Events for the week

Page 3 of 3

december 28
Jim Bailey: You can't spit these days without hitting a (presumably) heterosexual male box office star showing how he's so secure with his masculinity, he'll gladly learn to tease a wig and walk in high heels for a few laughs. This phenomenon really is a question of financial, not sexual, security, since Mrs. Doubtfire netted well over $200 million and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert has become this year's runaway art-house hit. Here's a little secret from inside the community that turned drag into an art form, in the interest of educating hetero consumers to make smart entertainment choices: there are two kinds of drag, the really good and the really terrible. And unfortunately, there's a lot more of the latter than the former. Men putting on a dress is only inspired when they create a character to go with it--when they actually take a cultural risk and attempt to become the opposite sex in as much performance detail as possible. Caking on foundation and base, bitching at the audience, and lip-synching to Diana Ross ballads isn't artistry, it's tedious. There's a wide chasm between Robin Williams in the aforementioned Mrs. Doubtfire, a mediocre movie lifted by Williams' carefully studied turn as a crotchety old British nanny, and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior, a wretched flick made even more appalling by the Austrian Republican's lazy, Milton Berle-esque walk-on in a frock. It's also the difference between the thousands of drag artists who ape diva Barbra Streisand and Jim Bailey, who's taken the time not only to adopt the minutest details of her mannerisms with uncanny accuracy, but develop a singing voice that rivals the original. If you still say, "What's the point?" then you've read too far. Jim Bailey performs December 27 through December 30 at 8 pm and December 31 at 8 and 10:30 pm at the Playhouse at Park Cities, 6719 Snider Plaza. Tickets are $25-$40. For more information call 691-7469.

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Jimmy Fowler