BROADWAY AT THE BASS: Casa Manana released its schedule for its Summer Broadway at the Bass series over the weekend, and the thought that immediately jumps to mind is that each show also has a tie to some other incarnation. Three of the five (Little Shop of Horrors, Legally Blonde and Grease) were also successful movies. Always … Patsy Cline has the obvious connection to country music. And Dame Edna, who brings his/her First Last Tour to town in June, is so ubiquitous at this point that theater is just one spoke in Barry Humphries’ multipronged media attack. DFW.com has the dates, but disregard the bit at the top about Legally Blonde making its “DFW debut” in August. The show will move to Fort Worth after a late-July run at the Dallas Summer Musicals.
You can argue that this is theater designed to attract people who don’t consider themselves theatergoers. Or, more likely, the target is the spouses and friends of regular theatergoers who are more likely to tag along if they have some familiarity with what they are going to see. With things the way they are in the economy, it sounds like a solid strategy — cast a wide net and you’ll bring in a bigger haul. Save those critics’ darlings for a season when people are more likely to have extra cash to spend on tickets.
DALLAS TO JAPAN: Victor Godinez over at The Dallas Morning News catches up today with Brian Ashcraft, a Lake Highlands High School grad living in Japan who has written a new book about the country’s arcade culture. The coffee-table book, Arcade Mania: The Turbo-Charged World of Japan’s Game Centers, gets into how the public playing of arcade games reaches near performance-art levels.
“There is the spectacle aspect where players practice a game like, say, Dance Dance Revolution and go to the arcade to, in a sense, display their skills. Some players often practice in their neighborhood game center and get amazingly good before daring to play and show off at famous arcades in Tokyo,” Brian tells the paper.
Reading the interview, it got me thinking about when video games will be taken seriously as works of art. The online journal Contemporary Aesthetics has a heady paper written on the subject that makes a pretty good argument for games to be viewed as part of the arts landscape. I can’t think of a good reason why they shouldn’t be, but I’m open to discussion if anyone sees things differently.