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Friday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 4 Jun 2010

Today in the roundup: Theater news, a look at the writing of David Dillon and questions about coffee.


THEATER BITS: Mark Lowry says that African American Repertory Theater’s The Gospel at Colonus is, “the closest you’ll ever come to a deeply spiritual, ecclesiastical experience while witnessing the tragedy of tragedies—the one about King Oedipus.” (theaterjones.com) … Lawson Taitte says Broken Gears Project Theatre’s reading of David Mamet’s American Buffalo suffers because it doesn’t, “choose a style and stick with it.” Plus, “the three actors might as well be in different plays.” (dallasnews.com) … Trinity Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director T.J. Walsh explains his philosophy for delivering the Bard to the masses. (dfw.com)

SAY IT AIN’T SO: One of the more eternal love affairs in the arts has been between artists and coffee. Everyone from writers to actors to designers to you name it has used the stuff to push through and complete what they are working on. So it may come as a shock to learn that coffee doesn’t really do anything for you. According to Science Daily, “Tests on 379 individuals who abstained from caffeine for 16 hours before being given either caffeine or a placebo and then tested for a range of responses showed little variance in levels of alertness.”

REMEMBERING DAVID DILLON: On Thursday, we passed along the news that former Dallas Morning News Architecture Critic David Dillon died suddenly in his home in Amherst, Mass. In reading the many tributes to Dillon yesterday, nearly everyone makes note of his exceptional writing. Fortunately, dallasnews.com has collected a few of his many highlights. On the AT&T Performing Arts Center, he wrote, “Theaters are places of mystery and surprise, where nothing is ever quite what it seems. A bare stage turns into Valhalla or Agincourt and, suddenly, as Coleridge explained, we suspend disbelief in return for being transported into imaginary worlds.” And about the American Airlines Center, which I had the luxury of discussing with him personally multiple times: “Nostalgia without history is set design, and there is a lot of that in the new arena.”