The Austin Chronicle

Gay Place

Love Jones brings queer black romance to the stage

By Sarah Marloff, February 2, 2018, Columns

The love stories of black queer men are rarely told. On Saturday, for one night only, Joe Anderson Jr. of the Mahogany Project and Tje Austin will bring this often silenced narrative to the Cheer Up Charlies stage with their latest show Love Jones. Anderson, who wrote Love Jones, says this won't be your "traditional" theatrical experience. Instead, the two stars have weaved together music and poetry into a tale of budding romance between two black men. The show's creation began last summer, after a Mahogany Project fan noted just how rare it is to see queer, black love (especially between men) portrayed onstage. Now, a week before the show's debut, Anderson's hopes Love Jones gives the younger generation of QPOC men a love story relevant to their experiences. He says his intention is to "give my younger self a show that inspired me to be comfortable with falling in love with another black queer man." So why just one night? Love Jones, and its hybrid style, will be the test run to see if the format can be replicated. The goal, however, is to turn Love Jones into a "series with the Mahogany Project working with other artists and their mediums to tell a story."


Lizzy Caroloke Queertastic karaoke. Thu., Feb. 1, 8pm-12mid. Radio Coffee & Beer, 4204 Manchaca Rd. Free.

Raise Her Voice Get excited for this showcase of creative and innovative women artists of Texas. 18 and up welcome. Thu., Feb. 1, 8pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $5, $10 for minors.

UnBEARable vs. Die Felicia It's a battle of the babes. Bulimianne and Chique welcome Louisianna Purchase and Zane Zena for a crazy night of cross-pollinating drag shows. Thu., Feb. 1, 10:30pm. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth.

Proxemics: A Queer Art Exhibit An unrestricted and unapologetic art exhibit that "examines how a body may be critiqued or claimed, presented or perceived." Fri., Feb. 2, 5-8pm; Sat.-Sun., noon-5pm. MASS Gallery, 507 Calles #108.

HavenCon Grand Illusionist Semifinals Catch 14 cosplay performers vying for the HavenCon finals at this second annual illusionist event. Fri., Feb. 2, 8pm-1am. Elysium, 705 Red River. $5 suggested donation.

Synth Deux Soleil Vaudeville-inspired acts with cotton candy and tarot readings. Fri., Feb. 2, 8pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $5.

Fashion & Justice A daylong workshop on the role fashion plays in marginalized and racialized communities. Expect artwork, partial film screenings, review of relevant literature, and speakers. Sat., Feb. 3, 10am-5:30pm. The Contemporary Austin, 700 Congress. $30.

The Mahogany Project presents: Love Jones, Vol. I The Mahogany Project unveils its latest work combining music and prose to tell the story of black men loving black men. One night only. Sat., Feb. 3, 7-10pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $13.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Dine out in homes across town for the 21st annual fundraiser. This meal (and dessert and bubbly afterparty starting at 9:30pm) helps the org serve Austinites living with HIV/AIDS. Sat., Feb. 3, 7:30-11:30pm. Various locations; reception at Thinkery, 1830 Simond. $125.

Burlesque to the Future! Black Widow Burlesque and Boiz of Austin unite for a Back to the Future-themed show of burlesque, boylesque, drag kings, and queens. Sat., Feb. 3, 8:30pm. The North Door, 502 Brushy. $15-80.

Gear Night A safe space to wear whatever turns ya on. All are welcome, but check any salty comments with the clothes at the door. Sat., Feb. 3, 10pm. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth.

Pet Play: Pet Adoption Charity Event BT2's fifth annual Austin Humane Society fundraiser featuring pet-inspired drag, yer host Kelly Kline, and a live auction. Sat., Feb. 3, 10pm. Bout Time II, 6607 N. I-35.

Bark Brunch Yard Bar and DJ GirlFriend team up for your fave new dog-oriented brunch. Look for special guest DJ Bob Barker (aka Jack the dachshund). Sun., Feb. 4, 11am-2pm. Yard Bar, 6700 Burnet Rd.

Authentic Relating Games Play some games, meet other queers, strengthen community bonds. LGBTQIA folks only. Sun., Feb. 4, 5-8pm. Guan Yin Tea House, 4706 N. I-35.

Stop Drag’in My Heart Around Miss Pink Flamingo 2018, Viola DeGradable-Debris hosts. Guest performers include Drag Race star Mystique Summers, NYC's Mahoganny, and more. Sun., Feb. 4, 9-11pm. Bout Time II, 6607 N. I-35.

It’s a TRAP Tuesday Gotta dance? GirlFriend's February CUC residency will make moves. Tuesdays, 10pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. Free.

LGBTQ Health Equity Listening Session LGBTQ Quality of Life Advisory Commissioner Brandon Wollerson hosts a working group to develop priorities for the commission. Food provided. Wed., Feb. 7, 6-7:30pm. 1000 E. 11th.

Mini Makeup Class A safe and supportive class for trans and nonbinary folks to explore and experiment with the magical world of makeup. Wed., Jan. 3, 7-9pm. Coco Coquette, 2109 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/344-9173. Free.

Queer Film Theory 101 Austin queers talk hetero Hollywood and its queer influences. Wed., Jan. 3, 8pm. Barrel O' Fun, 1911 Aldrich Ste. 120-B.

Rebecca Havemeyer Presents Dina Martina: Fine Avec Me Dina Martina returns to the Austin stage with Rebecca Havemeyer in tow. Thu., Feb. 8, 7:30-11pm. The North Door, 502 Brushy. $20.

QueerTowne! Improv Night ColdTowne gets queer'd with a new monthly improv show uniting Austin's diverse queer and trans comedy community. Thu., Feb. 8, 10-11pm. ColdTowne Theater, 4803-B Airport. $5.


HavenCon 4: A Cosmic Journey March 29-April 1. DoubleTree Hotel, 6505 N. I-35, 512/454-3737. $15-200.

OUTsider Festival Feb. 14-18. The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282.

Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.