What’s Shakin’ – Siriano at Galleria, Voter turnout continues to lag

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

1. As previously reported by Houstini, Project Runway Season 5 winner Christian Siriano’s coming to the Houston Galleria Payless Shoe store today to show off his expanded Payless collection, including an assortment of shoes and handbags. Siriano will be available for photos with his “fierce” -ly loyal fans. The posing and pouting kick off at 5 pm at the Galleria, 5061 Westheimer Road.

2. Voter turnout continues to be paltry. So far 40,189 people have voted, only 71% of the 55,152 who had voted by this point during the 2009 municipal elections.  Early voting continues through November 4.  Election day is Nov 8. A list of all early voting locations and sample ballots  are available at harrisvotes.org.

3. Yesterday Rep. Todd Akin, R – MO, who successfully introduced an amendment to the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this year which would prohibit same-sex marriages from being performed on U.S. military bases, delivered a letter to the Senate calling on them to pass similar legislation.  The letter was signed by 86 members of the 435 member House, including 7 Texans, all Republicans: Mike Conaway, Francisco Canseco, Louie Gohmert, Ralph Hall, Sam Johnson, Michael McCaul and Randy Nuegebauer.

—  admin

Fierce photo-op, Christian Siriano at the Galleria

Christian SirianoReality TV is full of shows promising to produce the next top model, hot new designer, or big deal arborist (OK, I made that one up), but rare is the reality show winner who actually sticks around to have a high profile career once the cameras power down. Project runway season 5 winner, Christian Siriano, is that rare talent that makes for good TV and real world success.

Siriano’s coming to the Galleria Payless Shoe store this Thursday, Nov 3,  to show off his expanded Payless collection, including an assortment of shoes and handbags.  Siriano will be available for photos with his “fierce” -ly loyal fans. The posing and pouting kick off at 5 pm at the Galleria, 5061 Westheimer Road.

—  admin

Fierce again

Cult gay performance artists PAH returns for one-night-only show

MARK LOWRY  | mark.lowry@att.net

POMO BETTER BOYS | Brian Freeman, center, teams with Thandiwe Thomas DeShazor and Dazie Rustin Grego for the new version of Pomo Afro Homos. (Photo courtesy Duane Cramer)

The Majestic Theatre,
1925 Elm St. Dec. 10–11
(Pomo Afro Homos Dec. 10 only). 7 p.m. $12.50.
ATTPAC.org.

…………………………………….

Any number of performance groups have followings while they’re still presenting work, but only a few leave legacies well beyond their demise. San Francisco’s Pomo Afro Homos — shorthand for Post-Modern African-American Homosexuals, in case you needed to know — lasted just five years in the first half of the 1990s, but they’ve been cited as influences on other performers and have at least one work that is studied on a collegiate level as an important text in black gay history.

Now all of that is coming back — albeit briefly — as one of the group’s founders tours a new show based on the original text, then called Fierce Love: Stories From Black Gay Life. (Notice the use of “fierce” long before Tyra or Christian Siriano claimed it). The new work, Fierce Love: A Remix, features a new trio of performers, plus a cameo from original PAH member Brian Freeman, who also directs the show.

“We were stepping into a void at the time,” says Freeman, a director, playwright and teacher in California. “There wasn’t much work that existed at that point [about the black gay experience]. There was a handful of novels, a few films.”

The remixed version is a highlight this weekend at the National Performance Network’s 25th anniversary showcase at the Majestic Theatre, featuring five recreations of seminal works from NPN’s history. (Others include a dance piece inspired by Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie, and a performance from California solo artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph.) The Pomo Afro Homos show is Friday.

Freeman, with cofounders Bernard Branner and Eric Gupton (who died in 2003), performed monologues and comedy based on their experience as black gay men. The club where they started, in San Fran,

Josie’s Cabaret and Juice Joint, showcased the early talents of Margaret Cho, Lea DeLaria, Tim Miller and many others.

The trio, which eventually added Marvin K. White as a fourth performer, used experiences from their lives and others they know for the material, inspired by such writers and artists as James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde and Bill T. Jones. They toured Fierce Love around the country with mixed result; the mayor in Anchorage, Alaska tried to block a sign for the group on city buses, while in major spaces, including New York’s Public Theatre and Lincoln Center, they were readily welcomed. They performed the show in London three times.

“It was about life as it intersects with that community: Part of the African-American community, part of the gay community, part of the HIV community, and how those things don’t always play well together,” Freeman says.

He’s quick to add that it reaches beyond the boundaries of gays and African-Americans. “The show is rooted in this community, but also in lots of communities: Gay and straight, white, black, Asian, Latino,” he says.

Fierce Love: A Remix and the other shows in the NPN event are geared to support an organization that continues to support touring artists of multiple disciplines, whose work falls outside of the mainstream.

“We had a network to help us tour the shows and connect with other performers in different cities,” Freeman says. “A lot of the work that travels around the network is adventurous, community-specific, it’s not mass-market kind of work. Some shows have made the leap from the NPN to commercial runs.”

And some, such as the work of Pomo Afro Homos, has made the leap into history.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Christian Siriano an Asian Lesbian?

CHRISTIAN SIRIANO X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMWhile talking about his Thursday show for New York’s Fashion Week, Project Runway’s Christian Siriano told The New York Observer men often mistake him for an Asian lesbian. 
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright