Five queer alternatives to the Super Bowl

Yes, Yes… I know… plenty of gay men enjoy football, are fans even, and there are lots of LBT fans as well, but if you’re like me you greet all the hoopla over the Super Bowl with a resounding “meh.”

So if you’re looking for a way to avoid a (morning) afternoon (and evening (seriously, how long are football games supposed to be?)) of indecipherable sports jargon, over-hyped commercials and disproportionate passion for the accomplishment of moving dead pig parts 300 feet here are some alternatives with a decidedly queer bent you might enjoy (don’t worry, you can Tivo Madonna’s half time show):

1. ¡Women Art Revolution at The Museum of Fine Arts

Starting from its roots in 1960s in antiwar and civil rights protests, the film ¡Women Art Revolution details major developments in women’s art through the 1970s. The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston presents this documentary at 5 pm on Sunday at the The Museum of Fine Arts’ Brown Auditorium Theater (1001 Bissonnet). Artist Lynn Randolph and U of H art history professor Jenni Sorkin will be on hand to provide insight into the film

!W.A.R. features Miranda July, The Guerilla Girls, Yvonne Rainer, Judy Chicago, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, and countless other groundbreaking figures. Tickets are $7 and are available at mfah.org.

2. The Rape of Lucrecia at Houston Grand Opera

Written by gay composer Benjamin Britten and scored by Ronald Duncan, The Rape of Lucrecia is set during the decline of the Roman Empire. When a group of soldiers unexpectedly returns home to Rome they find that their wives have all been unfaithful, with the excpection of Collatinus’ wife Lucretia. Later that night the king’s son, Prince Tarquinius, accepts a drunken dare to seduce Lucretia. After she rebuffs his advances Tarquinius forces himself on her spurring Collatinus to rebellion against the king.

The dialogue of the Opera (which is in English by the way) is punctuated by two choruses, one male and one female, who engage the audience in the emotional responses of the male and female characters respectively.

The Rape of Lucretia plays at the Houston Grand Opera (510 Preston) at 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets start at $38 and may be purchased at HoustonGrandOpera.org.

4. The Drunken City at the Rice University, Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts

“The city’s like a monster, like a sleeping dragon or some dark creature in the night that cracks open an eye, and whispers dark dangerous dark ideas into your ear.”

The Drunken City is populated by thoroughly unpleasant people, the kind of loud sequin-wearing party girls who can immediately turn a hip bar passe and the men who hunt them. Marnie, the alpha-female and soon-to-be bride, has taken her co-worker bridesmaids out on the town for a ladies night. Seriously inebriated, they soon run into Frank and Eddie. Frank quickly takes a shine to Marnie, despite her girlfriends objections. Eddie, on the other hand, isn’t interested in any of the girls but seems to know their shared boss quite well (if you catch my drift). The play is sprinkled through with warnings about human desire and the dangers of consumption.

The Drunken City is presented by the Rice University College of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Hamman Hall on the Rice Campus (6100 Main) at 3 pm. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or by calling 713-348-PLAY .

Steve Bullitt as Hay and Mitchell Greco as Gernreich

4. The Temperamentals at Barnvelder Movement/Arts Complex

The off-Broadway hit The Temperamentals, by Jon Marans, explores the events surrounding the founding of the Mattachine Society, one of the first “gay rights” groups in America (although the Society for Human Rights has it beat by a quarter of a century). The story centers on Harry Hay (Steve Bullitt), a communist and Progressive Party activist and his lover Rudi Gerneich (Mitchell Greco), a Viennese refuge and costume designer. Set in the early 1950′s in Los Angeles, the play is an intimate portrayal of two men who created history and the epic struggle they overcame.

Sunday’s curtain for the Celebration Theater produced play is at 3 pm at the Barnvelder Movement/Arts Complex. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at buy.ticketstothecity.com.

5. Closing Night of Bring It On: The Musical at Theater Under the Stars

Bring It On: The Musical finishes up its run at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (800 Bagby Suite 300) on Sunday. Theater Under the Stars (TUTS) presents this musical re-imagining of the 2000 film with a matinee at 2 pm and an evening showing at 7 pm.

Two rival cheer-leading squads are out for the national championship, and neither is going to give up without a fight. The ensemble for the show features some of the nation’s most skilled competitive cheerleaders led by Taylor Louderman and Adrienne Warren as the leaders of the rival squads.

Tickets start at $24 and are available on-line at TUTS.com, by phone at (713) 558-TUTS (8887), or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office (800 Bagby).

—  admin

Dynamic duo

Val Haskell and Jenni Stolarski stay fit with soccer, yoga… and anything else

FITNESS

SLIM WITHOUT GYM | Be it running, walking or swimming from a trapeze, Val Haskell and Jenni Stolarski find fitness almost anywhere there go — as long as it’s not in a gym. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

The adage every journey begins with a first step is as true for a fitness regime as a world tour. For dynamic duo Jenni Stolarski and Val Haskell, those steps may be along the banks of the Trinity River, on a soccer field or even on the rungs of a ladder for a trapeze course. These ladies mix it up in a spectrum of workout routines. They’re game to try almost anything, as long as it doesn’t involve being trapped indoors.

— Jef Tingley

Names and ages: 

Jenni Stolarski, 41, and Val Haskell, 39.

Occupations:

Stolarski: Realtor, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Haskell: project manager.

Length of relationship: 

19 years.

Sports & activities:

Tennis, walking, running, soccer, yoga, trapeze (!).

Exercise regime: 

Stolarski: I walk five days a week for an hour. I have two walking buddies who make this possible. If left to my own devices, I’d just stay in bed. [I also do] yoga two or three times a week, including a core-strength class, and tennis once a week.

Haskell: Typically I run four times a week, play tennis once, and during the soccer season, I play a game a week.

Upcoming fitness goals:

Stolarski: Consistency. This summer, Val and I did a trapeze course with my brother and his wife in NYC. I was sore for days. But I want to continue to have the energy, strength and stamina to try fun things like that for the rest of my life.

Haskell: I’d love to show a decent time in a half marathon and help my soccer team with some goals and assists next season. Also focusing on the A’s next year: Abs, arms and…

Most memorable athletic accomplishment: 

Haskell: If the number of videos and random mentions are the barometer, it would have to be going to trapeze school for an afternoon. I had no idea it was so hard! Getting up and down from that bar in mid-air is serious work.

Least favorite exercise or piece of gym equipment? 

Stolarski: The gym. Period. I like to be outside.

Haskell: I can’t stand the gym, either.

Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise outdoors? 

Stolarski: We have taken to hiking/walking in the Trinity River Basin. There is a small dirt path that runs along the levee. It’s quiet down there, which is amazing when you remember it’s in this huge city. And the views are great.

Haskell: Coombs Creek Trail, Stevens Park tennis courts, Katy Trail and White Rock Lake

Ways you stay fit or workout together? 

Stolarski: Being active together was one of the ways we got to know each other. We played soccer and swam at UT. That just carried on through the years; we biked, we hiked the Tetons, we played soccer. Val taught me how to play tennis. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time together.

How does your partner motivate you to work out? 

Stolarski: I know Val is always going to come up with some crazy idea of a fun thing to do. Did I mention trapeze school was her idea? And I don’t want to miss out.

Haskell: She gets out of bed early and meets someone for her workout five days a week, which means lounging in bed is not as compelling. She also says nice things about the way I look, which I really like.

How do you reward yourself after a great workout? 

Stolarski: My reward is waking up every day, getting to feel good. It sounds cheesy as all get out, but really, the reward is that I get to keep exercising.

Words of advice for people trying to work fitness into their life? 

Haskell: Incorporate it socially. Walk with a friend, play tennis with a work buddy, join a team or a running group like the Dallas Running Club. The more you merge your social life and active life, the easier it is to make it fit into your schedule. And your friends end up with shared goals and you encourage each other.

If you could become an Olympian in any sport, what would it be and why?

Stolarski: I’d want to play soccer on the U.S. National team. Those women have such a great dynamic; it’s a joy to watch. Plus it would make my dad, who’s been a soccer coach for 40 years, ridiculously proud.

Favorite song or playlist for working out? 

Stolarski: None. That is part of the joy of being outside: It comes with its own soundtrack.

Haskell: I’m usually outside running in the dark, yelling at my teammates on a soccer field or chatting
on the tennis court, so no playlist for me.

Which celebrity or athlete’s physique would you like to have and why? 

Stolarski: Abby Wambach. That woman was built to play soccer!

Haskell: A few years ago, I saw a picture of Joan Jett at a concert and she still looked great
and had amazing arms. I aspire to look good, healthy and lean in my 50s.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Drag brunch is back, Angels-style

Dish restaurant’s regular Drag Brunch returns this Sunday, with two seatings, at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. But they are takin’ it old school with three queens —  not one or two, but three to entertain you. The line-up: Erica Andrews, Jenni P and Onya Stereo. They’ll be accompanied by DJ Paul Paredes spinning. You can choose between a three-course-only meal for $25 or add five bucks for bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Drag brunch returns to Dish with Krystal Summers, Jenni P

Krystal Summers, pictured, and Jenni P dish out the camp at Dish’s Drag Brunch

A few weeks about I wrote about Dish’s Sunday drag brunch — two seatings that come with live drag entertainment — and it returns Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. In addition to DJ Paul Paredes, drag divas Krystal Summers and Jenni P will provide the camp along with an excellent meal that includes bottomless mimosas or bloody Marys.

Can’t make it this weekend? Mark your calendars — the next after that is Aug. 21.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones