Entertainment

Home Entertainment

Magic in Montrose: The Broad’s Way

One of the most underrated drag/live singing performances in Montrose is at Michael’s Outpost every Monday night.

(HOUSTON) — After leaving an event last night, I went out into Montrose waiting for something to happen. I wasn’t sure what it was I was waiting for; but I knew that if I could be patient, it would manifest. Was it that I was going to meet a man? Would I run into some old friends I hadn’t seen in years? Or was it just that I might get drunk and find myself having a good time amongst strangers? I couldn’t ascertain the specifics of this premonition, but I knew that if I could wait it out, something magical would happen.

27709447_349256435554513_8778211720288020205_o-196x300 Magic in Montrose: The Broad's Way
Regina Blake-DuBois

So, I made my rounds. I started first at Guava Lamp, where I had one drink and chatted with a few friends. Fun, but nothing particularly magical about it. I jumped over to Ripcord, where—as per the usual—the Monday night crowd was light and quiet (just the way I preferred my bar scenes). I had another drink there before deciding I was barking up the wrong tree. Nothing unusual was taking place in Montrose proper; and I therefore forged my way toward Richmond for a glass of Cab at Michael’s Outpost.

And that’s where it happened. It was there that I found myself sitting in a half-full bar where before me stood a trope of entertainers performing songs from some of Broadway’s seminal hits throughout the recent decades.

Be still my beating, gay boy heart.

Hosting The Broad’s Way was the lovely Regina Blake-DuBois, a drag queen I’d seen perform a handful of times and whose performances I’ve always enjoyed. Rolling out the remainder of the cast was singer Scott Lupton, drag king Richard Long, songstress Chaney Moore, and queen Mia Opulent Love, each performing showtunes from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

Let me just interrupt myself to say that while, yes, this is a drag show, it isn’t just a drag show. It’s actually the only show in Houston that incorporates drag queens, kings, and live singers. And when those performers and doing the best of Broadway, there’s nothing more that a theatre-geek gay boy who has seen Wicked onstage nine times like myself could ask for. (Pause to add that I was disappointed I didn’t catch Regina on one of her Wicked performance days, as she states they are frequent).

19803_10103044166607607_8163867881690085608_n-1-300x300 Magic in Montrose: The Broad's Way
Chaney Moore

I entered late in the show, with Blake-Dubois entertaining her group that seemed to consist of many regulars. Her hosting style is on-point: she’s funny … but doesn’t mind roasting herself when a joke falls flat or a line doesn’t quite work. And she knows how to keep the audience paying attention (even if that means jokingly reminding them that her phone number is carved into the wall of a bathroom stall). What’s best about her as a hostess, however, is that she really knows her shit. Blake-DuBois’s own theatre nerdiness packs into each joke that she tells the audience.

22089150_273139536510564_1147472023100802852_n-1-300x300 Magic in Montrose: The Broad's Way
Richard Long

Now, to say that I almost lost my shit more than once last night would be a bit of an understatement. After all, when Chaney Moore (who last night joined the show as a regular performer) pulled out a show-stopping rendition of “Living in Hell” from Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, I was done. TAKE MY MONEY! Granted, I only had three one-dollar bills on me, so I had to make sure they lasted (they did not). Her voice is so clean and smooth. The way she jumps into her upper-register sounds effortless, only to come back down and belt out a note bigger than the bar itself. I was certain that none of the other performers would be able to follow her up. Then came the glitter-beard king, Richard Long, with his comedic take on “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables. Who knew that Enjolras could make me laugh with a song of revolution in 19th century France?

26907672_10155982515327246_3699462190948470008_n-300x300 Magic in Montrose: The Broad's Way
Scott Lupton

Of course, I would be remiss if not to mention Scott Lupton’s rendition of “We Beseech Thee” from Godspell. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when Lupton took the microphone, but as someone who was previously unfamiliar with his powerhouse voice, I was completely blown away. A song that is often sang with breathy haste was well-paced, lively, interactive, and downright extraordinary. Even when it came time for the key change (which Lupton funnily made sure to mention to the viewers), the entire song was flawless. As for Mia Opulent Love, the queen in her beautiful green wig danced away to a number from Sweet Charity (a favorite show of mine), which she took the liberty of not only making into a fun, vibrant performance, but one that was tinged with just a bit of her trademark sexiness that she brings to every performance.

22008242_1992854954333349_2140800866299714079_n-300x300 Magic in Montrose: The Broad's Way
Mia Opulent Love

And as the show was winding down, Ms. Blake-DuBois had taken to the back to change (as Love took the mic and regaled us with improptu stories of how someone had asked her if her green hair was natural). When she returned, she donned an effervescent pink coat and knee-high red boots. I knew then, for certain, she could only be bringing to life one of two characters—Glinda the Good of Wicked, or Elle Woods of Legally Blonde. Whether she’d be tackling “Popular,” “Positive,” or any of the other numbers from either musical, I’d be pleased.

Alas, she made a point of mentioning she would not be performing from Wicked, but that she’d be doing a number that was, in her words, “a little more legal.”

Thus came her finale performance of “So Much Better” from Legally Blonde: The Musical, which opened on Broadway in 2007 scoring seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Original Score of a Musical, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress for Bundy as Elle Woods. The show would go on to tape a live performance for MTV, host a reality show in which actresses competed to be the next Elle Woods, and has seen international productions and tours.

lb Magic in Montrose: The Broad's WayIt was also the very first musical I ever saw live right here in Houston when the first national tour came through the Hobby Center stage, brought to us by Theatre Under the Stars. That year (2009), the lead actress, Becky Gulsvig, had broken her toe while on tour, and Broadway’s leading lady, Laura Bell Bundy, had stepped in to fill her shoes. It’s one of my best memories and the musical holds a very special place in my heart. So, when Regina Blake-DuBois took on the task of lip-syncing and dancing the choreography to “So Much Better” (the act one showstopper that is considerably one of the hardest numbers in Broadway history to sing, right up there with “Defying Gravity”) I knew I’d found my Montrose magic. Hell, she even demonstrated the difficult Elle Woods high-kick at the end of the song (which once ended in Bundy launching her shoe into the audience). And, as luck would have it, I’d run out of ones at that point.

What got me about this production was that, while there was a good number of people there to see it, Michael’s Outpost wasn’t quite as full as I’ve seen it for its many other wonderful shows. From Eye-Cons to Cabernet at the Cabaret, Michael’s is usually good about packing out its seats for performances. Maybe it’s just the luck of having a Monday night show, or maybe the night was just slower than usual. Either way, everyone in the neighborhood that loves the theatre (and I do believe that accounts for a large demographic of LGBTQIA people) should make the time to head to Michael’s Outpost to catch this incredible cast put on one helluva show. With a new Broadway-centric theme each week, Regina and her chorus of talented entertainers put on a fun, audience-interactive show that brings the Broadway stage right into Michael’s Outpost every Monday night. And no matter when you make it out there to see it, The Broad’s Way is certain to never disappoint.


Michael’s Outpost is located at 1419 Richmond Ave. and is open 7 days a week with shows (some drag and some live piano) every night.

QFest, Spectrum South Present ‘1985’

Now rounding off it’s 22nd year of queer film festivals, QFest will screen ‘1985’, it’s closing film, on Monday, July 30th, presented by Spectrum South.

35972440_696511357407043_4569042924527943680_o QFest, Spectrum South Present '1985'
Spectrum South’s Kelsey Gledhill & Megan Smith

(HOUSTON) – Houston’s premiere LGBTQ motion picture nonprofit, QFest, started screening films for the 22nd year in a row this past Thursday and will be closing up their annual film festival until next year on Monday, July 30th. The nonprofit cites their mission to be showcasing Houston’s LGBTQ community through cinema and related events not just during QFest, but throughout the year. But year-by-year, QFest has struggled to maintain the same numbers in their audiences that they have in years past. Drawing the newest generation of queer Houstonians into the festival has proven difficult. However, our other favorite queer Houston magazine, Spectrum South, has partnered up with QFest to help change that for the better. By co-hosting QFest’s Closing Night, Spectrum South and QFest are hopeful about introducing this incredible nonprofit to the attention of LGBTQ youngsters.

Friend of About Magazine and Spectrum South editor-in-chief Megan Smith had this to say about their newfound partnership with QFest:

“We are so excited to partner with QFest Houston to present the Closing Night of their 2018 festival. This year marks QFest’s 22nd year and we are delighted to help bring this longstanding queer cultural staple to the next generation of LGBTQ Houstonians […] We also encourage everyone to stick around after the [movie] screening for a reception of free drinks, mixing and mingling with fellow queer film enthusiasts, and a DJ set by Bradley David Entertainment.”

A movie and free drinks? You can count us in.

Additionally, this year QFest is sponsored in-part by Bradley David Entertainment, the Catastrophic Theatre, the Houston Film Commission, Mystiq, Julie Mabry’s Pearl Bar Houston, Stages Repertory Theatre, the Orchard, and About Magazine’s own Morena Roas.

1985_still QFest, Spectrum South Present '1985'
Cory Michael Smith in ‘1985’.

Yen Tan’s 1985 opened this year at SXSW in Austin, TX to outstanding reviews. IndieWire gave the film a B and concluded, “As such, “1985” has the distinct feel of being a fine piece of cinematic craftsmanship by two artists with a shared vision. It is a haunting elegy for a generation of gay men.” The Hollywood Reporter said of the film, “Even when dealing with loaded themes such as stigmatization, bullying, death, denial and the shattering possibility of final farewells, the director’s gentle touch adds resonance.” Said SS‘s Smith:

“The evening’s film, Yen Tan’s ‘1985,’ is a powerful southern portrayal of the height of the AIDS crisis. For some folks, it will be a reminder of their lived experiences and, for others, it will serve as a wakeup call to the realities of what can happen when those in power oppress marginalized groups. Either way, its message is important and relevant to our current circumstances, and we look forward to sharing it with audiences.”

The festival’s awards ceremony begins promptly at 7:00 PM at Rice University’s Rice Cinema with the screening of Yen Tan’s 1985 beginning at 7:30 with a reception to follow at 9:00. For tickets to QFest, you can click here. You can also RSVP to the Facebook event here.


Follow Spectrum South: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Follow QFest: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Sipping the Galveston “T”

Photo by David Guerra

T-Time, hosted by Drew O’Hara and Andy Tamez, is making a splash in the Galveston gay waters, as both hosts tackle island rumors and do their best to set the record straight.

(GALVESTON) – About Magazine reporter and photographer David Guerra sat down last month to talk to Drew and Andy about how their popular Facebook Live show came to be, how its popularity has grown, and what they’d like to do to give back to Galveston’s LGBTQIA community. The two best friends opened up about these topics and so much more. They stated that even though their show seems gossipy, “that is not what they focus on.” In fact, when asked, their end goals include promoting local talent, entertainers, and trying to bridge gaps within the community.

Read more below.


About Magazine: What inspired the show?

Drew O’Hara: It came for me by having different groups of people that would hang out in different locations on the island. Then, to hear someone say something about someone else, and that information would relayed by someone else from a third party, and it would blow up to something bigger. When originally what was said was not offensive but got telephoned into something offensive. It was happening all the time, this miscommunication, this ‘he-said-she-said’ telephone game. It was putting us in the middle because we are friends with everyone.

[The show] is about hearing it from the horses mouth. If you have something to say, come say it here.

tt1 Sipping the Galveston "T"
Photo by David Guerra

Andy Tamez: It became a lot, and it was hard to hear everybody just going back and forth. It got to the point where it was holding people accountable for what [they’re] doing and saying. It was stressing us out, so we were like,  “You know what? We’ll just put this on [Facebook] Live. And that’s what started it. Then we had people that wanted to come on the show and talk about certain things. The whole premise of the show was to have a platform to come in and tell your own story, say your truth, and own up to your actions.

What are the topics you cover?

DO: We have different segments. We have people come on the show to talk about things that are going on around the area. We will interview someone like special sponsors that sponsor certain events that are happening in town. T-Time was predominantly […] somebody saying what’s on their mind, but that is not what we focus on. Now we have segments, if you watch the show. We do the ending of our show with [a segment called] “What Would You Do?”. It’s just a way to communicate with somebody while also getting the information out there in a way that people will pay attention to.

Who is your audience?

AT: It’s a pretty large demographic. It ranges anywhere from Galveston to Houston. And we are finding that even straight people are watching the show. As I went to Chick-Fil-A, some girl was there saying, “Hey! You’re the one doing that Facebook show!” 

DO:  She said, “Y’all are Drandy!” And we were like, “Yes … We have no idea who you are, but thank you.”

AT: We had no idea we had an audience the way we do.

tt2 Sipping the Galveston "T"
Photo by David Guerra

DO: It’s being called the local talk show. So it went from T-Time to just saying what is on your mind to helping community members get their thoughts out there to actually graduating to plugging any events. And now it’s just all three of them combined. We want to just help the community, and we are ripping off all of these Band-Aids. We have already seen a change. There are always new events going on, on the island, so there is always going to be something going on that we can stream out, and revitalize and actually get the concept out and see the changes of individuals. We get an average of fifty audience members that will watch live, but HUNDREDS that will watch after we air off.

Who do you interview and why?

DO: Local community leaders that we find beneficial to help get the information out. For example, Kiki Dion Van Wales. She is not only the show director here at 23rd [Street Station], but she is the owner of Pride Galveston. We interviewed her because we wanted to get the information out there to let people know this is where the donations are, this is how it’s working, this is what it’s going towards. Just using Kiki as an example. We want to give Galveston as much attention as possible, and help the community as well. Because if we can help, we’re going to.

How is the feedback when you air off?

DO: Depends on the timing. If we have a guest on the show that ripped someone apart, then we would have people that were very aggravated. So we had something for a while when things got a little shaky called Make-Up Mondays where the next day we have to go in and be like you know this is what’s going on, mend it, and assure our audience realizes we weren’t trying to be assholes. 

tt4 Sipping the Galveston "T"
Photo by David Guerra

What are you doing with your popularity?

AT: It’s very humbling and surprising. I didn’t think that it was going to be like this at all,

DO: I thought it was just going to be our friends watching, and then one we started hitting hundreds of views, we were like, “Oh, shit! People are actually watching.” Our popularity has grown by each show.

About That Movie: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Lesbian LGBTQ Miseducation of Cameron Post Film Chloe Grace Moretz

A film review of the new LGBTQ film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a young lesbian at a conversion camp.

Though it’s had a limited release, even by indie film standards, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is mandatory watching material for any queer person raised in a conservative state.

CAMERON_POST_QUAD_2_MR About That Movie: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The film, starring Chloe Grace Moretz and directed by Desiree Akhavan, is a movie adaptation of a book of the same name by Emily M. Danforth. The award-winning YA novel follows the life of teenager Cameron Post, from her parents’ death through high school and to her stay at God’s Promise, an LGBTQ+ conversion therapy camp in Montana. While the book explores Cameron’s life at a leisurely pace, the film focuses primarily on her time at conversion camp, where she meets fellow rebels Jane Fonda (Sasha Lane) and Adam Red Eagle (Forrest Goodluck). The scope of the movie is limited in comparison to the book, but that scope allows the reader fully to absorb the lives of the dozen-or-so teens at God’s Promise.

 

The movie and book are both set in the early 90s, and director Akhavan captures the period with earthy colors, grunge-y costuming, and a killer soundtrack. Stars Moretz, Lane, and Goodluck all put in compelling performances as a misfit band of queer teens trapped at the camp and struggling to hold their true identities dear. On the opposite end of the film, conversion center leaders Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.) and Dr. Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle) delivered performances that landed somewhere between chilling and heartwrenching; their words will ring as uncomfortably familiar for LGBTQ+ people raised in the conservative South. Though the film shares themes with cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader, this new movie explores the trauma of a conversion center in a way that is more earnest and less tongue-in-cheek. There are plenty of lighthearted moments of rebellion, angst, and teen longing; but the overall effect is far more serious.

Blog-MisEdFilm2 About That Movie: The Miseducation of Cameron PostAlthough the story takes place over two decades ago, the core message still feels timely and important. The continued existence of conversion therapy camps is a worst case scenario for LGBTQ youth; but you don’t have to be at a conversion therapy camp to suffer from the effects of homophobia. I was raised in the church, as were all of my friends growing up. We heard it all — that being gay is a choice, that it’s best to ignore those impulses, that a true Christian would abstain from romance and attraction by any means necessary. It is no wonder that so many of us weren’t able to come out until our 20s, when we had the independence and safety of adulthood. Many teens aren’t lucky enough to come out when the time is right. To see that experience honored on the big screen was validating and necessary.

The greatest disappointment about The Miseducation of Cameron Post had nothing to do with the quality of the film itself but rather with its release. Though the movie played to Sundance and won the Grand Jury Prize, its theater release has been incredibly limited. At the time I am writing this, the movie is not available at any theater in Texas, despite the fact that it is gay young adults trapped in the South that need this movie the most. Additionally, its limited release began rolling through theaters in August and September — hardly primetime for a movie to gain traction when most major releases are scheduled for the beginning of summer and winter. Perhaps because of the poor release timing, the film still hasn’t grossed it’s first $1M in profit. There is no word yet on when this movie will be available to rent or buy.

1_W01KuzCh2f8PVzb0udY7KA About That Movie: The Miseducation of Cameron PostI wish that movies like this could break through from indie to mainstream. Perhaps I am still waiting for the lesbian equivalent to Love, Simon, although this movie’s decidedly more somber setting doesn’t have the same romantic dramedy appeal. I’m still waiting for a lesbian movie to garner the accolades and fans that Call Me By Your Name found easily. Again, this is no fault of The Miseducation of Cameron Post, nor do I say this to bemoan the success of other LGBTQ films. I just want to see a lesbian-centered film succeed in a big way, dammit.

I’ll keep waiting for the lesbian box-office hit of my queer dreams, but The Miseducation of Cameron Post provides a great step in the right direction. I look forward to more WLW representation in movies and literature in the future.