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Tuesday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 19 Jun 2012

Today in the roundup: Reviewing ‘Jersey Boys,’ remembering Robert Johnson and a shift to small thinking for public projects.

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RETURN TO ‘JERSEY’: Jersey Boys, one of the biggest Broadway hits of the last decade, opened at the AT&T Performing Arts Center on Friday. It’s the show’s second swing through town, so there must still be plenty of demand for The Four Seasons. And according to the reviews, there’s good reason to welcome the boys back. “Book, music, and casting aside, the biggest success of the musical is its ability to take the audience back to when each first heard that unforgettable voice and irresistible tunes,” Cheryl Callon writes on theaterjones.com. “Unlike other jukebox musicals, however, the music and story here hold equal ground,” Lindsey Wilson writes on Front Row. “At precise points …. the audience erupts into a huge ovation. These mark key moments in the Four Seasons’ ascent to stardom,” Lawson Taitte writes on dallasnews.com. “The librettists and director Des McAnuff have set things up so brilliantly that it’s as if you’re really present at those milestones decades in the past.” Catch it through July 15.

REMEMBERING ROBERT: Today marks the 75th anniversary of Robert Johnson’s recording session at 508 Park in Dallas. And Dallas folklorist Alan Govenar is marking the event today with a Johnson sound-alike contest, dinner and theatrical event looking at what Johnson might have done while in town. “In everything written about Robert Johnson, there’s little discussion of context,” Govenar tells dallasnews.com. “He recorded three songs in Dallas on June 19 — and 10 more on June 20. So what did he do that night? I was amazed.”

THINKING SMALL: In the last 10 years or so, Dallas has thought big in terms of public projects – just look at all those Arts District buildings for proof. But is thinking small the future of public projects? That question is explored by Will Doig in a thought-provoking essay on slate.com. “In a way, thinking small is the next logical step in America’s urban renaissance. When cities really started changing 10 or 15 years ago, the economy was booming and the Internet was a newfangled gizmo,” he writes. “Today, cities have less money but more ways to communicate, two conditions perfectly suited to more focused, low-cost planning. Now you can home in on a specific neighborhood (or even just a few blocks), find out what the residents there want or need, cheaply implement it on a trial basis, and make it permanent if it works.”

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