Cocktail Friday: Valentine’s Day drinks

Posted on 12 Feb 2016 at 2:30pm

Screen shot 2016-02-11 at 11.44.37 PMSunday is Valentine’s Day, so if you plan to get with your sweetie, consider making one of these romantic imbibibles.

Drambuie Cupid’s Bow

2 oz. Lillet

1 oz. Drumbuie

10 drops Ardbeg scotch

10 drops rosewater

Lemon twist.

Making up: Build liquid ingredients into a rocks glass and give a quick stir with large ice. Garnish with lemon twist.

Screen shot 2016-02-11 at 11.48.20 PMRaspberry Rose Royal

1 oz. Hendrick’s gin

1/5 oz. sugar syrup

1 fresh strawberry


Making it: Combine raspberry, sugar and gin in a cocktail shaker and shake briskly. After three strong shakes, finely strain into a flute. Top with champagne.


Manilow rushed to hospital, forced to cancel 2 concerts, no word yet on Dallas show

Posted on 12 Feb 2016 at 12:30pm


Following a performance in Memphis, Tenn., Barry Manilow was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital late Thursday night, Feb. 11, “due to complications from emergency oral surgery” he had on Monday, according to a post on the singer/songwriter’s Facebook page. Apparently, based on an update on Entertainment Tonight’s website, Manilow, 72, underwent a second surgery since returning to the hospital, and as of 9:43 a.m. PST, was out of surgery and doing well.

Quoting Manilow’s representative, ET reports that doctors don’t expect any further complications, but that Manilow “has been instructed not to talk, sing, or rap” for the next 48 hours.

Because of the medical emergency, Manilow was forced to postpone two other concerts in Tennessee, and may not be able to attend the Grammy Awards on Monday, Feb. 15. He is nominated for his 15th Grammy for his album, My Dream Duets, released in October 2014.

There’s been no word yet on whether the singer will have to cancel or postpone his Dallas concert, set for Tuesday night, Feb. 18, at the AAC.

Published reports have not indicated what caused Manilow to have to undergo the initial surgery.



Posted on 11 Feb 2016 at 12:45pm

Panic! at the Disco, Sia, Elton play it safe


Sia, This Is Acting. Before she rebranded herself as a behind-the-scenes scribe for mainstream pop giants, Sia reveled in authenticity. Every feeling was pure — and even if it didn’t reflect her life, you believed it could. (Remember “Breathe Me?”) There was a big sigh, and then she broke you into a million sad, empowered pieces as she came clean one key change at a time. These days, having constructed a persona that’s distant and vague, that same Sia hides behind actual veils so as not to reveal too much of herself, generating hits for radio heavyweights like Adele and Beyoncé.

So what happens when they and other pop stars pass on your songs? If you’re Sia, you record them yourself. Once again, Sia, following 1000 Forms of Fear, is larger than life. It’s a role she’s fine at playing — her distinctive warble packs a powerful punch — but it has become apparent that the same mask concealing her face is also obscuring the fact that Sia is a gifted storyteller full of things to say about herself. So if this is, indeed, acting, the bump-and-grind windup “Move Your Body” is either an Oscar winner… or a Razzie contender, depending on how you look at it. Same with “Sweet Design,” a very Bey-during-B’Day banger, with Sia singing contrived lines like, “Word travels fast when you’ve got an ass like mine.” Not that Sia doesn’t have a great ass, but it’s a hard, silly sell for an artist not known for such boasts.

Her strengths lie in underdog anthems like “Bird Set Free,” where she pushes through the cage door and unleashes herself, singing, “I find myself in my melodies.” There are 11 other songs after “Bird Set Free,” none of them great, leaving you thinking: If only they, too, could find her essence again. 2 stars

HMO021516PANICPanic! at the Disco, Death of a Bachelor. You know how it goes with pop bands: Eventually the frontman becomes this red-hot superstud star whose spotlight-stealing ways make everyone forget the names of the other band members… or that they exist. Just ask Adam Levine … or better yet, ask his bandmates. Unlike Levine, though, Panic! at the Disco’s most delicious dish, Brendon Urie, knows it’s time to seize his solo status and move on. So with Death of a Bachelor, he has. On his own, but still under the Panic! moniker, Urie doesn’t reshape the band considerably, at least not for now, while he establishes himself as the Brendon Urie Band. It’s clear from this solo release, though, that all his shameless pop dreams are coming true … which is to say, Urie is fixated on being your power-pop god.

Boisterous rock booms throughout the album’s front-end, but so much of it is empty-calorie ear candy that fans will be longing for days of yore, when Ryan Ross and the rest of the band’s pre-breakup lineup were also a part of the creative process. With Death of a Bachelor, where’s the ambition that once set Panic! apart from other dude bands? The band’s delightfully wonky wordplay? Not on “Victorious,” the album’s first cheapshot of a single, a glossy grab stuck on a sound that’s highly commercial and mind-numbingly insipid. It rolls right into the grungy piano-interrupted “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time,” better but typical. “Crazy=Genius” at least breaks the been-there-done-that mold with a fun old-timey swing sound, and it’s good to hear Urie take it down several notches on “Impossible Dream.” Still, though, Death of a Bachelor is a backwards evolution for a man still conceptualizing what it means to be on his own. 2.5 stars

EltonJohn-WCN-WEB-1500pxlElton John, Wonderful Crazy Night. No, Elton John hasn’t had one too many — that face of his, all blithe and framed by pieces of an erupted rainbow to further emphasize the piano man’s state of euphoria, is just his face. It’s the face of a married man. It’s the face of love. It’s the face of “I have nothing to prove.” And so on Elton’s 33rd album, Wonderful Crazy Night, he doesn’t. He’s Elton John, and, at this point, isn’t that enough? A unicorn of an album, Elton lets himself go, jetting back to his beginnings for a blissed-out, ’70s-inspired rock ’n’ roll romp where he beams and bounces. From the ebullient title track to the coda’s lovey-dovey lyric “you’re an open chord I’m gonna play all day,” Elton’s shine is affected and infectious. 3 stars

Lucinda Williams, The Ghosts of Highway 20. Lucinda Williams is living. You can hear it in her voice, wrinkled and drunk. But death looms on the alt-icon’s latest, soused in the smoky Americana sound she’s forged for more than three decades. She’s knocking on the “Doors of Heaven,” riffing her way to the finish line with a surprisingly not-macabre Southern-rooted rollick. It’s a striking contrast to “If There’s a Heaven,” a pained elegy. Death evokes childhood nostalgia on the wistful memoir “Louisiana,” as Williams recalls growing up and experiencing both the “sweetness” and the “rough.” Now 63, Williams comes to a powerful understanding on The Ghosts of Highway 20 that you can’t have one without the other. 3.5 stars

— Chris Azzopardi

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 12, 2016.


Dallas Voice’s Tuesday Big Movie lineup at the Magnolia

Posted on 11 Feb 2016 at 8:44am


Landmark’s Magnolia Theatre’s weekly Big Movie New Classic Series, sponsored by Dallas Voice, screens a different classic film each Tuesday at 7:30 and 10 p.m. The schedule lets movie buffs plan their Tuesdays all the way from now through Mother’s Day. Here is this quarter’s lineup:.

Feb. 23: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Milos Forman directed this five-Oscar winner, based on Ken Kesey’s novel, about madness in an Oregon asylum.

March 1: The Birds. Hitchcock’s chilling allegory, a harrowing portrait of nature striking back at mankind.

March 8: Laura. One of the seminal films of the 1950s, Otto Preminger’s elegant mystery features an iconic performance by Clifton Webb.

March 15: Planet of the Apes. Sci-fi classic (the 1968 version, not one of the remakes or reboots) about the survival of a civilization in a world upside down.

March 22: Annie Hall. Woody Allen’s early masterpiece, an hilarious and moving account of a failed relationship.

March 29: Xanadu. Often consider the nail on the coffin of disco, this bit of fluffy nonsense is now considered a camp classic.

April 5: Medium Cool. The recently departed cinematographer Haskell Wexler made his feature directorial debut with this edgy political drama set during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

April 12: Paper Moon. Ten-year-old Tatum O’Neal won an Oscar for this whimsically enchanting period piece about grifters during the Great Depression. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

April 19: I Ladri di Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves). Vittorio De Sica’s Neo-Realist masterpiece, a drama about a man and his son trying to survive in post-war Italy. Wrenching.

April 26: The Seven Year Itch. Marilyn Monroe at her sexiest in Billy Wilder’s sexy comedy.

May 3: Repulsion. A young Catherine Deneuve electrifies in Roman Polanski’s unnerving thriller about a woman on the brink of madness.

May 10: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. John Huston won two Oscars (writing and directing) and dad Walter won for a third (supporting actor) in this iconic film about greed.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 12, 2016.


Ryan Reynolds talks about going ‘full-frontal’ for ‘Deadpool’ nude fight scene

Posted on 10 Feb 2016 at 1:34pm

DEADPOOL“Get a load of me” reads the tagline for the upcoming release Deadpool, an R-rated comic book action film. Well, that may be literally the case. Ryan Reynolds confirms a nude, full-frontal action scene where he and another character roll around naked in a burning building, beating the crap out of each other.

I’m sorry, but that’s insanely hot.

You can see the video here. And see the movie this weekend.


Miss Gay America Pageant sold to Mad Angel Entertainment

Posted on 08 Feb 2016 at 12:33pm
Asia O'Hara1

The reigning Miss Gay America, Asia O’Hara of Dallas

On Thursday, Feb. 4, L & T Entertainment announced the sale of the Miss Gay America Pageant to Mad Angel Entertainment, owned by Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman of Baltimore, who also own the Miss Gay USofA Pageant.

L & T Entertainment owned the Miss Gay America Pageant since February 2005. In 2013 L & T announced it was seeking a purchaser for the pageant system, but wanted someone that would keep up its tradition of excellence.

Asia O’Hara of Dallas, the reigning Miss Gay America, was briefed an hour before the sale was announced and congratulated Dutzer and Mansman after the official news release.

Miss Gay America was established in 1972 when founder Jerry Peek crowned Norma Kristie (aka Norman Jones).  Jones  owned the pageant from 1975 to 2005 when Larry Tyger and Terry Eason of L & T Entertainment purchased it.

There are 28 preliminary state and regional pageants leading to the national pageant, held each year in October.


BREAKING: Kitchen LTO taps new chef, artist for Version 6.0

Posted on 08 Feb 2016 at 11:08am

Screen shot 2016-02-08 at 11.06.16 AMTwo weeks ago, we posted the Kitchen LTO was seeking a new chef (and new artist) for its Version 6.0 — the sixth incarnation of the ever-evolving Trinity Groves concept. Well, the votes are in and the winners are:

Chef Nick Amoriello, presently with Rapscallion on Lower Greenville Avenue as its executive sous; and

Artist Sarah Reiss.

Look for both to take over the space in the coming weeks — current chef Anastacia Quinones’ last day is Feb. 28. Congrats!


Queen Bey coming to North Texas May 9

Posted on 08 Feb 2016 at 8:19am

BeyIf you were watching the Super Bowl last night — or at least its halftime show — you saw Beyonce overpower Chris Martin during her “special guest appearance” walk-on, singing a brand-new single. And the second the segment ended, the commercial we were treated to? A teaser for Bey’s new Formation Tour.

Well, it was in the works for a while, because it already has a North Texas date. Beyonce will perform it at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on May 9. Tickets go on sale Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. at Be there!


WATCH: The highlight of the Super Bowl may have come before the kickoff

Posted on 07 Feb 2016 at 7:18pm

lady-gaga-national-anthem-super-bowl-2016-videoIt’s barely halftime, but already Super Bowl 50 has its highlight reel intact: the performance of the National Anthem by Lady Gaga. We already love Gaga, and know she can really sing based on her Oscar performance last year. But this was Whitney-level amazing. Enjoy! And go Panthers!

(OK, so the NFL won’t let you watch this on our site anymore. But go to YouTube and you can see — and hear — her sing.)


WATCH: Sexy video ‘Werk Out’ by gay rapper Andre Xcellence

Posted on 07 Feb 2016 at 10:16am

Cazwell isn’t the only gay rapper with colorful videos stuffed (literally) with sexy men. Andre Xcellence has released his new video, called “Werk Out,” inspired by aerobics videos of the 1980s (including Richard Simmons, only with heat). It could easily be your new exercise jam… assuming you don’t mind your Spandex getting a little tight at the gym. Hey, some athleticism is just what we need this Super Bowl Sunday. Enjoy! (The single is available on iTunes.)