WATCH: Drag queens and Speedos and sarongs, oh my!

IMG_2878Last weekend, over the course of a brief 24 hours, three different charities — AIDS Services of Dallas, Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage and AIDS Arms — received an awful lot of love from the Dallas gay community … and did so with a lot of costume changes.

On Saturday, The Summer Party, a 12-year-old pool bash at a private home in East Dallas, raised money for ASD, and included a fashion show by Skivvies, as well as a sarong contest for the gathered guests. Later that evening, The Red Party, a fundraising group benefiting Legacy, staged a poolside fashion show of its own at the ilume, with vodka by Hudson Ferus, snacks and margaritas from Mi Cocina and swimwear by Aussie Bum, ES Collection, Marek+Richard and others. Then on Sunday evening, the Rose Room gave over to the Miss LifeWalk contest, a fundraiser for AIDS Arms. Thousands of dollars were raised … and a lot of eyes popped.

You can see slide shows of each of them with these links to the Summer Party, the Red Party and Miss LifeWalk.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS: Miss LifeWalk pageant 2014

 

Photos by Arnold Wayne Jones

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Miss LifeWalk 2014 is …

Miss LifeWalk contestants 2014

Heidi Liqueur, left, and Siena Silver, Brianna Michelle and Rosio Bencos.

… Heidi Liqueur!

Last night in the Rose Room, the LifeWalk Green Team contestant  faced off against three other awesome drag divas to take the crown at the 11th annual fundraiser preliminary for October’s walk, which benefits AIDS Arms. Heidi’s dazzling beaded gown, in the same red-and-white colors as her Chick-Fil-A dress (which she performed to the “Hold On” parody “Chow Down”) while serving chicken tenders to the audience, won over the judges (and I was one of them!) in a satisfying finale. But all four entrant were insanely talented and impressive, from Siena Silver’s rainbow-accented dress following a champagne accented evening-wear gown, to Rosio Bencos’ back-up dancers and elaborate costume, to Brianna Michelle’s pink-and-emerald palette.

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The winner being cheered

Heidi won individual awards for Spirit of Miss LifeWalk and for evening wear and talent in addition to the overall prize, while Siena took Miss Congeniality and Brianna won Miss Moneybags for raising the most for AIDS Arms — $7,400! In total, the event took in a staggering $21,628 — $4,000 more than last year.

The show was a hoot, with primary host Heather Thomas bullying the crowd into donating more and more money, and five former Miss LifeWalk winners performing, with all money going to the charity. Victoria Weston wowed the audience with two live performances. Outgoing Miss LifeWalk Vida Chardonnay did a tribute to Elaine Stritch that stunned everyone. View pictures in our full slideshow here.

LifeWalk takes place Oct. 5, and it’s never too late to volunteer or participate.

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DTC is looking for gender-benders for ‘Rocky Horror’

lipeJoel Ferrell, who will be directing the Dallas Theater Center’s upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show, needs your help.

Part of Ferrell’s concept for the show calls for “living set decorations” — gender-benders, elaborately tattooed and/or surprisingly pierced men and women, or those with special skills (think circus sideshows: sword swallowers, snake charmers and the like) to add atmosphere to the show. You don’t need to know how to sing, dance or act — just be fun to look at. (And, FYI, there’s no remuneration involved, it’s just for your own pleasure.)

To track down those who’ll fit, the DTC is hosting an open casting call at the Rose Room on Saturday, July 26. There are 50 audition slots open, which you can apply for my email to Laura.Colleluori@DallasTheaterCenter.org. Just send her your name, age, phone number and brief description of your talent. Auditions will start at 3:30 p.m. The production of Rocky runs Sept. 11–Oct. 19, and those selected will be expected to appear at about half of the performances.

Good luck!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gaybingo this weekend!

Screen shot 2013-09-20 at 12.31.00 PMOK, we’ll admit to a little self-interest here: The Elizabeth Trail’rs, Dallas Voice’s LifeWalk team, is the charitable raffle sponsor at Gaybingo this weekend. That means while you help Resource Center Dallas — and enjoy yourself with a fabulous series of games — you can also help out our team. We’ve even made it really easy for you: This poster tells you everything you need to know (it’s Saturday, starting at 5 p.m., at the Rose Room) and even includes a QR code for easy scanning.

C’mon! You know you wanna win some faboo swag! Give a guy some love…

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jamie Morris: Behind (and in front of) the footlights in ‘Re-Designing Women’

image001-e1364929658275Before Jamie Morris started writing a series of plays — cross-dressing send-ups of campy films and TV shows like The Facts of Life, Mommie Dearest and The Silence of the Lambs — he was an actor. So it has not been unusual for him to perform, even in his own shows. Still, it was a shock to him when he realized, during pre-production on his latest spoof — Re-Designing Women, which Uptown Players is producing in the Rose Room at Station 4 starting Friday — that he would be in it.

“We were casting the show and they said to me, ‘How would you like to play Julia?’” he recalls over lunch at the Black-eyed Pea on Cedar Springs. ”I texted my boyfriend that night and said, ‘I think they want me to play Julia.’” When he woke up the next morning, he was pretty sure they weren’t just joking.

The most peculiar thing about doing the show is that he hadn’t even finished writing it when he took it on. Morris, who lives in Las Vegas with his partner, didn’t complete Act 2 until a few weeks before rehearsals began. But, he says, serving as writer and star doesn’t make it any easier to perform.

“The rest of the cast assume I know every line, but I don’t,” he says.

He, like most of the rest of the all-male cast, still has to learn his lines under “about a pound of makeup.” Indeed, you’d probably not recognize Morris, with his scruffy grey beard, as the patrician Julia Sugarbaker from the sitcom. But hey, that’s why it’s being done in the Rose Room — it’s all about the illusion.

Re-Designing Women, presented by Uptown Players, opens Friday at the Rose Room inside Station 4 and runs through May 19. For tickets, visit UptownPlayers.org

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Sharon Needles at the Rose Room Thursday night

Photo by Patrick Hoffman/Dallas Voice

Last night, Sharon Needles, the spooky drag queen who won season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, wished the roughly 300 people crowding S4′s Rose Room a happy Halloween. Though she performed at S4 and JR.’s as part of the requisite Absolut summer Tour that all Drag Race winners must do, Needles did so with her trademark mix of shock, defiance and darkness.

By 8 p.m., a line of people wrapped around the block from S4 to Throckmorton and by 8:30 p.m., all the unreserved seats in the Rose Room had butts in them. The audience, including many who stood along the walls and beside the bar, waited about two-and-a-half hours for the show to even begin; the room growing hotter, the pre-show music thumping ever louder and the lines to the bar getting longer with each passing minute.

For photos of Needles at JR.’s, click here.

—  Daniel Villarreal

Sharon Needles in Dallas

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Indigo Girls and Janis Ian head to Dallas — but not together

While looking at the ol’ concert calendar, I noticed that a couple of major queer icons in music are headed this way. Better yet, they are performing in venues that should truly let them shine.

The Indigo Girls will play with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 29 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. I think that could be quite an interesting show seeing how the IG play such minimalist music. How do you add a whole symphony to “Watershed” or “Strange Fire” and still keep that distinct IG feel?

Tickets are $30–$105 and on sale now.

I had the pleasure of speaking to the legendary Janis Ian the last time she came to Dallas. Back in 2009, she performed a benefit show at the Rose Room. But this winter, she’ll perform at the Hamon Hall at the Winspear Opera House. Although I haven’t seen it yet on the ATTPAC calendar, but Ian has Dec. 8 (as does Pollstar) listed on her website as her day (or night) in Dallas. For tickets, stay tuned to the ATTPAC’s listing when it goes up.

Ian is most famous for her “At Seventeen” hit, but did you know the folk star dabbled in disco? Watch the video of “Fly Too High” after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

READ: Vice’s Etiquette Guide for Straight People at a Gay Bar is kind of a must-read

Brian Moylan posted this slightly funny, but oh-so true guide for all the straight people who must hang out at gay bars. I agree with him that we enjoy having them there for the most part, but yeah, there are unsaid rules that the Vice contributor pretty much said out loud. Especially this one that reminded me of all the bridal parties I saw one night in the Rose Room. Although Moylan approaches it from a different perspective. From Vice.com.

No Girls Allowed

Ladies, we don’t mind going to your bachelorette parties, because we love and support you as friends even if we find it a little insulting (and genitally incorrect) that you keep calling us “one of the girls.” However, if we don’t know you, we have no interest in being at your party. That means keep them out of gay bars. We know you want to look at strippers, but you have to find somewhere for women to do it. Go to Chippendales or Thunder from Down Under or some strip night called Danglers that’s meant just for you ladies. Do not show up at a gay go-go bar and screech and squeal and push all the other patrons out of the way so you can drunkenly slip a $20 in a tiny sliver of spandex stuck up a plump, oiled backside. To you it might be one night of misbehaving, but this is our life. Please respect that, and take your high-decibel revelry somewhere that will cater to your “big day.”

‘Nuff said. Now I’m deciding whether to go down the gay rabbit hole when I saw the link to this story: Gays or girls: Who ‘s better at giving head?

—  Rich Lopez