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Wednesday Morning Roundup


by Stephen Becker 21 Jan 2009

IT’S A-O.K. AT THE DMA: The Dallas Museum of Art sends out a release saying, essentially, that 2008 was a banner year for the museum. Among the highlights: — More than 766,000 visitors passed through its doors on the strength of the King Tut, J.M.W. Turner and Olafur Eliasson shows. That figure is the highest […]

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IT’S A-O.K. AT THE DMA: The Dallas Museum of Art sends out a release saying, essentially, that 2008 was a banner year for the museum. Among the highlights:

— More than 766,000 visitors passed through its doors on the strength of the King Tut, J.M.W. Turner and Olafur Eliasson shows. That figure is the highest in the museum’s history.

— 6,000 new members joined in 2008, upping the total number of members to 25,000.

— More than 10,000 people a month have visited the new Center for Creative Connections.

ONE MAN’S JUNK…: So what’s the DMA doing with the bump in revenues it saw in 2008? Why, buying junk mail, of course. Austin artist Annette Lawrence has collected all the junk mail she received in a year, torn it into 2-inch strips and neatly stacked it month-by-month. Each stack sells for $10,000, and the DMA has already laid claim to December. The point of the project is two fold: to show how environmentally unfriendly all that wasted paper is and to draw attention to a Web site where you can opt out of much of that junk mail. Austin’s KXAN has video:

NO PICTURES, PLEASE: Patti LuPone has plenty of skins on the wall, having won just about every theater award last year for her portrayal of Rose in the Broadway revival of Gypsy. And, like a politician riding a landslide victory, she spent some of that built-up capital on the closing night of the show. About 30 seconds into the song “Rose’s Turn,” she stopped the song and absolutely berated someone in the audience who was taking pictures — a no-no that the theater repeatedly warns customers about. The crowd applauded, somewhat nervously, and then it was on with the show. What’s worse than taking pictures during a live performance? Probably secretly making an audio recording. In this case, however, I’m glad someone did. If you care to listen to a big-time Broadway show slam on the breaks to right a wrong, click here.

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  • Sarah

    On Annette Lawrence’s work: Why, oh why didn’t I think of that first?!?!?! $10,000??? Good lord.

  • It took more than crafty tailors to sell invisible clothes to the king. It took a gullible public.
    Here we have art that is horrible and no media will stand up to its invisibility. It has all the abuses of modern art: cold, disjointed, non communicative (the artist has to explain it) weird, elitist, technically poor, pompous and inflated, not functional, no breadth or scope. Time for a revolution in the arts – and the media who refuses to give fair and accurate reviews and comments.

  • Grace

    Despite the fact that the incident makes for a pretty good anecdote, I would have been extremely irritated by Patti LuPone if I had been in attendance for that performance of Gypsy. I might have a different reaction if I believed she was acting out of a concern for safety (the reason theatres prohibit flash photography during performances), but nothing she said in her tirade supports that idea. To halt a performance for reasons stemming from anger or ego is highly unprofessional, diva behavior. She talks about respect and it’s an important point, but it’s a two-way street. Just as an audience should be respectful of performers for all their talent and hard work, so too should performers be respectful of an audience who have committed to the experience with their time, their interest, and their pocketbooks, and who deserve to be able to enjoy a show performed as close to 100% as it can be.

  • Comment on the Patti LuPone piece. Why isn’t the Village Voice liable to bootlegging charges for making money off bootlegged performances – the tape.