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Monday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 13 Dec 2010

Today in the roundup: The return of Ann Richards, flying high at Ochre House and your guide to holiday movies.


THE RETURN OF ANN: Former Texas governor Ann Richards as been dead since 2006, but she’s about to come back to life on stage. ANN: An Affectionate Portrait Of Ann Richards opens this month in San Antonio and will eventually come to Dallas before a possible Broadway run. The one-woman show is the work of Holland Taylor, who wrote the script and plays Richards. The actress was a huge fan of the governor and says the play is her way of paying tribute. “I knew she was ill, but I didn’t want it to penetrate. Then suddenly, she was dead,” Taylor tells dallasnews.com. “I was extremely mournful. If I were a painter, I would have painted her. But as I’m an actress, I thought I could play her.”

UP, UP AND AWAY: Ochre House’s current show is Umlauf’s Bicycle, a retelling of the Greek story of Icarus. And since this comes from the mind of Matthew Posey, it has plenty of unexpected flair, including characters straight from a Marx Brothers film. So does it work? “Flying bicycles with angel’s wings transport actors and audience high into the heavens and to unexpected soulful reflective regions underpinning the whole creation,” Alexandra Bonifield writes on criticalrant.com. Mark Lowry was pretty bowled over, too. “This might be the show that puts Posey and his cohorts in the stratosphere,” he writes on theaterjones.com. Meanwhile, Lawson Taitte writes on dallasnews.com that the play isn’t without problems, but it manages to rise above them. Catch it through Dec. 18.

WATCHING THE HOLIDAYS: Just when you think every Christmas movie that can possibly be made has been, a new one is made. That’s why Alonso Duralde has written a book to help guide you through them. Duralde, the former artistic director of the USA Film Festival, says that after a while the stories did start to bleed together. “I’ve been saying that, in a way, A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and Home Alone are all kind of the same story,” he tells dfw.com. “They’re about people who are at a low point; they don’t appreciate what they have in their life; and it’s only when they’re given a glimpse of an alternate version of their life that they come to really appreciate what they are and what they have.” Duralde will sign copies of his book on Tuesday at A Real Bookstore in Fairview.