Best bets • 06.10.11

Saturday 06.11

These weiners don’t tweet
We’re not sure what culinary masters would think of this pairing, but Weenies & Martinis sounds just fine to us. The Lone Star Ride fundraiser features a weiner roast (jokes welcome), s’mores and all the ingredients for a grown-up campfire. The best part is that 100 percent of the proceeds go to LSR Fighting AIDS.

DEETS: Jack’s Backyard, 2303 Pittman St. 7:30 p.m. $20. Search the event on Facebook.com

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Sunday 06.12

Next comes the senior discount
Likely your funny bone has been tickled by Paul J. Williams at one point or another. So pay him back with birthday greetings at his 50 and Fabulous gathering in the upstairs bar. He’ll appreciate your presence far more than the subscription to AARP that will be in his mailbox soon.

DEETS: JR.’s Bar & Grill, 3923 Cedar Springs Road. 9 p.m. PaulJWilliams.com

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Tuesday 06.14

The Holy Grail comes to town
Seriously, our email inboxes should be called Spamalot, but those Monty Python people took it before we could. King Arthur’s quest never came across as all that funny until now in this musical version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

DEETS: Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave. 8 p.m. Through June 26. $15–$70. DallasSummerMusicals.org

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 10, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

SLIDESHOW: Aspen Gay Ski Week

DV freelance photographer Chuck Dube of MarceloMedia just sent over some great shots from Aspen Gay Ski Week, which marked its 34th year from Jan. 16-23. Dube notes that this year’s festivities were MC’d by Dallas’ own Paul J. Williams.

“The energy and enthusiasm from the participants in this year’s Costume Contest far exceeded recent years and that energy greatly contributed to this being one of the best we’ve had in my 10 years of hosting!” Williams said. “On top of that, I was able to bring back three of my favorite performers for our Comedy Night who performed to a nearly sold-out house.”

Check out Dube’s photos by going here.

—  John Wright

Slender read

Our critic looks at the best in gay li

Freeman Hall
Freeman Hall

The holidays are a good time to curl up with a book — or get one for the hard-to-shop-for literati in your life. Here are my suggestions for the best of the last year or so for the queer audience.

Best novel with a twist, 2010: Room by Emma Donoghue. You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot about this book — all of it true. Room is a bit of a challenge at the outset, but the plotline will grab you, especially if you let your own imagination run wild. What would you do if you’d never seen the world from anywhere but TV?

Best novel with a twist, ever: Five Minutes and 42 Seconds by T.J. Williams. There are drugs in the house, and you’ve got to get rid of them. The feds know about the drugs and they’re on their way. I added this oldie-but-a-goodie because it’s quick to read, it’s action-packed, it’s wildly fun and because it’s my list, right?

Best slam-bang didn’t-see-it-coming novel ever: So You Call Yourself a Man by Carl Weber. I wish I could tell you why. I’d love to give you reasons, and you’d understand why I screamed and laughed like I needed a straitjacket. But if I told you, then you’d see it coming, wouldn’t you?

Best humorist: Freeman Hall. As if Retail Hell wasn’t enough to make you laugh ‘til you peed your pants, along comes Stuff That Makes a Gay Heart Weep. Hall’s books are the kind you read when you’re tired of wallowing in pity and need a snarky snicker.

E. Lynn Harris
E. Lynn Harris

Close runner-up: Wade Rouse.

Author who will be missed most: E. Lynn Harris. Hands-down.

Novel that camps like Yosemite: Divas Las Vegas by Rob Rosen. Fun, silly, rompish and vintage Vegas, this mystery-ish novel about two friends in Sin City needs to be read in a tent by flashlight while eating s’mores.

Best book to share with mom: Where’s My Wand? by Eric Poole. A coming-of-age story with a bedspread, this book is cute, gentle and funny. My own mother loved it, and if you can’t believe a mom, who can you believe?

Close runner up, and sharable with your sister, too: Rhinestone Sisterhood by David Valdes Greenwood.

Happy reading!

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 24, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Leslie Jordan cancels Aspen Gay Ski Week gig

Leslie Jordan has had to back out of his appearance at Aspen Gay Ski Week, says producer Paul J. Williams, due to a conflict with another obligation. Instead, Williams has made this a “best of” year, with returning favorites: Michele Balan, Chuck Sweeney and Jim David will take over for the Jan. 20 concert.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Another reason to go to Aspen: Leslie Jordan

Last week, I mentioned that time was running out to get some early-bird deals for Aspen Gay Ski Week, the Who’s-your-granddaddy of gay ski events. Scheduled entertainment included Dallas’ own Paul J. Williams, who will host the “comedy night.” Now word comes in that the headliner for the event will be Leslie Jordan.

The Emmy-winning star of Will & Grace and Sordid Lives is a fixture in Dallas where his home-spun queer humor plays well. No word yet on whether Jordan will perform his Trip Down the Pink Carpet one-man show, his standup or just improvise with Williams. (I know from experience: Jordan needs no help to be funny extemporaneously for long stretches.)

The show takes place at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen on Jan. 20. Tickets are $50. Buy ‘em at 970-920-5770.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Shawn lately

Comic Pelofsky pairs with Dallas’ Paul J. Williams for a gay ol’ time Saturday

COMIC PAIR  |  Paul J. Williams, right, opens for comedian Shawn Pelofsky at the Rose Room Saturday.
COMIC PAIR | Paul J. Williams, right, opens for comedian Shawn Pelofsky at the Rose Room Saturday.

SHAWN PELOFSKY
The Rose Room at Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Sept. 25. Show begins at 9:30 p.m. $4 cover. Caven.com

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Shawn Pelofsky has probably been on more gay cruises that any straight woman should feel comfortable claiming.

The L.A.-based comic, who performs nationwide with her Lady Haha & Friends Tour, has appeared on E! with Chelsea Handler, but is familiar to gay travelers for her frequent stints on Atlantis Cruises. She brings her act, alongside local comedian Paul J. Williams, for a show at the Rose Room Saturday.

Pelofsky chatted (with Williams) about what she likes about Dallas’ gay community and why she is so popular with gay audiences (hint: It’s her schnoz).

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Voice: You were here a few years ago at the Lakewood Theater; how did this show come about? Pelofsky: I was already booked in Austin. I had a lot of requests from the Dallas boys from working the Atlantis Cruises so I thought, “If I’m gonna be that close, and we make it happen…” So I called Paul and he did it.

Williams: I am just a vessel for you to perform.

Pelofsky: Paul is so nice and funny.

Are we talking about the same person? Pelofsky: Yes. You can’t get much by me. He’s funny.

You’re straight — how’d you get to be so big in the gay community? Pelofsky: I was born with a Streisand face, so I couldn’t dodge anyone in the gay community — they stop me all the time. Actually, I wasn’t born with it — I broke my nose three times and it got this way. I think with that, people noticed me a little more.

About five or six yeas ago, I just noticed most of my friends were young gay men and I was working a lot of gay venues in Los Angeles. Then the Atlantis [Cruises] people saw me. I was really one of the first straight comics to work so much for them. I really represent the community because I understand that thought process, that mind behind the gay man. It’s my mind. And I’m very accepting.

Do you tailor your act for your audiences? Pelofsky: Sure. Believe it or not, I have worked in front of kids, and I do kid humor. Or when I’m in front of a bunch of old Jews in New Jersey. I can’t do all my gay material when I’m in Afghanistan for the troops.

Do you do it at all? Any “don’t ask, don’t tell” jokes when performing for the troops? Pelofsky: I haven’t really touched that. They say do nothing about that or the president. I just don’t go there. But it does come off the cuff…. But I do love gay humor. And I do it when I work at the Comedy Store.

Do you have any topics that are burning a hole in you comically speaking? Pelofsky: Yes, Prop 8. I support it. Just kidding!

You’ve worked Vegas — did you hear they are closing the Liberace Museum? Pelofsky: Yes! Who doesn’t wanna go to the Liberace Museum?

Williams: I just wanna know if they’re having a garage sale. I’d buy anything shaped like a piano.

Pelofsky: I want a Bedazzled jock strap.

You grew up in Oklahoma as, as you put it, one of 10 Jews born and raised in the state. Do you like coming back to your old stomping grounds? Pelofsky: I have not been to Texas in a few years. I’m not going home until Monday — gonna stay longer because I have a couple of best friends there. I will tell you this, though: I will always get to Texas before I get back to Oklahoma. My dad says, “You gonna be playing Dallas and not Oklahoma?” Yes.

But you like performing here? Pelofsky: Yes, I’m excited! I think the Dallas gay community is one of the best-looking communities, and I’ve been around. And yes, I know everything is bigger in Texas. And everyone knows I’m a size queen.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Local briefs • 09.17.10

2nd annual Great Gatsby party benefiting AIN is Sept. 26

AIDS Interfaith Network presents the second annual “Great Gatsby … Get Your Flap On” fundraising party on Sunday, Sept. 26, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Union Station, 400 S. Houston St. in downtown Dallas.

Tickets are $75, available online at AIDSInterfaithNetwork.org. Proceeds benefit the client service programs at AIN. Those persons who get their Roaring ’20s attire for the party at Norcostco or Gratitude can receive a 10 percent discount on costume rentals.

Stonewall Young Democrats to hold Red Party benefiting Legacy

Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats will hold their second annual Red Party on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. at ilume to raise money for Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage.

Bartenders from Bar 10 will be serving. Tickets for the Red Party are $10 and available at the door. VIP tickets for a catered party are $30, available on line at LegacyCounseling.org.

Sharon St. Cyr Fund holding Hear Our Pride benefit party

The Sharon St. Cyr Fund will hold the Hear Our Pride event to benefit Hearing from the Heart on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel at Love Field. The fund raises money to buy hearing aids for the hearing impaired.

Last year’s Mr. International Leather Jeffrey Payne of Dallas and this year’s titleholder, Tyler McCormick, will attend. Comedian Paul J. Williams will entertain.

Tickets for the event are $45 and available on line at SSCFund.com. Dinner and entertainment are included.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Chrome drama

Not everyone agrees what qualifies as a collectible car, but Classic Chassis has some ideas

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

Classic Car Show
ALL MY FRIENDS LOVE A LOW-RIDER | The author disrespects a 1971 Eldorado owned by Classic Chassis Car Club member Paul J. Williams — although it does have bouncy hydraulics. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

CLASSIC CAR SHOW
Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street.
Aug. 14 . 10 a.m.
ShopCedarSprings.com

Being the driver of a Ford Escape, I don’t get the double-takes driving down the road. My mini-SUV is functional, it blends in and it gets me places. But something deep inside my Mexican-American bones reacts when I see a 1979 Monte Carlo painted in glossy purple with the Last Supper etched into the rear window, gold rims and (if I’m just lucky enough) an amazing set of hydraulics.

So, any car show on the Strip should put me at a crossroads (pun intended): My Hispanic heritage could celebrate the art and significance of the car in my culture, and the gay side marvel at matching interiors.

To find out more about the show, all roads led to actor/comedian Paul J. Williams, himself a classic car owner and member of the Classic Chassis Car Club.

Like any car show, I wondered if it would have umpteen bikini gals walking around while hip-hop blared out of car trunks. Really, I couldn’t wait to see the pimped out D-bodies with sweet whammy tanks.

“Keep waiting,” Williams told me. “We’re excited to have hip-hop artists Notorious G.A.Y. and Dr. Fab spinning 8-tracks and I plan on wearing my one- piece with the modesty skirt. I can’t speak for the others.”

Methinks he was pulling my leg. Then he set me straight that Classic Chassis will display vehicles in the Cedar Springs Sidewalk Sale and Classic Car Show Saturday. So “classic” for these guys isn’t the low-rider kind; these are true vintage rides.

“By my definition, a classic car is one that is 25 years old or older,” he says. “This, however, does not apply to my definition of classic men.”

The predominantly gay Classic Chassis group of vintage car collectors, aficionados and fans meets monthly, but teamed up with the Merchant Association for the all-day event, which also features arts, baked goods and music. Shoppers and visitors can put their judgmental skills to use by purchasing a ballot for a buck and let loose their fury or delight on the displayed cars.

Williams owns a 1971 Cadillac Eldorado and he’s sold me on its pluses. The Cambridge red ride is badass to see up close. Its architecture has glorious lines long gone from modern bodies and the space inside is, well, useful.

“My Eldorado convertible has inner spring seats, so it’s certainly a comfortable place to make out in,” he says.

Score! Although, he assures this isn’t a cheap hobby, and if I’m anything, it is chuh-eap. The significant O will have to bear with while I lean over the gearshift for a smooch. But Williams says Classic Chassis isn’t just for those who own an old car: They are all-inclusive for those without a hot rod or drophead coupe.

“I love finding a group of guys who can discuss obscure trivia about cars and not look at me like I’m crazy,” Williams says. “Collectors aren’t terribly wealthy, just passionate. Of course, money helps! Come to look, but also find out more about the club. Anyone who has an interest in classic cars is welcome to join.”

It’s a hard sell with triple-digit heat — I’d rather be inside with my TV and Cheetos. But he wasn’t going to have it.

“Run in to one of the Cedar Springs merchants to cool off. There’s ice tea at Buli,” he says.

Looks like my Saturday is booked. Plus if Williams ran over me with that thing, it wouldn’t be pretty. For either of us.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 13, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas