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Thursday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 7 Oct 2010 8:59 AM

Today in the roundup: Beethoven comes to Theatre Three, ideas on running black theater companies and music bits.


STICKING AROUND: Ed Smith announced his resignation as Artistic Director of Jubilee Theatre in March. But he’s still active around town, currently prepping African-American Repertory Theatre’s staging of August Wilson’s Jitney. After his time at Jubliee, he has some definite thoughts on what it takes to properly run a black theater company, and he shares them in this Q&A.

MUSIC BITS: Chris Holt goes song-by-song through his newest album, A Cosmic Joke, and talks about working with uber-producer Salim Nourallah. ( … Rhett Miller talks about The Grand Theatre, the forthcoming album from the Old97’s. Remember, you can listen to the whole shebang over at (DC9 at Night) … Who needs to drive three hours to Austin for ACL Fest when so many of the acts are stopping through town on their way there or on their way out? (

BEING BEETHOVEN: 33 Variations follows a musicologist obsessed with figuring out why Beethoven spent so much time reworking a simple waltz that he didn’t even really like all that much. Theatre Three is staging the area premiere of the Broadway hit, and judging from the reviews so far, it sounds like the play has its ups and downs. Lawson Taiite has a few quibble with the acting but wraps up his review by saying, “You don’t have to love Beethoven going into 33 Variations to get something out of the play. Learning to do so is just one of the benefits you might reap from seeing it.” Meanwhile, David Novinski had some problems with the “earlier part of the show’s excess,” but he was most pleased by the presence of Van Cliburn Outstanding Amateur finalist Clark Griffith onstage to play the variations. “One of the sections of the show that works perfectly is Griffith’s performance of one of the last variations as Beethoven composes it aloud,” he writes in his review.