Archive for October 2009

REVIEW: No Lion, Fantasy on Stage at ATC

by Joy Donovan on October 25, 2009

Just in time for Halloween, Artisan Center Theater has staged a theatrical fantasy in “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” complete with princesses, furry forest creatures, dancing birds, a roaring lion and a wicked witch.

Based on the story by C.S. Lewis, the play by Joseph Robinette is set in the mythical Narnia. It’s an imaginative tale that can be taken at face value or alternately seen as a Christian story of sacrifice and redemption.

The play centers on four children, sent to England to avoid the bombings of 1940s Europe. While in the home of a kindly professor, the children accidently enter an old wardrobe to find themselves dreamily transported to Narnia. There they encounter fairy-tale characters who lead them on adventures ranging from sword fights to visits from Father Christmas to a pretty impressive magic trick.

Artisan Center Theater has produced this show with a large cast, featuring a mix of adults in many of the anchor roles, with children filling other parts, both large and small. Narnia is ruled by Jadis, the evil white witch who only allows winter but never Christmas, played suitably imperiously by Elizabeth Price.  Randy Sarver as the loving lion, Aslan, conveys a kind quality to a hero, even as he roars, and Teri McHargue, as Mrs. Beaver, brings an added energy and fun to the cast of characters.

In their featured parts, the four children are all adorable, although their body microphones, noticeable on their small faces in this intimate setting, detracted from their performances. A scene stealer is Sadie Leyva, a tiny cutie, entrusted to deliver numerous lines, all of which she handles ably with a flash of expressive eyes set in a precious face.

Since ACT’s plays are staged in-the-round, this production presented a particular challenge. The set, which included even the floor of the stage, required frequent changes for the production’s many scenes. But props could not be changed, as quickly as needed, giving the show a bit of a stop-start feel.

Even though the cast features many children and the play includes elves, dancing robins and cute mice, this is not a show for very young children. It’s dark, and its good-versus-evil plot could even seem frightening to the very young.

Yet it remains a family show that surely could be enjoyed by older elementary school children, their parents and grandparents. Those fans of imaginative stories such as “Star Trek” or Harry Potter will warm readily to this adaptation of Lewis’ stories. And for those who share a fondness for fantasy, complete with capes, sword duels and forest fairies, this is just your ticket for Halloween drama.

The show, directed by Taffy Geisel, will continue through Nov. 14 at Artisan Center Theater, 418 E. Pipeline Road, Hurst. and 817-284-1200.

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North Tarrant County Alpha Phi Alumnae Charter Meetin

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2009-11-02

Location: 1321 Montgomery Lane, Southlake

Start Time: 7:00 pm
Description: All Alpha Phis in North Tarrant County are encouraged to establish this new alumnae organization. For more information, contact Laural Dawson at

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A Night at Chef Walter Kaufmann\’s Old Swiss House

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2009-10-25

Location: The Vault, 525 Taylor Street, Fort Worth

Start Time: 6:00 pm
Description: A benefit, highlighting the cuisine of four chefs, to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Three-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. After dinner pink cocktails.646)-633-8311

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An Artists\’ Christmas

by Joy Donovan on October 24, 2009

Date: 2009-11-14

Location: Ridglea Country club, Fort Worth

Start Time: 6:00 pm
URL: Click here
Description: Gal that includes dinner, art auctions and entertainment hosted by Camp Fire USA First Texas Council.

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Vernon Wells Perfect 10 Foundation Charity Golf Tournament

by Joy Donovan on

Start Date: 2009-11-01

Location: four Seasons Resort, Las Colinas

End Date: 2009-11-02
URL: Click here
Description: Cocktail reception and golf tournament fundraiser for needy children.

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The Chocolate Ball

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2009-11-07

Location: Marriott Solana, Westlake

Start Time: 6:00 pm
Description: Gala fundraiser with dinner, dancing and auctions for North Texas SNAP. Tickets $75. 817- 514-0944 or 817-475-8724.

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Festival of Trees

by Joy Donovan on

Start Date: 2009-11-20

Location: Hilton Southlake Town Square

End Date: 2009-11-22
URL: Click here
Description: Greater Southlake Women\’s Society\’s holiday fundraiser including a luncheon, gala, tree lighting and breakfast with Santa. 817-251-9003

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Private Party Honors Hearty Donors

by Joy Donovan on October 21, 2009

Becki Newton, star of "Ugly Betty."

Becki Newton, star of

The American Heart Association’s outstanding Tarrant County donors from the 2009 Start! Heart Walk will be honored Saturday evening with a part at the Omni Residences in downtown Fort Worth.

Becki Newton, star of ABC’s Ugly Betty will be the guest of honor at “The Evening With the Stars,”  a champagne reception with Newton. The TV actress served as  2009 Tarrant County Start! Heart Walk Celebrity Chairman.  Becki is also the niece of the 2009 Heart Walk Chairman, Steve Newton, president of Baylor All Saints Medical Center.

Individuals who raised $2,500 or more for the Tarrant County walk will be honored at the private event, as will the 2009 sponsors of the Heart Walk. 

The Tarrant County Start! Heart Walk was held on Saturday, September 12 and, despite the rain, attracted 10,000 walkers and 80 companies.  The Start! Heart Walk in Tarrant County raised more than $1 million that will fund research for cardiovascular disease and stroke in the community.

 For more information on the 2010 Tarrant County Start! Heart Walk, check or call 817.698.5400.

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Good Things

by Joy Donovan on

Start Date: 2009-10-29

Location: Stage West, 821 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth

End Date: 2009-11-29
URL: Click here
Description: A comedy by Liz Lochhead, this show centers on Susan, a 49-year-old, whose life has hit a bit of a rough patch. Tickets $26 tp $30, with discounts for students and seniors. 817-784-9378.

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Not a Gold Watch, But a Car

by Joy Donovan on October 20, 2009

I can just hear the rumors now…”if you retire from GRACE, they give you a car.”


For those of you who don’t know it, is where you check out the truth to certain urban legends. But because I am a full-service blogger, I will save you the trouble. GRACE, the non-profit agency otherwise known as Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange, hosted its sixth annual black-tie gala Saturday night at The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.

Lovely affair…men in tuxedos…floral centerpieces…all the bells and whistles, you know…and a raffle. For a car. Anyone could buy a raffle ticket, including a certain former executive director. Even the founding director.

So when the winning ticket was pulled out of the hopper Saturday night…drum roll, please…it belonged to Tricia Wood, now the retired founding executive of GRACE. How nice of her to be wearing a red dress to match the red of her new Chevy Camaro.

For those not lucky enough to win the car raffle, there was plenty of entertainment at this party organized by co-chairs Darla Dennison and Shirley Schollmeyer. Besides being served a dinner that included both beef and shrimp, the very cool band Inside Out put on quite a show for our dancing pleasure. Seems a rendition of Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” was quite popular.

The dancing was preceded by the auction, of course, and no one worked harder at the auction than GRACE’s current executive director, Shonda Schaefer. While auctioneer Andy Dunning pushed bids into what should be a very successful fundraiser, Shonda was on her feet thanking bidders for their contributions to the charity dedicated to the less fortunate in Northeast Tarrant County.

Seen at the party were Robin and James Hall, Jack Fleming, Gayle and Glen Christensen and Judy and Tom Hund, this year’s winners of the Angel of Grace Award.

Even with Shonda reluctant to reveal just where the final numbers were for this fundraiser (and she was happy), the party must have been deemed a success. Plans are already underway for a 2010 “Angels Among Us” fundraiser.

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