drag queens and horse heads

On the 610 Loop near N. Shepherd Friday evening, I saw a Caprice Classic with vanity plates that read: SUGARY. The driver was an old, bald white man. Pimp? Wife’s car? Someone who enjoys people like me driving up next to them, smiling and nodding?

Later that night, I saw my friend Dennis perform (for the first time in years) in the Mildred’s Umbrella production of Last Easter. He plays a British drag queen, and he has to do a lot of singing – all of this in a space that is very intimate. He was just a couple of feet from the first row, yet he pulled it off with grace and talent. I’ve only known Dennis as a director (and my partner in the burger journey), so it was very exciting to see him in a new role.

A group of us checked out the show together, and we shared our worries before it started. What if Dennis is a terrible actor? Or, worse, just mediocre? Not that he’s given anyone a reason to think he can’t act, but you just never know. And he knows me well enough to recognize a lie, so I was hoping for the both of us that he’d do well. And he did! I was so happy to see him perform, and I suggest you check out the show. Though it’s about a woman dying of cancer (a subject that typically makes me run away from the theatre), it’s a consistently funny script and a great production. Go Dennis!

Even later that night, we checked out Horse Head Theatre’s happening CEREMONY. It was in an old warehouse on Navigation, a far cry from Gremillion Art Gallery where Dennis’ show is being performed. CEREMONY was a sensory experience that involved booze. Lots and lots of booze. It was one of those things where you just had to be there to get the deal. I’m not going to try to summarize it here.

I’m very excited about the new theatre groups that are coming up in Houston and watching the successes of established groups like Mildred’s Umbrella. You can see some amazing shows in this city for $20 or less. And you should.


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