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US Virgin Islands: Isn’t It Time You Visited?

US Virgin Islands

Things To See & Do In The US Virgin Islands

Three US Virgin Islands three ways. Whatever your heart desires in the way of an easy Caribbean holiday, the US Virgin Islands has got you covered. Even better, no passport needed and it’s an easy jaunt from most US cities.

I can’t help but being intrigued by one of the taglines I saw there, it read “there is a reason people have been sailing these shores since 1493.”

Indeed, it is still a place that folks love to sail, but you can also rent a car pretty easily. However, you may want to see which side of the road they drive on as it varies depending on the island.

Adventure & History

St. John is for nature lovers. Imagine a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere and plan to spend at least a day unwinding. The other two islands, offer it all, from adventure to beach time to fine dining. I began my trip in St. Thomas, which is where your point of entry to the US Virgin Islands will be. I stayed at Secret Harbour Beach Resort and from there spent a few nights exploring and eating my way around the island.

Secret Harbour had a beachfront on the eastern end of St Thomas meaning less noise and traffic and more chill time. There is a marine sanctuary to enjoy and lots of palm trees coupled with the Caribbean blue water that you can take advantage of snorkeling, scuba diving or just playing on one of the watersport rentals.

Even with all the enticing things to do in St. Thomas, the island has a lot of history too. Be prepared to spend at least one of your mornings on the island discovering the downtown area with stops at the Government House, 99 Steps, Main Street and the Bluebeard Castle Museum.

While I bowed out of the zip line experience, my colleague took the challenge at the Tree Limin Extreme while I headed over to the Botanical Gardens at St. Peter Great House.

Sightseeing On St. John

After a few nights on St. Thomas I took the ferry to St. John from the Red Hook Ferry Dock, it just sounds like there is a pirate waiting around the corner. No pirates here though and the 20 minute ferry ride couldn’t have been easier. Once arriving on Cruz Bay there was a driving tour of the island before lunch. It was only a day trip so I had to make it quick, but do take the time to snorkel and hike on the island. Another don’t miss is the Emmaus Moravian Church in Coral Bay. It is on the List of Registered Historic Places in the United States Virgin Islands and was the only church allowed to minister to the slaves.

As the sun began to makes it way down the horizon it was time to jump back on the Ferry and head back to Red Hook Ferry dock on St. Thomas – another relaxing day.

Island Hopping To St. Croix

The next morning it was time for island hopping once again, this time for a few nights on St. Croix. Hopping onboard a local seaplane I arrived in 25 minutes at Christiansted Harbor Seaplane Base before being whisked away to The Palms at Pelican Cove. It is an entirely different vibe on St. Croix and here I first took a driving tour of Frederiksted with a look at the Rainforest, Mt. Pellier Domino Club, Fort Frederik, Estate Whim Museum and the St. George Botanical Garden before it was time for a Cruzan Rum Distillery jaunt. I have been to enough distilleries so I just wanted to take a drink of that rum – after all, they have been making this juice for the past 300 years so it’s good.

In the afternoon a Cruzan Cow Girls horseback ride is recommended to enjoy an island sunset.

On the final day it was time to explore the island – adventure style so Tan Tan Tours was the answer for a look around the island on a four-wheeler exploring the back roads and hearing all about the island legends.

Of course seafood is an obvious choice for a meal when in the Caribbean, but that is not always the best choice. Here are a few ideas for eating out while in St. Thomas and St. Croix, this little paradise is a hidden for fine dining options.

St. Thomas Dining

Caribbean Fish Market – An open air restaurant with a calm breeze on the Cowpet Bay, the chefs offer a traditional Caribbean style menu here that won’t disappoint.

Glady’s Café – Location, location, location, that’s what I always say. You are going to love this place because it is located in the historic buildings of the Royal Dane Mall. You will find some American menu items thrown in, but try the Caribbean offering instead because it is prepared Glady’s style.

Iggies Beach Bar and Grill – Located on popular Bolongo Bay Beach at the Resort of the same name, if you are looking for a tourist hangout you’ve found it here. It is also the only place on St. Thomas where there is continuous live entertainment 365 days a year and a weekly Carnival extravaganza. In short, it is always a good time to be at Iggies.

Grand Cru – This is the island’s upscale dining offering with a selection of 23 wines on the menu and some excellent house infused martinis and cocktails. The chef creates Mediterranean cuisine using local ingredients so you will walk away satiated.

Jen’s Island Café and Deli – American, Caribbean, breakfast, it all comes together here where you can opt for yogurt with granola or a three cheese omelet. For lunch there is a variety of wraps and even Philly cheesesteak, but save room for one of the homemade desserts.

St. Croix Dining

The Galleon – The name sounds impressive and it is since the Galleon sits on the waterfront at Green Cay Marina. It offers a delicious fine dining experience. Seafood, meat and dessert, again with a good wine list from the large wine cellar and a fine dining backdrop.

40 Strand Eatery – This is the perfect little, cozy urban restaurant helmed by chef Todd Manley and Brant Pell. 40 Strand has signature craft cocktails and a wine list that definitely rivals the 48 states. The cuisine is a bit different since the emphasis is on a Danish menu.

Kendrick’s – This restaurant emphasizes French cuisine in the perfect location at The Buccaneer.

Tutte Bene– The name is Italian of course and it was created by local restaurateur Tony Cerruto. While he no longer owns the place, his name and fine dining ideas live on here.

My Recommendations When Visiting Paris

Paris recommendations

Paris: The Perfect Destination In Any Season

I love Paris! I like it in the spring, the summer and even in the fall. I’m also one of the lucky girls who gets to go there often. In Paris I stay with my very Parisian friend who opens his doors to me. His hospitality leads to great things when I am in the city of lights.

My home away from home is a flat in the 13th arrondissement. I use this as my home base while there. On my most recent visit at the end of March and the first week of April,  I saw Paris turn from a wet March to a lovely April spring.

My Paris Recommendations

First of all, before we get started, let me point out I absolutely hate lugging my bags every time my friend and I head to the airport for a weekend trip or to the train station. You still must do it. Get to know and take the Metro in Paris – you will thank me. You have to do it, otherwise, you aren’t getting the real deal.

Like I said, I stay in the 13th arrondissement when I am in Paris, so let’s start with that area. Number one on my list of five reasons to visit Paris is because of an area in the 13th that most tourists don’t know about. It is called the Butte aux Cailles (it means quail hill) district and it is reminiscent of a village even if it is in the heart of this Parisian district. There are many unusual restaurants and bars all lining the narrow cobblestone streets with an art deco architectural heritage – think Paris 80 years ago.

Explore The Butte aux Cailles

Butte aux Cailles is a hangout for artists and affluent hipsters, but expect some hills in this charming little area because you will have to make a climb. Butte aux Cailles is sandwiched in between the city’s Chinatown district at Metro Tolbiac, Corvisart and the Place d’Italie. Exploring this area is the perfect way to get to know Paris from a local perspective.

Next stop, well, you need a place to lay your head for a night or two or hopefully you give yourself a good week in Paris. My number one recommendation is the Shangri-La in the 16th arrondissement. The Shangri-La is also an easy walk to the Champs de Elysées and a variety of museums. Keep in mind in Paris, the Michelin starred restaurants rule. There is no need to doubt that the Shangri-La isn’t dressed to impress with two Michelin restaurants on the premises.

My last trip in March was my second time to not only stay in the Shangri-La palace, but also to have dinner at L’Abeille, roughly translated meaning “The Bee, which was Napoleon’s favorite emblem. The palace has ties to Napoleon’s family, but more on that in a minute.

Dining At Shangri-La

L’Abeille is two Michelin-starred and is under the guidance of the Executive Chef Christophe Moret. Located in an enchanting atmosphere next to the garden, the restaurant promises delightful flavors, pairings and ambience. Moret was previously at the Saint Jean-de-Luz Grand Hotel and then at Château Eza before teaming up with Chef Jacques Maximin at the Nice Théâtre in 1989. Starting in 1990, he worked alongside the renowned Chef Alain Ducasse at the three-star restaurant, Louis XV in Monaco. Continuing to move he then was at Royal Monceau and 59 Poincaré as a sous chef and became the head chef at Spoon, Food & Wine in Paris and then in 2003 he became head chef at the three-star restaurant Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée. From there he was at Lasserre, another Michelin-two-starred restaurant, finally making the Shangri-La Hotel his next turn at culinary creativity.

Shang Palace, the second starred restaurant at Shangri-La is a Canton and Huaiyang regional themed menu helmed by Chef Samuel Lee Sum. It’s definitely worthy of a meal as well.

The Palace

As for the palace part of the story, the Shangri-La, Paris was the home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte in 1896. No. 10 avenue d’Iéna was at that time a meeting place of aristocracy and bourgeoisie. Now 115 years later, it has been restored by architect Richard Martinet. It offers a bright welcome that begins with the open lobby and the impressive grand staircase. In the rooms, views of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine are some of the best hotel views in Paris complete with old-world charm.

The Shangri-La recently launched a useful guidebook for guests; “10 Parisian Walks.” They offer a “10 Parisian Walks” package. The package includes a night at the hotel, a breakfast, champagne and a guided tour of the fascinating history of the palace. The themed walks highlight Parisian life including gourmet rendezvous, secret addresses and the backstreets waiting to be discovered.

Palais Galliera-Who Wears What?

Also, in the 16th arrondissement and near the Shangri-La is a remarkable fashion museum. The Palais Galliera is located at 10 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie. I had the pleasure of learning about the fashion of de la Comtesse Greffulhe when I was there.

On May 14 a new exhibit will be showing until October asking the question who wears what? This is the question put to the visitor by the Palais Galliera Anatomy of a Collection exhibition. Ranging from court wear to work overalls and from celebrities to unknowns, the exhibition draws on the Galliera collection looking at 100 garments and accessories illustrating fashion from the 18th century to the present day. From Napoleon’s waistcoat to Empress Josephine’s dress to Gala Dali’s shoe-hat or a dress worn by the Duchess of Windsor, this collection reflects the essence of the outfit and how it has become a part of history over the years.

The Palais Galliera is also a perfect look into the 19th-century architectural tradition in Paris and the construction was by the company belonging to Gustave Eiffel. The Duchesse de Galliera was considered a generous woman even though in the end her roots were in Italy. She left this building and palace for the city of Paris. The fashion museum is a secret discovery in the 16th district.

Musée Nissim de Camondo

Heading over to the 8th arrondissement you will also find another of my “under the radar” recommendations. The Musée Nissim de Camondo is a peek into the 18th and 19th century in what is called a “hôtel particulier.” The owners were a banking family and the museum is located in the northwestern part of the 8th near Parc Monceau. This museum is part of a larger group of museums featuring décor, textiles and fashion. It is also a good excuse to visit the Park Monceau while in the area. The Park Monceau is a 17th century garden in Paris. Its notably one of the most elegant, with a number of statues and a stunning Renaissance archway.

Il Carpaccio

After a day of seeing the sights à la Parisienne, a dinner is certainly in order. The restaurant at Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris called Il Carpaccio, a one Michelin star experience, is the perfect end to a lovely day. An Italian restaurant in the heart of Paris, Il Carpaccio has been open for the past 30 years. Executive Chef Roberto Rispoli creates a personal interpretation of his recipes from Italy and its many regions. Rispoli is from the Naples area and he has revived Il Carpaccio with chef Laurent André at the helm. It is an intimate dining room with a Sicilian baroque design, a glass conservatory that looks outside and a bit of contemporary art in the décor perfectly working with the Italian theme.

Other than the menu, which will need no introduction, the wine selection by the Sommelier is worthy of the trip alone. Taste the delightfully sinful olive oil since it is Chef Rispoli’s own extra virgin, created in Sicily. Expect flavors that add to the already unparalleled combination of Italian delicacy at this brilliant Italian masterpiece of flavors.

These are just a few of my recommendations for experiencing Paris like a local. Look behind the scenes and get to know the city and you have discovered the staple of the Parisienne mindset.

Hello My Name is Doris Movie Review

Hello My Name Is Doris

Hello My Name Is Doris-Sally Field Is Fantastic

Red Crown Productions independent film, “Hello My Name Is Doris”, was a big hit at Sundance Film Festival, where it was picked up for distribution, opening in Dallas March 18. The poignant drama is written by Laura Terruso and Michael Showalter, directed by Showalter, and rated R for language. It runs 1 hour 35 minutes.

The best thing about the film is Oscar-winning star Sally Field. She is endearing, vulnerable, and totally appealing as Doris Miller. A middle-aged spinster who’s spent her life taking care of an invalid mother and being overlooked by most of the world.

Doris let romance pass her by while trudging to and from work, going immediately back to the cluttered house she shared with her mom. After her mom’s death, and despite her relatives’ urging Doris to sell the house and move into the city, the shy recluse refuses to give up even one piece of paper or stack of books… much less consider any move.

Taking a ferry to work at a downtown ad agency every day, frumpy Doris is an object of pity by her much younger co-workers. As the lone holdover from the previous agency, Doris is totally out of step with the trend-setting group she works with.

Enter Prince Charming (Max Greenfield as John Fremont, a handsome new art director half her age). His friendly smile makes Doris think he’s interested in her. Inspired by a self-help seminar, Doris seeks help from a friend’s 13-year-old granddaughter and begins to “cyber stalk” John to find out his interests.

Soon she starts following him, bumping into him at some of the places he frequents, including a punk rock band’s concert where she sticks out like an alien. Surprisingly, her odd, eclectic look inspires John’s Williamsburg friends to praise her vintage style. A fashion photographer even shoots photos of Doris for an ad campaign.

It’s certainly obvious to those in the audience that there’s not going to be a “happy ever after” ending for our heroine. But you’ll root for Doris to come out ahead, maybe with hope and strength to look toward the future, even if she doesn’t find true love.

You’ll be glad to be able to take this journey with Doris; she’s one of the most unforgettable characters seen on the big screen this year.

Along with Sally Field’s heartbreakingly brave performance, several other talented artists featured in “Hello My Name Is Doris” are, Tyne Daly as Doris’ best friend Roz; Beth Behrs as John’s “real” girlfriend; and Peter Gallagher as the Self-Help author and guru who convinces the suggestible Doris she should go after her heart’s desire.

Wicked: The Untold Story of OZ Returns To Dallas Summer Musicals


It doesn’t seem to matter how many times “Wicked” comes to Dallas, Stephen Schwartz’s musical still sells out every performance. This time (for the fifth time) Dallas Summer Musicals has brought the story of the “good” witch and the “wicked” witch to the Music Hall at Fair Park for its longest run yet.

“Wicked” tickets will be available for an unprecedented five weeks, closing May 22. Hopefully that will allow any of you who haven’t yet experienced this delightful Broadway musical to buy tickets. Especially popular with young (and old) females, one of the most appealing features of this musical is the friendship of two very different girls.

Galinda is the popular blonde who will become Glinda the Good. Her roommate Elphaba, the green-tinged witch who’s ostracized by other students at the School of Witchcraft, eventually learn to love and appreciate each other. Their friendship proves stronger than all the forces aligned against them, from overbearing teachers to manipulative wizards.

The best songs in the musical, which has been going strong since it opened on Broadway in 2003, are performed by the two women. Played in the national touring production by Emily Koch (Elphaba) and Amanda Jane Cooper (Glinda), their closing tribute to enduring friendship brought tears to my eyes. But then, that song always does.

There is plenty of singing, dancing, romance and action by a talented ensemble of Munchkins, students, and monkeys. There are some spectacular special effects too, such as the flying scene that accompanies Elphaba’s stirring anthem, “Defying Gravity.” In other words, “Wicked” has something for everyone in the family from elementary school age to geriatric grandparents.

For ticket information, including how to register for the lottery drawing for inexpensive tickets held prior to each performance, visit www.dallassummermusicals.org.

$18K In Prizes Awarded At Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition

Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition

After two days of intense competition by some of the most talented young singers in the country, the winners of the 28th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition were announced late this evening from the stage of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center:

  • The $10,00 First Prize, presented by Dallas Opera Guild 2016 Co-Presidents Jana and Mac Irwin in memory of Bessylee Penland, went to French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez
  • The $5,000 Second Place Prize, presented by 2015 and 2016 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition Chair Ketty Fitzgerald, went to Australian-Chinese tenor Kang Wang
  • The Third Place Prize of $2,500 was presented by Patsy and Bob Brooks, the Chairs-Elect for the 2017 Vocal Competition, to Korean baritone Sol Jin
  • The $1,000 “People’s Choice Award,” presented by Katherine and Michael Phillips (underwriters of the popular award) to tenor Kang Wang
A total of 336 applicants from 39 states applied to compete in this year’s competition, from which 20 semi-finalists were chosen. These singers competed on Friday, April 29 for the coveted position of finalist. That group consisted of Polish bass Daniel Miroslaw, soprano Alexandra Loutsion and bass Adam Lau, in addition to Mr. Jin, Mr. Wang, and Ms. Verrez.

“What stood out to me from the beginning of this competition,” explained the Kern Wildenthal Dallas Opera General Director and CEO, Keith Cerny (a member of the judges panel), “was the extraordinarily high level of candidates we attracted this year, and the phenomenal singing and acting talent each of these young men and women brought to the Winspear Stage. These are polished performers with great futures in their chosen field.”

The six finalists performed earlier this evening in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center with The Dallas Opera Orchestra under the baton of acclaimed Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.

“As Co-Presidents of the Dallas Opera Guild, Jana and I count it such a privilege to participate in this nationally significant competition and are ecstatic for today’s winners,” said Dallas Opera Guild Co-President Mac Irwin. “We congratulate all of those who took part in this highly competitive event. The talent exhibited this weekend was truly remarkable. Our hope is that the prize money, accolades and awards will greatly assist these young, dedicated singers as they continue to strive for successful careers as performers.”

Third Place winner Sol Jin was recently selected by Opera News as one of the magazine’s “25 Rising Stars.” He made his opera debut two years ago with Long Island Opera Company, singing the role of Germont in their production of La traviata. He has a degree from Yonsei University and earned his Master’s from The Manhattan School of Music. He is a 2016 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and will join Houston Grand Opera as a Studio Artist next season.

In the Finals Round, Mr. Jin performed “Avant de quitter ces lieux” from Gounod’s Faust, followed by “Sacra la scelta” from Verdi’s Luisa Miller.

Second Place winner (and winner of the 2016 “People’s Choice Award”) Kang Wang is in his first year of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Previously, he was a member of the opera studio at Theater Basel in Switzerland and performed at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Virginia; the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England; and the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University in Australia where he earned a Master of Music Studies in Opera.
In tonight’s Finals Round, Mr. Wang charmed the audience with renditions of “Fra poco a me ricovero” from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and “Che gelida manina” from Puccini’s La bohème.
First Place winner Virginie Verrez, a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, made her Metropolitan Opera stage debut as the Madrigalist in a new production of Manon Lescaut and will return to the Met as Stéphano in a new production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette under the baton of Maestro Emmanuel Villaume.
Last season, Ms. Verrez portrayed Clytemnestre in the Met/Juilliard production of Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulide, as well as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro; she was also a 2015 prize winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2014, Virginie Verrez sang Lola in Cavalleria rusticana with Avignon Opera and Mercédès in Bizet’s Carmen for Wolf Trap Opera.
During yesterday’s Semi-Finals, accompanied by pianist Adam Nielsen, Ms. Verrez performed “Deh, per questo istante solo” from Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and “Dieux puissants…Jupiter lance la foudre” (a selection repeated during tonight’s Finals Round with The Dallas Opera Orchestra) from Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide. She also thrilled the Winspear Opera House audience this evening with her rendition of Handel’s “Stà nell’Ircana pietrosa tana” from Alcina.
Sol Jin, baritone, 29, winner, Licia Albanese, Gerda Lissner, Merola, HGO Studio
Adam Lau, bass, age 31, winner of George London Competition, Merola Opera Program
Alexandra Loutsion, soprano, age 32, AZ Opera, Wolf Trap, Central City, Pittsburgh
Daniel Miroslaw, bass, age 29, Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School
Virginie Verrez, mezzo-soprano, 26, winner, Met Opera Nat. Council Auditions
Kang Wang, tenor, age 27, Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program

Don’t Delay, Order Tickets Now for Cara Mia/DTC World Premiere

Cara Mia

Dallas Theater Center and Cara Mia Theatre Co. are co-producing the world-premiere of “Deferred Action.” Directed by Cara Mía’s Artistic Director David Lozano, Deferred Action is written by Lozano and Lee Trull, DTC’s Director of New Play Development.

“It’s a great honor to be a part of developing ‘Deferred Action’,” said Lozano. “Cara Mía’s productions stir dialogue within our community and I am excited to partner with Dallas Theater Center to bring a play that speaks to the heart of issues that directly impacts our Latino community. This play gives both of our theatres and our audiences the opportunity to talk about what I think is the civil rights issue of our times – immigration reform for undocumented immigrants who need basic human rights while living in this country.”

The new play introduces audiences to Javier Mejía, one of the immigrants called “Dreamers” who first came to the U.S. as an undocumented minor. After years in the states, he is caught in the tangle of existing immigration laws, new presidential policies, and living in the shadows. With hopes that temporary administrative mechanisms like Deferred Action will be the answer to their dilemma, the play follows the lives of those “Dreamers.” Democrats. Republicans. Activism. Politics. It’s all just another border to cross.

“Deferred Action” is now playing at the Wyly Theatre through May 14. It features company members from both DTC and Cara Mía. Tickets are on sale now at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 8800202.

“It is a joy for all of us at DTC to collaborate with artists from the dynamic and inspiring Cara Mía Theatre Co.,” said DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty. “David Lozano is as smart and passionate about politics as he is about making theater. Deferred Action speaks to our current world of electoral politics in ways that are more powerful and surprising than we could have imagined several years ago when we first started creating this play.

David and Lee have created an original story that reflects the choices facing us in this election cycle: to seek immediate change whatever the cost, or to compromise and delay while working within the system. When the stakes are literally life and death – as they are for many undocumented people living in the United States – American politics isn’t just a game or a reality TV show, but rather either a hopeful path forward or a heartbreaking setback for their families and our own understanding of ‘liberty and justice for all.'”

Cara Mía’s Artistic Ensemble member Ivan Jasso will play the role of Javier Mejía, alongside fellow ensemble members Frida Espinosa Müller as Abue, Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso as Ximena, and Rodney Garza as Carrasquillo.

Brierley Resident Acting Company members Chamblee Ferguson (All the Way, Medea, The Rocky Horror Show) will play the role of Jim, Brandon Potter (All the Way, A Christmas Carol, King Lear ) as Jerry, Christie Vela (Romeo and Juliet, Les Misérables, King Lear) as Nancy Rodriguez, and Steven Michael Walters (All the Way, Les Misérables, Clybourne Park) as Dale Jenkins. Additional cast members are Elizabeth Ramos as Lisa and Arturo Soria as Robby.

Set designer is Timothy R. Mackabee, costume designer Niki Hernandez-Adams, sound designer Aaron Mecht, lighting designer Clifton Taylor, projection designer Caite Hevner Kemp, and wig designer Valerie Gladstone.

DTC’s Come Early sponsored by Wells Fargo will take place one hour before every performance and DTC’s Stay Late presented by Dr Pepper Snapple will take place after each performance.

Presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ MAMMA MIA!, the smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, returns to Bass Performance Hall for a limited engagement May 20-22.

MAMMA MIA! is one of the most successful musicals of all time, the eighth longest running show in Broadway history and one of only five current musicals to have run for more than ten years on Broadway. The West End production is now in its seventeenth year. The international tour has visited more than 81 foreign cities in 37 countries.

Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs, from “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S.” to “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me,” MAMMA MIA! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found.

MAMMA MIA! is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other touring productions include Rent 20th Anniversary Tour, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Vocalosity, and Crazy For You.

The original production of MAMMA MIA! was produced by Judy Craymer, Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal, the creative team responsible for bringing MAMMA MIA! to theatrical life includes some of the most gifted and celebrated talents of musical theatre and opera. With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! is written by Catherine Johnson and directed by Phyllida Lloyd. MAMMA MIA! has choreography by Anthony Van Laast, production design by Mark Thompson, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision, additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch.

Tickets start at $55; to charge tickets by phone, call (817) 212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at www.basshall.com.

Legal Notice-DeSoto 05-15-16

cedar hill legal notice
Case Z-1329-16
The City of DeSoto Planning and Zoning Commission will conduct a Public Hearing to consider a Specific Use Permit Request (SUP). This SUP would allow for an Accessory Structure of approximately 864 square feet at 1143 Whispering Oaks. The property in question consists of approximately 2.894 acres and one (1) lot. The applicant is Audra Buckley. The hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission has been set for Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.If the case is approved by the Planning Commission, or the applicant appeals a denial of the request, then the hearing before the City Council will be held on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.Both hearings will be held in the Council Chambers at Town Center, Suite A, 211 East Pleasant Run Road, DeSoto, Texas. If you have any questions regarding this case, contact the Planning and Zoning Department at (972) 230-9622.

The building in which the above meeting will be conducted is wheelchair accessible; spaces for the mobility impaired are available. Any request for sign interpretative services must be made forty-eight hours prior to the time of the meeting. Arrangements for sign interpretative services may be made by calling the City Secretary at 972/230-9646 or by calling TDD-1-800-RELAYTX (1-800-735-2989).

To be a valid written protest the protest or petition in opposition must be filed with the Planning Department before 4:00 P.M of the working day immediately preceding the date in which City Council will hear this case.

Legal Notice-Duncanville 05-18-16

cedar hill legal notice


Sealed electronic bids will be received online only, by the City of Duncanville, at www.publicpurchase.com until 2:00 p.m. C.D.T., Thursday, June 16, 2016, where they will be publicly read aloud at 2:15 p.m. C.D.T., for:

IFB# 16-16

A pre-bid conference will be held Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 10:00 AM, C.D.T., Duncanville Municipal Service Center Conference Room, 330 Shady Trail, Duncanville, TX 75137-4037.

A complete list of current requests for bids and proposals is available by visiting our web site at www.duncanville.com (select Departments, Purchasing, and Bid Opportunities). This bid is available through Public Purchase at www.publicpurchase.com. The official bid or proposal document(s), specifications, and terms and conditions are available at www.publicpurchase.com or by calling The Public Group at 800-591-5546. The City of Duncanville reserves the right to reject any or all bids and waive any and all informalities.

‘Schools remain grossly underfunded and underserved’


State Rep. Helen Giddings Reacts To Texas Supreme Court Ruling

DESOTO—In reaction to today’s ruling by the Texas Supreme Court, which found the state’s school finance system to be constitutional, State Representative Helen Giddings released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling diminishes educational opportunities to 5.2 million Texas school children. It is a tremendous disappointment to millions of teachers who have been repeatedly given less while being asked to do more. It comes at the expense of Texas public education, and the time has long since passed for us to reverse our course.

Unless the Legislature is willing to take it upon itself to act, our schools will remain grossly underfunded and underserved. I will continue to work with my colleagues to meet the court’s challenge in addressing our “Byzantine school finance system” by offering real, full-day Pre-K, restoring the disastrous $5.4 billion spending cuts from 2011, and finally giving our teachers the tools they need to foster growth in our classrooms. Texas ranks 38th among the 50 states in per pupil funding. Our kids deserve better.

The fight for quality and equitable public education did not end with this ruling. This cause will endure until every Texas child has the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.”

Duncanville’s Entrepreneur School Graduates First Class

Duncanville Entrepreneur School

Duncanville Evaluates Future Of Entrepreneur School

DESOTO—Recently the Duncanville City Council included an agenda item for discussion to take a look at the future of the EON Reality Entrepreneur School after the graduation of its first class. Staff had requested Cliff Boyd give the presentation about upcoming developments. Boyd is the EON Reality Entrepreneur School Advisory Committee representative for the City Council.

It was on October 24, 2014 that the City of Duncanville and EON Reality entered into an agreement for the creation and management of the Entrepreneur School within the city.

Duncanville Entrepreneur School Graduates Seven Students

Boyd said the Duncanville entrepreneur school has been holding classes for one year. The first class just graduated with seven students completing the program.

“Four of the seven were extended offers to work for EON in Duncanville,” Boyd acknowledged via email. “We need to continue to make the opportunity more visible to the public.”

Boyd said that this year there were 80 applicants for the 20 slots available at the school.

“The EON Corporation is very pleased with the first year and happy with high quality applicants for the next class,” Boyd explained. “New clients working with the center include Parkland and UTSW.” Boyd said diabetes education is an area that has also shown much interest by the medical community.

“Graduates receive a certificate of certification in Virtual Reality software development,” he explained. “Our efforts to bring EON to Duncanville should be viewed as planting seeds for future growth of economic development, retaining higher skilled labor resources and high tech support for businesses in the Best Southwest Cities.”

Advisory Committee Role

To keep the Duncanville City Council appraised of the school’s success the Advisory Committee is slated to convene by conference once every month during the first year. Thereafter, quarterly meetings will be held to keep each party to the school’s agreement while also making certain each party is aware of the Entrepreneur School’s activities.

Updates by all parties involved also serve to confirm that coordinating the ongoing collaboration between the City of Duncanville and EON Reality stays on focus while also reviewing and exchanging all information relating to specific projects, reviewing and approving significant contracts, identifying problem areas and preparing respective solutions. The meetings are an ongoing way to review and comment on the Entrepreneur School’s annual budget. This is when they will approve all investments and contracts in excess of $20,000.

The Duncanville City Council voted for Boyd to represent the City of Duncanville on the EON Reality Entrepreneur School Advisory Committee.

With the school located in Duncanville he believes, “We will see higher paying jobs for those who live and work in Southwest Dallas and Ellis Counties.”

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