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Billionaire Jerry Jones keeps scoring with his investment in the Dallas Cowboys.

For the 16th year in a row, the Dallas Cowboys top Forbes’ annual ranking of NFL team valuations. Now, Forbes says, the Cowboys are worth $8 billion — the first pro sports franchise of any type to reach that mark. That figure is up from the $6.5 billion valuation reported last year.

“The sale of the Denver Broncos for a record $4.65 billion helped push up the value of all NFL teams,” says Mike Ozanian, assistant managing editor at Forbes.

As if their $8 billion valuation weren’t impressive enough, the Cowboys are the first NFL team to generate $1 billion in revenue, according to Forbes. That’s thanks in no small part to corporate sponsorships like the team’s 10-year, $200 million beer deal with Molson Coors.

The average NFL team is now worth $4.47 billion, up 28 percent from last year, Forbes says. The state’s only other pro football team, the Houston Texans, ranks 11th with a valuation of $4.7 billion, compared with $3.7 billion on last year’s list.

Forbes based its team valuations on revenue and operating income for the 2021 NFL season. Last year, the Cowboys generated nearly $1.1 billion in revenue and $466 million in operating income (a yardstick for how much revenue will eventually turn into profit).

Jones bought the Cowboys for around $140 million or $150 million in 1989, depending on which media account you trust. Jones insists he’ll never sell what now is a multibillion-dollar money machine. But he has tossed around a potential $10 billion sale price.

As of August 30, Forbes pegged Jones’ net worth at $12.3 billion.

Jones derives much of his wealth from his ownership of the Cowboys, where he is president and general manager. Some of his treasure chest — $200 million a year — goes toward renting the $1.5 billion AT&T Stadium, where the Cowboys play their home games.

Well before he occupied the White House, Donald Trump reportedly had a chance to snag the Cowboys for $40 million to $50 million. That was in 1983, three years before Jones purchased the team.

“I feel sorry for the poor guy who is going to buy the Cowboys. … He’ll be known to the world as a loser,” Trump famously proclaimed in a 1984 interview.

Photo courtesy of Portillo's

Portillo's food truck pulls into 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. For a big list of Fourth of July fireworks and events, go here.

1. Portillo's deploys food truck to Dallas to preview its famed Chicago hot dog. Chicago-style hot dogs are popping up via Portillo's, the fast-casual restaurant concept known for its Chicago-style street food. It is bringing its Beef Bus food truck to tour Texas from July 11-23, offering a preview of its menu ahead of the first restaurant opening in Texas, later this year.

2. Old school club in Dallas' Deep Ellum shuts down after a decade. A Dallas bar closed after a decade in Deep Ellum: Wits End, an old-school hangout in the epicenter of the neighborhood at 2724 Elm St., closed its doors on June 26. The bar was one of the last with a throwback vibe that hearkened to the Deep Ellum of old, with band stickers, graffiti, and slight medal edge — reminiscent of when Deep Ellum was a music-driven neighborhood.

3. Bar with troubled history on Dallas' Greenville Ave pulls plug after 11 years. A Greenville Avenue bar that's been a nexus of crime and discontent is pulling the plug: OT Tavern, located at 3600 Greenville Ave, is closing on July 5, after 11 years. The bar had been the subject of a longtime campaign by neighbors disgruntled by the crowd it draws and the accompanying noise and crime.

4. This Dallas neighbor weighs in as the healthiest county in Texas, says U.S. News. For babies and baby boomers alike, Collin County stands out as the healthiest county in Texas, according to a new study by U.S. News & World Report. Collin County lands at No. 50 on U.S. News’ list of the 500 healthiest counties in the U.S., making it the healthiest county in Texas. U.S. News assessed 2,735 of the 3,143 counties across the U.S. but ranked only 500 of them.

5. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' net worth kicks into 11-figure territory. Sure, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is worth billions of dollars. But he also recently joined a more exclusive club: people whose net worth totals at 11 figures. In April, Forbes pegged Jones’ net worth at $10.6 billion — the first time it has ventured into 11-figure territory. As of June 24, he was worth $83 million more, according to Forbes, bringing his net worth to $11.3 billion.

Their Chicago-style hot dogs are famous.

Photo courtesy of Portillo's
Their Chicago-style hot dogs are famous.
Photo courtesy of Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' net worth kicks into 11-figure territory

Dollar signs

Sure, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is worth billions of dollars. But he also recently joined a more exclusive club: people whose net worth totals at 11 figures.

In April, Forbes pegged Jones’ net worth at $10.6 billion — the first time it has ventured into 11-figure territory. As of June 24, he was worth $83 million more, according to Forbes, bringing his net worth to $11.3 billion.

Put another way, Jones appeared in April at No. 185 on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people. As of June 24, he had moved up to No. 172 in the world. Jones showed up at No. 264 on the 2021 list and No. 169 on the 2020 list.

Contributing to Jones’ recent climb up the wealth ladder is his majority stake in Frisco-based Comstock Resources, a producer of natural gas. In 2018, Jones invested around $1.1 billion in Comstock. Today, that investment is now valued at roughly $2.6 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Jones tells the Journal that he expects an even greater return on one of the biggest personal investments he’s ever made in gas production.

“I’m not at all thinking it’s payday time,” he says. “I think we’re in the first quarter of this game.”

As Jones’ fortunes in the energy sector have gone up, his standing among the richest owners of NFL teams soon will decline.

Walmart heir Rob Walton (sister of Fort Worth billionaire Alice Walton) has agreed to buy the Denver Broncos for a reported $4.65 billion. The soon-to-be Broncos honcho was worth an estimated $58.5 billion as of June 24, according to Forbes, which will make him the wealthiest owner of an NFL franchise.

That will cause a shift in the rest of the ranks. Behind Walton on the list of richest NFL owners will be Seattle Seahawks owner Jody Allen (around $20 billion), Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper ($16.7 billion), and then Jones. Right behind Jones will be fellow Texan Stan Kroenke ($10.7 billion), owner of the Los Angeles Rams.

Still, at an estimated $6.5 billion, the Cowboys remain the most valuable NFL team and the world’s most valuable sports franchise. The Cowboys raked in revenue of nearly $1 billion in 2020.

Sova Hotel

New downtown speakeasy sneaks into 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 St. Patrick's Day festivities? Find that list here.

1. Downtown Dallas boutique hotel reveals speakeasy bar with secret entry. Pssst, a downtown Dallas hotel has a secret. Sova, a boutique hotel with mini-rooms that opened in 2021, has debuted a new bar that embraces one of the buzziest trends in bars right now: the speakeasy. Called Room 520, it's a secret bar tucked between hotel rooms, open limited hours with a small menu of specialty cocktails boasting Japanese flavors.

2. 2 Dallas companies clock in as the top employers in Texas, says Forbes. Dallas reigns as the capital of Texas when it comes to the best big and small employers, according to Forbes magazine. New rankings from Forbes put University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas at No. 9 among the country’s best large employers in the country and Dallas-based life insurance platform Bestow at No. 16 among the country’s best startup employers.

3. Yellowstone's Kevin Costner and his Modern West band saddle up to play Grapevine gala. A Dallas-area nonprofit has wrangled the biggest star from the hottest show on TV as its headlining act: Kevin Costner and his country rock Modern West band will be the featured entertainers at Emily's Place 20th anniversary gala. The event will take place Saturday, April 23 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine.

4. Dallas mansion in Lakewood with colorful vintage bathrooms up for sale. A historic Dallas home is for sale, built in 1929 with only two owners and blessedly few updates. Located in Lakewood just west of White Rock Lake, it's a French Eclectic mansion on a 1.07-acre lot, known as one of the most well-known historic estates in Texas. The property is at 7030 Tokalon Dr. and is listed by Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate agent Rob Elmore for $2.5 million.

5. 3 Dallas bars where Troy Aikman will personally pour you a beer. Does beer taste better when it's been poured by a celebrity? Local beer drinkers got to find out on March 9-10 when ex-Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman hit six bars across Dallas-Fort Worth in a cross-town guest-bartending wave. Aikman was not pouring just any beer: He poured Eight Elite Lager, the new light lager for health-minded drinkers, which he co-founded and launched in February.

You need to know the 411 to get into this space.

Sova Hotel
You need to know the 411 to get into this space.
Photo courtesy of Mary Kay

13 Dallas-Fort Worth firms rank on new Forbes list of largest U.S. private companies

Doing business in DFW

More than a dozen Dallas-Fort Worth companies have earned some major bragging rights. Forbes has released its new list of the country’s largest privately owned companies based on annual revenue, and 13 local firms make the cut.

They are:

  • Grand Prairie-based alcohol and wine distributor Republic National Distributing, No. 25, $11.9 billion in annual revenue.
  • Dallas-based conglomerate Sammons Enterprises, No. 70, $5.8 billion in annual revenue.
  • McKinney-based roofing distributor SRS Distribution, No. 80, $5.4 billion in annual revenue.
  • Irving-based arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels, No. 81, $5.3 billion in annual revenue.
  • Dallas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, No. 101, $4.7 billion in annual revenue.
  • Irving-based electrical systems and equipment maker Consolidated Electrical Distributors, No. 103, $4.6 billion in annual revenue.
  • Fort Worth-based food and beverage distributor Ben E. Keith, No. 107, $4.2 billion in annual revenue.
  • Dallas-based oil and gas explorer Hunt Consolidated, No. 113, $4 billion in annual revenue.
  • Frisco-based transportation and logistics software provider Transplace, No. 127, $3.6 billion in annual revenue.
  • Addison-based cosmetics retailer Mary Kay, No. 164, $2.8 billion in annual revenue.
  • Plano-based senior healthcare provider Golden Living, No. 178, $2.6 billion in annual revenue.
  • Dallas-based general contractor Austin Industries, No. 217, $2.1 billion in annual revenue.
  • Dallas-based transportation and logistics company Mode Transportation, No. 220, $2.1 billion in annual revenue.

Perhaps surprisingly (or not, to its legions of fans) San Antonio-based H-E-B ranks highest on the list among Texas companies. It lands an impressive fifth on the Forbes list.

According to Forbes, the grocery chain’s annual revenue is $32.8 billion, making it the largest private company in Texas. On its website, H-E-B reports annual sales of $32 billion. H-E-B’s financial success can be tied in large part to its popularity among Texas grocery shoppers, of course.

Nearly all of the Texas companies in the Forbes ranking are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas. As well as the 13 DFW companies, five Houston businesses companies show up on the list:

  • Car dealership group Gulf States Toyota, No. 45, $8.3 billion in annual revenue.
  • Energy company Calpine, No. 48, $8 billion in annual revenue.
  • Petroleum and petrochemical products marketer Tauber Oil, No. 61, $6.7 billion in annual revenue.
  • Casino, restaurant, and sports conglomerate Fertitta Entertainment, No. 166, $2.8 billion in annual revenue.
  • BMC Software, No. 219, $2.1 billion in annual revenue.

The only other Texas company on the Forbes list is San Antonio-based construction engineering company Zachry Group. It ranks 225th, with annual revenue of $2 billion.

One other company on the Forbes list, New Jersey-based IT company SHI International Corp., has a strong connection to Texas. Austin billionaire Thai Lee, with a net worth estimated at $4.1 billion, is co-founder, president, and CEO of SHI. The company ranks 28th on the Forbes list, with annual revenue of $11.1 billion.

Minnesota-based agribusiness giant Cargill Koch Industries nabbed the No. 1 spot on the annual ranking.

Photo courtesy of Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban among 4 Dallas-Fort Worth tycoons inducted into Texas Business Hall of Fame

Rich company

Mark Cuban can add another trophy to his case. He and three other Dallas-Fort Worth business tycoons — John Goff, Morton Meyerson, and Randall Stephenson — were inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame recently, honored during a dinner at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Also inducted were Austin billionaire John Paul DeJoria, who built his fortune through hair care products and high-end tequila, and Houston investment manager Gerald Smith.

A little more about the new hall of famers:

Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban, of course, is owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, as well as chairman and CEO of AXS TV and one of the investors on ABC’s Shark Tank.

"Since the age of 12, Mark has been a natural businessman. Selling garbage bags door to door, the seed was planted early on for what would eventually become long-term success," his hall of fame bio says.

His latest initiative is Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, a new venture designed to disrupt big pharma and keep the cost of prescription drugs down.

Dallas private investor Morton Meyerson — recognized most notably as the namesake of the Meyerson Symphony Center — is former chairman and CEO of Plano-based EDS and former chief technology officer at GM. He is currently chair of 2M Companies, a family office he established in 1983, and of The Morton H. Meyerson Family Foundation.

Fort Worth private investor John Goff was co-founder, vice chairman, and CEO of Crescent Real Estate, which Morgan Stanley bought in 2007 for $6.5 billion. Two years later, he bought back the company in partnership with Barclays Capital. Today, Goff is chairman of Crescent Real Estate as well as Houston-based Contango Oil & Gas. He owns The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dallas and Fort Worth-based spa company Canyon Ranch.

Dallas executive Randall Stephenson is former chairman and CEO of Dallas-based tech, media, and telecom giant AT&T.

"As Chairman and CEO, Randall led AT&T’s transformation aligned with two major trends: First, that consumers will continue to spend more time viewing premium content where they want, when they want and how they want. And second, that businesses and consumers alike will continue to demand more connectivity, bandwidth, mobility and software-based entertainment," his hall of fame bio says.

Houston investment manager Gerald Smith is chairman and CEO of Smith Graham & Co., an investment management firm. He’s also a board member of New York Life Insurance and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and chairman of the Texas Southern University Foundation.

Austin hair care guru John Paul DeJoria and hairstylist Paul Mitchell, in 1980, transformed a partially borrowed $700 into Beverly Hills, California-based John Paul Mitchell Systems, which today sells the largest privately owned line of salon hair care products. In 1989, DeJoria co-founded Patrón, the first ultra-premium tequila. Patrón, now the world’s No. 1 ultra-premium tequila, was sold to Bacardi in 2018 for $5.1 billion.

“John Paul DeJoria’s rags-to-riches biography exemplifies the American dream. Once homeless, he has struggled against the odds to achieve success, launching multiple global enterprises while always supporting his motto, ‘Success unshared is failure,’” his bio says.

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Deep Ellum restaurant closure tops this week's 5 most-read Dallas stories

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. Longtime Mexican restaurant in Deep Ellum closes, breastaurant on the way. A longtime Mexican restaurant in Deep Ellum has closed: Maracas Cocina Mexicana, which has been in business at 2914 Main St. in one form or another since 1992, closed on November 25, to be replaced with another concept whose identity is still to be (officially) announced.

2. Affluent Dallas suburb leads list of lavish holiday spending budgets in U.S. As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub lists Flower Mound as one of the top cities where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.

3. Dallas-Fort Worth jingles all the way to a top spot on new list of most festive U.S. places. As Dallas-Fort Worth residents start to decorate their homes and view spectacular Christmas lights all around town, we might take for granted that our Yuletide cheer is one of the best in the country. In fact, one recent study names DFW the No. 2 most festive metro area in the U.S.

4. Favorite 'Yellowstone' cowboy to greet fans at North Texas whiskey shindig. Yellowstone star sightings are becoming weekly occurrences around Dallas-Fort Worth, and here comes a new chance to mingle with a fan favorite: Forrie J. Smith, who plays old-timer ranch hand Lloyd Pierce, is coming to Oak & Eden Whiskey's flagship nano-distillery in Bridgeport on Saturday, December 3.

5. Where to eat on Christmas 2022 at Dallas restaurants. Restaurants are already cooking up options for Christmas, whether you're looking to dine out or grab something to take home. This list has a little bit of everything: places that are open on Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, or places doing take-out only.

A-list fashion stars align at Dallas’ most stylish black-tie awards gala

FGI Night of Stars

It's been called Dallas' version of the Met Gala. More than 300 of Dallas' chicest packed the Thompson Hotel ballroom for the Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI Dallas) Night of Stars 2022 gala on Friday, November 18.

They included fashion luminaries, celebrities, socialites, philanthropists, business owners, and influencers — all there to raise funds for scholarships for aspiring fashion designers and professionals.

Event chairs Ken Weber, Richard Rivas, and Cristina Graham presided over the glamorous evening, which was emceed by James Aguiar, the VP Fashion and Creative Director for Modern Luxury. Besides being a chic soiree, the event is also an awards extravaganza, honoring the best and brightest stars in fashion.

This year's honorees were:

House of Pierre Cardin, represented by Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Fashion (presented by Karen Katz). "Founded and led by Pierre Cardin in 1950, [the brand's] bubble dresses, along with celebrity ties such as actress and model Lauren Bacall, launched the brand into the ethos of the 1960s," event organizers said. "Throughout the decades House of Cardin established itself as an avant-garde fashion house often evoking a 'Space Age' quality to the garments."

Palmer//Harding's Levi Palmer, a Dallas native, and Matthew Harding received the Career Achievement Award in Design (presented by Jan Strimple).

And Fern Mallis, regarded as the "Godmother of Fashion" and creator of New York Fashion Week, was honored as the Icon of Innovation (presented by Ken Downing).

The style highlight of the evening was a fashion show presentation by House of Pierre Cardin and palmer//harding, produced by Jan Strimple Productions.

In total, the organization raised over $45,000 toward student scholarships.

Spotted in the crowd, looking fabulous and enjoying the evening, were numerous patrons and guests, including Amy Van Cleave, Maxine Trowbridge, Nerissa von Helpenstill, Kameron Westcott, Carey Deuber, Leeanne Locken, Kendra Tillman, Lynae Fearing, Laura Harris, Patrick Means, Maryanne Grisz, Holly Katz, Michael Buss, Ashley Anderson Smith, Steve Rahal, Natalie Harden, Holly Quartaro, Chuck Steelman, Gail Bass Good, Osé Azenabor, Sylvie Enoh, Maribel West, Esé Azenabor, Heidi Dillon, Steve Lopez, Darren Deville, Steve Hoyle, James Turner, Jessica Jesse, and Susan Posnick.

FGI Dallas is part of Fashion Group International, Inc., a global, nonprofit, professional organization with more than 6,000 members representing all areas of the fashion industry. For more information about the organization, visit the website.

Photo by Thomas Garza Photography and Danny Campbell

Osé Azenabor, Sylvie Enoh, Maribel West, Esé Azenabor

These are the 13 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for December

Theater Critic Picks

This is, in my opinion, the best time of the year to go see a show. There are so many family-friendly offerings just begging to become traditions, and lots of new interpretations of holiday classics.

Plus, there are always one or two non-holiday themes shows, if you need a break from all the tinsel and holly.

Because there were so many holiday shows that opened late last month, they are included again here for easy planning.

In order of start date, here are 13 local shows to watch this month:

My Fair Lady
Broadway at the Bass, through December 4
Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” But who is really being transformed? The musical boasts such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” and “On the Street Where You Live.”

Jesus Christ Superstar
WaterTower Theatre, through December 11
The iconic rock opera, featuring award-winning music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes "I Don’t Know How to Love Him," "Gethsemane," and "Superstar."

Twas the Night Before...
Cirque du Soleil, through December 11

Cirque du Soleil’s spin on the beloved Christmas tale is about the wonders of sharing and friendship. The production is a flurry of Christmas cheer and rip-roaring fun with hugely lovable characters that will introduce audiences to the magic of Cirque du Soleil.

Christmas with Nat and Natalie
Casa Mañana, through December 17
Cozy up in the Reid Cabaret Theatre for an “unforgettable” evening with holiday favorites from Nat King and Natalie Cole. The father-daughter duo separately recorded over 100 songs that became hits on the pop charts.

Crystal City 1969
Cara Mia Theatre, through December 18

Inspired by a little-known event in Texas history, Crystal City 1969 is based on the true story of Mexican-American students in South Texas who walked out of their school and into civil rights history. Crystal City became an example of American democracy at its best.

Black Nativity
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, through December 18
Black Nativity, returning to the Bishop Arts Theatre Center stage for its 18th anniversary, is a hand-clapping, toe-tapping, finger-snapping theatrical wonderment, inspired by Langston Hughes' retelling of the Nativity story.

A Christmas Carol: A New Musical Comedy
Casa Mañana, through December 23
Casa Mañana presents a new, fresh twist on a classic Dickens tale that will have children ages 4 to 100 laughing alike. A Christmas Carol: A New Musical Comedy features a contemporary pop score and current pop culture references that are guaranteed to have audiences dancing in the aisles. This show is suitable for all audiences.

A Christmas Carol
Dallas Theater Center, through December 24
Dallas Theater Center presents their annual production of A Christmas Carol, a delightfully reimagined take on Dickens’ enduring classic. Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future that annually delights audiences across North Texas. But will it be enough to save Scrooge’s soul?

Head Over Heels
Uptown Players, December 2-18
An inspired mash-up of posh and punk, Head Over Heels is an unpredictable Elizabethan romp about a royal family that must prevent an oracle’s prophecy of doom. In order to save their beloved kingdom, the family embarks on an extravagant journey where they are faced with mistaken identities, love triangles, sexual awakening, and self-discovery, all set to the music of The Go-Go's.

Six
Broadway Dallas, December 6-25

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix 50 years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st-century girl power.

Handle With Care
Stage West, December 8-January 8
A young Israeli woman on holiday with her grandmother in the United States is confronted by an unexpected turn of events. Now, she finds herself stranded in a motel room on Christmas Eve with an oddball delivery man. Is their meeting an accident, or is it destiny generations in the making? Hilarious and tragic circumstances culminate in a heartfelt romantic comedy about what you can find when you feel lost.

The Dimension of Death
Pegasus Theatre, December 29-January 22

The world premiere of the 22nd Harry Hunsacker adventure by Kurt Kleinmann finds us in the year 1955. Harry, Nigel, and Foster have been dispatched to a Top Secret Air Force base in Nevada where a matter of the highest level of National Security awaits them. They’d heard rumors about Paradise Ranch but the reality of what they saw exceeded their imagination. In no time, however, the bodies start piling up and our trio finds themselves trapped in The Dimension of Death.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Theatre Three, December 29-February 18
Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Robert’s musical is headline the grand opening of Theatre Too, the intimate downstairs space that has been closed since 2020. Directed by Joel Ferrell and music directed by Vonda K. Bowling, this comedy takes on the truths and myths behind what it means to love, date, or lose someone. The run includes special performances on New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, complete with holiday-focused perks like champagne, chocolates, and flowers.