Voice of Pride elimination round at Barbara’s Pavilion tonight

Start the eliminations

Voice of Pride is is now in elimination mode across clubland. Tonight, singer hopefuls head to Oak Cliff to test their vocal mettle at Barbara’s Pavilion and move on to the final.  Good luck to the contestants.

DEETS: Barbara’s Pavilion, 325 Centre St. 8 p.m. DallasTavernGuild.org/VoiceOfPride

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: NFL hopefuls terrified by fake gorilla

We recently wrote about homophobia in the NFL in advance of the Super Bowl. Well, it seems that some pro football wannabes are pretty gorilla-phobic too — and possibly not quite as tough as they let on. KTRK reports that prospects at an NFL training camp in Florida were unfazed when told that a gorilla had escaped from a nearby wildlife habitat — until they heard some rumbling in the bushes and took off screaming like kids.

—  John Wright

Maggie grades prez hopefuls; Potential noms not so NOM-pleasing

Pawlenty: D

Thune: D+

Romney: D

Ryan: C-

Trump: D

Santorum: A

Gingrich: D

McConnell: D

Bachmann: D

Those D’s of course have nothing to do with party affiliation. Ryan’s C- aint for conservative. Rather this is the list of faliling “marriage” grades that the National Organization For Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher has given to the slate of Republican presidential hopefuls who’ve spoken thus far at the weekend CPAC convention. A report card unlikely to please any parents, be they opposite-sex, same-sex, or single.

And as for the one bona fide good grade, belonging to Rick Santorum: Maggie admits, in full disclosure, that the former PA senator ran his speech by her ahead of time. Oh, and it’s the “values issues”-deviled Rick Santorum. Maggie could’ve written that “A” three weeks ago.

So all in all: It looks like Maggie’s biggest fight might not be with the many loving gay couples who are sick of pausing their lives to “prove” that they are worthy of full and equal citizenship under the nation’s civil laws, but rather within the one party that she has no choice but to have in her pocket. Because let’s get real: When Michelle “I once hid behind some bushes to spy on a gay marriage rally” Bachmann gives a conservative speech that doesn’t drop even one “protect marriage” rally canard? Well, Tea Partying Toto: I don’t think we’re in the Bush years anymore.

*Maggie’s grades can all be found on NOM Blog




Good As You

—  David Taffet

From Broadway to broadcast: London staging of musical ‘Fela!’ comes to Angelika screens tonight

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

When Stephen Hendel first approached out choreographer Bill T. Jones about directing Fela!, Hendel’s hoped-for musical about the life and work of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, Jones had absolutely no experience on Broadway.

But that was OK — neither did Hendel.

“I’d never produced a musical — not any theater show — before. And this was the first time [my wife] Ruth and I had lead-produced before, though Ruthie is a Tony voter. And the show was out of left field from the mainstream fare on Broadway,” Hendel says by telephone from New York.

This week, the culmination of their efforts will be seen by the largest audience ever, as Fela! airs as part of the National Theatre Live series of stage productions filmed for moviehouses opens at the Angelika, starting tonight.

The path was one of mutual enthusiasm by relative novices. Hendel was put in touch with Jones through a mutual acquaintance. Hendel had already spent several years trying to generate interest in his idea for a non-narrative musical overloaded with dance and tribal rhythms. And Jones was very interested.

“I could see he was really, really brilliant and that many of the themes — of an artist in society, of being a political artist and being a black man — were all issues will had spend him career exploring and living. We agreed when and if I got the rights [to the music and story], Bill would direct and choreograph the show.”

It took nearly a year for that to happen. In the interim, Jones got an agent who secured him choreography duties on an off-Broadway play called Seven. One of the hopefuls was not cast, but Jones loved his energy. He would eventually originate the role of Fela on Broadway.
Jones, for his part, made an impact as well, winning an Tony Award for choreographing Spring Awakening and becoming a hot property in the theater community. And Hindel got him started. (Hendel himself has continued his theater work, co-producing American Idiot, another outside-the-box, Tony-nominated musical from last season.)

The journey from New York stage to London stage to, this week, movie screens across the world, was a surprisingly natural progression.
“We opened on Broadway and got amazing reviews, and the National Theatre [in England] came to see it. Nick Hytner, their artistic director, called me to talk about bringing it to the Olivier Stage in London, so we created a production for the National,” Hendel says. He then learned that the National was beginning its second season of broadcasting stage works from its and other London stages to movie theaters across the world.

Hendel was in. The version airing this week at the Angelika Film Centers in Dallas and Plano was shot with nine cameras at the London shortly before Fela! closed its original Broadway run earlier this month. That means the broadcast is the only way an American can see the show for the time being.

“It’s like having the best seat in the house every minute, only you get things you can’t see sitting in a Broadway house,” Hendel says. And it is just one more way people in the U.S. can experience a musician Hendel has long loved but most people have never heard of.

“People thought we were crazy [doing the show] — who’s ever heard about Fela Kuti and would want to see a show about a Nigerian they’d never heard of?” he says. “It has been a big challenge making audiences aware of what it’s about and why it’s so entertaining and important. We want people all over the world the see the show and why we’ve spent eight or nine years working on it. It’s been a total joy and a total thrill.”

Still, Hendel says the cinema version does not replace seeing it live, which he hopes will happen; he is planning to announce soon a U.S. and international tour to start mid-2011.

Until then, though, the Angelika’s the place to be.

Fela! airs at the Angelika Mockingbird Station Jan. 19 and 20, and at the Angelika Plano Jan. 22 and 23, at 7 p.m. Visit AngelikaFilmCenter.com for details.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

It’s official: For GOP hopefuls, making life harder for LGBTs will remain a primary goal

Fischer-PawlentyHaley Barbour loves his gay marriage ban. Mike Huckabee loves most all gay marriage bans. And now a third potential 2012 presidential candidate on the GOP side, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, tells the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer that he’s itching to keep/reinstate a ban on open military service for gay soldiers:

Pawlenty: Bryan (Fischer), I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. There’s a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and I would support reinstating it as well.

If Elected President, Pawlenty Tells Fischer He’ll Reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [Right Wing Watch]

Ya know, I knew when I woke up this morning that I felt my sense of being able to breathe easily in my country subside just a bit. I thought I was coming down with something. Should’ve known it was just GOP primary season heating up.

Though we do should all give Mr. Pawlenty a compliment in terms of where he chose to make this statement. Because if one is going to support something as out-of-touch with the public as the reinstatement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, then it certainly makes sense to say it to a man who’s contributed things like this to the discourse:

“homosexuals in the military gave us…six million dead Jews

“homosexuals should be disqualified from public office

Called on Christian conservatives to breed gays and progressives out of existence,

Called gay sex a “form of domestic terrorism

Said only gays were savage enough for Hitler

Compared gays to heroin abusers

Directly compared laws against gay soldiers to those that apply to bank robbers

Invoked a Biblical story about stabbing “sexually immoral” people with spears, saying we need this kind of action in modern day

Spoke out against gays serving as public school teachers

Questioned why Medals of Honor are given to people who save lives (rather than take lives)

Said that open service will “assign the United States to the scrap heap of history”

Blamed gay activists for dead gay kids, saying that: “If we want to see fewer students commit suicide, we want fewer homosexual students.”




Good As You

—  admin

Chi. Mayor Hopefuls to Announce

JAMES MEEKS Rahm Emanuel X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMSeveral Chicago mayoral aspirants, including James Meeks (pictured,
left) and Rahm Emanuel (pictured, right) will formally announce their
candidacies this weekend.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin