DSM’s Broadway Christmas Wonderland – The Holiday Show!

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Your entire family will enjoy this traditional salute to all things Christmas!  Dallas Summer Musicals  kicks off its 2016-2017 Season with one of the most enchanting Christmas shows ever, Broadway Christmas Wonderland.   It’s at Fair Park Music Hall  for two weeks –  December 6-18, 2016.

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The production’s cast of 24 singers and dancers have been handpicked from all over the world and they perform all your holiday favorites such as  ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Let it Snow,’ ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, plus many many more.  They also perform a rocking set called  “Gospel Christmas Time” that includes a lot of my personal favorites such as ‘Mary Did you Know’,  ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Higher and Higher’.   The production has something for everyone – High Kicking Chorus Girls, a Dancing Santa, Elves, Toys, and Snowmen!  One of my favorite segments from the show was watching as the stage magically converted (how did they do that?) into a glistening ice pond with world champion ice skaters.

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This production is an old fashioned, high energy. crowd pleasing Broadway performance of your favorite Holiday tunes with first class vocalists and dancers with sparkling costumes and dazzling performances.  It will put a smile on your face, and will bring back favorite Christmas memories.  And it will definitely put you and your family in the mood for Christmas!

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Single tickets for BROADWAY CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND, starting at $20, are now on sale at: www.DallasSummerMusicals.org by phone at 1-800-514-ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.   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 will continue 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.

When you go be sure and take a photo with your favorite Christmas Tree in the Lobby and use #BwayChristmasDSM on all your posts!

#BwayChristmasDSM | 1475807562_Twitter1475807764_Instagram_New1475807643_Snapchat @dsmusicals |1475807542_Facebook@DallasSummerMusicals



I Fell in Love with Moana….

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Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to fall in love again with Disney, it happened.   Moana is the very best of Disney and much much more.

First of all, can I just tell you it doesn’t get much better than your college age son asking you to go see a Disney movie with him.  He’s in the Arts and Technology School at The University of Texas at Dallas  and recently went to a lecture given by a visiting representative from Disney who was there to discuss their soon to be released feature “Moana”.  The lecture went into great detail about the new technology that their animators developed in the making of the movie.   One new technology in particular enabled the animators to manipulate each individual hair strand on the characters’ head.  Now that you know that you will be as mesmerized as I was watching Moana’s beautiful hair move in every scene of the movie – it’s amazing!


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They also discussed the lengths Disney went to to be as accurate as they could in making the movie.  The Disney team traveled to the island and researched the Polynesian’s culture by meeting with linguists, anthropologists, historians, and even fishermen to try to be as accurate as they possibly could.  Their goal was to both educate and entertain audiences and treat the culture with the respect they deserve.   I think they achieved all of the above.

MOANA - (Pictured) Grandma Tala and Moana. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The fictional movie takes place 3,000 years ago in the islands of Polynesia, an area that includes Hawaii, Tonga and Tahiti. The star is 16-year-old Moana, voiced by Hawaiian actress Auli’i Cravalho, who goes on an ocean voyage with Maui, voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.   Moana defies her family to travel beyond the reefs to save her beloved island and to find her destiny.  Mind you, Moana isn’t your usual Disney princess, she’s more like a heroine.  She’s beautiful, spunky, brave, defiant, and isn’t afraid to get a little dirty along the way.   She’s also not looking for love which is a Disney princess departure.   She’s got the demigod Maui for company on this journey but he’s too busy being in love with himself to give her much attention and she really could care less.  Their relationship is sweet and refreshing.  Their sarcastic banter is pure fun.

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The new Disney project is visually stunning, fun of action, and you will love the music!  Hamilton creator and theater darling Lin-Manuel Miranda has created some of its best music.

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The movie made $82 million over the five-day weekend, placing it behind only “Frozen” (2013) for a Thanksgiving debut and it is sure to be another Disney success.  Your kids will love it (no matter what age they are!) so stock up now on all things Moana for Christmas!

http://movies.disney.com/moana

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is Coming to Town This Week!

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RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER SOARS TO DALLAS-FORT WORTH LIVE ON STAGE NOVEMBER 22-23, 2016 AT BASS PERFORMANCE HALL in Fort Worth AND NOVEMBER 25-27, 2016 AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK in Dallas

What a great opportunity to take the whole family to see “the most famous reindeer of all” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!  The family friendly stage adaption is based on CBS’ highest rated Christmas Special of all time.  The story tells the tale of a young Rudolph who, because of the appearance of his bright shining nose, is excluded from the Reindeer Games. He flees Christmas town and meets up with new friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius.  After finding The Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph journeys home where a snowstorm of epic proportions is threatening Christmas. Can Rudolph rescue his family and friends and help Santa save the holiday?

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Projections, costumes and characters will be faithfully brought to the stage against a backdrop of nostalgic set designs. The cast brings high energy to classic songs and dialogue, while irresistible and lovable puppets highlight the charming “roughness” from the television show’s stop-motion effects. In preparation for the Dallas-Fort Worth run, the show will be adding new flying elements and an enhanced set and scenic design to create an even more fantastic theater experience for Rudolph fans.

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Don’t miss this family favorite! 

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Single tickets for the Fort Worth engagement of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL, starting at $27.50, 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.

 

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL, starting at $20, are now on sale at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1-800-514-ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Review: Manchester by the Sea


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Manchester by the Sea is opening in theaters across the U.S. starting today (it opens in Dallas/FW November 25th).  It’s already getting rave reviews from the critics and has been selected as an Official Selection for several film festivals such as the 2016 New York and Sundance Film Festivals.   The movie is also getting lots of Oscar buzz for Best Picture and Best Actor for Casey Affleck who gives his best performance of his career.   I believe it could earn Oscar nominations in several categories, it’s that good.

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Synposis:  In Manchester by the Sea, the latest film from award-winning writer and director Kenneth Lonergan, the life of a solitary Boston janitor, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck)  is transformed when he returns to his hometown to take care of his teenage nephew. The story of the Chandlers, a working-class family living in a Massachusetts fishing village for generations, Manchester by the Sea is a deeply poignant, unexpectedly funny exploration of the power of familial love, community, sacrifice and hope.  After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges).   Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester by the Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 16 year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and the community where he grew up.   With the father and brother who bonded them together as a family no longer alive, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him.
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The film is moving, thought provoking, raw, and film at its best.  It’s also probably one of the saddest movies you will see this season topped off with a big dose of reality.  It’s a very honest study of human grief and how the human spirit strives to overcome it.    The film also examines the Chandler Family and their long history of difficult but strong relationships through masterful flashbacks.  The relationships and dialogue seem so real that at times you feel like you’re actually watching a documentary.  But at the heart of the story is the unconditional love that they share for each other.

 

Casey Affleck gives a superb performance as Lee.  He’s consumed with grief, guilt, and loss and he will break your heart with his sad eyes and thin voice.   Michelle Williams doesn’t disappoint in her small but poignant and heart rending role as Lee’s ex-wife.  Lucas Hedges as the teenage nephew is a young actor to keep an eye on.   His rebellious teenage character is both endearing and exasperating.  His subtle sense of humor is a delight and his interactions with his uncle are both touching and funny.

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The bleak winter New England seaside setting of Manchester by the Sea brings a poetic statement to every scene and you will be thinking about Manchester by the Sea long after you see it.  It’s a beautifully made film and one of the best I’ve seen in quite awhile.

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AMAZON STUDIOS AND ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS RELEASE THE FILM STARTING NOVEMBER 18TH IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES AND ROLLING OUT INTO THEATERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.  

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA OPENS IN DALLAS/FORT WORTH NOVEMBER 25, 2016

New Network TV Shows You Must See This Fall

watching-tvWhat better way to welcome fall than by watching some binge-worthy TV shows? Snuggle up, settle down and switch off your brain in front of the TV. We hope this will help you decide what to watch this fall!

Timeless

The concept: Can this group of travellers stop a villain from changing the past and thus changing the future?
Why you should watch: We are intrigued by this kind of twisty trope-filled time party.

American Housewife

The concept: This show is a comedy about a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three, who raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with “perfect” mommies and their “perfect” offspring.
Why you should watch: We like the way they are dealing with what it’s like to be an average-sized women with America’s super-thin ideals! The average American woman is 5’4″ and 166 pounds. The idea of a weekly reality check on what is normal, done with laugh-out-loud moments is something to be watched!

This Is Us

The concept: A drama about a selection of people with the same birthday whose lives unexpectedly intersect.
Why you should watch: If you are Parenthood fans, this show will fill the hole in your heart. “This Is Us” is, without a doubt, the fall’s most emotionally engaging TV show.

Designated Survivor

The concept: A terrorist attack has claimed the lives of the president and the members of his cabinet, except the secretary of housing and urban development. “Designated Survivor” is part political and part procedural.
Why you should watch: The cast is terrific. Kiefer Sutherland is a surprisingly good fit as a man thrust into a situation he doesn’t want to be in. Plus, you get all-around good actor (and real-life ex-White House employee) Kal Penn, playing a White House employee.

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The concept: This show features a mom on a mission, who will go to any lengths necessary for her husband Jimmy and her kids – Ray, Dylan and JJ, her eldest son with special needs. The family works to make a new home for themselves while they search for just the right person to give JJ his “voice.”
Why you should watch: This is a sweet show that is a little different from the other comedies on TV. You will really fall in love with this family. 🙂

What will you be watching this season?

Can’t Stop the Feeling: Prepare for Spark.Me

Spark.me is less than a month away! And today, Justin Timberlake drops a new song that expresses how I feel. I may have modified some of the lyrics ;), but turn up the volume and dance with me.

“I got this feeling inside my bones. It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on. All through BUDVA, all through MONTENEGRO. We’re flying up, no ceiling, when we in our zone. I got that sunshine in my pocket. Got THIS good song in my feet. I feel that SPARK in my body when it drops. I can’t WAIT FOR END OF MAY, moving so phenomenally WELL. You gon’ like the way THIS CONFERENCE rocks it, so don’t stop. Under the lights when everything STARTS. Nowhere to hide when CONFERENCE getting you close. When SPARK.ME STARTS, well, you already know. So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine…SPARK.ME WILL MAKE you dance, dance, dance. Feeling good, good, SPARKING up on you. So just dance, dance, dance, come on. All those things I should do to PREPARE, but you dance, dance, dance. And YOU ARE leaving soon, so keep dancing…”

I CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! How about you? 😉

10-Tips-for-Spark-MeHere’s my TOP 10 checklist to help you prepare for Spark.Me, so you can continue to dance your way to Budva, Montenegro, on May 28-29, 2016.

  1. Search Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for anyone talking about #SparkMe. You can then determine if you want to follow them and start conversations ahead of Spark.Me. This works amazingly well for people who might be a bit shy. Make sure you are also using #SparkMe hashtag, so can people can also find and engage with you.
  2. Visit the speakers blogs or youtube channels for ideas of how things are going in their lives or in their businesses. Before meeting them, maybe you’ll read that they just closed a B round of funding, and thus might have budget for a project with you. It’s free intelligence before a conversation.
  3. Check out the partners for Spark.Me. Visit their web pages. What do you know about them? Are they a prospective vendor for you? A client? Do you see some business value in meeting any of them?
  4. Write some of your best work in the days leading up to Spark.Me and have a great post launch on the day of the event. The likelihood of people checking out your blog during or just before an event is high. JUST DO IT! 🙂
  5. Consider writing posts that might help you form conversations at Spark.Me. For instance, if you’re looking to work with startups, write a blog post about how you’d help startups get funding. Thus, people who might investigate your blog ahead of time might also know what you’re thinking about and will engage you.
  6. Consider making a video about something and posting it to your blog. Videos will give people an even better opportunity to observe you and see what you’re about. It might also help with the people recognition factor, as seeing you in motion might improve their chance of seeing you at an event. 😉
  7. If you’re going to take lots of photos or videos at Spark.Me, check your gear to make sure you’ve got everything (charger, media transfer tools, spare things, etc.). Consider any extra batteries or power supplies you might need to bring with you.
  8. Backup your laptop before you travel. You might not think about it, but there are many chances to destroy your data once you’re on the road. Make sure that’s not going to happen.
  9. Pack business casual clothes and comfortable shoes for two days and a nice black dress or button-down shirt & nice pants for the cocktail party! And, DON’T FORGET YOUR SWIMSUIT to wear while you enjoy the Bečići beach. 🙂
  10. Practice, practice, practice your elevator pitch explaining who you are and what you do. Be crisp. Make it easy to say. Be very clear. If you’re looking for work, be clear that you’re available for a few extra projects. It seems that lots of folks beat around the bush or don’t exactly know how to have a beginning, middle and end to a conversation. REMEMBER, YOU ARE AWESOME! TI SI SJAJAN/SJAJNA!

Look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. For now, make sure that we are connected on all these social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and Pinterest.

How to Throw an Epic Captain America: Civil War Party

captain-america-civil-warMy son loves the Avengers…like LOVES the Avengers. I could not tell you how many times that I have seen that movie – well, I digress. The excitement has been building in our house for the newest movie, Captain America: Civil War. Naturally, when I asked my son what he wanted his birthday party theme to be, he yelled: “Marvel!” This year, we threw an epic birthday party for his friends, and I am here to share how his party has just the right amount of epic awesomeness to get your family pumped for Captain America: Civil War. The only question remains is, are you for #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? 😉

Themed Snacks Instead of Flashy Decorations
I am all about themed snacks. They can double as decorations, and since the point is for you and your guests to eat the snacks, it can cut down on your cleanup time after the festivities are over. Here are a few snack ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.Hulk-Juicecaptain-america-pizzateam-cap

Bring the Entertainment Home Instead of Paying for a Playhouse
Next, I had to figure out what entertainment to provide for 9 year-old boys. Thanks to my friend, Facebook, I discovered a piñata company in Kotor, Montenegro. Angela is amazing and made us an Iron Man head. We just added some hard candy into the piñata and grab the nearest scarf and broom stick – an the party festivities went up to an epic level. Then, we added a “pin-the-star on Cap’s shield” game and much fun was had. Here’s are some of the fun pictures.Iron-Man-Beforeiron-man-pinatairon-man-blastcaptain-america-shield-gamepin-the-star-captain-america

Jane Austen’s “Love and Friendship” is Deliciously Fun!

banner_LoveAndFriendship1457115967The eagerly awaited film LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP opens in Dallas on May 20, 2016!  The movie is an adaptation of young Jane Austen’s unfinished novella Lady Susan, believed to have been written in the mid 1790’s but revised and published by her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, in 1871.

Love and Friendship takes place in England in the 1790’s, and features the beautiful, notorious but poor widow Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale).  It begins with her abrupt visit to Churchill, the estate of her in-laws who she barely knows.  She’s there because she has no place to live and to lay low while the rumors about her scandalous affairs (with a married man no less) die down.  While there she continues to spin her web on her next prey, this time on the young handsome and eligible bachelor Reginald DeCourcy (Xavier Samuel) who is her in-law’s brother.  She’s also dead set on securing a husband – the very rich Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett) for her young and rebellious daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark).   What ensues is a most delightful story told through the creative eyes of Screenplay Writer and Director Whit Stillman.Love and Friendship 89You can’t take your eyes off of Kate Beckinsale throughout the movie.  Not only is she beautiful to look at, but her monologues are absolutely brilliant. She walks the line between being a perfect English lady while she’s flirting with scandal and deceiving everyone in her path.  Chloe Sevigny, who plays her American friend Alicia Johnson, is well-casted as one of Lady Susan’s only friends and confidante.  Tom Bennett’s character Sir James Martin is especially wonderful.  He doesn’t have a brain in his head and he will make you laugh out loud at some of the idiotic things he says.Love and FriendshipLove and Friendship is a joy to watch from beginning to end.  It’s a departure from most of Jane Austen’s novels and in Whit Stillman’s creative hands it’s a true delight.  Because the relationships between all the characters can become quite complicated  they are introduced in a funny and creative way in the beginning of the story which gives you a clue that this is going to be a different kind of Jane Austen film. Despite it being a period film it’s funny and fresh and you can’t wait to see what the conniving and absolutely brilliant Lady Susan will do next.

Grab some girlfriends and go indulge yourself in this wonderful new Jane Austen film.

Written & Directed by:

WHIT STILLMAN

Starring:

Kate Beckinsale, Xavier Samuel, Morfydd Clark, Emma Greenwell, Tom Bennett, James Fleet,Jemma Redgrave, Justin Edwards,  Jenn Murray, With Stephen Fry, and Chloë Sevigny

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Batman V Superman? Let the Kids Decide!

In two weeks, the battle is on when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice comes to theaters on March 25, 2016! The Children’s Place is partnering up with Batman & Superman to treat one lucky winner to a heroic family trip to Los Angeles with VIP Warner Bros. Studio tour passes. Click here to enter! The-Childrens-Place-Batman-V-Supermanbatman-v-superman-kidsNot only can you enter to win, but you can also find apparel for your kids to support their favorite superhero. GRAND PRIZE INCLUDES:
· 4 roundtrip airfare tickets to Los Angeles & complimentary ground transportation to/from LAX
· Hotel accommodations for 3 nights
· 4 VIP Warner Bros. Studio tour passes
· $200 gift card to The Children’s Place


This video also features another contest, but it gives back to the community. If you donate, you could win a prize package that includes a trip to the Los Angeles premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a ride in the Batmobile with Ben Affleck, a ride in a helicopter with Henry Cavill and an opportunity to “photo bomb” the Red Carpet at the premiere.

Now, your kids may not necessarily care about the moral differences between Batman and Superman. Let’s be honest, some of them will not be seeing this movie in the theater (rated PG-13), BUT they undoubtedly have participated in conversations like this one. “Who do you think would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?” or “Which superhero is cooler?” I have to admit that I am #TeamSuperman because well Henry Cavill…oh, and Batman is Ben Affleck. Also maybe it’s because of my love for Kryptonians by watching Supergirl on CBS.

Post below which one you // they are cheering for! 🙂

Million Dollar Quartet is Electrifying at Dallas Summer Musicals

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What do you get when you mix Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash together?  You get an extremely fun and entertaining night of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll music ever performed and it’s called ‘MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET”.  This International Tony Award Winning musical is coming to Music Hall at Fair Park February 27, and 28th  for three performances  and  you will not want to miss this incredible night of music that will have you dancing in your seat.  You will experience the music of these four rock ‘n roll geniuses that came together for one moment in time and went on to shape the music scene forever.

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The musical is inspired by a true story and is set on the afternoon of  December 4, 1956, when record producer, Sam Phillips, gathers musicians Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash together at his studio, Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.  The result?  One of the most incredible and legendary jam sessions ever.   Hits like “Blue Suede Shoes, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Hound Dog”, Fever, “I Walk the Line” are performed plus many many more.    You will get to experience what it must have been like to witness first hand four young artists ready to burst into the music scene and see that magical moment when they all came together to perform with each other for the first and only time.   This is a “must see” for all you rock ‘n roll lovers.

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Trivia:

  • Where did the name “Million Dollar Quartet” come from?  A newspaper reporter who was present at the jam session dubbed it “The Million Dollar Quartet,” offering a rough guess as to what the salaries of the four men would have been, and the name stuck.
  • The actual session that day (and night) yielded nearly four dozen musical tracks.
  • Who was the original singer of the hit song, “Blue Suede Shoes?” Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis or Carl Perkins?  The answer is Carl Perkins.  Due to a severe car accident Perkins did not get to perform the song on The Perry Como Show as scheduled.  Elvis Presley performed the song a few weeks later on the Ed Sullivan show and it became a huge hit for him and he was forever identified with the song.Million_Dollar_Quartet

Performances:

Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
Single tickets start at $25 (pricing subject to change) are now on sale at:  DallasSummerMusicals.org by phone at l.800.514.ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.