Five stories that have North Texas talking: Exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the rebuilding of Big Tex, Fort Worth’s Cultural District to get a hotel, No way to “All The Way” with LBJ, and more.
Big Tex is back! Tex, the folksy cowboy who burned down last fall at the State Fair of Texas, was unveiled prematurely Thursday, a day earlier than planned. Gusty winds threatened the huge drapes that attempted to shroud him. He’s brand new from head to toe, showing off a bright white shirt and fancy boots that show off bluebonnets and other classic Texas scenes. The State Fair opens at 10 a.m. today. A “welcome home” ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. today at Fair Park – that’s when we’ll hear the voice of the new Big Tex for the first time. If you’re in downtown Dallas, the opening day parade happens at noon. Back at Fair Park, the State Fair opening ceremony is at 7 p.m.
Big Tex, part two: Did you know Big Tex was built in San Antonio? The Dallas Morning News was granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access to his reconstruction. Day one of a three-part series ran in today’s newspaper. The other parts run Saturday and Sunday. KERA’s new digital news editor, Eric Aasen, covered the State Fair for The News for five years and was the only reporter to observe his reconstruction from start to finish. Eric spoke with the two people in charge of rebuilding Big Tex – he interviewed them on KERA’s Morning Edition.
Fort Worth’s Cultural District to feature a hotel: Construction may start next year on a six-story hotel in the city’s Cultural District, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The project will include an office building and parking garage. Plans call for the new 156-room hotel to face Camp Bowie Boulevard, across from the Modern Art Museum, as the latest expansion of Museum Place, the 12-acre residential, office and retail development at University Drive and West Seventh Street. Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital, a luxury hotel developer, is said to be the frontrunner for the hotel project.
Not all the way with LBJ: A highly-anticipated play about President Lyndon Johnson got a sour review this week in The New York Times. All the Way features Emmy Award-winning Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston as Johnson. Cranston performs the LBJ role with authority and a drawl “as wide as the Rio Grande.” But the play features many characters, which means that “few have any time to be explored in much depth,” the Times notes. The play “dangles more subplots than a Congressional bill has earmarks.” It works “just fine as a PowerPoint lesson in political history, but it ultimately accrues minimal dramatic momentum.” You get the idea. Ouch. (In case you’re heading to the Boston area soon, “All the Way” performs through Oct. 12 at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.)
Jackie Kennedy in theaters soon: Letters to Jackie, the latest film from Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Bill Couturié, will be shown for free at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, The Dallas Morning News reports. Tickets are available here.
And it’s Bonus Day! Here are some bonus items:
Wendy Davis plans to run: The Fort Worth Democrat will announce next week that she’s running for Texas governor, several media outlets are reporting. State Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa told KERA’s Shelley Kofler last week that he thought she would run. But it’s been almost two decades since a Democrat has held a statewide seat in Texas, and analysts have said they don’t think that Davis can alter that trend.
Julián Castro talks with KERA: Julián Castro, the San Antonio mayor who surged onto the national stage at last year’s Democratic Convention, tells KERA he’ll stay in his current job for four more years. But if Hillary Clinton comes calling, he’s got a suggested running mate: his identical twin brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro. Julián Castro sat down with Rick Holter, KERA’s vice president of news. He’s the first guest in the new KERA series “The Friday Conversation,” which airs Fridays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on KERA 90.1 FM.