DIRECTOR AS INNOVATOR: During the Theatre Communications Group national conference held earlier this month in Dallas, Undermain Theatre artistic director Katherine Owens participated in a panel called “The Director as Innovator.” And she tells the Undermain’s blog that part of the conversation revolved around how to mesh the director’s vision with the playwright’s ideas. “I think that there’s a real danger sometimes with new plays that if you don’t try to follow the thinking of the playwright that you can really end up with a pastiche or worse,” she says. “You can end up with something that’s crossed itself out. Like mixing two complements together. If you’re not careful you’ll have a very dull brown. In the best cases there’s a meeting of minds. The director and the playwright have a symbiotic relationship. And in the worst case you just have two strong ideas fighting for the right to write the piece.”
STRIKE UP THE BAND: Lyric Stage has brought its full orchestra together again, this time for The Music Man. And, as with most shows Lyric produces, this one sounds like a winner. “As always at Lyric these days, music director Jay Dias makes what is probably the most crucial contribution to the show’s success with his well-trained orchestra,” Lawson Taitte writes in his dallasnews.com review. “He’s the real ‘music man’ in North Texas theater.” Catch it through Sunday.
QUOTABLE: “Every time a jury makes a decision like this one, involving Alessandro, I feel these gods of culture should be required to go in front of the public and justify their decision. Alessandro is a truly special artist, so the jury needs to say why exactly is he out. Really, they need to be asked, ‘What exactly are you looking for in a Cliburn finalist?’”
– Davide Cabassi, on fellow Italian pianist Alessandro Deljaven, who failed to make the finals at the Cliburn in consecutive competitions. A lengthy, engrossing feature details Deljaven’s Cliburn experience on dfw.com.