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Monday Morning Wake-Up Roundup


by Jerome Weeks 26 Apr 2010

Thwap. That’s a big news bundle landing on your digital front porch this morning, so let’s get started. IT’S THE TEXAS TIMES: The New York Times Sunday arts section was brimming with Lone Star interest, including the Austin-location shooting of the fourth season of Friday Night Lights — a season that may get around to some of […]

CTA TBD

Thwap. That’s a big news bundle landing on your digital front porch this morning, so let’s get started.

IT’S THE TEXAS TIMES: The New York Times Sunday arts section was brimming with Lone Star interest, including the Austin-location shooting of the fourth season of Friday Night Lights — a season that may get around to some of the race and class tensions in Buzz Bissinger’s original book that the TV series has mostly avoided. Austin pops up again in a story on Court Yard Hounds, two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks. (Preston Jones has the story for dfw.com.) And Monday saw Jon Pareles’ review of Roky Erickson’s comeback album.

BUT THEN IT’S NORTH TEXAS’ TURN: The Dallas Opera‘s world premiere of Moby-Dick this week (see our Think TV interview with librettist Gene Scheer here) gets a feature treatment in the Times that’s most interesting for a) sussing out the classical echoes in composer Jake Heggie’s score and b) the first public image of some of the Pequod set (thanks to the DO’s regular shutterbug, Karen Almond). We also learn that the Pequod‘s gonna sink in eight bars. Wonder how they’ll pull that off. Finally, Fox TV has been shooting a summer series, The Good Guys, in North Texas, as Unfair Park has been following.  It’s Starsky and Hutch Meets The Princess Bride (oh, hey, that’ll work), but gee, it’s gonna make a star out of Fair Park’s Food & Fiber Pavillion. Debuts May 19.

‘SALESMAN’ OPENS: The Arthur Miller warhorse, Death of a Salesman, opened Friday at the Dallas Theater Center with estimable New York actor Jeffrey DeMunn as Willy Loman. Once Lee J. Cobb made the role his, the Willys have been beefy and beaten. But Dustin Hoffman’s feisty bantam on Broadway and TV made people realize Willy needn’t be a heavyweight. Or so I thought. But Lawson Taitte in his mixed News review faults DeMunn for his lack of “physical bulk.” Taitte cites Sally Nystuen Vahle and Sean Hennigan for their contributions to the “heroic thrust” of the production.

SPEAKING OF PRINT PRODUCTS: D magazine’s May issue contains a Willard Spiegelman column asking whatever happened to Claes Oldenburg’s iconic Stake Hitch in the barrel vault of the Dallas Museum of Art — and will it ever come back? Plus, there’s more on Giganto Art: a feature on muralists Chris Arnold and Jeff Garrison, the pair behind the Big Wall Paintings on Dallas Buildings. I’ve always thought their Arts District mural was a whirlwind of dreadful artsy cliches (right down to the Stokowski-ish conductor, who turns out to be based on Arnold’s dad, even though his head seems to have exploded). But it’s a pity their wonderful, whimsical giant toddler pulling a wagon on the Renaissance Square garage is no longer in great shape.

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  • nmlhats

    I miss “Stake Hitch” terribly every time I am in the barrel vault! I used to love seeing that piece when I visit the DMA. At least I have a poster of it in my house to keep the memory alive…

  • nmlhats

    OK, I created a FB page for reinstalling “Stake Hitch”! Spread the word, art fans!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reinstall-Oldenbergs-Stake-Hitch-in-the-DMA-barrel-vault/122485797762066

  • M Streeter

    Good riddance to Stake Hitch. The barrel vault space has never looked better since it has been removed. It is a piece of hackery.

  • I loved “Stake Hitch”! It was wondrous to me as a child. Something all the kids oohed and ahhed over when we went to the DMA on school trips, especially since we had been told that the stake actually went through the floor and into the basement. I imagine the docent was being very cheeky that day.

  • Becky

    Julie: The docent was telling the truth — it does go into the basement! Look at photos on the artists’ site:
    http://oldenburgvanbruggen.com/largescaleprojects/stakehitch.htm

    M Streeter: Webster says hackery means “A cart with wooden wheels, drawn by bullocks.”

  • Sue Harrison

    Cheeky docent or not, while the Stake Hitch was in the barrel vault, many of us driving past on St. Paul chanced to see what looked like the bottom of the stake coming through the ceiling of the space below. Our view came through a window on the west side of the building near a delivery entrance. Surely [Shirley?] Claes Oldenburg didn’t jack-hammer through the vault’s floor, but . . . The sight viewed from street level had a Python-esque quality about it as if it really was a witty continuation of the piece in the barrel vault above. That vantage point was blocked by newer construction.