News and Features

The Big Deal: Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

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The summer solstice has yet to occur but you can enjoy the enchantment of a magical mid-summer evening now and in the comfort of the Meyerson Symphony Center. For their upcoming concert, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mendelssohn’s musical composition suggests the longing for one’s love, the mischief of forest fairies, and the mayhem that ensues inspired by the Shakespeare work. Five fortunate winners will receive a pair of tickets for the June 14 performance.

And maybe signing up for this Big Deal will inspire you to sign up for our other Big Deals this week – tickets to the Bruce Wood Project: Touch at the Dallas City Performance Hall, or tickets to see Bobby Womack at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal. If you are not a subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to see the Dallas Symphony Orchestra present A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

UPDATE: Thanks for playing. Come back next week for more Big Deals.

 

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Art&Seek Jr: Even More Summer Camps!

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

Okay, so after I finished last week’s Junior on camps a TON more summer camps for kids got added to the Art&Seek calendar. Isn’t that just the way it always goes?

I know more than a few of you out there are still desperately searching for ideas to keep the munchkins occupied this summer; no doubt this is definitely a topic worth repeating. To make it easy-peezy, the camps are sorted into categories.

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The High Five: NRA Isn’t Happy With Folks Who Carry Rifles Into Texas Restaurants

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Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: what did a Dallas-area man say about his family that generated so much Facebook attention?; NRA isn’t happy with folks who carry guns into Texas restaurants; the mad dash for cash in Victory Park went well last night; and more.

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Three Major Dallas Conferences Start With The Art Museum Directors

art museum wide 1Get used to the view. Large groups of important, business-suited people will be milling about downtown Dallas the next three weeks. Photo credit: Jerome Weeks

One good reason Dallas is hosting three major national conferences this month was made plain Sunday evening, even before the start of the the scheduled panel, “Cities and Cultural Investment: A Snapshot,” at the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Association of Art Museum Directors’ annual meeting officially began Saturday, but the panel, hosted by the DMA’s Maxwell Anderson, is the only event open to the public. The buses had dropped off the visiting directors moments before, and as the crowd milled around and found seats in the Horchow Auditorium, a silver-haired  attendee — a stylishly short-cropped woman, with black glasses — turned to the man next to her and asked, “Is this a new building?”

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Win Tickets To Get WRECKED With Art Conspiracy

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Categorized Under: Giveaways, Music, Visual Arts

wrecked

Art Con presents WRECKED featuring 40+ curated artists who have been challenged to stretch their talents to create a themed piece based on the inspiration of deconstructed/reconstructed ordinary objects. Completed works will be presented for two live auctions starting at $50, raising money for this year’s Art Con X event.

Art&Seek has tickets to give away to the event happening this Saturday, June 7 at Life in Deep Ellum.  Sign up below to win tickets  and you’ll be able to catch live music by Dark Rooms featuring Daniel Hart, French 75 with DJ Mouth Mold, featuring Jencey Keeton from Smile Smile (CD Release), and Ronnie Heart, from Neon Indian. And of course, there will be local food trucks to serve up an eclectic mix of cuisines (Nammi, Easy Sliders, and Say Kimchi) with drinks available at the bar. Yum!

UPDATE:  We have our winners. Thanks for playing.

 

 

 

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The High Five: Texas Authors Featured At BookExpo America

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: gifts of money in envelopes will be left in Victory Park tonight; Texas authors are represented at a big national book expo; Dallas is the most chivalrous city; and more.

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KXT’s Summer Cut! And The Headliner Is……

2014SummerCut2014v1 no ObserverDeath Cab for Cutie!

That’s who’ll be headlining KXT’s Summer Cut, the annual multi-stage concert brought to you by KXT 91.7 FM and Live Nation.

Who else is playing? So glad you asked: Iron&Wine, The Hold Steady, The Oh Hellos (a brother-sister duo!). The Wild Feathers and  Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Of course there will be acts from North Texas too: The Orbans, Valise and The Unlikely Candidates.

Tix on sale June 6 at 10 a.m. at livenation.com.

Stay tuned for more info about special stuff that will put the Happy Funtime Fest in Summer Cut.

 

 

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Review: “Booth” from Second Thought Theatre

STT's BOOTH - Austin Terrell, Drew Wall, Montgomery Sutton - wide by Ellen Appel

Austin Terrell as Samuel Mudd, Drew Wall as Davey Herold and Montgomery Sutton as John Wilkes Booth in Second Thought’s Booth. All photos credit: Ellen Appel.

Dozens of novels and films, even stage plays, have been written with Lee Harvey Oswald at their center. But with John Wilkes Booth, the number’s closer to zero (David Stocton’s fine but forgotten novel, The Judges of the Secret Court, is a rare exception).

There’s a simple reason: Oswald remains a smirking enigma, a kind of historic black hole sucking in all the meaning we can throw at him. He was the wrong man at the wrong time, a self-proclaimed Leninist who defected to the Soviet Union, then defected back. Novelists and playwrights and conspiracists will be finding material in those knotted motivations for decades.

But Booth? Booth we know all too well, even if we know only the basics. He was a Confederate fanatic. He was a dashing peacock, the handsomest of the famous actor Booths but the least respected, the younger brother with a nasty chip on his shoulder.

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Saturday Spotlight – A Bluegrass Battle

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DHV-website-BandPic2 For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re going to the Front Porch Showdown at Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park. It’s a bluegrass battle as ten bands compete, and you get to vote for the winner. The kids can make musical instruments and play along, and the night ends as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band plays Beatles songs with a twang.

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Friday Conversation: Steven Walters, Writer/Director of “Booth” At Second Thought Theatre

BOOTH - Brandon Sterrett Montgomery Sutton Drew Wall - by Ellen Appel

Montgomery Sutton plays John Wilkes Booth in “Booth” by Second Thought Theatre. Photo: Ellen Appel.

What motivated the man who killed Abraham Lincoln? Dallas actor Steven Walters was fascinated by the question. His new play, Booth, examines the conspiracy to assassinate the president and the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth. In the Friday Conversation, he tells KERA’s Anne Bothwell that there are plenty of parallels to  our post 9/11 world.

Walters is a co-founder of Second Thought Theatre. He’s also a member of the Dallas Theater Center’s resident acting company. You can see him next in the DTC’s production of Les Miserables, which opens June 27.

Here are some highlights from the conversation:

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Steven Walters

On why Booth caught his attention…..Well there was so much I didn’t know about John Wilkes Booth. But as my story partner and research partner ERic Archilla and I really delved into it, there was this whole other side of Booth that opened up to me. The idea that he was a spy,that he was employed as part of the Confederate underground   A network of spies that operated out of Canada, at the behest of Jefferson Davis and the confederacy.

When I began to think of him as a double agent, as an actor living in the north, it just opened up a new world to me.

Why Booth has been neglected.…As Americans, I think we like simple answers to complicated questions. And with John Wilkes Booth, it’s easier if we accept the premise that he was a deranged redneck who came out of the wilderness and committed this emotionally motivated act of terror.  I think when you see it was calculated and there were political consequences to it, it just becomes way less simple.

Parallels between this story and our current political climate…Given everything that’s going on in a post 9/11 world, with the Patriot Act and the NSA wiretaps, when I think about those things and I look back on the 1860s equivalent of that,  [Secretary of War Edwin] Stanton and his people, they seized letters, they seized documents, they detained innocent people without naming their crime or charging them with a crime….     They did all of those things, of course, in the name of protecting us. Just like now our government presumably is doing all the things they are doing in the name of defending us against terrorism.

I think those parallels are clear and I think it’s out of curiosity that I write the play, and not out of feeling certain about one way or the other.

On the pressures of acting v. writing and directing…I would have to say that the process of writing is very relaxing to me, because it’s autonomous. I’m alone; I can work at my own leisure.   The process of acting is terrifying, the rehearsal process, because you’re entering into this thing, and you don’t even know what the thing is.   You’re just this tiny component part to the bigger picture and you’re just trying to make sure you’re not the one who messes it up.

But then, once you get beyond rehearsals, those two things flip. As a writer/director watching your own work, it’s terrifying  because you can no longer control the outcome night to night.   But then in the process of performing, it’s exciting and palpable, because  you get to interact with the audience and you get to feel that pleasure of knowing that you’ve done your job right.

Harder to get an acting gig or a play produced? …….I think that there are currently not as many opportunities for playwrights in Dallas. But I think that’s changing. When you look at institutions like TACA and funds like the Donna Wilhelm Family New Works fund, they are making a huge difference, in terms of opportunities for local playwrights.

For the past 10 years, it’s probably been slightly easier to be an actor. But I think that pendulum is swinging back the other way.   I hope the trend continues. There’s so much new work in Dallas right now.

 

 

 

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