This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

Razzle Dazzle gets into full swing this weekend, with Taylor Dayne performing at the MetroBall at Station 4 tonight. And on Saturday, the Cedar Springs sidewalk sale, LifeWalk WaterPalooza and more events take place along the strip.

The Tonys are the gayest of all awards shows, and this year is no exception, with Neil Patrick Harris hosting again.  The AT&T Performing Arts Center is hosting a Tony-watching party at the Winspear Opera House on Sunday; doors open at 6:30 p.m. You can RSVP here.

Also down at the Arts District this weekend, gay pianist Michael Feinstein teams with Marvin Hamlisch and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for a performance honoring Cole Porter. The two-night engagement runs Friday and Saturday at the Meyerson Symphony Center.

The long-awaited prequel to Alien, Prometheus, opens today, and it’s definitely worth seeing if you enjoy being scared. And the return of Dallas isn’t here until Wednesday, but the superduper gay fantasy soap True Blood returns on Sunday.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Canasta for a good cause, this Sunday at Tony’s Corner Pocket

The American novelist Mary McCarthy once quipped that Canasta has the advantage of “doing away with the bother of talk after dinner.” But the classic Uruguayan card came popular among the aged and experiencing a rebirth among hipsters has much more to offer. While Canasta may not have the high-stakes glamor of Baccarat, or the back-room luridness of Poker it harkens back to the halcyon days of the 1950′s when it was first introduced to the United States, with smartly dressed men and more smartly dressed cocktails. It’s that paen for a more stylish age that has caused this once nigh-forgotten game to experience a rebirth of late.

If you’ve caught the Canasta bug there’s an opportunity this Sunday, Feb. 12, to indulge in all the melds your heart can muster at Tony’s Corner Pocket  (817 West Dallas). Brunch and registration start at noon with “Pick a Partner” at 12:30. Then at 1 pm single elimination tournament play kicks off. Canasta is played with teams of two, but don’t worry if you don’t have a partner to come with you. Single players are welcomed. Registration is $10, with half of the proceeds going to the tournament winners and the other half benefiting Montrose Grace Place, a non-profit helping homeless youth.

Register early by e-mailing houstonglbtcanasta@yahoogroups.com

—  admin

‘Gypsy’ in her soul

B’way legend and gay icon Patti LuPone brings her powerful pipes to Dallas

concerts-1ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

You might not have seen her name above the title on a movie or welcomed her every week into your house via the boob tube, but when it comes to the stage, there are few contemporary performers who rival Patti LuPone.

“I’m not a movie actress — I think I’m a hard sell in the movies,” LuPone says matter-of-factly. (She is, however, about to shoot a film in New Orleans, playing  J-Lo’s mom.) While the Juilliard-trained actress has met her greatest success in musical theater, it’s her acting chops that have transformed songs like “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” (from Evita — her first Tony Award) and “Rose’s Turn” (Gypsy — her second Tony). The latter was a career highlight: The most ferocious role for a woman ever written for an American musical. Two years after it closed, she’s still happy to talk about it.

“It was great,” she beams. “Arthur [Laurents, the director and writer] assembled a spectacular cast — we really were a triumvirate. I don’t think you can act alone. You need partners on stage.”

That the production took place “was really done as a tribute to Arthur’s partner of 50 years, Tom Hatcher,: she says. “Tom had just died, and he’s the one who told Arthur to do West Side Story and Gypsy. Arthur agreed to do it basically to keep him alive. He wanted it to be different than the last one and really have an acted show.”

Although the entire principal cast won Tonys, Laurents did not.  “How could the director not win!” LuPone says, voice filling with outrage. You sense it’s such emotional readiness that has made her a Broadway icon.

LuPone brings that legendary power to the stage of the Meyerson this week, with what she calls a “piano and voice only” concert (no orchestra), titled Gypsy in My Soul. “It’s a collection of songs including some showtunes,” she says.

When an actress so identified with certain composers, especially Stephen Sondheim, performs in concert, she can run the risk of being compelled to perform songs that no longer interest her. That’s simply not the case with LuPone.

“Songs never become old hat to me, “ she says categorically. “Because audiences want to hear one, so I do one — not even because I have to; I want to. If they are really good songs you want to sing them.”

LuPone has, in one venue or another, run through almost the entire Sondheim repertoire: Mama Rose, Passion, Company, Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd (another Tony nomination — “I actually got rotator cuff problems from carrying around that tuba”). Really, only two have eluded her.

“I wanted to play Desiree [in the revival of A Little Night Music, which closed earlier this year on Broadway]. I contacted Trevor [Nunn, the director], who didn’t contact me back,” she says, with a sting. “Really the last Sondheim role for me is the Witch in Into the Woods, which I was originally offered! After it left San Diego they offered it to me; I said I d like to play Cinderella, so I came in and auditioned for that. Then they said, ‘We still want you to play the Witch.’ Then negotiations fell apart.”

Her resume is littered with shows — some huge hits, some personal triumphs.

“I loved Women on the Verge,” she says of her last Broadway venture, which closed quickly last year (though not before landing her a sixth Tony nom). “I think there’s a lot of creativity [on Broadway] now, but I’m sick and tired of the spectacles. My biggest complaint is the sound level: I’d rather be brought to the stage than pushed back in my seat.”

And she’s always looking ahead. “Mandy [Patinkin] and I are coming to Broadway for nine weeks [soon], then we will go out on the road both together and separately. Then there’s stuff happening that I can’t say because I’m not supposed to,” she teases.

You might expect she’d find a pace more suitable for a 62-year-old, but LuPone denies that the demands of eight shows a week wear her out.

“I have Italian peasant energy,” he says. “Even at my age, there is this abundance of energy, especially songs that are physically demanding. I am exhilarated by them.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

It’s Tony’s script, we just get aggressively miscast within it

Tony and his Crocs would like to share some thoughts with you. And while you’re reading them, me and my eight extramarital sex partners are going to go WD-40 the door so that we can reach “all manner of moral and social evil” even sooner:

In the same way, some self-professed conservative leaders are now turning away from the defense of marriage. Some appear at homosexual fundraisers or serve on the boards of small but vocal homosexual Republican organizations that are using the courts to thwart the voice of the people and redefine marriage. This is not conservatism.

Tony-in-crocsSome have bought into the lie that we should just accept same-sex marriage because it is inevitable. As electoral wins in more than 30 states have demonstrated, when the people are allowed to vote, they reject same-sex “marriage.”

Other conservatives suggest that because this supposedly private conduct doesn’t affect them, it should be permitted.

This is not true conservatism. Conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, realize we must love people enough to be willing to speak the truth – and the truth is that we cannot redefine marriage without opening the door to all manner of moral and social evil.

Let me be clear: I do not oppose homosexual marriage because I think it would threaten my marriage. I oppose it because it threatens the institution of marriage and, as a result, our nation itself.

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman, for life. Men and women complement each other biologically, psychologically, and emotionally in ways same-sex partners never can.

Homosexuals cannot bear one another’s children. They are not complementary, as are men and women. And they are, as a rule, highly promiscuous. Data show that the great majority of married homosexuals have multiple sexual partners. One recent study of homosexual couples found that each member of such couples averages eight additional sexual partners per year. Do I really need to say that this is not a good environment for children? Other studies suggest that children raised in homosexual homes are much more likely to be exposed to violence than those raised by a mom and a dad.

Children need a mom and a dad, not two dads or two moms.”

TONY PERKINS: Address to the Faith and Freedom Conference [FRC]

Oh Tony. You know what really doesn’t “complement” a gay person’s life? The constant accusations, misrepresentations, and all-out onslaughts that you and your ilk wage against LGBT families!

But you won’t stop, will you Tony? Because you were born in a time when you can not only get away with such hurtful portraits, but you can actually profit from them. That’s so unfortunate. For all of us.




Good As You

—  John Wright

Video: Tony’s TV priorities: Making ‘Real Housewives’ drama seem that much less frivolous

Not sure which is more annoying about the following clip:

-Tony’s aggressive attempt to misinform the audience about Judge Walker’s ruling, acting as if it would force Christians to personally accept, preach in favor of, or perform same-sex marriage ceremonies (hint: it won’t!).

-That someone like Tony can talk for over twenty minutes about the California marriage case with several mentions of the voters who voted in favor of bias, yet not once mention the near-half of the state voters who came out against Prop 8, or the millions of gay people who are deeply affected by it. In what other political matter is that kind of oversight okay?!

-The host’s constant attempts to rile up a Texas vs. gays mentality (e.g. “As long as there’s a Texas, there’ll be a moral course”; “This wouldn’t happen in Big D, now would it?”)

-The host’s aggressively anti-intellectual explanation of how our republic supposedly works, which wholly ignores the crucial role of our independent judiciary

-The very fact that TBN had Tony on for two segments to discuss the biggest problems currently affecting our government and way of life, and gay people’s basic rights, fair treatment, and happiness is what he chose to discuss.

But hey, why choose just one piece o’annoyance. Here’s Tony’s full appearance from last night’s edition of TBN’s “Praise The Lord”:







[SOURCE]




Good As You

—  John Wright