Oncor Electric Delivery has made a major donation of parkland to Dallas that promises to connect the city in new ways: According to a release, it's the largest parkland dedication in Dallas since 1938 and will help bring a huge trail project to completion.

The donation is the result of a joint effort between Oncor, the city of Dallas, and the Circuit Trail Conservancy (CTC), a nonprofit that's overseeing The Loop, a 50-mile walk and bike trail project.

Once built, the Loop will unite Dallas with a city-wide bike and pedestrian active transportation system that joins 39 miles of existing trails in Dallas with 11 miles of newly built trails — connecting neighborhoods and destinations in north, south, east and west Dallas.

A critical portion is the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, a nine-mile connection from White Rock Lake to the Great Trinity Forest, and that's part of Oncor's gift.

"With this donation, the Circuit Trail Conservancy can complete the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, and The Loop, in its entirety, bringing together neighborhoods that have long been disconnected and make walkable, bikeable green space a strong part of Dallas' identity," says Philip Hiatt Haigh, Circuit Trail Conservancy executive director.

The North Phase of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail will be completed in two phases:

  • The first phase, which broke ground in July, extends from just below the White Rock Lake spillway to Samuell Road
  • The second phase will extend to the Lawnview DART Station in the Parkdale/Lawnview neighborhood of southeast Dallas

The Southern phase will extend from Scyene Road to Pemberton Hill Road, passing through Roosevelt Heights, down to U.S. 175, with construction expected to begin in 2022.

The donation comprises 110 acres, including Parkdale Lake and surrounding land west of White Rock Creek — part of a 280-acre parcel Oncor Electric Delivery has owned since 2010.

Parkdale Lake is in Southeast Dallas along White Rock Creek. It was built in 1953 as a water storage site for the Parkdale Steam Electric Station, which was decommissioned in 2005. Prior to that, the area was farmland in the 1930s, but abandoned in the early 1950s because of flooding.

Most of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail lies within the White Rock Creek floodplain. Parkdale Lake is valuable because it can play an important role in managing runoff and preventing flooding, as well as serve as future park land.

The land is considered critical to deliver the Trinity Forest Spine Trail and The Loop.

Once complete, the Loop has the potential to unite Dallas in many ways.

"We know there is an infrastructure disparity between North and South Dallas that has left neighborhoods like Parkdale without dedicated, safe pedestrian connections to surrounding neighborhoods or the rest of Dallas," says Hiatt Haigh.

"It will help the City of Dallas, and specifically Southern Dallas as this donation is south of 30, grow in a healthy way," says President of the City of Dallas Park Board Arun Agarwal.

Oncor CEO Allen Nye calls it a big win.

"The initiative by the City of Dallas and the Circuit Trail Conservancy to unite Dallas' neighborhoods is a big win for our entire community," Nye says. "The Loop will connect Dallas in a way that increases access for all residents to our city’s economic resources, enhances green space and improves overall quality of life. We’re so proud to be a part of making this project a reality."

In November, the Circuit Trail Conservancy received a $12 million federal grant from the Department of Transportation. The RAISE (Rebuilding America Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) Grant will be used to construct phase III of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, a 4-mile shared use path that will connect the Lawnview DART Station to the Lake June DART Station and Pemberton Hill Road, connecting White Rock Lake and East Dallas to Southeast Dallas and the Great Trinity Forest trail system.

Courtesy photo

Historic downtown Dallas theatre celebrates the big 100 with hoopla

Downtown News

The hoopla surrounding the 100-year anniversary of the marvelous and historic Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas will include a new series of events programmed for theater season in the fall, when all the la-dee-das return from Aspen.

It began in April 2021, when the Office of Arts and Culture (OAC) launched the Majestic Centennial Celebration, marking the theaer's 100th anniversary.

The Majestic Theatre first opened its doors in 1921 and is the last standing theater of Theatre Row, Dallas' historic Elm Street entertainment center.

The theater was designed by John Eberson, whom a release says was one of the foremost designers of theaters in the early 20th century. The Majestic served as the crown jewel of Karl Hoblitzelle's Interstate Theater Company, and the Hoblitzelle Foundation gifted The Majestic Theatre to the City of Dallas in January 1976.

After a restoration, the theater reopened in 1983 as a performing arts venue.

A documentary aptly called Majestic 100: Celebrating 100 Years premiered on KERA Channel 13, who will rebroadcast it on Saturday August 7 at 6 pm, and again throughout the year, as well as at upcoming, special, in-person events. It's also on YouTube if you are so inclined. You'd practically have to be a hermit to miss a screening.

Now, with in-person events back on, Centennial Chairman Lynn McBee is planning more ways to celebrate this milestone:

Saturday, September 18, a gala dinner will be held onstage. The evening will be chaired by Kim Hext and will celebrate the legacy and impact of the theater's owner Karl Hoblitzelle and Hoblitzelle Foundation. A Majestic Centennial Award will be presented to Deedie Rose for her dedication and service to preservation, the performing arts, and Dallas. The dinner is already sold out. Proceeds will go towards the Friends of the Majestic Fund, an accessibility fund for Dallas education and arts organizations to utilize the theater who otherwise may not have the ability to rent it on their own.

Sunday September 19 from 1-3pm, the Majestic is hosting a Community Open House co-chaired by Elizabeth Wattley and Marissa Horne at the theater and the adjacent Pacific Plaza Park. This Open House will be an indoor-outdoor experience with music by Herbie Johnson, performances by Dallas Black Dance Theatre, a family movie screening of Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 silent film The Kid with accompaniment by pianist Paul Slavens. There'll be tours of the theater, food trucks, and performances at Pacific Park Plaza.

April 2022, the Majestic Theatre will close out its 100th year with a third major event, a special concert still TBA to launch the Majestic into a new century.

To learn more or perchance to donate, visit majestic.dallasculture.org/centennial.

Courtesy rendering

New report on Dallas' Preston Center parking garage offers some slim hope

Preston Center News

Preston Center is as out of place in Preston Hollow as a Hershey's Kiss on a Ritz-Carlton pillow.

The Preston Center parking garage, which sits on land owned by the city of Dallas, is the city's biggest chance to fix that. A 2016 plan recommended an underground garage with a park on top, and Dallas City Council member Jennifer Gates has been working with the neighborhood, North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), and local landowners to move that vision forward.

But any momentum has been dashed due to the Preston Center West Corporation (PCWC), made up of the landowners who own the neighboring businesses and property.

To refresh, the garage is a textbook bad agreement worked out decades ago and reaffirmed by legal battles between the city and PCWC, who have veto power on everything. Any plan put forth by either party requires 100 percent buy-in – so it always ends in a stalemate.

In March, NCTCOG and Walker Consultants put together a new 145-page report for the city on the existing (deteriorating) conditions, with two options for redevelopment.

Two options
Option one is what everyone but PCWC wants – a fully underground garage with a park on top.

Option two is sorta what PCWC wants – an apartment tower on part of the land with a smaller park on top.

I say sorta, because the last time we saw Robert Dozier, PCWC representative and presumed developer of the apartment tower, he wanted to cover the entire lot with parking and a high-rise with zero green space outside a pair of earmuff parkettes on two corners of the 3.15-acre parcel.

The PCWC plan was developed by people who think trees are useless without actual cash falling from them. That is, unless it's their own home. Dozier’s 7,700-square-foot home on a half-acre lot in University Park has five mature trees in the front yard.

New concessions
The new plan offers a possible compromise by conceding half the block for an apartment building. I think that's a mistake. As we saw two weeks ago, there are two residential high-rises, by Leland Burk and by Rosebriar, proposed for the Hopdoddy corner of the garage. Combined, they will bring 360 housing units and 245 hotel rooms to Preston Center – and 39 trees.

Should they face Dozier's high-rise or overlook a park? Mercurially, the garage tower is competition to Leland Burk's apartment tower, while Rosebriar's hotel and condos on the corner get blocked views and no benefit from more apartments.

Were I Burk or Rosebriar and members of the PCWC, I'd vote against the garage high-rise, killing it cold. Did Burk, a Preston Center task force representative for Preston Center's Zone One, know that the park written into the plan didn't have the support of PCWC?

Interesting tidbits
Most of the information in the 145-page report has been hashed before, but there were some interesting tidbits:

  • Regardless of whether option one or two is selected, the construction time is the same: 23 months.
  • Both options require the entire parking garage be closed for the duration of construction. They'll need to find alternate parking.

Whether it's a full-park or half-park, it'll require the same timetable and the same inconvenience.

The other big consideration is money.

  • The estimated cost for the full park is between $38.5 and $41.2 million.
  • The estimated cost for the half park is between $38.1 and $39.7 million.

The potential savings by building a half-park are between $400,000 and 1.5 million (less for the half-park). Opperations and maintenance costs are identical.

With no time savings, no inconvenience savings, and virtually no money savings, why not be bold and go for the fully underground option with its full park?

The PCWC’s veto, that’s why.

City should wait it out
The PCWC doesn't seem to have ever wanted the full park – they're probably squeamish about the half-park. But the city is not on the hook for the crumbling garage's maintenance. PCWC is. Sitting on the land and waiting for the garage to die doesn't hurt the city, except for any insurance needed in case a chunk falls off.

Those wanting to breathe life into moldering Preston Center feel cursed by the PCWC's veto, but the option to do nothing is just as powerful. If those landowners are okay with their lower-rent tenants operating in a slum, so be it. Time is on their side. What can't be controlled is whatever the next D13 council person does. Gates is on her final term.

Her successor may believe in the PCWC's aesthetic wasteland vision. But I remind City Hall, nowhere on earth is there a city complaining about too much green space.

This assumes Dozier still wants that original plan of a single high-rise. But as we'll share in part 2 tomorrow, he's been hard at work to fully develop an ugliness that lines pockets at the neighborhood’s expense and the city’s dime.


A version of this story appeared on Candy's Dirt.

New York design firm is hired to redo Dallas' Kalita Humphreys Theater

Architecture News

There's promising progress on a Dallas landmark that's been in distress: The Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas' Turtle Creek, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has a New York design studio on board to begin a renovation.

The firm is Diller Scofidio + Renfro, whose work includes the redesign of the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts Campus and the Museum of Modern Art.

Kalita Humphreys Theater been home to the Dallas Theater Center (DTC) since it opened in 1959. Uptown Players, the city's foremost LGBTQ theater company, also regularly performs there.

According to a release, a steering committee made up of diverse community stakeholders selected Diller Scofidio + Renfro. They'll develop a master plan with DTC for the theater and the nine-acre site. It will include new theater spaces and will connect the Katy Trail, Dean Park, and the surrounding neighborhoods of Uptown, Turtle Creek and Oak Lawn to the Kalita Humphreys campus, making the site accessible to the public.

The Kalita Humphreys Theater was the only free-standing theater that Wright designed that was built during his lifetime. Like all of his projects, the design was considered bold and innovative, and integrated with nature, as it was built into a limestone bluff overlooking Turtle Creek.

The release notes its unique revolving stage, one that it says exemplifies Wright's Organic Theory of architecture, stressing the unification of the building's form and function, the harmony of the building's structure with its natural setting, and the aesthetically pleasing manipulation of space.

Jennifer Altabef, chair of the DTC’s board, says in a statement that the creation of two smaller theaters allow DTC and other local companies to perform regularly on the site, "in harmony with the goals of the new Dallas Cultural Plan. We will work with Dallas' Office of Arts and Culture and the theater community to make this incredible asset available to more theater companies and audiences,” she says.

Charles Renfro will lead the development of the master plan in collaboration with his partners at Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Raised in Baytown, Renfro graduated from Rice University in Houston and Columbia University in New York and has worked on the redesign of the MoMA, the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts and the High Line.

He notes in a statement that the theater's "bucolic setting" between Turtle Creek and the Katy Trail has been overwhelmed by parking lots and roadways.

"Our approach will seek to slow the site down and add new architecturally significant programs grown out of the surrounding urban green," he says.

DTC and its partners intend to present a plan to the city’s Office of Arts and Culture by the end of 2020. The Dallas City Council will be asked to give final approval of the plan.

While no specific decisions have been made on any individual aspect of the project, DTC looks forward to hearing from the public and various stakeholders in order to inform the design process.

There'll be a public information session on March 4, from 5:30-7 pm at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Diller Scofidio + Renfro will present their relevant past works. Attendees will be invited to provide written feedback.

The Kalita Humphreys Steering Committee members include:

  • Andy Smith, executive director, Texas Instruments Foundation
  • Carol Glendenning, member, Clark Hill Strasburger
  • Guinea Bennett-Price: co-artistic director, co-founder, Soul Rep Theatre
  • Harrison Blair, president, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Hilda Rodriguez, principal architect
  • Jeff Rane, artistic producer, Uptown Players
  • Jennifer Scripps, director, city of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture
  • Katherine Seale, architectural historian
  • Linda Perryman Evans, past president and CEO, The Meadows Foundation
  • Marshall Payne, founding partner and chairman of the board, CIC Partners
  • Peer Chacko, director, city of Dallas Office of Planning & Urban Design
  • Ramon Miguez, vice president, HDR
  • Rob Little, partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Willis Winters, former director, Dallas Parks and Recreation Department
  • Zaida Basora, vice president, AIA Dallas

Brave bicycle shop in Dallas' Deep Ellum closes after four years

Bicycle News

After four years of helping to make Dallas a more sustainable place, Local Hub Bicycle Company, the bike shop in Deep Ellum, has decided it's time to close.

Owner Kristie Holt confirmed that the shop will close in December, exactly four years after opening in December 2015.

"I opened Local Hub because of my passion for getting more people on bikes and making Dallas a better city for riding bikes," Holt says. "I'm proud of what we have accomplished and the permanent positive impact it's made on Dallas."

Local Hub really has been a true community endeavor that has gotten thousands of people on bikes and helped make Dallas a more-bike friendly city, against the odds of a populace that often seems resistant to the idea of alternate transportation.

"The bike industry is tumultuous and we just haven't been profitable enough for it to be sustainable," Holt says.

One major factor affecting Local Hub's survival was the bikesharing phenomenon which entered Dallas in 2017.

"Bikesharing really hurt us," she says. "We were actually growing — but once they came in, we saw our business drop by 40 percent. And despite the fact that bike share went away, we never got our customers back."

Dallas remains a work in progress when it comes to sustainability issues, with many people still entrenched in a car-centric mentality — one that can be seen in their ungrateful, petulant, tiny-baby reactions to alternative transportation modes such as bike-sharing and scooters, evident in behavior such as dismantling them and throwing them into the Trinity River.

"I can't tell you that one thing caused it," Holt says. "It was a combination of a few things. I tried to make it work in any possible way I could, because I care about people and getting my community on bikes."

Meanwhile, it's sale sale sale, and everything must go.

Bikes in stock are 15 percent off. Accessories, parts, and clothing are 25 percent off. Tools, fixtures, and furniture are priced accordingly.

They also have two Kona Rove Gravel rental bikes for sale, $650 a pop.

Discounts will get deeper as they approach their last day, currently estimated to be December 22, although it could be sooner, depending on what's left. They're also selling fixtures including shelving, computers, and display tables.

Beginning December 2, they'll change their hours to Wednesday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm, and Sunday 12 pm-6 pm.

Beginning December 15, they'll stop taking in bikes for tune-ups and repair work, although they'll do quick fixes until their last day - "as long as we have tools and parts in the store," Holt says.

She counts off some of things she feels most proud about, including building a book bike for the Dallas Public Library.

"It lets the library go out and set up events for people who wouldn't otherwise have access," she says. "We sold 16 bikes to the city of Austin for their mountain bike program for young adults. And something else cool we've done is help an entrepreneur in Dallas who donates bikes to the Dallas Police Department."

"If we can make people's day a little brighter, that's what kept me coming here — knowing we are making difference," she says.

Photo courtesy of Downtown Dallas, Inc.

How you fit into downtown Dallas' plan for success

Live Like a Local

Behind every great downtown is an even greater advocate, champion, and steward, and in Dallas' case that means Downtown Dallas, Inc.

The dedicated nonprofit touches anything and everything that has to do with downtown, from public safety to maintenance to economic development. But the residents, workers, and visitors of downtown Dallas help make a difference too.

As Downtown Dallas, Inc. president and CEO Kourtny Garrett outlines in the video, here are four ways you can get involved.

1. Get involved with committees and volunteer groups
When you join DDI, your membership dues are invested in the area's growth and success. From Main Street District and Victory Park to Dallas Arts District, Dallas Farmers Market, and Deep Ellum, downtown is evolving faster than ever, and you can have a say in how it grows.

2. Support local businesses
This is the fun part (that you're probably already doing). Eat at downtown restaurants and shop at local boutiques, knowing that each choice you make to support downtown businesses helps strengthen the area. Need tips on how to live like a local? Don't worry, we got you.

3. Enjoy parks and festivals
Green space in the urban core is a priority for DDI, and it maintains most of them: Main Street Garden, Belo Garden, Pegasus Plaza, Browder Plaza, and many more. In addition, three new signature parks are being built in the city center in the next few years, with the newest, Pacific Plaza, having just opened. And there's no shortage of events to attend, from family movie nights to pop-up markets to holiday parades and parties. You'll find a complete list of upcoming events here.

4. Be an advocate for urban issues
The Dallas Downtown Improvement District (DID) was created by Downtown Dallas, Inc. in 1992 to fund services and improvements to the area. It's what helps keep downtown Dallas clean, safe, and fun for the entire community. The DID is currently petitioning to be renewed for the 2021-2027 term, and you can read more about that here.

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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.

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.

New Nashville hot chicken restaurant in Frisco adds a Lebanese twist

Fried Chicken News

A new Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant has debuted in Texas with a unique twist. Called Crimson Coward, it's a California-based concept that has opened its first Texas location in Frisco, at 3246 Preston Rd. #510a, serving tenders, wings, and sandwiches.

Crimson Coward was founded in the Los Angeles area in 2018, with the first location in Downey, and has opened three more in the southern California, including Long Beach and Garden Grove.

The menu includes tenders, wings, boneless breast, and chicken sandwiches, served on a brioche bun, topped with slaw and pickles. For those who want to skip the chicken, there's a grilled cheese sandwich on toast.

They just introduced an innovative "bunless" Nashville hot chicken sandwich, in which chicken is wrapped in a tortilla, then pressed and grilled, like a Cuban sandwich.

Sides include mac & cheese, potato salad, coleslaw, fried pickles, and fries. There's a decadent item called Joey Eat Fries, a loaded fries dish topped with chicken, slaw, pickles, and melted cheese.

The chicken can be ordered in the usual array of heat levels, starting with no heat and ending with one that cautions diners about its fiery effects.

The twist is in the unique mix of spices, including a heady dose of garlic, that reflect the chain's Lebanese-American heritage.

The Frisco location is from Hassan Bawab, an entrepreneur and founder of Magic Logix, a digital marketing agency. Bawab had done all of the marketing for Crimson Coward and decided to open after location after witnessing its integrity and popularity.

"The feedback from customers was so positive and heartfelt," Bawab says. "I also liked the brand and the quality of the food. I know there are other Nashville chicken places out there, but most are like fast-food, with frozen and pre-made ingredients."

"Crimson Coward uses fresh ingredients, and makes the food to order," he says. "It's not sitting in a warmer. Sides are made fresh daily. It's also 100 percent Halal."

Bawab is already working on a second location in Dallas. He's also related to Crimson Coward's founder, Ali Hijazi, who is his brother-in-law. It's all in the family.

"It's not a corporate franchise," Bawab says. "We put a real focus on the food, the spices, the breading."