This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

After a slightly slow patch for both theater and concerts, this week things are heating up — especially for those looking for something with gay appeal.

Gay crooner Jay Brannan returns to Dallas on Monday for an appearance at Sons of Hermann Hall, and The Voice‘s Nakia is generating buzz in the bear community — he’ll be at All Good Cafe Friday night. And the local singers are nothing to sneeze at, either, as the Voice of Pride contest has its final round in the Rose Room on Sunday night.

Over at Level Ground Arts, John de los Santos directs Andi Allen and Shane Strawbridge in Sondheim’s masterpiece, Sweeney Todd. Meanwhile, the very gay-friendly shows Present Laughter, The Importance of Being Lovely, Avenue Q and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continue their runs (Joseph closes on Sunday). Then on Tuesday, Chicago opens at the Winspear for a two-week run.

The Bourne Legacy — the espionage series reboot with Jeremy Renner as the new superspy — opens Friday alongside Zach Galifianakis as a superfey congressional candidate in The Campaign.

On the more interactive side, both AWOL — The Leather Knights’ A Weekend of Leather event — and Fruit Bowl get underway this weekend. Whichever you go to, expect to see a lot of balls.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Oscars not exactly gay heaven, but we’ll take it

Many gays are still smarting from the upset victory of Crash over Brokeback Mountain at the Oscars five years ago, but somehow, the lack of a clear frontrunner among many of the gay-content pictures this time around doesn’t feel as dramatic. Still, here would be the ideal queer surprises at the awards (they air Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on ABC).

Best picture, best original screenplay: Lisa Cholodenko’s lesbian family film The Kids Are All Right, is up for four awards, including best picture, which it won’t win. But Cholodenko and her co-screenwriter Stuart Blumberg have an outside shot at a writing award. They are up against the favorite, David Seidler for The King’s Speech (which also has the momentum for best picture). Then again, Seidler’s other screen credits include several animated films and a made for TV movie with Liz Taylor. It’s not like giving it to the lesbian would insult his art. And if King’s Speech does beat The Kids … well, everyone can root for a queen, and there are several in that movie. And gay uber-producer Scott Rudin is twice nominated, for The Social Network and True Grit. Pretty good odds.

Best actress: For a time, Annette Bening, pictured above, seemed a strong sentimental favorite to win as the totally gay half of the complex relationship in Kids, but Natalie Portman has come on strong with her SAG and Globe wins for Black Swan. Still, Portman’s character has same-sex fantasies about her dance rival Mila Kunis, so the LGBT community can claim a victory if either wins.

Best supporting actor: Mark Ruffalo as the straight dad in Kids is a longshot, as is Jeremy Renner, the villain in The Town (and, if Perez Hilton is to be believed, gay himself). They’ll probably lose to Christian Bale in The Fighter, but any would add a little hottie beefcake to the acceptance podium.

Live action short: Here’s an office pool tie-breaker you can get behind. Among the largely un-gay short film nominees is God of Love, pictured, a Jim Jarmusch-esque comedy about a homely man who acquires the power of Cupid. He uses it to seduce women … and at least one man. It’s quirky and fun, and among a perfectly fine slate of nominees, the stand-out.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition.

—  John Wright