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Tuesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 6 Jul 2010 7:57 AM

Today in the roundup: Dreamgirls goes for broke, major orchestras are looking for a few good players and be careful about cutting back on libraries.


DREAM ON: Dreamgirls is in the middle of a nearly three week run at the Music Hall at Fair Park. If you’ve only seen the movie, the onscreen moment you probably remember most is Jennifer Hudson as Effie ripping into “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” – the song that pretty much won her the supporting actress Oscar. So how does the tour’s Moya Angela handle the role? Lawson Taitte says she “drives the audience wild” but that, “The most distinctive thing she brings to the role, though, is her forthright, sassy sex appeal.” Still, the role is largely about that one big song. And Mark Lowry says there comes a point where more is just more. “When she stands up and really rips into it, her physical reaction is a conniption fit,” he writes on “She convulses so much through the song that some of the words are lost, and she loses control of a major moment in Effie’s life. Her performance is not one of rage that stems from heartbreak. It’s forced and bordering on crazy.” Dreamgirls runs through July 18.

MUSICAL CHAIRS: The New York Times reports that a number of major orchestras are looking to fill spots. Included in that list is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which has three open positions. (The story doesn’t say which spots are open; I’ll see if I can’t run that down later.) So why all the help wanted signs? The Times says there are a few reasons: a) some groups have left positions unfilled to save money during the economic downturn b) some outgoing music directors have left the seats unfilled so that their replacements at the top can make the decision and c) auditioning for an orchestra is a long process. The part of the story that details that process is pretty interesting.

MORE THAN JUST BOOKS: If you’ve been to a library lately, you know that lending books is only one service that they provide. And the Los Angeles Times says that we need to consider just how important these institutions are. Marilyn Johnson, who wrote the column, goes so far as to say that libraries are, “one of the most effective levelers of privilege and avenues of reinvention — one of the great engines of democracy.” Just something to think about as local library hours continue to dwindle.

UPDATE: The open positions for the DSO are all due to retirement. The orchestra is in need of a concertmaster, a violin and a cello.