"Hilarious" comes to Dallas: The Second City

Written by DSM Columnists on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 1:39 PM

NOVEMBER 11-16, 2008
The Majestic Theatre

Chances are if you're not from Chicago, you may not know about THE SECOND CITY. However, you've been laughing with/to their comedians for years. Recognize any of these guys?

Performing a special medley of classic scenes, songs, and improvisation, THE SECOND CITY TOURING COMPANY is always original, daring, and hilarious. Their alumni list is a veritable "Who's Who" of comedy including Peter Boyle, Bill Murray, John & Jim Belushi, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, George Wendt, Ryan Stiles, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, Tim Meadows, Joan Rivers, John Candy, Bonnie Hunt, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis and so many more.

-Time Magazine

-New York Times

"A Comedy Powerhouse"
-Chicago Tribune

Buy one get the SECOND free*

Go to this link:http://www.ticketmaster.com/promo/jgd4cw
During the purchase process you'll see a box to enter a promotional code; enter SECOND (case sensitive)

Good For: All performances

Price Levels: All

Offer good at: online or at the DSM Box Office at Preston Royal Shopping Center, ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster retail locations and Charge-by-Phone 214-631-ARTS

Restrictions: *Tickets subject to availability and prior sales; some restrictions may apply. Performance prices and dates subject to change without notification. Offer expires Sunday, November 16 at 8p(CST). No refunds or exchanges. Additional service and handling charges apply. Tickets must be purchased in multiples of twos. Does not apply to previously purchased tickets.

Dates valid: Now through – November 16, 2008

Have you seen THE SECOND CITY before? On tour? In Chicago? Leave us a comment and let us know what you thought!


Written by DSM Columnists on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Dear Music Hall THE COLOR PURPLE patrons, Fair-goers, and Footballers:

We expect record heavy traffic for the TX-OU football game this Saturday. Please consider arriving early than you may have planned to avoid traffic (at least 2-3 hours early). The State Fair is opening their gates at 7 AM. Football fans will probably take up all of the available parking spaces in and around Fair Park between 7AM and 11AM, as well as causing serious traffic congestion in the area. Please be aware that the State Fair of Texas does not reserve any parking spaces exclusively for the Music Hall.

We ask that as many patrons as possible will take advantage of DART's TX-OU "Park-n-Ride" opportunity to minimize the actual number of vehicles in the vicinity:

1. Instead of going to the fair grounds, head to the downtown and park in the available paid parking lots near the DART Pearl St. Station. 80 shuttle buses will be on a non-stop rotation taking people to the fair grounds.

2. You will be dropped off at the fair grounds, at Pennsylvania & 2nd avenue where fair-ground-shuttles will be taking patrons to the Music Hall.

3. Fair-ground shuttles will return patrons to the DART shuttle buses, which will return them to the Pearl St. station downtown.

4. DSM has confirmed with Fair Park officials that these shuttle buses will be running until MIDNIGHT.

Alternatively, The Box Office is selling 2008 State Fair of Texas Prepaid Valet Parking tickets. The tickets are $30 each, must be purchased in person at The Box Office and guarantee the bearer to a valet parking space in the State Fair's valet lot (enter at Grand or MLK). There are some still available for your performance, but they must be purchased by 6 PM on Friday in order to ensure the correct number of parking places are reserved. (No day-of sales are allowed.)Thank you!


Hot Shows Around The Stage World - Do you know about FROST / NIXON?

Written by DSM Columnists on Friday, October 3, 2008 at 8:46 AM

Direct from Broadway

“A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.”
Nixon’s secret of overcoming adversity - written in a private note to Ted Kennedy after the Chappaquiddick incident in 1969.

“If an individual wants to be a leader and isn't controversial, that means he never stood for anything.”
Nixon’s take on leadership, 1978.

“The American people are entitled to see the president and to hear his views directly, and not to see him only through the press.”
Said by Nixon at a press conference on December 10, 1970.


Q: How did David Frost, a famous British talk-show host with a playboy reputation, elicit the apology that the rest of the world was waiting to hear from former President Richard Nixon? Award-winning actor Stacy Keach and Alan Cox lead a cast of 10 in this fast-paced Tony Award® nominated new play which shows the determination, conviction and cunning of two men as they square off in one of the most monumental television interviews of all time. Frost/Nixon is written by Peter Morgan, writer of The Queen, The Last King of Scotland, & HBO's "Longford", and directed by Olivier Award winner Michael Grandage.

For awards, key historical players, timelines, bio's and more, keep reading!


Tony Award Nominations: Best Play (Peter Morgan)
Best Direction of a Play (Michael Grandage)
Drama Desk Award Nominations: Outstanding New Play (Peter Morgan)
Outstanding Director of a Play (Michael Grandage)
Outstanding Music (Adam Cork)
Drama League Award Nominations: Distinguished Production of a Play
Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations: Outstanding Broadway Play
Outstanding Direction of a Play (Michael Grandage)
Outstanding Lighting Design (Neil Austin)


Jim Reston
American university lecturer and staunch critic of Nixon. He joins David Frost’s team as a researcher and acts as narrator in the play.

Jack Brennan
Nixon’s Chief of Staff and loyal supporter, a tough negotiator in setting up the interview with Frost.

Evonne Goolagong
Tennis player, the first Aboriginal Australian to win Wimbledon and a guest on Frost’s show.

John Birt
Head of Current Affairs at London Weekend Television and Frost’s producer.

Manolo Sanchez
Nixon’s manservant

Swifty Lazar
Legendary Hollywood agent representing Nixon, brokers the deal with Frost securing an unprecedented $600,000 for the interview.

Caroline Cushing
Frost’s girlfriend

Bob Zelnick
Veteran American reporter, well-known in the Washington scene and a key member of Frost’s team.

Jack Anderson
Journalist, Washington Post

Alexander Butterfield
Deputy Assistant to Nixon (1969-1973)

Charles Colson
White House Special Counsel (1969-1972)

John Connally
Secretary of US Treasury (1971-1972)

Bob Haldeman
Chief of Staff (1969-1973)

Pat Grey
Acting Director of the FBI (1972-1973)

Henry Kissinger
US Secretary of State (1973-1974)

Mike Wallace
Anchorman of CBS news show “60 Minutes”


January 21, 1969
Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States

June 13, 1971
The New York Times and the Washington Post begin publishing the Pentagon Papers, the Defense Department’s secret history of the Vietnam War.

June 17, 1972
Five men, one of whom says he worked for the CIA, are arrested at 2:30am trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel.

October 10, 1972
FBI agents establish that the Watergate break-in stems from a massive operation of political spying & sabotage conducted on behalf of the Nixon re-election campaign.

November 7, 1972
Nixon is re-elected in one of the largest landslides in American political history.

April 30, 1973
Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst, Nixon’s top White House officials resign over the scandal. White House Counsel John Dean is fired.

May 18, 1973
The Senate begins its nationally televised hearings regarding Watergate.

June 13, 1973
Watergate prosecutors find a memo addressed to John Ehrlichman describing in detail the plans to burgle the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. Alexander Butterfield, Deputy Assistant to the President, reveals that all conversations and telephone calls in the Oval Office have been recorded since 1971.

July 18, 1973
Nixon orders White House taping systems to be disconnected.

July 23, 1973
Nixon refuses to relinquish tape recordings to the Senate Watergate Committee or the Special Prosecutor.

October 20, 1973
“The Saturday Night Massacre”. Nixon fires Archibald Cox, the Special Prosecutor whose colleagues resign in protest. Pressure for impeachment mounts in Congress.

November 17, 1973
Nixon declares “I’m not a crook,” maintaining his innocence in the Watergate scandal.

December 7, 1973
The White House can’t explain an eighteen-and-a-half minute gap in one of the subpoenaed tapes.

April 30, 1974
The White House releases edited transcripts of the Nixon tapes but the House Judiciary Committee insists the actual tapes be handed over.

July 24, 1974
The Supreme Court rules unanimously that Nixon must hand over the tape recordings of sixty-four White House conversations, rejecting the President’s claims of executive privilege.

July 27, 1974
The House Judiciary Committee takes the momentous step of recommending that the President be impeached and removed from office.

August 8, 1974
Richard Nixon becomes the first US President to resign. Vice President Gerald. R. Ford assumes the country’s highest office and later issues an unconditional pardon for any offences Nixon may have committed as President.

May 2005
Former FBI Deputy Head Mark Felt revealed as “Deep Throat”, the anonymous source who helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate Scandal.

STACY KEACH (Richard Nixon)
John Huston once said of Stacy Keach that “Stacy is not a star. He is a constellation. The audience will come to see whatever character he portrays.” Keach, who has excelled in many of the classic and contemporary stage’s greatest roles, has been called one of America’s pre-eminent interpreters of Shakespeare. Mr. Keach began his professional career with the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1964. He received the first of his three Obie Awards for his work in the off-Broadway political satire, MacBird. Broadway credits include Indians (Tony Award nomination); Deathtrap; the Pulitzer Prize-winning Kentucky Cycle (Helen Hayes award for Best Actor) and Solitary Confinement. One of the most versatile stars of film, television and stage, Keach next appears in Oliver Stone’s cinematic portrait of George W. Bush, W. He has appeared in numerous films, including: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, The New Centurions, Doc, Fat City, The Longriders, Up in Smoke, Nice Dreams, The Ninth Configuration, Escape from L.A., Honeydripper and American History X. He is celebrated worldwide for his hit series as hard-boiled detective, Mike Hammer, as the irascible, hilarious Dad on Fox’s comic sitcom, Titus and as the warden on Prison Break. He won a Golden Globe award and an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Ernest Hemingway. Following his triumphant recent title role performance in King Lear for the prestigious Goodman Theatre in Chicago, directed by Robert Falls (which he will reprise in June 2009 at Washington D.C.’s new Shakespeare Harmon Center), Keach has recently starred in such films as Rob Nilsson’s Imbued (for which he also composed the music) Ring of Death, The Boxer, The Assistant and Meteor.

ALAN COX (David Frost)
Before attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Alan worked extensively as a child actor, most memorably in A Voyage Around My Father with Sir Laurence Olivier and as Young Watson in Young Sherlock Holmes. Moving to the US in 2007, he made his Broadway debut in the Tony-nominated production of Translations by Brian Friel for the Manhattan Theatre Club and also appeared in Passion Play by Sarah Ruhl at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago. He made his London West End debut at the age of thirteen in Strange Interlude and more recently appeared there in The Creeper and The Importance of Being Earnest. Other work in the UK includes: Natural Selection (Theatre 503), The Rubenstein Kiss (Hampstead), The Fence (Wrestling School), The Earthly Paradise (Almeida), The Flu Season (Gate), An Enemy Of The People (National Theatre), The Lady's Not for Burning (Chichester Theatre), The Seagull (National Theatre) and several productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has appeared in Flahooley and 50 Million Frenchmen for the Discovering Lost Musical series and Chu Chin Chow in the Celebrating British Music Theatre series. He directed the surprise hit of the 2004 Edinburgh Festival, Dirty Fan Male (Gilded Balloon) as well as Flanders Mare (Sound Theatre), The Riot Act (the Gate) and A R (Theatre 503). He is delighted to be appearing alongside Stacy Keach whom he worked with previously on a radio adaptation of “The Plutocrat” by Booth Tarkington. Film and television credits include: August, Ladies In Lavender, The Auteur Theory, Mrs Dalloway, An Awfully Big Adventure, The Odyssey, Midsomer Murders, Not only But Always, Housewife 49, Custer’s Last Battle, John Adams and Margaret.


Nixon made his famous 'you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more' comment after he unsuccessfully ran for:
-Governor of California

Who gave Nixon the nickname ‘Tricky Dick’?
- Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas

What law school did Nixon attend?
- Duke University of Law

In what branch of the military did Nixon serve during World War II?
- The Navy – he was a Lieutenant Commander

How many US presidents has David Frost interviewed?
- Seven

What was the name of Frost’s groundbreaking satirical show that aired on the BBC from 1962-63?
- That Was the Week That Was

How did Frost commute from the UK to the US during the 70s?
- By Concorde

What were the documents the Washington Post & The New York Times published from the Defense Department that told the secret history of the Vietnam War named?
- The Pentagon Papers

Five men were arrested breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel on what date?
- June 17, 1972

One of the subpoenaed White House tapes caused controversy when it was discovered to be missing how much of its recording?
- Eighteen-and-a-half minutes

What was the name of the man who in 2005 revealed himself as the informant ‘Deep Throat’?
- Mark Felt

All the President’s Men, the movie based on the book written by Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein based on their experiences during Watergate, starred what two actors?
- Robert Redford & Dustin Hoffman

What does it mean to be impeached?
- To charge a public official with an offence committed in office.

Who were the only two presidents to be impeached?
- Andrew Johnson
(In 1867, Congress passed laws placing restrictions upon the President. When Johnson allegedly violated one of these, the Tenure of Office Act, by dismissing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, the House voted eleven articles of impeachment against him. He was tried by the Senate in the spring of 1868 and acquitted by one vote.)

- Bill Clinton
(In 1998, as a result of issues surrounding personal indiscretions with a female White House intern, Clinton was the second US president to be impeached. He was tried by the Senate and found not guilty. He apologized to the nation for his actions and continued to have unprecedented popular approval ratings for his job as president.)

Why wasn’t Nixon impeached?
- He resigned to avoid it, making him the first & only president to ever resign from office.

Which president signed the Resource Recovery Act to encourage recycling?
- Nixon

In 'Purple', story is the star

Written by DSM Columnists on at 8:39 AM

In 'Purple', story is the star
Special to the Star-Telegram
permalink to the post on Star-Telegram website

DALLAS — In the end, it is the story that prevails.
The Color Purple, a musical retelling of Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that opened at the Music Hall at Fair Park on Tuesday night, is an outstanding production in almost every regard. The cast is stellar, and the vocal work is especially first-rate, but no one forgets the acting chores, either.

Every visual detail — sets, lighting, costuming — is also right on the money. The music, by a committee of three, is solid and serviceable, and only occasionally rises above the ordinary. The quality of the singing in this production, however, elevates it.

But, while this show wows with its "big musical" trappings, it is ultimately Alice Walker’s vivid characters and heart-wrenching story that carry the day. Book author Marsha Norman has done a superb job of capturing the straight-to-the gut emotions of the source material. And, better still, she has peppered the show’s grim story of loss and oppression with just enough humor in just the right places.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that director Gary Griffin’s cast is led by three of the finest musical theater actresses to be found in one show.

It is hard to image anyone doing more with the central role of Celie than Jeannette Bayardelle. Her character moves from scared and beaten-down at the opening curtain to confident and empowered in the closing numbers. Tony nominee Felicia P. Fields provides the desperately needed comic relief for the show as Sofia. A more subtle performance is turned in by Angela Robinson as the Bessie Smith-like Shug Avery. She explores all of the corners of her complex, free-spirited character and sings up a storm in the process.

Mention must be made of LaToya London as Celie’s sister, Nettie. Many will remember that this AmericanIdol competitor of a few seasons back was championed by Elton John when she failed to win.The only real problem with this show is its length. Stretching two hours and 45 minutes, it really loses steam in the second of its two acts. It needs to be at least 30 minutes leaner. But fans of the Walker book or the movie will be delighted with this gorgeously mounted musical. Finally, don’t forget that this show takes place close enough to the State Fair of Texas to be able to smell the cotton candy. Traffic and parking can be issues.

The Color Purple Through Oct. 19
Music Hall, Fair Park, Dallas
8 p.m. Tues-Sun; 2 p.m. Sat-Sun
214-691-7200; http://www.dallassummermusicals.org/
Run time: 2 hours and 45 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission
Be advised: There is little objectionable language, but this is a mature story unsuitable for preteens.
Best reason to go: Alice Walker

Using Internet Explorer and you get "Trusted Site" errors?

Written by DSM Columnists on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 7:02 PM

Internet Explorer, "IE", has a great many security protocols built in to it. Depending on how you have it set up, when you click on a link on our site, it may give you this message:

It is simply a precaution and, when you're on a DSM site, you can simply click YES. DSM takes the uptmost care in ensuring that our sites are always safe for our patrons to freely come and go on, without worry or concern.

Now, if you would like to change a setting so you don't see the above message in the future, then follow these easy steps. It should only take 30 or 40 seconds:

1. Go to the TOOLS menu

2. Select OPTIONS (at the bottom of the list)

3. Select the SECURITY tab.

4. Select TRUSTED SITES (the big green check-mark)

5. Once selected click on the button entitled SITES

6. Click on the ADD button to add http://dsmnewsroom.blogspot.com/. This will add our news room as a trusted and safe site.

7. In the "Add this website to the zone" box which should now be empty, type in: http://www.dallassummermusicals.org/, and then click the ADD button again. This will add our main website.

8. Select the CLOSE button9. Select the OK button.10. You're all set!
approximate time for this task is about 30-45 seconds.

Performances overcome a lackluster score in 'The Color Purple'

Written by DSM Columnists on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 10:56 AM

By LAWSON TAITTE / The Dallas Morning News

Epic novels often have a rough transition to the stage: Events fly by so fast they feel like a historical pageant rather than a play.

Oprah Winfrey presents The Color Purple, the stage musical adaptation of Alice Walker's novel, exhibits such symptoms early on. The Dallas Summer Musicals opened the area premiere, its 2008 State Fair show, on Tuesday at Fair Park Music Hall.

The childhoods of the heroine, Celie (Jeannette Bayardelle), and her sister are over after two short choruses of the opening song. Horrors of domestic violence bump rudely against stylized comedy, even in the scenes in which Sofia (Felicia P. Fields) begins to show Celie she doesn't have to accept the abuse that has been heaped on her all her life.

The show really doesn't come to life, though, until the notorious Shug Avery (Angela Robinson) returns to town. Shug was the true love of Celie's cruel husband, Mister (Rufus Bonds Jr.), but convention prevented them from marrying. Mister takes his disappointment out on Celie for years. During one of Shug's periodic visits home, though, Celie nurses her back to health and the two women develop a sisterly relationship that eventually turns sexual. As this happens over the last half hour of the first act, we finally get characters interacting with one another.

The second acts ratchets things up by finding some creative solutions to the problems of long-range storytelling. To begin with, a dream – or rather a letters – ballet, spectacularly set in Africa, shows Celie what has become of her long lost sister. The successive stages of Celie's evolution into a free woman each get a neatly turned scene or song, or both.

The score doesn't have many grab-you tunes, a disappointment given the rich musical styles of the early 20th century, in which the story is set. But the performers are uniformly terrific, dramatically as well as vocally.
The gorgeously designed sets and costumes envelop the actors in swirling color. Donald Byrd, a significant modern dance choreographer, has the entire cast moving and shaking.

Occasionally Ms. Bayardelle's gestures and expressions seem modeled a little too closely on Whoopi Goldberg's in Steven Spielberg's film version of The Color Purple. But Ms. Bayardelle does create a character that evokes sympathy and, eventually admiration.

PLAN YOUR LIFE Through Oct. 19 at Fair Park Music Hall. Runs 170 mins. $25 to $77. Ticketmaster at 214-631-2787, http://www.ticketmaster.com/.