Cocktail Friday: The Basil & Lime

Basil and LimeHere’s a trend we can get behind: Mixed cocktails on tap. Why should beer have all the convenience of a quick pour? That’s why Rocco Milano, beverage director at Barter, came up with this refreshing little number, called the Basil & Lime. Of course, you might not have a spigot of vodka in your home, but you can still make it the old fashioned way.

1.5 oz. Reyka vodka

1 oz. fresh lime juice

3/4 oz. basil syrup

1/2 oz. Amer Picon

Fresh basil sprigs.

Making it: Combine all the liquid ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into an 8-oz. footed Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with basil sprig  and to “wake up” the flavor. (Note: Rocco always tests his cocktails with the finger-and-straw technique before serving to his guests. It’s a nice touch if you’re making it for someone else.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Allison Tolman to receive Topaz Award from Women in Film Dallas

Allison Tolman (with Bob Oedenkirk in 'Fargo') will receive a Topaz Award from Women in Film Dallas.

Allison Tolman (with Bob Oedenkirk in ‘Fargo’) will receive a Topaz Award from Women in Film Dallas.

Allison Tolman — the Baylor grad, co-founder of Second Thought Theatre and award-winning star of this season’s hit series Fargo — will join legendary comic Ruth Ruzzi as the recipient of a Topaz Award, presented by Women in Film Dallas at their annual gala on Nov. 22.

Tolman received an Emmy Award nomination (she lost to Kathy Bates — not bad) and a Critics Choice Award as deputy Molly Solverson on Fargo. She is familiar to Dallas stages, but has spent the last several years in Chicago. Buzzi, of course, is the iconic comedian, best remembered for her days on Laugh-In opposite Lily Tomlin and Arte Johnson.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

What a weekend! Your guide to what’s going on in North Texas

Rawlins Gilliland

So, there was simply no room this week to write about all the incredible things going on in North Texas this weekend. Tomorrow’s print edition will have stories on the Texas Veggie Fair (Sunday), Dallas Comic Con (Friday–Sunday) and of course the IGRA Finals Rodeo (which will be our cover story), but there’s much more. So, to make it easy on you, here’s a breakdown:

Friday. The Turtle Creek Chorale is back for its 35th season opener, this time premiering at the Latino Cultural Center, in a concert called Brave. It also marks new interim music director Sean Baugh’s debut behind the baton. (The concert is also on Saturday.)

Also on Friday and Saturday, and even on Sunday, is the Texas Ballet Theater‘s season opener, The Sleeping Beauty, which will be a Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.

Saturday. Rawlins Gilliland, pictured, returns with a new live show of spoken words, this time with a seasonal theme. Happy Murder Stories are expected to be dark (yet always with a humorous chunk of humanity) recollections from his amazing adventures. It’s at the Kessler at 8 p.m.

Also on Saturday, the Dallas Video Festival continues, and among the films screening will be Fallen Angel II — The Legacy Lives On. A sequel (though more of a re-edit I hear) of a 2008 documentary about the choreography of Bruce Wood, who passed away suddenly earlier this year. This version contains new footage and discussed Wood’s lasting impact on dance. At the Angelika Film Center Mockingbird Station at 8:15 p.m.

Also on Saturday is Drag Racer Willam Belli appearing at Gaybingo in the Rose Room!

Sunday. Another busy day. In addition to the Texas Veggie Fair at Reverchon Park (11 a.m.–6 p.m.), the Honey Pot Bear Fest returns to the Dallas Eagle (2–5 p.m.) and the annual Great Gatsby 1920s-themed fundraiser for AIN is back in Preston Hollow (3–6 p.m.). All of these kinda require costumes, whether it’s flapper garb, leather, or definitely not leather.

Have fun sorting it all out!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

2015 DIFFA Style Council Ambassadors announced

chefAt a party Wednesday night at Neiman Marcus’ flagship store, DIFFA revealed the nine members of the Style Council for 2015. They are tasked with promoting the DIFFA cause and especially generating support for the gala next March 7, which will return to the Omni hotel.

In addition, to mark the 25th anniversary of DIFFA, seven Legends of Style were announced — former Style Council Ambassadors who have long supported the cause over the years in significant ways.

Here are the ambassadors and legends!

Style Council: Jenna Alexander, Jenn Clark, Norma Johnson, Scott Kehn, Debra Nelson, Ralph Randall, Shayne Robinson,  Jody Stein, Patrick Ware.

Legends: Simona Beal, Gillian Breidenbach, Don Gaiser, Rebecca Hallman, David Kiger, Matrice Kirk and Joe Pacetti, pictured.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

William Blake returns for cabaret show with Denise Lee

Blake LeeFull disclosure, here: Both William Blake and Denise Lee love me. I know, cuz they’ve said so. Will something come of it? Never say never.

To say I love them, though, would be superfluous — everyone does. Denise, the sultry powerhouse; Blake, the lilting crooner. Blake’s a local, but has spent much of the last decade tearing up the cabarets on NYC. He’s back home, though, for a one-night-only performance with Lee at the Uptown Theatre in Grand Prairie on Tuesday called, natch, My Baby & Me. In addition to great songs, you’ll hear awesome stories about their careers and even get to much on some appetizers. But nothing is more appetizing that hearing these songbirds.

Get your tickets here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Del Shores set to make ‘Sordid Lives’ sequel, shoot it in Dallas

0600 flashDel Shores is finally following up his hit play/movie/TV series Sordid Lives with an official sequel. His next feature film will be A Very Sordid Wedding, picking up 16 years after the original. Castmembers Leslie Jordan, Bonnie Bedelia and Caroline Rhea are set to reprise their roles, and as the title suggests, there’ll be a wedding … and a same-sex one, at that.

And the above-named folks won’t be the only familiar names in the cast — one of the scenes will take place in the Rose Room, and Shores has even written parts for some of the ladies there.

“I never felt, like much of the Sordid Lives fan base, that I was done with the denizens of Winters, Texas,” Shores says.

The film will be produced by Shores’ business partner (and Dallas Voice contributor) Emerson Collins, and there’s even a IndieGoGo website if you want to contribute to the making of it. Click here for that.

Shores was just in North Texas for the screening at Q Cinema of Southern Baptist Sissies, another of his Texas-based riffs on conservative, religion and homosexuality.

Here’s a video of Shores talking about the project filming in Dallas.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: Blood Orange Cosmo

Blood Orange CosmopolitanEver since Carrie Bradshaw and friends made it fashionable, the cosmopolitan has been a staple of dishy chat over an aperitif. But having recently tasted the Italian liqueur Solerno, make with blood oranges for a tangy citrus kick, I think this variation has its own appeal.

2 parts Solerno Blood Orange liqueur.

2 parts (each) beet juice, carrot juice, orange juice

1 part (each) lemon juice and ginger juice

Orange slices, fresh ginger

Making it: Combine all ingredients in a shaker and roll together. Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with orange and/or ginger.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Sam Smith parody ‘Please Go Home’

Please Go HomeSam Smith, the amazingly talented gay British pop star, will be performing tonight in Dallas, the final leg of his limited North American tour. To help get you ready for the concert, we share this video … not of an actual Sam Smith song, but of its parody, “Please Go Home,” which turns the needy-trick meme on its head from the perspective of the guy who made the mistake of hooking up with him. And it comes courtesy of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, led by our own Tim Seelig! It’s especially good for bear lovers! Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

RECAP: ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’

AHSFS_Jessica_color_f_hires1If you’re as addicted to American Horror Story as most people I know, last night’s fourth season opener — which, like previous incarnations, follows its own new arc as a limited-run series — probably didn’t disappoint.

This cycle, called Freak Show, owes a lot to Tod Browning’s classic 1932 film Freaks which shows the grotesque and the tender side-by-side, down to the bearded lady (Kathy Bates, affecting a deliciously uncategorizable accent), the Siamese twins (two-headed Sarah Paulson, who may be eligible in both the leading and supporting actress Emmy categories), the tiny person and, natch, the clown … who, in this instance, makes Pennywise seem as harmless as Ronald McDonald. (If the image of that grinning skull-headed killer clown doesn’t freak you out more than Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, you’ve a stronger constitution that I have. I even waited until this morning to watch the damn thing, as I get easily frightened by toothy murderers in blood-stained yarn-ball tops.)

This is all par for the course with Ryan Murphy, who revels in the unsustainably exaggerated imagery of horror and musical-comedy, which can often be the same thing. While less sexy than Coven (the third cycle), Freak Show‘s lack of subtlety is one of its appeals. Who would ever attend a circus whose entrance was a fanged, grinning face designed more to terrify than to entice? When brutal murders start occurring in the 1952 backwater of Jupiter, Fla., who else would be the chief suspects other than an itinerant band of carnies (something the local police force seems slow to pick up on)? What pair of lovers would have a scary clown walk toward they and say “Hello” rather than run screaming in the opposite direction?

But there’s heart here, as well as gruesomeness. Jessica Lange plays Elsa, the German emigree ringleader of this pathetic traveling circus who is obsessed by stardom and glamour and imagines herself to be P.T. Barnum mixed with Marlene Dietrich. When she sings her number to welcome the milquetoast young man and his domineering mom (Frances Conroy) to the opening night of the show, it’s both wonderful and sad. That’s how most editions of American Horror Story play out: Only bad can come with good.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Two x Two for AIDS and Art books, surprisingly, CeeLo Green

CeeLo Green__Photography by Meeno

Here’s a bit of news you haven’t heard in recent months: An organization booking — rather than canceling — an appearance by CeeLo Green.

The recording artist (“Crazy,” “Fuck You”) and TV host (The Voice) had most of his concerts canceled and his TBS reality series dropped within the last month or so following an allegation of sexual assault (no charges were filed) and his own self-serving Tweet, which he later deleted, and which showed insensitivity to rape.

But Two x Two for AIDS and Art, a high-end fundraiser, has announced that Green will be the featured entertainment at the Oct. 25 event. “Green is a longtime supporter of organizations focused on AIDS research and awareness. We are thrilled to have him,” said Cindy Rachofsky, host of the event, in a press release.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones