Call for auditions in new play about murdered trans woman Shade Schuler

Posted on 03 May 2016 at 12:44pm
PK Photo

Paul Kalburgi

Paul Kalburgi is a practitioner of a movement called “verbatim theater” — a sort of stage version of a documentary film where a playwright interviews and records the actual works of witnesses to real-life events, then mounts them, as spoken, in a theatrical setting. (If you’re familiar with The Laramie Project, you’re familiar with the essence of verbatim plays.)

The British-born Kalburgi moved with his partner to Dallas last summer, just as news was breaking of the murder of Shade Schuler — a trans woman of color whose decomposing body was discovered in a field in Dallas.

In the Tall Grass is Kalburgi’s project bringing this story — and the growing rate of transgender violence and murders — to the stage.

Shade Schuler

The world premiere will take place in a staged reading May 23–28, and Kalburgi and the show’s director, Anna Jones, are holding an open casting call Wednesday, May 4, for those wanting to participate. Previous acting experience is not required, though certainly welcome; more importantly, Kalburgi hopes that the trans community itself will turn out to audition and participate.

There are six speaking roles being cast: Two African-American trans females (one aged 20s, one aged 30s–40s); two white males; (one 30s, one 40s); a Latino female (aged 30s–40s); and an African-American male (20s–30s). There are also opening for ensemble parts of assorted ages, races and genders.

The auditions will take place Wednesday at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center, 223 W. Jefferson Blvd., from 6–10 p.m., and by appointment.  Email to schedule an audition.


BREAKING: Terry Martin, longtime artistic director of WaterTower, steps down

Posted on 03 May 2016 at 9:33am

Martin,left, with his son and partner

There’s been quite a turnover in the arts community this week. In the wake of last week’s firing of Dallas Summer Musicals president Michael Jenkins, today WaterTower Theatre announced that Terry Martin, the longtime producing artistic director of of the Addison theater company, would be stepping down to accept the position of head of fine arts at the Greenhill School, an exclusive private high school in Addison. He will begin his new position on July 1.

Martin, who has been a creative force as a director, producer and also actor in North Texas, was at WTT for 17 years.

The company will begin the search process soon for a new artistic director.


‘Hamilton’ dominates Tony Award nominations

Posted on 03 May 2016 at 9:26am

LMMTo the surprise of no one, the hit Broadway musical Hamilton — already the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant and the adoration of theater queens the world over — dominated the Tony nominations this morning with 16 overall nominations, the most ever in the 70-year history of the awards. The awards will be presented June 12.

Here is a list of all the nominees.

Musical categories

Musical: Bright Star; Hamilton; School of Rock — The Musical; Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All that Followed; Waitress.

RevivalThe Color Purple; Fiddler on the Roof; She Loves Me; Spring Awakening.

Book: Bright Star; Hamilton; School of Rock; Shuffle Along.

ScoreBright Star; Hamilton; School of Rock — The Musical; Shuffle Along; Waitress.

Choreography: Hamilton; Dames at Sea; Shuffle Along; Fiddler on the Roof; On Your Heat.

OrchestrationsBright Star; Hamilton; She Loves Me; Shuffle Along.

Director: Michael Arden, Spring Awakening; John Doyle, The Color Purple; Scott Ellis, She Loves Me; Thomas Kail, Hamilton; George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along.

Actor: Alex Brightman, School of Rock; Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof; Zachary Levi, She Loves Me; Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton; Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton.

Actress: Laura Benanti, She Loves Me; Carmen Cusack, Bright Star; Cynthia Envo, The Color Purple; Jessie Mueller, Waitress; Phillipa Soo, Hamilton.

Featured Actor: Daveed Diggs, Hamilton; Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along; Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress; Jonathan Groff, Hamilton; Christopher Jackson, Hamilton.

Featured Actress: Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple; Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton; Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me; Jennifer Simard, Disaster!; Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along.

Scenic: American Psycho; Hamilton; Shuffle Along; She Loves Me.

CostumesTuck Everlasting; She Loves Me; Shuffle Along; Hamilton.

LightingHamilton; American Psycho; Shuffle Along; Spring Awakening.

Play categories

Play: Eclipsed; The Humans; King Charles III; The Father.

RevivalThe Crucible; A View from the Bridge; Blackbird; Long Day’s Journey into Night; Noises Off.

Director: Rupert  Goold, King Charles III; Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey into Night; Joe Mantello, The Humans; Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed; Ivo Van Hove, A View from the Bridge.

Actor: Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey; Jeff Daniels, Blackbird; Frank Langella, The Father; Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III; Mark Strong, A View from the Bridge.

Actress: Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey; Laurie Metcalf, Misery; Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed; Sophie Okonedo, The Crucible; Michelle Williams, Blackbird.

Featured Actor: Reed Birney, The Humans; Bill Camp, The Crucible; David Furr, Noises Off; Richard Goulding, King Charles III; Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey.

Featured Actress: Pascale Armand, Eclipsed; Megan Hilty, Noises Off; Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans; Andrea Martin, Noises Off; Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed.

Scenic: Therese Raquin; Hughie; A View from the Bridge; The Humans.

Costumes: Long Day’s Journey; Noises Off; Eclipsed; King Charles III.

Lighting: Long Day’s Journey; The Humans; The Crucible; A View from the Bridge.


DSM weighs in with more information about Jenkins firing

Posted on 02 May 2016 at 6:18pm

The news broke this morning that Michael Jenkins, longtime president of the Dallas Summer Musicals, had been fired. The DSM was largely silent about the reasons, but late today released a further statement regarding leadership changes at the organization.

“For some, this announcement is difficult to accept, but DSM’s Executive Committee [EC] believed that it was clear that it’s time for a change,” said volunteer chairman Ted Munselle. He further explained that for the last year or more, the EC “has been immersed in an intense assessment of the organization, with special attention on management accountability and professional examinations of DSM’s financial performance including reporting, profitability, expenditures and investments.” The board stated that the DSM has suffered losses every season, except one since 2008.

“Theater is a difficult and competitive business, and the EC was concerned about DSM’s financial losses as well as the quality of its financial reporting,” said Munselle, noting that the “forensic examination” of the financials prompted the decision. “We engaged a leading national law firm to lead a team of forensic investigators, including a group of auditors from a Big Four CPA firm, to conduct a forensic examination of the organization’s books and records.”

Munselle’s release said that last Thursday, in a near unanimous vote, the EC decided that it was time for a change in leadership.


DVtv: Stepping in back in time for fun at Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Posted on 02 May 2016 at 5:39pm


The DVtv crew of Brad Pritchett and Israel Luna headed south about 40 miles — and back in time about 400 years — for a visit to Scarborough Renaissance Festival, just outside of Waxahachie this past weekend.

While the festival — known to fans as “the faire” — is open to everyone, of course, members of the LGBT community find a warm and welcoming atmosphere. With a number of LGBT people among the cast, the performers on stage and the vendors, it’s not hard to feel at home.

Scarborough Renaissance Festival is open each weekend for eight weeks each spring, starting in April and running through Memorial Day. The day starts with a skit by cast members just outside the front gates, culminating at 10 a.m. with the opening cannon, and runs through 7 p.m., when the closing cannon sounds, each Saturday and Sunday, plus Memorial Day Monday.

Each weekend also has a special theme. The weekend of May 7-8 is Renaissance Romance Weekend, and of course, includes a Mother’s Day celebration.

You’ve got four more weekends to make it out this year. For tickets and other information, visit the Scarborough website. And to a glimpse of what you’ll find, watch the DVtv episode below:


Michael Jenkins is out as Dallas Summer Musicals president

Posted on 02 May 2016 at 11:41am

Emily-Koch-as-Elphaba---Photo-by-Joan-MarcusMy friends Michael Granberry and Nancy Churnin, a real-life couple and both staff writers at the Dallas Morning News, have collaborated on a story I find interesting: The sudden firing of Dallas Summer Musicals‘ long-standing leader, Michael Jenkins. In the piece, which went live this morning, Jenkins accuses the DSM of age discrimination (he’s 74); the DMN announced an interim director, and said Jenkins’ termination was effectively immediately, but otherwise declined to comment on the details at this time.

The DSM, which will mark its 75th anniversary this June, is in the middle of its current season with Wicked (through May 22, pictured), and continues with Ragtime (opening May 24), Bullets Over Broadway (June 14) and 42nd Street (June 28).


Cocktail Friday: Mrs. Carter’s One-Two Punch

Posted on 29 Apr 2016 at 1:04pm

Mrs Carter PunchBy now, we’ve all seen/heard/reacted to Lemonade, Beyonce’s “visual album” that basically stands as a big “you cheatin’ bastard!” anthem about a woman (who, I wonder?) calling out her husband (are you listening, Jay-Z?) for an hour of moody, thoughtful, maybe even ground-breaking music. So, we thought it would be appropriate to show our solidarity with a lemonade cocktail this week which we are calling, natch, Mrs. Carter’s One-Two Punch. And we made enough so you can share it with friends in solidarity.

4 cups apple cider

1.25 cups lemonade (1 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup honey syrup)

1 bottle white Puerto Rican rum

1 cup fresh berries

Lemon wheels

Making it: Combine cider, lemonade and rum in a punch bowl and stir. When ready to serve, add in ice and fruit and chill for at least 15 minutes. Garnish individual punch glasses with lemon wheels, berries and mint. Put on Beyonce and chill.


‘Drag Race’ stars featured in Jane Badler music video

Posted on 29 Apr 2016 at 11:57am
Screen shot 2016-04-29 at 11.53.13 AM

Pandora Boxx, far right, and Morgan McMichaels, far left, appear in a new video by Jane Badler, center, for “Black Silk Stockings.’

Pandora Boxx and Morgan McMichael, two drag queens who gained international recognition with their Season 2 stints on RuPaul’s Drag Race, both appear in the music video for Jane Badler‘s song, “Black Silk Stockings (Tracy Young Remix),” Badler’s cover of the song by Italian punk band Krisma. Badler’s son, actor/producer Harry Hains, also makes an appearance as the DJ.

In a recent blog on her webpage, Badler explained that she started singing the song in her concerts at the suggestionof band member Matt Thomas. “It became a hit at all my shows so I decided to do a cover version with the wonderful LA producer Jeff Bova, which now resides on iTunes. Brad LeBeau from ProMotion suggested I do a dance remix with the famous producer and DJ Tracy Young. I was so excited about the mix I decided to collaborate with Jesse Davey — my go-to man for all my music videos. We came up with the crazy concept of a woman doing extreme plastic surgery to maintain her position as queen of the dancing robots.”

Watch the video below.


WATCH: New trailer for ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Posted on 25 Apr 2016 at 12:38pm

Screen shot 2016-04-25 at 12.33.35 PMThe summer movie season kicks off next weekend with the release of Captain America: Civil War, but for a lot of us, even more anticipated is X-Men: Apocalypse from out director Bryan Singer. The X-Men franchise has always felt like a property the gay community could relate well to, because of the themes of outsiderism and empowerment.

It doesn’t come out until May 27, but here’s the latest trailer. Enjoy!


Tickets go on sale Friday for September Kraftwerk concert in Dallas

Posted on 25 Apr 2016 at 11:43am
KRAFTWERK 3D Der Katalog  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Kunstsammlung NRW Düsseldorf 2013

Kraftwerk’s 3-D Concerts tour comes to Dallas in September. (Photo by Peter Boettcher/Kraftwerk

Back in the early 1980s, Kraftwerk was one of my favorite bands (although “band” isn’t really the right word, I guess). I had the cassette of the album Computer World (listen below) and I played it til it fell apart.

Although Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider started their Kraftwerk Project in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1970 and had gained international recognition by the mid-70s, when I discovered the music, I didn’t know too many people who knew who/what Kraftwerk was, and fewer who shared my enthusiasm for their music.

These days, I spend most of my music-listening time tuned to my “Willie Nelson Station” on Pandora radio. But I still love breaking out the old Kraftwerk tunes every now and then. So I was kind of excited when I found a press release in my email inbox letting me know that the band will bring their 3-D Concerts Tour to Dallas in September.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 29, at 10 a.m. at for the show set for Saturday, Sept. 10 (at the Bomb Factory, of course).

This year’s nine-city U.S. tour brings back the 3-D Concerts show that won rave reviews last year, hyped as much as an art show as a musical concert. The tour starts Sept. 3 in Baltimore, then heads to Atlanta, Memphis and New Orleans before coming to Dallas. After the Dallas show, Kraftwerk heads to San Antonio, Phoenix and San Diego before wrapping up Sept. 18 in Los Angeles.

(Tickets for all the shows except the final one in L.A. go on sale this Friday.)