Arts & Entertainment

LookOut: February 2007

Getting private with Joe Watts; Jessica “Lesbian Movie Night” Wicks is published; Ann Reed scheduled for February; and more.

Joe Watts

By Nancy Ford

BEFORE YOU START THANKING THE ACADEMY.   Ask anybody with any local theatrical sense: Gay theater + Houston = Joe Watts.

For more than 35 years, Watts has produced and directed production after production, bringing Houston audience the best in GLBT theatrical entertainment via his companies, The Group (Theatre Workshop) and Theatre New West.

Among Watts’ many triumphs is the staging of Bent, with a sold-out 2004 run at Holocaust Museum Houston repeated in 2005. Watts followed that hard act late last year by staging Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, which local critics called “show-stopping and heart-stopping.” His next production, the Paul Rudnick comedy Valhalla, takes to the boards in March for a five-weekend run at Midtown Art Center. (See also OutSmart‘s profile of Watts: “Joe Watts’ High Drama,” September 2000.)

Meanwhile, Watts is shining his wattage in another direction. The respected director has announced he is currently offering private acting lessons. Watts says his course is tailored to the individual actors’ goals, whether it is a fledgling thespian learning the basics of auditioning for the first time, or a more experienced actor wishing to polish an audition piece. Details: 713/522-2204.

NORTHERLY CONGRATULATIONS. Former Houstonian and author Jessica Wicks has been published by Blythe House, the prestigious journal of GLBT fiction. Wicks’ short story, “Fear Won Out”, a dramatic tale of transgender woman’s quest for acceptance, was chosen for publication in the winter 2007 Blithe House Quarterly (

Remembered fondly as a standard bearer of the GLBT community here, Wicks hosted the once wildly popular   Lesbian Movie Night at the Houston GLBT Community Center.

Wicks now resides in Minneapolis with her wife, Robin.

NOT OUR FIRST TIME.   It’s not just a bevy of bovines or a passel of porkers. Tickets are currently on sale for the 2007 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, running February 27 through March 18 at Reliant Stadium ( Now in its 75th year, the entertainment lineup reflects the best of country music, and a whole lot more. Area offspring George Strait, Beyonce, ZZ Topp, and Clay Walker are among the many performers set to take the rodeo stage.

The now cancer-free Sheryl Crow performs on March 7, after having been sidelined from last year’s rodeo by her illness (her substitute entertainer: Melissa Etheridge ).

REED READY. After canceling her Houston concert scheduled last November due to a nasty throat, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ann Reed is back in the musical saddle. Reed performs on February 25, 7:30 p.m., at the Houston Community College Heinen Theater. Tickets are $18 at door or $16 in advance, available at

DIVA-LICIOUS. This month in its continuing series of concerts, Diva House Parties presents Sonia & Disappear Fear on February 2. Betraying the series’ title, the group performs at Super Happy Funland, 2610 Ashland in the Heights. A portion of the $10 to $12 ticket price benefits the anti-death penalty Moratorium Campaign, says producer Deborah Bell.

Upcoming Diva House Concerts host Martine Locke (April 21) and Diana Jones (May 18), both performing at Mojo Risin’ Coffee House. To order tickets, email [email protected]

AHOY, BOI! Houston Gendermyn, a group of drag king artists who have performed throughout Texas for the last couple of years, present The Love Show (think, The Love Boat ). Performers from New Orleans, Austin, and San Antonio joining the Houston kings on Friday, February 23, at Club 1415 include Pedro Asty, Big Bossy, Felix Delova, Ethan Hennessey, Pho King, Broc Lee, Aaysof Pak, Sugar Push, Gage West, and others.    

The Love Show will challenge your notions of sexuality and identity,” our gender-bending contact, Pedro Asty, tells us, inviting all to “experience gender expression in all its forms.” Doors open at 9 p.m. with the show starting at 10 p.m. Individual tickets are $10, $15 per couple.


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