Best Bets • 07.15.16

Thursday 07.21


Follow the Todrick Road to the Verizon for Straight Outta Oz

North Texas native was an American Idol also-ran, but he’s proven his starpower without the reality show as a popular and engaging young artist and Friend of Dorothy. And we don’t just mean he’s gay — he’s also a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz, as reflected in his latest video (“Wrong Bitch” — watch it!) and his current tour, Straight Outta Oz. Catch the big musical production that features 20 new songs in a twist on the classic Judy Garland musical.

Verizon Theatre
1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie
Doors at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday 07.16


JuJuBee, Raven, local luminaries turn out for a Night of Stars

There’s just a week before The Brick closes its doors for good, but it’s going out with a blast, starting this weekend, when Drag Racers JuJuBee and Raven join Dallas talent like Krystal Summers, Mark Alan Smith and more for this dragtastic entertainment — a fundraiser for the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

The Brick
2525 Wycliff Ave.
Doors at 6 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.
$20 suggested donation

Saturday 07.16


Gaybingo celebrates 15 years with quinceanera

Everyone knows that in Texas, girls mark their 15th birthday with a quinceanera. Well, that goes for gurrlls, as well, and girl, Saturday is the 15th anniversary of Gaybingo, the month fundraiser for the Resource Center. So come dressed as a pinata, or in your pasteliest taffeta to celebrate becoming a real lady.

The Rose Room inside S4
3911 Cedar Springs Road
Doors at 5 p.m.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 15, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Former Dallas Drag Racer Sahara Davenport reported dead

The Twitterverse is abuzz with reports that Sahara Davenport, the dancer and female impersonator who was a favorite on Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died.

Reports are non-specific; one blogger, in a piece calling the reports “erroneous,” offered as his sole “proof” that is sounded like a hoax to him — and that Sahara’s death was not reported on her Wikipedia page (a crowd source site anyone can edit — yeah, strong evidence). Another commenter noted that now her death is on the Wiki page, so it must be true.

So far, though, despite hard facts, it appears to be true. Jujubee, a fellow Drag Racer, posted an “RIP” notice on her own Facebook page late last night, and, in response to questions of “what happened” said merely, “It’s not important what happened. Just send prayers.” Avoidance of the cause of death, of course, only fuels suspicions of a hoax, although it is not uncommon not to announce a cause of death immediately, especially if the reason was something considered “shameful” (suicide, a drug overdose), though at this point there is no evidence of that.

Jujubee isn’t the only colleague of Sahara’s to note the passing; the official RuPaul Facebook page also offers condolences for her passing. (Oddly, there is no mention of it yet on any official Logo channel websites.) It has also not been refuted on the many offers of sadness of Sahara’s own page and that of her partner, fellow contestant Manila Luzon. Within the past few minutes, People magazine online and the gay blog Towleroad have also reported the death.

When we know more, we’ll report it.

On a personal note, Sahara and I were friendly. She got her start in Dallas, and she would often message me when she was coming to town; I also interviewed her on a few occasions (most recently here). It’s very sad in any event.

Davenport was born Antoine Ashley. He was 27.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones