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Monday Morning Roundup


by Stephen Becker 15 Feb 2010

LISTEN UP: A lot was made of the lipstick red outside of the Winspear Opera House when it was unveiled way back in October. But, like people and donuts, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And to read Scott Cantrell’s review of the Dallas Opera’s Cosi Fan Tutte, it sounds like the top-flight acoustics […]

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LISTEN UP: A lot was made of the lipstick red outside of the Winspear Opera House when it was unveiled way back in October. But, like people and donuts, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And to read Scott Cantrell’s review of the Dallas Opera’s Cosi Fan Tutte, it sounds like the top-flight acoustics live up to the building’s exterior. “At the Winspear, sung recitatives have all the inflections of real-life speech. Every whispered pianissimo, from both singers and orchestra, is clear as can be. Without pushing, a chorus of 18 fills the hall with sound,” he writes. Meanwhile, over on theaterjones.com, Gregory Sullivan Isaacs digs the Monte Carlo setting for Mozart’s romantic comedy.”Nothing that goes on seemed shoe-horned into the concept,” he writes. If you missed Cosi Fan Tutte over the weekend, it repeats this Thursday through Sunday.

MEMENTOS OF A JOURNEY: Have you made it out yet to the new Fort Worth Museum of Science and History? If you’re planning a trip over there, be sure to also stop into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame right next door. The Cowgirl Museum has just unveiled “Georgia O’Keeffe and the Faraway Nature and Image,” a co-production with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. The exhibition displays many artifacts from O’Keeffe’s rigorous travels in search of just the right image to capture. You’ll have a new appreciation for what it took to make some of her iconic paintings once you see the rudimentary camping gear she used. Gaile Robinson hits the show’s highlights in her dfw.com review.

PLAYTIME: What are the most important American plays? So glad you asked. The Denver Post recently posed that question to 177 theater professionals – directors, actors, playwrights, critics, etc. – and came up with an insightful list of the 10 most important. Death of a Salesman tops the list (which you’ll be able to see courtesy of the Dallas Theater Center in April). Of the 10, only Angels in America (No. 2) and Fences (No. 10) were written in the last 50 years. So does that mean the quality of writing in the American theater is slipping? Or does it just take a really long time for a work to take its place among the classics? Discuss.

AND WHILE YOU’RE DISCUSSING THOSE PLAYS: Coincidentally, Troy Camplin has a beef — in a rare arts-related op-ed in the DMN‘s Points section — about our theaters’ selection of plays here in North Texas. He argues they’re not staging ones by local playwrights — like him. Mostly, anyway. And that, he believes, is what distinguishes a theater center like New York from Dallas or Fort Worth. It’s probably a bit more complicated than that, you think? Actually,his complaint is worth reading just for the comments.

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  • On the Top 10 plays: I agree more or less with Tony Kushner. The fact that Glengarry Glen Ross, Hurlyburly and Sweeney Todd aren’t on the list is a crime. What’s more, Angels in America and Our Town are the only stylistically adventurous ones chosen. Otherwise, Big Ponderous Realism rules. Which is my complaint about Fences. I admire August Wilson, but it’s his most flat-footedly realistic and predictable drama. I’d pick Ma Rainey or Joe Turner over it.

  • Lex Luthor

    May I suggest that an arts blog “for North Texas and beyond” might should have writers who don’t assume as a matter of course that it’s readers would have to plan “a trip over there” for events and places in Fort Worth.

    Some of us don’t live in the Arts District of Dallas.

  • Nothing wrong with the quality of writing in America. It means the mainstream is missing the good plays. They boycott all zines – that’s thousands and thousands of indie publishers – the best work being published in the world, so why would anyone expect them to be aware of the best plays written in the world.

  • It probably is a bit more complicated than that. As are most things involving human beings. But it was worth it to get people thinking — and to get the comments — don’t you think?