{ARTS}
Lord of the Dance

Think of it as a gift from Houston, of all places. Ben Stevenson, acclaimed artistic director of the Houston Ballet since 1976, has arrived just in the nick of time to save North Texas dance. He was actually set to retire. But as the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet renamed itself Texas Ballet Theater, Stevenson changed tack and signed a three-year contract to direct the group through its growing pains. The multiaward-winning director and choreographer (National Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Paris Opera Ballet, Joffrey) brought with him his best dancers from Houston and some from out of state, so the results here should be triumphant. The season began in October with Stevenson’s own choreography, the light and airy Coppélia. He will choreograph the Nutcracker, of course, and then round out the season with Four of Hearts in February and the reflective and weighty Peer Gynt in April. We’ll be on our toes. —Christina Rees

{TELEVISION}
Queen of the Desert
Denise Lee was not a POW in Iraq. But she plays one on TV.
by Brittany Edwards

Denise Lee was a bit disoriented on the set of her first made-for-television movie. Much of the shooting took place on Lamar Street, near downtown Dallas, just blocks from Lee’s alma mater, Franklin Roosevelt High. Except Lamar had been covered with tons of dirt, a two-story-tall poster of Saddam Hussein hung on a building, and Lee was wearing Army desert fatigues. Plus she was suffering from gunshot wounds and a broken femur—at least her character was.

In her national television debut, Lee plays 30-year-old Shoshana Johnson, the woman captured with Private Jessica Lynch after a devastating ambush en route to Baghdad. For the filming of Saving Jessica Lynch, producers turned part of Lamar into the Iraqi city of Nassiriya. For an actress living in Garland, it was the role of a lifetime. But Lee isn’t letting it go to her head.

“I don’t want to be controlled by Hollywood,” she says. “I’m not about to go off to LA to seek my fame and fortune. I realize that I may not get a lot of work here, but I love Dallas. I love the acting community here and would never want to leave.”

That’s good news for us. Lee has a weekly gig singing at Bill’s Hideway, and her regular work on stages all over town is getting more attention. This month, Lee is up for two Leon Rabin awards— for outstanding performance by an actress in a leading role in the musical and play categories.

“This has been a very big year for me,” Lee says, reminding us that she also added “recording artist” to her resumé recently with her debut album, Someday, Now—which she hastens to add can be purchased at www.deniselee.net. Girl’s gotta work hard to stay away from LA.

The Leon Rabin awards will be presented November 3 at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts. Saving Jessica Lynch airs November 9 on NBC.

TRENDSPOTTING: SHOP TILL YOU GET CAUGHT

Seems shoplifting is the hot new pastime. Former KDAF-TV Channel 33 weatherman Glenn Moray was arrested in August for swiping $347 worth of wallets from Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center at Grapevine Mills Mall. Then, in September, police picked up Highland Park socialite Brooke Stollenwerck Aldridge for five-fingering $2,000 in merchandise from the NorthPark Neiman’s. Here’s what other cool kids are stealing, by neighborhood:

NEIGHBORHOOD/STORE

ITEM

MOTIVATION

 

Highland Park

Jimmy Choo

 

$1,000 pair of Lillys

 

Forgot they were on her feet

Uptown

Starbucks

Grande skinny double

soy capp., extra hot

Bad hangover

Frisco

Sam Moon

Made-in-China

chandelier earrings

Running late

to pick up kids at soccer

North Dallas

Costco

Mandalay sling patio

dining set

Needed a patio dining set

Garland

Home Depot

Lutron 600-watt

dimmer switch

Tired of wife nagging about

broken dimmer switch

East Dallas

Carnival

Tripe

Bad hangover

Balch Springs

Green Acres Feed & Tack

 

Magic Horse hoof balm

Couldn’t afford manicure

{HEALTH}
Government Excess

A month ago, Dallas City Councilman Mitch Rasansky’s doctor finally told him enough was enough. He can stop losing weight. Since having gastric bypass surgery last year, Rasansky has lost 167 pounds and 22 inches of waistline. The best part? The 67-year-old says he no longer has to shop at Dallas Tent and Awning. Since he’s reached his ideal weight, about 175 pounds, he plans to support the economy by investing in a new wardrobe. “Now I can hit Neiman’s, Nordstrom—all these stores I haven’t been into for years.”

{PLUMBING}
The Coolest Bathroom in Town

By now you’ve been to the new Nasher Sculpture Center. Perhaps you attended one of the black-tie events that celebrated its opening last month. And perhaps while there, you freshened up. Or saw a man about a mule. Did you notice anything special about the bathroom? When architect Renzo Piano designed the bathrooms, he specified standard-issue white tile for the walls. Ray Nasher, though, wouldn’t have it. Late in the process, Nasher decided the bathroom walls should be made of the same gorgeous travertine that graces the museum’s display bays—at considerable expense to himself. The rich materials and understated design of the fixtures make even the water closet at the Nasher a work of art.

Not Your Average JFK Documentary
On the 40th anniversary of the assassination, KERA shows us how modern-day news coverage started in Dallas.
by Adam McGill

Every November in Dallas, someone dusts off the Za-pruder film to talk about John F. Kennedy’s assassination. But KERA’s gripping new documentary, JFK: Breaking the News, explores how that day changed the way history is recorded.

November 22, 1963, was the birth of live television coverage, at a time when people still relied on newspapers for their news. Bob Schieffer was a Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter at the time. As he says in the documentary, “In those days, it was the printed word that told you, ‘This is official.’” Schieffer, who later became the host of CBS’ Face the Nation, recalls the confusion and competitiveness among reporters covering the event, including the day his paper ran a front-page picture of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald, scooping the Dallas Morning News with a picture that a News photographer had snapped. Jim Lehrer, who was a Dallas Times Herald reporter, remembers scrambling to write headlines for the afternoon paper as JFK landed at Love Field. Archived footage shows Peter Jennings and Dan Rather among the reporters who crammed police hallways. Writers trying to file stories literally fought for access to phones. Cameramen and their bulky equipment wreaked havoc.

 

THE LOST JFK TAPES

When Kennedy was shot, KLIF, then at 1190 AM, was the big radio station in town. Many other stations across the country picked up KLIF’s news coverage that day. The original tapes of the broadcast are somewhere in the National Archives—though no one is certain exactly where, due to a bookkeeping mistake.

Enter Steve Eberhart, a longtime Dallas broadcaster and custodian of www.historyofklif.com. Long story short, Eberhart has the only available and complete copy of the KLIF broadcast. On November 22, Reelradio.com will rebroadcast that audio in its entirety, beginning at 11:30 a.m. and running through 10 p.m., continuously, unedited.

  Featured on the tapes are first reports from the KLIF newsman on duty at the time of the assassination, Gary DeLaune, and station owner Gordon McLendon, who co-anchored the day’s coverage.

In addition, during the week leading up to the broadcast, Reelradio.com will feature an on-demand audio program produced by Eberhart that details behind-the-scenes activities at KLIF while the story unfolded.

 

The hour-long documentary, narrated by Jane Pauley, combines modern-day interviews with local broadcast coverage provided by the Sixth Floor Museum to examine how the news got told. The newsrooms of 1963 look quaint by today’s standards. Reporters, often seen smoking on camera, dragged in whomever they could find to interview. Officials would start press conferences—and then start them again once all of the cameras were rolling.

Members of the media weren’t just covering history; they were a part of it. While at the Star-Telegram, Schieffer got a call from Marguerite Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother. She needed a ride to the police department; Schieffer obliged her. When Jack Ruby’s sister was brought in for questioning, she would talk only to a media person she felt comfortable with. She chose a weatherman. At Oswald’s sparsely attended funeral, several of those who were reporting it served as pallbearers.

JFK: Breaking the News puts the coverage of the JFK assassination—Zapruder film and all—into a whole new perspective. It premiers November 19 on public stations across the country and will be available on VHS and DVD.