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in the news/3
Volume 16/Issue 14

Bonin-Rodriguez & Friends
Salute Row Team Austin

On Tues., July 14, at 7:30pm, Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, San Antonio writer and performer of The Texas Trinity, the acclaimed trilogy of solo shows, Talk of the Town, The Bible Belt and Other Accessories and Love in the Time of College, makes a rare return appearance to Austin at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center to benefit Row Team Austin. Entitled An Evening with Paul Bonin-Rodriguez and Friends, the benefit will feature appearances by the DQ hero, Johnny, as well as more recent works by Bonin-Rodriguez new to Austin audiences.

Proceeds will help cover team expenses for RTA's voyage to Amsterdam for the International Gay Games in Aug. Tickets for the benefit performance and reception are $25 open seating and $50 reserved seating. To order tickets or for additional information please call 512.708.9303. The performance is on Zachary Scott Theatre's Arena Stage, and a reception will follow in the Arena lobby. Zachary Scott Theatre Center is located at 1510 Toomey Rd.

Appearing in Austin in 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 to packed houses at Dance Umbrella, Vortex and Planet theaters, Paul Bonin-Rodriguez' trilogy was noted by Texas Triangle Critic, the late David Mark Cohen, as "a major work of Gay performance art that both empowers and entertains." Bonin-Rodriguez has toured nationwide and in Canada with the Texas Trinity, appearing in such theaters as the Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Actor's Theater of Louisville, and the Dallas Theater Center. He was voted as best performance artist by the Austin Critic's Table in 1993, Best Actor by the Dallas Critic's Circle in 1997, the same year he was named first Tennessee Williams Fellow at the University of the South. Both Love in the Time of College and The Great Chitlin' Debate earned San Antonio theater awards as "Best New Play," in 1994 and 1997, respectively.

Other "friends" of the evening include: excerpts from the popular solo comedy, The Great Chitlin' Debate, written with and performed by San Antonio actress Kitty Williams, which San Express-News Theater Critic Diane Windeler called "a thoughtful, often hilarious exploration of racial stereotyping and bigotry;" recent dance works from the Bonin-Rodriguez-directed dance company, B'Alamo Performance Co., featuring dancers, Georgina Morgan, Aida Zorrilla, Kara Short, S.T. Shimi, Marcus Cerda and guest artist D. Patton White; and, a two-male tango/trapeze duet with Bonin-Rodriguez and White titled "Two, Too, To," which the artists have recently begun touring. (Bonin-Rodriguez is a former dancer with Austin Ballet Theater).

For more information about RTA call: 512. 708.9303 or visit the website: www.rowteamaustin.org. For more information about Gay Games visit: www.gaygames.org.


"Billy Opens His Closet For LIFEbeat" Big Success

Totem International, the U. S. distributors and marketers of the Billy and Carlos dolls, originally created in Amsterdam but manufactured in England, has announced the results of "Billy Opens His Closet for LIFEbeat," a charity exhibition-auction with all proceeds donated to LIFEbeat -The Music Industry Fights AIDS, an event which took place in New York on June 2.

billy One-of-a-kind Billy dolls were dressed by international fashion designers and auctioned by Christie's Auction House. Participating designers included fashion superstars such as Calvin Klein, Gianni Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Paul Smith and Christian Lacroix, corporate brand names such as Levi Strauss, Fila, Stussy, Diesel and Gay fashion icons such as Tom of Finland and Raymond Dragon. TV crews from around the world covered the event with resulting coverage on CNN, BBC, ABC, Access Hollywood and Fox news. Foreign TV stations from Japan, Russia and Europe were also present.

Billy dressed by Jean Paul Gaultier brought in $4,500 at recent LIFEbeat AIDS auction in NYC.

Money raised from the sale of the designer Billy reached an incredible $60,000, the top selling Billy, dressed in an outfit from Jean Paul Gaultier's Couture Line for Men, sold for an amazing $4,500. This was closely followed by the Tommy Hilfiger Billy selling for $4,000 and the Versace Billy, once owned by Gianni Vesace, selling for $3,500. Every designer Billy was sold.

The total philanthropic effort surrounding the event reached an incredible $250,000. When considering the sales of the music CD "Out And About With Billy," which is now on general release in such stores as Tower and Virgin Records, and the Billy Soda, "Billy Pop," sold nationwide and to have a heavy presence at the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival, LIFEbeat has informed Totem that they expect to raise close to $425,000 from the event this year.

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