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Tuesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 9 Apr 2013 7:55 AM

Today in the roundup: Reviewing Stage West’s 4000 miles, the Perot packs ’em in and the mezzo-soprano’s role in opera.


GOING THE DISTANCE: On Monday, we linked to a story about how busy things are over at Stage West, with a pair of shows keeping the theater open seven nights a week. The larger of the two is Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles. In the Obie-winning play, a young man reconnects with his 91-year-0ld grandmother in her New York City apartment. The setup sounds simple, but the reviewers are raving. “The second act of 4000 Miles contains the best new writing for the American stage I’ve seen in years,” Lawson Taitte writes on dallasnews.com. “Amy Herzog is only a few years out of the Yale School of Drama,” Jan Farrington writes on theaterjones.com. “And she, apparently, knows what all of us young and old(er) should know: that the tiny moments add up to create life, love, and family—even when, as it turns out, a few of those moments aren’t tiny at all, but life-changing and shattering.” Catch it through May 5.

PACKING ‘EM IN: Anyone who drives down the westbound side of the Woodall Rodgers service road knows that the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is doing quite nicely. And now we have the numbers to back it up. Nearly 550,000 people have visited the museum in its first four months – well ahead of the goal. “It supports our hypothesis that there’s a huge group of people eager to experience a place devoted to knowledge and science,” the museum’s CEO, Nicole Small, tells dallasnews.com. She went on to say that while expansion is a possibility, it won’t happen for at least two years.

MISERABLE MEZZOS: When you think of opera’s top female roles, they’re just about always sopranos. It only makes sense if you consider the vocal contrast they provide when paired with their male counterparts, usually tenors or baritones. Which is why mezzo-sopranos are often relegated to secondary parts. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. In the latest edition of his always insightful Off the Cuff column, Dallas Opera general director and CEO Keith Cerny looks at some of the most well-known mezzo roles and why they’re so crucial to some of opera’s most well-known works. It’s a good set-up piece to the DO’s upcoming of The Aspern Papers.