“Wonderstruck” Movie Opens October 27th

Wonderstruck is a truly beautiful film that is based on the imaginative and well crafted novel by Brian Selznick who also created the wonderful “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”.  If you’re not familiar with the book, it tells the story through words (Ben’s story) and very detailed and incredible illustrations in place of words (Rose’s story).  It’s got so many layers of imagery and meaning that it will have you thinking about the movie for long after you see it!

 

Ben and Rose are children born 50 years apart in different parts of the country and circumstances but their lives become interwined after a series of events that bond them in ways that you can never imagine.  They are longing for something that seems just beyond their reach and their search for answers results in journeys for both children.  Ben (Oakes Fegley) lives in Gunflint, Michigan in 1977 and spends his time looking at stars and space and collecting rocks and various other treasures.   He tragically loses his loving and winsome mother (Michelle Williams) in a car accident.  He’s living with his aunt now but he’s longing to find the father that his mother would never tell him about and he’s having recurring nightmares about wolves.  After a freak accident causes Ben to lose his hearing, he sets off on a bus for New York to find his father with the one clue that he has – an address for a bookstore.   Rose (Millicent Simmonds) is growing up deaf hidden away in a wealthy home in Hoboken, New York in 1927 with an emotionally abusive father.  She sad and lonely and fills her isolated days with her own star, a silent film idol (Julianne Moore), watching her silent movies and filling a scrapbook with her image and building paper models of New York City.  Life is pretty bleak for Rose until she sees that her idol is appearing on the stage in New York City and decides to run away to the big city to find her idol.   Ben and Rose’s lives intersect in the wonderful American Museum of Natural History and the connection will blow your mind.

There are many great scenes but my favorite by far is the moment in the movie theater when Rose is watching her idol Lillian Mayhew in a silent film.  To watch Rose’s face as she gazes at her idol’s performance on the silent screen is one of the most pure moments in a film that I’ve ever seen.  Rose relates to the actress acting out her anguish without words but only through her face, eyes, and broad gestures.  Rose is mesmerized by the actress’ performance and she feels that she’s looking at her own anguish in the film.

The performances are all wonderful but  Millicent Simmonds who plays Rose is the real wonder of this movie and is truly amazing to watch.  Millicent is actually deaf herself and she gives an incredible performance.  Her character doesn’t speak throughout the movie but the array of emotions that play on her face gives you the idea of what deafness feels and looks like.   Her face is a reflection of the experiences that she having and it is so expressive that she makes us realize that you can actually listen with your eyes.

Go see it and take your older kids (it’s PG) you will both love the artistry of the film and the message that it has for all of us.  I love the famous Oscar Wilde quote that is highlighted in the beginning of the story.  “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

 

Opening Date for Dallas/Fort Worth is October 27, 2017: 

Angelika Mockingbird Dallas and Plano, AMC Northpark

Additional playdates opening November 3  – Look Cinema 11 Dallas, Tinseltown 17 Grapevine, Legacy 24 Plano, Southlake Town Square 14,

Additional playdates opening November 10 – AMC Parks at Arlington, Ridgmar 13 Ft. Worth

 

For more information about the film go to:

http://www.wonderstruckmovie. com

For more information about the book go to:

http://www. wonderstruckthebook.com/

#StrongerMovie Starring Jake Gyllenhaal Opens this Friday!

What happens when we make heroes out of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances?   Find out in the new inspirational and heartwarming movie opening this Friday, September 22nd starring Jake Gyllenhaal called Stronger.

Almost everybody recognizes the photo that dominated the news after the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013.  The photo was taken of Jeff Bauman being whisked away by a guy in a cowboy hat after his legs were tragically blown off by the terrorist’s bomb at the finish line at the Marathon.  It quickly became a symbol of all that is both good and bad about mankind.  This is the true story of an ordinary Boston citizen, Jeff Bauman who became an unwilling symbol of survival and hope for not only Boston but for the world after a cruel and heartless act of terrorism.  This is Jeff’s journey through the destruction as the easy going guy with no real goals and his rebirth as a double amputee who finds himself responsible not only for his family and girlfriend but for world who wants him to be their hero.

We’ve seen the story of tragedy and perseverance before but this movie is different and special in numerous ways.  First of all Jeff is a lovable guy who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He’s every man and it’s easy to see yourself in his situation.  Jeff’s family and city are all supportive of him almost to the point of suffocating him.  Second of all and this is big, Jake Gyllenhaul’s performance is everything in this movie.  He gives a quiet but powerful and award winning performance.  He doesn’t have that much to say about the new situation he finds himself in  (Jeff is not a real emotional guy) but Jake says it all with the wide ranging of emotions that you see in his face but doesn’t have the words to say.   Jeff is suffering in a million different ways but he doesn’t want to let anyone down and your heart will break over and over for him.

The other outstanding performance is by Tatiana Maslany who plays Jeff’s girlfriend, Erin.    This is a couple that dated for a while and broke up.    Jeff wants her back so he decides to show up at the marathon that she’s running in with a sign and faithfully waits to win her back at the finish line.  That might have worked except that a huge thing like terrorism completely destroys them both.  Erin is guilt ridden beyond comprehension that it was her fault he was there.  She wants to help but feels pushed away at every attempt she makes by everyone who surrounds Jeff – his family and in particular Jeff’s long suffering but loving mother who is effectively played by Miranda Richardson.

A pivotal point in the movie is the meeting of Jeff and his rescuer, Carlos – the guy in the cowboy hat who in my opinion is the true hero of this story.  This is the guy that risked his own life and ran towards the bomb to save people and in particular, Jeff.  At times I believe Jeff wished that Carlos hadn’t saved him.  Carlos has his own tragic story of loss and regret and at last Jeff gets it.  Not only did Carlos save him but it gave Carlos a reason and purpose to redeem himself.  This is the moment that Jeff finally understands how important his story is and that he needs to find the strength to do what’s necessary to get on with life and Carlos rescues from himself this time.The director gives a voice to the survivors of this horrific act and victims everywhere.  He creates a subtle but inspirational movie that doesn’t focus on the terrorists and for that I’m glad.  It’s the very personal and inspiring story of one average guy who becomes a symbol of not only Boston’s tough survivor character “Boston Strong” but of Americans’ tenacity in the face of tragedy.  Jeff is the perfect hero for America –  he’s just like us and I’m glad he is.  Go see this important movie.

I attended a Question and Answer presentation after the Stronger Movie showing in Dallas this week with the star of the movie, Jake Gylenhaal and the subject of the story, Jeff Bauman.  The movie was attended primarily by people with disabilities, amputees, and healthcare workers.  There was a lot of gratitude in their voices and their comments that Jeff’s story of recovery as a bombing victim means so much to them.  The movie sheds a light on the difficulty and challenges of recovering from the loss of a limb or a debilitating illness.  It was a very emotional and uplifting night.    The actor and hero did not disappoint, they were both warm, authentic, and caring.   As Jake pointed out that night, we have all been through something in our lives that has challenged us. This movie sheds a light on how one man overcame what seemed to be impossible circumstances.

Website:  www.strongerthefilm.com

#STRONGERMOVIE

Stronger opens in theaters this Friday, September 22 in Dallas/Fort Worth at the following theaters (check for times):

Legacy 14                                                                   Plano, TX
Cinemark West Plano 20                                       Plano, TX
Angelika Film Center and Cafe                             Dallas, TX
North Park 15                                                           Dallas, TX
AMC Village on the Parkway                                Dallas, TX
Tinseltown 17                                                           Grapevine, TX
Southlake Town Square                                        Southlake, TX

The Bodyguard Delivers the Music!

The Bodyguard Jack and Jackie

Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth present the first U.S. national tour hit musical THE BODYGUARD, to play at the Music Hall at Fair Park July 18-30, 2017. The production  will then head over to Fort Worth, where it will play at Bass Performance Hall August 1-6, 2017.

 

If you never saw the movie (you really should see it at least once) here’s the plot:  THE BODYGUARD is the story of a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, who is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. They are both used to being in control and butt heads from the get go.   Frank is there to do his job and that is to protect the beautiful mega star from a really creepy stalker – period.  But plans don’t always turn out the way you think they will do they and romance begins to blossom.

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What do you say about a musical based on one of your favorite movies with one of your favorite singers and favorite actors?  Let me just start with the lead, Rachel Marron played by the very talented Deborah Cox.    No one has a voice quite like the iconic Whitney Houston right?  Well, the producers have found a jewel in this Grammy® Award-nominee and R&B superstar.  She has the most incredible voice and does an amazing job singing Whitney’s biggest hits such as “I Wanna Dance with Someone”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of all”, “Run to You”, “Saving all My Love”, and my personal  favorite “I Will Always Love You”, (and many more).    I shut my eyes a few times during the show and it was if Whitney herself was on stage.    Ms. Cox is also an accomplished performer and pulls off the dance numbers with grace and style.  She lights up the stage and I really can’t say enough about her and her performance.   It’s worth going to the musical just to see and hear her perform.

 

The Bodyguard himself, Frank Farmer is played by Judson Mills.   Although he’s no Kevin Costner (but then who is?) he’s an experienced actor with a long list of TV and movie credits.   But let’s face it, this version of The Bodyguard isn’t really his story, this is all about Rachel and showcasing the songs that made Whitney Houston the megastar that she was.  Bodyguard0429r

Also noteworthy is Deborah’s costar that plays her sister, best friend, and co songwriter, Nicki Marron played by Jasmin Richardson.  She also is a very gifted singer and delivers a great performance.

 

The sets and the ambiance that were created with each set change were simple but effective.   The production numbers and concert scenes had a lot of energy and brought the essence of the movie to life.   I’ll warn you though, the stalker scenes were kind of disturbing and will totally creep you out.  To balance the creep factor out there’s some cuteness provided in the production by Rachel’s young son, Fletcher.  The actor is a pint size bundle of energy and talent.

The Bodyguard

I think the producers did a nice job of transferring this beloved and popular movie to the stage.   It’s hard to live up to the mega hit movie and it’s not perfect but it it is a great tribute to Whitney Houston and the immense legacy of music that she left behind.  It’s definitely worth going to see.   Don’t leave early though because there’s a fun Dance Party at the very end after the curtain calls!

The Bodyguard Playbill

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of THE BODYGUARD, starting at $25 (pricing subject to change) are now on sale at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Single tickets for the Fort Worth engagement of THE BODYGUARD, starting at $44 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale. To charge tickets by phone, call 817-212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

Lady MacBeth Opens This Weekend!

Lady MacBeth 1

Don’t be fooled by this period piece’s initial appearance.  The costumes are pretty and the settings are hauntingly beautiful but this isn’t Jane Austen I assure you.   I’d describe it more like Wuthering Heights meets Carrie.  It’s an intriguing and chilling movie which is surprising on so many levels.

 

Here’s the plot:  The movie is set in rural England in 1865 and the very young Katherine (Florence Pugh) has been sold by her father into a loveless marriage with a bitter and cold man who’s old enough to be her father.  Between he and her cruel and heartless father in law Katherine is feeling trapped in her new home like a beautiful caged bird.  She’s not without strong will though and we find out how strong it is after she meets and falls in love with the handsome and cocky groomsman, Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis).  None of the players in her life have any idea what the seeming innocent Katherine is capable of but they are soon to find out.  She becomes a force that we have rarely seen in period pieces and she’s not willing to stop until she gets what she wants and what she wants is Sebastian.

Lady MacBeth 2

Don’t confuse this story with the Shakespearean wife who encourages her husband to further her ambitions by killing a Scottish king.  It’s actually based on a Russian story from 1865 about a discontented, and ultimately violent, young bride.  Believe me this bride is not happy and she’s about to unleash havoc on everyone who she comes into contact with.

 

The young actress Florence Pugh who plays Katherine carries this movie with her incredibly chilling performance.   Despite her understated performance, she gives you a glimpse now and then of what must be going on in that sweet heart shaped head of hers.  She somehow is able to elicit our sympathy and our revulsion both at the same time.  The actress who plays the black maid Anna (Naomi Ackie) is also a stand out among the performances.  She is sole witness to Katherine’s transformation from the young, innocent bride to the incarnation of pure evil and she can’t comprehend it.  Her performance will break your heart as you watch her crumble under the stress of the dark secrets she has to carry and the cruelty she has to endear because of her position in life.

Lady MacBeth 4

This movie has all the elements of a classic.  It examines many issues of the period, such as the huge inequality between men and women in the 1800’s, race, spousal abuse, class division, sexual frustration, and mental illness.  Go see it and the next time you’re feeling trapped by your job or your challenging roles as a wife and a mother think about Katherine.  On second thought maybe you shouldn’t think about Katherine.

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LADY MACBETH will open on Friday Jul 21, 2017 at the following Theaters:

Magnolia located in Uptown  3699 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204

Angelika Film Center Plano  The Shops at Legacy

Check listings for times.

July Happenings Around Dallas

The 4th of July festivities are over, now what?  There are still lots of exciting and fun events coming up in Dallas in July!  Here are just a few suggestions that will make a great date night or girl’s night out!

THE BODYGUARD is presented by Dallas Summer Musicals July 18-30, 2017 at Music Hall at Fair Park.

Bodyguard0017r

Who didn’t love the romantic hit movie THE BODYGUARD?  Now it’s on stage and it stars Grammy® Award-nominee and R&B superstar Deborah Cox.  The musical’s storyline is the same as the movie –  former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, (and dreamy) Frank Farmer, is hired to protect the beautiful superstar (control freak)  Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker.  Despite their many differences they unexpectedly find themselves themselves falling in love., THE BODYGUARD features a host of incredible  classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest selling songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.  This is one of my all time favorite romantic movies and I can’t WAIT to see it!!   
Bodyguard0429r

The show will head over to Fort Worth, where it will play at Bass Performance Hall, August 1-6, 2017. 

Content Warning: Suitable for ages 12 and up

For tickets go to:  http://dallassummermusicals.org/

 

México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde at the Dallas Museum of Art – March 12, 2017 to July 16, 2017

Frida-Kahlo2
Hurry before the exhibit closes on July 16th!

This major exhibition exploring 50 years of Mexican modern art makes its first and only stop in the US at the Dallas Museum of Art following its successful presentation at the Grand Palais, Paris. Organized in collaboration with the Secretaría de Cultura de México, México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde highlights new narratives in Mexico’s modern art history. This sweeping survey, the result of a combined cultural endeavor between Mexico and France, features almost 200 works of painting, sculpture, photography, drawings, and films that document the country’s artistic Renaissance during the first half of the 20th century. The traveling exhibition showcases the work of titans of Mexican Modernism alongside that of lesser-known pioneers, including a number of rarely seen works by female artists, to reveal the history and development of modern Mexico and its cultural identity. México 1900–1950 showcases how Mexican 20th-century art is both directly linked to the international avant-garde and distinguished by an incredible singularity. The exhibition features work by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, Ángel Zárraga, Tina Modotti, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, among others.

Frida Kahlo_The Two Fridas (Las dos Fridas)

For more information go to:  https://www.dma.org/art/exhibitions

 

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Dallas Arbor Playing With Mama, Dominic Benhura

Summer at the Arboretum has so many things to do this summer!  If you haven’t gone yet be sure to check out the ZimSculpt the largest collection of Zimbabwean stone sculptures, known as Shona sculptures, in the U.S.   The collection includes more than 100 hand-carved stone sculptures throughout the garden. The contemporary pieces, some weighing more than a ton and reaching 7 feet tall, are carved from various types of serpentine and semiprecious stones. Marvel at this amazing art form from dozens of Zimbabwean artists and sculptors, and take a free-with-admission guided ZimSculpt garden tour with the curator at 10 a.m. every Thursday through July 31.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden also includes other fun  outdoor adventures.  Check out Family Fun Fridays every Friday until July 28 for live music, face painting and a petting zoo.  Garden Gigs July 14, 21 and 28 for late-night access to the gardens with music and food trucks to enjoy throughout the night.

For more information, visit:   dallasarboretum.org.

 

So Many Music Concerts in July!

Neil Diamond

Indoor concerts are always a good choice for a July date or night out.  You can stay cool and see your favorite performers.  Check out who will be at American Airlines in July!

July 3rd – Roger Waters

July 18th – Neil Diamond

July 19th – Shawn Mendes

July 22nd – Don Henley’s 70th Birthday Celebration

July 23rd – Earth, Wind and Fire

July 29th – Kendrick Lamar

http://www.americanairlinescenter.com/events

Boston Concert

 

 

This is my husband and I at a recent Boston and Joan Jett concert at Starplex!  American Airlines and Starplex are just a couple of music venues in Dallas – there are many many more.  Check them out!

https://www.livenation.com/venues/14364/starplex-pavilion

https://www.guidelive.com/concerts

 

 

Go to these sites for more Event Options in July!  Enjoy!

http://www.dallasobserver.com/calendar

http://www.visitdallas.com/things-to-do/events/index.html

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus!

Circus 1903 Poster

May 23 – June 4 | Music Hall at Fair Park Dallas

Circus 1903 is a thrilling and truly elegant expression of the art of the circus that is fun from beginning to end!  This is not your ordinary Circus though.   This Circus comes from a golden age where there were no special effects and concentrates on the human ability to amaze us with their ability to defy gravity. There is a large cast of diverse circus acts from around the world such as acrobats, jugglers, contortionists, cyclists, high wire, balancing acts, and acts that you just have to see to understand.  Circus 1903 showcases the incredible talent and athleticism of the performers that I believed were somewhat overshadowed by all the various animal and clown acts in present day circuses (and for all you clown haters out there – there are no clowns).

Circus1903_Hammer_Guys_by_MarkTurnerImages

Ringmaster Willy Whipsnade” (played by David Williamson) weaves the tale of the Circus way back when and is an endearing and acerbic storyteller and comedic magician.  His performance is old school in a funny and grandfatherly way.  He’s very effective in engaging the kids (there’s a kid participation segment in which he brings a few kid volunteers up on stage to participate in an entertaining and funny magic act).

Circus1903_AerialCradle©MartinOllman

So what’s a turn of the century circus without elephants?  Circus 1903 accomplishes that too with a mother and her baby elephant “Peanut” on stage through the art of puppetry!  The creations are similar to the puppets that were used in the “The Lion King” and “War Horse” but these are an even more advanced design.  Of course I loved them (I love elephants) and you will be amazed by them too!  Their presence on stage gives you a renewed appreciation of elephants’ grandeur and the artistry of bringing them to life on the stage will amaze you.

Circus1903_Elephant_by_MarkTurnerImages

My favorite acts?  They’re all amazing and most of them will have you on the edge of your seat (there are no nets in this Circus) but I’d have to say my favorite was the incredible aerialist “Lucky Moon” Elena Gatilova.  She is absolutely mesmerizing.  This former Cirque du Soleil performer (over 2500 performances in Zumanity and a former World Champion Rhythmic Gymnast) is absolute perfection.  Her ethereal performance is a show stopper and gives us a taste of the aerial ballets of circuses in the early 1900’s. Another favorite included the “Rola Bola” act which will have you marveling over “The Sensational Sozonov’s” balancing skills.  Imagine a ballet dancer who can balance in ways you didn’t even know were possible.  All the performers give visually beautiful performances and the period costumes, sets, and music finish off the experience.

Circus1903_Hoop_by_MarkTurnerImages

This production brought unexpected emotions to the surface for me.  It was ironic that I saw Circus 1903 the same week that Ringling Brothers performed their last performance and closed their Big Top forever.  When the closing was initially announced it produced a “sad but oh well it was inevitable” response from me and a lot of other people.  Circus 1903 made me realize that the circus wasn’t just a show, it was a magical experience that made you believe that maybe anything was possible.  Just for that short time it seemed that it was.   Even if you don’t have kids, go to this show.  It will bring back the best memories from your childhood visits to the circus and will give you several more to store away.

Circus Jackie

 

Single tickets for CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus, starting at $20 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Let it Be – The Beatles Reunion Concert that Never Was

Let it Be 2

Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals –  LET IT BE 

Music Hall at Fair Park March 7-19, 2017

Whether you’re a die hard Beatles fan or not, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this musical production.  Annerin Productions brings you Let it Be, the reunion concert that the Beatles never performed but you wish they had.  This production truly is a celebration of  The Beatles’ music legacy.

 

The first half starts with the Beatles’ invasion of the US and their historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan show complete with giant TV screens and screaming teenage girls.  Their ground breaking music evolution continues on to their epic concert at Shea Stadium, their psychedelic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Band phase and ends with the edgier Abbey Road.  Songs includes some of your favorite Beatles tunes such as I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Hard Day’s Night, Day Tripper, Twist and Shout and Strawberry Fields (and lots more).   These guys were still on top of the charts and going strong when they broke all of our hearts by breaking up.

Let it Be 5

Let it Be 6

The second half of the musical ignites our imagination of what if the Fab Four reunited for one more concert at John Lennon’s 40th birthday party – October 9, 1980. After a decade of being apart they come back together and perform Beatles’  hits  that were never performed on stage plus several of their  hits from their solo careers.  How is it possible that 4 artists could record so many great songs?  Here are some of my favorite songs from this imaginary concert (they’re all my favorites really):   My personal favorite Beatle George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun, My Guitar Gently Weeps, and My Sweet Lord, John Lennon’s Imagine and Back in the USSR, and songs from Paul McCartney such as Hey Jude, Live and Let Die, and Let it Be of course.  Ringo performs a few too such as It Don’t Come Easy and the crowd pleaser With a Little Help from My Friends.   This production conceived me that this band of 4 were truly musical geniuses.

Let it Be 4

The performers are spot on in appearance and musical talent.   They bring to life the Mop Tops with each performer demonstrating the Beatles’ individual personality through their voice and fun and quirky performances.  The costume changes are indicative of the times and each stage of their musical journey.

Let it Be George

Personally, I loved the evening.  I’ve never been to a musical where everyone knew all the words to every song.  The audience danced and swayed while The Beatles entertained us all once more.   Every song will transport you to a place and time when The Beatles ruled the world.  In fact, I believe that they still rule the world.  Beatles 4Ever.

Let it Be Jackie

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of LET IT BE, starting at $24.50-$119.50 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale at

www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Let it Be heads to Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth March 21-26, 2017

Dallas Mavericks/McDonald’s Family Nights!

Mavericks mcdfamily-header

Grab the family and head to the Dallas Mavericks game!  Packages include 4 Mavs Tickets and 4 McDonald’s Extra Value Meals all starting at $59!

Looking for a fun night out with the family?  Go to a Dallas Mavericks Game!!  The Mavericks and McDonald’s have partnered to provide both a very entertaining AND affordable night for the whole family!

The Mavericks organization make a basketball game a fun event for families of all ages!    Worried that the kids aren’t that “into” basketball?  Don’t, because the Mavs provide entertainment for the kids from the beginning to the end.   They provide funny games (everything from a “make a human burger” to “name that tune”) to the entertainment from the Mavs ManiAACs, Mavs Dancers, and the mascots – Champ and MavsMan.   I loved watching the kids get involved in all the different activities and the camera shots of happy families with their kids are priceless.

Mavericks Game Family NightMavericks T-ShirtMavericks Titanic Cam

 

Mavericks Game 2The games are fun for couples too! My husband and I went last Saturday night and we were thoroughly entertained the moment we got there!  We got to see the first game for the Mavs first round pick Nerlens Noel (former Philadelphia 76ers) and they had a very exciting game and win against The New Orleans Pelicans 96 – 83.  Let’s face it – it’s always fun to win!

 

 

Your kids will love you for taking them to a game and you will have just as much fun as they do – I promise!  GO MAVS!

Mavs Family NightFor McDonald’s Family Night tickets go to: www.mavs.com/tickets/mcdonaldsfamilynights

For The Mavericks Schedule go to: www.mavs.com/schedule

For regular tickets go to:  www.mavs.com/tickets

 

Stomp Returns to Dallas Music Hall for One Week Only – February 14-19, 2017

Stomp Donuts

Audiences of all ages will love this production!  STOMP, the international percussion sensation, returns to Dallas after six years for a one week limited engagement at the Music Hall at Fair Park February 14-19, 2017.  Get ready for a fun and fresh production where the performers use anything from tires, matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, and Zippo lighters to make rhythm.  The creative and energetic (to say the least) stage show brings together all the arts – dance, music, and theatrical performance and explodes with an inventive and electrifying production that will leave you in awe at their creativity.

Stomp Lids

STOMP’s beginnings as street performers in the UK has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years.  They have performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people and have been met with rave review, numerous awards everywhere they go. The performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” says co-founder/director Luke Cresswell. A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression: both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum.

Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra, eight Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, hub caps – to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated.  This production is still as popular and as fresh as ever and if you’ve never seen it – GO!  You will be amazed!  If you have seen it before – GO again!  They continue to change it by adding creative and new material every year!  I can’t wait to see it!

Stomp TourWalkers5x7

StompSingle tickets for STOMP, starting at $15, are now on sale at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ 2016-2017 season continues with the lavish AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Jan. 31 – Feb. 12, 2017; followed by STOMP, Feb. 14-19, 2017; THE ILLUSIONISTS, Feb. 28 – Mar. 5, 2017; LET IT BE, Mar. 7-19, 2017; KINKY BOOTS, Mar. 28 – Apr. 9, 2017; CIRCUS 1903 – THE GOLDEN AGE OF CIRCUS, May 23 – June 4, 2017; and closing the season will be THE BODYGUARD, July 18-30, 2017.

Three-Show Mini Packages for DSM 2017 season, starting as low as $46*, are now on sale online at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 214-346-3300. *Price does not include processing fees.

 

An American in Paris on Stage at Dallas Summer Musicals

An American in Paris

Dallas Summer Musicals presents AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at the Music Hall at Fair Park, January 31 – February 12, 2017.

The Academy-Award winning film, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS has always been one of my very favorite musicals and now it’s on the stage and it is not to be missed.   This beautiful musical based on the classic movie debuted on the Broadway stage in 2015 and won best new musical and is the winner of four Tony Awards – does that tell you something?

an American in Paris Soldier

Here’s the story:  It is the tale of an American soldier, Jerry Mulligan who finds himself in the most romantic city in Europe, Paris after the end of World War 11.  He’s an inspiring artist and decides he wants  to stick around for awhile and see where Paris will take him in his career.  Little does he know that he’s also going to fall in love with the mysterious and brilliantly gifted French dancer Lize who continues to cross his path.  Along with his two new friends who are also aspiring artists (an American music composer and a wealthy French heir who just wants to be a song and dance man).  They are also looking for a new beginning in the City of Light (actually the French guy wants to head to Broadway in New York of course) and we find ourselves seeing Paris through all of their young and hopeful eyes.  Paris is a reawakening city of after years of the oppressive Nazi occupation and it’s exploding now with the promise of hope.   Paris in the late 40’s was a magnet for artists, writers, and intellectuals from all over the world, which makes it a perfect place for our four young hopefuls.  If that’s not enough excitement, unbeknownst to each other, they are all falling in love with the same beautiful Parisian ballerina.

An american Streets

This is traditional Broadway at it’s best and it is a beautiful version of the 1951 movie.   It features a glimpse into the world as it was in the 40’s.  The production is witty (it still includes some corny jokes of the day which is fun), vibrant, and sophisticated – remember it’s Paris after all.  The musical is based on the book by playwright Craig Lucas and features the musical genius of George and Ira Gershwin.  Their music lives on and never gets old.  The score includes some old favorites such as “I Got Rhythm,” “Liza,” “‘S’Wonderful,” “But Not For Me,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise,” and my personal favorites, the haunting and wonderful orchestral music including “Concerto in F,” “Second Prelude,” “Second Rhapsody/Cuban Overture” and “An American In Paris.”

An American in Paris romance

The production is directed and choreographed by 2015 Tony Award winner Christoper Wheeldon.  The dancing is amazing –  it’s modern, jazzy but with classic ballet intertwined throughout the numbers.   The long sensual dream ballet (the dance within the dance) is dance perfection and will transcend you into the dance.  It’s performed by the wonderfully talented romantic leads, Garen Scribner (I believe Gene Kelly would approve) and Sara Esty who are both truly gifted dancers.    It’s a sexy, romantic, artistic dance and it is absolutely memorizing.

An American in Paris Ballet

The supporting actors and dancers round out a cast of extremely talented singers and dancers.  A favorite ensemble dance takes place in the department store where Lise works and includes the number “I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck” (with homage to  “Singin’ in the Rain” as umbrellas are used as accessories in the dance”).

An AMERICAN IN PARIS DEPARTMENT STORE

The minimalist but artistic sets are beautifully conceived and richly executed.  The props become a part of the musical as they are danced onto and off stage.  Iconic Paris locations are projected onto the stage and set the atmosphere of Paris in all it’s beauty.  I loved the over-sized ornate mirrors in the ballet studio, and the huge rendering of boats floating on the Seine with clouds shimmering overhead in the park scenes where the our two lovers meet secretly.

An American Ballet

One of my favorite lines of the production was spoken by the American musician/composer Adam Hochberg character after his triumphal debut as a musical composer.  It seems to be as timely now as it was then and resonated with me as I left the theater.  It went something like this, “The world is dark enough as it is, so when you have the ability to make it a little bit brighter, why wouldn’t you?”  An American in Paris absolutely does.

an American in Paris Jackie AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will play the Music Hall at Fair Park January 31 – February 12, 2017, for two weeks presented by Dallas Summer Musicals. This lavish modern classic will then head to Fort Worth, where it will play at Bass Performance Hall February 14-19, 2017, for one week presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth.

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, starting at $25, are now on sale at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

An American in Paris Movie Trivia: 

  • Gene Kelly discovered Leslie Caron while vacationing in Paris where he saw her perform in a ballet.
  • Leslie Caron didn’t speak English when she landed her first major role. She had a vague understanding of the language due to having an American mother, but was not conversant. Luckily for her, the part didn’t have many lines and was comprised of mostly dancing, a skill that Caron was very fluent in.
  • A major reason Gene Kellysuggested Leslie Caron as the female lead was because he felt this movie needed a “real” French girl playing Lise, not just an American actress playing one.
  • According to Leslie Caron, her introductory dance sequence, which included a seductive dance with a chair, was considered too suggestive by some censors. Gene Kelly directed the brief fantasy dance sequences shown as Lise is introduced.
  • Arthur Freed originally just wanted to buy the rights to the George Gershwin number “American in Paris,” but Ira Gershwin made the condition that he’d only sell on the condition that if a musical were to use the song, it would use only Gershwin numbers as its other songs.
  • At 38 Gene Kelly was 19 years older than his co-star Leslie Caron.
  • Gene Kelly‘s favorite of all of his musicals.
  • Alan Jay Lerne rbegan writing the screenplay in December 1949, and finished it in a 12-hour stretch in March 1950 on the night before his wedding.
  • Film debut of Leslie Caron.
  • Despite the objections of Gene Kelly who wanted to shoot on location in Paris, the movie was shot at MGM Studios in California, on 44 sets built for the film. It was reportedly difficult for the studio to secure travel arrangements or locations for shooting. Two shots in the picture are from Paris, but they don’t involve Kelly.
  • The ballet sequence was almost cut because the shooting was behind schedule, but MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer stood by Arthur FreedVincente Minnelli and Gene Kelly in withholding the release of the movie because he felt the movie wouldn’t be effective without it.