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Thursday Morning Roundup


by Stephen Becker 15 Oct 2009

Add The New York Times to the list of national publications that has now weighed in on the Arts District’s two new buildings. Nicolai Ouroussoff writes in his review that the buildings “give the area the cultural stature Dallas has long been craving.”

CTA TBD

THE TIMES WEIGHS IN: Add The New York Times to the list of national publications that has now weighed in on the Arts District’s two new buildings. Nicolai Ouroussoff writes in his review that the buildings “give the area the cultural stature Dallas has long been craving.” But he doesn’t sound overly impressed with either of them. He says that the Wyly, “falls short of much of Mr. Koolhaas’s recent work, most obviously in the detailing.” He calls the Winspear “solid work” but has some nits to pick about its conservative design and cramped entry way. Still, he closes the review by saying the addition of the buildings is a, “welcome contribution to this city’s growing cultural district, helping to fill it out with the kind of strong, serious forms that can begin to give Dallas the cultural presence that it has never had.” It’s interesting to note that nowhere in the review do the words “Lincoln Center” come up. When everyone else is making the comparison, the guy who lives there didn’t find it relevant.

KEEPING BUSY: Putting out two albums in one year is yeoman’s work these days. But Denton’s Daniel Folmer is planning to do just that this weekend, when he releases Dead End, his follow up to January’s The Roaring Twenties. Hunter Hauk caught up with him over e-mail to discuss the differences between the two albums. If you want to hear the new songs live, you’d better catch ’em on Saturday at J&J’s in Denton. After that, he’s heading to Europe to play with the Paper Chase.

ART IMITATES LIFE: It’s a story right out of an opera – the people unite to oust their leader. So it’s interesting to hear that the same thing almost happened to former Dallas Opera head George Steel. The New York Observer reports that a group of former New York City Opera board members tried to form a coup to oust some members of the current board and replace Steel with Joe Volpe, the former head of the Metropolitan Opera. But it appears that Steel survived the (bloodless?) coup and will continue to be endorsed by the current board.

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  • Rawlins Gilliland

    It’s interesting to me, that more than half a century after I met Tennessee Williams after he debuted his latest work at the Margo Jones Theater, that I still hear from those in NY and elsewhere that Dallas craves’ to have a cultural legacy…or ‘culture’ at all.

    In real terms I know what they mean and they are undoubtedly correct. But as with anything relative to history in Dallas, ….where yesterday seems to have never existed and today is regarded as a raw frontier for anyone to name or claim w/o a reality check of any sort…. the reviews of this complex are by their own nature inevitably and ironically…..provincial. Like suddenly Dallas’ Mollie Brown tossed the big bucks for the Opry House.

    PS: Was it 1956 when Mother took me to see Maria Callas’ USA debut at the Dallas Civic Opera?

    Meanwhile, whether anyone can see it or not, between the stunning Audubon Center nestled into the 8000 acre Forest I traipse daily, or the grand complex DT containing the Nasher and Crow, etc and now this…and the bridge being built, etc., etc, against all odds, the future of Dallas is nothing but blazingly desirable from the standpoint of visual and sensory components. Take that to the bank if not the grave…. My home town Dallas is not a ‘thing’ or even a ‘place’; it’s a 21rst century note in a bottle ready to be read by anyone daring to scavenge the shore and look out to
    sea.

  • topham beauclerk

    He gives a mostly “meh” review, don’t you think? But maybe the most we can expect for Dallas from a right- or left-coast critic is praise with faint damns.

    One insight that has made me feel more warmly toward the Wyly came from Jeremy Weeks’ discussion with Richard Pilbrow, in which Pilbrow made it clear that the new theater is a direct heir of the old DTC shed: it’s meant to replicate that old space’s flexibility, but with much greater speed and ease. I really liked that shed and the work produced there. The Wyly’s industrial aesthetic echoes — in a very updated way — the old Arts District Theater, even down to the ridged facade. Of course, the new building must stand on its own, but for those of us who’ve been going to the DTC for the last 20 years, the connection to the old space is both informative and nostalgic.