“So You Think You Can Dance” holds auditions

If you want to get on a Fox reality show and couldn’t carry a tune if it came with a handle, you might wanna show up at McFarlin Auditorium on the SMU campus Friday. That’s where they’ll be holding auditions for the ninth season of So You Think You Can Dance. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and you must be prepared to be available for up to two days, in the event of call-backs.

To see all eligibility rules, visit Fox.com/Dance.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘The Dallas Life’ premieres tonight at the Brick

Dallas gets another dose of reality

Brent Paxton has long been at work on his new reality show The Dallas Life and it comes to life tonight. What happens when 12 strangers live under one roof? Obviously lots if you take in any kind of reality TV. With people from all backgrounds, Paxton shows all the drama that goes down Dallas-style. It’s kinda like The Real World but by the sounds of it, only one can make it to the end.

The event is also a food drive for the North Texas Food Bank and people are encouraged to bring a food item.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 8 p.m. DallasLife.tv

—  Rich Lopez

Fierce photo-op, Christian Siriano at the Galleria

Christian SirianoReality TV is full of shows promising to produce the next top model, hot new designer, or big deal arborist (OK, I made that one up), but rare is the reality show winner who actually sticks around to have a high profile career once the cameras power down. Project runway season 5 winner, Christian Siriano, is that rare talent that makes for good TV and real world success.

Siriano’s coming to the Galleria Payless Shoe store this Thursday, Nov 3,  to show off his expanded Payless collection, including an assortment of shoes and handbags.  Siriano will be available for photos with his “fierce” -ly loyal fans. The posing and pouting kick off at 5 pm at the Galleria, 5061 Westheimer Road.

—  admin

‘Cheaters’ plays tonight at CTD

Always getting caught

The Contemporary Theatre of Dallas presents Cheaters written by Michael Jacobs and directed by Michael Serrecchia. No, this isn’t a stage version of that horrible reality show putting cheating boyfriends and girflriends on the spot. The couples here intertwine dangerously before a young couple’s wedding. It’s both funny and oh-so wrong. Did he really sleep with her?

The cast includes Sue Loncar, Ted Wold, Jim Johnson, Marcia Carroll, Danielle Pickard & Andrews Cope.

DEETS: CTD, 5601 Sears St. 8 p.m. $22–$32. ContemporaryTheatreOfDallas.com

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000000416 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000000382 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000000382 Sue Loncar, Ted Wold, Jim Johnson, Marcia Carroll, Danielle Pickard & Andrews Cope

—  Rich Lopez

Starvoice • 09.02.11

By Jack FertigJ-Foxworth

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Jeff Foxworthy turns 53 on Tuesday.
The comedian known mostly for his “You might be a redneck” jokes has been fairly harmless in his jokes regarding gays but gave us gold when he sang “Islands in the Stream” with Kenny Rogers while holding hands. Classic. He’s currently in the reality show Shark Tank.

………………….

THIS WEEK

Venus in Virgo and Mars in Cancer are in a sextile that suggests homey seductions. The best way to your intended’s heart, or other parts, is through dainty treats, preferably at home. These planets are also in hard aspect to Eris bringing a creative edge to competition, but perhaps too much competitiveness to your efforts.

………………….

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Venus in your sign brings charm that you can use to social advantages. That can boost your sex life, but with complications. Volunteering time and effort for your community challenges you.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
You can accomplish a great deal sequestered at your job. That will arouse competitive suspicion, but who better than you to find a cooperative solution? Granted, that will be a job in itself.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Ask your friends for the most far out entertainment they can think of. Go one better if you can. Better yet, read something that will challenge your political or spiritual values.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Slow careful moves promote your career better than bold actions. Take initiative to be helpful and look for problems to solve. Creative answers are brilliant, but can be divisive.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
You are likely to lose arguments with your partner. Pay close attention to understand his or her point of view. Your silent acceptance will be spiritually enriching and save your relationship.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Deep insights can make work more productive but can prove divisive. Include colleagues in the process; make them feel part of it to help your team be more competitive and less fractious.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
You and your baby need fun. How much to spend can be a bone of contention. Get creative about economizing. The best way to keep domestic peace is to keep your mind on long-term goals.
ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Being neat, sweet and domestic is the best way to sustain love or meet a new one. Resist being critical. If you can offer improvements, first make sure they’re welcome.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
You’re cute when you’re being shy, but being shy doesn’t mean being a wimp. If you have to choose between being adorable and standing up for yourself, you know what to do.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Organize household finances or rearrange things to make more sense. Check in with your partner or roommates first. You get away with your initiative, but consultation makes it better.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
It’s tempting to gripe about your boss, but he or she will hear about it. Tame your critical mind and turn it to your work. Among other benefits, focusing on productivity pulls you out of worry.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Most arguments are a waste of time. Is convincing some clod that you’re right that important? The most important arguments are within yourself and lead to new realms of self-expression.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

WATCH: Nikki Araguz mobbed by TV reporters outside court appearance on theft charge

A day after her attorneys announced they’ll appeal a judge’s ruling declaring her marriage invalid, transsexual widow Nikki Araguz was arraigned today on a theft charge for allegedly stealing a Rolex watch fr0m a woman at a Houston bar in February.

The Houston Chronicle reports that although a filmmaker accompanied Araguz —  who plans a documentary and reality show — she declined to talk to the media. In the below video from ABC 13, Araguz shouts an expletive at TV cameramen who try to get in an elevator with her.

On Wednesday, Araguz’s attorneys said they’ll appeal a Wharton judge’s decision to deny her death benefits from her late husband, volunteer firefighter Thomas Araguz III. In a setback for transgender equality, the judge declared the Araguzes’ marriage invalid because he said Araguz was born male.

Nikki Araguz is free on $2,000 bond on the theft charge.

—  John Wright

Trans widow Nikki Araguz is looking for a few good men — to date on her new reality show

Nikki Araguz

Cressandra Thibodeaux, a Houston-based filmmaker, sends along word that she’s partnering with transgender widow Nikki Araguz on a reality show called, Being Nikki.

Araguz, of course, made international news for her battle to receive death benefits after her husband, volunteer firefighter Thomas Araguz, died in the line of duty last year.

Thomas Araguz’s family sued Nikki Araguz in an effort to prevent her from receiving death benefits, arguing that their marriage wasn’t valid because she is transgender. And the case led to a bill in the Texas Senate aimed at barring transgender people from marrying people of the opposite sex, which sparked another round of media coverage.

But back to Being Nikki, which, according to Thibodeaux, will offer viewers “an honest, up-close and personal view at real life complexities of being a transsexual in this modern age.”

“Nikki has overcome many obstacles through her experiences, and is thoroughly comfortable with who she is,” Thibodeaux writes. “During the show you will get to see what dating is like for Nikki and getting a glimpse into her day-to-day life. As we move towards a transparent society, Nikki is looking for someone with whom to share her life, honestly, fully, and deeply.”

Specifically, the show is looking for contestants in the form of “single men willing to date the beautiful, dynamic, smart and driven woman — Nikki Araguz. We are looking for college-educated, physically fit, handsome men – a sense of humor is a must.”

The deadline for applications is July 1. For more, email info@beingnikki.com.

—  John Wright

Great Spaces: There grows the neighborhood

Architect/TV host John Gidding offers tips for multiple-home improvement, or just a single room

By Steven Lindsey

Anyone who owns a home can quickly name the one house on the block that ruins the whole street for everyone. It could be as simple as an unkempt yard or as drastic as broken-down cars perched on cinderblocks on the driveway. Architect and HGTV host John Gidding’s new show, Curb Appeal: The Block, is all about tackling entire groups of homes and building a sense of pride in a community. Fortunately, you don’t have to go on a reality show to benefit from his advice, from ways to improve your own home to getting everyone living around you in on the act.

Taking on the neighborhood

In Curb Appeal: The Block, Gidding is challenged with designing and improving facades on more than one house. Rather than just helping one person make his or her home shine, his job is to upgrade an entire block while staying true to the aesthetics of the homes and rely on historic and contextual cues.

“It makes a big difference when multiple homeowners in a neighborhood feel the benefits of a curb appeal facelift, typically with the side effect that after we leave, those neighbors continue to find ways of beautifying their surroundings and further strengthening those neighborly bonds,” he says.

The biggest culprits for bringing down curb appeal, according to Gidding, are ugly yards, shoddy or unappealing front doors, little regard for quality lighting, lack of color, faltering shutters and gutters and a crooked mailbox.

“A clean yard with well-maintained planting beds and mulched details is all you need in terms of landscaping. Some colorful plants following the path to the front door doesn’t hurt.”

And, he says, if you don’t have a dedicated path to the front door and have people walking up your driveway, you’ve broken Gidding’s No.1 rule: Always have a path to the front door.

“After that it’s about bringing color to the front door to attract attention to the entrance, and then decorating the entrance with a place to sit, a sconce or lighting fixture that matches the metal finishes of the door hardware, and then complementing the entrance colors with accents on the facade like repainting shutters or installing window boxes. It’s really not rocket science, but it can require some color coordination and taste.”

Without a TV crew in tow, people may find it difficult to get their neighbors to feel the need to improve their homes’ curb appeal.

“The most effective grease for this particular wheel is from the elbow. In other words, if you are willing to put in a little work yourself, you’ll be amazed how receptive neighbors can be to chipping in. The worst thing you can do is tell neighbors how to improve their lot or side of the street. You end up fracturing the very fabric that needs to be built up,” he says.

“On the other hand, if you propose a weekend where whoever wants to can join in doing a few projects around the neighborhood, you’ll find more and more people willing to help out. Once that kind of relationship is built up, the sky is the limit for how much improvement a block can affect as a team.”

Increasing your home’s value

“Kitchens and bathrooms are the tried and tested focal points for a successful home renovation,” Gidding says. “Granted, they can be expensive to redo, but invariably the investment comes back in property values. For kitchens, cabinet resurfacing, countertop upgrades, and new appliances are the big-ticket crowd pleasers.”

“For bathrooms, it’s retiling and new fixtures. Both these rooms are slaves to trends, so it’s good to be well versed in what’s new and hot in the market.

One year it’s all about the convection ovens and induction cooktops, and another year it can be about natural cabinet fronts and stone backsplashes. To avoid picking trends that will become dated, always look for low-detail (no multicolored inlays within the backsplash), high-quality (granite and stainless) upgrades.”

When adding value to a home that isn’t for sale, the only difference is the ability to infuse more personality in the renovations. This is a good time to hire a designer and really work on changes that will enhance your lifestyle. Built-ins are a great example, as are custom pieces of furniture that fit within specific nooks in your home. Try to maximize the spaces within your home that aren’t being used optimally. Spaces under the stairs can be reclaimed, breakfast nooks created, offices built into bedroom corners, you get the idea. These are all upgrades that will improve your day-to-day, while still being generally appreciated down the road if you do decide to sell,” he advises.

Prepping your home for sale

Gidding’s first HGTV show was Designed to Sell, a show that helped people transform their homes to sell faster and get a higher price. There are a few projects that anyone can do to make a house more appealing to prospective buyers, including some that don’t cost a thing.

“The single least expensive and most effective strategy isn’t even a design tip. It’s a clutter tip. Get rid of it!” Gidding says. “I’ve found that the homes that stay the shortest amount of time on the market are the ones that have removed about 50 percent of all clothes, belongings, knick knacks and assorted items from their shelves and closets. Some choose to rent a storage unit, some are already in their new homes and smartly move everything but the staging items to it, and others simply call Mom and use an extra bedroom as temporary holding space.”

“I always tell people to make their closets look like they live a charmed life of white shirts, beige pants, and sandals. It’s the lifestyle you’re selling as much as the house, and a cluttered home is possibly the single biggest detractor when selling.”

As far as actual design strategies, the rules are simple.

“Make sure every room is staged to have an identity,” he says. In other words, no guest rooms that are “storage rooms” and no this-dining-room-could-also-be-an-office” spaces. He also advises to use neutral, low-saturation colors on all walls that complement any furniture. Add fresh flowers to the foyer and other appropriate spaces, plant annuals and perennials in the front yard for curb appeal, and make sure the house numbers are appealing and visible.

His most important tip, which goes hand-in-hand with clutter removal is to clean, clean, clean.

“That means within drawers, every bathroom and kitchen surface, under beds, and every nook you think a buyer will not look, but trust me they will. Oh, final tip. If any bathroom has carpeting, be prepared to keep that house on the market for a nice, long time.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 15, 2011.

—  John Wright

Teen gay dream

GLEEK HERO   |  In just four episodes, Criss has become a popular gay on ‘Glee.’ (Photo by Robert Hart)

Darren Criss, the breakout heartthrob from ‘Glee,’ isn’t gay or a teen, but welcomes more romance for Blaine

MARK LOWRY  |  Special Contributor
mark@theaterjones.com

Aside from the hot pink sunglasses, and the assistant who occasionally makes sure that his natural curls fall just so on his forehead, Darren Criss doesn’t come across as the young actor whose star is on a rocket’s upward path.

A new, popular actor on the hit Fox show Glee, Criss possesses an articulate intelligence and level-headedness that belies his age (he turns 24 in under a month). On the show, Criss plays Dalton Academy gay student Blaine, the teenage dream with the glassy brown eyes and plush eyebrows that make Kurt (Chris Colfer) — not to mention the rest of gay America — swoon.

Criss was in North Texas last weekend at the Fort Worth auditions for The Glee Project, a reality show that will debut on Oxygen in June where 12 contestants will vie for a role on Glee. The winner is guaranteed multiple episodes next season. Whether this new character (which hasn’t been written yet, so it’s open to gender and type) becomes a recurring character depends on his or her popularity with audiences.

The winner would be lucky to repeat the feat accomplished by Criss, who in a scant four episodes has already proven so popular that he’s been confirmed as a series regular for the rest of Seasons 2 and 3. The real question that the gay fans of the show — and we hear there are a few — are asking: Will the Kurt/Blaine friendship develop into something more?

“I’m just as curious as everybody else,” Criss says. “Obviously the potential is there. As much as all of us want to see that happen immediately, I think the most important thing to convey between the two of them is that of a support system. It’s really important to show young people especially that there’s a person to confide in, and that friendship is possible. If that does evolve into a romantic relationship, then awesome. But let’s hope that it’s warranted, and real. And there’s no greater way to portray a love story than to prolong it as long as possible.”

Criss knows a thing or two about fictional love stories. The San Francisco native has been doing theater for much of his short life. In high school and as a student at the University of Michigan, he appeared in musicals like the “lost Sondheim” show Do I Hear a Waltz and the Rodgers and Hart classic Babes in Arms.

“I’m a big Rodgers and Hart fan. For my audition for Blaine, I sang ‘Where or When’ [from Babes],” he says. “I was a big musical theater rat. I was just a fanboy who got lucky.”

During college, Criss became a member of the UM alumni theater company Team Starkid, playing Harry Potter in the spoof A Very Potter Musical and writing songs for the original musical Me and My Dick (the recording is available on iTunes). He also released a solo EP called Human, showing off his smooth tenor. (There’s a Facebook group called “I liked Darren Criss before he was on Glee.”)

He landed a few TV roles (Cold Case, the short-lived series Eastwick), but it was with Glee that he became an instant hit singing lead in an all-male a capella version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” The opportunity is something that the actor, who is straight, doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s incredibly important to me,” he says. “As an actor, you’re always worried that you’re going to be stuck doing ancillary things, like the boyfriend or the cop or the football coach or something. You just hope for something that you feel has some kind of significance. This would be one of those things that has a great amount of value to me personally and, I think, to a greater community.”

As for his rising fame, he’s cautious to use the word “celebrity”(although the screaming fans in Fort Worth on Saturday would argue otherwise). But he’s preparing himself for it.

“Everybody wants to know who you are, which is a very unfair position to be in because all of us are trying to figure that out on a consistent basis,” he says. “So it really forces you to evaluate and analyze yourself. It’s really forced me into really trying to solidify myself because if people are paying attention, it’s important to step up to the plate and make sure that [I’m] representing something positive.”

Millions of Gleeks can’t be wrong.

New episodes of Glee resume with a special Super Bowl Sunday episode.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 14, 2011.

—  John Wright

Starvoice • 01.07.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Naomi Judd turns 64 on Tuesday. The country singer has been on somewhat of a comeback lately. Reuniting with daughter Wynonna, The Judds hit the road for The Last Encore Tour. The two have also launched a reality show on the new Oprah Winfrey network OWN. But her inspiration for glitzy country drag and high-to-heaven hair has never gone away.

…………………………………

THIS WEEK

Mars is very happy in Capricorn where the planet of energy and action is focused productively. Aspecting Uranus and Jupiter in Pisces, and Neptune in Aquarius, he can lose focus, but if you can stay on track while examining your process you can find new purpose and methods to strengthen your efforts.

………………………………….

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Your sign improves with age, but exercising is important for staying sharp. Advice from friends should be heard, but not followed. It opens your mind to better possibilities.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Self-criticism is helpful if you don’t take it to extremes. There’s room for improvement and an honest assessment of your virtues and flaws will make you clearer on what you have to offer.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
You have to be very careful not to give too much of yourself. Have a long talk with a friend you can count on to be ruthlessly honest about your limits and how you should set them.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
If you focus, you can achieve great things. Meditation helps tame that unruly, dreamy mind and draw inspiration. Friends who want your time are a distraction. Or enlist them to help.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Ideas brewing in your head need a release. Getting yourself heard helps or hurts you. Discussing those notions with a friend will improve them and see best where and how to air them.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Explore your fantasies and bring them into your real-life lovemaking. Some of those dreams may need safety checks and adaptations to be performed in the physical world.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Your fancy notions shock or titillate your partner. A discussion of limits is in order. Even out of the sack, your sweetheart can help with reality checks to help figure which dreams can come true.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Every relationship takes work. Take up the tough issues now while it’s a little easier. You’ll be surprised at what problems can be resolved in the bedroom. It will at least help.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Your intuition is clear now. With practice you learn to use it to better purpose in teamwork, practical or romantic. Trust those hunches in healing any kind of relationship — or finding one.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
As onerous as family or community duties may feel, you accomplish a lot and gain influence. You’re creative enough to find a positive approach. Once you start there will be no stopping you.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
What you have to say is too important to be wasted. Polish those gems and share them where they are appreciated. A little imaginative probing reveals secrets or scandals.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Discuss your financial worries with a trusted person. You stumble on solutions or realize things aren’t as bad as you think. Clear your head of worry to think clearly about resources at hand.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 7, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens