Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side Tonight!

Are you missing live theater as much as I am?  This is a perfect fix and you can go to the theater from your house tonight! Dallas Summer Musicals (DSM) is co-producing a livestream concert event, Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side, Powered by PNC on Saturday, November 14 at 7 p.m. CST. Benanti is a Tony® Award-winning actress, singer, author and activist with a career spanning Broadway, film, and television.

 

Tickets for Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side, Powered by PNC are $30 per household and are available at DallasSummerMusicals.orgTicket holders will have access to an on-demand video recording of the livestream for 72 hours, available beginning one hour after the live broadcast ends. Proceeds from ticket sales will support DSM’s mission to deliver the spirit of Broadway to North Texas audiences through educational programs and community outreach initiatives.

 

“We are pleased to continue offering our patrons livestream concerts with such esteemed Broadway stars, such as Laura Benanti, to keep our fans connected to their love of live musical theater,” said Ken Novice, president of Dallas Summer Musicals. “We’re even happier to share this fundraising entertainment project with other nonprofit arts organizations around the country who need support, just like us. We know Broadway will be back, and it’s important, now more than ever, that we bring the magic of Broadway in any form we can to everyone who misses it.”

 

Benanti, most recently seen on Broadway as “Eliza Doolittle” in the 2018 revival of My Fair Lady, is a five-time Tony® Award nominee and received the Tony® Award for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” for the 2008 production of Gypsy. In 2010, she was presented with the Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for her 2010 performance in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Benanti has also appeared in various television series including Younger, Supergirl, Nashville, The Good Wife, and Nurse Jackie.

 

Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side, Powered by PNC will be a cabaret-style performance, showcasing a mix of Broadway showtunes, pop songs, and personal stories from the life of a Broadway star. The performance will take place at The Shubert Virtual Studios on Manhattan’s West Side, transmitted live in HD with professional sound mixing. At-home audience members will be invited to email in questions to be answered during the livestream.

 

The livestream, which is a co-production of Dallas Summer Musicals and Entertainment Benefits Group, is being shared by more than 20 nonprofit arts presenters around the country. Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side, Powered by PNC is the second of DSM’s three-part virtual concert series, Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway, Powered by PNCwhich featured two-time Tony® Award winner Patti LuPone on Oct. 24 and will also feature Tony® Award winner Laura Benanti on Nov. 14 and critically acclaimed actress and singer Vanessa Williams on Dec. 5.

Come From Away is a Timely Production

As I was writing this review late last week I received word that the Dallas production of Come From Away has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the concern of spreading it in large gatherings.  Although I believe that is absolutely the right thing to do I still feel the need to write about this amazing and timely musical.

 

If you don’t know, Come From Away is about a time in our lives that was both shocking, uncertain, and incredibly sad for our nation.  The terrorist attacks of 911 shook us to our core and the outbreak of a pandemic in this country attacking us right now couldn’t be more ironic.  The virus is causing fear, it’s disrupting our comfortable life as we know it, and the uncertainty of our own health is very disturbing and frightening.

Here’s the plot of Come From Away:  COME FROM AWAY is the remarkable true but little known story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town called Gander in Newfoundland that welcomed them. On a trip to Gander, Irene Sankoff and David Hein realized the story of what happened in the area on 9/12 needed to be told through the authentic music of the region. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. On September 11, 2001 the world stopped. On September 12, their stories moved us all.  Come From Away landed on 2015 “Year’s Best” lists in LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union Tribune and Seattle Times, before continuing to top the 2016 “Best of” Lists in the Washington Post and the Toronto Star and the 2017 “Best of” Lists in TIME Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Chicago Tribune, NY1, Huffington Post, The Stage, The Advocate, Newsday and Thrillist.

 

The musical recreates the event of the stranded passengers with a relatively small cast playing both the passengers and the townspeople and a very simple set.  The result is engaging and entertaining.  The cast is very talented and manages to switch from the diversity of the passengers that they are playing (yes there is a Texan, a Brit, and a Muslim to name a few) to the entertainingly and humorous Canadian accents of the townspeople.  The musical numbers had me at one minute holding back tears from the painful memories of that time to laughing at the absurdity of the situation the passengers and town found themselves in Gander at times.  In my opinion there are many better musicals out there but I give it A+ for its’ effort, the  creativity of the writers, and the emotions that it elicits in every adult that was alive on 911.  Even those living through the difficult times of today will walk away affected by its’ message.

A subplot of the musical is the celebration of one of the lead characters who was an actual American Airlines Lady Pilot, Beverley Bass.  She is a trailblazing pilot who became the first female pilot promoted to captain by AA in 1986 and led the first all female crewed flight shortly thereafter.  Her groundbreaking career became even more visible when she along with several other pilots were forced to land in the remote town of Gander on September 11th.  Her character has a real show stopping number to celebrate her achievement of breaking the glass ceiling in aviation as a lady pilot.  This is another irony in timing since we celebrated International Woman’s Day last week!

 

Trivia:  Did anyone else wonder where the musical’s title Come From Away came from?  It’s not exactly easy to say or remember for that matter.  I did a goggle search and found this:  Come From Away is a term used in Canada’s Atlantic provinces for someone who has moved to the area from somewhere else.  What an appropriate name!

For me, watching the play took me back to that time of despair, grief,  uncertainty, and pain that the events of 911 caused.  But it also took me back to a time of incredible outpouring of love, kindness for each other and extreme patriotism.  Despite our many differences, America came together as a family and rallied to fight our enemy together and to help our neighbors in any way we could.  Come From Away reflects that time in a heartwarming and incredibly sweet way.  The story of a small town in Canada opening their hearts and homes to total strangers (a lot of them too) is a look back at how we as humans rise to the occasion when we are tested and despite our diversity we are all humans.  I took my 22 year old son, Jared with me to see the musical and despite him not remembering 911, he got the message loud and clear and said to me that his take away was  “Humanity needs something to fight against in order to unit”.  Right now, after the scary announcements of government shut downs, quarantining, and social distancing due to the COVID 19 I feel like there are no truer words.

Tony Award Winning “The Band’s Visit” in Dallas –  February

Playing in Dallas from February 5 – 16 at the Winspear Opera House and February 18-23 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center

THE BAND’S VISIT is a beautiful, nontraditional musical that is subtle and somewhat slow in its delivery but powerful in its message.  This is not your usual musical with lots of big numbers and foot stomping music and if that’s what you expect when you go you’ll be disappointed.  But if you go with an open mind and heart you will find yourself moved in ways that you didn’t expect.  It is definitely worth the trip to see it.

Here’s the Plot:

THE BAND’S VISIT tells the story of an Egyptian police band that goes to Israel to perform a concert. Because of a funny mix up of the town’s name at the bus station, they wind up in the wrong town. With no bus till morning, they are taken into their homes by the locals for one night and the rest of the story is funny, heartwarming, and at times heartbreaking.

The ensuing interactions between the band and the locals examines how even though they may come from completely different cultures, human connection is very powerful.  The beautiful music that the Egyptian band brings with them to the small “nowhere” Israeli town meshes these two cultures together for one (very long) night.  Despite their many differences, the possibility of conflict never materializes and in fact, it becomes something much more powerful.  This is a story about acceptance and the revelation that we are all simply human trying to make it through life with the same desires, dreams, disappointments, and yes, even heartbreaks.

THE BAND’S VISIT is the winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, making it one of the most Tony-winning musicals in history.  Starring in the Dallas Production is a cast of world-class performers  led by award-winning Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, star of the original film and Broadway production. THE BAND’S VISIT is actually based on the 2007 film of the same title written by Eran Kolirin.  The show also features a band of very talented actors/musicians that perform the score which is a combination of jazz and traditional Middle Easter music.  The final number is a satisfying ending to this poignant story about how a small insignificant band brought light and hope to a group of lonely people in another country.

Leave the kids home for this one.  It’s not that the musical is inappropriate but it’s not your typical crowd pleasing musical with nonstop music and dancing.  It’s a musical for adults who enjoy theater and the many surprises that you may find there.  My husband and I are still talking about it.

ABOUT THE SHOW:

 

 

 

The Blue Man Group Speechless Tour is in Town!

The Blue Men have returned to Dallas with a brand new show! BLUE MAN GROUP SPEECHLESS TOUR, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, is at the Winspear Opera House January 15-19 and features new and original compositions, acts, and instruments alongside iconic Blue Man Group moments!

My husband and I went last night and were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed the new show! We had seen Blue Man Group before in Vegas but this is an all new and really entertaining show.  If you’ve never seen it before you should go and if you’ve seen it before you should go again!  This is a fun interactive show that plays with your senses through art, non-verbal communication, and music.  It’s like a rock concert and comedy show rolled into one fun happening.  The quirky blue men are so interesting to watch and the creativity of their performances continue to delight audiences everywhere!  This show appeals to all age groups so take your kids or your parents – they will enjoy it, I promise!

 

TIP:  Try to sit on the bottom floor to get the most out of the visual and interactive part of the show and DON’T sit on the front row if you don’t want to get wet and DON’T sit on the end of the row if you don’t want to get pulled up on stage!  Like I said, it’s an interactive show!

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to see The Blue Man Group.  They’ll be at Winspear Opera House  (2403 Flora St.) in Dallas from January 15-19.

  • Single tickets for the BLUE MAN GROUP SPEECHLESS TOUR start at $20 (pricing subject to change) and are available at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 800-982-2787.
  • Purchase in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling (214) 426-4768 or emailing Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org @dsmusicals #DSMBway

Old Jews Telling Jokes Coming to The Eisemann Center in July!

OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES
JULY 11-28, 2019
Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts

Don’t Miss a Hilarious Evening in the Catskills with Jokes, Skits, Song, and Dance!
From the Producers of My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy and
My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, & I’m in Therapy

Philip Roger Roy and Playhouse Productions, Inc. have announced a limited engagement of the off Broadway hit Old Jews Telling Jokes at the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations Bank of America Theatre. The visiting production is set to open on Thursday, July 11, at 2:00 pm and the engagement will continue through Sunday, July 28.

Created by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent and Directed by Jeremy Quinn, Old Jews Telling Jokes, which has been called a “pickle-barrel full of giggles,” showcases five actors in a revue-type production that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. It celebrates the rich tradition of Jewish humor and ‘all the rabbis, complaining wives, fed-up husbands, patience-challenged physicians, gossiping ladies, and competitive men’ populating it. The humor is suggestive and even raunchy as the ‘Old Jews’ make fun of themselves as well as followers of every other religion. Producer Philip Roger Roy said this, “Think Catskills comedy with jokes, songs, stories, skits, and routines. The humor is reminiscent of the great Jewish comedians from Buddy Hackett and Alan King to Tom Lehrer, and more.” Warning: adult (bawdy) humor. Not for audiences under 21.

Old Jews Telling Jokes has received rave reviews around the country including The Huffington Post who said this about the show, “A non-stop laugh fest.” Said the New York Times, “Hilarious … magnificent, enduring rhythm of Jewish humor!” And from the New Yorker, “The laughs-per-minute average is as high as anything you’ll find on stage!” Legendary comedian Mel Brooks enthused, “Chock full of laughs!”

Get your tickets now for this very funny production while it’s in town! The regular performance schedule is Thursday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Ticket prices range from $39-65 and may be purchased online at: www.eisemanncenter.com, by phone at 972.744.4650 or in person at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson, TX 75082. For group sales information, call (888) 264-1788.

 

 

The Book of Mormon Review

 Back by popular demand, the nine-time Tony Award®-winning Best Musical returns to Dallas, Music Hall at Fair Park for a limited engagement January 29 – February 3!  Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals.

Disclaimer:  First of all, I’d like to apologize to Mormons everywhere because I thought this was the funniest musical I’ve ever seen.  The musical is filled with offensive song lyrics and profanity not only aimed at the Church of Later Day Saints but really all religions and ethnic groups (no one is off limits).   If that offends you then this is not the show for you and PLEASE – no children should be in the same building with this musical!

So now that I’ve apologized and warned you, here’s the truth:  Despite the shock value (every scene not only makes you gasp but makes you laugh out loud despite yourself) there’s a reason why The New York Times calls THE BOOK OF MORMON “the best musical of this century.”  The musical was created and written by the same team of writers Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone who created the TV Show “South Park” and  the musical “Avenue Q”.  If that’s not a hint to what’s in store for you then I don’t know what is.   It’s sarcastic, silly, offensive, clever, rude, inappropriate, and makes several brutal commentaries about our society but in a lighthearted and hilarious way of course!

The numbers in The Book of Mormon are creatively staged and absolutely inspired.  To say that the dancing is lively and fun to watch is an understatement and the songs are not only hilarious but actually really good!  After you’ve seen THE BOOK OF MORMON you understand why this musical has won 9 Tony’s and has been widely acclaimed by critics everywhere.  You may not like everything you hear but you will definitely love and appreciate the musical itself.  This is definitely one to check off your bucket list!

Tickets for the Dallas engagement start at $29 (pricing subject to change) and will go on sale at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at (800) 982-2787. They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling (214) 426-4768 or emailing Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

 

Pick Murder Mystery Dinner Theater for Your Next Event!

Food, fun, and murder all in one live-action murder mystery party!  My family and I decided to try something new for a holiday outing recently and went to The Murder Mystery Company’s production of “The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year” in Dallas.  It was so fun and something different for our family to do together besides the usual movie we go to together.  As soon as we walked in the door (after we took our fun Murder Mystery pic together of course) we were interacting with some of the quirky and definitely suspicious characters/suspects in the soon to be “murder” mystery production.

If you’ve never been to a Murder Mystery Theater Dinner event here’s the scoop:   It’s basically a two hour dinner party (you enjoy a delicious three course meal) while the live action theater plot unfolds and a murder is committed right before your eyes (in a funny way).  You then have the opportunity to mingle and interview the characters and suspects.  Think of it as a live game of Clue and you get the idea.  Each table is given a team name and a profile.  We were TMZ Reporters and our goal throughout the night was to be obnoxious  and take lots of photos WITH the flash on to irritate everyone around us – lol!  Trying to figure out all the twists and turns of the game and gather clues with your team makes it both fun and a challenge.  My husband was picked to be one of the suspicious characters and being the big ham that he is, he was in his element!  My 21 year old son loved that the audience got to interact with the players and help solve the crime.  And yes The TMZ Reporters solved the crime correctly and expertly (which was a good thing because my family is very competitive) but they definitely make it a challenge to figure it all out.

The Mystery Company makes the whole experience even more fun by encouraging you to dress for the theme (we wore ugly Christmas sweaters for our production) and that definitely made it more of a festive atmosphere.  The actors also do a great job of staying in character throughout the night so that creates a very theatrical element to the evening.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is the perfect thing to do with the family (rated PG-10), date night, girl’s night out, marriage party, birthdays, and anniversaries.  The Mystery Company also offers parties for privately hosted parties (they will come to you) and corporate events!   I strongly advise adding this experience to your “must do” list!

The next theme is “Death of a Gangster” a 1920’s Mafia Marriage Murder Mystery and dates are:

Friday, January 25th @ 7:00 PM

Friday, February 22 @ 7:00 PM

Go to the website for more information: The Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea – Tickets to See Phantom of the Opera!

After over 30 years in production The Angel of Music is making its triumphant return to Dallas at The Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas from December 19th through January 6 and it’s better than ever!

Looking for a last minute Christmas gift idea?  Anyone in your family would love to see this production!  Seen it before?  I’ve seen it several times before and it never gets old.  This is a new fresh production with beautiful new set designs and even more intense drama!   Maybe your children have never seen it before?  This Phantom will amaze and delight the new generation!  Really, this musical is for everyone in your family.

I had the incredible opportunity to interview the new Phantom, Quentin Oliver Lee before the musical started and I was very impressed with both his presence and his graciousness.  He gave me some insight into his background and aspects of his performance.  Quentin has starred in Porgy and Bess, Lion King and several other productions. He has found that starring in Phantom has presented some unique challenges.  Such as the unique music of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s that is challenging to sing due to the number of minor and flat notes that you’re required to sing.  Also human elements such as Phantom’s darkness, anger, and frustration were quite challenging for him to display.  But having such a great leading lady as, Eva Tavares (Christine) helped him tremendously in his performance.  It also takes over an hour for The Phantom’s make-up to be applied and at least 30 minutes to take off each night.  He loves the role though and is looking forward to performing in Dallas the next two weeks.

The media also got an exclusive peek in the house an hour before the musical began to see the real star of the musical be prepared for her performance – The Giant PHANTOM Chandelier!  Stage Manager, Mitchell Hodges gave us several amazing details about the chandelier itself and the preparation that goes into it.  Such as:

  • Each production has their own uniquely designed and created chandelier which is modeled the chandelier after one in the Palais Garnier, Paris’s opera house.
  • The Chandelier weighs 2000 pounds so it’s a real challenge to get it into each theater on the tour.
  • It is made up of 6,000 beads consisting of 35 beads to each string and includes several pounds of gold leaf.
  • The touring version falls at 5.5 miles per second in the opening act.
  • The original version was built by 5 people in 4 weeks.
  • It takes crew members over an hour each night to prepare the chandelier and wrap it in silks before each performance.
  • In the opening auction scene, a system of magnets and a weight in a tube at the bottom of the medallion sucks the bag inside the chandelier, revealing its splendour.
  • There are 50 wirelessly controlled pyro elements concealed inside the chandelier. It launches three fireworks called “gerbs.” There are also 40 smaller firecrackers that go off like gunshots.
  • It can be very scary when it drops and takes some audience members by surprise.  He said there have been multiple screams from the audience when it drops!

We also heard from Mitchell some wonderful trivia about the dazzling costumes worn in Phantom:

  • Each performance has 230 costumes, 14 dressers
  • Each actor has their own set of costumes.
  • Each actor has 2 sets of costumes and can’t use the costume twice in a day.
  • There are costume fixes every day because of the heavy use.
  • Some costumes weigh more than 40 pounds.
  • Some wardrobe changes are made in 15 seconds!

 

With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America.  So if you’re looking for some last minute Christmas gifts or even if you’re not, you will not be disappointed in this incredible performance of The Phantom of The Opera!

 

To purchase tickets, visit:  DallasSummerMusicals.org, call 800-745-3000 or visit the Music Hall at Fair Park’s Box Office at 909 1st Avenue, Dallas TX 75210. Ticket prices start at $26 (pricing subject to change).  For more information on the production and a video sneak peek, please visit www.ThePhantomOfTheOpera.com/ustour/

 

 

Dallas Zoo and Yowie Chocolates Team Up – December 1st!

The Dallas Zoo is the place to be tomorrow, Saturday, December 1st!  The Dallas Zoo has teamed up with Yowie Chocolates to provide zoo visitors with free Yowie chocolates that contain figurines of endangered animals!  You heard me – free chocolate!

 

December 4th is National Wildlife Conservation Day and to celebrate this important day the Dallas Zoo along with Yowie Chocolates is treating the zoo’s animals with ‘toys’ also called enrichment items.  They are designed to increase their curiosity and encourage play – how great is that?

 

Guests will also be able to enjoy the Dallas Zoo’s annual Zoo Lights, take photos with Yowie’s very own Rumble mascot, all while enjoying a sweet treat in honor of National Wildlife Conservation Day.

Nights Shine Brighter at the Zoo!

Dallas Zoo Lights are sponsored by Reliant Energy and runs from  November 30th – January 1st from 5:00 pm- 9:00 pm.  After the animals head in for the evening, the zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with over one million twinkling lights illuminating ZooNorth throughout the holiday season.  This year, discover realistic silk-covered lanterns in the shape of your favorite animals,plus even more light displays and festivities for the entire family!

 

For ticket  and more information go to:  www.dallaszoolights

 

 

The State Fair of Texas – Only 10 More Days!

There’s only 10 days left for The State Fair of Texas!  If you haven’t been it’s not too late to go this year, the fair’s last day is October 21, 2018!  If you’ve never been – don’t miss out on one of the country’s best and most highly attended state fairs.  You’ve been before – go make some new memories with your family like my family did every year while my sons were growing up!

 My sons riding one of their favorite rides at the Fair 16 years ago! I think the smiles say it all!

It’s an old and slightly blurry photo but it’s one of my favorite photos of my sons, Jack and Jared.  The fun they were having over a decade ago is timeless and are memories that I treasure.  Going to the State Fair was a family tradition that we did every year with our guys and a day that we all looked forward to.  From the creative and crazy food concoctions that you can only get at the State Fair (like Bacon Brittle) to riding one of the biggest Ferris Wheels in the country or trying your luck on the Midway, there is something for everyone at The State Fair of Texas!

The Fair’s Midway

Guide Live’s Number 1 Pick:  Arroz con leche  What the heck is it? Two sweet fried rice balls dusted with cinnamon and served with vanilla ice cream

 

Time Line and Fun Facts about The State Fair of Texas!

The State Fair of Texas is an annual state fair held in Dallas at historic Fair Park. The fair has taken place every year since 1886 except for varying periods during World War I and World War II.  It usually begins the last Friday in September and ends 24 days later.

  • The State Fair of Texas opened its gates for the first time on October 26, 1886. Approximately 14,000 people attend the opening day.
  • On November 7, 1886, the fair closes and attracted over 100,000 people for the very first year.
  • In 1913, the fair introduces the first Automobile building which was filled with 175 vehicles for fair goers to see.
  • The fair was canceled in 1918 due to the US Army taking control of Fair Park to establish an aviation boot camp known as Camp Dick.
  • In 1921, Boston College beats Baylor at the first game ever played between teams from the southwest and northeast.
  • In 1921, Texas and Vanderbilt start a series which is played here every year from 1921 to 1928 with the exception of 1924.
  • In 1923, the fair hosted Ku Klux Klan day. Thousands of new Klan members were sworn in at the fairgrounds. More than 150,000 people were at the fair that day
  • In 1925, the first State Fair Classics played.
  • In 1929, TX-OU play their Red River Rivalry here for the first time.
  • In 1930, construction of a new Fair Park Stadium (now known as the Cotton Bowl) begins.
  • In 1932, TX-OU play their Red River Rivalry for the first time at the new Fair Park Stadium.
  • In 1937, the first Cotton Bowl Classic is played in Fair Park.
  • Big Tex makes his first appearance in 1952.
  • In 1956 the Trailblazer monorail began operation at Fair Park from 1956 to 1964. It was the first commercially operated monorail system in the United States]
  • Elvis Presley performs in the Cotton Bowl during the fair in 1956.
  • In 1960, the Dallas Texans (AFL) and the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) play their first season in the Cotton Bowl.
  • In 1964 the monorail closed and was replaced by the Swiss Sky Ride, a 64 car aerial ride that traveled over a 3,800 foot path (the longest ever built).
  • In 1985 the Texas Star opens as the largest Ferris Wheel in North America.
  • In 1989, The Comet Roller Coaster, a Fair Park landmark since 1947, is torn down.
  • Following the 2001 September 11 attacksDallas police and State Fair officials announce the implementation of new security measures during the annual event.
  • In 2005, the Fried Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwich is introduced to the fair.
  • In 2007 the Texas Skyway aerial ride opens in Fair Park.
  • In 2010, the 8000 ft Greenhouse on the Midway is built to house 1000 hanging baskets, beehives, and Farmer Mike the Pumpkin Carver.
  • Fair goers spent more than $37 million in 2010 which broke the fair’s record.
  • On October 19, 2012, Big Tex caught on fire, burning it down to the skeletal frame, with only the right arm remaining.
  • In 2013, The State Fair opened a brand new attraction – a 500-foot observation tower called “Top o’ Texas Tower” – as part of a renovation of part of the Midway called “Summer Adventures at Fair Park. The “Tower” now operates only 24 days a year, despite a construction cost of over $11,000,000.
  • The State Fair also operated Summer Adventures in Fair Park, a beach-themed amusement park from May to August 2013.
  • Despite a $30,000,000 investment in Summer Adventures, the event was shuttered after just one season.
  • Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer wrote, “The sudden collapse of a $30 million venture has to be some kind of red flag, some indication that it’s time to re-examine the whole thing.
  • A new Big Tex statue was unveiled the day before the fair opened
  • In May 2015, the Park and Recreation Board voted unanimously to recommend and approve the Mayor’s Task Force Plan and recommended that underground parking structures be built rather than as initially recommended by the Task Force.

Now go and have fun and don’t eat too much!

Source:  Wikipedia