FWO’S POW: Glory Denied might be the production in the current Fort Worth Opera Festival that’s generating the most buzz. Tom Cipullo’s chamber opera recounts Jim Thompson’s experiences as America’s longest-held Vietnam prisoner-of-war. This its it’s regional premiere, and Scott Cantrell applauds FWO for its commitment to staging new work. “But I kept thinking that something less hysterical, more subtly unsettling, could have been made of this,” he writes on dallasnews.com. Olin Chism was a little more pleased. “As a drama, Glory Denied scores on many points,” he writes on dfw.com. “All four of the performers are top-notch actors, generating tension that is almost painful at times.” There are nine performances left, including one tonight. For more on the show, check out video of a panel discussion Art&Seek hosted back in November that included both Cipullo and Tom Philpott, who wrote the book upon which the opera is based.
A LOOK AT THE LIBRARY: Reviews are starting to come in for the George W. Bush Presidential Center. And critics from across the country are weighing in. The latest comes from Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne. You might remember him from his scathing review of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. He goes a little lighter on Robert A.M. Stern’s design. “Stern’s architecture is always steeped in strategic references to past landmarks; there is no doubt he knows how to send, and shape, an architectural message,” Hawthorne writes. “And the message the front entrance to the Bush Library delivers is clear: This is a building meant to honor a particularly blunt and plain-spoken kind of political power.”
WRITING ABOUT TALKING: Today’s New York Times features a review of Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV. It was written by Brian Stelter, the paper’s media reporter. And that means the review had to come from outside the newsroom. As the Times has done previously in situations such as this, it turned for former Dallas Morning News television critic and current proprietor of unclebarky.com, Ed Bark. His review has some nice things to say, some not-so-nice. But ultimately, he says the book, “ends up being a fairly engaging book that might set some industry tongues wagging.”