Starvoice • 11.18.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Troy Aikman turns 45 on Monday. The former Dallas Cowboy quarterback still makes headlines, whether for his divorce this year or the continued rumors that he’s gay. In September, he threatened to assault the man behind the rumor, Skip Bayless, on a local radio show and the comments went viral. Let’s not forget, he also has three Super Bowl rings.

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THIS WEEK

Mercury is turning retrograde and there’s a solar eclipse, all in Sagittarius. Be open-minded and patient. New information will make you change your mind about important matters, though it may take weeks to figure out.

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SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Arguments at work easily get out of hand and cost you big time. Keep conversations calm and open-minded while focused on finding solutions. Take time for fun with friends to stay in balance.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Birthday plans are sure to go awry. Roll with the punches. With Mercury turning retrograde in your sign it seems you do nothing right. Keep a sense of humor while cleaning up mistakes.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Being generous to those in need boosts your reputation and even your career. Feeling beautiful and confident can start a row at home. Clear the air, try a daring, new solution and move on.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Your future plans need revision. Those changes challenge your associations. Be ready to change some of those. Don’t commit to those revisions, but take time to think them through.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Professional advice helps you clear up snafus. More mix-ups make success look further away than ever. Balancing humor with responsibility, you can solve them and advance.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
While you are feeling energetic, the rest of the world seems to be gumming up. Beware of rash outbursts. You will be heard more than you know, so think carefully about what you want to say.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
A person can get enough flirtation and sexual adventures. A sudden realization about what you really want in that department can bring focus as you turn to more serious matters.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
These next three weeks will have you backtracking and cleaning up. You’ll be reminded of neglected promises. Take complaints seriously and make no excuses or retorts.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Sudden changes in your health are for the better, but consult a professional and review your exercise regimens. Focus on what you enjoy most about work. Colleagues will pick up on it

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Your playfulness and creative efforts make huge impacts on your work. That’s not a good thing. Are they a constructive focus or a frivolous distraction? Channel that energy productively to go far.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Neglected problems at home will blow up in your face. Think carefully and deal. Flawed efforts are better than none. Consider carefully any corrections offered by roommates or family.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
A homecoming offers some rude surprises. Take them in good humor and learn from them. An opportunity to heal a wounded relationship may require some changes in your routines.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 18, 2011.

 

—  Kevin Thomas

Flying solo

Weedman-New-Headshot

STEVEN LINDSEY  | Contributing Writer
stevencraiglindsey@me.com

Hilarious actress-playwright Lauren Weedman brings her one-woman show to Out of the Loop

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OUT OF THE LOOP

NO…YOU SHUT UP
at Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Circle.
Friday–Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
WaterTowerTheatre.org

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Get this straight: Lauren Weedman is not a standup comedian; she’s an actress who just happens to be insanely funny. There’s a big difference. Even as a straight woman and new mother, the Los Angelena often portrays lesbians in plays she writes. It’s all in a day’s work for a woman making a career channeling multiple characters in a single show with a precision and nuance that’s a joy to behold. This weekend, local audiences have an opportunity to witness her in action in her newest play, No… You Shut Up, part of the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival.

Weedman officially got her big break as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a regular contributor on an NPR radio show, but her career began long before that.
“I started doing on-camera professional stuff when I was living in Seattle around 1995 when I was on a local TV show called Almost Live,” she says. ”But if you call Indianapolis community theater ‘the entertainment industry’ — and I don’t know if you should — it’s since third grade. I’m show-folk. Or circus-folk. Or a dirty artist-hippy — whatever you want to call it.”

The Daily Show, she admits, was an incredible coup, “even though nobody ever remembers me. And I wasn’t on that much during the year I worked there. And I was fired. Otherwise, wow! What a job.”

Weedman spent five years in Amsterdam studying, writing and performing. Before that trip, she thought she was the shocking one among her friends; but once there, she turned into a Puritan, “mostly about the overall passion for nudity all the Dutch people seemed to have,” she says. “I mean, if I was a seven-foot-tall skinny Dutch lady with uncomplicated nipples, I’d be naked all the time, too. But you just could not keep clothes on those people.”

Her varied life experiences show up in some form or fashion in many of her shows. No… You Shut Up comes to Addison via, of all places, Boise, Idaho, where a theater commissioned a play focusing on motherhood — even two-mommie households.

“Well, it’s a play. That starts to get annoying to hear, at least that’s what my friends always say because I’m always saying it whenever someone refers to it as ‘my act.’ As in ‘Lauren, you should meet my sister. You’d love her and you’d want to put her in your act,’” Weedman says. “I’ve done standup, but it’s not what solo theater is to me. The last two shows I’ve been focused on trying to make a narrative — plot-driven, character-driven, semi-autobiographical, fast-paced dark comedies.”

The rapid-fire switching of characters takes a lot of skill. And Red Bull.

“It’s like a dance, so I don’t have to think about it, or grab a hat and spend 14 minutes changing costumes to become another character. I get bored easily — I like to keep it moving.”

As a strong, funny woman, she naturally attracts her share of gay admirers.

“I think that my solo shows have continued to evolve and get better and better instead of sliding into delusion. All thanks to my very bossy, judgy gay friends, who come and see all my shows and let me know everything that they think. I’m a guest on a Sirius Radio show on Out Q with Frank DeCaro and Doria Biddle and they always make me feel like I’m this gigantic star who is just so underappreciated. So I love those gays. I always say the gays keep me on top because they yell at me and they monitor my weight. So they are like family. They are my family.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 11, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Rick Vanderslice asks, Dan Choi tells today

Lt. Dan Choi

Rick Vanderslice just called to let us know that he’ll have former Army Lt. Dan Choi on his radio show today. The Rick Vanderslice Show begins at 2 p.m., and you can watch live on USTREAM by going here. Vanderslice said he welcomes questions for Choi from listeners. The call-in number is 214-631-1360.

—  John Wright

Wheeler to annoy Tyler again — and we like it

What with the recent ado in Tyler regarding the TV station that asked viewers whether homosexuality will be the downfall of America, we were thinking about our friend Trinity Wheeler. Trinity is the former Tyler resident who returned last summer to direct a local stage production of The Laramie Project, only to be met by opposition from some members of the community and triggering a controversy. (We reported on it extensively, including here.) The production did go on, and by all accounts was a success.

But it also made me wonder what Trinity has been up to since the brouhaha. Well, here’s what he had to say:

I have been great! I’m directing a show in NYC in the spring and have just been getting ready for that. Also, three other writers and I are currently working on an original play about Tyler. The story centers on the Nicholas West murder and an organization called H.I.S. House which was an AIDS hospice in Tyler during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The Nicholas West story has garnered some media attention over the years, but the story and struggle of an AIDS hospice in Tyler remains untold. With Nicholas West, it examines “hate” and how it develops into the sheer brutality (shot execution style 9-15 times) of his murder. I have often wondered if Nick’s murder was not as public as Matt Shepard because he was Latin and his parents did not speak out like the Shepards. We are in the process of conducting numerous interviews with people surround both stories and slowing piecing it together. I know I have said it before, but everyone at the Dallas Voice should be commended for your help during The Laramie Project in Tyler. You were a beacon a light when the going got tough there.”

That last part is nice to hear, but we’re really interested in that play. Can’t imagine it’ll upset anyone in Tyler again.

Yeah, right.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The Rainbow connection

Want viral video that’s gay and funny? Meet web star Randy Rainbow

MIKEY ROX  | Contributing Writer mikey@paperroxscissors.com

RANDY GUY  |  Internet comedian Randy Rainbow makes videos about, for instance, his romance with Mel Gibson.
RANDY GUY | Internet comedian Randy Rainbow makes videos about, for instance, his romance with Mel Gibson.

Web sensation Randy Rainbow keeps good company. He has dated Mel Gibson. He attended Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. He’s BFFs with Lindsay Lohan. And if you’re dim enough to believe any of that, he has a bridge to sell you.

Truth is, Rainbow doesn’t know any of those people. But his hilarious videos — which use audio clips of celebrities, like Gibson’s infamous hate-spewing voicemails and Dr. Laura’s racially charged radio show segment — might convince you otherwise.

Quite possibly the LGBT community’s hottest commodity since Ricky Martin popped out the closet, the NYC-based blogger talks about his Broadway roots, his appearance on PerezHilton and how you can stalk him on Facebook (phone number included!). Warning: That call may be monitored or taped for nefarious purposes.

Visit Rainbow Rainbow on his blog at TheRandyRainbowBlahg.com.

Dallas Voice: I just re-watched a few of your now-famous videos and they’re even funnier the third time around. Where did your gift for comedy come from? Randy Rainbow: I come from a very funny, very silly family, so that helps. I’m also something of a comedy junkie. I’ve been observing and absorbing it in every medium since I was a kid. I think humor is the most important thing in this life.

Your blog primarily caters to a Broadway-minded crowd, so what made you sort of veer off that track and pursue mainstream celebs in your bits? The heart of the blog has always been Broadway, as I’ve always been a big show queen. Over the years, though, it’s strayed and become more all encompassing because my interests and opinions extend beyond just theater. The new website I’m working on will include lots of Broadway, but won’t be quite as concentrated. There’s just too much material out there to pass up.

You’ve received a good amount of press from the gay blogs, like Queerty and Towleroad. How have things changed now that a massive audience has found you? Any interesting opportunities — or propositions?  Well, I’m still single, if that’s what you’re getting at. But yes, the exposure has been incredible. New and exciting opportunities are popping up almost every day.

Tell us about the day your Lindsay Lohan video was featured on Perez Hilton. The last time I wrote about Perez, I have called him a self-loathing sloth. I had no idea it was coming! Luckily, I’d washed my hair that morning, but otherwise, there was no preparation. All of a sudden, I had like 40 new e-mails in my inbox and I knew something was up. Perez had subscribed to my YouTube channel when the Mel Gibson thing really hit, so I was hopeful he’d post something of mine eventually.

You’re obviously very good at building a personal brand (I don’t believe for a second that your legal name is Randy Rainbow). For all those gays out there just trying to make a fake name for themselves, what advice can you give? First of all, how dare you?! Believe it or not, Randy Rainbow is the name on my birth certificate. It sounds like the gayest of all stage names, but it is in fact nothing but the truth. Trust me — I would not make that shit up. It’s working out great for me now, but it was a very traumatic childhood.

You know your phone number is still on your Facebook page, right? You’re kind of famous now and some crazy gay is totally gonna stalk your life if you don’t remove it. You’ll never know who it is, either, because I’ll — er, he’ll — block the calls. I didn’t realize that, but thank you for bringing it to my attention. Come to think of it, I have been getting a lot of missed calls from undisclosed numbers.

You’re all over the Internet and your fans are waiting for your next comedic masterpiece. Whatcha got for us? I’m gonna continue crankin’ out the videos. I’m even starting to get some fancy guest stars, so look out for those. Stay tuned for the new website. We’re hoping to officially launch at the beginning of the new year. Lots of other fun stuff is in the works, and I’ll certainly keep you posted. For now, everyone should check my blog regularly, subscribe to me on YouTube, follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook. I will sleep with anyone who does. My phone number is listed.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 29, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

Let’s all get aboard the crazy train!

Lately the crazy train has picked up speed. I don’t know if it’s the upcoming midterm elections or people are scared by gay court victories or what, but we’re in a period of nutty.

Take David Barton. Please.

An evangelical minister, teacher at (Glenn) Beck University and former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, Barton — a self-styled historian — is the founder of WallBuilders, a group devoted to the idea that America was founded as a Christian nation.

On his WallBuilders radio show recently, Barton discussed with Rick Green how health-conscious America is, regulating cigarettes and trans fats and salt, yet allowing something to slip through that is such an obvious threat to the health of Americans: Jersey Shore.

Okay, he didn’t say that. Instead, Barton reeled off fanciful statistics, like, “Homosexuals die decades earlier than heterosexuals,” and “nearly one-third [of homosexuals] admit to a thousand or more sex partners in a lifetime.”

Barton said, “I mean, you go through all this stuff, sounds to me like that’s not very healthy. Why don’t we regulate homosexuality?” That’s the moment he boarded the crazy train.

Barton, the quack historian, cited a 1920s study that found nations that “rejected sexual regulation like with homosexuality” didn’t last “past the third generation from the time that they embraced it.”

Have gays been embraced? When will the third generation appear? It’s important to know when we’re supposed to make this country collapse. We have a schedule to keep.

Rick Green’s role in this production was to be properly aghast that the breathtakingly unhealthy gay lifestyle is promoted and protected.

That makes Green — recently a candidate for the Texas Supreme Court — the porter on the crazy train.

If David Barton wants the government to regulate gay sex, Andrew Shirvell’s goal is much more modest. But Shirvell is the conductor on the crazy train. For almost six months, Shirvell has railed in a blog against Chris Armstrong, the openly gay University of Michigan student assembly president.

Shirvell, a Michigan grad, accused Armstrong of so many things — including being anti-Christian, hosting a gay orgy, trying to recruit freshmen to be gay and, my favorite, sexually seducing a conservative student and influencing him to the point that he “morphed into a proponent of the radical homosexual agenda.”

Good strategy, that seduction. Armstrong should be able to convert everybody on campus by the time he’s 106.
During his anti-Armstrong crusade, Shirvell protested outside Armstrong’s house, and called him “Satan’s representative on the student assembly.”Paranoid much? All this would be plenty bad enough, but the fact that Shirvell is a Michigan assistant attorney general launches the affair into the realm of the bizarre. Rod Serling couldn’t have made this up.

Shirvell’s boss, Attorney General Mike Cox, cited the guy’s right to free speech, while also telling CNN he’s a “bully.” Cox said that Shirvell’s “immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear.”

This is more than a case of bad judgment. Shirvell is obsessed with Armstrong’s homosexuality. I have to wonder if Shirvell — now on a voluntary leave of absence — is an immense closet case, or a few ties short of a railroad track.

Either explanation or both might apply to Fred Phelps, leader of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, but it’s his daughters who recently clambered on the crazy train.

Margie Phelps recently represented Westboro at the Supreme Court in the dispute over protests at military funerals, and after, while addressing the press, she and sister Shirley Phelps-Roper broke into song. They warbled a few lines of a variation on Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” Osbourne declared his displeasure that they used his music to advance “despicable beliefs.”

When the Prince of Darkness looks civilized compared to you, your caboose is loose.

Leslie Robinson assumes the Phelps daughters will never sing Indigo Girls.  E-mail Robinson at lesarobinson@gmail.com, and visit her blog at GeneralGayety.com.

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

—  Kevin Thomas