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.