RIDGLEA ON THE EDGE: Preston Jones reports that Fort Worth’s Ridglea Theater — for a decade the kind of club that booked acts like Willie Nelson or Stereolab — is in serious straits, seeing only a smattering of music fans even on Friday nights. What happened? he asks. The economy, of course. But —
Add to that the arrival of corporate competitors to the east, the tenants’ lack of resources, an ownership situation that could charitably be called FUBAR and persistent rumors of the theater’s imminent demise, and you begin to understand that the Ridglea’s rapid slide from relevance is no ordinary rough patch.
The Maulsby Family Trust, which owns the property, has filed for bankruptcy and has been ordered by the judge to sell or face foreclosure.
SO HE IS HAPPY: Yesterday I wondered what was making the News‘ Scott Cantrell seem positively giddy lately in a series of upbeat classical music reviews. (“So just what is he up to?”) Turns out the normally skeptical critic really does believe that the Dallas Opera is on the verge of great things: The Winspear Opera House, he argues, may give the company its biggest boost since Maria Callas hummed a few bars in the Music Hall half a century ago. Add to that the way Jaap van Zweden has been such a game-changer over at the DSO, and Mr. Giggles — as I’ve affectionately come to libel him — is having a very interesting career moment.
ON THE OTHER HAND: The Winspear’s architect — and the Wyly’s — proved far less than interesting at last week’s public forum, says David Dillon, the News’ former architecture critic. True, it might be entertaining to watch the Wyly’s Rem Koolhaas and the Winspear’s Norman Foster barely conceal their dislike for each other’s work, but they and Koolhaas protege Joshua Prince-Ramus mostly delivered packaged, official presentations, he says, that actually shed little light on the thinking behind the theater or the opera house.
BUT STAY TUNED: Later this week, Art & Seek will be posting our own one-on-one video interviews with the designers.