NOT STRICTLY SPEAKING ABOUT THE ARTS – except insofar as it appears in a magazine about politics and culture, but the cover story of the November issue of The Atlantic concerns “27 Brave Thinkers,” including such obvious choices as Steve Jobs and Barrack Obama. There are three Texans listed: (Houstonian) Matt Stone of South Park fame; Camille Parmesan, UT-Austin conservation biologist who found that plant and animal species are moving north to cooler climates, apparently knowing something that global warming deniers don’t, and — Dallas district attorney Craig Watkins.
FLOAT LIKE AN ACTOR: TheaterJones interviews Vincent Cook, the actor who felt he was born to play Muhammad Ali — felt it so much that after making the U. S. Olympic boxing team, after campaigning (and losing) to play Ali in the TV movie Don King: Only in America and the Michael Mann movie, Ali, Cook created his own one-man bio-show in which he plays the Greatest and 21 other roles. Ali . . . the Man, the Myth, the People’s Champion comes to the Black Academy of Arts and Letters this weekend.
COMME CI, COMME CA: Norman Foster got a slightly lukewarm review from the NYTimes for his Winspear Opera House. But now he gets an excited advance from the same paper for his Sperone Westwater Gallery on the Bowery (not opening until next year). The reason? The incredibly tight limitations of the site have led Foster to create a “vertical art gallery”: The main gallery space is essentially a large elevator. You can see a working model of the Westwater in the Nasher Center’s current exhibition of Foster + Partners’ work. One interesting coinky-dink: Guillermo Kuitca, the painter who created the Winspear’s curtain, is represented by the Westwater. Second interesting coinky-dink: The gallery’s interior walls will be painted a “shocking Ferrari red.”
SCOTT CANTRELL SOUNDS HAPPY: The News’ classical music columnist — not exactly Mr. Giggles — has loved what he’s heard so far of the Winspear’s acoustics. He was electrified by the DSO’s Ninth Symphony during the Arts District open house. He found much to admire in the program sung by the Gloriae Dei Cantores at the cathedral. And now he’s pleasantly surprised by the Turtle Creek Chorale’s foray into classical music with the Mozart Requiem at the Meyerson.
OK. So just what is he up to?