A Passing: Jac Alder

Jac Alder and Ken Villalovos (File photo)

Jac Alder and Ken Villalovos (File photo)

It was just this past January when Theatre Three  co-founder/executive producer/director Jac Alder stole the show at the Wyly for TACA’s presentation of checks to area performing arts. After receiving his $30,000 check, he headed back to his seat almost skedaddling away before his photo with the check and Ken Villalovos was taken. Luckily, Jac backtracked amid the laughter and had the photo taken.

But that was Jac. There wasn’t a stage that he didn’t make his presence felt. It was also the final appearance that many within the arts community will remember seeing 80-year-old Jac. He died Friday at Baylor from respiratory failure.

And the tributes from the performing arts community have already started pouring in.

TACA Executive Director Becky Young said, “Jac is /was a colleague who kept us honest. He taught each of us who came to Dallas (or to this work after he did) how the theatre scene in Dallas came to be…right down to where the buildings were located… Including under bridges.

“I saw ‘for colored girls’ and ‘little shop of horrors’ in his theatre. Both made huge, very different impressions.

“Jac led all of us toward the work of collaboration – long before it was the buzz word that it is today. He always took the time to help one understand where he thought our arts scene was on any given day. And, if he called you for coffee or breakfast you went because you knew you’d come back to your own work smarter and with more tools to work with.

“He never hesitated to share his perspective and each of us is the wiser and more dedicated arts professional for it.”

According to Dallas Theater Center Creative Director Kevin Moriarty, “Jac Alder was a friend to me, as he was to so many of us in the Dallas theater community. His death is a cause of great sorrow for everyone who loved him, but it is also an opportunity for us to reflect upon his life. Because of Jac’s remarkable leadership, Theatre 3 has provided outstanding art for our community for more than 50 years. His commitment to collaboration has been an inspiration to all of us, as has his love for artists and his steadfast belief that North Texas could support a great, thriving theater community. Theater 3 stands as an enduring testament to his artistic vision and the power of his belief.

“On a personal level, I will miss our lively conversations, often long breakfasts filled with Jac’s entertaining anecdotes, insights, wit and the positive energy and great warmth with which he inspired me and made me feel welcome from the moment I first arrived in Dallas. He is irreplaceable.”

The curtain may have come down on Jac’s life, but his love of theatre and his personality will continue on through those he inspired.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 5th Annual TAG Kentucky Derby

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

American Pharoah is on a roll with the Belmont up ahead. His start got underway at the Saturday, May 2nd Kentucky Derby with a bunch adorable gals and gents watching at Dallas’ Empire Room. Besides killer-looking fashions — hats, sunglasses, bowties and frocks showing off long legs — the guests were also fundraising for the Center for BrainHealth’s TAG.

Derby watching

Derby watching

The 5th Annual TAG Kentucky Derby post is being prepped, but the pixs can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery now!

JUST IN: Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Sunday And Monday Outdoor Concerts Have Been Moved To The Meyerson

If you were planning to head over to Klyde Warren Park on Sunday and Flagpole Hill Monday for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s “Salute to the Armed Forces” and “Memorial Day” concerts, respectively, change your plans.

Due to Mother Nature’s saturation of Mother Earth lately and still more predicted this weekend, the musicians, instruments and patriotic tunes will still take place. Only they’ll be in the Meyerson Symphony Center.

The concerts are still free, family friendly and open to the public. Sunday’s event starts at 8:30 p.m. and Monday’s concert will commence at 8 p.m. But it’s first come, first seated.

As for the scheduled fireworks following the concerts, you’re out of luck. They’ve been “canceled and will not be moved or rescheduled.” So, you’ll have to wait until Saturday, July 4, for flashes in the sky.

“Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?” Once Again Provides Surprises And Puzzles For Adult Panelists And Guests

Lucy Billingsley and Caren Kline

Lucy Billingsley and Caren Kline

Lucy Billingsley arrive at Frontiers of Flight Museum on Thursday, April 30, loaded for bear. As one of the adult panelist for the “Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?” competition, she had prepped warm-up questions for her team of Pastor Bryan Carter, Clay Jenkins, Steve O’Brien, Will Rose, Florence Shapiro, George Tang, Bernice Washington, Lucy Wrubel and Edwin Flores subbing in for Pauline Medrano. She did a trial run of her questions with Caren Kline:

  • What is a camel-hair brush made of?
  • Where are Panama hats made?
  • What is the color of a Purple Finch?

A couple of Lucy’s fellow panelists probably wished she had just said, “Drop and give me ten.”

Steve O'Brien, Clay Jenkins, Bryan Carter, Chris Brown, Lucy Wrubel, George Tang, Will Rose, Florence Shapiro, Edwin Flores, Lucy Billingsley and Bernice Washington

Steve O’Brien, Clay Jenkins, Bryan Carter, Chris Brown, Lucy Wrubel, George Tang, Will Rose, Florence Shapiro, Edwin Flores, Lucy Billingsley and Bernice Washington

On one side of the stage, the driving-age panelist were chatting up and looking pretty light-hearted and confident. On the other side of the stage behind the screen were the KIPPsters in their navy blue polo shirts and khaki pants getting revved up for the confrontation. It seemed as if the adults thought the questions would be throw-aways, while the kids appeared ready for bar exams.

From the left: Judah Foster, Yesenia Avalos,  Leslie Uribe, Lyrun Young, Romero Lucero, Damian Breedlove, Ailin Castillo, Saadiq Muhammad, Alexis McCain and Melody Munoz

From the left: Judah Foster, Yesenia Avalos, Leslie Uribe, Lyrun Young, Romero Lucero, Damian Breedlove, Ailin Castillo, Saadiq Muhammad, Alexis McCain and Melody Munoz

For first-time guests, the evening was filled with surprises. Why even those who had attended last year’s KIPP:DFW fundraiser were in for a surprise.

Quinton Vance and Lindsay Billingsley

Quinton Vance and Lindsay Billingsley

As guests literally filled the ground level tables after a VIP reception on the upper level, Event Chair Lindsay Billingsley and KIPP DFW Executive Director Quinton Vance welcomed the hundreds of guests and directed their attention to a stage in the middle of the room and introduced KIPPP Destiny Elementary Show Choir.

KIPP Destiny Elementary School Choir

KIPP Destiny Elementary School Choir

KIPP Destiny Elementary School Choir

KIPP Destiny Elementary School Choir

KIPP Destiny Elementary School Choir finale

KIPP Destiny Elementary School Choir finale

If the word “adorable” had a video to define it, The Kippies would be performing. They sang; they gestured; they should have been arrested for stealing everybody’s heart.

The evening could have ended right there and then and nobody would have complained at all.

But Jeopardy! two-time winner/emcee Chris Smith moved swiftly to the podium and introduced the two panels — the adults and then the KIPPsters (Yesenia Avalos, Damion Breedlove, Ailin Castillo, Judah Foster, Alexia McCain, Saadiq Muhammad, Melody Munoz, Lucero Romero, Leslie Uribe and Lyrun Young) — and started the quiz.

Panelists and Chris Smith

Panelists and Chris Smith

Anyone in the audience or on the panel thinking the questions would be softballs like “Mary had a little … a) alligator, b) lamb c) pain in her neck or d) pig?” went into cerebral shock.

Here are some of the questions that face the panelists:

Which of the following describes a result of the 13th Amendment?

  • African Americans in the North could vote
  • State governments were required to protect individual rights
  • Former confederate officials were prohibited from holding elected office
  • Africa Americans in the South could move elsewhere


Brett’s desk is 40 inches long. Given that 1 inch is approximately 254 centimeters, how many centimeters long is the desk?

  • 75 cm
  • 54 cm
  • 6 cm
  • 120 cm


The atomic number of an atom is equal to

  • The number of protons in the atom
  • The number of protons and neutrons in the atom
  • The number of protons and electrons in the atom
  • The number of protons, neutrons and electrons in the atom


Which of these keeps Earth in its orbit?

  • The rotation of the Earth
  • The gravity of the Sun
  • The revolution of the Moon
  • The gravity of the Moon


In the early rounds, it was looking pretty bleak for the Dallasites as they fumbled and grumbled. Finally, they got one question right and their fellow panelists did a wave to celebrate.

Adults celebrated getting a right answer

Adults celebrated getting a right answer

The kids, on the other hand, looked at the adults acting like kids.

Deb and Clint McConnough

Deb and Clint McConnough

After the first part of the quiz ended for a break, KIPP DFW Campaign Co-Chairs Deb and Clint McDonnough put a shout-out for guests to support and get involved “to provide children in underserved communities with a free, rigorous, high-quality education that offers the knowledge, skills and character traits necessary to thrive in school, college and the competitive world beyond.”

A moving point in the evening was when 2003 KIPP Truth Academy Founding 5th grader Jozlyn Hall told about her experience with KIPP. Thanks to KIPP DFW she went on to Texas Woman’s University, from which she would be graduating in seven days. But the KIPP connection didn’t end with her being able to study at TWU. She revealed that she would be teaching sixth-grade science at KIPP Destiny Middle School that opens this fall.

The evening ended with the lighting round that resulted in the KIPPsters once again taking home the honors.

Oh, were you wondering what the answers were to Lucy’s and the KIPP quiz? Don’t blame you. Follow the jump and the answers are there. [Read More…]

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The White Party Kickoff party*

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Leah Frazier, Cristina Barbe and Tara Null*

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Thrift Studio (File photo)

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Morgan Fairchild*

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Tony and Janet Dorsett (File photo)

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