Best bets • 07.29.11

Friday 07.29

Lady looks like a dude
What is poor Victoria thinking? Dressing up as a man who performs as a female entertainer? Clearly a struggling artist will do anything to get by. Uptown Players presents the musical Victor/Victoria where Victoria becomes the toast of Paris as Victor but now has to deal with the mobster who is getting a little too attached.

DEETS: Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. 8 p.m. $30–$40. UptownPlayers.org.

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Saturday 07.30

Being all he can be
Justin Elzie may be a happy man right now. As “don’t ask, don’t tell” comes to an end, his work wasn’t in vain. Named Marine of the Year in ‘93, he was discharged for coming out on national TV. He sued, won and has been advocating for LGBT rights in the military. He comes to Dallas to discuss his work in fighting for DADT’s repeal.

DEETS:     Resource Center Dallas, 2701 Reagan 2 p.m. RCDallas.org.

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Thursday 08.04

Just a hot mess
Do we love Ke$ha because she’s the sloppy mess we wish we could be? It’s a brilliant act to come off as a drunken slacker and a blonde bombshell. See how she does it this week on her Get Sleazy Tour with LMFAO and Spank Rock.

DEETS:     Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 First Ave. 7:30 p.m. $30–$65. Ticketmaster.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

BOOKS: What would Judy do?

Palm-Trees-on-the-Hudson

Palm Trees on the Hudson by Elliot Tiber.

Square One Publishers (2011), $25, 184 pp.

When Charles Dickens said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he wasn’t just talking about the French Revolution. Everyone has that day in their lives they’ll fondly recall as the Best Day Ever, filled with happiness, wishes fulfilled and memories with a smile … as well as a Worst Day Ever, the one best forgotten quickly and for good. But what if they were the same day? They are in this memoir.

Elliot was 8 when he first saw Judy Garland and he wished he could join her in Oz. Movies were important to Elliot growing up in Brooklyn, but equally important to his mother, who took the free dishes the moviehouse handed out and re-sold them at her store. She focused on money, and while that bought her the American Dream, it didn’t endear her to her only son, whom she repeatedly called “worthless.”

Elliot left home via subway to Manhattan and rented a filthy artist studio in the Village. There, he hoped to find love and acceptance as a gay man.

Elliot quickly found work as a window dresser and maneuvered his way into better jobs with richer clients, opening an interior decorating business and branching into party planning. It was at one of those parties — lavish, opulent, over-the-top, and planned for a club-owning, gay-hating mobster — where Elliot had his best / worst situation. See, the mobster was friends with Judy Garland…

This prequel to a prior memoir starts with Tiber’s childhood and meanders forth to a highlight that’s funnier now than it must have been 40-odd years ago. Tiber, who once dabbled in standup comedy, tells a good story and his recollections of Manhattan society and being gay in the 1960s are priceless.

Palm Trees on the Hudson  is a hidden gem, and once you start it, you’ll have a dickens of a time putting it down.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 13, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas