WEB EXTRA: A night “‘out’ at the theater

Posted on 31 Jan 2008 at 1:57pm
By Arnold Wayne Jones Staff Writer

Peeking in on DTC’s new gay mixer

A night out at the theater is a pretty gay thing anyway, but how do you make it gayer I mean, without attending “Naked Boys Singing” again? Head for a sneak preview at the Dallas Theater Center.


This season, the theater center with two new gay men (marketing manager Greg Patterson and artistic director Kevin Moriarty) in place began a genuine outreach to the gay community. OUT@DTC is a package of three plays, two tickets and two parties, all directed at the GLBT community.
The concept is simple: Provide two tickets for half a season of shows, each with some appeal to queer audiences, and add a little alcohol to sweeten the pot, all for a discount. The result: A gay happy hour in the Kalita Humphreys Theater.

I attended the second of the two last week, when “Ella” was in previews. (That is one caveat: The cocktail party takes place only during a specified preview performance, although the discount can apply to almost any performance.) If that is what it takes to get butts in the seats, I’m all for it.
The pre-show cocktail party took place in a room even most theater center denizens have probably never entered: a cozy space just off the theater. Wine was pouring freely while sushi rolls and other Japanese appetizers (from P.R. director Eva Chien’s parents’ restaurant) were happily devoured.

There was a mix of young and old, moneyed and middle class, even gay and straight but mostly, just people enthusiastic about attending the theater.

And they got their money’s worth. Most jumped quickly to their seats for the remarkable performance by E. Faye Butler as Ella Fitzgerald (you couldn’t miss the density of same-sex couples when the lights came up at intermission).

Afterward, a number headed over to the Rose Room inside Station 4 to partake in a second mixer, this one attended by most of the show’s cast an excellent chance to rub elbows and ask questions of the actors. (Tucker seemed more petite when away from the footlights, and was a charming conversationalist.) I didn’t stay long, but I’m already looking forward to the next OUT@DTC show “The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead” on March 6.

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