At the world premier of Logo TV's new gay reality series The A-List: Dallas, a Manhattan audience of screaming twinks oohed, aahed and squealed with delight at the size of the McMansions of the cast, at the size of the drinks they knock down, at the size of their hair or their Stetson and at the repeated allusions to the size of their penises - or in the case of the lone female at the size of her breasts. This is, they say, the essential upper crust of gay Texas, and The A-List franchise, having sought a second home outside New York City, could not have chosen a more pleasing locale for its audience.
The Technicolored cast includes Phillip, 23 and a stylist/sharply fanged butterfly who says he is blessed to be able to touch the designer goods he pushes on his clients; Ashley, 25, a gorgeous photographer who loves her gays, her husband and her Jesus; James, 25 and a trust fund baby who is looking for love in a double Martini, often for breakfast; Taylor, 27 and an unapologetic Republican/Christian fundraiser who has the Bible downloaded on his iPad; Chase, 27, an investment banker who sounds more like a bank teller trainee and says in the first episode "People really do envy my life. It has everything to do with my hair;" and finally Levi Crocker, a familiar face in Fort Lauderdale where he spends the winter months tending his growing retail business, Inchwear, and mingling with the cowpokes and horsemen at the Bergeron rodeo grounds in Davie.
Levi is destined to be the heartbreaker of the show, not just because he is the only real cowboy in the cast but because speculation and reports about the size of his endowment constitute a good portion of the script. He is also a sly charmer who, in the course of our meeting, told me much about his life while diverting my eyes by stroking his large brass steerhead belt buckle.
Born in Oklahoma 25 years ago, Levi Crocker has lived in Dallas for 7 years, moving to south Florida to start and develop Inchwear with two friends. Inchwear is an 18 month old company that retails gear referencing the measurement of the wearer's endowment, real or otherwise.
How did Levi get tapped to join the cast of The A-List:Dallas? He says, "My name came up at the dinner table apparently. They were looking for a serious cowboy. I grew up on a horse ranch in Oklahoma. For years, I was the director of operations for a huge rodeo. Rodeo is in my blood. I broke my back about 7 years ago. My orthopedist said to quit jumping off horses, and to keep my boots on the ground. That's when I got into rodeo management. Now, I'm getting involved with the IGRA [International Gay Rodeo Association]."
I asked him to describe his character on the show and wondered if he could be compared to anyone on The A-List: New York. He said, "You can't make comparisons to the other cast. I watched the first episode for the first time just a few hours ago. It was stressful going in to finally see it. I was pleased with how I came off. I was flabbergasted. I was definitely worried about it. I've been working so hard on this for the past 4 months, and I left with a smile on my face after watching the first episode."
After the A-List, Levi intends to remain involved in rodeo and to focus on developing Inchwear. This means he and his endowment will continue to be Fort Lauderdale fixtures. When I asked Levi if he was having romance in his personal life, he said, "You know I keep lookin', lookin', lookin'...tastin', tastin' tastin'." It is safe to assume he is single and available.
After the world premier screening, during the Q&A with the audience, the cast received a question from a fan who wondered how the Dallas cast would be different from the cast of The A-List: New York. Taylor, the gay Republican/Christian snapped, "We're younger, hotter and have less wrinkles."
Half of the Manhattan audience responded with an ecstatic scream while the other half hissed. Them's fightin' words, cowgirl.
The A-List: Dallas airs Mondays at 10PM/9c on Logo. The series premiere is at a special time, Monday, October 10th 11PM/10c on Logo.
(A version of this report appears in this week's South Florida Gay News.)