Into the woods… and out of the closet

Into-the-woods

Queer playwright Ben Schroth explores fairy tale mythology through a gay lens for his comedy ‘Little Red’

Into the Woods isn’t the only place you can get a fresh look at Little Red Riding Hood this week. Playwright Ben Schroth is contributing his own revisionist version with the staged reading of his latest play, Little Red, which will be performed May 19, 25 and 27 at the Bath House Cultural Center as part of Pegasus Theatre’s Fresh Reads festival of new works.

“I’ve always been interested in reclaiming mythology and folklore through a gay lens,” Schroth says. “I think that’s very important, but you can also have a lot of fun. Basically, Little Red is just an extreme comedy about being a gay prostitute —seeing Little Red Riding Hood as a little gay boy… It’s mostly a comedy.”

“Mostly” may be the key word there. Schroth admits the genesis for the play was a serious conversation he had years ago.
“I had a friend who got himself into trouble because he had a thing about dick dancers — he was obsessed with them,” he explains. “I can see that, to a certain point, but in his case, the ones he was interested in were predators to see what they can get from an older man.

I asked him, ‘Why are you wasting your time, effort and money on this go-nowhere relationship?’ And he said he was ‘following his bliss.’”

The phrase resonated with Schroth, a fan of the godfather of mythology, Joseph Campbell, whose big catchphrase was “follow your bliss.” “But what are the moral and ethical consquences of doing that?” Schroth wondered. “There was a set-up there for a serious moral debate … or a comedy … or both.”

He cast Little Red as the tension between temptations posed to gay men (say… a hunky, seductive Big Bad Wolf?) and their desire to do the right thing (i.e., get those groceries to gramma!). He just decided he could make the point best “with a 50 minute romp of camp,” he laughs.

He debated the best avenue for telling his tale. “I thought about Jack and the Beanstalk and Chicken Little, the character who says the sky is falling, That might be in the future — sometimes the sky is falling. But there was something about Little Red Riding Hood that stuck with me.”

Schroth first started working on the play as far back as 2012, but when Pegasus decided to stage it, he began making revisions, some as recently as the first week of rehearsals. He admits he has a “pro-gay agenda.” “Straight people don’t even think that they live in a straight world that can be oppressive and soul-crushing to gay people. It’s not always malicious, but growing up gay is very hard. I want to reclaim these myths for ourselves, to give us a cultural legitimacy by finding out own myths in the culture.”
Still, Schroth demurs at the idea his work is primarily political.

“I would say it’s behavioral,” he says. “I have questions for anybody who blindly follows their bliss [to extremes]. I think there’s a limit to hedonism. So I hope the comedy brings out question of personal choice. And that you just get laughs at the dirty jokes.”

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Little Red will be performed as part of the Fresh Reads Festival, at the Bath House Cultureal Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, through May 27. PegasusTheatre.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice

Mob manic

Death-Goes-Overboard

Death Goes Overboard by David S. Pederson (Bold Strokes Books 2017) $18.95; 237 pp.

The weekend was all set. Detective Heath Barrington had everything planned down to the last detail: He and police officer Alan Keyes were heading to a cabin in Northern Wisconsin, just the two of them, under the guise of a “fishing trip.”  It was 1947, after all, and discretion was absolutely necessary for two professional gay men, but the getaway would be a great chance to see where their new relationship was going.

Still, despite their carefulness, rumors could come from anywhere, which was why Barrington was worried when his boss called him in early one day. Fortunately, the chief didn’t want to quiz Barrington on his love life; he wanted to send the detective on a special assignment.

Milwaukee law enforcement had been following Gregor Slavinsky ever since the small-time hood got out of prison, assuming that he’d screw up eventually. And that’s exactly what happened: Word on the street was that Slavinsky recently borrowed $25,000 from Benny Ballentine, a bigger crook and the guy the department really wanted to nab. Both were booked on a Lake Michigan excursion, and something was afoot. The chief needed Barrington to find out more.

The “fishing trip” cancelled, Barrington boarded a small luxury boat for a weekend tour. With few fellow travelers — two known hoodlums, a henchman, a man and his elderly aunt — he thought he’d have no trouble keeping an eye on everyone, especially since the boat’s steward was an undercover cop too. But when a scuffle, a splash, and a missing crook proved otherwise, Barrington knew his assignment had suddenly changed. Slavinsky was nobody’s favorite guy… but who among the handful of possible suspects had the most reason to kill him?

Every cliché ever packed in a noir novel — every single one — seems to be baked inside Death Goes Overboard:  You’ve got mobsters, a fedora-wearing detective in a pinstriped suit, seemingly-prim matrons, man-hungry blondes eager for marriage. It’s like an old black-and-white movie in book form. But you won’t mind, because author David S. Pederson has packed a lot of else in this novel. You don’t normally find a soft-sided, poetry-writing mobster in a noir mystery, for instance, but he’s here. And there’s the sweetly chaste, budding romance between two men; not so unusual, again, except that one of them is considering something drastic in order to hide his secret, a side-plot that’s historically accurate, and that fits.

So this novel is both predictable and not, making it a nice diversion for a weekend or vacation. If that’s the kind of book you enjoy, then Death Goes Overboard will make you buoyant.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice

Little bears

Photog Blake Little brings his sexy books to Dallas in time for TBRU

work-by-blake-little

 

When we say we’re always excited to see “Little bears,” we don’t mean grizzly cubs or koalas or even small-statured hairy gay men — in fact, we don’t mean “tiny” at all. Nope, we are referring to the bearish men that photographer Blake Little has memorialized in a series of sexy coffee table books. His current book, Work, follows The Company of Men and Manifest, and is his latest in the pursuit of hirsute men.

And the timing for the bearish men in Work couldn’t be better — Little is in town this weekend as part of the Texas Bear Round Up, and will even be doing a book signing at NUVO on Friday, where the books is exclusively available in Dallas.

Little-Bears-CoverIt’s a good fit as well because, Nuvo’s Jeff Wright says, Little’s books “are really popular in Dallas. Blake always includes some Dallas men in his books, and there are several in Work.”

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Pritchett, Locken to emcee Evening of Hope

Brad-Pritchett-and-LeeAnne-Locken

 

Brad Pritchett with Dallas Theater Center and DVtv and Real Housewives of Dallas star LeeAnne Locken are emcees for the 2017 Evening of Hope: Be The Cure, AIDS Outreach Center’s annual fundraising gala.

Pritchett this week said he is thrilled to be participating in the gala.

“When AIDS Outreach Center reached out to me and asked if I would co-emcee their Evening of Hope gala, I was ecstatic. It’s important to me to shed even more light on organizations like AOC, whose mission is to serve people living with or at risk for HIV,” Pritchett said.

“I make it a priority to stay involved in our LGBT community and stand with our family and allies to keep our momentum moving forward, despite the current political climate,” he continued. “AOC provides support to more than 1,500 individuals annually; the

Evening of Hope is an opportunity to celebrate that success, and I couldn’t be more proud to stand on that stage with LeeAnne Locken and guide the party through the night.”

Evening of Hope is the largest fundraising dinner for HIV/AIDS in Fort Worth and proceeds benefit the programs and services of AIDS Outreach Center

Those programs include HIV testing, testing for other STDs, case management, prevention and testing outreach, a nutrition program and the nutritional center, the Geisel-Morris Dental Clinic, mental health services and youth services. AOC also offers a variety of support groups: Seasoned Survivors, for those who have lived with HIV for 10 years or longer; Man Talk, for gay and bisexual men; and Futuro Unidos, an HIV information group for Spanish-speakers.

For details on these programs, visit AOC.org. The center also has an HIV testing hotline, 817-479-1200, and the offices are located at 400 N. Beach Street, between Interstate 30 and State Highway 121 just east of downtown Fort Worth.

Evening of Hope takes place at the Worthington Hotel Fort Worth, 200 Main St. The event begins with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by the dinner at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $200 each, available online at aoc.org.

— Tammye Nash

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Kevin Thomas

Poetic justice

How out filmmaker Terence Davies & queer actress Cynthia Nixon tackled the life of Emily Dickinson

A-QUIET-PASSION---2

‘Sex and the City’ actress Cynthia Nixon, above left, gives a transformative performance as Emily Dickinson in ‘A Quiet Passion’ from acclaimed queer director Terence Davies, below.

Terence Davies has long been praised for his poetic, lyrical filmmaking, including the autobiographical Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992), his 2000 Edith Wharton novel adaptation The House Of Mirth and last year’s Sunset Song, based on Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Scottish novel. Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that the openly gay Davies has crafted another masterpiece with his biopic on poet Emily Dickinson, A Quiet Passion.

The film begins during the mid-1800s as the teenaged Dickinson (Emma Bell), a student at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, decides to take up poetry. Obtaining the permission of her father, Edward (Keith Carradine), to write during evenings, she later gets published but is told that women cannot reach the same literary heights as men. Once queer actress Cynthia Nixon steps in as the adult Dickinson, we trace her relationships with best friend Vryling Buffum (Catherine Bailey), younger sister Lavinia (Jennifer Ehle) and brother Austin (Duncan Duff), romantic longing for a married, emotionally unavailable reverend (Eric Loren), spiritual crises, and, eventually, illness.

The New Yorker proclaimed Passion “an absolute drop-dead masterwork” after screening it at February’s Berlin Film Festival, and Nixon proves a revelation as Dickinson. Not exactly a spoiler, but her final stretch, as Dickinson succumbed to grueling illness at age 55, entails one of the most visceral, heart wrenching passages committed to modern cinema.

“What we don’t understand these days, because we have so many drugs to kill pain, is they had nothing,” Davies, a perky 71-year-old, explains. “With the exception of laudanum, a kind of opiate to which you could become addicted, if you had a serious illness you were in pain all the time and had to endure it. Emily had Bright’s Disease, which is a disease of the kidneys, although she actually died of congenital heart failure. It was a painful death, and there was no palliative medicine at the end of life, you just had to endure it until you died, and that was a constant throughout the 19th century.”

A-QUIET-PASSION---7Dickinson only became known to the world after her death, and in fact nearly 2,000 poems, bound in some 40 volumes, were discovered after she passed: only a handful of poems were published during her lifetime, though today she is a household name. Despite the bleak aspects of Dickinson’s life, Davies mines humor from the patriarchal stuffiness and formality of the era. Edward, a comparative progressive for the time and one-term congressman, balks at the shocking spectacle of a woman who dares to sing during a night at the theater. “A gift is no excuse for a female to exhibit herself in that way,” he clucks. Davies also keeps things light with zingy, aphorism-rich dialogue that falls somewhere between Oscar Wilde and Whit Stillman.

“I didn’t want it all to be solemn, I want it to be fun as well,” he says.

Davies found shooting in Antwerp, Belgium (standing in for 19th century Massachusetts) to be a personal joy. Despite a professed distaste for Sex and the City, he envisioned Nixon as his dream Dickinson from the get-go. “I just disagree with its subtext,” he confesses of the HBO show and movie series, “that all you do is go to bed with people and buy things and then eat. I find that rather bleak. I have only watched it once. I just wanted to see Cynthia’s reaction shots, which were always the truest. But I do disapprove of it!”

The actress had previously been attached to another film Davies hoped to mount some years back, but financing never materialized. Her likeness to Dickinson and a mutual fondness for the poet’s work (Davies incorporated some of Dickinson’s poetry into his 2008 cinematic ode to Liverpool, Of Time and the City) sealed the deal, and he wrote the script during 2012 with her specifically in mind.

In whittling down the events and people from Dickinson’s life to form a two-hour movie that nonetheless covers a lot of ground and years, Davies’s script ended up with hefty autobiographical elements from his own life (his agent told him it’s his most autobiographical work yet, and Davies agrees). Like Dickinson, he was extremely close to his family members; as a youth was sent away to a school and suffered a deep homesickness; and they both struggled with spirituality.

“She was fierce in protecting her soul, but what comes across in the poetry is, what if you have a soul and there is no God?” Davies says.

“What do you do? I was a very devout Catholic, and from age 15 to 22 I had my doubts. In those days you were told it was the work of the devil, and I fought with that for seven years. At 22, I didn’t need it anymore.”

Davies insists, however, that the film is ultimately “a fictitious version of her life through my subjective prism, so you may not necessarily agree with it. You could only respond to those things in someone’s life that have echoes of you. She had a correspondence with someone named the Master, and nobody knows who it was. She improvised on the piano. All those things you cannot keep, because we are contractually obliged to bring in a movie of less than two hours.”

The same rules apply to another biopic about a British poet, Siegfried Sassoon — a gay WWI hero — that Davies just completed a draft of. “Anybody who was anybody in the 20th century, he met!” Davies laughs. “He knew everybody! So that’s going to be played down; otherwise, it becomes name-dropping.”

Like his countryman Ridley Scott (The Martian, Alien: Covenant), Davies is proving quite prolific as a septuagenarian, with an adaptation of Richard McCann’s 2005 autobiography, Mother of Sorrows, also in the works (Paul Dano may star). However, the dryly self-deprecating Brit notes that, while international acclaim is coming his way these days, he’s not holding out hopes for a boyfriend …  despite a wave of popularity for “daddies” and websites and apps designed to connect them.

“Sex with a 71-year-old is too close to necrophilia for my taste,” he quips. “I’ve been celibate since 1980. But I’m not physically attractive, I never was. Young, good looking and very stupid — that’s a combination nobody else will beat!”

— Lawrence Ferber

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice

Theater in the age of alternative facts

Just honored with the regional theater Tony Award, DTC’s Kevin Moriarty takes on the classic play ‘Inherit the Wind’ in an era of fake news

Kevin-Moriarty

Moriarty will accept the Tony Award with managing director Jeffrey Woodward on June 4. Until then, he still has to get ‘Inherit the Wind’ off the ground. (Photo by Karen Almond)

 

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Executive Editor

On Sunday, June 4, a lot of producers, actors, directors and designers will be sitting in Radio City Music Hall, waiting on tenterhooks to learn whether they will win a Tony Award.

But not Kevin Moriarty. He’ll be as cool as his high-energy self can be. Because he knows he’s already won.

He’d probably object to the characterization that he won the Tony Award for best regional theater, which is being presented to the Dallas Theater Center, where he has served as artistic director for a decade. It was a group effort.

“The award recognizes a sustained body of work, and in that way, I feel it is really a celebration of [former A.D.s] Paul Baker and Ken Bryant and Richard Hamburger and the other countless civic leaders who have spent so much time and money” sustaining the DTC, he says. “It has been almost overwhelming emotionally to connect with so many folks [who have reached out to me since the announcement on May 1] and seeing them and reflecting back.”

But even with the coveted medallion in hand, there’s no rest for the weary. Moriarty is smack-dab in the middle of previews for his newest production as a director, a revival of Lawrence and Lee’s legendary 1956 play Inherit the Wind. While fictionalized, the play clings closely to the actual events that took place in Dayton, Tenn., in the summer of 1925, when two giants of the courtroom — famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow (here called Henry Drummond) and revered orator William Jennings Bryan (Matthew Brady) — face off in a battle for the will of a town… and a nation. Their battleground: Whether Darwin’s theory of evolution can rightly be taught in a public high school.

The real-life Scopes “Monkey” Trial was its own historic lawyer-vs.-lawyer moment in the first quarter of the 20th century, but the ideas it embodies — the clash between scientific fact and religious faith — resonates just as plainly for Moriarty more than 90 years later.

tony-medallion“It’s such a solid play, such an honor to work on one of those great American plays where everything just works,” he says. “The character of Hornbeck [a stand-in for stinging journalist H.L. Menken] wrote so brutally, so caustically [about William Jennings Bryan] — much more biting than even Rachel Maddow would be today about Trump.” It resonates to modern ears as potently as it did more than half a century ago. And that definitely featured in Moriarty’s decision to present the play.

“More than a year ago, when I picked the play [for this season], I was really thinking about global warming and how some people are not able to recognize the scientific truth of that, but it has gotten only more complicated in a world of alternative facts and fake news,” Moriarty says. “The first week of our rehearsal, the Dallas Morning News ran stories on three consecutive days about language in the current education curriculum about how to treat evolution. Evolution is not settled even now in Texas! How do we, as a nation of laws, grapple with what truth is allowed to be spoken when we don’t all agree on what a ‘fact’ is? When facts don’t lineup with ideology or faith, how do we reconcile that?”

It’s an issue that nettles Moriarty as a gay man as much as a theater artist. He grew up in a conservative religious family in the heartland in the 1970s and ‘80s, but even his strict Catholic parents acknowledged evolution. And pointless naysaying merely muddies what should be settled.

“So much of the marriage equality movement in the last decade was able to advance because of court cases that centered around facts [instead of ideology]. Opponents said it was it was ‘damaging for children to be raised by a single-sex parents.’ But that was a lie — we had the facts, and so animus was the only reason to oppose it — but animus can’t be the reason.”

Moriarty respects spiritual beliefs, but draws a distinction where that impinges on orderly governance. Indeed, issues of morality inform a lot of his work, including his last directorial effort, Electra (whose theatrical innovations probably contributed to the DTC’s Tony win).

Electra poses a complicated moral question about when is the price of taking action against injustice too high. There’s not a factual answer to that question. And in [our earlier production of] The Christians [which posits whether there really is a hell] there is no factual answer in — there is only human interpretive understanding. That’s like much of the political ideology. But that’s different than the post-enlightenment world that the United States of America has always lived in — where there are empirically recognized facts, and there is no space for an opinion about a fact.”

Even so, Moriarty was amazed on the first day of rehearsal when giving his “overview” speech to the cast about Inherit the Wind. He explained how educated, enlightened, 21st century folks such as they might find it difficult to relate to the reactionary and closed-minded characters that populate the play. He admits he was surprised by the hushed response from many gathered there.

“One by one, more than half the actors in the play told personal stories of their own journeys to grappling with an accepted fact as separate from biblical teachings,” Moriarty says. “Some didn’t fully grasp the issue until their mid-twenties — meaning after they went to college. It was a shock to me to realize there are people for whom scientific notions can threaten their faith.”

But that’s sort of the point of well-crafted theater: To challenge audiences, sometimes even the actors themselves, to struggle through their ambivalence and still be entertained. Indeed, it might be that kind of engagement that wins Tony Awards.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Absurdly ever after Over-the-top and ‘Into the Woods:’ If Stomp met Sondheim

The-Company-of-Into-the-Woods

 

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Executive Editor

Here’s a sentence nobody has ever said before in reference to Into the Woods: “The cow gave the best performance.”

As any theater fan will know, the cow — named Milky White — in the James Lapine–Stephen Sondheim fractured fairy tale musical is usually played by a plastic heifer on casters, non-Animatronic, rolled out onstage by Jack of beanstalk fame. Occasionally, a “moo” sound is added from offstage. But in the Fiasco Theater production now at the Winspear, a live human male plays the emotionally ravaged bovine, passed from owner to owner, separated and reunited from her bestie Jack, terrorized when she thinks The Baker is actually a butcher. (The same actor who plays the cow, Darick Pead, also plays Rapunzel’s Prince, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters and the occasional musical instrument.)

It’s this absurdist, improv-influenced energy that sets this Into the Woods apart from most of its predecessors. Not that it needed a hook. Ask any musical-theater actor, and chances are he or she will probably name this one of their favorite Sondheim shows. It’s more or less family-friendly, despite many adult themes and double entendres. (It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the fables of Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and more converging into one big universe of prince charmings and desperate maidens.) The style typically employed follows the vein of gussied-up children’s theater — the aforementioned extruded cow, two-dimensional flats as trees and buildings, colorful tights and rustic tunics that could be recycled from a bus-n-truck of Spamalot.

But here, it’s more like a group of rude mechanicals putting on a show in the proverbial barn, decorated with remnants uncovered in granny’s attic. The tree where the spirit of Cinderella’s mom lives is a dress form; flocks of birds are merely creased stationery pages; horses are of the broomstick variety; the giant’s golden harp a dime store zither. It’s not exactly that the production is minimalistic — although the dressed-down orchestrations, mostly just Evan Rees playing an upright piano while the actors play bassoons, drums and other instruments as needed. Rather, it feels as if the show is populated by found objects  — sometimes, it seems, even the cast.

That’s not a criticism at all — most of them are outright terrific, insofar as they achieve co-directors Noah Broady and Ben Steinfeld’s obvious aesthetic of flamboyant overplaying. Pead and Anthony Chatmon II, who plays the other prince (as well as the Wolf and the other stepsister), seem to be engaged in a friendly battle of who can ham it up the most. Let’s call it a draw — both are so delightfully over the top, they all but charm the pants off the audience in the top balcony.

While they slapstick their landings, the women employ more emotionally resonant tricks to woo us. As The Baker’s Wife, Eleasha Gamble’s final solo isn’t just beautifully sung, it’s heart-wrenchingly acted; and Vanessa Reseland as The Witch sells two of the show’s most familiar numbers, “Witch’s Lament (Children Will Listen)” and “Last Midnight.” (Only Evan Harrington as The Baker seems disconnected from both the manic comedy of the production and its deeper meaning.)

The production enlivens the show, even for audiences who may have grown weary of it, although it clocks in at nearly three hours. That’s probably, though, because of the all the laughter and applause. Some good cow shtick can really pad a moo-sical.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Scenes from Gray Pride Prom 2017

—  Dallasvoice

Best Bets • 05-19-17

Friday 05.19 — Sunday 05.21

Uncharted-Territory-Claude-split-Xavier-Mack

Dance, dance revolution … in Dallas and Fort Worth

If you’re a fan of dance, this weekend could be a boon … or anxiety-producing. Because Friday through Sunday, both Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Texas Ballet Theatre are doing spring performances. At DBDT, the Spring Celebration is the season-closing mix of jazz, ballet and modern, mixing music from Sinatra to Coltrane. And Saturday night’s performance is followed by a party with drinks, bites and live music. Over at Bass Hall, Fort Worth-based TBT opens its production of Alice in Wonderland. The good news it, the show moves to the Winspear next month, so you double your chances of seeing it.

DEETS:
Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Wyly Theatre,
2400 Flora St. Friday–Saturday
at 7:30 p.n., Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
ATTPAC.org.

Texas Ballet Theatre,
Bass Performance Hall,
525 Commerce St., Fort Worth.
Friday–Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m., weekend matinees at 2 p.m.
BassHall.com.

Friday 05.19

Paula-Poundstone-photo

Paula Poundstone brings her quirky humor to the Majestic

With her deadpan observations and a sly comic timing, Paula Poundstone has been one of the most consistently hilarious live comics for decades. Her skills are more suited to theaters than to arenas, so it’s a good fit she is performing Friday at the Majestic where her humor can shine through.

DEETS:
Majestic Theatre,
1925 Elm St. 8 p.m.
AXS.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice

Scene • 05-19-17

Making the SCENE the week of May 19–25:

Alexandre’s: No Label on Friday. Bianka on Saturday and Wednesday. Wayen Smith on Sunday. K-Marie Broadway on Tuesday. Chris Chism on Thursday.

BJ’s NXS!: Fiesta Wednesdays featuring DJ Charlie Phresh.

Club Reflection: An Evening With Disney’s Princes And Princesses fundraiser on Saturday. Leathermen Cookout Club at 4 p.m.and TGRA Cowtown Pageant at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Dallas Eagle: Bear Trap happy hour and contest from 4-8 p.m. On Friday. South Central LSb-CBB Fundraiser from 6-10 p.m. on Saturday.

Onyx: Central Southwest Chapter club night on Saturday. TBRU GLOW Party from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Saturday.

JR.’s Bar & Grill: Cassie’s Freak Show at 11 p.m. on Monday.

Marty’s Live: Eureka O’Hara, Chevelle Brooks, Raquel Blake, Sassy O’Hara, Leyla Edwards and Mulan appear with a meet-and-greet at 10:30 p.m. and a show at midnight on Saturday. 

Rainbow Lounge: Birthday show and roast of Ivana Tramp with Chanel Champagne, Sweet Savage and Haydri Morales at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Round-Up Saloon: Big Bear Roundup begins at 6 p.m. on Friday. Miss Gay UsofA Classic 2017 on Sunday and Monday. Miss Gay USofA competition preliminary nights on Tuesday through Thursday.

S4: TBRU Beardance from 8 p.m.-4 a.m. $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Beardance.org.

Sue Ellen’s: The Miss Gay Texas State Pageant System and Linze Serell present the Pre-Memorial Day Blowout with food at 4 p.m. and show at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Urban Cowboy Saloon: Milk Queen, Frida Monet, Tara St. Stone, Eva Royal, Chanel LaMasters and Bleach at 10:30 p.m. on Friday. $10 meet and greet. $15 admission.

Woody’s Sports & Video Bar: Dallas Woody’s Queens Extra Innings from 4-7 p.m.

Scene Photographers: Kat Haygood and Chad Mantooth

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice