‘Cheaters’ plays tonight at CTD

Always getting caught

The Contemporary Theatre of Dallas presents Cheaters written by Michael Jacobs and directed by Michael Serrecchia. No, this isn’t a stage version of that horrible reality show putting cheating boyfriends and girflriends on the spot. The couples here intertwine dangerously before a young couple’s wedding. It’s both funny and oh-so wrong. Did he really sleep with her?

The cast includes Sue Loncar, Ted Wold, Jim Johnson, Marcia Carroll, Danielle Pickard & Andrews Cope.

DEETS: CTD, 5601 Sears St. 8 p.m. $22–$32. ContemporaryTheatreOfDallas.com

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000000416 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000000382 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000000382 Sue Loncar, Ted Wold, Jim Johnson, Marcia Carroll, Danielle Pickard & Andrews Cope

—  Rich Lopez

Applause: Stage pink

Queer highlights from the upcoming theater season

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

Anticipation should be strong for the upcoming theater season in general. Ambitious shows like Giant, The Tempest, West Side Story and Hairspray all dot the stage horizon.
But we also like to see some of our own up there. As we look over the upcoming offerings from local theater companies, we always ask, “Where’s the gay?”  In addition to Uptown Players’ first  Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival, here are some of the others.

……………………….

Fall

Although the Dallas Opera canceled the opera she was set to star in, lesbian soprano Patricia Racette will still perform at a TDO gala. (Photo Devon Cass)

Singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik gave an indie music flair to the musical adaptation of the 1891 play Spring Awakening. Set in 19th century Germany, Awakening follows a group of youths as they discover more about themselves and their rapidly developing sexuality.

The original Frank Wedekind play was controversial in its day, depicting abortion, homosexuality, rape and suicide. Now the show just has an added rock ‘n’ roll score. Along with Sheik’s musical perspective, Steven Slater wrote the book and lyrics in this updated version which debuted in 2006 on Broadway and won the Tony for Best Musical. Terry Martin directs.

WaterTower Theater, 15650 Addison Road., Addison. Sept. 30–Oct. 23. WaterTowerTheatre.org.

It’s almost un-Texan if you’re gay and not familiar with Del Shores’ tales of Southern discomfort.  Southern Baptist Sissies and Sordid Lives are pretty much part of the queer vernacular in these parts, but Shores got his start way back in 1987.

How will those northern folks take to Shores work (And by north, we mean past Central Expressway past LBJ)? Jeni Helms directs Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will for McKinney Repertory Theatre this fall. As the family patriarch suffers a stroke, the Turnover family gathers as they wait for his death. This family may just put the fun in dysfunctional.

McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St., McKinney. Sept. 30–Oct. 7. McKinneyRep.org.

WingSpan Theatre Co. will produce one of the greater comedies of theater-dom this fall: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, with Nancy Sherrard sparring over the gay wit’s price bon mots as Lady Bracknell.

Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Oct. 6–22. WingSpanTheatre.com.

Although A Catered Affair might sound a bit like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it has the added flair of Harvey Fierstein’s wit. That’s because he wrote the book for the show alongside John Bucchino’s music and lyrics. The play is based on the Gore Vidal-penned 1956 film The Catered Affair starring Bette Davis.

When Jane and Ralph decide to get married, Jane’s mom Agnes wants to put on an elaborate spectacle of a wedding. The truth is, she can’t afford it and Jane isn’t all too thrilled about a huge affair. As in most cases, the wedding planning is more about the mom than the daughter and Agnes soon realizes the fact. Jane’s Uncle Winston — the proverbial gay uncle — is left off the guest list and is rightfully pissed. But as most gay characters, he rallies to be the voice of reason and support.

Theatre Three, 2800 Routh Street, Ste.168. Oct. 13–Nov. 12. Theatre3Dallas.com.

Lesbian soprano Patricia Racette was going to be featured in the production of Katya Kabanová but unfortunately the show was canceled by the Dallas Opera. But fear not. Dallas will still get to bask in the greatness that is her voice as Racette will perform An Evening with Patricia Racette, a cabaret show with classics from the Great American Songbook for a patron recital.

Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Nov. 9. DallasOpera.org

………………………….

Spring

Nancy Sherrard will star as Lady Bracknell in WIngSpan Theater Co.’s fall production of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,’ perhaps the greatest comedy ever written by theaterdom’s gayest wit.

Kevin Moriarty directs Next Fall for the Dallas Theater Center next spring. Written by Geoffrey Nauffts, the play centers on Luke and Adam, a couple with some unusual issues. What’s new about that in gay couplehood? Not much, but when Adam’s an absolute atheist and Luke’s a devout Christian, the two have been doing their best to make it work.
The comedy played on Broadway in 2010, garnering Tony and Drama Desk nominations. And now Dallas gets to see how, as DTC puts it, “relationships can be a beautiful mess.”
Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. April 13–May 6. DallasTheaterCenter.org.

Perhaps the most surprising queer offering this next season is Theatre Arlington’s production of The Laramie Project. The show usually creates quite a stir — at least it did in Tyler, thanks to Trinity Wheeler — so how will this suburban audience handle it? Doesn’t matter. Props to T.A. for taking Moises Kaufman’s play about the tragic bashing and death of Matthew Shepard to its community.

Theatre Arlington, 305 W. Main St., Arlington. May 18–June 3. TheatreArlington.org.

Usually the question with MBS Productions is “what’s not gay?” Founder Mark-Brian Sonna has consistently delivered tales of gay woe and love that are sometimes silly and sometimes sweet, but always a laugh.

This season is no different. Playwright Alejandro de la Costa brings back drag queen Lovely Uranus in The Importance of Being Lovely. The last time we saw Uranus, Sonna wore the stilettos and pink wig in last season’s Outrageous, Sexy, (nekkid) Romp.  This time around, Uranus graduates to leading lady status as the show is all about her as audiences follow her through the changes she makes in her make-up, wigs and men.

Stone Cottage Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. July 16–Aug. 11, 2012. MBSProductions.net.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Applause: Broadgay at Winspear

Lexus series adds queer event to upcoming season of musicals

What’s gay about ‘Jersey Boys’? The GLBT Broadway subscriber series at the Winspear will tell you.

The Lexus Broadway Series offers a muscular lineup of shows that feature classic stories and contemporary rock ‘n’ roll. But they go one step further in the 2011-12 season with the stage equivalent of special edition DVDs, featuring enhanced performances and pre-show engagements for subscribers — including its gay patrons.

Dallas Voice Life+Style Editor Arnold Wayne Jones will host a conversation every second-week Tuesday about 45 minutes before each show. The series, called GLBT Broadway, will highlight the appeal for queer audiences for the shows in the series. The discussion will touch on issues of gender identity and sexuality in regards to the show and the teams behind them. Some — such as the season lead-off, Hair — might be easier to analyze from a gay perspective than, say, Jersey Boys, but that’s part of the fun of the series.

The season starts with Hair, which won the Tony in 2009 for best musical revival. Youth in 1960s America are all about peace, love and understanding — including nudity and homosexuality — in this iconic musical. Sept. 20–Oct. 2.

The epic Les Miserables follows with a new 25th anniversary production. Dec. 20–Jan. 1.

Best musical Tony winner In the Heights details the immigrant experience as characters find a new life in their new country. March 13–25.

Alt-rockers Green Day went Broadway with American Idiot, touted as a mashup of a rock concert and staged musical. May 8–20.

The season concludes with Jersey Boys and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Classic hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” tell the tale of this well-accomplished music group from the ‘50s. June 12–July 15.

Other subscriber series include Broadway University, hosted by SMU theater professor Kevin Hofeditz which will explore themes of the show and its place in theater history (every second Saturday matinee) and Broadway Uncorked (every second-week Wednesday), where an expert sommelier will host a wine tasting based on the show. We wonder what American Idiot’s wine will be.

— Rich Lopez

For more information on the Lexus Broadway Series and its enhanced performances, visit ATTPAC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

‘Bedpost Confessions’ tonight at The Kessler

‘Bedpost Confessions’ moves sex talk from the closet into Oak Cliff

What would you do if your friend admitted to  being a prostitute? Or if your sister talked about having sex outside of her marriage with a 21-year-old virgin? Sexual talk outside of the bedroom can still be taboo, even in today’s desensitized world of fast hookups and Showtime melodramas. Bring up intercourse (or something far more intense), and most people will cringe or shy away.

Tonight, it all comes out. The Austin-based stage show Bedpost Confessions features performers talking up their sexual adventures out loud all in good fun. Trying to break away from the taboo of talking about sex, co-founder Sadie Smythe and company bring their show to Dallas. Local writer and Dallas Voice contributor Jenny Block, pictured, gets in on the action which makes perfect sense. As the author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, she’ll have ideal material for the night.

Her thoughts on tonight’s show.

“It’s just sex. It’s supposed to be this happy, fun, sometimes even spiritual experience. It’s all gotten so twisted and tangled when really it should be so simple. Consenting adults doing something that our bodies were built to do. But somewhere along the line, people got confused. Outwardly we are this over-sexed society. But behind closed doors we don’t talk to our kids, we don’t communicate with our partners, and we’re lost when it comes to all things sex. The funny thing is, the fix is an easy one. We have to talk to one another and to our kids and to our partners. We have to strangle the taboo. We could have solved all of the world’s ills by now if we stopped worrying so much about such a natural thing and started putting our brain power to better use.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Block will also be signing copies of her book after the show. Along with Block, Smythe and the other performers, the audience gets to play as they are encouraged to write their sexual confessions to be read aloud. Don’t worry, it’s all anonymous. Read the original article here.

DEETS:


—  Rich Lopez

Meet the cast of ‘Lez Be Proud’ tonight at Sue Ellen’s

Texas lesbian get center stage on the web

First of all, it’s not The Real L Word. Despite the sexy ladies in the cast of the new web show Lez Be Proud, the show is to educate as well as entertain. But hey, we just love that it’s based right out of the Lone Star State. Meet the cast tonight and get a peek at what the show is going to offer. Anton Shaw hosts the evening.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. LezBeProud.com

—  Rich Lopez

Setting the stage for lame duck, Mitch McConnell’s office takes a swipe at DADT

Sure looks like the GOP Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell, is prepared to fight the effort to pass the DADT language:

Democrats see in the weeks ahead a final opportunity to pass priority legislation before Republicans have an emboldened presence in Washington.

But a spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said voters were not interested in the Democrats’ priorities.

“It’s like the election didn’t happen — if you look at what their priorities are,” spokesman Don Stewart said. “The American people’s priorities are not the Dream Act, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal and the START treaty. Their priorities are not getting a tax hike — and keeping spending under control.”

This is important.

McConnell exercises very tight control over his caucus. We need Senator Susan Collins, who voted for the DADT language in the Senate Armed Services Committee last May, to stand up for equality in December. That means Collins will have to defy her leader. She doesn’t do that very often.

McConnell can play all kinds of procedural games over the next few weeks to block the Defense bill, with the DADT language. If Republican Senators play along with McConnell, we’re screwed.

Susan Collins knows that if the DADT language doesn’t pass this year, it won’t happen for a very long time. Let’s hope she’s negotiating directly with Harry Reid — and negotiating in good faith. If Collins will vote the right way, she’ll bring several other GOPers. If she won’t side with equality, don’t expect any other Republican Senators to do it.

There is going to be an intense battle in the Senate to pass the Defense bill over the next few weeks. We need the President fully engaged. Sign our letter to Obama asking him to get actively involved by calling wavering Senators. We need to pressure him to make sure he’s pressuring them. Sign here.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

NEW YORK: Hundreds Stage “Homophobia Kills” Die-In At Grand Central Terminal

Paul Schindler reports at Gay City News:

Several hundred LGBT New Yorkers gathered at Grand Central Terminal during evening rush hour on Friday, October 8 to conduct what organizers called a “Flash Mob: Homophobia Kills Die-In” in the center of the main concourse of the nation’s busiest transit hub. Several minutes after 6, activist Alan Bounville brought his fingers to his mouth to issue a loud whistle signaling the start of the action. A crowd of at least 300 immediately laid down on the floor, as Bounville and others unfurled a 12-foot by 12-foot yellow banner reading: END HOMO/ TRANSPHOBIC APARTHEID IN AMERICA.”

The crowd created a blockade for thousands of commuters rushing to and from the subways and Metro North commuter trains in the terminal. Police ordered participants to disperse or face arrest, while Todd Fernandez and Eugene Lovendusky read the names of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims of murder or of suicide prompted by bullying and violence. As the men called out each victim’s name, those on the floor shouted back the first name. As planned, after about three or four minutes on the floor, participants got back on their feet, and for several more minutes Fernandez, Lovendusky, and other organizers led the crowd in shouts of “Civil Rights Now.”

Two of the protest’s organizers from Queer SOS! were arrested and released shortly after with desk appearance tickets.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

From my hate mail inbox

I received the following e-mail from a devoted reader:

Just read your review of “Dreamgirls” in last friday’s (9.7.2010) edition of The Dallas Voice.  You must be another one of those smug University of North Texass alums.  The reason Lupe Murchison endowed that school was, and I quote her verbatim : “Those poor kids will need ALL the help that they can get; truly a sad, sad situation there.”  She was a close personal friend of my godmother, Edith O’Donnell so I DO KNOW, first ‘ear,’ from whence I speak.

If you had even bothered to do your home work, Mr. Arnold-Wayne Jones,  you would’ve known that they had a slate of RAVE REVIEWS from their performances at The Apollo Theatre in NYC. Inclusive of  The NY Times.  They are also the same cast/troupe that took the stage in a tour-de-force in South Korea; quite impressing their audiences and critics with their voices and diction in NATIVE KOREAN.

I strongly suggest that you ‘hitch’ your faded and tarnished star BACK to that connestoga and try to find a better acadaemic venue from which you can truly garner the concepts of good theatre …

Cheerios,

Cal

Allow me to respond, Cal.

First, I did not in fact graduate from UNT, but rather with distinction from the University of Virginia. Then from its law school. Cal, on the other hand, misspells “Texas” as “Texass,” misuses the term “whence” (it does not take the word “from;” it implies it), and parts with “Cheerios,” which is a cereal; he perhaps means cheerio, which is a salutation. He also misspells my name, adding a hyphen where it doesn’t belong.

Second, I get letters like this all the time. The ones that are least persuasive are the ones that point out that this play, or this star, or this company, got a rave review in another town. How could that possibly matter to me? I’ve seen plenty of shitty productions of good plays; plenty of good actors who give bad performances, and seen more terrible art that others cream over than I can possibly imagine. The Passion of the Christ made $300 million; that doesn’t mean it was good.

You have a complaint with me, fine. Engage me. But name-calling? And, at that, against a school I have no connection to? That doesn’t insult me, just the school. The University of Virginia also produced smug bastards, though it wasn’t founded by Lupe Murchison — it was founded by Thomas Jefferson.

I’m confident of my theater-going credentials and my judgment. Anyway, I pretty much liked the production of Dreamgirls, save for Syesha Mercado’s limp vocal performance and flaws in the script. My full review is here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Attention dancing queens — especially the two-steppin' kind

mammamia.jpg

The stage version of “Mamma Mia!” is running through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, but you don’t have to head over to Cowtown to get a taste. Tonight — Thursday, Sept. 11 — the cast is performing a cabaret show to benefit the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The late-night performance takes place at the Round-Up Saloon starting at 11:30 p.m. Merchandise will be auctioned off to raise money for the foundation.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

'Tommy' and the DTC

dtctommy.jpg 

My full review of “The Who’s Tommy” at the Dallas Theater Center will be in Friday’s paper (and online this evening), so I won’t restate it here — except to say you need to see this show. At opening night, star Cedric Neal was visibly sobbing during the curtain call, so overcome with emotion was he. After, in the lobby, he still seemed to be quaking. The production has that kind of effect on you. I plan to see it again.

A good way to enjoy it is with OUT@DTC, a program for the gay community that includes two tickets to three shows during the season and features food, discussion and a show, which takes place the Thursday after opening night. That’s tonight.  To find out more about it, visit DallasTheaterCenter.org.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones