Five stories that have North Texas talking: a brain-dead woman is forced to stay on life support; Texas really wants the company that makes Sriracha hot sauce to move to the Lone Star state; Jaap van Zweden stars in a Dallas Symphony video, and more.
- Have you read the book Fifty Shades of Grey? Well, did you know the book is the star in a musical? (It’s a parody.) And it’s performing in Dallas for the first time. 50 Shades! The Musical performs at 7:30 Thursday night at Dallas City Performance Hall. The show runs through Saturday. Here’s how the producers describe the show: “With sold-out audiences in Chicago and New York screaming for more, and a hit run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a four-star review, the original parody 50 Shades! The Musical is coming for the first time to Dallas. … A sexy, hilarious romp, 50 Shades! The Musical is a laugh-out-loud night of fun that audiences won’t want to miss!”
- Lake Highlands native St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, keeps getting publicity. Earlier this week, we told you she’s released a new song: “Digital Witness.” It’s from her latest album, the self-titled St. Vincent, which is scheduled to be released in late February. KXT has been playing some of her songs – listen to them here. Now there’s this: NPR Music interviewed her at length about her new album, which it says is one of the most anticipated of 2014. “Though her look on the cover suggests an evil overlord, Clark says the songs on St. Vincent were born in vulnerable moments — a chemical-induced hallucination starring a dead civil rights activist, and a standoff with a snake in which she literally couldn’t have been more exposed, just to name a few.” Clark was featured in the December edition of Smithsonian magazine. “I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral,” she’s been quoted as saying.
- Everybody loves Jaap. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s music director, Jaap van Zweden, has a unique name, distinctive accent and charismatic style. So it seems natural that the orchestra would feature him prominently in a series of promotional YouTube videos, The Maestro’s Choice. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports: “The DSO has employed Jaap as pitchman and guide in what amount to ‘illustrated program notes.’ The best of the bunch so far have gone beyond the usual background of a composer or individual work to have van Zweden discuss his feelings about Dallas for the DSO’s JFK memorial concert, the technical and musical challenges of Brahms’ Violin Concerto and why Mahler’s Fourth Symphony has special meanings for him. In the latest video, the maestro discusses Anton Dvorak’s New World Symphony, which the DSO plays Jan. 16-18 at the Meyerson.” Check out the latest video on KERA’s Art&Seek. Watch van Zweden stare intensely as the music plays. It looks like he’s conducting a bit, even though he’s not in front of an orchestra.
- Marlise Munoz of Haltom City has attracted international attention in recent days. She’s the pregnant woman who’s been forced to stay on life support, even though her family says she’s brain dead. In November, she collapsed. She was sent to John Peter Smith Hospital, and while she had opposed being on life support, a doctor told the family the hospital wouldn’t take her off. Why? Texas doesn’t allow doctors to cut off life support to a pregnant patient. The New York Times is the latest publication to explore her situation. “Her case has become a strange collision of law, medicine, the ethics of end-of-life care and the issues swirling around abortion — when life begins and how it should be valued,” The Times reports. “It’s not a matter of pro-choice and pro-life,” Munoz’s mother told the newspaper. “It’s about a matter of our daughter’s wishes not being honored by the state of Texas.” John Peter Smith insists it’s following the law, although The Times says that medical ethicists believe the hospital was misinterpreting it. Munoz’s husband, Erick Munoz, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “People should have the right to make these decisions because they know the person better than some legislator down in Austin.” NPR also reported on the story, exploring this issue: Is Marlise Munoz really brain dead? The hospital told NPR that she isn’t dead and that her condition is serious. “If Munoz is in serious condition, she’s obviously not dead,” NPR reported. “It’s possible that Munoz could have an abnormal EEG and be in a persistent vegetative state. And under these conditions, the hospital says it believes it must keep her alive.”
- Texas continues to send love letters to the company that makes the popular Sriracha hot sauce, trying to lure it to the Lone Star state. This week, State Rep. Jason Villalba sent a letter to Huy Fong Foods, inviting the California company to move to the Lone Star state. (Sriracha, the hot sauce with a strong taste and an even stronger following, has been in lots of trouble in California. The plant that makes the sauce produces a strong odor. Neighbors aren’t happy. Huy Fong had to shut down part of its operation after the city of Irwindale, Calif., filed suit.) Villalba isn’t the first. In October, Denton City Council member Kevin Roden also sent a letter to Huy Fong — to relocate to Denton. This week, Roden told KERA that he received a response. “We are honored to know that we are welcomed in Denton, Texas,” the letter states. “Thank you for the offer to us of relocating our company. It makes us humbled to know that the people as well as you support our sauce to the point of thinking of welcoming us in their city.”