News and Features

Review: ‘On the Eve’ at Theatre Three

OTE74_SpacegroveAntoinetteHomegrown musicals are rare in Dallas. And On the Eve is the little musical that could. It began in 2012 in a tiny workshop production in Fair Park, now it’s been re-staged at Theatre Three. In his review, KERA’s Jerome Weeks says On the Eve is bigger – but not necessarily better.

  • Dallas Morning News review by Nancy Churnin
  • Front Row review by Lindsey Wilson
  • Arts&CultureTexas review by Lauren Smart
  • KERA radio review:
  • Online review:

The music in On the Eve is the heart and soul of the show’s appeal. It’s by the Dallas band Home by Hovercraft, and their indie pop tunes are smart, catchy foot-stompers. Seth and Shawn Magill, the husband-and-wife team behind Home by Hovercraft, throw in waltz rhythms, cellos, tuba and Irish step dancers. The entire musical has much the same feel – it’s full of youthful passion and a quirky resourcefulness. Even the storyline has a throw-in-the-kitchen-sink approach.

Homegrown Dallas musicals have rarely been this lively — but they’ve been rare, period. So I’m sorry I have to disagree with the adoration that’s greeted On the Eve. What, for instance, is this show actually saying? Written by Michael Federico, On the Eve follows an acting troupe in the future re-telling the story of Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, the Frenchie who invented the hot-air balloon in 1783 with his brother Jacques-Etienne. Here, Montgolfier invents a time machine as well, and just as the French Revolution erupts, he takes off, along with a swashbuckling space hero (Seth Magill) and a talking statue (Maryam Baig).

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Best R&B Performance? Denton-Born Snarky Puppy Up For A Grammy

Categorized Under: Media, Music, Uncategorized


The Denton-born music collective Snarky Puppy is looking to garner a Grammy this weekend for the single “Something.” (Update, 6:13 p.m. Sunday: The group won the Grammy for Best R&B Performance, awarded during a pre-telecast.)

A couple members of Snarky Puppy worked with Lalah Hathaway before. And the group is literally all about improvising. But when it was time to gather onstage and record Hathaway’s song “Something” last March, they weren’t ready for what was about to happen.

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The High Five: The State Of The Arts In North Texas From A Curator’s Perspective

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Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The state of the arts in North Texas; Selena Gomez is nominated for a Razzie; the Fort Worth Stock Show continues; and more.

  • Can’t get enough of KERA’s Jeff Whittington on Friday’s Anything You Ever Wanted To Know? Then join him tonight at 7:30 in the latest installment of State of the Arts at the Dallas Museum of Art. The topic: “A Curator’s Perspective.” Joining Jeff will be Andre Karnes, curator with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Gabriel Ritter, the DMA’s Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art.
  • Grand Prairie’s very own Selena Gomez has been nominated for a 2014 Razzie. It’s for her role in last year’s “Getaway.” Billboard reports: “The film was panned, receiving an approval rating of 2 percent at Rotten Tomatoes, and earned Gomez, the female lead, a Razzie nomination for Worst Actress. She’ll go up against Halle Berry, Lindsay Lohan, Naomi Watts and, humorously, Tyler Perry.” The $4.97 gold spray-painted Razzie Award is handed out to otherwise great talent who dropped the ball. The Razzie is an opportunity to “own your bad.”
  • The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is underway at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. It started last Friday and runs through Feb. 8. The Dallas Morning News reports: “At its core, the 118-year-old show is a livestock event, as evidenced by the acres of pickups, trailers and young people tugging cattle through hay-strewn barns. And it’s still a popular one with about 28,000 animals entered this year.” One highlight so far this year: a Western-style wedding featuring a couple from Iowa wearing cowboy regalia, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
  • By 2040, Hispanics or Latinos will be the largest ethnic minority in the United States. So which is it? Hispanic? Latino? To better understand the views and experiences of Latino Americans, NPR conducted a poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. An NPR story featured Mando Rayo, a Texas marketing specialist who says he’s “’part Mexican, part American, 100 percent Tejano!’ Texas trumps everything, although Rayo said if forced to choose, he chooses Latino, because he feels it connects him more to his Latin American roots.” KERA interviewed Rayo last year at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin.
  • A Dallas jury on Wednesday convicted former Cowboys player Josh Brent of intoxication manslaughter in a wreck that killed a teammate. The jury found Brent guilty in a December 2012 wreck in suburban Dallas that killed Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown, who was Brent’s close friend and also his college teammate. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison, though he’s also eligible for probation. Brent and Brown were heading home from a nightclub, where they had partied with other Cowboys players, when Brent lost control of his Mercedes. He was found to have a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. Brent’s attorneys argued authorities’ blood tests were flawed and that their client was a bad driver, but not drunk at the time of the crash. [The Associated Press]
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The Big Screen: Lone Star’s New Film Series

Regulars at Fort Worth’s Lone Star Film Festival know the event takes place every year in November. But with the launch of ArthouseFW this month, the festival is stretching beyond its traditional spot on the calendar. Lone Star artistic director Alec Jhangiani joins the Big Screen today to talk about the series, which you can peruse on the Art&Seek calendar.

As it turns out, it’s really four separate series that fall under the ArthouseFW umbrella. Everything kicks off Jan. 31 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth with Cinemuse. That series features directors and actors who frequently collaborate. First up is a look at the films of John Carpenter and Kurt Russell. They made five of them together, and Escape from New York, The Thing, Escape From L.A. and Big Trouble in Little China will all be shown. Also on offer will be the Samurai Series, tied to the Kimbell’s upcoming samurai exhibition; a Silent Sundays series; and an Auteur Series featuring the films of Luis Buñuel.

Be sure to subscribe to The Big Screen on iTunes. Stream this week’s episode below or download it.

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Flickr Photo of the Week

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Congratulations to Christopher Richey of Dallas, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. Christopher previously won our contest back in July. He follows our previous week’s winner, David Hobson.

4If you would like to participate in the Flickr Photo of the Week contest, all you need to do is upload your photo to our Flickr group page. It’s fine to submit a photo you took earlier than the current week, but we are hoping that the contest will inspire you to go out and shoot something fantastic this week to share with Art&Seek users. If the picture you take involves a facet of the arts, even better. The contest week will run from Monday to Sunday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Monday afternoon. We’ll notify the winner through FlickrMail (so be sure to check those inboxes) and ask you to fill out a short survey to tell us a little more about yourself and the photo you took. We’ll post the winners’ photo on Wednesday.

Now, here’s more from Christopher:

Name: Christopher Richey

City of Residence: Dallas

Title of photo: Dallas, Texas – December 25, 2014

Tell us more about your photo: In a sea of closed businesses on Christmas day 2013, this East Dallas convenience store stood out like a beacon in the night.

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The Big Deal: Dallas Summer Musicals Presents ‘Ghost, The Musical’

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Categorized Under: Giveaways, Music, Theater

In case you did not cry enough the first time you watched Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, then you have another chance.  Ghost, The Musical will manifest at Fair Park when Dallas Summer Musicals presents the Broadway musical Jan. 28 through Feb. 9.

The production, based on the commercially successful 1990 film, features music by Dave Stewart, formerly of the Eurythmics, Glen Ballard, co-writer with Alanis Morissette, and screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin. Enhancing the production is film illusionist Paul Kieve (Hugo, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Matilda the Musical, Pippin) who  brings the special effects and illusions to life.

For this Big Deal, we have one pair of tickets to award for opening night, Jan. 28. And since we do have actual tickets, the lucky winner will have to make arrangements to come by the station during business hours and pick up their tickets before the curtains rise Tuesday evening.  Please keep that in mind before signing up for this Big Deal

Remember also, 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 Ghost, the Musical at Music Hall at Fair Park.

UPDATE: WE have our winner. Thanks for playing.

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The High Five: Is East Texas Becoming A Country Music Hot Spot?

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Azle residents speak before the Texas Railroad Commission; one writer says the black rhino auction is a good thing; is East Texas a country music hotspot?, and more.

  • When it comes to Texas country music, is Tyler the next Austin? Several musicians call East Texas home. “Thanks to such artists such as JB and the Moonshine Band, William Clark Green and perhaps most significantly, Whiskey Myers, more and more industry-types could soon likely make the almost four hour trip from Austin to Tyler pretty regularly,” the Dallas Observer reports. Why Tyler? “I think it’s all coincidence, man,” Whiskey Myers front-man Cody Canon told the Observer. “Tyler and Palestine aren’t big areas, so when we were younger, we pretty much sat in the woods and thought about the music we wanted to make.”
  • Once again, the opera is invading Cowboys territory. The Dallas Opera will offer another free simulcast April 11 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington – The Barber of Seville. And like one of last year’s simulcasts, the April simulcast will be preceded by a Looney Tunes opera parody featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd – Rabbit of Seville. The 1950 cartoon includes a version of Mozart’s famous overture, and was named No. 12 of the 50 greatest cartoons by professional animators. Also, the opera will present five mainstage shows after having done only three in 2012. KERA’s Jerome Weeks has the details on Art&Seek.
  • Azle residents ventured to Austin Tuesday to sound off about the dozens of earthquakes that have hit North Texas since November. They spoke at a Texas Railroad Commission meeting and urged commissioners to stop injection wells used during oil and gas drilling. Residents say the injection wells are causing the quakes. “Commissioners heard a steady stream of complaints about disruptions and health concerns related to the quakes,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. “One resident played a guitar and sang a version of Elvis Presley’s ‘All Shook Up.’” But the three-member agency, which regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas, was non-committal on the solution to the tremors, the newspaper reported. But the commission recently announced it would hire a seismologist to study the issue.
  • Meet Dallas’ new city manager. Dallas City Council members voted unanimously to name A.C. Gonzalez the new city manager. Before Tuesday morning’s vote, they spent nearly an hour showering him with praise. They say they’ll work with him to improve the city. “Change will not be instant, nor will it be change for change sake,” Gonzalez told the council. “It will be strategic.” Gonzalez had been the interim city manager since last summer. He’s a 15-year veteran at City Hall.
  • The debate over the black rhino auction rages. This time, Richard Conniff, who writes about wildlife and is author of “The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth,” wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times. He acknowledges the controversy over the Dallas Safari Club’s African black rhino hunt auction earlier this month.Even so, auctioning the right to kill a black rhino in Namibia is an entirely sound idea, good for conservation and good for rhinos in particular,” Conniff wrote. Why? Namibia has a strong record when it comes to saving the black rhino. Also, the proceeds from the $350,000 auction will be used to preserve rhinos. “Trophy hunting one rhino may thus save many others from being butchered,” Conniff wrote.
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Art&Seek Jr: 5 Cures For The Winter Doldrums

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Categorized Under: Art&Seek Jr., Local Events

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.

This time of year can be hard on a lot of kids. The hub-bub of Christmas is over and it seems like spring break is ages away. If it weren’t for the occasional late winter ice storm the tinies would have nothing to look forward to.

Fear not! The Junior’s got you covered.  Here are some picks guaranteed to chase away the winter blues. Read More »

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Bugs Bunny’s Shenanigans Return To Dallas Opera Simulcast

keith at stadiumThis season’s The Barber of Seville (March 28-April 13) will be the Dallas Opera’s latest free simulcast at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. And like the second simulcast — Puccini’s Turandot in February last year, which screened the Bugs Bunny cartoon, What’s Opera, Doc? — the main event of this April 11th simulcast will be preceded by a Chuck Jones classic, another Looney Tunes opera parody with Bugs and Elmer Fudd. It’s the 1950 cartoon, Rabbit of Seville.

Free general admission tickets for the simulcast can be obtained — now – here.

Oh yeah, and next season, the Dallas Opera is returning to presenting five mainstage shows — after having cut back to only three in 2012. In September, the DO announced that it had achieved a balanced operating budget — two years ahead of schedule. So the return to five shows is a nice, big deal but not entirely unexpected.

And in a press conference today held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington (not to be confused with AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas), Dallas Opera general director Keith Cerny (above) revealed the details of the 2014-15 season, which will include the long-awaited world premiere, Everest, the opera debut of British composer Jody Talbot, written by Gene Sheer (librettist for Moby-Dick). And the season will open with The Marriage of Figaro, which was a Lyric Opera of Chicago production. It’ll  be staged by Dallas Theater Center artistic director Kevin Moriarty. Moriarty directed The Lighthouse at the Wyly Theatre for the company in 2012. Figaro will star Italian bass-baritone Mirco Palazzi in the title role and Austrian soprano Beatte Ritter in her American debut as Susanna — and it’ll be Moriarty’s Winspear Opera House debut. Perhaps the most unusual selection in the season is Tchaikovsky’s rarely performed Iolanta from 1892 — his final opera and this is the first time the company has done. It will close the DO’s season.

Cerny also pointed out that calendar year 2015 will be remarkable for the company: It will include three world premieres, Everest, Great Scott with composer Jake Heggie and a currently unnamed “holidary opera” by composer Mark Adamo.

Here’s the full calendar for 2014-15, and then all the details about visiting stars, conductors and debuts will come after the jump:


  • THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO by W.A. Mozart — October 24, 26(m), 29, Nov. 1, 7 & 9(m), 2014
  • SALOME by Richard Strauss — October 30, Nov. 2(m), 5, 8, & 16, 2014
  • LA WALLY (Act IV) by Alfredo Catalani — on a double bill with a Dallas Opera world premiere,

EVEREST by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer — January 30, Feb. 1(m), 4, 7, 2015

  • LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini — March 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 & 29(m), 2015
  • IOLANTA by P.I. Tchaikovsky — April 10, 12(m), 15 & 18, 2015

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The High Five: Texas Singer-Songwriter Steven Fromholz Has Died At 68

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Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a closer look at Ross Ulbricht; is A.C. Gonzalez the next Dallas city manager?; Texas singer-songwriter Steven Fromholz has died, and more.

  • Texas singer-songwriter Steven Fromholz has died following a hunting accident. He was 68. Fromholz, named a Texas Poet Laureate in 2007, is most famous for his series of songs called the “Texas Trilogy.” Lyle Lovett later recorded the tunes. Saving Country Music reports: “Fromholz rose to become a towering figure of words and music in his home state of Texas, and amongst his famous music friends. He wrote the song ‘I’d Have To Be Crazy’ made popular by Willie Nelson, and also had songs recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, and John Denver amongst others.” The accident happened Sunday near Eldorado, Texas, about 45 minutes south of San Angelo. The Schleicher County Sheriff’s Office told the Associated Press Fromholz was shot when a rifle discharged as it fell to the ground while being transferred from one vehicle to another. He was going to hunt feral hogs.
  • Plano native Michael Urie made it big in the TV show “Ugly Betty” – and now he lives in New York City. The New York Times profiled his quest to get the perfect Manhattan apartment. It’s in a high-rise in a quiet Midtown West neighborhood. The Times reports: “The apartment is a cheery, crowded jumble of books, posters, DVDs and mementos of plays, movies and TV shows.” Furnishings include items used on the “Ugly Betty” set, including the “sleek glass-topped table that served as [Vanessa] Williams’s desk on the series.” The Times says Urie is starring in the satirical one-man show “Buyer & Cellar,” and is the co-director of a new documentary, “Thank You for Judging,” about high school speech and debate competitions back in Texas.
  • Who is Ross Ulbricht? He’s the University of Texas at Dallas graduate accused of operating a vast black market bazaar called the Silk Road that brokered more than $1 billion in transactions for illegal drugs. He was arrested in San Francisco in October and The New York Times has profiled his case. Friends and family are shocked by the news. One friend told The Times: “It’d be like they accused my mother of trying to kill someone. … He’s one of the most guileless and nonaggressive people I’ve ever met.” Ulbricht, who grew up in Austin, went to UT-Dallas on a full academic scholarship and graduated in 2006 with a degree in physics. The Times reports: “He was 6-foot-2, a lean, good-looking guy who could have fronted an indie rock band. But he was the opposite of a Lothario. He was vulnerable and eager to find a soul mate, and fell hard for [a] college girlfriend. The two were engaged … but it ended when Ross learned that she had cheated with one of his closest buddies.” In 2012, Ulbricht and a friend interviewed each other for StoryCorps, an oral history project that airs some of its interviews on NPR.
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