Art attack

Dallas gets a dose of queer and queer-friendly art options this month

Maybe the holiday season inspires artists or inspires buyers, but whichever the reason, Dallas’ art scene is in full bloom with openings, closings and anniversaries. These galleries are ready to introduce you to a world of art in your own backyard.

Local queer artist Robb Conover closes his pop art extravaganza Sweet Bullets at Kettle Art Friday. Conover curated the show with fellow artist Corey Godfrey, which includes work by Tony Reans, Nix Johnson, Daniel Birdsong, Conover and Godfrey and more. Expect an explosion of bold colors and pop culture references in this eclectic exhibit. Upon the closing of the show, the gallery will celebrate its seventh anniversary. Kettle Art, 2714 Elm St. KettleArt.com.

Local funny gay guy Dave Cudlipp debuts as an artist in Fresh Faces 2 x 2. Curator Rita Barnard’s goal of the show is to highlight local and regional artists both discovered and yet to be. Cudlipp, who we featured before as a writer for Dallas Comedy Conspiracy, shows his other talents in the exhibit where artists are required to get creative in a two by two inch space. Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Through Jan. 28 with an artists’ reception Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. 214-670-8749. BathHouseCultural.com.

The Dallas Museum of Art continues it’s stunning exhibit The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, featuring the designer’s edgy clothes over the years as well as added elements such as animatronic mannequins — including one of Gaultier himself. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. Through Feb. 12. $16–$20. DallasMuseumofArt.org.

Alison Jardine displays her work, pictured, in PixelNation at Ro2 Art gallery at the Aloft. The digital art works are the result of Jardine creating through her iPad for 365 consecutive days. With such a modern approach, Jardine ironically takes on nature as her theme with a pixel motif. Ro2Art at Aloft, 1033 Young St. Through Dec. 29 with an artist’s reception Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. 214-803-9575. Ro2Art.com.

The Downtown gallery of Ro2Art will simultaneously feature Dallas-based artist R. Mateo Diago’s work in Every Then … and Now. The exhibit includes works from an array of media such as photography, painting, found objects and even letters and notes. Diago’s work is described as giving weight to themes of lost loves, self-identity, dreams and sexual compulsion. Sounds like his work speaks to everybody. Ro2 Art, 110 N. Akard St. Dec. 17–Jan. 28 with an artist’s reception Dec. 17. 214-803-9575. Ro2Art.com.

Applying math and musical concepts in his work, Dallas-based Rusty Scruby takes his photographic work to a new level. In Memory Bytes, Scruby hand cuts and reassembles his works into constructions of hexagons and circles in a simulated knitting style. Taking the seemingly mundane, he transforms family photos, yearbook pictures and more into further dimensions that demand a deeper look. Cris Worley Fine Arts, 2277 Monitor St. Through Dec. 22. 214-641-9266. CrisWorley.com.

The works of British artist Nigel Cooke can either bring forth a sense of renewal or evoke a feeling of dread. Either way it can be fascinating in his art currently on display at the Goss-Michael Foundation. 1405 Turtle Creek Blvd. Through Feb. 18. 214-696-0555. GossMichaelFoundation.org.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

‘The Lady’ exhibit at Bath House Cultural Center

Who’s that lady of the lake?

You know those stories of driving in the White Rock Lake area and seeing a mysterious drenched lady. She needs a ride, sits in the back seat and then disappears leaving only a puddle ruining your fine upholstery. The story is legend in Dallas and for whatever reason, is still creepy. The urban legend is turned into art in The Lady, where artists depict in various ways their take on the legend of the woman who drowned in the lake years ago. Real or not, it’s a spooky slice of Dallas history retold in art form — and perfect for getting in the Halloween mood.

DEETS: Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Through Jan. 28. Free. BathHouseCultural.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Applause: Stage pink

Queer highlights from the upcoming theater season

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

Anticipation should be strong for the upcoming theater season in general. Ambitious shows like Giant, The Tempest, West Side Story and Hairspray all dot the stage horizon.
But we also like to see some of our own up there. As we look over the upcoming offerings from local theater companies, we always ask, “Where’s the gay?”  In addition to Uptown Players’ first  Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival, here are some of the others.

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Fall

Although the Dallas Opera canceled the opera she was set to star in, lesbian soprano Patricia Racette will still perform at a TDO gala. (Photo Devon Cass)

Singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik gave an indie music flair to the musical adaptation of the 1891 play Spring Awakening. Set in 19th century Germany, Awakening follows a group of youths as they discover more about themselves and their rapidly developing sexuality.

The original Frank Wedekind play was controversial in its day, depicting abortion, homosexuality, rape and suicide. Now the show just has an added rock ‘n’ roll score. Along with Sheik’s musical perspective, Steven Slater wrote the book and lyrics in this updated version which debuted in 2006 on Broadway and won the Tony for Best Musical. Terry Martin directs.

WaterTower Theater, 15650 Addison Road., Addison. Sept. 30–Oct. 23. WaterTowerTheatre.org.

It’s almost un-Texan if you’re gay and not familiar with Del Shores’ tales of Southern discomfort.  Southern Baptist Sissies and Sordid Lives are pretty much part of the queer vernacular in these parts, but Shores got his start way back in 1987.

How will those northern folks take to Shores work (And by north, we mean past Central Expressway past LBJ)? Jeni Helms directs Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will for McKinney Repertory Theatre this fall. As the family patriarch suffers a stroke, the Turnover family gathers as they wait for his death. This family may just put the fun in dysfunctional.

McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St., McKinney. Sept. 30–Oct. 7. McKinneyRep.org.

WingSpan Theatre Co. will produce one of the greater comedies of theater-dom this fall: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, with Nancy Sherrard sparring over the gay wit’s price bon mots as Lady Bracknell.

Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Oct. 6–22. WingSpanTheatre.com.

Although A Catered Affair might sound a bit like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it has the added flair of Harvey Fierstein’s wit. That’s because he wrote the book for the show alongside John Bucchino’s music and lyrics. The play is based on the Gore Vidal-penned 1956 film The Catered Affair starring Bette Davis.

When Jane and Ralph decide to get married, Jane’s mom Agnes wants to put on an elaborate spectacle of a wedding. The truth is, she can’t afford it and Jane isn’t all too thrilled about a huge affair. As in most cases, the wedding planning is more about the mom than the daughter and Agnes soon realizes the fact. Jane’s Uncle Winston — the proverbial gay uncle — is left off the guest list and is rightfully pissed. But as most gay characters, he rallies to be the voice of reason and support.

Theatre Three, 2800 Routh Street, Ste.168. Oct. 13–Nov. 12. Theatre3Dallas.com.

Lesbian soprano Patricia Racette was going to be featured in the production of Katya Kabanová but unfortunately the show was canceled by the Dallas Opera. But fear not. Dallas will still get to bask in the greatness that is her voice as Racette will perform An Evening with Patricia Racette, a cabaret show with classics from the Great American Songbook for a patron recital.

Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Nov. 9. DallasOpera.org

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Spring

Nancy Sherrard will star as Lady Bracknell in WIngSpan Theater Co.’s fall production of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,’ perhaps the greatest comedy ever written by theaterdom’s gayest wit.

Kevin Moriarty directs Next Fall for the Dallas Theater Center next spring. Written by Geoffrey Nauffts, the play centers on Luke and Adam, a couple with some unusual issues. What’s new about that in gay couplehood? Not much, but when Adam’s an absolute atheist and Luke’s a devout Christian, the two have been doing their best to make it work.
The comedy played on Broadway in 2010, garnering Tony and Drama Desk nominations. And now Dallas gets to see how, as DTC puts it, “relationships can be a beautiful mess.”
Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. April 13–May 6. DallasTheaterCenter.org.

Perhaps the most surprising queer offering this next season is Theatre Arlington’s production of The Laramie Project. The show usually creates quite a stir — at least it did in Tyler, thanks to Trinity Wheeler — so how will this suburban audience handle it? Doesn’t matter. Props to T.A. for taking Moises Kaufman’s play about the tragic bashing and death of Matthew Shepard to its community.

Theatre Arlington, 305 W. Main St., Arlington. May 18–June 3. TheatreArlington.org.

Usually the question with MBS Productions is “what’s not gay?” Founder Mark-Brian Sonna has consistently delivered tales of gay woe and love that are sometimes silly and sometimes sweet, but always a laugh.

This season is no different. Playwright Alejandro de la Costa brings back drag queen Lovely Uranus in The Importance of Being Lovely. The last time we saw Uranus, Sonna wore the stilettos and pink wig in last season’s Outrageous, Sexy, (nekkid) Romp.  This time around, Uranus graduates to leading lady status as the show is all about her as audiences follow her through the changes she makes in her make-up, wigs and men.

Stone Cottage Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. July 16–Aug. 11, 2012. MBSProductions.net.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Weekly Best Bets • 07.15.11

Friday 07.15

FIT for a queen
The Festival of Independent Theaters (FIT) returns with an inspired schedule of shows including works by Steve Martin and David Mamet. We’re curious though about The Madness of Lady Bright with Larry Randolph, about an aging drag queen’s descent into madness.

DEETS: Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Through Aug. 6. $12–$16.
BathhouseCultural.com.

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Sunday 07.17

Walk this way
Not often do we get to see both men and women compete in drag pageants together, but Miss LifeWalk is different that way. Everyone can make a run for the tiara, but the goal is to raise funds for AIDS LifeWalk and the amazing things they do. But for real, these contestants are still gonna do all they can to snag the crown.

DEETS: Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road. 6 p.m.
AIDSLifeWalk.org/Miss-LifeWalk.

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Thursday 07.21

Givin’ up the Love
We don’t have to rely on Chelsea Lately or America’s Dumbest Criminals to get some Loni Love up in here. The comedian brings the laughs with her signature sass and we’re all the better for it.

DEETS: The Improv, 309 Curtis May Way, Arlington. Through July 24. $17–$20.
Improv.com.

—  Kevin Thomas