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Tuesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 24 Sep 2013 7:24 AM

Reviewing Casa Mañana’s season opener, an early look at a DMA exhibition and a playwright who likes to laugh.


IN THA HOUSE: Big River, the musical adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is currently on stage at Casa Mañana. And it stars a familiar face – Jaston Williams – who you know from the Greater Tuna series. He’s one of the two con artists who join Jim and Huck on their trip. And he’s part of a cast that’s long on talent. “Casa Mañana’s toe-tapping revival of this take on Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, peopled by some of our best home-grown talents, has a regional flavor that only adds to the depth—and the fun—of the proceedings,” Jan Farrington writes on “There are also a couple of one-shot performances that make an impression,” Punch Shaw writes in his review. “Local talents Simone Gundy, as a soloist at Huck’s premature funeral, and Alison Hodgson, in the tiny role of Mary Jane Wilkes, both have exactly one number. But, in each case, they more than deliver the goods.” Catch it through Sunday.

A SNEAK PEEK: The Dallas Museum of Art is still about two weeks from opening “Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take,” a comprehensive survey of the contemporary artist’s work. The exhibition will take up the Barrel Vault and its accompanying quadrant galleries. And museum staff is already knee-deep in its installation. You can take a look at photos documenting the setup on the museum’s Uncrated blog.

QUOTABLE: “I really love plays that take you on a wild and surprising ride—that make you go ‘Wow, I never expected that person to say that!’ I hope that laughter sometimes opens up a space, a potential for something. I often think about people coming into the theater, super-stressed out, and I believe that a really surprising play can make you stop for a moment and see a larger world—which can affect the choices we make in that world.”

– Playwright Lisa D’Amour, talking about her play Detroit, which opens Friday at Kitchen Dog. There’s more from D’Amour on