Gay Humbug! One of the holidays’ most predictable traditions is the telling and re-telling—and re-retelling—of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, A Christmas Carol. Since its initial publishing in 1843, the play has been interpreted by such disparate live-action and cartoon characters as Vanessa Williams, Bill Murray, Jim Carrey, Mickey Mouse, The Muppets, The Flintstones, Bugs Bunny, Rich Little, Henry Winkler, George C. Scott, Tori Spelling, Patrick Stewart, and even Mr. Magoo. • This season, Unhinged Productions stages yet another version with A Queer Carol, a very different, very gay twist on the holiday parable about the true meaning of Christmas. • Self-professed Carol fanatic, show director Joe Angel Babb tells OutSmart he was initially hesitant to stage this modern adaptation—“It’s a dramedy,” he says—despite Unhinged Productions’ reputation for presenting edgy works. But the prevalent theme of Dickens’ original story—the consequences of bullying compared to the rewards of a charitable heart—translates deftly to a 21st-century setting, Babb adds. • Scrooge and Jacob Marley? In A Queer Carol, they aren’t employer/employee but, rather, life partners whose family business is interior design. Tiny Tim? Here, he’s not Bob Cratchitt’s crippled son, but is HIV-positive. Throw in a Marilyn Monroe representing the Ghost of Christmas Past and other not-so-straight characterizations, and we have the ingredients for quite the queer Yule. Through December 20. Recommended for adults, based on language and content. Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation Blvd. • comeunhinged.com • 832/250-7786.
The Little Dog Laughed. A movie star won’t stay in the closet. Through December 12. Theater LaB Houston, 1706 Alamo St. • theaterlabhouston.com • 713/868-7516.
Connecting Memories. Montrose Counseling Center presents its annual Paper Chain of Remembrance displayed in the center’s lobby throughout the month of December. The chain is compromised of strips of paper bearing messages of hope and encouragement to those with HIV/AIDS. December 1—31. 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org.
Ask and Tell. Local AIDS service, business, and arts organizations commemorate World AIDS Day 2010 with Fierce Productions’ You Better Ask Somebody by Dallas playwright Saleemah Jones. Community partners from supporting agencies discuss HIV/AIDS services. $20 benefits HIV awareness activities. December 4, 8 p.m. St. John’s United Methodist Church, 2019 Crawford St. • worldaidsdayhouston.com.
Hollywood Glamour. Bayou City Boys Club breaks out the red carpet for its annual holiday party featuring a toy drive and art show. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy or a donation of $30. Lana Blake hosts. Benefits AIDS Foundation Houston. December 5, 4 p.m. Bering Art Collective, 805 Rhode Place, Suite 500 • junglehouston.com.
Judy, Judy, Judy. The women of Kindred Spirits Foundation present the grand finale of their 30th-anniversary year: the 3rd Annual Judy Garland Christmas Show & Sing-Along. Grab a couch and enjoy this ultra-campy, black-and-white television special from 1963 starring Judy, Liza, dancing Santas, and more, comedically narrated by OutSmart’s Nancy Ford. In addition to raffling a 46” SONY Bravia LCD TV, the evening also offers a sumptuous holiday buffet, silent auction, and special music. Benefits Kindred Spirits Foundation’s women’s charities. December 5, 5–8 p.m. Meteor Lounge (2306 Genesee St.). $20 in advance and online; $25 at the door. Limited reserved couch seating available for $50. Tickets available from Kindred Spirits Foundation board members and kindredspiritshouston.org.
Fight Bullying. Responding to the multiple incidences of suicide plaguing bullied youth, HATCH, Montrose Counseling Center, and the Southern Poverty Law Center present a screening of the short film Bullied: A Student, a School, and a Case that Made History. A discussion follows the film. December 7, 6:30 p.m. GLBT Cultural Center, Montrose Counseling Center, 401 Branard St.
Chat ’n’ Chew. A2-40-euphoria.com gets together for socializing and networking the second Friday of each month. December 10, 7:30 p.m. Zim’s Martini & Wine Bar, 4321 Montrose Blvd. • a2-40-euphoria.com • 713/521-2002.
A Joyful Ringing in Our Ears. Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston, Bayou City Women’s Chorus, and Bayou City Chorale—all three slices of the great pie that is Bayou City Performing Arts—take part in Hear the Bells: A Holiday Card from Houston. Joining BCPA onstage that night for a yuletide concert that includes Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Christmas Oratorio” are the Houston Medical Center Orchestra, KIPP Sharp Singers children’s chorus, and the United Nations Association International Chorus. December 14, 7:30 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. • bayoucityperformingarts.org.
Transformers. Boston Bostian, Mel Reiff Hill, and Jay Mays have penned The Gender Book, a new book that aims to “transform communities one gender at a time.” Join the authors for a discussion of gender and many of its implications and applications. December 16. Sedition Books, 901 Richmond Ave. • thegenderbook.com.
For At-Risk Youth. S.A.F.E. and Open Gate host a Christmas benefit concert featuring musical duo Jason and deMarco, with an after-concert reception and a silent auction. December 18, 1 p.m. Bering United Methodist Church, 1440 Harold St. • safehouseforall.org.
Bethel Church UCC holds its annual Christmas Eve Service. December 24, 7:30 p.m. 1107 Shepherd • bethelhouston.org • 713/861-6670.
Need a Date? The LGBTs of Northwest Corner return to Sandtrap Grill for a New Year’s Eve Gay-La. The party offers appetizers, party favors, gift bags, and dancing to the music of DJ Joy De La O; guests get to keep the commemorative champagne glass after the midnight champagne toast. December 31, 9 p.m. 7900 N. Sam Houston Pkwy W. • nwcorner.org.
Weekend-long New Year’s Celebration. Houston Marriot Energy Corridor Hotel, which opened earlier this year, is the site of the Regale NYE 2011 Bash. Guests are invited to enjoy the open bar, a champagne toast at midnight, heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, a “money balloon” drop, gift bags, and dance music spun by DJ Relentless. December 31, 9 p.m. with the after party at 3 a.m. The fun continues with Martinis & Massages & More, a New Year’s Day party, January 1, 6 p.m. offering specials on full-body massages or 10-minute chair massages, sweet treats from the Chocolate Bar, and jazz music by the Best Known Unknowns. 16011 Katy Frwy. • a2-40-euphoria.com.
Transformative New Year. Make a wish for the New Year at the GenderMyn New Year Brunch, offering a traditional menu of black-eyed peas, cabbage, hush puppies, mimosas, and some not-so-traditional drag. January 1, noon–3 p.m. 2811 Washington Ave. • houstongendermyn.com.