Suzanne Westenhoefer: Now that America has witnessed Ellen's coming out and suffered no meteorological disasters of Biblical proportions, the question posed by a recent Advocate cover is this--why the hell aren't gay male performers coming out like their lesbian sisters? Could it be that the privilege of maleness is too important to risk giving up with an honest declaration about their lives? The wickedly funny standup Suzanne Westenhoefer was out while DeGeneres' character still suffered man troubles on the show, which means: a) the chances of her being offered her own network sitcom are slim, and b) her comedy flaunts an incisive edge that DeGeneres is just now catching up to. Her hilarious, accessible work has something to teach the latecomers, both girls and boys. The show happens at 8 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Dallas Grand Hotel, 1914 Commerce St. Tickets are $17-$25. Call (817) 924-3264.
Boys Life 2: To the question "Where are all the out gay male performers?" we might answer "Busy sticking their heads up their asses" if we use the navel-gazing collection of film shorts Boys Life 2 as a standard of judgment. Opening this weekend at the Inwood Theater, this devastatingly mediocre quartet of short films about gay male life and love is saved by Tom DeCerchio's remarkable Nunzio's Second Cousin, in which the brilliant Vincent D'Onofrio plays a Chicago cop who invites a gay basher to dinner. Comeuppance is served scaldingly hot in this little gem. Sadly, the other three films are exercises in choir-preaching. Boys Life 2 plays at Inwood and Lovers Lane. Call (214) 352-6040.
1997 Association of Volleyball Professionals Tour: Let's face it, folks--many fans of pro volleyball players like Kent Steffes, Karch Kiraly, and Mike Whitmarsh probably have to periodically remind themselves of the game, because Steffes, Kiraly, Whitmarsh, and company know how to work a tank top (or shorts without tank, as the case may be). Luckily, the temperature for the two-day 1997 Association of Volleyball Professionals Tour should be nice and toasty, perfect weather for a bunch of beach ball pros to show their best stuff--skills and otherwise. Competition is scheduled May 10, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and May 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on McKinney and Pearl St, adjacent to Crescent Court Hotel. Passes to see the competition are $10-$60. Call 1-800-432-7470.
Dirty Laundry: If the story of a trio of self-righteous busybodies who set out to destroy a relationship they disapprove of sounds familiar, it might have happened in your own life. Or, you might have read Richard Brinsley Sheridan's classic comedy School for Scandal. In either case, it's a scenario full of laughs and tears that Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre has updated in Charles C. Cole's Dirty Laundry, the tale of gossip run amok in Jazz Age Harlem. The play continues in the Jubilee-ization of scripts like Macbeth (Brother Mac) and Lysistrata (Lysistrata Please!). Performances are Friday, 8:15 p.m. and Saturday, 3:15 and 8:15 p.m. at 506 Main St, downtown Fort Worth. Tickets are $8-$14. Call (817) 338-4411.
may 12 Calman Shemi: One of Israel's most prominent visual artists emigrated to that country from Argentina in 1961 to render his visual translations of the natural world onto the canvas. The semi-abstract, brilliantly colorful, eerily familiar paintings that followed would establish the career of Calman Shemi. The Jewish Community Center of Dallas honors Israel Independence Day with a major exhibition of Shemi's work, including his lithography and laser sculpture. Shortly before the late, lamented Anwar Sadat was assassinated, he received a painting by Shemi as a gesture of the then-hopeful Middle Eastern peace process. The show runs May 8-12 at the Jewish Community Center, 7900 Northaven Rd. Call (214) 739-2737.
Selection XXX: The Best of Chris Regas: In the world of commercial art, a professional's corporate resume says everything about his reputation. Dallas-based photographer Chris Regas is included in holdings by Pepsico, Xerox, Eastman Kodak, and Merrill Lynch. But the various portraits, nudes, pictorials, and studies he's snapped in his private time over the past 30 years remain among his favorites. Regas, a founding member of the Allen Street Gallery, futzed around with infrared photography so much, his name became synonymous with the medium in the early '70s. He has continued to employ infrared techniques in his work. Regas taught college courses but currently gives private instruction to a collection of students. Photographic Archives Gallery organizes Chris Regas' second one-man show at that institution, Selection XXX: The Best of Chris Regas, which includes both traditional and conceptual imagery. The opening reception happens May 10, 10:30 a.m.; the show runs through June 7 at 5117 W. Lovers Ln. Call (214) 352-3167.
may 14 Yulin Wang: It's a shame that a painter like Yulin Wang can't launch his tart criticisms of Chinese Communism in his own land, where they're most needed, but tank tracks can be hell to get out of your clothes. So Wang settles in Texas and lets the Dallas Visual Art Center showcase his sumptuous, sometimes satirical oil canvases as part of its Mosaics series. Wang mixes Western and Eastern iconography (including sacred subjects like Mao Tse-tung) in a deliberate attempt to showcase how the two halves of human consciousness in civilization compare and contrast. His show opens with a reception May 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m., that includes a performance by the Chinese Philharmonic. The show runs through June 20 at the Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss Avenue. Call (214) 821-2522.