Saying farewell to Bush — Dallas style
Saying farewell to Bush — Dallas styleLots of people in the gay community are glad that Tuesday marks the end of the Bush Era … and they aren’t even necessarily Obama supporters.

On Jan. 20, Dallas’ Salon Gossip holds a "No More Bush" Inauguration Day special by offering body waxing services at half price, courtesy of the Sensational Skin by Suzanne boutique inside the salon owned by Oak Lawn entrepreneur Todd Hedrick. Gossip is located at 4113 Rawlins St. For an appointment, call 214-417-7876.

‘Prison Break’ gets death sentence
They should never has left Dallas: Ever since "Prison Break" moved its studios from Las Colinas (and exteriors from around North Texas) to Los Angeles, well, the show hasn’t been the same.

Apparently that’s true even of the ratings. The action series ends its four-season run this spring. No word yet on how they’ll tie up all the conspiracy plots. We just hope they tie up star Wentworth Miller — preferably with silk handcuffs!

Jordan and Tomlin moveon down the ‘Road’
HBO shelved the Dallas-based soap "12 Miles of Bad Road," but that hasn’t stopped the gay cast members from moving on.

First up: Leslie Jordan, the diminutive Emmy winner for "Will & Grace," has been tapped to star alongside Oscar winner Helen Mirren in "Love Ranch." Mirren plays the madam of Nevada’s first legal brothel and Joe Pesci will play her husband, real-life married entrepreneurs Grace and Charlie Botempo. Taylor Hackford (who’s also Mirren’s husband) will direct.

The cast of gay-adjacent favorites also includes Gina Gershon and Bai Ling — playing, one would assume, "ranch hands." Between Mirren and Gershon alone, there’s enough career-spanning cinematic Sapphic scenarios to melt your "Caligula" and "Bound" DVDs into liquid plastic, and that’s not even counting the cast members who are actually homosexual. Add Ling and Jordan — one brazen bisexual and one screaming queen, respectively — and it sounds like "Love Ranch" will offer lots of queer pleasure when it hits theaters later this year.
Next up for Jordan’s co-star, Lily Tomlin, is a film that sounds deliciously sacrilegious.

"Sweet Baby Jesus" certainly sounds promising. I’s about pregnant teenager Mary (Alison Pill of "Milk"), who returns to her hometown of Bethlehem, Md., at Christmastime. Mary’s got an older boyfriend named Joe — but he’s not the baby’s father, leading rumors to swirl among the locals that Mary is about to give birth to Jesus in his second coming.

Directed by British comedy pro Steve Bendelack ("Mr. Bean’s Holiday"), the film offers an interestingly eclectic cast, including Tomlin, Christopher Guest regular Michael McKean, "Freddy Got Fingered" creator Tom Green, the ever-unpredictable Melanie Griffith, and bear pin-up Hagrid himself, Robbie Coltrane. With any luck, "Sweet Baby Jesus" will be a blessed theatrical event this December.

Can Shankman make ‘Birdie’ fly?
For years, Columbia Pictures has tried to launch a remake of its 1960s hit musical "Bye Bye Birdie," about teenage hysteria over an Elvis-like rock icon going into the army. Tina Fey took a crack at a new script, and John Chu ("Step Up 2: The Streets") was hired fresh out of film school to make a youth-oriented hip-hop version of the property.

After those efforts failed to soar, the studio is now turning to one of the few people responsible for making screen musicals viable again: gay "Hairspray" director Adam Shankman. He’ll develop and produce a new version of "Birdie," but he probably won’t direct; he’s already got "Bob: The Musical" and a new "Sinbad" adventure on his plate. Will Shankman be the wind beneath "Birdie’s" wings? Watch this space for flight information.

Kathy Griffin mouths off for ’50 Years’

What do you get when you cross "Finding Nemo" with "An Inconvenient Truth"? Presumably "Around the World in 50 Years 3D," an upcoming animated feature about a sea turtle who hatches in 1959 and spends the next five decades traveling all over the Earth and observing what global warming and climate change are doing to the planet.

You can’t make a cartoon without an all-star voice cast these days, and "Around the World" features gay icon Kathy Griffin. (Can you really still be on the "D List" after you’ve won two Emmys and been nominated for a Grammy? Discuss.) Also piping up for the film are Tim Curry, Jenny McCarthy, Anthony Anderson and the exceedingly ecology-minded Ed Begley Jr. This 3D animated feature is set to turn your kids’ consciences green later this year or in early 2010.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 16, 2009.
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