Provincetown, Mass. – The countdown is on for the tenth-anniversary celebration of Girl Splash, the epic summer event for women in Provincetown. From July 18-22 ProvincetownForWomen.com presents a fun-filled schedule of events featuring parties, performers, special land and sea activities, plus everything that makes Provincetown so special in summer. New for the tenth anniversary is a foodie tour, a garden party, an inn stroll, movies under the stars, and a day-long tour of Cape Cod.
The unique offerings include Girl Splash Idol; a traditional Cape Cod Clambake on the Beach; relaxing at one of the few lesbian beaches in the country; an all-lesbian sunset Champagne Sail, Dune Tour and Sunset Beach Fire, and more.
Provincetown, Mass. – For the second consecutive year, women from all over the planet will converge on Provincetown to proclaim their love at Bride Pride, a group wedding and renewal ceremony scheduled to take place on July 22 during Girl Splash. Award-winning political humorist Kate Clinton will perform the ceremony.
If there are at least 100 couples, the brides will become part of recorded history. The pro-ducers have applied to Guinness Book of World Records in an effort to capture the title for World’s Largest All-Girl Wedding.
The event will take place on the grounds of historic Pilgrim Monument at High Pole Hill Road at 11am. Advance registration is required, visit www.rouxprovincetown.com/bride-pride. l
Buenos Aires, Argentina - A vacation to Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, is highly recommended for a quick relief to ease away the stress. Especially with the recent announcement that foreign visitors will now be refunded the VAT (value added tax) paid on hotel services using foreign debit or credit cards throughout Argentina.
It should be no surprise that Buenos Aires, the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, is one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world. Strung along the Rio de la Plata, this city brimming with Latin sensuality and European sophistication has much to offer the LGBT traveler, from luxurious, welcoming hotels and restaurants where beef reigns supreme, to exciting nightlife where visitors can dance to techno or learn the sultry tango.
KANSAS CITY - The Respectful Prostitute, directed by James Weber, is showing at the 2017 KC Fringe Festival on July 22, 25, 27, and 29 at the Unicorn Theatre’s Jerome Stage. This social commentary about corrupt politics, homosexual oppression, the power of white privilege, and the criminalization of black men was written by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1946 and blatantly addresses the suffocating racial tension, gender bias, sexual oppression, and stereotyping of the era.
She&Her Productions’ adaptation takes place in a present-day setting, but only had to be slightly altered for modernity, because these seemingly-antiquated circumstances are still entirely relevant.
The first character seen is THE PROSTITUTE, who has just moved to Montgomery, Ala. She’s found a new client and things are looking up . . . until THE NEGRO starts banging on her door. He’s being chased by an angry mob and is wanted by law enforcement for the crime of a white man, a crime she bore witness to - and, though she wants to be a good person, she refuses to help him.
“Please, ma’am, please. Please tell them that I didn’t do anything.”
The production features local Kansas City actors Jennifer Coville, Cori Anne Weber, Stevie Haynes, and Peter Leondedis, and will incorporate multimedia projections to help convey its message of introspection and social accountability. The play contains sensitive-yet-necessary content that many will find disturbing and is not appropriate for young audiences. Tickets are $10 in addition to the one-time purchase of the $5 Fringe Festival admission button.
Visit www.rpfringekc.wordpress.com for show times. More info at www.sheandherproductions.com.
LAWRENCE - The roles have been cast, the sets are being built, the costumes are being stitched, and tickets are now on sale for Michael Timothy Dieker’s new musical Run, playing Saturday, July 29 at 7:30pm at Maceli’s, 1031 New Hampshire St., in Lawrence.
Run is a never before seen take on the classic heroes journey, with colorful comic book settings and characters, as well as plenty of nods and winks to some favorites in tights (with or without capes), but telling an unforgettable story about a group of regular people learning to survive, create, and fall in love in the aftermath of traumas past and present, and trying to be or become heroes in their own lives.
Dieker has partnered with the Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center for this event in an effort to join the fight and help spread awareness about sexual trauma and abuse, its effects on victim survivors, what can be done to help support them, and what can be done to foster a culture of consent in the community.
From every $15 ticket sold, $14.25 will go directly to the Care Center.
Run explores topics not expected in a musical, like mental health, suicide, sexual assault and abuse, but it always brings things back to a light and colorful comic book place. Its message is one of hope, family, and human resilience.
The cast includes Timothy Burns, Skye Reid, Andrew Ramaley, Mario Bonilla, Jacob Liles, Alice Dale, Jimmy Uhlemeyer, Scott Olcott, Christian Johanning, and Michael Timothy Dieker.
Tickets are on sale at https://macelis.ecwid.com/Run-the-Musical-p83533731. l
By Grayson Barnes
WICHITA - The Smell of the Kill, by Michelle Lowe, was John Dalton-White’s directorial debut at Wichita Community Theatre (WCT).
After originally premiering in Cleveland, Ohio in 1999, in 2002 it showed at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway. It went on for a surprising 40 performances. I say “surprising,” because there isn’t much to work with. Dalton-White and his crew did their best, nonetheless.
The story is about three women, Nicky, Molly, and Debra, who are cleaning up after dinner in the kitchen of Nicky’s 1.2 million-dollar home. They are together ONLY because their husbands are college buddies. Notably absent are the menfolk, whose hyper-masculine bellows occasionally toll from another room.
The boisterousness of the bro-bonding is perfect audible cover for the gals to discuss their marital dissatisfaction. The guys play parlor golf, break things, torture the cat, and toss their (golf) balls into the kitchen at their wives when there is no dessert.
The women are Barbie-types with actual barbs. They variously pair up and claw at the wayward third who wanders off-stage to attend to the husbands’ or an unseen baby’s needs. Collectively the trio swipe at their husbands. Except for Debra.
Nicky’s husband has been accused of embezzling seven million dollars (his “moral limit”) and awaits trial. Molly’s husband hasn’t slept with her in years, yet is pathologically stalker-ish. He shows up unexpectedly at her “ladies who lunch” moments and gave Molly a watch with an alarm set for every two hours so she can call him.
Regardless, she wants a baby, so blushingly innocent Molly managed to have an affair in spite of her helicopter husband.
Dutiful Debra claims to love her man. Will she to stick to that, even when the boys get conveniently trapped in the new meat freezer (for all Nicky’s husband’s deer) in the basement? It just happens to have a persnickety lock. What should the women do?
The action takes place solely in the kitchen/great room. For the story, it had to be upscale enough to give us the sensibility that the existence of these people was at least bordering Original Housewives level. Bob Lancaster, the set designer, did that with his muted gray and white scheme. It gave the area the feel of stateliness, but provided a neutral backdrop for the actors. He also included a pantry clearly visible to the audience for a few moments of “set humor.”
The difficulty at the small WCT is making a space large enough for a script which requires large emotional movement from the actors. They needed enough room to roil about without caroming into pieces or each other. Lancaster’s construction deftly met the variables.
Charlene Grinsell played Nicky. Her physical intensity was understated yet comedic. She constantly threatened to boil over and make a very bad mess on the stove, but cleaned up after a few drips and simmered some more.
Jessica Heidrick was Molly. She remained the adroitly doe-eyed “straight man,” (ala Betty White) even after providing us with her revelation.
While Nicky was ready to roil, Darian Leatherman’s Debra was an expertly gossipy yet stolid “church lady.” Debra was the broadest character in the bunch. Leatherman kept herself just holier-than-thou enough to make us believe she wasn’t going to budge off her bit of moral high ground.
When Debra (Leatherman) confessed her philandering husband had kicked her out of HER house, she decided he should freeze too. It was a startling change-up when Leatherman carried this off without giving this “turn around” moment in the play away too soon – a nicely sweet treat in what was thin fare as far as the play itself.
As to that, The Smell of the Kill is a collection of differences slightly above and below a line of “tepid.” It is measured, yet not terribly deep. It is threatening, but forgettable. Its premise is plausible, although the narrowness of the characters and their reasoning makes the punch-line predictable.
The Smell of the Kill is funny, however only mildly and not genuinely. It is 80 minutes with no intermission, which instead of keeping me captivated, made me feel captive. This is utterly the fault of the writing, not the actors.
A funny, thoughtful, well-articulated play would have surprised, entertained, and amused us right up to the end. In The Smell of the Kill, however, about halfway through, we know exactly what’s going down. I wish Dalton-White had a bit more to work with on his first round at WCT. The actors also deserve some extra applause for seeing it through.
For future shows at WCT, visit www.wichitact.org. l
By Jamie Rhodes
WICHITA - A common question I get walking around with my dog, Dixon, is, “So do you train dogs? Are you going to give him up once he’s trained?” The reason for this question: Dixon wears a vest because he is my service dog. These questions remind me of when I get my free meal at Applebee’s on Veterans Day (I’m an Air Force veteran). I’m often overlooked while the older gentleman wearing the “Vietnam Veteran” hat is asked by the hostess, “Are you a veteran?” then is seated before me while the other male veterans get a “thank you for your service.”
This, unfortunately, proves people still judge others from the outside. Perhaps it’s because I’m still young, I don’t have a prosthetic, or perhaps it’s because I’m a female.
Due to MST (Military Sexual Trauma), I deal with anxiety and depression that is heightened in certain settings, circumstances and situations. On the outside, I may go about my day-to-day activities just like any normal woman, but what others don’t see, is the battle and struggle I deal with in my thoughts on a day-to-day basis.
In Wichita alone, nearly 66,000 veterans suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Almost half of those veterans have applied, or are on a two-year waiting list, for a service dog.
Per the Veterans Affairs, in 2014 approximately 20 veterans committed suicide each day. 18% of all deaths from suicide among U.S. adults were veterans. Currently, no suicides are known among those veterans who own a service dog. Service dogs can help lower stress and anxiety for those who have PTSD and those who have a need for medication.
The current cost to train a certified service dog can be over $18,000. Tony Turner and Chip Neumann founded Midwest Battle Buddies (MWBB) in 2015. They are a non-profit organization created to help veterans with a certified service dog for very little to no out-of-pocket expense. Most dogs are acquired with the help of local animal shelters and paired with veterans while the veteran trains the dog, with the assistance of the trainer.
Neumann, and dog trainer and owner of Canine Companion Kollege, Tammy Hazlett, work closely with the teams to ensure proper training. “I hope to change the laws and standards for service dogs to make it much harder for a dog to be certified,” Hazlett said, “and make it illegal to have one of these substandard animals as a service dog. Our veterans train their dogs for months, and more, to be certified. It takes a great deal of work from them to get to that point…the idea that some people belittle this commitment and do not follow through with the hard work and commitment our veterans do to be certified, is disrespectful and should not be tolerated.
“My goal as the trainer is to help the veterans train their dogs for their specific needs as service dogs and to give them ongoing support with any changes to their health and specific needs. I want to find the best possible match for the veterans so that bond between the dog and them is strong and they work together as a team. My end goal is for every veteran to be able to get out and enjoy the freedom they fought so hard for with the help of their Battle Buddy.”
Currently, MWBB has five teams that make up the beginners group, four certified teams, which includes myself and dog, Dixon, and Navy veteran, Ken Bower and his Husky, Keno. Bower has PTSD and is a survivor of the USS Cole Bombing. There are seven in the advanced group including Combat Gulf War Navy veteran, Jennifer Trzicky, who suffers from PTSD, agoraphobia and is also a survivor of MST: “Since I have been with Midwest Battle Buddies, I am able to get my life and freedom back. I can go out because my [service] dog, Houdini, has my six. Not only have I been getting better, but have met great heroes like myself to bond with. I am becoming whole again.”
“I have been told that not only have our veterans been able to greatly reduce their medication, but in some cases the veterans have told me they would not be here today without the program,” Neumann said.
MWBB is having a fundraiser July 17 at Crestview Country Club. For more information, or to donate, visit Midwest Battle Buddies, Inc. or Chip Neumann on Facebook. l