Photo by Brandon Bell, Getty Images

A TCU faculty member has written a new play called For the Love of Uvalde: A Play Inspired by the Robb Elementary School, and it's premiering January 28 both in-person on-campus and online via streaming.

Playwright Ayvaunn Penn, who is part of the Theatre TCU faculty, also wrote a play in 2020 inspired by the Botham Jean shooting by police officer Amber Guyger.

The premiere staged reading of For the Love of Uvalde promises a similar evening of art for social change, paired with a panel-led community discussion. This staged reading will feature select songs and monologues from the show.

The original play uses testimonies to explore the aftermath and varying viewpoints of the families, politicians, and medical professionals affected by the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last May. Nineteen children and two adults were killed in the deadliest shooting ever at a Texas public school.

Panel members for the discussion include Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, TCU Chief Inclusion Officer; James McQuillen, director of Theatre for Youth at Casa Mañana; Professor Lisa Devine, UNT Theatre for Social Change professor; and Shania Tari, M.S, LMFT-A & EMDR trained.

A collaboration between Theatre TCU, TCU School of Music, and El Progreso Memorial Library in Uvalde, the event is free to attend, though tickets are required and may be reserved here. It begins at 6:30 pm at PepsiCo Recital Hall at the Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh Center for Performing Arts on the TCU campus.

El Progreso Memorial Library will also stream the event on YouTube so that community members may join and participate in the discussion and reflection.

Legendary composer John Williams writes new ESPN anthem for TCU-Georgia National Championship

What a score

Talk about a big score. In what is believed to be the largest-scale musical commission ever for ESPN, the sports network has commissioned Hollywood icon John Williams to compose a new anthem for the College Football Playoff National Championship between TCU and University of Georgia, Varietyreports.

The game, which airs on ESPN at 6:30 pm Monday, January 9 from California's SoFi Stadium, will be preceded by Williams' new three-and-a-half minute theme called "Of Grit and Glory.”

The music will back up special visuals that convey “the feeling behind the night, fear and anticipation, triumph and failure,” ESPN co-director and producer Martin Khodabakhshian tells Variety. The magazine, which got an exclusive preview of the new anthem, says it "plays like a joyful overture, opening with fanfares and shifting seamlessly from martial urgency to anthemic splendor, all richly orchestrated and instantly memorable."

Williams - whose famous compositions include four Olympic fanfares - told Variety he was thrilled to be asked to write the theme for the championship.

"Intercollegiate football has been at the heart and soul of our nation’s life for so long that the opportunity to musically salute this great tradition has been a particularly meaningful joy for me," he tells the magazine. "The games themselves always raise the collective spirit and, in the end, the competition brings us all closer to a place where the concept of winners and losers dissolves into mutual respect and admiration. The invitation to write this music constitutes a great honor for me, and I feel especially privileged to make a small contribution to one of our country’s most treasured traditions.”

Williams reportedly recorded the theme with a 96-piece orchestra on the Sony scoring stage in a three-hour session on December 21. ESPN filmed it using seven cameras.

It remained top secret until game day, January 9.

The new music - the main anthem plus shorter snippets - will be heard throughout the TCU-Georgia matchup, but its use after the game is unclear, Variety reports.

A five-time Oscar winner, Williams, 90, is best known for his Hollywood film scores, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jaws.

Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

TCU fans' guide to tailgating, parking, and parties at the CFP National Championship in L.A.

Frogs in the Natty

Thousands of TCU fans will descend on the City of Angels this weekend to witness the Horned Frogs play No. 1 Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship. The game itself is at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Monday, January 9 (4:30 pm Pacific, 6:30 pm Central). As Dallas-Fort Worth fans scurry to secure flights, hotel accommodations, transportation, and those pricey tickets, details on the many festivities leading up the game may have been missed. Here’s a quick overview of fan-friendly events happening all weekend long, including tips on parking, tailgating (is there tailgating?), maps, and more.

Staying home for the game? Head over to Fort Worth for the 12 best watch parties at local bars and restaurants.

SoFi Stadium Quick Facts
The elaborate SoFi Stadium opened in September 2020 and is the centerpiece of a district called Hollywood Park, a 300-acre sports and entertainment destination located in Inglewood, California. It’s the home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angele Rams NFL teams. Fun fact: the stadium is slated to host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics. It can seat up to 100,000 people with expandable seating and is the largest stadium in the NFL.

At 70,000 square feet, SoFi’s Infinity Screen is the largest videoboard ever created in sports. It’s 120 yards long and holds about 2.2 million pounds of digital LED. It’ the only dual-sided, center-hung videoboard in the world. No matter where your seats are, you won’t miss one play.

Parking at SoFi for the National Championship
Parking is extremely limited with digital permits available for purchase only in advance for on-site and off-site lots. Stadium parking lots will open at 10 am and will remain open for two hours after the end of the game. Here’s a map for reference.

Another option is Inglewood Park & Go – remote parking with shuttle service that runs every 15 minutes. A bus rideshare service called Rally will also provide roundtrip transportation to the game from various districts around the Los Angeles area. A minimum number of riders is required.

To be clear, tailgating is prohibited for this game, so leave the coolers tents behind. (Apparently this is a College Football Playoff rule for the National Championship, not a rule of SoFi Stadium or California in general.)

But there is an official tailgate hosted by the College Football Playoff. Called the Allstate Championship Tailgate, the free event is open to all ticket holders. Running from 10 am-4 pm on game day January 9, the sponsored tailgate will be held in lots B and C outside SoFi Stadium. It will feature interactive games, sponsor activations, concessions, live broadcasts by ESPN, and performances by both TCU and Georgia marching bands. There’ll also be live concerts by Kelsea Ballerini and Yiera Kennedy.

TCU is also hosting a tailgate, but tickets are already sold out.

Playoff Fan Central
This three-day, family-friendly event, which runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am-6 pm daily, is free to attend and will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center South Hall. Go for games, clinics, band performances, special guest appearances, autograph sessions, and exhibits celebrating the history of college football. Note that TCU star running back and NFL Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson will appear on Sunday at 11 am for a live podcast recording for "Always College Football" with football commentator Greg McElroy. Here’s the full schedule of appearances.

Extra Yard 5K
Looking to burn a few calories before the big game? Sign up for the College Football Playoff’s family-friendly 5K race (that’s 3.1 miles) to held at 8 am on Sunday in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Each participant will receive a t-shirt and a finisher medal. Registration is $50, or $40 for teachers and educators. Proceeds will benefit the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers initiative. Registration ends Saturday night at midnight.

Taste of the Championship
If you don’t want to mess with dinner reservations and still get an exclusive taste of everything delicious Los Angeles has to offer, buy tickets for Taste of the Championship, happening 4-7 pm Sunday at a chic LA event space called Hudson Loft. The fundraiser event will feature gourmet food and drinks be prepared and served by local chefs via meet-and-greet stations. Proceeds from the $300 ticket will benefit the College Football Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers initiative.

Other good things to know

  • Only clear bags are allowed inside SoFi Stadium and they should not be bigger than 12” x 6” x 12”. Small clutch purses are permitted, but they can’t exceed 4” x 6”.
  • There’s also a College Football Playoff app for those who want to keep updated with breaking news and game updates.

CFP National Championship

Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Horned Frogs will be painting the town purple.

Photo by Tamytha Cameron

Gala led by Dallas' most VIP couple scores top spot in this week's 5 hottest headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Dallas' most VIP couple leads all-star gala for Perot Museum 10th anniversary. The 10th anniversary of a Dallas landmark deserves a star-studded party and a few fireworks, too — and that's exactly what the Perot Museum of Nature and Science did to celebrate its milestone birthday. Dallas' most VIP couple led the festivities. Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki co-chaired the 10th anniversary Night at the Museum Gala on Saturday, November 12.

2. Dallas hires Martine Elyse Philippe as new director of arts and culture. The city of Dallas has a new Arts boss: Martine Elyse Philippe, who has worked in arts administration and the nonprofit world, has been appointed Director of the Office of Arts & Culture, a division of the City Manager's Office that fosters partnerships and support with arts and cultural organizations.

3. Record store in Dallas' Oak Cliff to spin off hip new restaurant-lounge. There's a hip new lounge bar restaurant opening in Dallas' Bishop Arts: Called Ladylove, it's going into the favorably located space previously occupied by Dallas Grilled Cheese Co., and is forecast to open in early 2023. Ladylove, whose subhead is "Lounge & Sound," is from David Grover and Kate Siamro, the same amazing team who own Spinster Records, the vinyl record store in Bishop Arts.

4. New Uptown Dallas movie theater sets opening date in time for the holidays. A little over a year after it was first announced, Violet Crown Cinema will open its first Dallas theater in West Village in early December. The theater is located in the former Magnolia Theater, which closed when the pandemic hit in March 2020 and never reopened.

5. Dallas university among best in U.S. for entrepreneurship programs, says Princeton Review. Dallas entrepreneurs, take note. The University of Texas at Dallas is near the top of its class among the country's best entrepreneurship programs. UTD's Naveen Jindal School of Management appears at No. 12 for best graduate entrepreneurship program and No. 25 for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program on new lists from The Princeton Review.

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H-E-B opening date tops this week's 5 hottest Dallas headlines

This Week's Hot Headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. H-E-B sets opening date for first supermarket in Dallas-Fort Worth. Mark it on your calendar in red: Texas supermarket chain H-E-B has finally set a date for the opening of its new store in Frisco, which will also be the first H-E-B location in the Dallas area. Drumroll: It will open on Wednesday, September 21 at 6 am.

2. The 11 glitziest galas no Dallas social butterfly should miss in fall 2022. Philanthropic Dallasites are ready to flex some fundraising muscle again, if this season's schedule of glamorous galas is any indication. For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, fall is filled with black-tie balls and benefits. Here are 11 not to miss.

3. Newest bar on Dallas' Henderson Ave: A South Texas-style ice house. A new ice-house-style restaurant and bar has sprung up on Dallas' Henderson Avenue. Called Willie D's, it's said to pay homage to a classic South Texas icehouse, but with an elevated twist, of course. It opened on Friday, September 9.

4. These are the 17 hottest concerts rocking Dallas-Fort Worth in September. If you thought there were a lot of concerts to choose from in summer, just wait until you see what's in store for the last four months of the year. Here are some of the most-anticipated concerts taking place in September.

5. 3 Dallas-Fort Worth universities make the grade on list of top Texas schools for 2022. Back-to-school time means back-to-college-rankings time, and here they are. Neighborhood review site Niche.com has just released this year's college rankings, and three Dallas-Fort Worth universities have made the grade among top 10 Texas schools this year.

At long last, an H-E-B.

H-E-B Frisco
Courtesy rendering
At long last, an H-E-B.
Photo courtesy of Ferris Wheelers

SMU to start serving brisket from Dallas BBQ restaurant at football games

Campus News

A Dallas restaurant is going to start serving BBQ at SMU football games and sporting events.

This and That Hospitality, parent of restaurants and bars such as The Whippersnapper, Tiny Victories, Alice Dallas, and Sfuzzi, has forged a partnership with SMU Athletics. Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ, the barbecue restaurant in Dallas' Design District, will serve barbecue at home games inside Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

It begins September 10, at a game between SMU and Lamar University, when Ferris Wheelers will set up a stand inside Ford Stadium in the south end zone.

The menu will feature basics as well as rotating items, including brisket and pork sandwiches, pork belly on a stick, and mac & cheese with brisket - similar to Ferris Wheelers' State Fair-themed special menu.

They'll also establish a second station on The Boulevard, at a newly created spot called The Refill Station, where attendees can order Ferris Wheelers' food before or after the game. The Refill Station will approximate a Texas beer garden, with high-top tables set up.

Since The Refill Station is outside the stadium, it'll be open to non-game attendees, as well.

Ferris Wheelers, which won a CultureMap Tastemaker Award in 2018 for Best New Restaurant, will also serve BBQ at SMU basketball games starting in November.

The arrangement establishes This & That Hospitality as the Official BBQ of SMU Athletics and The Official Post Game Destination for all SMU Sports.

Sfuzzi, the iconic Italian restaurant that This and That revived in 2021 in the former Capitol Pub space at 2401 Henderson Ave., will become the designated Post-Game Destination, with game-specific events including hosting away game viewing parties.

The partnership won't stop at football and basketball, but will extend through the spring with other sports such as tennis.

"We have a lot of customers from SMU, and wanted to keep building that relationship," say This and That co-owners Phil Schanbaum and Brandon Hays in a statement.

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Warm up to these 8 must-see art exhibitions in Dallas-Fort Worth for June


As the lazy days of summer approach, the frenetic pace of art festivals and exhibits quiets down a bit. But that doesn’t mean artists' voices are hushed; they’re coming through loud and clear.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth digs deep into post-war paintings, Dallas Center for Photography delivers a look at the compelling vision of women in photography, and several group exhibitions explore a range of media and subject matter.

Art lovers ready to welcome (or seek respite from) the warmth of June should put these eight exhibits on their must-see list.

Artist's Retrospective
Lewisville Grand Theatre, through July 8
Works by members of the Visual Art League (VAL) of Lewisville will be on display this month in the art gallery in Lewisville's Grand Theater. Each entry in the show judged by Denton-area artist Laurie Weller represents a self-retrospective of its artist. Since 1978, VAL has provided support and education for member artists, while members have judged student arts shows and taught art classes to senior citizens. Like all VAL events and programming, this exhibition is free and open to the public. And if you're a first-time visitor to this stunning theatre and arts center, you'll immediately understand why local art feels right at home here.

Madeline Donahue:"Art House"
Various Small Fires - Dallas, through July 8
Experiences of pregnancy, birth, motherhood and owning a postpartum body can be exemplars of the complexity of the mother-and-child relationship. Having experienced all of the above, Madeline Donahue explores all of them with oil paintings and colored pencil drawings on paper in this contemporary art solo show.

Robert Motherwell: "Pure Painting"
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, through September 17
Abstract expressionist Robert Motherwell explored political, philosophical, and literary themes in various art forms throughout his life (1915-1991) while communicating as a spokesman for an art movement that wasn't particularly well-understood in its early days. Motherwell was a painter of note from the post-war period, but also showed talent as a collagist, a printmaker, and a draftsman. The Modern was the site for the last retrospective of Motherwell's work during his lifetime, and the museum owns more than 50 of his works. That makes it a perfect fit as a venue for this guest-curated retrospective focusing on his paintings.

"Hold Up Half the Sky"
Dallas Center for Photography (DCP), through-July 1
This photography exhibit is part of DCP's year-long commitment to women in photography. The juried (and judged) show highlights photos that tell a story, from more than 40 female photographers. Prizes have been awarded to Emily Buckley, Pamela Chipman, and Linda Plaisted for first, second, and third place, respectively. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Leonardo Drew: Number 235T
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, June 17-June 30, 2024
Contemporary sculptor Leonardo Drew uses organic material and techniques of oxidation, burning, and decay to create works like the ones that will grace the first floor galleries at the Carter this month. The intricate, large-scale topography of Number 235T was commissioned specifically for this space, and reflects a connectedness that translates effortlessly from art to life.

Arden Bendler Browning: "Off Screen"
Galleri Urbane, June 24-August 12
Arden Bendler Browning's sense of wanderlust inspired both the subject matter and the method for creating the pieces displayed in this show. Many of the multi-media works began as sketches or watercolors made in a moving vehicle with her husband at the wheel and kids in tow in the back seat. First impressions appeared on yupo paper, which is waterproof, and were then layered with an assortment of acrylic paint, acrylic marker, spray paint, acrylic gouached, and fluid acrylic. Some were then adhered to round panels, symbolizing a portal to the place, time, and atmosphere Bendler Browning envisions. Meet the artist at the opening reception on from 5-8 pm Saturday, June 24.

10th Annual Texas Juried Exhibition
ArtSpace111, June 24-August 26
For this show, Texas artists were invited to enter their two- and three-dimensional works in pursuit of a top prize of $10,000 and a solo show. A portion of the entry fees will be donated to the Tarrant Area Food Bank, and at the end of the exhibition all entries (not just those selected for the show) will be displayed online in the gallery's Texas Now Online Showcase. The exhibition is free to attend, and all art on display is available to purchase. Join the artists for an opening reception from 4-7 pm Saturday, June 24.

"Art of Paper"
Laura Rathe Fine Art Gallery, June 24-August 19
This group exhibition promises "sequenced architectural wall reliefs, encaustic sculptures, biomorphic patterns, repurposed ephemera, and rhythmic compositions" demonstrating that creative options are limitless when the medium is paper. Each of the 15 contemporary artists from around the world elevates paper as art with perspectives that delight and inspire. The show is free and open to the public, with an opening reception from 4:30-7:30 pm Saturday, June 24.

Popular Disney immersive experience to host special sensory-friendly viewings in Dallas

A whole new world

The "Disney Animation: Immersive Experience" on view now at Lighthouse ArtSpace Dallas, will be extra inclusive for Disney fans at special viewings this summer.

On Saturday, June 24, the venue will host three sensory-friendly viewings of the popular immersive experience. The schedule is:

  • Sunday, June 24 – 9 am
  • Saturday, July 22 – 10:15 am
  • Sunday, August 27 –10.15 am

As sensory-friendly viewings, the volume of the show will be reduced for a more comfortable viewing experience for guests with special needs.

Other accommodations include comfortable gallery lighting (and no blackouts like there are in the regular showings), reduced guest capacity, sensitivity warnings at certain potentially agitating moments in the show, and quiet areas outside of the gallery (where the show takes place) so guests can take a break if the noise is too overwhelming.

"Disney Animation: Immersive Experience" made its Dallas debut at Lighthouse ArtSpace Dallas (507 S. Harwood St.) in April.

The experience brings to life Disney classics like The Lion King and Aladdin, as well as newer favorites such as Encanto, Frozen, and more. Interactive features include responsive floor projection design that "moves" with the audience, custom bracelets that light up in sync with the projections and based on the audiences’ movements, and galleries that fill with bubbles.

"Inclusion is important to us with all of our offerings, but all the more so with 'Immersive Disney Animation,' which is truly an exhibit where everyone should feel welcome," says Lighthouse Immersive producer Corey Ross in a release. "These viewings reduce the sensory output of the show to offer a relaxed environment and judgment-free zone where the wonderful worlds and characters of Disney Animation Studios can be enjoyed by all.”

Tickets for the show, including specific sensory-friendly performances (starting at $21) are available here.

Breezy cafe with bikes, wine, & coffee to open in Dallas Design District

Coffee News

A highly cosmopolitan new cafe is coming to the Dallas Design District that'll bring food, bicycles, and epic coffee together in one place. Called The Meteor, it's a concept with locations in Austin and Bentonville, and it's opening in Dallas in late summer at 1930 Hi Line Dr.

The cafe will open as a temporary pop-up in The Urby, a 27-story apartment building across from the Virgin Dallas hotel, taking a space that was originally designated to be a restaurant called Charley.

Eventually, The Meteor will relocate to its own dedicated space in a new residential building at 1950 Hi Line Dr., which is still under construction.

The Meteor was founded in 2019 by Doug Zell, co-founder of Chicago's acclaimed Intelligentsia Coffee, and Chris St. Peter, a former attorney. Their goal is to create an expansive community space combining bicycle shop - both are avid cyclists - with an all-day cafe and wine shop serving and selling natural wines.

The concept has so much going on, it's almost too big to comprehend. Basically, it has all the good things in one place, and every element is nicely orchestrated.

The wine shop, for example, features the increasingly popular category of natural, organic, biodynamic wines only, more than 500 bottles. That's good on its own. Even better, they'll sell to-go or for consumption onsite. Even better still, with no corkage fee. If you need one more better, prices start at $15 — for a bottle.

The coffee is from Intelligentsia, Zell's alma mater and one of the best-known coffee roasters in the U.S.

The food is ingredient-driven with an international flair and includes pizza, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods, all made in-house with thoughtfully sourced ingredients, plus coffee and teas, cider, and beer. Service will be casual counter-service style, with an approachable, breezy touch. (Their website/signage is similarly fun: "espresso-champagne-chain-lube.")

The hours are convenient and user friendly: Doing an "all day" menu means they'll be there long hours, starting with a full breakfast and segueing into lunch and dinner.

The bike shop will offer a limited selection of bikes and gear for sale, along with an in-house service department for maintenance and repairs. You can drop off your bike and sit down for a pizza - and not just pizza, but pizza with a sourdough crust - and a glass of wine.

"Our goal is to deliver top-notch food and of course a delicious cup of coffee, as well as being a bike-friendly destination," Zell says.

The popularity of bicycling surged during the pandemic, and there's a strong shift as people seek alternatives to a car-centric culture, even in Dallas. The Meteor is poised to ride that trend with a commitment to open three more locations in 2024, in Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Tucson.

"As our culture becomes more bike-friendly, the opportunity for something like The Meteor continues to grow," Zell says. "People who ride bicycles tend to be attracted to the kind of food and beverage we're doing."

"Given the way the Design District is coming together, we felt like a place that does something culinarily interesting and also with a bicycle component was a match made in heaven," he says.