AMPHIBIAN STRIKES AGAIN: We’ve made no attempt to hide how much we love Amphibian Stage Productions‘ series of of online videos, “For the Love.” The short comedies are designed to inspire viewers to support the arts by showing the extremes that one theater’s artistic director goes to make her company’s ends meet. In Episode 3, Kathleen (named for Amphibian artistic director Kathleen Culebro, who wrote the videos) decides to step into the production when a big-name actress she promised for the part bails. What results is proof that acting is harder than it looks. Visit Amphibian’s Web site to see the previous episodes in the series. I think Episode 1 is still my favorite.
GENEROSITY AMID THE SLUMP: Slate.com has come out with its annual Slate 60, its list of the largest American charitable contributions of 2008. At No. 35 on the list is Dallas’ own Perot family. The Perots made the list for their $50 million pledge to build the new Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park.
TIGHTENING UP OUT WEST: If any of those philanthropists have some extra cash lying around, they might send it to some West Coast opera companies. The Los Angeles Opera has had to layoff 17 employees while asking the remaining workforce to take a 6-8 percent pay cut. Further up the coast, the San Francisco Opera announced that it is scaling back on plans for its 2009-10 season, trimming its budget by $6 million in the process.