STAGE REVIEWS: ‘One.Man.Show.’ at The MAC, ‘Sister Act’ at FP Music Hall

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Tim Johnson goes bananas in ‘One. Man. Show.’

Tim Johnson comes onstage at The MAC as his cabaret act One. Man. Show. opens, playing a cross-dressing lounge singer who’s equal parts Courtney Love, Jackie Rogers Jr. and Janis Joplin. It’s in-your-face and disconcerting, and it’s not half of what’s to come in this brilliant confessional (which, if it gives you any indication, is not in fact a one-man show.)

Performance art like this can be aggressive — not primarily in the physical interaction with the audience, but the confrontational nature of owning up to your life. Johnson’s is almost Dickensian, if it weren’t so modern: A pawn in his parents’ divorce (including multiple kidnappings); drug addiction; mental illness; contracting HIV. And there’s more big stuff to come.

Johnson’s 75 minutes involve multimedia presentations (how strange a close-up feels in live theater!), re-created moments from TV, delivered verbatim (especially the Oprah show) and Vaudeville-like slapstick, all without a seeming purpose but really just fleshing out the random, pinball brain of a middle-aged man not sure how to look backward or forward. Brilliantly, it’s not self-indulgence run amok but searing self-examination. Daring theater like this is what Kitchen Dog’s New Works Festival was meant to encourage. See it. (Wednesday at 8 p.m., Thursday–Saturday at 9:30 p.m.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn

The big news in entertainment this weekend is the 14th quadrennial appearance of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — the first without its gay founder (Cliburn died in February of cancer). The six finalists will compete until the winner is revealed on Sunday.  Miss it, you and you’ll have to wait another four years for the next one.

Razzle Dazzle weekend is in full swing, with Thelma Houston headlining the MetroBall at Station 4 Friday night, then the big downtown party coming to Main Street Gardens Saturday night. It’s family-friendly and there are buses running from the event to locales in the gayborhood.

Sister Act, written by gay scribe Douglas Carter Beane, continues at Fair Park Music Hall for more than a week, before moving over to Bass Hall in Fort Worth. Meanwhile, the new cirque-ish show Traces opens at the Winspear on Tuesday. And the Festival of Independent Theatres — and Kitchen Dog Theater‘s New Works Festival — continue through June 22.

To get a little skin in the game, check out Adam and Eve in the Garden of Delights at the Stone Cottage Theatre in Addison, or move inside to the WaterTower Theatre mainstage for the light comedy Black Tie starring out actor Stan Graner.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

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It’s a theaterific week in Dallas, and don’t think the community doesn’t know it.

There are, of course, the usual opening and continuing runs, but if it seems like there’s more than most early Junes, that’s because the Theater Communications Group is holding its national conference in Dallas (with the DTC hosting) starting next week. That means the Festival of Independent Theatres moved up its start date by a month to give attendees a choice of new work to see. Meanwhile, over at Kitchen Dog they are mounting their own 15th annual New Works Festival, of which Se Llama Cristina is the mainstage production.

Up in Addison, WaterTower Theatre is about to open its new show, Black Tie, a family comedy directed by Rene Moreno, while in Fort Worth, Jubilee Theatre’s Knock Me a Kiss addresses the controversial story of an outing that scandalized the African-American community in 1920s Harlem. That’s pretty gay, but not as gay as Sister Act, which continued Dallas Summer Musicals‘ season.

And in Fort Worth, native son Guy Stroman — one of the original cast members and creators of the musical Forever Plaid, pictured — returns to direct and choreography Casa Manana’s latest production, to coincide with the company’s gala.

For fun in a theater that doesn’t have any actual plays, see Public Radio icon Ira Glass at the Winspear on Saturday with his presentation Reinventing Radio. And Cowtown’s quadrennial presentation of the 14th Cliburn International Piano Competition is already under way. And over at Victory Park, Clint Mordecai opens an exhibit of his new artwork at the Cirque Apartments as a benefit for DIFFA Friday.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Starvoice • 02.03.12

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Kathy Najimy turns 55 on Monday. The actress has been making us laugh since her role as Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act to appearances in gay-friendly fare such as Ugly Betty, Drop Dead Diva and Desperate Housewives. She appeared in the Jennifer Aniston-directed TV movie Five last year and is set to appear in BearCity 2, touted as a hirsute Sex and the City.

……………….

THIS WEEK

Venus is entering Aries, good for sports and trashy fun, not so much for emotional and financial investments. But then she aspects Uranus and Jupiter, so be open for some very fun surprises.

……………….

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Your dazzling brilliance may offend some. Don’t hold back. Just be sensitive and ready to apologize if necessary, or just politic. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but arguing will make it one.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
It’s too easy to say much and give away the store. Let people wonder how much you do know makes you look wiser. Set aside some money for an impulse purchase.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
A new you will break into the open. It could be a daring new look or a talent that refuses to be hidden If you worry about that disrupting your relationships, holding it in will be even worse.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Trust those instincts and intuitions. That voice inside has important messages. Friends will disappoint you. They’re only human, but are they really friends? Keep a shrewd eye on their motives.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Showing off your intellectual brilliance can cause more trouble than it solves. If you want to shake things up, you could be very effective, but the only way you can make peace is to stay quiet.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Remember the soul is eternal. Attend to material realities. Success pulls you away from home and family, but is that so bad? A little separation there doesn’t need to be a complete break.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Winning arguments by intimidation costs you. Gaining allies takes effort and attentive listening. You can change your mind about strategy and details without sacrificing principles.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Be very careful of nervous inflammations, as they may impact the bowels. Cleanliness, relaxation and a healthy sex life are the best care. Improving the work process will irritate colleagues.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Efforts to start or refresh a relationship will open surprises that take you in directions you’re not ready for. Being a control queen will backfire horribly. Just roll with it and see where it goes.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Nobody can be right all the time, but correct your own mistakes. Did your friends really screw up, or were your expectations unfair? What’s right is more important than who’s right.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
You can’t hold back your rebellious streak, but channel it creatively to boost your standing at work and invigorate your partnership. Go ahead and take a chance.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Confusion is good for the soul, provoking you to examine yourself deeper. Changes should feel uncomfortable if they provoke real opportunities. Stay focused on the long haul.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 3, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas