Lakewood Theater threatened because why save anything worth saving?

Lakewood TheaterIsn’t it amazing what isn’t landmarked in Dallas?

The latest building under threat is the Lakewood Theater in East Dallas. The theater was undergoing renovation, but that work has stopped. A week ago, the theater’s old green seats with thick red padding were removed from the building and tossed in the dumpster. Speculation is the building will be torn down.

(Another clue: this is Dallas. The building’s more than 20 years old. There’s not enough parking within 10 feet of the building. General rule: tear it down.)

The Lakewood Theater was built in 1938 and is known for its frescoes and art deco architecture. Karl Hoblizelle was the original owner. He also built the Majestic in Downtown Dallas.

With multiplex theaters opening all over Dallas, the theater began showing second run films. Attendance decreased and after a showing of The Last Picture Show in 1983, the theater closed.

The next year, the theater was renovated and reopened with first-run films. In 1988, it celebrated its 50th anniversary, but by 1993, attendance dwindled and the Lakewood closed again.

In 1994, new owners leased the theater to Keith McKeague. He used the theater for innovative programming and hosted Gaybingo for years before it moved to S4. After a flood in the basement and other setbacks, the owners refused to renew his lease.

Recently Viva Dallas Burlesque has staged a monthly show at the theater with Patti le Plae Safe as emcee.

Alamo Drafthouse has wanted the theater for years.

There’s a petition to the Dallas Landmark Commission to save the Lakewood that reads:

We, the citizens of Dallas, petition the Landmark Commission to initiate landmark designation for the preservation of the Lakewood Theater, the iconic landmark of East Dallas.

Letter to:
City of Dallas
Landmark Commission
We, the citizens of Dallas, petition the Landmark Commission to initiate landmark designation for the preservation of the Lakewood Theater, the iconic landmark of East Dallas.

It is our expectation that the theater as a whole may be appropriately preserved and utilized so that future generations may also know and experience the unique qualities that have endeared it to so many previous generations.

About 2,000 people have already signed the petition and you can sign it here.

—  David Taffet

Paula Poundstone tonight at Lakewood Theater

A night of Pound-ing

Funny lady Paula Poundstone brings her comedic recounts of life as a single mom, NPR contributor and more for this one night only show. She had such a good run the last time she stopped in the parts, that she was kind enough to give Dallas another chance to partake in the punchlines. Saturday night’s all right for laughing.

DEETS: Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway. 8 p.m. $30–$105.

—  Rich Lopez

Best Bets • 02.03.12

AmmunitionFriday 02.03

Fill up on eye candy
Viva Dallas Burlesque delves into the absurd with Gadgets and Gobstoppers: The Twisted World of Wonka. Burlesque beauties go from steamy to steampunk teaming up with local band Marquis of Vaudeville. Expect a cavity as they transform the theater into a candy confection of dance and music and a whole lotta sexy.

Lakewood Theater
1825 Abrams Road.
8 p.m. $20.


Tuesday 02.07

Lady unplugged
Brandi Carlile must really love this town and rightfully so. She’s been here consistently the last two years and sold out the Granada Theater in 2011. She scales back a bit this time performing with an acoustic trio and likely her signature acapella tune. She’s one of the few who can pull that gimmick off with so much magic.

With Lucy Wainwright Roche
House of Blues
2200 N. Lamar St.
8 p.m. $27.50–$39.50.


Tuesday 02.07

Sounds like couture
Fashioned Forward is a musical exploration into the designs behind legend Jean Paul Gaultier. Spanning from classical to pop, performers turn fashion into song with works by Gershwin to Madonna using Gaultier as inspiration.

Horchow Auditorium
1717 N. Harwood Road (in the DMA).
7:30 p.m. $37.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 3, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Chatting up the Secret Sisters before tonight’s benefit for The Women’s Chorus of Dallas

Tonight, the Secret Sisters headline The Southern Harmony Party at the Lakewood Theater, which also features local band The King Bucks and Audrey Dean Kelley. The night benefits The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, a very gay-friendly organization. In a recent interview with Dallas Voice, real-life sisters Lydia and Laura of the Secret Sisters talked up their connection with the gay community and how growing up Church of Christ never stopped them from accepting people as they are:

So first, how did you get hooked up with The Women’s Chorus of Dallas? We were playing a show in Birmingham, AL several months ago, and met a really nice promoter named De Foster, who loved our sound and was determined to have us play a show in Dallas.  We agreed that we would love to come there and play, and so not long afterwards, he contacted us about playing a show that would benefit the Women’s Chorus.  We love playing shows that are in conjunction with positive organizations, and especially those that are connected to our favorite hobby:  music.  So when we got the invitation to play, we were thrilled!  We are so excited to meet everyone involved with the chorus, and very excited that the focus of the evening will be on women and music.  We both feel that there just aren’t enough strong women in the music industry, and we know that the evening will be positive one, that’s also a lot of fun.

What do such groups mean to you? Any time that we can use our music to highlight organizations that do good things, we are eager to do so. Both of us were in our high school choruses when we were younger, and we know just how much fun it is to be surrounded by your friends, enjoying music that you are making together.  Music means so much to us, and to be able to spend the evening with others who are passionate about it as well is going to be an honor.  We’ve been looking forward to this show for a while now.

More after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Best Bets • 09.09.11

Saturday 09.10OCP

Forest through the trees
When Jay Maggio paints, it’s hard to not take a look. His tree-scapes are textural and impressionistic but with cool, modern touches. In other words, we likey. Craighead Green presents a three-artist exhibit including Maggio, Heather Gorham and Arturo Mallman. Despite different perspectives,their works are quite cohesive.

DEETS: Craighead Green Gallery,
1011 Dragon St. Through Oct. 8.


Saturday 09.10

Splash the day away
It used to be splashing people with water balloons was reason to get grounded by the parents. Now it’s for all the right reasons. The LifeWalk Waterpalooza dodgeball tourney returns, with teams duking it out with water balloons to benefit AIDS Arms.

DEETS: Station 4 parking lot,
3911 Cedar Springs Road. 1 p.m.


Thursday 09.15

Southern belles
For The Women’s Chorus of Dallas to snag the Secret Sisters for the Southern Harmony Party is quite a feat. And if it benefits the chorus, well that’s not so bad either.

DEETS: Lakewood Theater,
1825 Abrams Parkway. 8 p.m. $25–$50.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

That’s Brynt-ertainment

Contemporary Ballet principal dancer Brynt Beitman finds modern dance welcomes the gay aesthetic

STEVEN LINDSEY  | Contributing Writer

MEN IN MOTION  |  Brynt Beitman, left, gets his Texas groove on for ‘Wild & Free,’ Friday at the Lakewood Theater. (Photo courtesy Brian Guilliaux)
MEN IN MOTION | Brynt Beitman, left, gets his Texas groove on for ‘Wild & Free,’ Friday at the Lakewood Theater. (Photo courtesy Brian Guilliaux)

Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway. Oct. 15. 7 p.m.
$25.  214-821-2066.


For every parent who has ever worried about pushing their children into extracurricular activities that they might not like, there’s the strong possibility that a creative spark will be lit that a child might otherwise have never discovered. That’s exactly what happened to contemporary ballet dancer Brynt Beitman when he was eight years old.

“My sister wanted to take dance and my parents made me play football and do all the guy stuff and I didn’t like that,” he says. “They actually offered to have me try dance and at first I was like, ‘No, dancing’s for girls!’ And by the end of my first class, I was like ‘OK! I really like this!’”

Beitman began his training at Kitty Carter’s Dance Factory with jazz and tap. At 13, he started seriously training in ballet. After studying with Krassovska Ballet Jueness and Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet, he spent summers at Boston Ballet and Southern Ballet

Theater, among others, eventually getting his bachelor’s from the Juilliard School in New York.

“Now I look back and dance has been the most consistent part of my life,” says Beitman, 27.

Tonight, Beitman performs in Wild & Free with Contemporary Ballet Dallas, where he’s been for three seasons. The mission of the company, which was started in 2001 by SMU alumni hoping to revitalize dance in Dallas, is to reach a broad audience while cultivating emerging artists and choreographers.

The show honors the independent spirit of contemporary Texas artists. Original works will be set to the music of Norah Jones, Nina Simone, and even Texas music legend Stevie Ray Vaughan — no Swan Lake here.

“It’s based on Texas. There will be something that everybody will like,” Beitman says. “There are nine pieces from nine different choreographers. If you don’t like one thing, just wait 10 minutes … but there’s nothing to dislike!”

Beitman’s work with Contemporary Ballet Dallas confirms his conviction that modern dance is where his talents truly lie.

“I think it’s more creative. Classical is more codified and you have less freedom and a lot more restrictions choreographically.

Contemporary can be whatever you want it to be,” says Beitman, who hopes to become a choreographer. He also thinks as a general rule that contemporary ballet attracts more gay male dancers, but he’s quick to point out that his opinion is far from a scientific sampling.

“I think that the athletic bravura of classical ballet attracts straight guys, where contemporary dance is a lot more times internally driven and in my experience, it seems to attract…” — he pauses before blurting out — “… queers!”

To Beitman, being a dancer is particularly rewarding because of the openness, diversity and acceptance of not just homosexuality, but people from a vast array of backgrounds.

“It’s like somebody being in fashion and not being open to gay people. Contemporary dance is the same way. There’s no real stereotypical dancer as far as their private lives are concerned,” he says. “It’s a really universal thing and there all different types of people. And here I am!”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 15, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Shawn lately

Comic Pelofsky pairs with Dallas’ Paul J. Williams for a gay ol’ time Saturday

COMIC PAIR  |  Paul J. Williams, right, opens for comedian Shawn Pelofsky at the Rose Room Saturday.
COMIC PAIR | Paul J. Williams, right, opens for comedian Shawn Pelofsky at the Rose Room Saturday.

The Rose Room at Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Sept. 25. Show begins at 9:30 p.m. $4 cover.


Shawn Pelofsky has probably been on more gay cruises that any straight woman should feel comfortable claiming.

The L.A.-based comic, who performs nationwide with her Lady Haha & Friends Tour, has appeared on E! with Chelsea Handler, but is familiar to gay travelers for her frequent stints on Atlantis Cruises. She brings her act, alongside local comedian Paul J. Williams, for a show at the Rose Room Saturday.

Pelofsky chatted (with Williams) about what she likes about Dallas’ gay community and why she is so popular with gay audiences (hint: It’s her schnoz).

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Voice: You were here a few years ago at the Lakewood Theater; how did this show come about? Pelofsky: I was already booked in Austin. I had a lot of requests from the Dallas boys from working the Atlantis Cruises so I thought, “If I’m gonna be that close, and we make it happen…” So I called Paul and he did it.

Williams: I am just a vessel for you to perform.

Pelofsky: Paul is so nice and funny.

Are we talking about the same person? Pelofsky: Yes. You can’t get much by me. He’s funny.

You’re straight — how’d you get to be so big in the gay community? Pelofsky: I was born with a Streisand face, so I couldn’t dodge anyone in the gay community — they stop me all the time. Actually, I wasn’t born with it — I broke my nose three times and it got this way. I think with that, people noticed me a little more.

About five or six yeas ago, I just noticed most of my friends were young gay men and I was working a lot of gay venues in Los Angeles. Then the Atlantis [Cruises] people saw me. I was really one of the first straight comics to work so much for them. I really represent the community because I understand that thought process, that mind behind the gay man. It’s my mind. And I’m very accepting.

Do you tailor your act for your audiences? Pelofsky: Sure. Believe it or not, I have worked in front of kids, and I do kid humor. Or when I’m in front of a bunch of old Jews in New Jersey. I can’t do all my gay material when I’m in Afghanistan for the troops.

Do you do it at all? Any “don’t ask, don’t tell” jokes when performing for the troops? Pelofsky: I haven’t really touched that. They say do nothing about that or the president. I just don’t go there. But it does come off the cuff…. But I do love gay humor. And I do it when I work at the Comedy Store.

Do you have any topics that are burning a hole in you comically speaking? Pelofsky: Yes, Prop 8. I support it. Just kidding!

You’ve worked Vegas — did you hear they are closing the Liberace Museum? Pelofsky: Yes! Who doesn’t wanna go to the Liberace Museum?

Williams: I just wanna know if they’re having a garage sale. I’d buy anything shaped like a piano.

Pelofsky: I want a Bedazzled jock strap.

You grew up in Oklahoma as, as you put it, one of 10 Jews born and raised in the state. Do you like coming back to your old stomping grounds? Pelofsky: I have not been to Texas in a few years. I’m not going home until Monday — gonna stay longer because I have a couple of best friends there. I will tell you this, though: I will always get to Texas before I get back to Oklahoma. My dad says, “You gonna be playing Dallas and not Oklahoma?” Yes.

But you like performing here? Pelofsky: Yes, I’m excited! I think the Dallas gay community is one of the best-looking communities, and I’ve been around. And yes, I know everything is bigger in Texas. And everyone knows I’m a size queen.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Puff pasties

Patti Le Plae Safe works a whole new angle in burlesque

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer

Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway. July 2.
Doors at 8 p.m. $20.

Patti Le Plae Safe

STRIPPED DOWN | Patti Le Plae Safe adds to her resume as the new host of Viva Dallas Burlesque.

Over the years, Patti Le Plae Safe has probably worn every shade of gown and makeup known to man — or woman. Come July 2, the local glam queen will wear one shade you might not have seen her in. Let’s just call it a fleshier tone.

“My first performance is a strip number and I’m gonna play with the audience big time,” she says. “I’m gonna strip down and once the last final piece is off, they might be surprised!”

That surprise will come from the not-that-really-gay show Viva Dallas Burlesque. Tapped to be the show’s new mistress of ceremonies, Le Plae Safe will be working with an entirely different audience.

She’s not concerned. In recent years, burlesque has transcended the seediness of stripper poles and lap dances into a cool retro pastime. Le Plae Safe is actually looking forward to the “Harley honeys and their husbands” in the audience, along with the hipsters and growing gay audience.

“This won’t be a wrong crowd for me to work with,” she says. “I always like to play and go off the good energy from them. Plus, it’s not just a straight crowd.”

But how does a drag queen get to host a show dominated by the sex appeal of women?

“I M.C. GayBingo every month at the Rose Room, and the owners of Viva and the Lakewood happened to be in the audience,” she explains. “They came up to me and said I’d be the best M.C. for them.”

Taken aback by their assertion, she approached with caution. Other than a vague idea of what burlesque was, she didn’t know what to expect. While entertained by the spectacle, she saw a relation between drag and burlesque: the makeup, the costumes and the performance. Le Plae Safe signed on.

“It is different in nature but it’s still a show,” she says. “We create this illusion on stage for an audience who wants a fantasy. It’s also very different. We don’t have these shows in our bars.”

Along with her regular hosting duties at GayBingo, she is the new monthly host for Viva Dallas Burlesque bringing a slightly different flavor to the erotica dance scene which has welcomed her with open arms.

“Each one of entertainers has been excited and opened the door with warmth and love. This really is a new adventure for my career that I never thought I’d be a part of.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 25, 2010.

—  Dallasvoice

Concert notice: Indigo Girls play HOB in May

The Indigo Girls are back on the road in support of their 2009 double CD, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. They’ve forgone the major label route and released Bug on their own indie label, IG Recordings. So it looks like they’ve come full circle since their lauded 1987 indie debut, Strange Fire.

They don’t go for a lot of drama onstage but like their younger lesbian counterparts, Tegan and Sara, they are likely to deliver a quality show. Although, we kinda dug the retro feel of their show last year at the Lakewood (below).

The Indigo Girls play at House of Blues, May 28 at 9 p.m. Tickets on sale now.заказать копирайтинг киевпопулярность запросов google

—  Rich Lopez