Welcome to Best & Worst XVII. Yes, it’s our 17th annual roundup of the sordid and the superb; the glorious and the grungy; the good, the bad and the really, really bad. If you think about it, years are like bottles of wine, each with its own subtle character. You remember, of course, that heroic 1990 L’Express from Chateau Nolan-an enduring marvel, a winner all the way. And who can forget that bitter, foul-smelling ’87 Hilltop Scandal from Clements Vineyards? That was by far the most disappointing year on record, with an ashen aftertaste of defeat brought on by the NFL strike and the Cowboys’ collapse. Now 1992 joins the 16 other vintages in the Best & Worst cellar. This odd year saw two presidential candidates emerge from Dallas: Ross Perot, the patriot entrepreneur who brought candor back to politics and renewed the hopes of millions; and Ross Perot, the secretive, petulant snoop who proved he couldn’t stand the heat in the kitchen. Perhaps the 1992 label should read: rich, healthy flavor of grass roots and Concord grapes, clashing with a distinct taste of something fishy. Of course. Best & Worst always takes you beyond the headlines. There’s always plenty to laugh at, like the worst loss, worst DART admission, worst valet parking and loudest restaurant. And we show you the lesser-known splendors of life in Dallas. Herein, you’ll find the best martini, flea market, kids’ computer class, art on a shoestring, sign of intelligent life and mucho more. So enough of wine. Bring on the champagne, and let’s drink to The Last Langhs: It’s Best & Worst Of 1992!
BAD: Perot repeated ad infinitum that everything he did was up to the “volunteers.” Then he quit the race without consulting any of them.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH THE FOURTH ESTATE
HMMM…A New York Times writer compared the Perot crusade to the rise and fall of the bizarre “Twin Peaks.”
OUCH! A New York Post writer called Perot “just another moral MIA” after he dropped out.
EEEK! The Nation greeted Perot’s return as the “Night of the Living Ross.”
MON DIEU! The New Republic called him a “bargain basement Bonaparte.”
HUH? The European dubbed him “the bat-cared tsarlet.”
AWARD HE MIGHT WANT TO RETURN
FAST: Perot, who won the Winston Churchill Award in 1986, always quoted the PM: “Never never, never give up.” After his July pullout, he never said it again.
LEST WE FORGET: A CAMPAIGN QUIZ
(answers at bottom of page)
Which one of the following did Perot not say?
A. “That’s just another one of those little fruit-loopy things.”
B. “This is Mickey Mouse tossed salad…this is, you know, just a fuzzball.”
C. “That’s just one of Jerry Lewis’ yo-yos.”
D. “It is Silly Putty, folks.”
E. “Ninety-nine percent of these stories are just elves floating across the ceiling.’’
(2) THE TANGLED WEB HE WOVE
Two of the following people were not involved in something Perot denied doing, saying or thinking. Which ones?
A. Investigative reporter-turned-private eye Charles Duncan
B. Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher Rich Connor
C. Former Dallas Police Chief Mack Vines
D. Dallas journalist Laura Miller
E. Texas Bush-Quayle Chair man Jim Oberwetter
BEST: Advisers Richard Fisher and Clay Mulford, Perot’s son-in-law. proved to be able and articulate spokesmen.
WORST: Crusty curmudgeon Orson Swindle and vacant veep James Bond Stockdale II raised doubts about Perot’s judgment.
DEBATE HIGHS AND LOWS
MOST EFFECTIVE: Asked about experience in the first debate, Perot adroitly replied that he had no experience in running up a $4 trillion debt, creating lousy schools, etc.
FUNNIEST: Perot said that if anyone had any better ideas, he was “all ears.”
BEST SOUND BITE : Perot warned of the “giant sucking sound of jobs being pulled out of this country” into Mexico.
BUBBLY: Perot accused Washington of being hooked on “Lawrence Welk music” (’”wunnerful, wunnerful”).
CLEVER: A listener to National Public Radio recorded a song about Perot to the tune of Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello.” (“Perot! Is il you I’m lookin’ for?”)
SMART: In the closing days, Perot showed a sense of humor by adopting the C & W classic “Crazy” as his theme song.
gutsy: Perot’s proposed gas hike, hilling .50 cents a gallon over five years.
gutsier: His plan to raise taxes on social security income.
most baffling: Perot floated multiple versions of his “electronic town hall” meeting. Maybe he just meant a Larry King show every night.
Name for a Political Ad best: One of Perot’s half-hour lectures was titled “Deep Voodoo. Chicken Feathers and the American Dream.”
Proof that Nobody Was in the Loop
BEST: Just days before Perot quit the race, campaign chairman Tom Luce said he expected “a quiet, internal week…I don’t anticipate any bombshells.” Ross, he hardly knew ye,
BAD: To justify bailing out in July, Perot I cited a “revitalized” Democratic party and his desire to avoid “turmoil.”
worst: Perot II later changed his story, saying he got out because Republican dirty tricksters were planning to disrupt his daughter’s wedding and print embarrassing pictures of her.
FATE OF A FAKE
GOOD: After confiscating 4,500 pairs of “copycat” tennis shoes, customs agents donated the footwear to local charities.
BEST: After he was exposed as a fraud on national TV and hit with myriad lawsuits, televan-gelist Bob Tilton had to reduce his operation, temporarily canceling his nationally syndicated Sunday show.
SLIP OF THE TONGUE
BEST: Addressing a luncheon group, DISD Superintendent Marvin Edwards said, “As the eighth largest superintendent in America-1 mean…”
BEST AMATEUR: Assistant City Manager Levi Davis chased a robber who held up the Dallas City Hall credit union. Davis wisely quit the chase when the man started shooting.
BEST PROFESSIONAL: TWO Dallas police officers chased a robbery suspect for blocks, then plunged into a duck pond and went swimming after him.
PROOF THAT NOTHING IS SACRED
BEST: On April Fool’s Day. Phoenix House didn’t hold its third annual Non-Event Gala. No speakers, no valet parkers, no tiaras-people just donate money to help mentally ill street people.
WORST: Thieves broke into a Richardson apartment and stole an urn containing a man’s cremated remains.
BAD: Some Lincoln High School officials faked a double shooting in a hallway, frightening students and teachers. Three police cars and an ambulance sped to the school, risking lives and wasting taxpayer money. What a great lesson for the kids.
WORSE: According to police reports, a Pearl C. Anderson eighth-grader refused a teacher’s order to stop throwing paper and go to class. After a hallway scuffle with three teachers, the boy was taken to the principal’s office, reportedly threatening the teachers’ lives along the way. In the office, the student muttered something else, and a moment later the teacher bashed him in the head with a blue plastic chair.
worst: The Dallas Morning News found that at least 185 DISD employees had been convicted of felonies, including murder, armed robbery and drug distribution.
DUMBEST: Trying to break a man out of jail, another man tied mountaineering equipment and a shotgun to a long string of sheets lowered from the seventh floor of the jailhouse. Problem: The inmate couldn’t squeeze through a 4x 10 inch hole he had chipped out. So he fired several shots at a shatterproof glass wall. That brought the jailers running.
PROOF THAT NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED
BEST: A deputy constable, working as a security guard for a nightclub, shot and killed a gunman who fatally wounded a patron. The constable, who was also wounded, was later fired for working at the club.
EFFORT IN A LOSING CAUSE
BEST: The full-tilt anti-Grand Prairie PR campaign mounted by Fairchild/LeMaster, crisis consultants, in an effort to land the Class I race track for Dallas. Funny, informative, a little dirty-great stuff.
IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS GONE
WORST: The annual Texas-OU blood ’n’ beer fest. Cool it, control it or kill it.
MOST LUCRATIVE: The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, under tight secrecy, moved tons of money to its new home on North Pearl Street.
MOST BIZARRE: A storage cabinet containing parts of several cadavers was accidentally delivered from UT-Southwest-em Medical School to a scrap-metal yard in West Dallas. Eager to calm future donors, a UT official said, “I just want to assure them that this is not the way they will be handled here.”
PLACE TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK
BEST: A Milwaukee doctor, visiting Dallas for a cardiologists’ conference, suffered a heart attack while addressing a group of heart specialists. The doctor lived.
BEST: Choice Cabs. Inc. posts this slogan on its cabs: “Live by chance. Ride by Choice.”
WEIRDEST: A cop was issuing a ticket when he noticed the driver signing a different name than the one he’d given at first. When the officer asked why, the man replied. “Because I have dope in my pocket.”
SADDEST: The tortured Von Erich family took another blow when Kerry Von Erich was arrested for trying to pass forged prescriptions for painkillers and tranquilizers.
ARGUMENTS FOR EXPANDING THE DEATH PENALTY
CASE #1: Several decapitated dogs were found in Balch Springs.
CASE #2: A man shot a puppy who had bitten him, tossed the dog over a fence and left him to die.
ANSWER TO FREUD’S QUESTION “WHAT DO WOMEN WANT?”
STRANGEST: Consider if you will Robert John Koch. Short. Fiftyish. Bad hair. Carrying more than a few pounds of excess suet. And yet this short unappealing doofus was able to romance hundreds of women all over the nation and swindle more than a dozen of them out of thousands of dollars! He was eventually busted and sentenced to 24 years in federal prison by Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, who also ordered Koch to return to his native Canada after his release.
PLANO CONDOM STORY
BEST: Some Piano parents sued the Piano Independent School District, trying to keep the district from offering condom demonstrations in its AIDS curriculum. The school district countersued. Guess you could say they were PISD.
POSSIBLE REASON WHY LUCILLE PICKED A FINE TIME TO LEAVE HIM
WEIRDEST: Singer Kenny Rogers allegedly asked an aspiring Dallas actress ]to call and leave très kinky phone messages on his recorder. She says she left one call, but claims that Kenny wasn’t satisfied with the kink-o-meter rating and asked her to up the wattage. She refused. Got to know when to fold ’em, Kenny.
PROOF THAT THERE’S ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE
BEST: The aspiring actress says she met Rogers through aging playboy Billy Bob Harris, who told her he’d be glad to introduce her to his ol’ buddy Kenny. She agreed to meet the bearded roast chicken czar in a I White Plains hotel room, sup-posedly to discuss a part in an upcoming Rogers flick. Alas. She alleges that ol’ Kenny I began to grope, fondle and aspire to all manner of carnal acts. She later filed suit against Rogers and Harris…It’s called a casting couch. Watch out for it.
REVERSALS OF FORTUNE
BAD: Despile a handsome bid package. Dallas was beaten out by New York for the Goodwill Games.
worse: Dallas, touted as Best Place to Do Business by Fortune mag in 1990 and second-best last year, didn’t even make the top 10 this time around.
still worse: The tax base dropped for the fourth straight year since peaking in 1988.
WORST: A bank robber police had dubbed “Cowboy Bob” turned out to be Cowgirl Bobbie instead. The woman, who took more than $22,000 from four banks, admitted that she had donned a lake beard and mustache, cowboy hat and boots to pull the robberies.
NEVER-ENDING EXPLOITATION STORY
BAD: Obnoxious talk-show host Morton Downey Jr. steamrollered Dallas County officials and won the right to broadcast his show from the “sniper’s perch” overlooking Dealey Plaza. Speaking of County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who opposed the request, Downey said: “I understand he’s arrogant and somewhat aggressive, and so, too, am I.” worst: A Florida man who owns the Jack Ruby pistol launched a scheme to sell bullets he tired from the infamous weapon. He hoped to sell 5,000 bullets at $495 a pop. If only he had thrown in a life-size Grimacing Oswald doll, they might have sold.
BEST: A Farmers Branch trash compactor operator won first place in the compactor division at the Solid Waste Association of North America Road-E-O. No, the losers weren’t crushed.
UNUSUAL CRIMES WITH…
BIRDS: When 25 of his homing pigeons were stolen, a local man wasn’t too worried. Once the thieves released the birds, he said, they would come flying home.
STRANGE WEAPONS: A man robbed a sandwich shop wielding a syringe that he said contained AIDS-infected blood. “Give me the money or I’m going to squirt you with this.” he threatened.
CIGARETTES: Former congressional candidate Kay Cohlmia, a smokers’-rights advocate, was indicted for selling black-market cigarettes and cheating the state out of $150,000 in cigarette taxes.
THE USUAL ESCAPED-SNAKE STORY
1992 VERSION: A 14-foot 120-pound python slithered to freedom from a Hurst pet shop. They caught him a day later. But where is little Barkey the Chihuahua? Here boy! C’mon Barkey, c’mon…
HAIRY:man and hairdresser to the stars Paul Neinast got into a fistfight with his partner right there in the salon. Paul had to leave town until his bruises healed.
BAD: In the aftermath of Guer-rerogate. Fort Worth mayor Kay Granger was also found to have granted herself an extra degree. For several years, her résumé included a master’s in journalism from UT-Arlington. Not so, Channel 5’s diggers revealed.
HANGOVERS FROM THE PAST
BAD: To Mayor Steve Bartlett’s chagrin, it was learned that he had 73 House bank overdrafts while he was a member of Congress.
WORST: Unknown cretins sprayed racist graffiti on a campaign sign for Judge John Crcuzot, homophobic taunts on signs for Judge Jerry Birdwell and anti-Semitic symbols on signs for state Senate candidate Florence Shapiro.
WORST BY A MUDDY MILE:
The Florence Shapiro-Ted Lyon demolition derby for Texas state Senate. The race started, and it was downhill from there.
GOOD: State Rep. John Carona invited people to get “in the gutter” with him. Not dirty campaigning-just a fund-rais-er at a bowling alley.
BETTER: Charlotte Mayes dubbed herself “2 Legit 2 Quit.”
BEST: Republican Steve Mas-terson, running against Democrat Martin Frost, vowed to make Congress “Frost Free in ’93.” He didn’t.
UNFAIR: A pattern of racial discrimination was revealed in the Dallas Police Department’s promotion practices.
UNUSUAL: Councilman Al Lipscomb was made an honorary chief by local Nigerian group Obowu Union. If Lipscomb visits Nigeria, he would have full powers of achief.
WINNER OF THE JOE MCCARTHY AWARD
MOST VICIOUS: U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson of North Dallas took to the House floor to denounce Bill Clinton’s college trip to Moscow, comparing him to Ho Chi Minh and accusing him of traveling “under the arm of the KGB.” Tail Gunner Sam didn’t have any proof, of course.
WINNER: While running for office, Councilman Glenn Box curried favor with gay activists, telling them he supported repeal of the sodomy statutes. Once in office, he staunchly opposed hiring homosexual cops.
STRANGE IN-BEN FELLOWS
BEST: After U.S. Rep. Dick Armey compared the Democrats’ long hold on Congress to Castro’s dictatorship, Dallas County Democratic party chairman Ken Molberg noted that Armey had 19 overdrafts of his own at the House bank. “That’s like the Mayflower Madame calling Hester Prynne a slut,” Molberg said.
WORST: The infamous Gen-nifer Rowers of Dallas revealed her physical-and mental-assets in the December Pentfwuse.
REASONS WHY WE CAN’T JUST GET ALONG
MISTAKE BY COPS: City Councilman Don Hicks was wrestled down and busted when he crossed a police picket line at a protest.
MISTAKE BY HICKS: He fanned the flames of racial unrest, say-ing his arrest was a “payback” for a previous incident and claiming that, as a city official, he could go anywhere he wanted.
MISTAKE BY JOHN WILEY
PRICE: The county commissioner criticized Hicks after the councilman opted for a peaceful settlement with the cops.
GOOD: State Treasurer Kay Bailey Hutchison of Dallas, echoing an Ann Richards quip, told the Republican Convention that the governor “can’t help it. She was born with silver roots in her hair.”
WORST: When President Bush visited the formerly drug-infested Mohawk Apartments in East Dallas, local residents were shut out. A pompous advance man ordered protesters off the property and out of the loop immediately, saying, “This is mine. 1 own it. Let’s move on.”
THE DART REPORT CARD
A+…for trying 10 help Dallas land a Class I race track. DART announced it would run no buses to Grand Prairie if the burb was granted the track.
B+-..for finally breaking ground on the rail line. We told you it would be in our lifetime.
D-…for admitting that its commuter trains to downtown (when the system is finally completed) will run much slower than cats. And you thought that “R” stood for “rapid,” right?
BAD: The Dallas movie classification board continued its schizophrenic ways when it filed suit to force the movie Sarafina! to carry a “not suitable” tag. When costly litigation loomed, the board backed off. as usual.
WORSE: Dallas and Fort Worth squabbled once more over repealing the Wright amendment and opening Love Field to more competition.
WORST: More racial trouble erupted over the prison issue, the police issue. DART, minority contractors…
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS STORY
GOOD NEWS: Council member Charlotte Mayes easily defeated her old nemesis Diane Rags-dale in a recall election.
BAD NEWS: The election, called for the most dubious reasons, cost the city more than $32,000.
REASONS PEOPLE HATH GOVERNMENT
#345: A Fort Worth county clerk continued to draw his full, taxpayer-funded salary while on a 9-month sabbatical at Harvard.
#346: Judge Craig Enoch’s secretary admitted she”d worked for almost three month’s on Enoch’s election campaign while being paid by the state. And a briefing clerk in Enoch’s office helped him finish some work on a master’s thesis. The judge was elected anyway.
WORST: In his new autobiography, Miracle Man, published by the Christian megafirm, Word Inc. of Irving, Nolan Ryan gratuitously brushed back NBA legend and HIV positive patient Magic Johnson. “I have a problem making a hero out of him because of AIDS… even though Magic was not gay, he wasn’t really an innocent victim because of his lifestyle.”
LONGEST: Peter Elkind, editor of the Dallas Observer, actually lives in Fort Worth. But hey. if George Bush can say he lives in Houston and Bob McElear-ney. the former leader of the Oak Cliff secession movement, could live in North Dallas, who’s to quibble?
NEWSPEAK VERB (TRANSITIVE)
WORST: Describing the fate of an accident victim, Channel 5’s Joyce Morgan said “he was CareFlited to Harris Methodist.’” We just hope he was EMS-ed en route.
PROOF THAT JOURNALISTS MAKE UP IN LUCK FOR WHAT THEY LACK IN CLAIRVOYANCE
BEST: Todd Mason, author of the first book on Ross Perot, left The Wall Street Journal because they wouldn’t let him cover Perot’s candidacy. He joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and signed on as a Perot consultant with ABC.
WORST: Perot quit the race.
BEST AGAIN: Perot got back in.
BUT NOT REALLY: Perot finished third.
BEST. Rival flight attendants have turned American Airlines’ corporate theme, “Based Here, Best Here,” into their own observation: “Based Here. Best Hair.”
MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING: American Airlines’ magazine division, which puts out American Way, also took over publication of Southwest Airlines’ in-flight, Spirit. Maybe that should be “Based Here. Best Hot Pants.”
TALES FROM THE ONLY DAILY PAPER IN TOWN, IN FIVE PARTS
(1) DEBUNKING OF THE MYTH OF THE FREE PRESS
BEST: Following the closing of the Dallas Times Herald, the Dallas Morning News increased its advertising rates 30 percent (and by the end of the year was ranked first in the nation in total retail advertising volume).
BEST HARDLY DESCRIBES IT: At the end of the third quarter 1992, A.H.Belo Corp. announced a tripling of net income compared to the same time in 1991, when the Herald existed.
(2) EMBODIMENT OF THE ANCIENT FEMINIST ANTHEM “I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME COOK”
BEST: The News added a “Woman” page to its Wednesday editions. First topic: topless dancing.
(3) A SILK PURSE IN A FAT NEWSPAPER BEST: Former Austin music writer and much-tattooed eccentric Michael Corcoran signed on as the News’ country music critic, which seemed about as likely as Tom Landry becoming a ballet instructor. Panning a Billy Ray Cyras concert. Corky wrote. “Two and a half hours with Mr. Achy Breaky Heart. That’s 15 hours in dog time.”
(4) THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU
BEST NOT BITING: Business columnist Scott Burns’ offering on Sunday. Sept. 6. titled “Homeowners’ lax break fading away,” advanced the iconoclastic notion (for the real-estate-cozy News) that buying a house might not be the deal it once was. It took the following two Sundays for Burns to come back to the faith: “Some shelter still exists on the home front,” the column’s headline read on Sept. 13. Then, a week later: “Renters take heart: It may be time to buy…even without the tax benefits.”
(5) SELECTIVE EDITING
MOST TYPICAL: The saga of GOP Sen. Phil Gramm’s Financial involvement with Dallas developer and S&L owner Jerry Stiles was the top page 1 story in The New York Times on Sunday, Nov. 29. The News cut the story by two-thirds and half-buried the remains on page 4 of the “National” section.
BEST: Channel 4 news broadcast explicit, uh, footage of a doctor who seemed to be performing oral sex on a male patient.
Dog Ate My Homework Story
worst: After Channel 5
anchor/overlord Mike Snyder was told that his overhyped series on JFK conspiracy “revelations’” was in fact based on information available in several books, he remarked, “There are so many of those books. I didn’t go back and research.”
FUNNIEST: Stolid Channel 8 anchors Chip Moody and Tracy Rowlett couldn’t contain their laughter after a live report from correspondent Valerie Williams, covering a winter storm in Amarillo. It was so cold, Williams could barely form words due to her frozen jaw. Later, Rowlett said the correspondent’s absurd predicament, not her report, was what caused the uncontrolled laughter, POINTLESS FEUD
WORST: In a station promo, radio station KDGE-FM made a reference to Butch Patrick, who played TV character Eddie Munster, saying the actor hadn’t been up to much since the hit series. Patrick, now a cellular phone dealer in California, complained. Former station manager Steve Allison said, “Sue me.” Patrick did, filing a $50,000 defamation suit. The whole thing wound up on “A Current Affair.’”
Food & Drink
BEST: Whether you enjoy glorifying gin or venerating vodka, just prop yourself up at the 8.0’s martini altar for a taste of their Beefeater ($5.30) or Monopolowa ($5.75) versions of the old favorite, served with one of the most unusual swizzle sticks around. 2800 Routh St. in the Quadrangle.
EGG MCMUFFIN SUBSTITUTE
BEST: Panino del Mattino, the Italian focaccia sandwich served for breakfast at Arcodoro, is the best thing to happen to breakfast since sliced bread. Try one with a cup of cappuccino for a new morning. 2520 Cedar Springs.
HAMBURGERS ON WHEELS
BEST: Instead of driving in to Keller’s Hamburgers, let Jack Keller Jr. bring his burgers to you. His Kellemiobile is stocked with all the fixin’s necessary to make Keller’s famous #5 chili cheeseburgers, tater tots, onion rings and french fries for all your friends. Prices start at $7.50 per person for an all-you-can-cat burger bash; there’s a S300 minimum (327-0736).
BEST: If you’re craving a taste of Manhattan but prefer not to wake up in a strange city, head for Baby Routh instead. Their Maker’s Mark Manhattan ($4.75) includes the optional dash of angostura bitters, a splash of vermouth and one and a half ounces of bourbon. 2708 Routh St.
FRESHEST: Trina Hay took her mother’s family recipe and started My Mom’s Cheesecake, churning out traditionally plain cakes so creamy they’ll never need toppings. 10153 Shore-view Road.
ATTEMPT TO SAVE A RESTAURANT
BEST: Patrons of Los Vaqueros in Highland Park Village launched a full-scale attack when it was announced that after 20 years the restaurant’s lease would not be renewed, After thousands of letters and phone calls, the verdict remained the same. Los Vaqueros relocated to Snider Plaza in December.
THE FOOD HALL OF FAME: THE BEST OF THE BESTS
CREME BRULEE: The Mansion on Turtle Creek, 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.
FRENCH FRIES: L’Ancestral, 4514 Travis.
CHOCOLATE TORTE: Mangia Italia, 6334 La Vista Drive; and The Quadrangle Grille, 2800 Routh St., Suite 180 in the Quadrangle.
FANCIEST MASHED POTATOES: The French Room (made with reduced cream and butter), 1321 Commerce in The Adolphus Hotel.
EXOTIC MASHED POTATOES:
The garlic mashed potatoes at Ali Baba Cafe. 1905 Greenville Ave.
POTATOES: Mama’s Daughter’s Diner, 2014 Irving Blvd.
The Grape, 2808 Greenville Ave.
BEAN SOUP: Mi Cocina, 11661 Preston, Suite 138.
MOST INTRIGUING SOUP: The pumpkin soup with green bananas at Carib-B. 2012 Greenville Ave.
FLAN: Gloria’s, 600 W. Davis.
NIBBLE: The fried parsley at Ewald’s, 2927 Maple in the Stoneleigh Hotel.
MILKSHAKE: Highland Park Pharmacy. 3229 Knox.
GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH:Theo’s, 111 S. Hall.
PIE: The peanut butter chocolate pie at Gennie’s Bishop Grill, 321 N. Bishop.
CHILE RELLENO: Matt’s Rancho Martinez. 6312 La Vista.
MARGARITA: Tres Generaeiones special at Desperados, 4818 Greenville Ave.
TACO: Primo’s, 3309 McKinney Ave.
BEST CHINESE: Lovers Eggroll. 5360 W. Lovers Lane. Suite 205.
BEST GOURMET PIZZA: MiseEn Place. 7011 Lomo Alto.
BEST MEXICAN: ZuZu’s, any location.
BEST ALL-ROUND DINNER TO go: City Cafe To Go, 5757 W. Lovers Lane.
BEST ITALIAN: Amore to Go, 6931 Snider Plaza.
FISH STORY WORST:
Five unfortunate patrons of Newport’s seafood restaurant suffered bizarre neurological symptoms after eating mahi-mahi. The culprit was ciguatera, a poison most often found in barracuda and amberjack. Newport’s swears it really was mahi-mahi.
STRANGEST: After their long and much-celebrated rivalry the past two decades, we never thought we’d see Gene Street and Shannon Wynne do anything together. Perhaps parenthood inspired The Big One, their new restaurant for kids on McKinney.
MUSIC TO DRINNK BY
BEST: The Balcony at the Lakewood Theatre mezzanine. With its lusty libations and soothing cocktail piano, this is the most civilized art deco setting in town.
DINNER TO DANCE BY
best: Wellington, with a live music lounge near enough for easy listening and separate enough not to destroy quiet tête-à-têtes at your table. 2408 Cedar Springs.
NEW YORK-STYLE DELI
best: Deli News at the Crescent with a how-do-they-do-it bewilderment of dishes, all the kosher dills you can eat and nonstop people-watching to boot.
BEST: Caffesorbetto. the slushy, slightly sweet frozen coffee that you drink with a straw-like a Slurpee for grown-ups. One of the best is at La Crème in Preston Center. 8220-B Westchester Drive.
MOST WELCOME: juniper’s chef Christian Gerber has single-handedly revived French food in Dallas. 2917 Fairmount.
TWIST ON A COFFEE-BAR-RESTAURANT
BEST: Cafe Society in Travis Walk with its great catalog of coffees, terrific food and choose-your-own-ambiance setting, from social to semi-secluded.
BEST: A lie: the immortal classic at R.J.’s Sho-Nul”, 3910 Maple Ave., and the almond -loaded variation at the
While Swan Cafe. 2307 Abrams.
best gourmet: The steak with four cheeses at Beau Nash. 400 Crescent Court in the Hotel Crescent Court.
BEST NEXT-THING-TO-A-PIZZA: The thyme pie at Ali Baba, an herb-and-oil drizzled, puffed pita that’s more than the sum of its parts.
MOST VIVID: Without a doubt, Tijuana Johnny’s is the loudest restaurant in town-visually. The bright purple and orange house with gingerbread trim is the architectural equivalent of a fat man in a plaid suit and a Hawaiian tie. At least you can’t miss it. 2621 McKinney Ave.
NEW FOOD HALL OF FAME: THE BEST OF THE NEWCOMERS
DOLMAS: Daytona’s, 7402 Greenville Ave., #220.
FRENCH FRIES: Paisley Palace, 6106 Luther Lane.
FINGER FOOD: Billy Blues’ fried jalapenos (ask for Lightnin’ Bolts). 2020 N. Lamar.
SOUVLAKI: The M Street Grill, 2014 Greenville Ave.
RESTAURANT TREND I
MOST QUAYLE-LIKE: There was . a niche a mile wide in Dallas for good family restaurants but The Big One. Pecan Grill, E-Z’s and Macaroni Grill are well on the way to filling it. All have at least two of the following: crayons, pizza, video games, free soft drink refills, wipable tables, coloring books and a main menu good enough for grown-ups.
RESTAURANT TREND II
MOST UBIQUITOUS: Roast chickens seem to breed like mice. In no time at all, it has appeared on virtually every restaurant menu in Dallas.
THE BEST: SCUTO, 2713 Elm.
THE WORST: La Madeleine.
THE MOST: Chicken Chicken, 5500 Greenville Ave.
BEST: The next thing you know, we’ll be eating ballpark quesadillas; the Mexican grilled tortilla sandwich has become as common as melted cheese. The smoked tomato que-sadillas at Caliente are a winner-juicy tomatoes, buttery avocado, sweet onions melded together with Jack cheese. 6881 Greenville Ave.
BEST: Javier’s. Super-fast and super-friendly. 4912 Cole.
BIGGEST RIP-OFF: The pay-up-front tactics at Del Frisco’s on Lemmon and Terilli’s on Greenville.
WORST: The Crescent. Face it-if you re going to the Crescent for anything, you expect to be pampered. You do not expect to have to park at the end of a line of cars, interrupt a talkative valet to give him your keys and then pay for it.
BEST: If you’re doing a theme parly for a thousand or want to send Texas-shaped gift baskets. this is not the place to call. Housed in an anonymous building in Deep Ellum. but catering to higher profiles. Food Company specializes in great food, beautifully presented and expertly served (939-9270).
BEST GREEK: Nick claims he only uses three eggs, but with feta cheese, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, this omelette should be reserved for those with Herculean appetites. Nick’s Cafe, 1733 Greenville Ave.
BEST PIZZA: Henry Street Pizza’s hand-tossed New York-style veggie variety, on regular or whole-wheat crust. 208 Henry St.
BEST BURRITO: Phil’s Natural Eats. Just one of the monster-sized black bean and Jack cheese burritos will fill you up. 2815 Elm.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE
BEST: Chocolate Oblivion at Sweet Endings. A triangle wedge of dense bittersweet chocolate, this is a chocoholic’s dream. No nuts or other frufru flavors to distract you from the sheer bliss of unadulterated you-know-what. 2901 Elm.
FONDEST: To Jack Chaplin, who sold his namesake restaurant, Chaplin’s, to private investors and will be moving on to other ventures. It won’t be the same without him.
Natchez’s Debris Sandwich, a pile of cole slaw on roast beef. Pick it up and eat it? Don’t even try. 2810 Henderson.
WITH RESPECTABILITY: The student/athlete-filled SMU football team finished the season 5-6.
WITH A NIKE CONTRACT: A sulking Donald Harris tried his pale imitation of Deion Sanders by switching from the Rangers (good prospect) to the Cowboys (big bust) back to baseball (who cares?) in a three-week span.
WITH ABSURDITY: Some Rangers players were quoted as saying that having so many Latin players hurts team unity. No, losing hurts unity, folks.
TELLING: Jose Canseco: “It’s more relaxed here [with the Rangers]. It’s an atmosphere I can relate to. In Oakland it was always win, win, win.”
best: After winning big bucks in arbitration. Kevin Brown became the first 20-game winner (21 -11 ) for the Rangers since Ferguson Jenkins in 1974.
worst: After hitting the jackpot themselves, Rafael Palmeiro and Ruben Sierra each saw their stats decline.
looming: With NFL free agency, the Cowboys face upcoming battles with Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman…
JUANDERFUL REASON TO EXPECT ’93 PENNANT
BEST: Gonzalez’s Ranger-record 43 homers led the majors.
worst: His lackadaisical defense led to an in-game benching by then-manager Toby Harrah.
JAMES DONALDSON SAGA
BAD: Former Maverick “7-foot punk” (Derek Harper said it, not us) Donaldson, who played like a wimp in games, grabbed Rolando Blackman around his neck during a practice.
WORSE: Donaldson surreptitiously taped a subsequent players-only meeting in which fences were to be mended and trust renewed. Not surprisingly, he was traded by season’s end.
BAD: The Mavericks’ humiliating 125-96 home loss in March to the lowly Sacra-mento Kings.
WORSE: The Cowboys’ humbling 31-7 defeat at the hands of the Eagles in early October.
DEPRESSING: In one stretch of 20 and a third innings. Ryan allowed just four runs but received no wins. Six times the bullpen came in and lost his lead. In nine of his starts, | they scored one or fewer runs. No wonder he ended up 5-9.
SURPRISING: Ryan and Oakland retread Willie Wilson screamed at each other as Wilson rounded the bases after a triple.
HEARTENING: The Express announced he would roll on another year.
COLLEGE: SMU football players dished out just deserts against Houston-who rubbed it in against the ponies 95-21 three years ago-by rolling over the heavily favored Cougars, 41-16.
PRO: The Cowboys had the last laugh as they thumped Philly in their rematch. 20-10.
SMU’s book-selling deba-cle. Hey, at least this involved textbooks instead of checkbooks.
SUGGESTED: DMN scribe Randy Galloway’s opinion that the Mavs should have tanked their final two games of last season to get better draft-picking position.
FUNNIEST: During a contract holdout. Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin instructed a group of pee-wee footballers on his local TV show to scream in unison, “Jerry, pay Michael!”
UGLIEST: Short-term Ranger outfielder John Cangelosi threw a kid’s baseball glove back in his face after unsuccessfully battling with the young fan for a foul ball.
LOST: Nate Newton. Jimmy Johnson and other Cowboycoaches showed up at training camp with significantly reduced paunches.
GAINED: Maverick Doug Smith showed up overweight at training camp for the second consecutive year.
WEIRDEST: Small-time track Trinity Meadows nearly winning the race for a Class 1 (big-time) horse track almost made Texas a racing-world laughingstock.
STUPIDEST: Small-time minds at Trinity Meadows banned first-class horse-racing reporter Gary West of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram because he wrote the truth about the troubled track.
WORST: Galloway’s preseason prediction that the Rangers would be World Series champs. Of all people, he should know better.
SURPRISING: A Bush (George W.) hired a Kennedy (Kevin). Even though it’s baseball, we never woulda thunk it.
BEST: Tom Grieve pulling off the Jose Canseco trade. Ay,caramba!
SURPRISING: Frank Luksa’s resurgence at the Morning News. After sleep-walking for years at the Times Herald, he’s finally churning out witty, in-sightftil, timely columns again.
USER-FRIENDLY AUTO REPAIR
CHATTIEST: While they change your tires, batteries and belts, the staff at Western Auto recommends Nick’s Cafe across the street for coffee and a bite to eat. They’ll even come and get you when your car is ready. 1704 Greenville Ave. (827-6391).
TAILOR FOR BUSY PEOPLE
MOST CONVENIENT: The Tom James Company serves lawyers in Dallas’ five largest law firms, and its 30 or so salespeople can weave their way to your office at the drop of a hat. This national company owns the factory that manufactures the clothing, so quality is controlled from beginning to end (385-0085).
BEST LOCALLY OWNED: The Heritage Shop has been suiting busy people’s needs for 15 years in the comfort of their clients’ own offices. The three salesmen each bring with them years of experience (385-8173).
BEST: Nicholas French expanded his practice as a psychotherapist and became a rolfer so that he could help people physically as well as mentally. Rolfing is like a massage that works the muscle to promote greater elasticity and freer motion. A 90-minute session costs $85 (357-7571).
WAY TO FOOL YOURSELF INTO THINKING YOU HAVE A NEW CAR
BEST: A good detail job will make your car look years younger. USA Auto Concepts gave us the lowest estimate by far-$85. For that price they buffed and shined the exterior, cleaned the carpets and the fabric and leather on the seats and made the interior sparkle. And most importantly, they put a dirty ragtop back on the road to godliness. 14807 Venture (243-0007).
REASON TO RIDE ENGLISH
BEST: With indoor and outdoor lighted arenas, and a friendliness and professionalism rare in the equestrian world, Sum-mertree Stables is well worth the drive. Lessons are $25 for a half-hour private, S25 for an hour semiprivate and $40 for an hour private. Group lessons are $20 an hour. 4400 Cross Timbers in Flower Mound (724-0060).
PUCE TO SEE SPOTS RUN
CHEAPEST: Sterling cleaners charges $1.25 per garment whether it’s a tie or a wedding dress. Although they don’t reweave or sew on buttons, their quality can’t be beat for the price. 4445 Lovers Lane (521-7676); 6301 Abrams (340-9992).
REASON TO KEEP YOUR CLUNKER
BEST DO-IT-YOURSELF: IF YOU can’t get through to Click and Clack, try Eastfield Community College’s continuing education auto mechanics course. James Carter teaches basic tuneups, brake repairs and the ins and outs of fuel and emission systems. The 12-week course is $102. 3737 Motley Drive, Mesquite (324-7113).
BEST SHORT COURSE:
Brookhaven Community College offers a $35 full-day course, “Ms. Auto Mechanics,” which gives tips on brakes, shocks, tuneups, fluids and “how to talk to a mechanic.” 3939 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch (620-4715 ).
KIDDY COMPUTER CLASSES
BEST: If you want your tot computer-wise by the time she’s out of diapers, sign her up at Futurekids, a nationally fran-chised school that teaches kids 3 to 13. Once-a-week sessions last from 40 to 60 minutes and cost anywhere from $50 to S88 per month. In Richardson at the University Village Shopping Center (918-9977) and in Piano at 2220 Coit Road, suite 550 (596-0515).
BEST: Before you toss your toaster, take it to The Casa Linda Fix-It Shop. In business for 39 years, they’ll repair toasters, irons, blow-dryers, lawn mowers and just about anything else, usually in a couple of days. They’re reliable and cheap, and if they can’t fix what’s broken, they won’t charge you a penny. 1426 B Garland Road (324-4168).
BEST: Send Errands Etc. out for an hour, and they can work wonders. During our test run, the owner made it to the butcher, dry cleaner, grocery store, florist and cobbler in 60 minutes. She not only helped plan a menu for a dinner but also thought of details such as candles, fresh flowers and cream for coffee. Errands Etc. will buy presents, wrap and deliver them, address anything from birthday cards to wedding invitations, meet the repairmen at your home, take your car in for repairs and pet sit. $25 an hour (691-BUSY or 906-6810).
CHEAPEST: Nails Now is the McDonald’s of manicures- $8.95 gels you the cheapest, quickest paint job in town, hands down. With 18 manicurists working at the same time, you’ll be in and out before you have a chance to pass out from the fumes. 6115 Greenville Ave. (890-9999).
BEST: If you’re looking for a decent selection of high-quality clothing with a Dallas theme or logo, head for Destination Dallas. The Galleria store sells mainly (non-Cowboy) Dallas sweatshirts, plus Dallas mugs and key chains. Second floor of the Galleria, close to Saks (404-0215).
BEST ACCESSORIZED: Condom Sense has pretty much the same selection of prophylactics as other emporiums, but it also features a variety of safe-sex paraphernalia-from condom costumes to phallus-shaped cookie cutters. 3609 Greenville (824-2444) and 2811 Elm (653-1108).
QUICK TRIP TO AFRICA
BEST: The Pan-African Connection Bookstore & Resource Center has art. jewelry, instruments and clothing, most of it imported from Africa. There are bead and wooden-disk necklaces, and rings, bracelets and earrings made of metal and shell. The store also has about 2,500 books on everything from African myths and legends to history, music and biographies. 300 S. Beckley Ave. (943-8262).
HELP FOR THE HASSLED BRIDE
MOST COMFORTING: Patsy’s Bridal Boutique doesn’t have the low prices of Mockingbird Bridal Boutique or the elegance of Neiman Marcus, but it’s a place where a bride can feel at ease. Bring in photos from bridal magazines and the friendly attendants will present gowns to fit your style. 4244 Oak Lawn (528-1227).
STUFF MADE HOWHAR BUT TEXAS
BEST: Jelly beans, J.R. cards and jalapeno jelly-all from deep in the heart of you -know-where-can be found at the General Store at Piano’s Fairview Farms. From potholders to potpourri, if it’s Texas-made, you’ll probably see it here. Central Expressway at Park Road (578-0089).
PLACE TO COME CLEAN
BEST: Cleaning Dimensions has the solution to all your household dilemmas. They have over 300 cleaning products, but the saleswoman insisted that most jobs require only two items-the natural cleaner and the lemon bathroom cleaner. She was right-we did floors, glass, wood and a bathroom with the natural cleaner, at a cost of only $5.39. Refills are available for most products. 3751 Forest Lane (247-5181).
FRAMES FOR FOUR-EYES
CHEAP: If you can wait a week for a great deal on chic eyeglasses, focus on SAM’s Club Optical Centers. SAM’s will place a new pair of Polo ($74.50-$109). Porsche ($139) or Liz Claiborne ($73-$95) frames on your nose in seven to 10 days. Early in ’93 they should be able to crank out single-lens glasses in one day. Several Dallas locations.
MUSEUM GIFT SHOPS
BEST FOR ART BOOKS:
Whether you’re looking for a book about Van Gogh or the art of the Greeks, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth has the edge. They also have a wide selection of note cards, calendars and even puzzles about art, architecture and design. 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, (817-332-8451).
BEST KID-ORIENTED: The Science Place in Fair Park knows what fascinates kids-magnets, models, mobiles, microscopes, minerals, movies and even munchies, like astronaut ice cream ($1.99) (428-5555).
OFFICE FURNITURE WITH A PAST
BEST: Take a seat. Or a desk. They’ve got those and more- including, on our visit, Greer Garson’s old office table-at The Benefit Store. We saw desks tagged from $35 to $3,000. And since the stuffs all been donated, the money goes to Children’s Medical Center. Delivery is extra and unpredictable, so you may want to bring your own truck. 7814 N. Central Expwy. (373-1235).
BEST MODERN: The Consignment Store offers gently used fine furniture, lamps, accessories and china on consignment as well as new market samples and discounted special-order upholstered furniture. Expect to save at least 40 percent over new retail. 5290 Belt Line (991-6268).
BEST OLD: If you’re looking for antiques, head for On Consignment, Inc. Rooms are piled with antique chairs, beds, tables, sofas, bookcases and desks- often at modest prices. A fashionably aged leather easy chair was $85. 2927 N. Henderson (827-3600).
BEST OF BOTH
WORLDS: Consignments Plus offers a healthy mix of antiques and used furniture. We found matching leather wing-back chairs ($950 the pair) and an oak dresser ($250). 160 Spring Creek Village, Belt Line and Coit (385-9462).
PASSAGE TO INDIA
NEAREST: Add masala (spice) to your life by browsing amid the Indian stores at Richardson Heights Village Shopping Center. Savor saffron pistachio ice cream at the Taj Mahal Imports grocery; marvel at the intricate designs at Arjan Jewelers: rent a Hindi movie, with English subtitles, from Atlantic Video; and feel the shimmering silk at Sari Sagar. At the corner of Belt Line and N. Central Expressway (234-3378).
BEST EURO STASH: Premiere-Video can set you up with Jean Cocteau’s classic Beauty and the Beast or any of its other 850 foreign and art titles. They stock movies from any country that makes a good film. 5400 E. Mockingbird (827-8969).
BEST OF THE BRITS: At Starlight Video, the emphasis is on British films, but there’s also a good selection of foreign films in genera! among the 700 titles. Starlight also offers over 350 war-related films and documentaries. 13380 Preston Road (702-9477).
BEST: The pinatas at Dallas Balloons & Party Supply in Oak Cliff are handmade originals. Pinatas in stock range from a $3.75 dinosaur to several-Toot tall characters like the Ninja Turtles and the Little Mermaid for $ 14.95. More typical Mexican designs are also available, and special-orders, which take about a week, are real bargains at $20. 121 W. Jefferson (942-4770).
PLACE TO ROPE A SHIRT, COWGIRL
BEST: If you’re already a Bea Harper fan or If you just love fashion with a Western flair, check out Keeling’s Samples extensive collection of these cotton shirts. Priced between $44 and $59, these Harper originals cost at least 20 to 30 percent less than those we’ve seen in local boutiques. 6760 Abrams at Skillman (503-1492).
BEST: Before crime or canines take a bite out of you. head over to Wald’s Police Supply. This is the place tor mace just like the Dallas Police Department carries. The best is the pepper-based stuff-it works both on attacking people and dogs. They’ve also got a selection of stun guns. 2206 Elm (748-1060).
FOREIGN-LANGUAGE BOOKS AND TAPES
BEST: If you want to read Crime anil Punishment in Russian or simply learn a new language. Imported Books is the place to start. Books in over 70 languages from Afrikaans to Zoque, plus a wide choice of dictionaries. 2025 W. Clarendon (941-6497).
BEST NEW: Borders bookstore redefines the idea of a chain with an extensive collection of titles that aren’t necessarily on the best seller list. It also has reasonably comfy chairs, a knowledgeable staff and an espresso bar. 10720 Preston Road. Suite 1018 (363-1977).
BEST NEW KIDS’: The Enchanted Forest may be die perfect children’s bookstore. With a train running along the edge of the sky-blue ceiling, grass-green carpet and a play-and-read area, this is a place that inspires the imagination. 6333 E. Mockingbird (827-2234).
BEST FOR SCIENCE NERDS: At Majors Bookstore, school texts for UT/Southwestern co-exist with Molly lvins and hardcover fiction. Since the store mainly serves doctors, there are plenty of business and travel tomes. Makes you feel smarter just being inside. 2137 Butler, near Parkland (631-4478).
BEST SELECTION: Although we had hoped to discover some earthy little store, let’s face it. Home Depot simply has the largest selection in Dallas. With recycling containers, rainwater canisters, garbage separators and compost bins, they get the green thumbs up award. 12 Dallas-area locations.
BEST OLD-FASHIONED: McKinney Market Days may not be as large as the famous Canton flea market, but they definitely have the small-town feel. Browse for Western tack, gardening gloves, furniture, iron skillets, glassware-you name it. Markets are held the Saturday and Sunday before the third Monday of each month. Five miles west of McKinney on Highway 380.
MOST UPSCALE: The Quality Antique Fair & Flea Market is full of treasures. Victorian picture frames, old books, vintage lace, furniture and costume jewelry fill Mesquite’s Big Town Exhibition Hall on the third Sunday of each month. Take 1-30 east. Hwy. 80 toward Terrell, and exit Big Town Boulevard.
PROOF THAT THE BEAD GOES ON
BEST: Beadworks is a bead-browsers dream, with a greatselection and affordable prices. Even better, the beads are displayed in open boxes so you can touch and feel your way through the store. 1420 Avenue K, Piano (881-2117).
CHEAPEST: Avant-garde designer Todd Oldham is the rage of New York. But the ex-Dalla-site still has his factory here on Motor Circle-and throws the town’s hippest sample sale every December and June. A typical find: Soft shirts with amusing buttons for $20 to $35; about a third of retail. To get on the list for notification of sales dates, call 638-2937.
BEST: If the glow of candles appeals to you. check out TheSample House. Any color, any shape, any size, they have it. 2811 Routh Street and 5 other area locations. (871-1501).
TOPPERS FOR YOUR LAMP
CHEAPEST: You’ll see your lamps in a whole new light after a trip to Texas Lamp Manufacturers Inc. They’ve got a huge selection of lamp shades in all sizes and fabrics, and will custom-make one for you or recover your old shade in two to four days. Twelve-inch shades start at $11.95. 3419 East Kiest Blvd. (943-4663).
BEST FITTING: To look good, lingerie has to fit well. You can ensure that by having it handmade at OMI Lingerie Design. OMI’s display of vintage skimpies can be reproduced in a variety of fabrics and colors. Or you can create your own design, such as a long gown of polyester-Charmeuse for $110 and up, or of silk, starting at S160. 2527 McKinney (871-3018).
BEST: The Barboglio sisters are known for their well-made. feminine clothing, The small store next to their factory offers blouses, skirts and pretty daytime dresses at prices that. while not cheap, are about half of retail. Example: a tucked-front heavy-cotton blouse for around $70. 1123 Conveyor (688-0020).
BEST KEPT: If you absolutely refuse to pay retail, Dillard’s at Forum 303 Mall prices most of its stock-from furniture to clothing-at discounts of 25 to 75 percent off. Much of the merchandise is returns from other Dillard’s stores, so don’t expect it to be current-season. We spent $300 on rust-quality menswear that would have been $1,200 at full price. Highway 360 and Pioneer Parkway, Arlington, (817) 649-0782.
Arts & Entertainment
SIGN OF INTELLIGENT LIFE
BEST: Last spring’s Arts & Letters Live series, which brought writers, playwrights and assorted literary types to the DMA for readings, was a surprise hit, with many events sold out in advance.
WORST: Ballet Dallas’ production of Carmina Burana at McFarlin Auditorium in which the accompaniment by the Dallas Symphony Chorus stole the show.
ALMOST AS BAD: The usually fabulous Fort Worth Ballet offered a filet mignon sandwich on white bread: It revived Bal-anchine’s 1957 Stravinsky-stunning Agon, but only after opening with artistic director Paul Mejia’s Sarasate, which proved to be a serious yawn.
SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL
BEST EXAMPLE OF: The City
Council couldn’t figure out how to handle Domingo Gar-cia’s call for 14-1 minority arts funding parity-a way to divvy up the city’s annual $4.3 million in arts bucks so that minority cultural interests would get their fair share. The resulting squabble simmered ^^M down in November when the council voted to split $100,000 from WRR-FM radio’s coffers among five minority arts groups.
ART ON A BIG BUDGET
WORST: The amateurish Shakespeare Festival of Dallas teamed with London’s Shakespeare Globe Restoration Project to stage a $ 100,000-plus fundraiser at the Meyerson. So much money, so little talent
best: Interestingly enough, the topless chorine in Tommy Tune’s touring The Will Rogers Follies at Fair Park’s Music Hall raised nary an eyebrow. Nor did anyone jump up and huff out when one of the men in the company made the most of his nearly nude Native American dance sequence. For a moment there, we thought we were on Broadway.
NEWS ABOUT THEATRE THREE
BEST: Instead of closing, the 30-year-old company came back from the brink of death to produce more of the sitcom-theater its crowds so dearly love.
WORST: See above. GANG OF ARTISTS
BEST: The Junior Players. Better known for their youth Shakespeare co-productions with the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, these theatrical upstarts began working with the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department’s Juvenile Gang Intervention Program last spring. They enabled 15 teens, aged 13 to 17, to stage their own real-life dramas. In July, their urban/social theater went to UCLA’s Campfire National Youth Leadership Conference and nabbed a standing ovation.
BEST: The Bert Shirt, by Dallas artist Albert T. Scherbarth, suitable for wearing or hanging on the wall. Each of his colorful hand-drawn and painted Ts is a signed original. $35 for a short-sleeved version, $40 for long sleeves (939-3440).
RUNNER-UP: Sue Benner’s Ts, featuring cartoony cacti, inspired by the flora of Big Bend. Also good are her geometric-designed Ts in bright Crayola colors. The textile artist paints and signs each shirt in fabric dye, so the colors don’t fade. Prices start at $40 (324-3550).
BEST: So vivid was Dallas catalog czar Roger Horchow’s childhood memory of finding composer George Gershwin in his living room playing the piano that Horchow up and produced the $7.5 million Crazy for You on Broadway, made up of old Gershwin tunes. It was an instant hit and opens in Dallas on national tour in May. “
NOT: A printer’s error , botched a Shakespeare Festival of Dallas’ tetter to patrons. They meant to say, “your contrib-ution was most generous and meaningful.” It came out, “your contribution was not generous and meaningful.” To thank or not to thank…
HAMBURGER IN DALLAS
BEST: Richard Hamburger, the Dallas Theater Center’s new artistic director, known for his adventurous programming at Maine’s Portland Stage Company.
MOST DISAPPOINTING: Unfortunately, Richard took one look at his Dallas subscriber base and programmed a timid 1992-93 season that is destined to look better from the box office than from the seats. cheesiest: Mr. Hamburger blithely appointed Melissa Cooper as DTC’s artistic associate and dramaturge in a Sept. 11 announcement that made no mention of the fact that Cooper is Hamburger’s wife.
ART ON A SHOESTRING
BEST: As small and unassuming as it was, Reveal: A Dream Tale with Music by Akin Babatunde was an interesting exercise in African-American music-theater worth following up on. It was the best entry yet from the Vivid Theater Ensemble.
ALMOST AS GOOD: Moonstruck Theatre Company positioned itself as one of our most adventurous companies, staging Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice, Charles Busch’s Red Scare on Sunset and with Acme Diversified The- atricals. The War in Heaven by Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin.
USE FOR PUBLIC ART
WORST: The Dallas Morning News reported last fall that the Henry Moore sculpture at City Hall plaza was being used as a public urinal. Citizens were aghast. So was Councilman Chris Luna. He didn’t know there was a Henry Moore sculpture at City Hall.
BEST: Suddenly, there was Matt Zoller Seitz, recent SMU graduate and critical wun-derkind, writing on film and other subjects for the Dallas Observer with bona fide acumen and a sense of style far beyond his years.
BEST: The Dallas Historical Society did us all a favor when it imported the Hermitage’s Catherine the Great exhibition. The only problem was the audio tape and film presentation that painted Catherine as a nice lady. Never mind the agonies of the peasants under her expansionist reign. What a man she was. Serfs up!
RUNNER-UP: Science Place. right across Fair Park from Catherine’s digs at the Centennial building, brought in The Etruscans: Legacy of a Lost Civilization. The Vatican Museum put together the artifacts of the Etruscans-and we all know what fine preservers of original art those fig-leaf dispensers have been for centuries. None dare call it abortive.
BEST: For the first time in 25 years, the Dallas Museum of Art cooperated with the Modern Art Museum off Fort Worth to bring us Photography in Contemporary German Art: 1960 to the Present. Maybe we could get the DMA folk to work a deal with the Fort Worth Ballet.
PROOF THAT DALLAS IS AN INTERNATIONAL CITY
BEST: DMA director Richard Brettell’s curating of a new exhibit. The Impressionist and the City: Pissarro’s Series, heads to Philadelphia and London’s Royal Academy of Art after leaving Dallas.
BEST EXAMPLE: Even
though the Addison Centre Theatre’s fresh interpretation of the prairie-classic Oklahoma! riled the feathers of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatre Library, it still proved to be one of the theaters’ most entertaining productions. ; Too bad die library folk refused to extend Addison’s contract- we guess art and ! Oklahoma don’t mix.
case of loneliness
worst: Elm Street’s Broad way-quality Majestic Theater got a spiffy new marquee. Trouble is. according to insiders, the place is having trouble getting bookings-too many arts companies going elsewhere, or going bus!.
ABSOLUTELY. POSITIVELY, NOT QUITE: The Dallas Morning News came out with its “Overnight” arts-coverage page in the Metro section. It look the paper more than a few weeks either to get its coverage up to actual overnight speed or to start stating in reviews when an event actually had been covered.
PROOF THAT IF WE BUILD IT THEY WILL COME
PART I: The Addison Centre Theatre got its shiny new theater facility-designed expressly for the flexible, environmental work in which artistic director Kelly Cotten revels- and then opened it with a production of The Illusion that just lay there and looked at us. No abra, no cadabra.
PART II: SMU’s Theater Division got its shiny new theater, thanks to the generosity of an ailing Greer Garson, and opened it with guest director Pamela Berlin’s illusion of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If onlyAddison could have borrowed some of the special effects.
Esperanza Hope Medrano R. L. Thornton Dallas Jackson Richard Chase Jem (“Play That Funky Music, White Boy”) Jackson Sean Earlev Tom Olson, KERA 90.1 Al Calkins Tom Powell Dallas Police Officers: Leslie Bedford. Billy W. Daugherty, Harold Munitions, John Paul Jones Field Scovell
Ted Dawson Danny Noonan Ruben Sierra Cinny Kennard Bobby Valentine Chuck Cooperstein Rolando Blackman Patrick O’Brien of Dallas Public Library
Joe Miller’s Casa Dominguez Cotton Bowl Pa rack-Blue Front restaurant Peregrine Gallery Allegro Dallas Andrew’s on McKinney Cardinal Puff’s Beverly Gordon Gallery