Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dallas’ New Musical Raises Curtain on Sexual Violence and Broken System

Musical theater has a history of bringing social issues center stage. Through song and dance, productions like Rent, American Idiot and Rocky Horror Picture Show, amongst others, give voice to segments of society that are struggling to be heard or understood.

Somehow, through the format of a musical, an awareness rises within an audience and a dialogue begins amongst a larger demographic. In “Broken the Musical,” a new art performance written, produced and debuting in Dallas, the story unfolds with familiar dramatic themes – tragedy, justice and healing. But the conversation it inspires is new territory for musical theater: how does one recover from the trauma of a sexual assault, and what is society’s role in that process?

With original music by Aaron Fryklund, a fixture in the local theater scene, Broken follows the path of Mona, played by Molly Pope, as she suffers a sexual assault and then grapples with repairing her shattered life. Part of that process includes her pursuit of justice through the legal system, spotlighting some of the common challenges faced by many in a similar position today that inspired Creator, Writer and Executive Producer Monica Martino to raise the curtain on an often overlooked reality.  “I was just sitting at home watching the news and heard a story about how many untested rape kits there are in the country,” said Martino. “I thought ‘Wow. Something really needs to be done about this.’”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hawaiian Falls Water Park Makes Summer Cool

Can you believe that we are halfway through Summer?! If you are like me, you've probably exhausted all of your regular activities and are about to go postal if your kids say one more time, "We're bored! What can we dooooooo?!"

Instead of screaming, "I'll tell you what you can do - you can mop the floor and take out the trash and stop whining to me!" take a deep breath, tell them to go put on their bathing suits and take the short drive to one of the five Hawaiian Falls Water Parks located in the DFW area.

Hawaiian Falls is built with the family in mind. Play with the kids in the Wave Pool, hang out in the Lazy River as they float by, or watch as they go down their favorite rides like the Pineapple Express.

If you have older kids, take my lead and relax with a stack of magazines under the shade of a cabana while your tweens and teens frolic in the water. When you get hot, grab an inter tube floating by you on the Lazy River and hop on. That's my kind of fun in the sun! Um, and did I mention yet how they have waiters who will attend to your every need in the cabana area. Trust me, it's worth the price to get a cabana. It gives you a home base and a shady spot for the day.

One of my favorite things about Hawaiian Falls is that these "micro-parks" average about 8 acres in size. They are small enough that older kids can roam free and feel on their own, but small enough that it doesn't ever take me more than 10 minutes to find my posse if I need to. You can also feel good knowing that lifeguards and EMTs are always on site to ensure safety.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Belk's Trend Forecast for Fall 2014

Models dressed to represent the 3 Style Statements for
Fall: Rebel Rebel, His is Hers & Complex Simplicity 
Last week, I was treated to a sneak peek at the fashion trends for the upcoming Fall season as forecasted by Arlene Goldstein, VP of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction for Belk. Arlene showcased the looks that customers will be shopping at Belk for Fall for men and women.

My advice when it comes to trends is remember that they are just that - trends. Meaning these are styles that may last a season or two and will quickly fade away. So, invest the bulk of your money into more classic silhouettes, pick which trends you are drawn to and incorporate a few trend pieces into your existing wardrobe. Her selections fell into three Style Statements: Complex Simplicity, His is Hers and Rebel Rebel:

Complex Simplicity: New proportions, shape shifts and new age tailoring are just a few of the details that define this ultra-modern message from oversized and boxy silhouettes to exaggerated sleeves. Textiles are innovative. Patterns go graphic, so count on bold contrasts.

His is Hers: His is Hers promises recast classics and a man style mash-up with a quirky kind of coolness. With a feminine twist, borrowed from the boys has never looked better. Check out the Wine List of Fall’s favorite color palette: sangria and other exotic reds all the way to deep burgundy, merlot and mulberry.

Rebel Rebel: Break out of your fashion comfort zone and celebrates a fierce fem that wants to break a few rules, in a good way! Expect some unexpected pairings: leather and lace, winter florals and British plaids, feminine silhouettes and moto detailing. A passion for plaids, chokers, bold statement necks and cuffs in burnished metals, studded and belted ankle boots, and over the knee boots are just a few of the add-ons that make this trend so exciting.

Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery Celebrates 20 Years In Uptown

Happy 20th Birthday to Bread Winners 

In the early 1990s, Jim & Cindy Hughes, lived in Uptown (before it was even called Uptown). There was one building on McKinney Ave. with quirky charm and great proximity to Downtown that they loved, so when they heard the current tenant (Verlaine’s) was closing and having one last Happy Hour for fans – they went to meet the owners and find out what would be happening with the building. Luckily for them, the current owners were looking to divest themselves of the property and this became the first Bread Winners location. Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery opened the doors to their Uptown location on July 22, 1994 and today Bread Winners manages over 450 employees, runs 4 locations, operates a corporate catering service and has added The Quarter bar in Uptown to round out their portfolio. Bread Winners is renowned for their breakfast/brunch menu (I mean, have you had their Fried Chicken and Waffles or French Ham Benedict?!) and have won every local award handed out for their menu and bakery items. They have also developed organic pet treats called SoleMates that is sold in all 4 locations.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Prepare to be Blownaway by a new beauty app

Pretty much everything has a 20-30 year cycle. You see it in fashion all the time. One could argue that designers have just run out of innovative ideas. But I'm pretty sure that designers would argue they are just taking their inspiration from trends of the past and updating them for a modern woman.

In the 50's and 60's it was the norm for women to visit their beauty salon on a weekly basis to get their hair "set". You had a regular appointment with your hairdresser and these visits became a social scene that you looked forward to. It was not only where you got beautified but got all the town gossip.

Flash forward to today and we've seen an explosion in the brick and mortar beauty scene with brands like Drybar, Blushington, La Bichette, Hair Bar, etc offering hair and makeup services. With the success these brands are having, it's no surprise that this concept is going digital to bring beauty right to your front door.

Enter Blownaway - a new mobile app delivering personalized, on-demand blow-out and makeup services with one tap of the app. With a team of remarkably talented stylists, Blownaway allows women to skip the hassle of making appointments at salons and traveling unnecessary distances before events by simply tapping a button and delivering the service to you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

McKinney Avenue Trolley Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Honorary Motorman, Oliver Robison
Hop on board the trolley "Matilda" on Saturday, July 19th, and join the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority (MATA) in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the McKinney Avenue Trolley’s launch. Matilda's riders will be served birthday cake from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Phil Cobb, co-founder and chairman of the board for 24 years announced 5-year old Oliver Robison as special Honorary Motorman for the birthday celebration.  "Oliver is a big fan of the trolleys which he rides frequently with his mom, Kyla, and dad, Kenny," said Cobb. "We all love Oliver. He even drops by the Trolley Barn to say hi and check on the Trolleys. Oliver is also our official historian as he knows each of the Trolley cars, their names and their histories.”

Uptown-area restaurants are entering birthday cakes in a contest to be judged by Robison and MATA staff members. The restaurant with the winning cake will be awarded the fun of a complimentary two-hour charter on the Trolley bedecked with balloons. Restaurants baking birthday cakes (so far) are: Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery (who is celebrating their own 20th anniversary this July), Morton’s of Chicago, Truluck’s and Hillcrest Bank is sponsoring chocolate lava cakes from CafĂ© Express.

The M-Line's restored vintage trolleys, which are air-conditioned and heated, operate 365 days a year providing safe, clean, reliable, and convenient public transportation free of charge, with only the exception of private party charters, in Dallas' vibrant Uptown Neighborhood. MATA’s mission is to extend this service to a broader geographic area in downtown Dallas while maintaining the unique, historic ambiance and character of our current service and, in partnership with Dallas Area Rapid Transit, become a key component of the City's downtown circulator system. Service is in the process of being extended with an open downtown loop to be completed in the very near future. Details will be released soon as plans are finalized.

Visit to see Matilda's route and join the party!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Get Your Freak On In The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show has been delighting midnight movie goers since its debut in 1975. The most fun part of attending any showing is when the entire audience gets up and dances to the Time Warp song. Pure pop culture awesomeness. Director and choreographer Joel Ferrell is looking to enhance the set of Dallas Theater Center’s upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show with a few living decorations. Think you have a look or a talent that’s over-the-top enough? An open call is being held on Saturday, July 26 for gender-benders, the glamorously tattooed, sword and fire swallowers, snake charmers, the unique, the bizarre, the unorthodox, the oh-my-goodness-I-can’t-believe-they-just-did-that-performer and anybody who has ever dreamt of being set decoration in a production of The Rocky Horror Show.

Fifty (50) audition slots will be available for early reservation. If you’d like to skip the rush and reserve one of these slots, please email Laura Colleluori at Please include your name, age, phone number and a brief description of your talent or look in your request for one of these slots. You will receive an email confirmation prior to the event if you were able to secure a reserved audition slot. An audition signup sheet will be available at 3p at the Open Call.

Participants who sign up at the event will be able to audition on a first come, first served basis. Participants are encouraged to arrive early to allow time to fill out a short form and scope out the competition. Music will be provided. They will not accept song requests or audio files to play with an audition. Props, however, are highly encouraged. Participants will have one minute to wow Joel (and the audience) before they move on to the next bit of crazy. DTC is looking for a total of eight people for use during the run of The Rocky Horror Show, four per performance. The Rocky Horror Show runs September 11 through October 19, 2014. These are EXTRA roles and will be unpaid. The event is open to ages 21 and up (for onlookers and participants). Event and audition questions should be directed to Laura Colleluori at

WHEN: Saturday, July 26, 3:00 – 6:00p
Doors open at 3:00p First call at 3:30p

WHERE: The Rose Room Dallas (le duh!) 3911 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75219

UPDATE (7/23) Due to an unexpected conflict with Joel's schedule, DTC is making a few changes to the Open Call plans. First, they are moving the event from The Rose Room to the Wyly Theater (2400 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201). Second, they are condensing the time frame. Participants can sign up beginning at 2:45 and the call will take place from 3-4p.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4th Annual Dallas Observer BrewFest

Join Dallas Observer on Saturday, September 13th at the Dallas Farmers Market when they host the 4th Annual Dallas Observer BrewFest presented by Whole Foods Market. BrewFest is an outdoor beer-sampling event and festival that will feature over 150 beers from around the globe, local food vendors and live music!

Twelve (2oz) beer samples are included in the ticket price. Tickets go on sale to the public on July 11, but because OSC readers are so stink in' cool, you get to take advantage of an exclusive presale opportunity to purchase tickets early! Get your tickets NOW because presage ends July 10 at 10pm.

Use the Promo Code OhSoCynthia on the event website to move through to the purchase page. Cost ranges from $25-$90. The VIP ticket includes: 12 – 2 oz. beer samplings from 150+ beer options plus early entry into event one hour earlier at 6:00, access to VIP Area with liquor sampling and exclusive catered food. All Tickets Include: 12 – 2 oz. Beer Samplings, with additional sampling cards available for purchase at the event and Live Music.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Explore Five Decades of Style from Oscar de la Renta at the George W. Bush Presidential Center

Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams and Taylor Swift showcase
red, white and blue fashions from Oscar de la Renta
The George W. Bush Presidential Center is set to host a major retrospective of legendary American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, celebrating his inspiring life and exploring his award-winning career from its origins to his most recent runway and red-carpet masterpieces.

“Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style,” will feature more than 60 garments, some on view for the first time. The exhibit will open July 19, 2014 and continue through October 5 at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The show will feature a wide range of silhouettes from elegant daywear to romantic ball gowns and highlight de la Renta’s richly layered aesthetic and showcase the designer’s meticulous hand and mastery of his craft.
Known for his artistic eye and exquisite craftsmanship, Mr. de la Renta has designed for iconic women of style, including First Ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Reagan. His designs for First Ladies reveals his secure place at the pinnacle of American fashion and offers an opportunity to examine the unique role of the First Lady as our country’s official hostess to world leaders and diplomats and as a trendsetter in style, fashion, and entertaining.

Set Sail to the DFW Summer Boat Expo

The DFW Summer Boat Expo will sail into town July 11-13 and July 18-20 at Dallas Market Hall. This show features more than 450 boat and watercraft models from over 20 North Texas boat dealers and it is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Dealer’s incentives on 2014 models to make room for 2015 models. The United Boat Dealers of North Texas produce the boat expo to support that boating and marine industry in the greater North Texas area.

You'll find all of boating's best brands represented: Bennington, Regal, Yamaha, South Bay, Four Winns, Triton, Glastron, Blue Wave, Berkshire Pontoons, Xpress Boats, Sea Hunt, Xcursion, Cobalt Boats, Starcraft, Supra, Moomba , Chaparral, Cruisers Yachts, G3 Boats, Southwind, Skeeter, Nautic Star, Rinker, Hurricane, Sweetwater/Godfrey, Aqua Patio, San Pan, Polar Craft, Malibu, Axis, Correct Craft/Nautique, Legend Boats, Sportsman, Sun Chaser, Avalon, Caravelle, Hurricane, Epic, Nautic Star, Clearwater, Veranda, Xpress Boats, Skeeter, Supreme, Starcraft, Sylvan, Monterey, Crest, Sea Fox Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Harris Flote Bote, Bayliner, Meridian, Grady White, and more.