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Thursday Morning Roundup

REVIEWING ‘MEMPHIS’: Bass Hall is giving classical music a rest this week in favor of a little rock ‘n’ roll. That’s because Memphis: The Musical is currently in residence. The show won four Tony Awards last year in 2010 and deals with everything from race relations to romance. And the reviewers are quite pleased. “Memphis isn’t just another jukebox tribute to yesterday’s great hits,” Jan Farrington writes on “With a funny, edgy book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, Youre Perfect, Now Change) and original songs by Bon Jovi keyboard veteran David Bryan (The Toxic Avenger) this is a story that moves on a nonstop wave of brand-new music that sounds vintage, the kind of music that, as one song says, ‘tears you up but sets you free.'” Punch Shaw had questions about the show’s authenticity but mostly enjoyed it. And he saved most of his praise for a familiar face – North Texas actress Julie Johnson. “When she is acting, she nails the part, right down to the accent (which is close to, but not exactly like, ours),” he writes on “And then she tucks the show under her arm and walks away with it when she sings.” Catch the show through Sunday.

TISK, TISK: The Association of Art Museum Directors has made known its displeasure over the Nasher Sculpture Center/Museum Tower dust-up. The group, which represents 220 North American museum directors, released a statement in support of the Nasher this week on Twitter. Details are at

LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR: Congratulations to the folks behind buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. The Dallas-based community design center has been nominated for the 2013 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, which “seeks to identify exemplary urban places nationwide and celebrate their impact on the economic, social, and physical fabric of our cities.” The nomination is tied to buildingcommunityWORKSHOP’s work with its Congo Street Initiative. Four other groups were named finalists; the gold medalists takes home $50,000.

  • Avalon Morley

    Re. MEMPHIS, it did not win four Tony Awards last year, or any Tony Awards, because it had already been running since autumn of 2009. Thus, it won its Tonys (and was nominated for a few others) in 2010. It was a weak year, but it’s had to argue with the show’s success. I herd great things about the tour production at the Music Hall, and will try to catch it at the Bass. Anyone know if it’s still essentially the same, or if it’s been downsized in the interim?