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Monday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 29 Aug 2011 7:51 AM

Today in the roundup: Dallas Theater Center’s growing national rep, plus checking in on venues new and old in Fort Worth.


MOVIN’ ON UP: If you ask people from outside of Texas to name the state’s top theater company, they’ll probably tell you about the Alley in Houston. But that might be changing. Chris Kelly, wearing his Texas Tribune hat, writes the Dallas Theater Center is boosting its national reputation. That’s thanks to sending Give it Up! (a.k.a.: Lysistrata Jones) to Broadway and debuting important works such as It’s a Bird … It’s a Plane … It’s Superman and Giant. Could a regional Tony be on its way?

LISTEN UP: Fort Worth is getting a new live music venue. Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge will open in the Fairmount District by the end of the year. Developer Bill Smith is behind the project, and the idea is to create a Kessler Theater of the west, hosting touring acts and the occasional local band. “We’ll certainly work with local promoters to bring in big-name, higher-ticket acts,” Clint Simpson, the venue’s booker, tells “It’ll be competitive and cooperative.”

BACK TO THE FUTURE: We’ve checked in periodically on the effort to restore Fort Worth’s Ridglea Theater. If the historic venue is important to you, you should feel good about the man charged with its restoration. Fort Worth architect Sam Austin is working to return the place to its original look, and he should have a good handle on that part of the job. That’s because his father was a projectionist at the theater, and Austin spent many weekend days watching movies there as a kid. “I’ve had a harder time sleeping since I started the project, because it’s very exciting to me,” Austin tells The theater is scheduled to reopen sometime in 2012.