Calendar men

CalendarCover-copy
There should be plenty of beefy hot cowboys in town during the IGRA rodeo, but why not enjoy them all year long? Thanks to HomoRodeo.com, you can. Their Cowboy Outlaws calendar means you don’t have to book a trip to Brokeback Mountain to find aw-shucks hotties.

HomoRodeo.com is a social networking site celebrating the queer community (mostly men) on the rural side of the fence: farmers, cowboys and just-everyday guys. Founded by Harley Deuce, the site and the calendar are in their 7th year celebrating the cowboy.

“I grew up in a rural environment,” Deuce says. “HomoRodeo.com is a result of going to gay rodeos and helping the people stay in touch, promote the sport. I appreciate what the cowboy represents.”

No professional models were harmed in the making of Cowboy Outlaws — all models in the calendar are members of the site. And those members are willing to bare it all. Yup, all. This is the gift that keeps on giving — until December, at least.

HomoRodeo.com will host meet-and-greets at both Woody’s and Best Friends with this year’s gentlemen, some of who are competing at IGRA. But with a limited edition in print and the appeal of the men, Deuce says to plan your visit.

“The line can get long, especially if people are waiting to get all the guys’ autographs,” he says. “Get there as soon as it opens.”

Not a problem.

— Rich Lopez

Best Friends Club
2620 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth.
Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.

Woody’s
4011 Cedar Springs Road.
Oct. 8 at 8 p.m.
HomoRodeo.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Best bets • 12.10.10

Friday 12.10

Dog days in Big D
Gays and their dogs are a breed unto themselves and we imagine some will be competing in this weekend’s Lone Star State Classic dog show. For sure, we know local Laurie Foley will be there with her cocker spaniel to compete for top dog honors. Forget watching Best in Show again, see it for real.

DEETS: Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway. Through Dec. 12. LoneStarStateClassic.com

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Saturday 12.11

Some cracked nuts for Christmas?
Mark-Brian Sonna brings back his snarky wit with The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents: A Bur-less-Q Nutcracker!  When food poisoning wipes out an entire ballet company, it’s up to stranded burlesque troupe The Velvet Kittens to save Christmas in Beulaville. Nutcrackin’ funny stuff.

DEETS: Stone Cottage Theater, 15650 Addison Road. Through Dec. 26. $18–$22. MBSProductions.net.

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Sunday 12.12

Holidays the Wright way
Fort Worth pianist Danny Wright performs a benefit concert for Chelsea’s Fund which promotes pet hospice in Dallas and Fort Worth. Rebecca Miller hosts the evening that includes Wright’s concert, a silent auction and champagne reception.

DEETS: Casa Manana Theater, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. 7 p.m. $50. CasaManana.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

No place like home

Linze Serell began her Miss Charity America reign nine years ago, just not like you think.

“I was first runner-up for nine years,” Bill Lindsey says. “This year, I thought I’d give it another try.”

Serell is the alter ego of Lindsey and this year, he took the title for the first time after 11 total tries. But winning or not, this pageant is more than sparkles and makeup.

For 20 years, Miss Charity America has been the main fundraiser for Home for the Holidays, which sends people living with AIDS home during the season.

“It’s been a blessing to stick around this long,” he says. “I think we’re the only organization of our kind in the country.”

Last year, the organization provided travel for 23 people, including sending some home to South Africa. Although Lindsey says Home for the Holidays has lingered on the bottom of the list for AIDS funding, it has received help and acknowledgement from the likes of

American Airlines and Black Tie. This could be a new start for the organization, but that makes Miss Charity America no less important.

“Oh yes, this event is the life source of our organization,” Lindsey says.

— R.L.

Best Friends Club, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. 7 p.m. $5. All proceeds benefit the organization. HomeForTheHolidaysTexas.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 15, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

American Idol contestant Nikki McKibbin at suicide prevention benefit at Best Friends

Nikki McKibbin, the North Texan who finished third in the debut season of American Idol, will be the featured guest at “Strides for Shauna,” a show and date auction set for Saturday, Oct. 16, at 8:30 p.m. at Best Friends, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave., in Fort Worth.

This second annual show, held in memory of Shauna Greaham who died Oct. 13, 2008 of suicide, will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

In addition to the show and the date auctions, the event will include a 50/50 raffle.

Anybody interested in being auctioned off as a date can e-mail Casey Cohea at pinkertc15@yahoo.com or Kinita Albertson at kinita.albertson@gmail.com.

Wacth the Oct. 15 issue of Dallas Voice for more information about the show and about Shauna.

If you can’t attend but would still like to donate to the cause, go to OutOfTheDarkness.org, team name Strides for Shauna.

—  admin

Tarrant Pride: Best Friends Club fills a school night just nicely

Tuesday nights are the nights to make besties with Best Friends Club

You could win with this cheesy conglomeration.

If for no other reason, you have to make it to Best Friends Club for the sublimely titled Cheese Wars of the Cheese Whores. When the club asks you to bring your cheese and crackers and then judge “other cheese whores,” how can you resist? And don’t try to pull a Velveeta over on them. The BFC peeps declare “We know our chesses biatches!”

They fill the rest of the evening with their Glee watch party and then it’s Games Night time. Sure you can have snacks, TV and games at home, but you won’t be with your Best Friends, now will you?

DEETS: 2620 E. Lancaster Ave. Fort Worth. 5:30 p.m. BestFriendsFW.com

—  Rich Lopez

Mama knows best

Vicki Lawrence works to keep Mama up with the times in a new show she brings to Fort Worth

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

Vicki Lawrence
DON’T TALK BACK | Vicki Lawrence has made Mama into such an icon that now she shares top billing in her newest show, which Lawrence brings to Fort Worth Saturday.

We like our mothers and grandmothers just the way they are: Ornery or pleasant, they are, for the most part, the only people who can get away with being themselves and remain dear to our hearts.

Tell this to comedian Vicki Lawrence. This Saturday, she’s bringing her most famous character, Thelma Harper — or as we know her, Mama — to the Laugh With a Legend Gala at Casa Manana. But it might be fair to say this is Mama 2.0.

“Mama has changed a lot,” Lawrence says. “I told myself for this run that I wouldn’t be happy going back. We need to go forward, and so we set about making Mama incredibly modern.”

Will our favorite ol’ grump be tweeting her snarky retorts? That would be a “no.” But Mama has come a long way since her inception on The Carol Burnett Show. Part of that evolution is thanks to Harvey Korman, whom Lawrence credits as really starting Mama’s growth.

“She changed between Burnett and Mama’s Family,” she says. “Korman really helped out. He made the point that people couldn’t just come home, relax and watch her be mean to everyone. She had to become a fun and silly character. I learned the most about comedy from Harvey.”

Lawrence plans to keep Mama topical because she apparently has opinions on BP and Mel Gibson. But she also has visions of Lil’ Kim in her head. For this show, Lawrence will perform Mama’s Rap to prove she’s no fuddy-duddy and knows what’s what.

Her metamorphosis mirrors Lawrence’s. As the years passed, Lawrence grew from 20something comedy ingénue into pop culture icon — and grew a little closer in age to Mama.

“She became this wonderful peacock of a character,” she says. “But I have to say, I tend to agree with her a little more as I get older. “

Vicki Lawrence
Vicki Lawrence

Through Mama, Lawrence has built her own gay fan base that surprised her initially. Her Mama’s Family co-star Dorothy Lyman was the first to show Lawrence pictures of drag queens in old lady garb. But then it all seems to make sense for her.

“Everyone has a twisted family,” Lawrence says. “And mother issues. But gay fans have been wonderful, and I guess they love that she is this outrageous female character — although probably not as much fun to dress up as as Cher.”

Lawrence is spending more time on the stage than the small screen, touring with Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two-Woman Show. But her heart sounds like it’s still in television. She’s had bit parts on Roseanne and Yes, Dear and even played against teen megastar Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana’s, grandmother Mamaw Stewart.

“That was a fun set, but if it’s television versus the stage, well that’s a loaded question,” she says. “We taped Burnett like a bat out of hell. I miss that kind of TV. Stage is like that with the live audience and interaction. I miss TV. Now, everybody’s putting their two cents in via committee.“

Lawrence sees today’s TV, at least behind the scenes, as far different from her heyday. It’s harder to have fun than when she was new to the medium.

“I wrote to Carol when I was in high school. She changed my life and told me I would have found showbiz anyway,” she says. “The funny thing is I don’t know how comedy found me. I was gonna go to college to become a dental hygienist, marry a dentist and be done with it!”
Of course, then we wouldn’t have Mama, or any of her other characters. But Thelma Harper is Vicki Lawrence’s comedic legacy — which is a duel-edged sword.

“I’m definitely in Mama’s shadow — she gets all the good jokes,” she laughs. “I need to be me before I’m not anymore. We were watching the Michael Jackson memorial and I think sometimes I wanna do that for Mama. The sad thing is, if I were gone, people would miss her!”

VICKI LAWRENCE
Casa Manana Theatre,
3101 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. Aug. 28 at 8:45 p.m. $75.
CasaManana.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 27, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas