I think I need some ice cream. Some Magnum ice cream.
(And P.S.: Looking good, Willam Belli.)
WaterTower Theatre officially set its 2015-16 season, which includes an already-revealed original musical, the return of a hit from this season and two recent Broadway successes, WTT’s producing artistic director, Terry Martin, announced.
The season opens with the world premiere of the musical Creep (Oct. 2–25), pictured, written by out Dallas writer/composer Donald Fowler. A moody investigation into the Jack the Ripper legend, it has been in the works for many years. That will be followed by the mainstage production of Sexy Laundry (Nov. 20–Dec. 13) which played a limited run in the studio space earlier this season with Wendy Welch and Bob Hess. For the first time in a long while, WTT won’t have a holiday show.
2016 begins with an adaptation of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (Jan. 22–Feb. 14, 2016), about what happens to young boys when removed from organized society. That will be followed by the 15th annual Out of the Loop Fringe Festival (Feb. 25–March 6). The next single show is a regional premiere, Dan LeFranc’s The Big Meal (April 15–May 8), followed by the regional premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar (June 3–26), to be directed by Rene Moreno. The final production of the season will be the Richard Bean’s comedy One Man, Two Guvnors (Aug. 5–28).
All productions will be staged at the Addison Theatre Centre at 15650 Addison Road. The six-play season subscriptions range in price from $90–$180. The renewal deadline for current subscribers to keep their same seats is July 1. Subscribers who renew by June 19 will have the normal handling fee of $7 waived.
See more, and make purchases, at WaterTowerTheatre.org.
I’ve known Jac Alder for many years, but not nearly as many — not by a long shot — as he has been an arts leader in Dallas. In fact, he has led Theatre 3 for longer than I have been alive … and I’m not a kid. So yeah, maybe for a decade or so I was privileged to say, “Hi, Jac,” or even set up a photo shoot with him or get an exclusive or two in a private conversation, but if you wanna know someone who knew Jac Alder best, well, hell — it wasn’t me.
In many ways, I bet it was Terry Dobson, who was the music director at T3 for nearly 35 years and worked closely with Jac. Sadly, Terry died of sepsis just a few weeks ago … just as Jac checked into the hospital in respiratory distress. Jac’s condition was serious, but he seemed to be improving last I heard. So when word spread last night that Alder had passed away at age 80 … well, it’s a lot to digest in a short period of time.
Jac was widely acknowledged as the longest-serving artistic director of any arts organization in the U.S., which he cofounded (with his late wife Norma Young) in 1961; notably, Jac died just after the final show of the company’s 54th season concluded — Jac knew how to make a timely exit.
That’s because he did it all — not only as a producer and artistic director, but also as an actor (I saw him several time trod the boards, and he was brilliant each time), an entrepreneur (he turned himself in a puppet to give the curtain speech at Avenue Q), a director and occasionally as a designer. He could be prickly, but also droll; fiercely opinionated but also flexible; charming (the first time I met him he told me, “I’ve heard many excellent things about you … but I won’t say from whom”) and defiant. As a critic, I would sometimes write negative reviews of shows he produced, and I could usually tell when he disagreed with me, but never was he rude. He was the gentleman of Dallas theater.
He was savvy, as well, in helping Theatre 3 grow. When it had a reputation for doing “safe” work, he took some risks and put on plays with nudity (Metamorphoses, The Wild Party, The Full Monty), interspersed with Agatha Christie thrillers and song-filled revues. The mission statement of Theatre 3 says it took its name from the interplay between author, actor and audience; Jac really tried to embody that in every production. No one cared more about theater that Jac.
Few cared more about his fellow man, as well. Jac nurtured the young careers of such folks as Morgan Fairchild and Doug Wright; he was well-known to employ theater professionals who needed work so that they could keep their health insurance; he was supportive of AIDS causes and a long-standing friend of the gay community. Theatre 3 embraced its Uptown neighbors.
So, I didn’t know Jac as well as many other people. But I knew him well enough: Through his largesse, his artistry, his commitment. He wasn’t a tall man; but he was a giant.
It’s Memorial Day weekend! What to do for the three-day holiday? Some summer refreshers should be in order — here are a few, culled from mixologists, bars and restaurants around the country, starting with a local. And we’ll see you back here on Tuesday after the holidays!
Spicy, sweet and a little bit sour, this recipe courtesy of Southlake-based Del Frisco’s Grille is just what the doctor ordered when you want something a bit more sophisticated than a so-last-year shandy.
1/2 oz. Nolet’s Gin
4-1/2 oz. ginger beer
Red grapefruit slices
Making it: Fill wine glass 3/4 full with ice. Add gin and ginger beer. Place grapefruit slice in glass and top with mint sprig.
You Look Smashing
Spyglass Rooftop Bar sits 22 stories atop Archer Hotel in NVC, serving small bites and crafted cocktails with unparalleled views of the Empire State Building and the New York City skyline. You’ll already look smashing up there, but this cocktail in hand won’t hurt either.
2 oz. Eagle Rare Bourbon
3 mint leaves
1 lemon wedge
1/4 oz. maple syrup.
Serve in rocks glass.
Rise & Shine Coffee Cocktail
When you need more than a mimosa to get you back in the game after a long night of partying, opt for this easy-to-prepare energy bev crafted from liquid coffee concentrate, handcrafted at Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen in Winter Park, Fla.
1 oz. Fernet
3/4 oz. Amaro
3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 Barnie’s Blend BREWSTICKS
Making it: Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with orange twist.
During his Outrageous Oral presentation at the Rose Room last night (Thursday, May 21), charity drag queen Michael Lee aka Michael Doughman announced that out country star Ty Herndon will perform in Reverchon Park as part of Dallas’ Pride celebration in September.
Doughman is executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, which stages Dallas Pride.
The Pride parade and festival takes place on Sunday, Sept. 20. The festival has been moved from Lee Park to Reverchon Park this year for the first time.
Even though Yves Saint Laurent began his career working at the House of Dior, he was more of the successor to Chanel in the universe of French fashion, updated for the swinging ’60s and indulgent ’70s with elegance that was also wearable comfort. (“Chanel freed women; I empowered them,” he famously said). He is credited with modernizing the smoking jacket/tuxedo look (especially for women) — a fact DIFFA used as a theme for several of its own recent collections — and when fashion was in freefall, he was the most consistently praised designer in the world.
You’ll learn virtually none of that, though, from watching Saint Laurent, which is surprising considering that the film runs a hefty two-and-a-half hours … even more so when you consider the vast majority of the film takes place during his heyday (and the rest in retrospect late in life, from a position of authority and perspective). Where is the exposition that puts YSL in context, both as a man and a brand? In short, not much. Maybe Saint Laurent, which is in French and a huge hit already in France, assumes its audience already knows the broad strokes about the man, the way Spielberg’s Lincoln doesn’t tell us much about the Great Emancipator’s humble beginnings in a log cabin. But the time commitment begs that it share more than it does.
One problem is that the director, Bertrand Bonello, doesn’t seem to know what kind of film he’s making: It is like Blow, a drug-fueled Virgilian decent into the hell of addiction? Is it intended to be like Coco Before Chanel, a fashion biopic, or even Valentino: The Last Emperor, a documentary about a moment in time presented here as a docudrama? Is it a boardroom drama about the business of fashion? Or perhaps he’s making a Parisian version of Tales of the City, as it graphically (lots of full-frontal!) shows YSL’s sex life, from his non-exclusive relationship with business partner Pierre Berge (Jeremie Renier) to his full-on sex parties? I still can’t tell.
And yet, Saint Laurent isn’t bad, just disappointing. (Frankly, the spate of fashion-centered films in the last few years is awash in bad biopic contrasted to excellent documentaries). Gaspard Ulliel, as Yves, does a compelling job portraying the designer, who suffers from creative block but struggles through. (He’s also quite easy on the eyes). It’s a strong, intense performance that is disserved by scenes that drag along pointlessly. You get a better sense for fashion from Iris (at the Magnolia) and Dior and I (at the Angelika).
Opens Friday at Magnolia.
Blythe Beck has barely a week left leading the brigade at Kitchen LTO, Casie Caldwell’s “permanent pop-up” in Trinity Groves. She’s the longest serving chef as the concept, which is itself intended as a laboratory for concepts and chefs who might be able to open another restaurant somewhere else. And that time has come.
Beck and Caldwell are uniting for Pink Magnolia, their new partnership that will take over the shuttered Driftwood space in Oak Cliff. The name combines Beck’s famous love of one color with her steely Southern influences, and will surely feature her signature “naughty” recipes. Best of all, it gives Beck, finally, a place to truly call her own, floorboards to shingles. It will open later this summer. Congrats!
On Friday, our second annual Swimsuit Edition — featuring nine models, great summer accessories, multiple location shoots and tons of sexy (and often revealing) swimwear — hits newsstands. Last year’s was a huge hit and a big sellout, so pick up yours as soon as you can to see what’s hot (including a sneak peek of the brand-new collection by local gay designers Marek+ Richard) in poolside fashions this season.
Here are a few pix to whet your appetite. And you can see more exclusive photos later this week at DFW Style Daily!
Organizers of “Texas’ only LGBTQ-A sci-fi, fantasy and gaming convention” have announced dates for the second annual HavenCon, and launched a campaign to raise funds for the 2016 event.
HavenCon 2016 will be held April 22-24 at the Holiday Inn Midtown in Austin. The newly-launched fundraising campaign will help pay for equipment, event and production costs. Rewards for contributing include artwork, t-shirts, stickers, buttons, discounted HavenCon passes and more.
A campaign referral contest is also underway with a prize pack that includes a 2016 pass upgrade, a hotel room at the convention center, VIP access and more. To donate visit the HavenCon fundraiser on Indiegogo.
Organizers said that due to “overwhelming vendor interest and higher-than-anticipated attendance” this year, the 2016 con will expand to three days. They said vendor space is expected to sell out quickly so those interested in getting space should act quickly.
Anyone interested in being a vendor, panelist or sponsor can visit the HavenCon site or email Shane@HavenConTx.com.
The first HavenCon was held last month in Austin and “vastly exceeded expectations,” organizers said. The con drew more than 1,000 attendees over two days and included gaming tournaments, a cosplay contest, dozens of vendors and artists and panelists from the local and national levels of the industry, such as Janet Varney and P.J. Byrnes, stars of the animated TV series The Legend of Korra.
HavenCon Founder Shane Brown said he was “staggered by the amount of support and pure joy from attendees. Although Texas is no stranger to comic book and gaming conventions, this was the first time the state has ever hosted a convention of this type targeted specifically to a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning and allied audience.”
He added, “Every vendor, attendee and panelist that I spoke with was amazed by the inviting, positive atmosphere. It was a celebration of what made our diverse crowd both different and united. And everyone seems excited to come back for more next year.”