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Meanwhile, Unhappy News in New York City …
by Jerome Weeks 23 Feb 2010

. . . Christopher Wheeldon, the famous choreographer and dance company director? The only major artist to create a world-premiere work for the opening of the Winspear Opera House in October? He just stunned the dance world by quitting the dance troupe that bears his name, Morphosis/Christopher Wheeldon, the troupe that came here. He and […]

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. . . Christopher Wheeldon, the famous choreographer and dance company director? The only major artist to create a world-premiere work for the opening of the Winspear Opera House in October? He just stunned the dance world by quitting the dance troupe that bears his name, Morphosis/Christopher Wheeldon, the troupe that came here. He and the executive director have fought over how many work weeks Wheeldon is committed to Morphosis vs. how committed Morphosis is to its dancers.

. . . and Douglas Carter Beane? The Tony-nominated playwright who wrote the very funny but somewhat empty book for the Dallas Theater Center’s world-premiere musical, Give It Up? (See our Think TV interview with him here.) His new comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Fitch, about married-couple gossip columnists (played by Jennifer Ehle and John Lithgow), just opened at Second Stages in New York. And it generally got pasted (by the NYTimes, by Backstage, by Variety).

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  • Topham Beauclerk

    It’s awfully generous to say that Beane’s book for Give It Up was “very funny.” (However, “empty” hits the target.) There were some enjoyable things about that production (e.g., the lead actress), but the script was consistently cringe-inducing.

  • Toscaskiss

    Kind of sad about Christopher W. splitting from Morphoses (I think it’s plural–the man thinks big). It seemed like kind of a conjurer’s pipe dream from the start, given the economics of ballet, but, just from seeing a few pieces of his, I couldn’t help really hoping he and all involved could pull it off. He’s right, though: If he can’t have enough of a steady group with which to work, commune, collaborate and create, then he might as well create ad hoc with various companies. It probably causes considerably fewer headaches, if far less satisfaction than if Morphoses had been able to work as he wanted.

    HIs pièce d’occasion for the Winspear opening in October was a welcome bright spot in that oddly gloomy gala (we WERE supposed to be celebrating, right?). Nice also to see his “After the Rain” pas de deux again (an arguably pretty gloomy thing, itself, but lovely), though I much preferred the performance we’d seen of that last spring at the TITAS gala. Anyway, the main thing is, he really needs to keep creating!