When the leaves on the trees die, that’s when the arts come back to life. If you’ve checked the Art&Seek calendar lately, you’ve noticed that we’ve added hundreds of events coming up over the next few months as organizations large and small announce their seasons. We’ve already begun writing down some dates in our calendars, and we thought we’d share with you some of the arts events this season that we’re definitely not going to miss:
WHAT: Strokes: A Multimedia Art Exhibition
WHEN: Sept. 25 – Oct. 24
WHERE: University of Texas at Dallas Visual Arts Building, Richardson
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: Local legend John Pomara curates an exhibition of artists whose working processes involve many individual “strokes” in the creation of the whole, but in an interesting range of media. Being UTD, there will be plenty of digital, but some of the best North Texas visual artists in all media will be there, including Lorraine Tady and Johnny Robertson.
WHAT: Texas Dance Theater Season Opener
WHEN: Sept. 25, 8 p.m.
WHERE: W.E. Scott Theatre at Fort Worth Community Arts Centre
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: Bruce Wood, former Artistic Director of the Bruce Wood Dance Company, is presenting a world premiere ballet for Texas Dance Theater’s first official season. The former dancer-turned-choreographer spent his formative years training under George Balanchine and later years creating more than 50 ballets with his former Texas-based dance company. “This will be the first time Bruce’s work has been shown on a Fort Worth stage since his company folded,” said Wil McKnight, Artistic Director of Texas Dance Theater. “We are very excited, because his works share the same goals we do at TDT – which is to blend contemporary, ballet and modern together.” Other works will include a world premiere by McKnight; a world premiere by Emily Hunter, Ballet Mistress of Texas Dance Theater; and a contemporary ballet by Penny Askew, Artistic Director of Western Oklahoma Ballet Theatre.
WHAT: Grey Gardens
WHEN: Oct. 1-25
WHERE: WaterTower Theatre at the Addison Centre Theatre
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: In Grey Gardens, the Southern Gothic goes up the Eastern seaboard to find the ultimate in “crazy old cat ladies.” The eccentric “Big Edie” Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale – aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy Onassis – spent 50 years neglected in a Long Island health hazard, the family’s dilapidated, 28-room mansion with raccoons and 52 cats. Made infamous by the 1975 Maysles Brothers documentary, the strong-willed, once-wealthy and always-dysfunctional pair were ultimately portrayed on stage in (former Dallasite) Doug Wright and Scott Frankel’s off-Broadway-to-Tony-Award-winning Broadway musical, Grey Gardens. If composer Frankel and lyricist Michael Korle do nothing else, they will be remembered for the show’s stunning “Around the World,” a tour-de-force, psychological-breakdown number worthy of Stephen Sondheim.
WHAT: The Road to Qatar, presented by Lyric Stage
WHEN: Oct. 9 – Oct. 24
WHERE: Irving Arts Center, Dupree Theater
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: It’s another musical-about-staging-a-musical, but this one is a) based on real events and b) it’s more or less crossed with a Bob Hope-Bing Crosby Road movie. And it’s debuting in Irving before heading to New York. Out of the blue in 2005, composer David Krane and lyricist Stephen Cole – who didn’t even know each other – were contacted to create Aspire, the first-ever American musical to premiere in the Middle East. Judging from the YouTube video, Aspire looks like a Disney musical done in Vegas – with a sultan’s son learning wisdom from a fairy godmother. Grandiosity doesn’t even come close: The Qatar stage is so cavernous, dozens of fire twirlers, flying dancers and live camels look puny on it. Now Krane and Cole – two “short Jews,” as they say – have musicalized their improbable tale of Broadway-Goes-to-Arabia, and Lyric Stage is premiering it.
WHAT: Urban Street Bazaar
WHEN: Oct. 10-11
WHERE: Bishop Arts District
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: Shop, spend and support local artists and designers by attending the 9th Urban Street Bazaar in Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District. The bazaar started in 2005 as a small trunk show and has ballooned into a bustling outdoor street fair. More than 40 vendors will set up tents along Bishop Avenue to showcase men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, eclectic jewelry, home décor wares and art pieces to splash up the walls. One-stop shop and hunt for vintage and quirky hand-made finds. This shopping extravaganza is free and open to the public.
WHAT: Free Night of Theater
WHEN:October 8-November 8.
WHERE: Theaters around Dallas
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: It’s back! Check Art&Seek in late September for details about the second Free Night of Theater. We love it because it’s a no-risk opportunity to enjoy a performance at a theater you might not normally visit.
WHAT: The Opening of the Dallas Center for Performing Arts
WHERE: Dallas Arts District
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: The opening of the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre will attract wall-to-wall coverage (D Magazine is devoting its entire October issue; the DCPA is courting international coverage.) There’ll be plenty of glitz and exclusivity during opening week, which kicks off Oct. 12. But many events will give the public a chance to mark the opening.
Just as interesting to us at Art&Seek are the questions that will hang long after opening week ends: Will the new additions be the tipping point that attracts daily life – and traffic – to the Dallas Arts District? Can the DCPA fulfill its promise to serve a variety of arts organizations and patrons, beyond its resident companies? And will the DCPA and its artsy neighbors (the Meyerson Symphony Center/Dallas Symphony; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Art Museum and Crow Collection) learn to collaborate? Judging from the events all are planning to mark the opening, early signs are encouraging:
- The Nasher presents a retrospective of Norman Foster and his firm’s work.
- The Dallas Museum of Art has opened an exhibition called All the World’s a Stage.
- And the Dallas Symphony will host an open house to celebrate the Meyerson’s 20th Anniversary.
WHAT: Susan Rothenberg: Moving In Place
WHEN: Oct. 18 – Jan. 3, 2010.
WHERE: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: Much of the early work in this artist’s 35 year career resembles cave paintings – canvasses unoccupied except for a single horse. But the paintings are not so much of one horse as of the hazy remembrance of a horse. Her more recent work exposes the raw life of New Mexico (where she lives with husband Bruce Nauman) in action-packed color, often depicting the aftermath of an experience through imagery not instantly recognized. The Modern will exhibit 25 pieces spanning Rothenberg’s career.
WHAT: William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
WHEN: Oct. 24 – Nov. 22
WHERE: The Dallas Theater Center at the Wyly Theatre
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: Why? Obviously because A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be the debut stage production in the Arts District’s new Wyly Theatre. It’ll be a contemporary setting. Interestingly, DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarity isn’t aiming to dazzle with all the Wyly’s technology. In fact, part of the Wyly stage will be cut off, increasing the audience’s intimacy with the performers. In Shakespeare’s comedy of mismatched lovers, magic potions and sexual warfare in the fairy kingdom, Cedric Neal will star as Puck, Chamblee Ferguson will be the comic lead as Bottom and Liz Mikel will play Queen Titania.
WHAT: VideoFest 22
WHEN: Nov. 5-8
WHERE: Angelika Film Center Dallas
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: If you’ve been following the Art&Seek blog over the past few months, you’ve no doubt read about Video Association of Dallas President Bart Weiss’ world travels. Since last year’s festival, he’s been to film events in El Paso, New Orleans, Pakistan and Poland, just to name a few. And when he travels, he always has one eye on what he can bring back to Dallas for VideoFest. Last year, I remember watching a program of German music videos. It was wonderfully weird, and unlike anything else I was going to see at another festival. Every year, VideoFest manages to expand my grasp of what is out there to be consumed. And as much as Bart has been traveling, there’s no reason to think things will be any different this year. When I last talked to him, he did let me in on one program he’s planning for this year: a tribute to Chuck Morgan. Morgan has been with the Texas Rangers for nearly 30 years, and he’s basically the guy in charge of the in-game presentation. “He’s the man who started the dot race, and for many years that was the only cool thing out there in Arlington,” Bart says. “He is the auteur of sports stadium.” Amen to that.
WHAT: Lone Star Film Festival
WHEN: Nov. 11-15
WHERE: Sundance Square, Fort Worth
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: For a festival in just its second year, Lone Star gave Fort Worth an early look at some buzzy films last year. Let the Right One In, Wendy and Lucy, Sunshine Cleaning and Last Chance Harvey all played LSSF ‘08. It’s enough to make you wonder what they have in store for this year. But LSSF isn’t all about the Hollywood film. Two other films I really enjoyed last year were Trinidad, a documentary about the sex-change capital of America, and Virtual JFK, which asks the question, “What would have happened in Vietnam had Kennedy not been assassinated.” The best film festivals mix the broad appeal movies with the niche, something LSSF is managing quite nicely.
WHAT: Opening, of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
WHEN: Ribbon cutting, Nov. 20
WHERE: Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: Worth it for the architecture alone – Legorreta + Legorreta, the Mexico City firm behind the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, was offered a much bigger playground for this building. But the museum also promises a new planetarium, hi-tech twists on exhibits anchored in Fort Worth history (cattle-raising, energy) and “innovation studios” and other special features that bring Disney-style creativity and engagement to learning about science.
WHAT: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s “Caminos del Inka” concert
WHEN: Nov. 20-22
WHERE: Bass Performance hall
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: I don’t know what percentage of classical music performed in North Texas is by dead European guys, but I have to think it’s fairly high. So when I hear that the FWSO is exploring music influenced by the Incas, my ears perk up. FWSO Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya has been a student of South American music for many years, and his discoveries are starting to make it into the orchestra’s programs. This weekend of concerts will feature a world premiere by 30-year-old Peruvian composer Jimmy López as well as a piece that includes a cajón drum solo. Don’t know what a cajón drum sounds like? See you in Fort Worth the weekend before Thanksgiving.
WHAT: From the Private Collections of Texas: European Art, Ancient to Modern
WHEN: Nov. 22 – March 21, 2010
WHERE: Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: Picasso, Van Gogh, Renoir and Rembrandt are just a few of the artists whose work has been privately owned by Texans. The Kimbell will exhibit pieces owned or once owned by more than 40 private collectors, many of which will, no doubt, be familiar names in North Texas. Anticipate a rare glimpse at some major masterworks.
WHAT: Art Conspiracy
WHERE: Location TBA, December
WHY WE’RE MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND: Local artists create an 18×18 artwork in 24 hours. The pieces are auctioned off, and the money benefits a great cause. (This year, it’s Resolana) Purchase – or just browse- affordable art, make a difference, check out some great local music and enjoy one heck of a party.