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Wednesday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 27 Oct 2010

Today in the roundup: Special musical guests at SMU, music bits and how to build an effective farce.


EIGHTH BLACKBIRD FLIES BY: Last fall, SMU’s Meadows School for the Arts named new music ensemble Eighth Blackbird and public arts organization Creative Time the first winners of the Meadows Prize. The prize includes a Dallas residency, a $25,000 stipend and the chance to work with SMU students. Eighth Blackbird was up first, and the above video documents the group’s time on campus.

Scott Cantrell reviews a recent performance  in the DMN that sounds like we shouldn’t have missed.

MUSIC BITS: Booker T. alum Norah Jones performed with the Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week. More importantly, she’s promoting an upcoming album featuring her collaborations with other artists. (DC9 at Night) … Burleson’s own Kelly Clarkson will sing the National Anthem at the first World Series game ever at the Ballpark on Saturday. (dfw.com) …

FARCE IN THE FORT: If there is anyone to ask about how to stage a farce, it’s Robin Armstrong. She directed Unnecessary Farce and Incorruptible last year at Circle Theatre, and now she’s staging Bright Ideas for the Fort Worth company. So what is the key to an effective farce? “You have to make sure the characters believe in who they are and what they’re doing,” Armstrong tells dallasnews.com. “The actors can never wink at the audience. I tell them they have to be more real than in any drama they’ve ever been in.” In Bright Ideas, the absurdity comes from parents willing to kill in order to get their kiddo into the right school. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like the play works. “Bright Ideas too often turns serious and dramatic, creating an incredibly unsettling feeling,” Kris Noteboom writes on theaterjones.com. Lawson Taitte says the cast is pretty strong, but the sum isn’t greater than the parts. “As it stands, they give us lots of memorable moments that don’t quite add up to a satisfying experience,” he writes on dallasnews.com. Judge for yourself through Nov. 20.