NORTH TEXAN CLAIMS OSCAR GOLD: We’re lucky living in this area that we were able to see just about every film that won an Oscar before last night’s telecast aired. The exceptions are the surprise winner in the foreign film category, Departures, and the winner for best documentary short, Smile Pinki. That’s a shame, as Smile Pinki was directed by Megan Mylan, a graduate of Highland Park High School. The film documents the work of The Smile Train, an organization that repairs the cleft palates of poor children around the world. You may have seen Mylan’s previous film, 2003’s The Lost Boys of Sudan, an excellent documentary about the plight of young Sudanese men who are driven from their home by war. It won an Independent Spirit Award.
ADVICE FOR THE DALLAS OPERA: So how should the Dallas Opera go about finding a replacement for outgoing general director George Steel? The organization has had a run of bad luck in getting people to stay around a while as Steel was the third director to leave in the last 10 years.
Why not get some outside advice? That’s what Scott Cantrell did for a story this Sunday in The Dallas Morning News. Three administrators with decades of opera management experience among them were quizzed for the story. A suggestion was made that maybe someone with local ties would fit the bill. But when the question was put to the two most likely people, it was met with a no comment (from Dallas Opera director of artistic administration Jonathan Pell) and a “I have no intention of leaving” (from Fort Worth Opera General Director Darren K. Woods).
Can’t hurt to ask, though.
A SPLIT DECISION ON MORK: Robin Williams decended on Grand Prairie on Friday for a stand-up concert at the Nokia Theatre, and the critical opinion’s vary on the quality of the show. Reviewing for the DMN, Joy Tipping writes that Williams, “proved utterly fearles” on a variety of topics and, “took sharp aim at politicians past and present.” Meanwhile, at DFW.com, Preston Jones says of Williams: “much of the 57-year-old comic’s trademark manic energy was on display, but the material just couldn’t quite match it.”