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Monday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 1 Nov 2010

Today in the roundup: Highlights from Anna Bolena, Pinter’s problematic plays and food trucks invade the Arts District.


WIFE SWAP: The Dallas Opera unveiled the third show in its cycle of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy on Friday with Anna Bolena. The critics seem to be divided on the singing, but other elements of the production produced highlights. Scott Cantrell writes that music director Graeme Jenkins and the Dallas Opera Orchestra were the, “stars of the show,” in his dallasnews.com review. Gregory Sullivan Isaacs agrees, also noting in his theaterjones.com review that, “Alexander Rom’s chorus is impressive.” For Wayne Lee Gay, the star was director Stephen Lawless. “Director Stephen Lawless clearly understands the tension of music and drama in this remarkable work,” he writes on Front Row. Anna Bolena will be performed again on Wednesday.

PINTER PROBLEMS: Upstart Productions opened its third season with “Pinter: Art, Politics, Truth,” a staging of three of the playwrights lesser-known one-act plays interspersed with clips from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. And from the sounds of things, there’s a reason why these plays are lesser known. Lawson Taitte writes in his dallasnews.com review that Pinter’s final play,  Celebration, “may well be the worst play script ever from such a respected pen.” Reviewing for theaterjones.com, David Novinski says, “Considering the reverence the playwright is given with the Nobel video clips, one wonders if the directors themselves were awed into inaction. Unfortunately, Upstart’s production leaves Pinter quite indefensible.”

MEALS ON WHEELS: The Dallas Arts District got a taste on Sunday of what other cities around the country enjoy on a daily basis – food trucks. The trucks are currently not allowed downtown, but they received a special permit to operate on Sunday. If you’ve been to Austin or Portland, where food trucks are a way of life, you know that this could turn into a very good thing. Jason Roberts, who helped organize the event, hit the nail on the head. “Food brings people to the street, which adds life and a human dimension that could reshape downtown Dallas,” he tells dallasnews.com. If the city is serious about getting more people downtown, allowing the food trucks permanently is a no-brainer.