Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER Dot-Marie Jones talks Goodman production, 'Glee,' 'Bros'
by Andrew Davis
2024-02-12

This article shared 6830 times since Mon Feb 12, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Running through Feb. 18 at the the Goodman Theatre, the production Highway Patrol works with a script conceived entirely from Emmy-winning actor Dana Delany's (TV's China Beach) digital archive of hundreds of tweets and direct messages

There are only three actors featured in the thriller, with one of the others being three-time Emmy nominee Dot-Marie Jones (TV's Glee; the movie Bros). Jones recently talked with Windy City Times about Glee, cold temperatures and being part of the LGBTQ+ community—as well as once playing a character named Lady Battleaxe.

NOTE: This conversation was edited for clarity and length.

Windy City Times: I imagine you're doing a lot better now that you did when you first landed in Chicago [from California], when it was -400 degrees.

Dot-Marie Jones: You know what? I loved it! I would walk every night for four or five blocks from the theater. It was incredible.

I worked at an ice-cream plant when I was in my early 20s, and it was 20 below in there. It would either get your heart going or it would stop it! [Interviewer laughs.]

WCT: Talking about your career a little, you started with an American Gladiators connection.

D-MJ: Yes. Shirley Eson played Sky on [that show] and she was a bodybuilder who's still in incredible shape. We had met because I used to do deadlifting exhibitions at bodybuilding shows, and we became friends. She got down to LA and told me about these auditions they were having for a new show that was similar to American Gladiators but was medieval-themed; it was named Knights and Warriors.

WCT: I remember seeing you on that.

D-MJ: Yeah—I played Lady Battleaxe. [Laughs]

WCT: Did you come up with that name?

D-MJ: Oh, God no. But I loved it, though. I was working in juvenile probation at the time, because that's what I had gone to school for. I came down to audition and I got one of the four spots for women—and several hundred women had auditioned. We did the pilot and they say you never know how that's going to go, so I went back to Fresno to work. But we ended up shooting 26 more episodes. I said, "This is more fun than I ever had." If Shirley hadn't told me about those auditions, I wouldn't be doing this right now.

WCT: Of course, a lot of people associate you with Glee. What are one or two things you learned about yourself or the business from being on that show?

D-MJ: It was reiterated that if it weren't for fans, none of us would have a job. It's something I say every day; you take the time to say hello to people. I was so thankful for the fan base that show had, and still has. Glee fans are diehard and I love that. Fans say, "We've seen the whole series four or five times" and I say, "You have a lot of time on your hands." [Interviewer laughs.] But it truly is amazing. They're just full of love.

But [Jones' character of Coach] Bieste had a very different character on there—from the domestic abuse to the transitioning at the end of season six. Unfortunately, we all know someone who's been through abuse or something like that. You pull from different things—and it was very emotional. And the transitioning was even more emotional; the choir that was on that episode that I sing with was [entirely] trans. There were 200 trans men and women from across the [country]; it was overwhelming. I think I cried the whole way home—the gratitude and appreciation. To portray a trans man on that show was overwhelming.

WCT: And speaking of representation, there was the movie Bros. Some people criticized it for not being a success at the box office—although it may become a cult classic—but wasn't it successful on some level in terms of representation?

D-MJ: I think it'll be a cult classic, too. But, yeah, it was successful, on that level. Universal [Pictures] stepped up and [a movie like that] had never been done before; the majority of the cast and crew were LGBTQ+. It was so much fun; I think it took us three days to shoot the scenes in the boardroom. I love Billy [Eichner] and Judd Apatow; I'd do anything for them.

WCT: So, without revealing too much, how would you describe the plot of Highway Patrol?

D-MJ: Dana Delany befriends a 13-year-old boy online who has had several medical issues, and I portray his "nan," or grandmother. And it takes you on a roller-coaster; you have no idea where you're going and sometimes you question where you just were. To hear the audience's response is so gratifying because you hear them getting it. And I think Dana is so brave because it's so personal. A lot of it is just overwhelming. I talk with people after the show and they're, like, "Oh, my God—that was incredible. At first, I didn't know what the hell was going on and I'm not sure I do now but the play was fabulous," I'm, like, "That's a good answer!"

WCT: Had you worked with Dana Delany before?

D-MJ: No. I met her back in May, I believe. I had sent in a tape and I met with Dana and director/co-creator Mike Donahue, and sort of did a workshop in LA. I just loved these people and I was praying I'd get the role. When I did, I was obviously very happy. I love working with her.

WCT: I'm going to ask you a question I've asked several other people: For you, what is like to be part of the LGBTQ+ community in today's America?

D-MJ: I think there is a lot more acceptance—and I hate using that word. There just is, as it should be. I've always just lived my life; that's why it's called a private life. If you're in my circle, you know; if you're not, then you really don't need to know. It shouldn't matter if you're gay, straight or whatever—it should not matter. Just be a good person. There are a couple states with anti-LGBTQ+ laws, like Texas and Florida, but I didn't want to go there before those laws came along, although I've been to Texas for work.

For more about Highway Patrol, visit www.goodmantheatre.org .


This article shared 6830 times since Mon Feb 12, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Oklahoma non-binary student dies after being assaulted
2024-02-21
Officials acknowledged there are unresolved questions about a 16-year-old non-binary Oklahoma student who died one day after a fight in a high school bathroom, NBC News noted. Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Billy Elliot, The Musical
2024-02-19
Book and Lyrics: Lee Hall; Music: Elton John. At: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora Tickets: 630-896-6666 or Paramountaurora.com; $28-$79. Runs through March 24 Billy Elliot: The Musical may nearly be two decades old, but ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted to host trans youth & family summit
2024-02-19
Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., has announced that its Trans Youth & Family Summit 2024 will take place March 16. This year marks the sixth annual event, which partners between Youth Services' Pride Youth ...


Gay News

'West Side Story' gets a sex-positive spin with new burlesque show
2024-02-19
In partial observance of National Condom Day, which was Feb. 14, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) presented A West Side Story Burlesque at the Harris Theater for two hour-long performances on Feb. 17. The show, ...


Gay News

Second Glance Productions hosts LGBTQupid Soiree
2024-02-16
In celebration of Valentine's Day, Chicago based film and media production company Second Glance hosted The LBGTQupid Soiree. The event, which was focused on spinning attitudes on this particular day, was presented at The iO ...


Gay News

WORLD South Africa murder, lesbian couple, Brianna Ghey, Eurovision
2024-02-16
In South Africa, LGBTQ+-rights groups condemned the brutal murder of Diego Jacobs, a queer man in Cape Town, The Washington Blade reported. Reports indicate Jacobs, 21, was brutally murdered (reportedly by a former neighbor) on Feb. ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Utah board member, Baths founder dies, Fla. protests, DoJ equity plan
2024-02-16
Utah's Republican governor and lieutenant governor urged the State Board of Education to take action against a conservative board member whose social-media post questioning the gender of a high school basketball player incited threats against the ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign report releases new data on experiences of Black queer youth
2024-02-14
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a report in ...


Gay News

Col. Jennifer Pritzker comments on military museum move
2024-02-13
Local transgender philanthropist Col. Jennifer Pritzker commented to Windy City Times about the impending move of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library (PMML), which she founded in 2003, to Wisconsin. "At the end of the day, ...


Gay News

Carisa Hendrix mesmerizes as Lucy Darling in Teatro ZinZanni
2024-02-12
Since 2019, Teatro ZinZanni has gathered together amazing performers from all over the world to create an experience in Chicago under the Spiegeltent in the Cambria Hotel building, 32 W. Randolph St. Over the years, ticket ...


Gay News

Coalition of LGBTQ+ advocates, health care providers release Project RAINBOW report
2024-02-12
--From a press release - SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A coalition of more than two dozen LGBTQ+ advocate organizations and health care providers are releasing a new report aimed at addressing the challenges and discrimination that ...


Gay News

Republicans file bill to ban trans women from U.S. Olympic teams
2024-02-12
Republicans in both houses of Congress have launched another effort to ban transgender women and girls from female sports teams—and this time, they are attempting to ban trans women from competing on U.S. Olympic teams ahead ...


Gay News

New US Trans Survey highlights importance of gender-affirming care and societal acceptance
2024-02-11
After surveying 92,329 people in 2022, the early insights gleaned from the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey (USTS) have been released—and they highlight just how much impact gender-affirming care can have. The USTS, which was last completed ...


Gay News

Dr. Lady J explains how opera can be a drag
2024-02-10
On Feb. 8, Center on Halsted, in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago, presented a lecture by historian, drag activist, podcaster and curator Dr. Lady J. The event, titled "Castrated Superstars, Cross Dressed Divas, and Queer ...


Gay News

Quantum Leap reboot springs into LGBTQ+ representation
2024-02-09
Through the magic of television, Quantum Leap is once again jumping into the past to bounce back into the future—and in a recent episode, "The Family Trasure," non-binary artist and performer Wilder Yuri and writer Shakina ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.