‘Mama’s Party’ cabaret at Tucker’s Blues

Get your cabaret fix to start off the week

Even if it is the beginning of the work week or the new year, Monday nights are a Dallas must thanks to Amy Stevenson who hosts Mama’s Party. Every Monday, local musicians and actors come together for a night of song and for a mere pittance. Where else could you get an array of major stage talents performing an ample night of music for cheap? Oh, oh, we know the answer!

DEETS: Tucker’s Blues, 2617 Commerce St. 7 p.m. $5. MamasParty.com or look them up on Facebook.

—  Rich Lopez

The good, the bad & the ‘A-List’

These arts, cultural & sports stories defined gay Dallas in 2011

FASHIONS AND FORWARD  |  The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

FASHIONS AND FORWARD | The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

A lot of eyes were focused on Dallas nationally in 2011 — for good and bad — but much of what made the city a fun place last year has specific queer appeal. CULTURE The rise of the reality TV star. 2011 was the year Dallas made a big splash across everyone’s television sets — and it had nothing to do with who shot J.R. (although that’s pending). From the culinary to the conniving, queer Dallasites were big on the small screen. On the positive side were generally good portrayals of gay Texans. Leslie Ezelle almost made it all the way in The Next Design Star, while The Cake Guys’ Chad Fitzgerald is still in contention on TLC’s The Next Great Baker. Lewisville’s Ben Starr was a standout on MasterChef. On the web, Andy Stark, Debbie Forth and Brent Paxton made strides with Internet shows Bear It All, LezBeProud and The Dallas Life,respectively.

‘A’ to Z  |  ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

‘A’ to Z | ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

There were downsides, though. Drew Ginsburg served as the token gay on Bravo’s teeth-clenching Most Eligible: Dallas, and the women on Big Rich Texas seemed a bit clichéd. But none were more polarizing than the cast of Logo’s The A-List: Dallas. Whether people loved or hated it, the six 20somethings (five gays, one girl) reflected stereotypes that made people cringe. Gaultier makes Dallas his runway. The Dallas Museum of Art scored a coup, thanks to couture. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk not only featured the work of the famed designer, but was presented the designs in an innovative manner. Nothing about it was stuffy. Seeing his iconic designs in person is almost a religious experience — especially when its Madonna’s cone bra. Gaultier reminded us that art is more than paintings on a wall. (A close runner-up: The Caravaggio exhibit in Fort Worth.) The Return of Razzle Dazzle. ­­There was speculation whether Razzle Dazzle could actually renew itself after a near-decade lull, but the five-day spectacular was a hallmark during National Pride Month in June, organized by the Cedar Springs Merchant Association. The event started slowly with the wine walk but ramped up to the main event street party headlined by rapper Cazwell. Folding in the MetroBall with Deborah Cox, the dazzle had returned with high-profile entertainment and more than 10,000 in attendance on the final night. A Gathering pulled it together. TITAS executive director Charles Santos took on the daunting task of producing A Gathering, a collective of area performance arts companies, commemorating 30 years of AIDS. Groups such as the Dallas Opera, Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Theater Center donated their time for this one-of-a-kind show with all proceeds benefiting Dallas’ leading AIDS services organizations. And it was worth it. A stirring night of song, dance and art culminated in an approximate 1,000 in attendance and $60,000 raised for local charities. Bravo, indeed. The Bronx closed after 35 years. Cedar Springs isn’t short on its institutions, but when it lost The Bronx, the gayborhood felt a real loss. For more than three decades, the restaurant was home to many Sunday brunches and date nights in the community. We were introduced to Stephan Pyles there, and ultimately, we just always figured on it being there as part of the fabric of the Strip. A sister company to the neighboring Warwick Melrose bought the property with rumors of expansion. But as yet, the restaurant stands steadfast in its place as a reminder of all those memories that happened within its walls and on its plates.  The Omni changed the Dallas skyline. In November, The Omni Dallas hotel opened the doors to its 23-story structure and waited to fill it’s 1,000 rooms to Dallas visitors and staycationers. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center, the ultra-modern hotel is expected to increase the city’s convention business which has the Dallas Visitors and Conventions Bureau salivating — as they should. The hotel brought modern flair to a booming Downtown and inside was no different. With quality eateries and a healthy collection of art, including some by gay artists Cathey Miller and Ted Kincaid, the Omni quickly became a go-to spot for those even from Dallas. SPORTS The Super Bowl came to town. Although seeing the Cowboys make Super Bowl XLV would have been nice for locals, the event itself caused a major stir, both good and bad. Ticketing issues caused a commotion with some disgruntled buyers and Jerry Jones got a bad rap for some disorganization surrounding the game. But the world’s eyes were on North Texas as not only the game was of a galactic measure, but the celebs were too. From Kardashians to Ke$ha to Kevin Costner, parties and concerts flooded the city and the streets. The gays even got in on the action. Despite crummy weather, the Super Street Party was billed as the “world’s first ever gay Super Bowl party.” The ice and snow had cleared out and the gays came out, (and went back in to the warmer clubs) to get their football on. The XLV Party at the Cotton Bowl included a misguided gay night with acts such as Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell that was ultimately canceled. The Mavericks won big. The Mavs are like the boyfriend you can’t let go of because you see how much potential there is despite his shortcomings. After making the playoffs with some just-misses, the team pulled through to win against championship rivals, Miami Heat, who beat them in 2006. In June, the team cooled the Heat in six games, taking home its first NBA Championship, with Dirk Nowitzki appropriately being named MVP. The Rangers gave us faith. Pro sports ruled big in these parts. The Mavericks got us in the mood for championships and the Texas Rangers almost pulled off a victory in the World Series. With a strong and consistent showing for the season, the Rangers went on to defend their AL West Division pennant. Hopes were high as they handily defeated the Detroit Tigers in game six, but lost the in the seventh game. Although it was a crushing loss, the Texas Rangers proved why we need to stand by our men.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

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

FEEBACK: Thanks!

Thanks!

We want to extend a very special “thank you” to all the merchants who donated to the Round Up Saloon’s annual Easter Basket Auction this year. And thanks as well go to the generous buyers who showed up to bid on and purchase the baskets.

We especially thank our staff that worked so hard to get the baskets decorated, cataloged and presented for sale. Louis Ramos coordinated the entire event, and our auctioneer, R.D., has donated his time now for 15 years to doing our auctions.

And to all the Resource Center Dallas staff, TGRA members, The Dallas Tap Dazzlers, Michael Doughman and all our donors, buyers and entertainers: THANK YOU!

We are proud to announce that $14,400 was donated to The Nutrition Center and TGRA as a result of the Easter Basket Auction. The economy and the crowds are returning, and this charitable event is back on the way to recovery following a couple of pretty lean years.

Again, thank you to everyone.

Gary Miller,
Round-Up Saloon

—  John Wright

Watch: Björn Ulvaeus Thanks ABBA’s Gay Fans for Years of Support

Ulvaeus

ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus took the stage at a party hosted by Sweden's QX magazine to hand an award out, and took the opportunity to thank the group's gay fans for their years of support.

Said Ulvaeus: "I will never get a better opportunity to show my gratitude. Our gratitude. Mine, Bennys, Fridas, and Agnetas." 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

GOProud’s thanks for giving CPAC more coverage than it ever has? A swift curb kick, natch

According to WorldNetDaily (so make of it what you will), organizers have already chosen to strip gay conservative group GOProud from next year’s CPAC convention:

a source has confirmed that a board vote has been taken that will realign plans for those who participate [in CPAC] next year to exclude homosexual advocacy, although details had not been released.

A spokeswoman at the ACU promised WND a statement regarding the new position, but it had not arrived yet.

GOProud out at annual summit of conservatives [WND]

GOPushedAside

GOPerennialTarget

GOPlatformThatExcludesMostAnyPushForwardOnCrucialRightsIssues

The big question: Why do these gays wanna “GO” at all?

***

*Chris Barron just told radio host Michelangelo Signorile that this report is “patently false,” comparing WND to The Onion. That last point is valid, and we certainly don’t treat WND as anything close to credible. But “ACU promised WND a statement” goes beyond typical far-right spin. It’s not opinion journalism: It either is or it isn’t, regardless of who reports it. So stay tuned to see if the statement materializes.

***

**UPDATE: The aforementioned Signorile interview got CRAZY heated, and Mike hung up on Chris. We’ll try to get audio.




Good As You

—  David Taffet

Lynch Wins, Thanks Wife

Lynch x390 (Getty) I Advocate.comGlee star Jane Lynch won a Golden Globe and delivered a trademark witty speech, saying, “I am nothing if not falsely
humble,” before thanking her wife Dr. Lara Embry.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Thanks for the push, Maggie. We like this Michigan poll too

This is how Maggie Gallagher, writing for the NOM Blog, presents new Michigan state polling data:

Screen Shot 2011-01-07 At 9.49.48 Am

[NOM BLOG]

So okay, let’s start with the “only 55 percent” claim. Are we seriously at a place where Maggie is painting a certain subdivision’s majority support for marriage equality as a good sign for her side? Because it wasn’t too long ago — as in HDTV was already around — that all breakdowns in all polls were under the 50% mark. If Maggie wants to look somewhat favorably at majority percentages like this one, in a world where support firms up every time a new voter turns eighteen, then that’s her prerogative. But we don’t believe she believes it. Not really.

But beyond just that: The actual WDIV/Detroit News/Glengariff Group Inc data paints an even more favorable pic than Maggie’s purposely limited presentation would have one believe.

By a margin of 38.5%-50.2%, Michigan voters oppose allowing gay men and lesbians to get married. 54.9% of Democratic voters support gay marriage, 42.3% of Independent voters support gay marriage, but only 19.6% of Republican voters support gay marriage.

But when asked if they support granting the alternative of civil unions to provide the legal benefits of marriage while still preserving the word marriage as something between a man and a woman, voters support civil unions by a margin of 55.7%-36.5%.

63.7% of Democratic voters, 61.1% of Independent voters and even 44.3% of Republican voters said they could support civil unions for gay and lesbian Michiganders.

There is a strongly difference by gender specifically on the issue of marriage.

Men oppose marriage by a margin of 33.0%-56.7% But women SUPPORT same sex marriage by the narrow margin of 44.0%-42.6% Men support civil unions by a margin of 55.7%-36.7%. Women support civil unions by a nearly identical margin of 55.7%-36.3%. Men appear to have a strong reaction to the word ‘marriage’ that women do not share.

Michigan Voters Survey (pdf) [Glengariff]

Funny that Maggie completely overlooks civil unions (which, at the end of the day, NOM almost ways disfavors, even if they’re less forthright about it).

But beyond even that data, there’s one more important piece that Maggie fails to mention. In the marriage question itself, there is a pretty high “don’t know/refused” percentage, and an undeniably small opposition figure:

Screen Shot 2011-01-07 At 9.58.54 Am

11.3% didn’t answer? Hmm. There are multiple reasons why folks might fall into that category. But most opponents of marriage equality are pretty darn forthright about it. We’d def. go out on a limb and say a larger portion of that 11.3% will move our way over the years, especially if we just keep telling our stories.

And finally: The fact that only 50.2% in total voiced opposition, and only 42% of them strongly? That’s pretty soft for someone like Maggie, who relies on a motivated opposition to turn out on election day. No wonder she ignored it.

If this poll is truly representative and a question of marriage inequality again makes its way to Michigan’s polls, will Maggie able to hold onto/turn out enough of this 50.2%, or to convert enough of the undecideds to put her fight above the bare majority threshold? Perhaps. But tick, tick, Maggie — 18th birthday party invites go out every day.

**

*NOTE: An earlier version of this post suggested that Michigan did not yet have a constitutional ban. In fact, the state did pass a ban in 2004 — One that banned both marriage and civil unions.

Interestingly, they did so by 58.6%, which would seem to further highlight that momentum is on our side, not Maggie’s.




Good As You

—  admin

Pro-Repeal Veteran Thanks Kerry for Support

Earlier this week, Senator John Kerry joined a group of 40 Senators to co-sponsor a new bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  Travis Hengen, a veteran working with us toward the repeal of DADT who was discharged under the law, thanked Senator Kerry personally at an event celebrating the Senator’s 45 years of public service.  Senator Kerry, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam before being elected to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, was one of the few Senators to stood against the flawed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law in 1993.

Hengen, who was discharged from the Army in 2003 for being gay after 12 years as a counterintelligence agent, said last night:

“It was great to be able to thank Senator Kerry for co-sponsoring the bill that will repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’  It makes me proud to be represented by someone with such a distinguished military background and who values the service of all the men and women in uniform.  With timing running out in the post election session of Congress, I also hope that Senator Scott Brown follows through on his commitment to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year.”

You can read more about the work of our team in Massachusetts here.

I hope that you will join us on Thursday in Boston as gay and straight veterans call on Senator Scott Brown to make repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” his top priority this year.  At 11am on Thursday, December 16 veterans will deliver petitions to Senator Brown’s office in Boston at the JFK Federal Building (right next to City Hall Plaza).


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

General Motors Thanks America

Yesterday General Motors ran this oddly affecting clip thanking Americans for bailing them out of bankruptcy.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin