Another reason to go to Aspen: Leslie Jordan

Last week, I mentioned that time was running out to get some early-bird deals for Aspen Gay Ski Week, the Who’s-your-granddaddy of gay ski events. Scheduled entertainment included Dallas’ own Paul J. Williams, who will host the “comedy night.” Now word comes in that the headliner for the event will be Leslie Jordan.

The Emmy-winning star of Will & Grace and Sordid Lives is a fixture in Dallas where his home-spun queer humor plays well. No word yet on whether Jordan will perform his Trip Down the Pink Carpet one-man show, his standup or just improvise with Williams. (I know from experience: Jordan needs no help to be funny extemporaneously for long stretches.)

The show takes place at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen on Jan. 20. Tickets are $50. Buy ‘em at 970-920-5770.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

A single man

Jason Dottley is still married to queer Texas scribe Del Shores, but he plans to dominate the dance charts one spin at a time

STEVEN LINDSEY  | Contributing Writer stevencraiglindsey@me.com

JASON DOTTLEY
The Rose Room,
3911 Cedar Springs Road.
Sept. 18. Gay Bingo at 6 p.m.;
concert after 10 p.m.
“Hit Play” and “Party Round the World” on iTunes.

…………………………

Getting a song on the Billboard Top 20 is probably the dream of every singer, but to have it happen on the first song you’ve ever released? That’s reason to party.

Such is the recent success of Jason Dottley. He’s familiar as the actor who played Ty on TV’s Sordid Lives, written and directed by his (legal!) husband Del Shores. But he expanded into recording artist faster that you can say Bruce Willis and The Return of Bruno. His first single, “Party Round the World” with Debby Holiday, spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs chart, peaking at No. 19. Dottley’s newest single, “Hit Play,” just dropped this summer.

Dottley will be in Dallas for Gay Pride weekend performing (not in drag, he promises) in the Rose Room Saturday, which coincides perfectly with the single’s official release for Billboard charting purposes.

But despite his successes in the studio, Dottley says has no plans of releasing a full album. “I think it’s a single’s world like it was back when Elvis ruled the radio,” he explains. “Hit record after hit record: That’s my plan.”

The new track, he says, is an ode to DJs.

“To the Dallas DJs Roger Huffman, Erik Thoresen, Ronnie Bruno, Ric Herrington and Renee Brown who supported my

‘Party Round the World’ so much,” Dottley says. “When I lost my dad at 18, I would go to clubs three nights a week. They were my church, my sanctuary. And as they say, God was the DJ, so I’m asking him to ‘Hit Play’ — to open the doors of the dancetuary, so to speak.”

Though breaking the Top 20 on a debut is impressive, Dottley has set the bar higher for “Hit Play.”

“I have a stellar line-up of remixes by the U.K.’s No. 1 hit-maker, Cutmore, the insanely rowdy Perry Twins, circuit-king Manny Lehman, late-night’s Twisted Dee, my gem of a discovery Chris Thomas and the straight world’s Frank Pellegrino. It’s a helluva remix package.”

Because Shores is from Texas, Dottley has been a frequent visitor to the city, so he’s glad that during his trip here, he’ll partake in a grand, gay tradition.

“I’ll also be doing Gay Bingo beforehand,” he says. “That’s a dream come true. I’ve been practicing, ‘O–69!’”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

LSR: It takes everyone’s effort to succeed

Brian Franklin Team Blazing Saddles

Brian Franklin

Push, push, push! Pedal for your life!

Well, that’s definitely the way it feels at times along the two-day, 150-mile bike ride across the Metroplex that is Lone Star Ride.

Last year was my second year to time in Lone Star Ride, and I didn’t have a doubt that I would be riding again this year, the 10th anniversary of the ride.

I first heard of LSR when my friend, Patrick Burton, told me he was riding and that I should come out to support him and share in the event.

I had been cycling for about a year and I had participated in other organized rides, so I thought I would check it out. I drove out to Glen Rose, which is where the overnight camp was in 2007, and quickly realized that this was not like any other ride I had ever experienced.

I knew the next day that I wanted to get involved in this event. In 2008, team Blazing Saddles was formed and it included myself and a small group of friends.

As a regular reader of the Dallas Voice, you already know that LSR brings people from across the community together for a common purpose. LSR is about raising money for local organizations that supply life-changing support to people living with HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS.

LSR is a two-day ride, but a team of people works year-round to make it the best ride it possibly can be for those that participate.

I have always been a rider, but many people participate as support crew. The LSR support crew is the best I have seen. These dedicated people work tirelessly behind the scenes and on the front lines to make it the best ride around.

The new ride route forms a figure eight across the Metroplex and features pit stops about every 10 miles. It is always exciting to ride into the next pit stop to see what crazy costumes the crew members are wearing. We saw everything from poly-blend pant suits at a disco-themed pit stop to a trailer park scene that seemed to be right off the set of “Sordid Lives.”

By the time we ride into the lunch pit stop, I am always looking forward to visiting the massage crew. They do a great job of getting the legs ready for the second half of the day.

The long day of riding makes for a big sense of accomplishment when we ride into camp at the end of day one. Rest and relaxation is all that’s required the rest of the day. Everyone comes together for dinner, entertainment and to share stories from the ride.

The morning of day two comes all too early, but a big cup of coffee, breakfast and some ibuprofen are just enough to get back on the bike.

The motor crews are a personal favorite of mine as they help direct us along the route, cheer for us and sweep us up if we need a break. It is the hard work of all the dedicated people that make up the various support crews that make the long ride fun and enjoyable.

Another thing that sets LSR apart from other rides I have participated in is the closeness of everyone involved. Becoming a part of LSR is becoming part of a large, extended family. Sure, there will be heat, head winds, hills, sore muscles and perhaps rain, but there is also beautiful scenery, good company and lots of great memories.

The ride concludes with all the cyclists riding in together to the closing ceremonies. The closing ceremonies are especially memorable and by the end I always realize that the fatigue and soreness is far outweighed by the sense of accomplishment that everyone who is part of LSR has achieved.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, but who says it can’t be fun? It is rewarding knowing I am making a difference, knowing that others are directly benefiting from something I love to do.

As captain of team Blazing Saddles, I am proud that our team has raised more than $20,000 for LSR in just two years. Blazing Saddles is still a small team and we hope to increase our numbers. You can help.

You don’t have to be a seasoned cyclist. You just need a bike, a helmet, some good padded shorts and a good sense of humor.


To donate to Brian Franklin and Team Blazing Saddles, go online to LoneStarRide.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 23, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Leslie Jordan aims for ‘DWTS’ fame (or infamy)

Just who does that good ol’ gay Southern boy Leslie Jordan think he is? Apparently, he thinks he’s Betty White. Hence the push from the Emmy Award-winning Will & Grace star, Sordid Lives cover boy and frequent Dallas visitor (we last profiled him here) to be one of the contestants on the next season of ABC’s reality competition series Dancing with the Stars. Jordan first began his campaign about two years ago, but with the rise of Facebook — which led to the surprisingly successful bid to get Betty White as host of Saturday Night Live (making her the oldest host in the 35-year history of the show) — Jordan is trying for viral enthusiasm. So far, Jordan’s Facebook page has a respectable 2,400 “likers,” but you know we can do more. So, if you’re on Facebook, click here to become a fan and let all your friends know. Jordan might not be the first openly gay dancer, but he’ll no doubt he the most fun.

Arnold Wayne Jones

—  Dallasvoice

Rue McClanahan dies of massive stroke

Rue McClanahan and me
Rue McClanahan and me

Rue McClanahan died at 1 a.m. Thursday of a massive stroke.

She had bypass surgery last fall and was also a breast cancer survivor.

The former Golden Girl was in Dallas last September with Del Shores to perform a stand-up comedy show. She called her portion “sit-down” comedy.

I interviewed McClanahan by phone and was told I’d have 30 minutes. After an hour, she asked if she could run to the bathroom and then call me back. We spoke for another hour.

While on the phone with her, we recalled our favorite “Golden Girls” and “Maude” episodes. We recited lines to each other and laughed for an hour.

—  David Taffet