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Friday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 19 Aug 2011 7:02 AM

Today in the roundup: Looking back at 35 years of Hip Pocket Theatre, local music bits and becoming Edna Turnblad.


STILL GOING STRONG: When Johnny Simons and Douglas Balentine left Casa Mañana, they symbolically lit their Actors’ Equity union cards on fire. The pair was off to do something that didn’t have room for the usual conventions of theater. Thirty-five years later, Balentine is dead, but what the pair created – Hip Pocket Theatre – is still alive and well. Simons talks about why he is so driven to produce experimental theater and laments the loss of his close friend, who died in 2009, in Fort Worth Weekly‘s cover story.

MUSIC BITS: Fort Worth’s Green River Ordinance offers up a pair of song for charity. ( …  With work on the much-hyped Kanye/Jay-Z Watch the Throne album, Dallas’ Symbolyc One is leading the charge of North Texas hip-hop producers. ( … Texas Monthly calls St. Vincent’s upcoming Strange Mercy her best record yet. (

QUOTABLE: “I’ve worked with a lot of leading ladies…Cyd Charisse, Betty Buckley, Sandy Duncan, Ruta Lee, Cathy Rigby. I never thought I’d be one.”

David Coffee, who plays Edna Turnblad in Casa Mañana’s Hairspray. Coffee also talks about a special feature of his Edna costume in an interview with