THUMBS UP FOR ‘WEST SIDE’: West Side Story is serving as this year’s State Fair of Texas musical. And while they won’t let you bring your giant turkey leg into the Music Hall at Fair Park, it sounds as if it might be worth checking out anyway. Mark Lowry writes on dfw.com that all good West Side‘s have one thing in common – solid dancing – and that, “the ensemble handles the kicks, quick shifts in motion and unisons deftly, and with panache.” But Lawson Taitte was a little less impressed. “The touring dancers don’t always keep up the military-drill precision that [choreographer Jerome] Robbins himself always insisted on,” he writes on dallasnews.com. Judge for yourself through Oct. 21.
MUSIC BITS: The Toadies’ Vaden Todd Lewis is spending some time on the other side of the studio glass, producing the new record from the Phuss. (fwweekly.com) … Speaking of the Toadies, they’ll headline this year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards. Preceding them will be Old 97’s, Centro-Matic and Sarah Jaffe. And that’s just on the main stage. (DC9 at Night) … The Dallas funk scene carries on in an unlikely place. (Front Row)
ASSESSING F.N.O.T.: Do you have your Free Night of Theater tickets? If so, you’re part of a fairly large group. The City of Dallas Office of Cultural affairs announced Wednesday that a record 4,900 tickets will be distributed this month, and that 15,000 requests were made. “Free Night of Theater has once again proved itself to be a fun and exciting way to introduce new audiences to the exquisite work of our performing arts institutions, strengthening the connection between our artists and our community and ensuring that Dallas remains a healthy and vital world-class cultural destination,” says OCA director Maria Munoz-Blanco. This year’s lottery was conducted differently in that people submitted their top five choices and tickets were distributed at random. Drop us a comment if you have an opinion on how the new system worked.