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Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that listhere.

1. U.S. Gymnastics Championships come to Fort Worth ahead of 2024 Paris Olympics. For the country's top gymnasts, the road to the Paris Olympics will run through Fort Worth next year: The 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships will take place at Dickies Arena, May 30-June 2, 2024. The four-day men's and women's competition will crown national champions and determine the members of the U.S. National Team who will then compete at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Minneapolis, June 27-30, 2024.

2. Fort Worth neighbor booms as 6th fastest-growing U.S. college town, report says. Fort Worth might be one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., but there's one North Texas city that's outdoing it in a different category of population growth. A new study by university scholarship website BrokeScholar has deemed Denton the No. 6 fastest-growing college town in the country.

3. RSVP to the 13 must-attend galas and fêtes in Fort Worth this fall. To borrow the oldest pun in the checkbook, philanthropic events are putting the "fun" in "fundraising" around Fort Worth this fall. With themes like "Disco Cowboy" (Cowtown Ball), "Rewind to the '90s" (Behind the Mask), and "Out of this World," (Monster Mash), who wouldn't want to RSVP to every gala and soiree this season?

4. Fort Worth chef Hao Tran plots new gourmet grocery for Magnolia Ave. A new grocery store and take-out food market is coming to the Near Southside, courtesy of one of Fort Worth’s most well-known chefs. Called Hao's Cho Bep, it’s a new concept from Hao Tran, who earned acclaim in Fort Worth foodie circles for her dumplings, and will open in early 2024.

5. Wondrous wine shop in Fort Worth's Sundance Square salutes the ladies. A new wine spot has opened in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square – one with the ladies in mind. Called Wines From A Broad, it's from popular Fort Worth chef-restaurateur Dena Shaskan, and features wines made entirely by women winemakers.


French pastries' debut tops this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this long Labor Day weekend? Find that listhere.

1. Bodega in Fort Worth is the first in DFW to get these French pastries. There's a new croissant coming to town, and it will make its first appearance in Fort Worth. A startup called Patissery does classic croissants, pain au chocolat, and the viral "supreme" croissant rolls, all debuting at Bodega South Main on Saturday, September 2.

2. 4 North Texas cities unlock top-10 spots on new list of best U.S. housing markets. When it comes to places to buy a house, you can't do any better than North Texas. So says WalletHub's highly anticipated 2023 report on the best real estate markets in the U.S. Four cities around Dallas-Fort Worth made it into the top 10, with one suburb capturing the No. 1 ranking.

3. These are the 7 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week. Live music paired with themed cocktails is on the menu this week, as Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. This week also kicks off college football season, and there’s a tailgating party and grilling class just for the occasion.

4. Japanese restaurant in north Fort Worth serves sushi with a colorful edge. A new Japanese restaurant has opened just west of old town Keller, with sushi, Japanese food, and robot servers: Called Takara Wok, it's located at 5301 Golden Triangle Blvd., and is a spinoff of Takara Japanese Restaurant, which opened at 3088 Basswood Blvd. west of Watauga in far north Fort Worth.

5. Top Fort Worth pitmasters to join lineup at 2023 Texas Monthly BBQ Fest. For Texas barbecue fans, chasing down the best can be daunting. A good way to sample the BBQ scene is the second annual Texas Monthly BBQ Fest, the meatopia hosted by Texas Monthly magazine, slated to blaze into Lockhart, Texas, on November 4-5.

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Hottest new bars top this week's 5 most-read Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that listhere.

1. Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 8 new bars to hit in August. Fort Worth’s new bar scene is as hot as the weather, as a slew of new drinking destinations has opened in recent weeks. Here are eight new (or newly revitalized) bars to cool off with a cocktail this month - including a long-awaited champagne bar.

2. Award-winning Fort Worth restaurateur debuts one-of-a-kind new Italian. Fort Worth restaurateur Belen Hernandez has already won awards for her Mexican vegan concept Belenty's Love Mexican Vegan Restaurant, and now she is expanding into a new cuisine: Italian. Belen and her son just opened Vida Cafe, at 3522 Bluebonnet Cir., where they're doing vegan versions of Italian food.

3. Popular Dallas sushi spot expands west with new location in Grapevine. A Dallas sushi favorite is expanding west: Oishii, which has been a destination for sushi fans for nearly two decades, is opening a location in Grapevine. The restaurant will open at 401 E. SH-114 in September.

4. Smoothie Factory debuts new concept first in North Richland Hills. The Smoothie Factory chain is opening a new kind of location, one that will make its debut in Dallas-Fort Worth. The new concept is called Smoothie Factory + Kitchen, and the first ever location will open in North Richland Hills, at 8517 Davis Blvd., in the fall.

5. These fast-growing Dallas-Fort Worth companies earned spots on the 2023 Inc. 5000 list. Hundreds of Dallas-Fort Worth companies have experienced explosive revenue growth over the last few years, with one such business landing near the top of the prestigious 2023 Inc. 5000 list. One Coppell-based company, Green Light Distribution, ranked No. 4 nationally.

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DFW population boom tops this week's 5 most-read Fort Worth stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that listhere.

1. Dallas-Fort Worth population headed toward staggering milestone by 2028. Fort Worth drivers, prepare to share the roads with nearly a million more people. A new analysis predicts Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington's population could cross the 8 million threshold in the next five years, swelling to nearly 8.5 million total residents.

2. Luxury furniture store debuts first Texas outlet at hottest spot in Grapevine. A popular retailer of high-end, artisan-crafted furniture and decor has introduced a new concept to Texas by way of Grapevine: Arhaus The Loft, an offshoot of Arhaus, opened at Grapevine Mills on June 30. It has nestled into the hottest spot in the mall, in the city, in all of Tarrant County - next to Meow Wolf.

3. Californians moving to Fort Worth can save nearly $500,000, new study finds.Does it seem that Californians really are everywhere in Fort Worth? Here's why: Money (of course). A new report by online storage finding platform StorageCafe has revealed just how much money the average Californian saves by taking on the title of "transplant" and relocating to Texas. In some cases, it's a near half-million-dollar move.

4. Indian street food joins restaurant mix at buzzy new Fort Worth center. An Indian street food concept is coming to Fort Worth: Curry Up Now, a chain from the West Coast, will open a location in the growing North City development at Alliance in North Fort Worth.

5. Cool off from Dallas-Fort Worth's hot summer with cheery Christmas in July events. It's beginning to look a lot like - well, nothing resembling Christmas around Dallas-Fort Worth. But local bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues are hauling out the holly anyway for "Christmas in July" events because here, in the sweltering days of July, we need a little Christmas right this very minute.

Photo by Joey Garcia

Local BBQ restaurants sizzle in this week's 5 most popular Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that listhere.

1. 3 Fort Worth restaurants make best new BBQ list by New York Times. The New York Times has shined its spotlight on the new faces of Texas barbecue. Fort Worth-area spots that make the list include Goldee’s Barbecue, Smoke ‘N Ash Barbecue, and Vaqueros Bar-B-Q.

2. Major opening and a surprise re-set top this Fort Worth restaurant news. In Fort Worth dining news, the top items include a new restaurant opening with a high-profile chef, and a surprising reset of a restaurant in Grapevine. There's also sweet summer menu activity and a must-have limited-edition collection of cookies.

3. Bluebonnet country estate built by renowned Texas architect blooms on market for $5.95 million. Off a Brenham highway and up a winding dirt road that meanders through wildflower fields sits The Citadel. This historic venue, once conceived as a golf course — and later reimagined as a private residence — sits on 48 acres and is currently on the market for $5.95 million.

4. Paris Baguette brings croissants and sweet things to buzzy Arlington center. International bakery-café Paris Baguette is bringing sweet things to Arlington, with the opening of a new location in the Arlington Highlands mega-shopping center at I-20 and Matlock Road. The bakery will reside at 4000 Five Points Blvd. #101, in a former Sleep Experts place.

5. Over-the-top Barbie party will turn Southlake theater into glittery pink paradise. We've been living in a Barbie world since the first whispers of a Greta Gerwig-created Barbie movie were uttered years ago. The film that has since sparked a viral fashion trend and caused a global shortage of pink paint is finally opening July 21 - and a Southlake theater is inviting fans to step inside a real-life Barbie dream world on opening weekend.

Photo courtesy of Crescent

Luxe new hotel with TV chef checks into week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that listhere. Best Fourth of July events and fireworks are here.

1. Fort Worth's luxury Crescent Hotel to open with restaurant and TV chef. A new luxury hotel in Fort Worth's Cultural District is opening with a brand-name chef: The Crescent Hotel, the new property from Crescent Real Estate (Ritz-Carlton, Dallas) that's debuting in late summer, will open with two restaurant concepts led by Executive Chef Preston Paine.

2. Downtown Fort Worth bar reveals new speakeasy and party spaces after $4 million renovation. One of Fort Worth’s pioneering craft cocktail bars is nearly ready to reveal the results of a $4 million facelift: Thompson’s Bookstore has renovated and expanded across all four floors of its home in the historic Vybek building, at 900 Houston St., downtown. New features include a reimagined underground speakeasy, plus a private event space and cigar bar on two floors that have not been used for 70 years.

3. Hot dog restaurant made famous on Real Housewives opens in Fort Worth. A TV-famous hot dog joint from Atlanta has debuted in Fort Worth: The Original Hot Dog Factory which you may have seen featured on BRAVO’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, has opened a location at 6318 Hulen Bend Blvd. next to the AMC movie theater with an expansive menu of hot dogs of all kinds.

4. Upscale Asian restaurant debuts in historic downtown Fort Worth hotel. An Asian fusion/sushi restaurant from Dallas has arrived in Fort Worth: Called Musume it has opened inside the Sandman Signature Hotel at 810 Houston St., where a release promises it will provide an unrivaled Japanese dining experience.

5. Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper castle in Waco goes up for auction. Hear ye, hear ye: The most famous castle in all of Texas is seeking new owners. By royal decree (aka Facebook post), renovation king and queen Chip and Joanna Gaines have revealed that they're auctioning off the historic Waco castle that they spent years rehabbing and made the focus of a special Fixer Upper series on Magnolia Network.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

These are the 12 must-see shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for December

Theater Critic Picks

It's here: holiday show time. Many of them opened at the end of November, so we're including them here for your planning ease.

Whether you're looking for something family-friendly, a play the in-laws will love, or a performance that has nothing to do with the holidays at all, read on.

In order of start date, here are 12 local shows to watch this month:

Jada Bells - A Holiday Extravaganza
Uptown Players, through December 10
Dallas drag performer Jada Pinkett Fox, aka Lee Walter, will show off her charisma, stage presence, and voice as she brings her unique blend of glamour, humor, and talent to the stage. Jada will be joined by musical guests, each bringing their own flair and style. The holiday-themed extravaganza, written and directed by BJ Cleveland, features classic holiday favorites and contemporary hits.

Black Nativity
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, through December 17
For 19 years, Bishop Arts Theatre Center's annual holiday production of Black Nativity, inspired by Langston Hughes's iconic 1960 Broadway show, is back with a mesmerizing display of hand-clapping, toe-tapping, and finger-snapping theatrical wonderment like never before.

Poor Clare
Stage West, through December 17
Meet Clare: a stylish teen living in medieval Italy, trying out the newest hairstyles, and keeping up with the latest fashions and juicy town gossip. But everything changes when she meets a man named Francis who has started ranting in the streets. Her mother, sister, and maids don’t understand it, but this man’s ideas are, like, totally starting to make sense – and now she can’t unsee the world he has shown her.

Scrooge in Rouge
Theatre Three, through December 17
After a widespread case of food poisoning wipes out the majority of The Royal Music Hall Twenty-Member Variety Players, three surviving members of the company soldier on through a performance of A Christmas Carol that abounds in bad puns, naughty double-entendres, and witty songs.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dallas Children's Theater, through December 23
Rediscover the true reason for the season while sharing laughs with the Peanuts Gang along the way. Accompanied by a live combo, Charles Schulz’s classic special will make audiences nostalgic for days gone by.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical
Casa Mañana, through December 23
Based on the best-selling book and play by Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical is the story of the Herdmans, who are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, they steal, they bully other kids, and they smoke smelly cigars. There used to be only one place where you’d never see them: church.

A Gospel Black Nativity
Jubilee Theatre, through December 24
Black Nativity is an adaptation of the Nativity story by Langston Hughes, performed by an entirely Black cast. Hughes was the author of the book, with the lyrics and music being derived from traditional Christmas carols, sung in gospel style, with a few songs created specifically for the show.

A Christmas Carol
Dallas Theater Center, through December 30
Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, and to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future. Brimming with joyful songs, magical spirits, and holiday cheer, this holiday classic embodies a story of joy, redemption, and the spirit of Christmas.

Safe at Home
Kitchen Dog Theater, December 7-10
An engaging and provocative site-specific work designed to be performed inside a baseball stadium, the second-ever professional production of Safe at Home examines the complex intersection between baseball, politics, and the American Dream. Lead by tour guides, pods of audience members travel throughout the stadium to nine different spaces, ranging from a luxury suite to the men’s room to the dugout, as the patrons — not the cast — move from scene to scene.

Theatre Three, December 7-31
Without a success to his credit for some years, Sidney Bruhl receives a new potential hit script called Deathtrap that was written by his student. Sidney plots with his reluctant wife Myra about how best to plagiarize the play and the evening takes a hilarious and dangerous turn.

The Cher Show
Broadway at the Center, December 14-16
Superstars come and go but Cher is forever. The Cher Show is the Tony Award-winning musical of her story, and it’s packed with so much Cher that it takes three women to play her: the kid starting out, the glam pop star, and the icon.

Les Miserables
Broadway Dallas, December 20-31
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, the production tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption — a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. The epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history.

Director Todd Haynes tackles inappropriate relationships in May December

Movie Review

Director Todd Haynes has pushed buttons throughout his career, starting with his acclaimed short film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, which used Barbie dolls to illustrate the late singer’s anorexia battle. He’s at it again with his latest, May December, which tackles the idea of highly inappropriate relationships through a lens that itself has the potential to be upsetting.

Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), an acclaimed actress, has traveled to Savannah, Georgia to shadow Gracie (Julianne Moore) in preparation for a movie in which Elizabeth will play Gracie. That movie tackles the beginnings of Gracie’s relationship with Joe (Charles Melton), when he was a 13-year-old seventh grader and she was a 36-year-old pet shop worker. The shocking tryst resulted in much controversy, a child, and a jail stint for Gracie, but the couple professed their love for each other through it all.

Twenty years later, they’re still together, having added two more kids to their family, children who happen to be the same age as Gracie’s grandkids from her previous relationship. Elizabeth wants to experience it all, bouncing from person to person to try to understand exactly who Gracie is and was. Striving for authenticity in her performance, however, soon takes her down a Method acting rabbit hole.

Directed by Haynes from a script by Samy Burch, and loosely based on the story of teacher Mary Kay Letourneau and her 12-year-old student, Vili Fualaau, the film treats Gracie and Joe’s relationship in a relatively straightforward manner. It details a benign life in which they have the love of their kids and some neighbors, even if they occasionally get a box full of poop on their doorstep.

It’s the arrival of Elizabeth that sends things spiraling, as her various conversations trigger responses from both Gracie and Joe that they seem not to expect. Haynes alternates between being serious and being campy, with not enough of each for either for them to seem to be the goal. The score gives off a less-than-serious vibe, and an early scene in which a mundane thing is treated as if it were happening in a soap opera points in the campy direction, but those type of moments are few and far between.

In casting Portman as the obsessive actor, Haynes may have been trying to offer up echoes of her Oscar-winning role in Black Swan. It’s no small irony that the person who comes off as the most craven in such a sordid story is the actor who everybody wants to be around, not the woman who became a pariah because she is a sex offender. In that and other ways, Haynes upends expectations, keeping the film interesting even through its slower moments.

Portman and Moore are ideal for their respective roles, Portman because she has a knack for portraying confidence and guile, and Moore due to her ability to manipulate at will. Melton, best known for playing Reggie on Riverdale, pales in comparison due to his less showy role, but he complements the story well. Special notice goes to Elizabeth Yu as Gracie and Joe’s daughter Mary, who shines in her limited scenes.

The story of May December contains elements that will creep certain viewers out, whether it’s the subject matter itself or the performances of the two great lead actors. Haynes has a way of getting under the skin with his storytelling, and this film is yet another great example.


May December will debut on Netflix on December 1.

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in May December

Photo by François Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in May December.