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Tuesday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 31 May 2011

Today in the roundup: Reviews of AART’s season-closer, a Polyphonic Spree member gets cooking and authors invade the DMA.


HER ‘TOWN’: In African-American Repertory Theater’s Woman From the Town, a grown woman returns to her home town to seek revenge from those who ran her out when she became pregnant as a teenager. Phyllis Cicero directs the production, which is earning critical applause for its performances. “There are opportunities for comedy and drama here, and Cicero and her cast exploit both elements in high style,” Perry Stewart writes on theaterjones.com. Lawson Taitte thinks structurally, Samm-Art Williams’ play is “a mess,” but, “at least African American Repertory Theatre’s cast follows him beautifully up every dead end,” he writes on dallasnews.com. Catch it through June 12.

SINGING FOR HER SUPPER: You might recognize Jennie Kelley from her years singing with the Polyphonic Spree. But starting Monday, you’ll be seeing her in a different light as she competes on the Fox reality show MasterChef. So what do singing and cooking have in common? “I think there’s a lot of spontaneity that comes with being creative with music and also being organic, as far as letting something take shape sonically or in a food environment, too,” she tells DC9 at Night. “And, sometimes, what you create on the plate, you have this creativity that came out of you, and you weren’t even intending for that to be the case. But it’s spontaneous the way a good jam session is.”

DOING IT FOR THE KIDS: On June 11, the Dallas Museum of Art will host the first BooksmART festival, which aims to bring kids closer to reading and the arts. There will be many special guests that day, including New York Times best-selling young-adult author Cynthia Leitich Smith. Events like this give authors a chance to connect with their readers, something Smith says is meaningful. “Most recently, I’m reminded of a boy – about age 14 – who came up to me on my recent book tour. I was in New York City, and he approached me with a well-loved and quite tattered copy of Tantalize,” she tells the museum’s Uncrated blog. “He said it was the first book he’d ever finished. ‘The first book?’ I asked, and he nodded solemnly. ‘The first book ever,’ he emphasized. ‘All the way through.'”