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Thursday, January 17, 2013

La Comedia e finita

It  seems a bit silly perhaps to comment on the closure of a bar, but given the amount of time and money that I have spent at Dallas' somewhat sleazy Drama Room over the last couple of years, perhaps a philosophical comment or two is in order.

Dallas has some twenty-odd gay bars, and since most of them are within either a few steps or a quick cab ride apart, one doesn't usually get attached to a specific watering hole. I, on the other hand, tend to have what I call a "home bar". That "Cheers" kind of place where everybody knows your name and your bartender knows that you don't like drinking straws. The Drama Room was such a place.

I liked the bartenders and the dancing boys and the general atmosphere there. It was the place where I got my vodka prescription filled. The scene of some hilariously good times and the venue at which I made some of my most dreadful missteps. Yes, I am confessing that at this point in my life, I spend too much time and money in bars.

This fact was brought home to me last night when I ran into a friend whose first words to me were: "well, I see they closed your house down. What are you going to do now?" When one's identity becomes that connected to a drinking establishment, then perhaps it is time to evaluate a bit.

Yesterday, the Drama Room closed for good. Of course, I feel sorry for the staff who are now out of a job without so much as a day's notice. But for me, perhaps this turn of events is a good thing. Although there is fun to be had in the other clubs on our famous Cedar Springs strip, none of them have quite the appeal or the crowd that I enjoyed at Drama. So to quote the song from The Color Purple, maybe God is trying to tell me something.

I will be the first to admit that I have neglected not only my fiscal responsibilities in favor of being a party boy, but I have also neglected my friends, my family, my art and my faith. In just a couple of weeks, we will have our first fund raiser for The Helios Ensemble as we resurrect a group that has been dormant for some years now. Here's my chance. Wish me luck.

And to close, fare thee well Drama Room and good luck to all your staff. It was a ride that was like the best of roller coasters: great fun, and hella scary at times. In Canio's immortal last words, la comedia e finita.

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