The call went out on social media last week: Bears were invited to show up in the gayborhood to film a video. Shorts and athletic shoes — no shirts — were all that was required. What was it for? Well, now we know.
On Saturday, the Dallas Bears held their annual anniversary dinner and celebration, as well as the installation of the new board of directors (which looks a lot like the previous board), at the Toby Keith Grill … and because they were bears, there was plenty to eat. But in addition to food, fellowship and fondling (well, just a little), they also formalized all their donations from the previous year’s events, including Texas Bear Round Up 18 and food and school supply drives. Among the funds awarded: $33,000 to Youth First Texas, a program of Resource Center Dallas; $16,500 to RCD’s nutrition program; $16,500 to the Sharon St. Cyr Fund (which aids the hearing impaired); and $3,000 in school supplies and food. Add all those up and … hmmmm … that’s $69,000. Repeat: Sixty-nine.
One of the best things about my job is all the people I meet. But when you do it long enough, one of the worst things is seeing tragedy befall them.
That’s how I feel about Brian Mooney, whom I met about three years ago when he was our poster-boy for the 2010 Texas Bear Round-Up. I interviewed and did a photoshoot with Brian, and was immediately drawn to his personality and charisma.
Brian doesn’t look so good right now. He’s “40 and would like to see 41,” which is in danger due to his diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer, the result of something called Lynch syndrome. The mischievous, friendly fellow needs $20,000 because he doesn’t have health insurance. It really is needed to save his life. (He’s raised about $6,000 so far.)
You may already know Brian from his job at Dallas Eagle, where he often would smile at you behind a thick beard while sporting a sexy singlet. We all wanna see this Navy veteran back there again, doing his thing. And with BearDance coming up this weekend, we’re thinking about him especially.
Click here to make a donation until May 31. Or you can come out the the Dallas Eagle on Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. and support the barbecue and fundraiser sponsored by Brian’s friends to help him out. Do what you can.
It would be difficult to conceive more events of interest to the gay community going on during a single week. Best of all, every taste is served.
Speaking of taste, Savor Dallas returns this weekend with the Friday wine stroll already sold out, but there are still tickets available for the International Grand Tasting at the Irving Convention Center Saturday night and the first-ever Savor at the Arboretum Sunday evening.
We know bears love to eat, but probably most of the gay bears in town this weekend will be on the prowl for fresh meat at the Texas Bear Round Up 18: Casino Bear Royale. The BearDance is on Friday with DJ John LePage, but there are plenty of other events spread out over three days.
You can still go to Bruce Wood Dance Project’s My Brother’s Keeper dance recital on Friday night and have time to make it to BearDance (it’s what I will be doing). A revised expansion of a piece Wood debuted last year, it runs Friday at 8 p.m. then again on Saturday.
On Sunday, the next exhibit of Cindy Sherman photographs opens at the Dallas Museum of Art. If you’ve never seen a Sherman photo — she’s the model in virtually all of them (pictured), as well as the photographer, conceiver, makeup artist, set decorator and location scout — you don’t want to miss this phenomenal show, which bends gender and identity in disturbing and hilarious ways.
Up in Addison, the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival continues at WaterTower Theatre. Among the offerings: Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays — a collection of nine 10-minute plays from eight different playwrights — is a hit-or-miss affair, but entirely worth Kristin Spires’ frantic performance as a beset GOP woman in Paul Rudnick’s The Gay Agenda and Todd Camp’s touching monologue about the loss of his partner of 36 years, London Mosquitoes by Moises Kaufman. You can catch that one on Sunday at 5 p.m. Before that, be sure to check out The Morning After Show (Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m.), Ayala Hamilton’s riotous show.
And with the weather nice, it’s no better time to go out and enjoy Dallas Blooms at the Arboretum.
With Texas Bear Round Up starting today, I was thinking about this online exchange from a few weeks ago.
Iris McCallister, the wife of FT33 chef Matt McCallister, is a frequent LIKEr of my Facebook posts, and vice versa. A few weeks ago, Iris posted something like this on her Facebook page: “Just came from a beer tasting and never have I seen so many bearded men in flannel!”
Being the jokester I am, I said, “You should attend TBRU!”
Ha. Good one, I thought.
But Iris, being a straight married lady, didn’t get it.
“What’s TBRU?” she asked back. “Texas Bear Round Up,” I replied, figuring she’d finally get the joke.
But oh, no.
Next thing I know, Iris is inviting her girlfriends to attend. “Arnold Wayne Jones suggested we might want to check out the Texas BEER Round Up! Let’s go, should be fun!” she enthusiastically posted. Apparently, she read my post only fleetingly. Fortunately, one of her girlfriends was savvier.
“Ummm, Iris, I think you might want to take a look at this,” she posted, linking to the TBRU home page.
I could practically hear Iris shriek from miles away.
Personally, I think it would hilarious if Iris McCallister and her girlfriends showed up at the Crowne Plaza, all ready to taste artisinal beers and being met by fuzzy meatmen in Speedos. But it’s probably best she didn’t.
You can, though. See ya there. And if you see Iris, give her a big bear hug.
It’s a fun week for theater, with WaterTower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival in full swing, including such gayish shows as Standing on Ceremony: The Marriage Plays from Q Live!, David Parr’s Pluto Is Listening, The Morning After Show from writer/star Ayana Hampton and director Clayton Farris, as well as live performances from favorites Amy Stevenson, Walter Lee and Diana Sheehan. There’s something going on constantly, so explore!
If you prefer to head south rather than north, well there’s gay-enough stuff at the 11th Annual New Play Competition at the Bishop Arts Theatre, from TeCo Theatrical Productions. Among the six finalists are two with gay themes (including Theophany) and one a “hetero romp” from local playwright Isabella Russell-Ides that has some delicious eye candy. It runs through Sunday.
Also on Sunday night is the queen of dishy humor, Joan Rivers. She’ll be performing at the Winspear Opera House (read our interview with Joan here). The Winspear is actually a hot-bed this week, with sexy South American dancing from Grupo Corpo Friday and the Dallas Opera gala Saturday, featuring a performance by acclaimed mezzo Susan Graves.
For midweek diversions without any acting, check out the DFW Auto Show, opening Wednesday, or laugh you ass off with hilarious gay comic Thai Rivera at the Addison Improv (also Wednesday). Then on Thursday, you can choose between the opening night festivities at the Texas Bear Round Up or check out the sneak preview of Trinity Groves as part of this year’s Savor Dallas food festival.
As of 11 p.m. Thursday, only four rooms were left for Thursday through Saturday at the The Crowne Plaza, the host hotel, just two hours after registration began. The hotel is now sold out. Last year, TBRU took 36 hours to sell as many rooms. Organizers assure attendees there are plenty of rooms at the overflow hotels. The host hotel requires a minimum three-night stay.
Early registration ends Dec. 2 when the price goes from $98 to $120.
The overflow hotel is The Park in near Love Field on Mockingbird Lane, The Comfort in on Stemmons Freeway and the Hawthorne Suites on Brookriver Drive, a block from the Crowne Plaza. Shuttles are provided all weekend from the overflow hotels to the host hotel.
Among the Saturday excursions are a trip to South Fork Ranch and a newly added Choctaw Casino trip.
Last year the weekend raised $30,000 for area nonprofits including Youth First Texas, AIDS Interfaith Network and the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.
The next Texas Bear Round Up isn’t for another six months, but you can already get a peek at its new logo, which appeared this morning on the group’s Facebook page. TBRU 18: Casino Bear Royale combines a little 007 theme with Las Vegas … and. of course, a touch of a Colt Video.
We’ve always been a fan of the cartoon artwork for the Dallas Bears’ big event, which has grown from 100 attendees to last last year’s 1,704. (Last year’s art, below, was based around the theme Bears Gone Wild.) Next year’s event will take place March 14-17.