WHAT’S OLD IS NEW IN RICHARDSON: Ever tried (or even heard of) encaustic painting? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either. But a little research tells me that it’s an ancient technique in which pigment is added to melted wax to create a paint. After the hot paint is applied and cools, it can be manipulated to produce an interesting finish. If that sounds like something you’d like to try, get thee to the newly opened Encaustic Center in Richardson. The center is the brainchild of artist Bonny Leibowitz of The Bonny Studio and encaustic painter Deanna Wood. In August, the center will display the Waxy 100, an exhibit of 100 encaustic works. If you want to get a better feel for what encaustic is all about, try and make it out to the opening reception on Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.
TAKE A SECOND LISTEN: If you’ve taken in a Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra concert in the last 10 years or so, you’ve heard concertmaster Michael Shih perform. And if you were really lucky, you heard him play the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ Violin Concerto at Bass Hall in 2007. Didn’t make it that night? Don’t worry – you’ve got another chance now to hear it as it was recorded for Shih’s new CD, The Composer’s Voice: Music by Gabriela Lena Frank and Kevin Puts. The disc also includes Puts’ Symphony No. 3, Vespertine (after Björk) and Frank’s Elegía Andina and Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout. The CD sells for $15 on the FWSO Web site. Another quick tidbit about Shih – he plays a 1710 Antonio Stradivari violin on loan from a Fort Worth couple.
STOPPING THROUGH TOWN: A pair of touring productions kicked off their North Texas runs this week. In Fort Worth, Casa Manana presents Little Shop of Horrors as part of its Broadway at the Bass series. Reviewing for dfw.com, Punch Shaw calls it a “highly polished production” that is, “outstanding on almost every front.” Meanwhile in Dallas, A Chorus Line is dancing all over the Music Hall at Fair Park. Reviewing for dallasnews.com, Lawson Taitte admits he’s not the biggest fan of the show to begin with, preferring a story in which there is more interaction among the cast. Still, he writes that the touring production, “has restored the show’s vivid energy and sharp characterizations, and it makes nearly as good a case for the piece as possible.” UPDATE: NBC 5 sends along a link to a story reporter Ellen Goldberg about a surprise performance that took place during the intermission of last night’s Little Shop of Horrors. Folks from Fort Worth’s Hangman’s House of Horrors hopped onstage and performed a three-minute version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” complete with zombie getup. You can watch the video here.
ETC.: Plano Community Theater is prepping for its summer garage sale. If you’ve got something you’d like to donate, drop it off at the theater. … Johnathan Tyler tweets a link to some cool behind-the-scenes photos from his recent tour.