WAY BACK WITH WAYLON: If you took in Record Store Day on Saturday, maybe you picked up a special 7″ that the Old 97’s released for the occasion. It features a pair of songs the band recorded in 1996 with Waylon Jennings. The legend was an early champion of the band and asked them to meet him in a Nashville studio to lay down a few tracks. Rhett Miller talks with Front Row about the experience, and why it’s taken this long for the songs to be released.
GRAND OPENING: The Fort Worth Opera Festival opened Saturday with La Bohème. Puccini’s masterwork is usually a crowd-pleaser, and it sounds as if this production is worth your time. “This Boheme packed not only a musical but a dramatic punch,” Olin Chism writes on dfw.com. “A fine cast, with an exceptional Rodolfo, and the excellent backing of the Fort Worth Symphony and the Fort Worth Opera chorus under Joe Illick’s leadership provided the musical punch.” Gregory Sullivan Isaacs was pleased with its traditional staging. “Here, old fashioned is a compliment. It means that the production is not set on the moon, or in a bordello or in a casino. No one was in drag or naked,” he writes on theaterjones.com. Scott Cantrell also picked up on that idea. “This is pretty much your grandparents’ Bohème, except that the singers are probably younger, trimmer and better actors than back then,” he writes on dallasnews.com. Your next chance to see it is Sunday. We’ll roundup the reviews of Glory Denied tomorrow.
A REGIONAL PREMIERE: On Friday, the Dallas Theater Center opens the regional premiere of Fly By Night. The musical follows a group of New Yorkers during the city’s 1965 blackout. And Bill Fennelly, who’s directing the show, says it fills an important slot in the DTC schedule. “I call it a bridge piece,” he tells theaterjones in a preview of the show. “It does that thing that so many theaters want to do—engage their discerning longtime subscribers, who like what they like, but also younger theatergoers who may not go as often. It’s really exciting to be in a room with people of all ages, and they all connect with the piece. There’s something wonderfully universal about it.”