Monday, August 4, 2008

An Evening with Dolly Parton

I only became aware of Dolly Parton's appeal as a gay icon last summer. She's in that elite pantheon of women with what I'll call crossover appeal - Cher, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler amongst them. Gay men love Dolly Parton - who knew? I don't know if I wasn't paying attention or whether it just never occured for me to make the connection between prolific drag show impersonations and gay icon status, but whatever the reason my ignorance was lifted.

Had I not learned about Dolly last summer, I would have learned last night. I may have been the only single, straight man in the audience. I went to the concert because I have an unnatural predilection for country music, especially the classics - Waylon, Willie, Johnny, Kenny, etc. but something tells me that most of the audience would not have bothered to consider that possibility. Only in LA, I thought, could I find an audience of real cowboys, wannabe cowboys and gay cowboys (and not a fist fight the whole night).

Other than the usual traffic getting to the Greek Theatre, it was one of the best concert experiences I've had. First, I won the stacked parking lottery. Somehow they placed me in the coveted front row. When I left that night I didn't have to wait for another soul. I just started up, dropped gently over the curb and out into the street. Second, I had a great seat. Not only was it relatively close, but I was on an aisle and no one ever filled the seat next to me. I couldn't have been happier unless I was sitting on my own couch. Third, while milling in line to get out of the theatre, I saw a familiar face standing next to me and after she spoke I realized I was walking along side Deana Carter. I know, I know, you don't know who she is, but I do and that's what's important. Finally, it was a great concert. Dolly knows how to put on a show (she also knows how to play fiddle, dulcimer, autoharp, guitar, piano, harmonica and some sort of Celtic flute). She told stories, chatted with members of the audience including a 4 year old girl down in the pit and she told jokes (good and bad and many involving boobs - I can't imagine why).

So ends my summer concert series - a shame really, I was just starting to have fun.

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