curious dinners with Taylor Lautner (more on that later).

Today, however, all the talk, or most of it anyway, is around his big Clint Eastwood-directed, Leonardo DiCaprio-carried follow-up to Milk, Black’s biopic about Harvey Milk’s life and legacy that won the writer an Oscar. “It puts a lot of pressure on a lot of your work,” says Black, leaning forward on a sofa. “It’s a dangerous thing to have around the house, so I wrapped him up and flew him to Virginia with my mother. I love him, but he’s not allowed in the house while I’m working. I don’t want to think I’m writing toward that. I want to keep taking risks, and this is a risky film.”

It’s risky not just because of the controversial career of its subject, J. Edgar Hoover, the notoriously snaky FBI director who dominated the bureau for nearly 50 years, carrying his tenure through eight presidencies and three wars. What’s attracting the most controversy is the attention the film gives the infamous G-Man’s mysterious private life: Was Hoover’s closest colleague, Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer of The Social Network), more than just his right-hand man?

“Women were very interested in him and he didn’t respond, but he did like to show up to work every morning with Clyde Tolson and drive home with him each night.” Black laughs. “And this is well before it was fashionable to carpool! So it became incredibly apparent that he wasn’t straight and I started to wonder, ‘Well, what did gay look like? Why was he behaving like that?’”

By interviewing gay men of the time — before Stonewall and the sexual

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Chronicle blogger blames ‘It Gets Better” project for LGBT teen suicides

Kathleen McKinley

Kathleen McKinley

Kathy McKinley is a self-described “conservative activist” who blogs for the Houston Chronicle under the monicker “TexasSparkle.” In a recent post McKinley took the “It Gets Better” project to task for what she believes is their culpability in the suicides of LGBT teens:

“These kids were sold a bill of goods by people who thought they were being kind. The “It will get better” campaign just didn’t think it through. They didn’t think about the fact that kids are different from adults. They handle things differently. They react differently. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE KIDS. You can grumble all day long how unfair it is that straight teens can be straight in high school, and gay kids can’t, but life is unfair. Isn’t the price they are paying too high?? Is it so much to ask them to stand at the door of adulthood before they “come out” publically? Because it may save their life.”

McKinnley’s primary confusion about the “It Gets Better” campaign (other than its name) is the assumption that the goal is to encourage teens to come out of the closet, or encourage them to become sexually active:

“Why in the world would you give teenagers a REASON to tease you? Oh, yes, because the adults tell you to embrace who you are, the only problem? Kids that age are just discovering who they are. They really have no idea yet. The adults tell you to “come out,” when what we should be telling them is that sex is for adults, and there is plenty of time for figuring out that later.”

I would like to encourage Ms. McKinley to watch the “It Gets Better” project’s founder Dan Savages’ video. Please, Ms. McKinley, listen, and tell me if you hear Savage or his partner Terry say anything about teens coming out or having sex. I think what you’ll hear them say is that all of the things that most kids, gay and straight, dream of (falling in love, starting a family, having the support of their parents, co-workers and friends) are possible for LGBT teens. I think you’ll hear them talk about how difficult their teen years were, and about the fears they had that their parents would reject them, that they’d never find success and that they’d always be alone.

Choosing to have sex is one of the most personal decision a person will ever make. For LGBT people, choosing to come out is another. I have not watched all of the thousands of videos from people who have participated in the “It Gets Better” project. It’s possible that there are a few that tell kids to come out right away, or to become sexually active, but I doubt it.

Every video in the project that I have seen has had the same simple message: that the person making it understands how tortuously awful the experience of being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender in Junior and High School can be, but there is a wonderful world of loving, vibrant, successful, engaged LGBT adults out there and if queer teens can just hang on, just for a few years, they can join it. I doubt that any of the contributors to the project think that hanging on for a few years will be easy. I suspect that most of them remember, with excruciating clarity, contemplating ending those temporary years of terror with a permanent solution and that is why they choose to reach out.

I grew up without role models, where people like Barbara Gittings, Bayard Rustin and Harvey Milk didn’t exist . I grew up in a small town where the two men with the pink house were talked about in hushed tones that immediately fell silent when I walked into the room, because it wasn’t appropriate for children’s ears. I grew up in a world where my mother wouldn’t tell me what “gay” meant, where the evening news was turned off if it reported on the AIDS crisis, where I wasn’t given words to describe who I was, and so the only word I could find was “alone.”

I was lucky. My suicide attempt failed.

I was lucky, I survived, and went to college, and found a church that embraced and loved LGBT people. That’s where I met doctors and lawyers and business owners and teachers who were like me. That’s where I met two wonderful women who had built a life together for over 50 years. That’s where I discovered I wasn’t alone and that being gay didn’t mean that i couldn’t have all of those things I’d dreamed of.

That is what McKinley missed in her blog post. In her haste to lay blame on anything other than the overwhelming prejudice perpetuated by schools, churches and governments against LGBT people McKinley missed the fact that kids need role models. In her rush to shove queer teens back into the closet she forgot that human beings need the hope of a better world, lest they give up in despair.

McKinley got one thing right in her post. She titled it “Are Adults Also To Blame For Gay Teen Suicides? Yes.” Adults are to blame for LGBT teen suicides. When adults hide the stunning diversity of God’s creation from their children they create a vision of reality that some of those children can’t see themselves in. When adults tell LGBT teens that they should be invisible then it is all too clear who is to blame when those teens believe them, and take steps to make themselves invisible permanently.

To all the LGBT kids out there: it does get better. There are adults who care about you and want all the wonderful things you dream of to come true, but you have to hang on. If you need to keep who are secret to remain safe then do so. If you need someone to talk to please call the Trevor Project at 866-4-U-Trevor (866-488-7386).

—  admin

Fops & freaks

‘The Temperamentals’ makes Hay of gay Pride; ‘Earnest’ errs with irony

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

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MAKING HAY | Gay rights pioneer Harry Hay (Gregory Lush, left) embraces his inner diva to the dismay of his lover Rudy (Montgomery Sutton) in Uptown’s thoughtful ‘Temperamentals.’ (Photo by Mike Morgan)

“Temperamental” was a code name in the 1940s and ‘50s for a gay man, like “friend of Dorothy” or “confirmed bachelor.” It was a way for one gay man to know he was talking to another outside a bar, and without wearing a green carnation as in Oscar Wilde’s day. The way American soldiers until recently lived in fear of being outed under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the entirety of the gay community lived in the post-War period.

That is, until Harry Hay came along. Hay started The Mattachine Society, the first gay rights group, two decades before anyone had heard of the Stonewall Riots. He took the bold step of signing his name to his founding principles, coming out, albeit in a limited media environment, at a time when being labeled as gay was career suicide, no matter what your profession.

He may, however, be the gay hero you’d never heard of. The Mattachine Society eventually failed, a noble first volley in a war that has not yet been won. But it and Hay deserve a lot of credit they too often don’t get; like Niccolo Tesla, they were upstaged by the Edison-like sparkle of Pride marches, Harvey Milk and the rainbow flag.

…………………

With The Temperamentals, about Hay’s triumphant effort (now at the Kalita courtesy Uptown Players) Jon Marans has masterfully crafted a work with a highly cinematic flavor. Scenes jump about quickly, like fast-cut editing, taking us from the bedroom of Hay (Gregory Lush) and his lover, fashion designer Rudy Gernreich (Montgomery Sutton) to the soundstages of Hollywood where closeted director (and Judy Garland spouse) Vincente Minnelli (Paul J. Williams) lends his checkbook but not his name to the cause.

But Marans’ real victory is in capturing the textures of gay life 60 years ago with a subtle, almost literary flair. You feel the prickly hesitation when a gay man asks for Rudy’s last name, and the self-hating aversion to seeming “too femme.” There’s a conspiratorial aura that feels absolutely authentic: Hay and his compatriots were conspirators, lurking in the shadows because that’s where society insisted they reside. The bravery it took to turn on the light astonishes you even today.

Director Bruce C. Coleman and multimedia designer Chris Robinson convey the cinematic quality with minimal sets and extensive use of video components both to place us in a host of settings and suggest their nature (a seedy urinal speaks volumes), as well as provide historic context with vintage photographs, although that can get heavy handed, especially a montage at the end which, while gratifying, goes on too long. (Coleman seems devoted to the notion, why suggest something when you can spell it out in capital letters.) Still, the abstractness of the production gives it an airy, timeless sensibility.

The cast is solid — Williams, Kevin Moore and Daylen Walton all succeed in multiple roles — with Lush holding the center steady as he escorts us through the halls of gay history.

If it sounds as though The Temperamentals is more educational than entertaining, that’s unfortunate; it is both. If you want to feel a real sense of gay Pride, watch how a few men paved the way.

…………………

Nobody captured the grandeur and foolishness of society as pungently and affectionately as Oscar Wilde. He was a living paradox, someone who turned a satiric eye on the superficiality of the upper classes, yet passionately and unapologetically loved everything about them. “How useless are people who have no actual jobs!” he seemed to say. “Why can’t I be one?”

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WILDE TIME | WingSpan’s production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ aims for irony. (Photo by Lowell Sargeant)

The apotheosis of his social manifesto is The Importance of Being Earnest, a comedy of manners so sharply wrought that more than a century later, it seems as fresh and witty as a Jon Stewart bit. The script overflows with wordplay and repartee as Ernest Worthing (Andrew Milbourn) confides in his chum Algernon (C. Ryan Glenn) that although he intends to marry Algy’s cousin Gwendolen (Lisa Schreiner), with the approval of her abrasive mother, Lady Bracknell (Nancy Sherrard), his name is not, in fact, Ernest but Jack. This seemingly minor fib sets off a cascade of adventure and verbal slapsticks involving mistaken identity, money, sex and … well, just about everything. It’s a great play.

But WingSpan Theatre Company’s production, now at the Bath House Cultural Center, is not a great version. The dialogue is intact, and two performances in particular (the lovely Schreiner and Jessica Renee Russell as the comely young Cecily) capture the capricious, exuberant drama of silly people involved in silly behavior with very serious consequences perfectly; by the time Act 3 arrives, they are at full comic gallop, and the men eventually almost catch up with them.

Alas, that’s almost too late. The first act is saddled with an ugly set that lacks the requisite glamour of the era, and heavy, ill-fitting costumes that look like someone pulled them off the windows at the Von Trapp household, added a clunky bodice and washed their hands of further responsibility.

Another drawback is Sherrard’s interpretation of Lady Bracknell. The character, one of the funniest in all literature, is an imperious matriarch whose institutional arrogance rivals the monarchy itself. She cannot conceive that she is ever wrong — even when one of her beliefs directly contradicts another belief — because to acknowledge a mistake would be to undermine the social hierarchy.

But Sherrard plays her not as an aloof, self-justifying matron but as a sarcastic social climber. Seeing the first smirking roll of her eyes hits you like a 2×4 to the noggin: Is Lady Bracknell being… ironic? It hardly seems possible — she is a woman entirely bereft of irony. It’s as if she’s been modernized and lost her way entirely.

Still, there’s the music that is Wilde’s gift for the bon mot. There would never have been a Frasier without an Earnest, so if you’ve never seen a production before … well, even mediocre Wilde is better than none at all.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

‘Harvey Milk’ screens tonight at UUC of Oak Cliff

Got Milk?

The First Tuesday Social Justice Film Festival screens the Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, tonight at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff. We might have all seen the compelling Milk, but get the real stuff in this film that details of the first elected gay member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The event is co-sponsored by the Dallas Peace Center

The film festival strives to present socially relevant films with a discussion following.

DEETS: UU Church of Oak Cliff, 3839 W. Kiest Blvd. 7 p.m. Free. FirstTuesdayFilms.org.

—  Rich Lopez