‘PIANO’ PLAYERS: Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre opened its take on The Piano Lesson over the weekend to mostly positive reviews from the locals. August Wilson’s play is part of his cycle of 10 works examining the lives of African Americans in the 20th Century. It follows two friends, Willie (Bryan Pitts) and Lymon (Aaron Petite), who head north with dreams of owning their own farm. When they arrive at the house of Willie’s sister, Berenice (Lorey Hayes), an old piano represents possible extra cash to Willie, but Berenice refers to part with it.
Writing for dfw.com, Punch Shaw couldn’t have been more pleased with Jubiliee’s efforts, saying, “there is not a note out of place.” Shaw isn’t completely enamored with the play itself, but that’s more a critique of Wilson than Jubilee. Lawson Taitte liked it overall, too, though he had a few small quibbles. Writing on guidelive.com, he says, “At the reviewed performance on Saturday, the almost apocalyptic final scene veered dangerously close to the absurd, partly because Hayes couldn’t carry off the requisite grandeur. That didn’t spoil the many wonderful things that had come before.”
The Piano Lesson runs through April 19.
QUOTABLE: “Robert Dodson is the best thing that’s happened here in my 20 years.”
– SMU voice professor Virginia Dupuy on the school’s music director. Scott Cantrell profiled Dodson in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News.
THE FINAL CURTAIN: Black Tie Dynasty called it a career on Saturday night, playing its final show at the Granada Theater. One of North Texas’ better known bands announced it was breaking up in February. Preston Jones of dfw.com took in the show and came away with hope for the local scene going forward. “Lest anyone worry about the future, don’t — it’s in good hands. Openers Airline (from Dallas) and the Burning Hotels (from Fort Worth) demonstrated an admirable ambition, doling out sharp sets that, fittingly, pulled from different but equally necessary aspects of BTD’s brooding, New Wavey style.” You can read his complete review here.