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Thursday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 22 Dec 2011 7:58 AM

Today in the roundup: Assessing Les Misérables at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, 12 days of Christmas at the DMA and the top local albums of 2011.


YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION: I haven’t seen every touring show that’s stopped through the Winspear Opera House, but I’ve seen my share. And Tuesday’s opening-night audience for Les Misérables was easily the most amped that I’ve seen as it offered wave after wave of extended, full-throttle ovations. That shouldn’t be such a surprise – Les Mis is at the top of many theatergoers’ lists of favorite musicals. The critics in the house, however, were a little less enthusiastic. Arnold Wayne Jones notes that the singing, “has been modified from the rich, fluid style of the original to a more conversational, pop sensibility,” in his review. “It’s almost as if the creative team figured everyone already knew the songs and wanted to give them a more radio-friendly, Susan Boyle-ish treatment.” Meanwhile, Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, who confesses that this is his first time to see the show, was annoyed by the sheer volume of it all. “The chorus blares constantly. The few quiet reflective moments stand out by contrast,” he writes on “In fact, Valjean’s hushed anthem “Bring Him Home” is more thrilling than all of the bellowing in the big finales. Add over-amplification to over-singing and it all begins to blur.” Both critics noted the fantastic projections on the back wall of the stage that add movement and depth. Check it out yourself through Jan. 1.

CHRISTMAS AT THE DMA: Uncrated, the Dallas Museum of Art’s blog, is getting into the holiday spirit. It’s rounded up a dozen works from the collection that represent the 12 days of Christmas. Should you be looking for something to do with those out-of-school rug rats, this would make for a fun scavenger hunt.

TOP LOCAL ALBUMS: Last week, Fort Worth Weekly delivered the top local songs of 2011. And this week, the top local albums of the year are revealed. Coming in a No. 1: Calhoun’s Heavy Sugar. And to make sure that every one get’s a little love, the top EPs are also discussed.