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Monday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 16 Aug 2010

Today in the roundup: Shakespeare in togas, remembering Leon Breeden and the Phantom of Frisco.


GREECE LIGHTNING: When the name of the show is The Condensed Shakespeare Festival: Toga Party Edition, you’d think that the focus would be on comedies. That’s true for two of the shortened plays, but the real toga connection comes from each play’s link to Greece. “Whatever the unifying element is supposed to be on paper, it definitely works in execution,” M. Lance Lusk writes on theaterjones.com. Punch Shaw devotes his dfw.com review to the first play in the show, Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, which relies on twins. “Thanks to Lauren Morgan’s costuming (which is a strong point of all three segments) and some effective wigs, two pairs of actors who do not resemble one another offstage seem to be almost as identical as the script calls for them to be,” he writes.” The Condensed Shakespeare Festival closes its run this weekend.

BREEDEN, CONT.: How do you know you lived a life of national importance and interest? Answer: When The New York Times writes your obituary. Hence, Leon Breeden’s obit that appeared on Saturday. If you missed the news, the jazz educator who put the University of North Texas’ program on the international map died on Wednesday at the age of 88.

THE PHANTOM OF FRISCO: Did you know we’ve got a Broadway star living among us? David Gaschen played the title role in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway 250 times before moving to Frisco. This fall, he plans to open a voice studio in the city. When he’s not prepping for that, he gets around town a lot. He discusses some of his favorite local arts pursuits in this dallasnews.com profile.