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.
When you’re expecting a baby it seems as if everybody and his dog is full of tips, advice and anecdotal examples of the best ways to take care of junior. I got an earful on everything from how to beat morning sickness, to making your own baby food when I was pregnant with my wee bundle of joy. One piece of advice stuck – I’m still doing it – and with this week’s events, you can too.
Five stories that have North Texas talking: A rocker is attracting criticism; another lawsuit in the Six Flags over Texas roller coaster incident; early voting starts today; and more:
Rock musician Ted Nugent is scheduled to appear with Republican governor hopeful Greg Abbott in North Texas Tuesday – and that’s attracting criticism from Democrats and women’s groups. They don’t care for his name-calling and relationships with teenage girls when he was younger. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Abbott’s campaign for governor said Monday he might not agree with some of Nugent’s language but praised the Motor City Madman as an avid defender of the Constitution. The campaign did not comment regarding Nugent’s inappropriate affairs from 30 years ago.” Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, a political action committee, told The News: “Greg Abbott has crisscrossed our state publicly promising to protect Texas women and children while he’s been making plans to appear at campaign events with an admitted sexual predator.” In a 1998 documentary on VH1, Nugent admitted having affairs with several underage girls. “I was addicted to girls. It was hopeless. It was beautiful,” he said. Nugent is scheduled to appear with Abbott this morning at a Denton restaurant and later today at a Wichita Falls coffeehouse. (Update: Here’s the latest on the Nugent visit — as well as reaction from Wendy Davis, the Democrat running for governor.)
Six Flags Over Texas is suing the German manufacturer of the Texas Giant, saying the roller coaster car was a defective product and dangerous in design. The lawsuit comes after a Dallas grandmother, Rosa Esparza, plunged 75 feet to her death last summer. Six Flags filed the lawsuit Friday in Tarrant County. Last fall, the family of Rosa Esparza sued Six Flags and other groups, including Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, the German company that made the ride. Six Flags and Gerstlauer have denied liability. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “In the filing, Six Flags said it was ‘simply a conduit of providing the ride for the public’s use’ and is seeking ‘full indemnity’ from Gerstlauer.”
Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles is scheduled to meet today with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other department officials.The Dallas Morning News reports that Miles will update the department on Dallas ISD’s efforts regarding teacher quality and evaluation, as well as early childhood. “These are two priorities for President Obama and the Department, and I look forward to hearing their perspective and advice on our efforts in Dallas,” Miles told trustees in a memo, The News reports.
After its record-setting visit to the Winspear Opera House last August, it makes sense for The Book of Mormon to come back to North Texas. But you’ll have to wait a year. It’s not here until February 2015. That’s the headline from the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s announcement Monday of its 2014/2015 Broadway Series season. KERA’s Jerome Weeks with Art&Seek reports: They include two venerable war horses — The Phantom of the Opera, tricked out with a new production design, and Annie. Plus, there are two musicals adapted from movies, Once and Newsies. And Motown: The Musical.
Motown: The Musical with the Tempations played by Jesse Nager, Donald Webber, Jr., Julius Thomas III, Ephraim Sykes and Jawan M. Jackson.Photo credit: Joan Marcus
After its record-setting visit to the Winspear Opera House last August, it makes sense for The Book of Mormon to swing back by and rake in some more ca– I mean, make very happy a couple thousand North Texans who didn’t get the chance to see it the first time. But you’ll have to wait a year. It’s not here until February 2015.
So, in order to keep you entertained until that frabjous day, the good folks at the AT&T PAC are presenting a slew of other Broadway musicals. Two venerable war horses — The Phantom of the Opera, tricked out with a new production design, and Annie, plus two musicals adapted from movies, Once and Newsies, and a musical bouncing to that big thumping beat, telling the story of a Detroit auto worker who creates an empire built on soul music, along the way transforming our American sound, black aspirations and the kind of spinning footwork back-up singers can do. But huh, lookee there, it’s not Dreamgirls. No, it’s the Berry Gordy-approved Motown: The Musical, which means it’s likely a boomer-nostalgic, jukebox musical, recycled R&B division.
In any event, here’s the important info: Season subscriptions are on sale now. No word, though, on when single tickets go on sale.
President Lyndon Johnson met with Civil Rights activists in 1965. (Credit Yoichi Okamoto / LBJ Library photo)
Five stories that have North Texas talking: Paying tribute to LBJ; a Van Cliburn auction; tonight’s the last night for the Chinese Lantern Festival; and more.
Today, the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum is announcing that it will hold a Civil Rights Summit in April to mark the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act. The ceremony is a chance to reconsider Johnson’s presidency. The New York Times reports that his family and friends argue that his legacy has “been overwhelmed by the tragedy of the Vietnam War, and has failed to take into account the blizzard of domestic legislation enacted in the five years Johnson was in the White House.” Three former presidents are expected to attend the April ceremony – Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, The Times reports. President Obama might be there, too. Later, there will be celebrations of the 50th anniversaries of various Johnson initiatives: “Medicare, the Clean Air Act, public broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Head Start, the requirements for seatbelts, and warnings on cigarette packs.”
A public memorial service takes place at 10 a.m. today for William Scott Tanksley, a Dallas firefighter who died during last week’s ice storm after falling from the Spur 408 overpass. Today’s memorial service is at the Terrell ISD Performing Arts Center. A large crowd is expected He will then be buried at Restland Cemetery in Dallas. WFAA-TV reported that at least 300 people attended a service Sunday night in Mabank. “At one point, the line out the front door snaked around the back of Eubanks Cedar Creek Funeral Home,” the station said. The TerrellTribune has more.
Hundreds of items from the estate of pianist Van Cliburn will be put up for auction next month at Christie’s. In 2012, bidders paid $4.4 million for 166 lots of his collection of antiques, jewelry and other items, The Dallas Morning News reports. Cliburn died last February. The auction takes place March 4 and 5.The News reports: “His mother had a passion for fine chairs and the Christie’s auction has plenty of those, including a number of George III period dining chairs. One sentimental item is an 1869 C. Bechstein piano purchased by Mrs. Cliburn in the 1940s and given to her son.”
TheUnited States Navy Band is presenting a free concert tonight at 7:30. It’s at the University of North Texas’ Murchison Performing Arts Center. The band says: “This special performance by the Navy’s premier musical organization is part of the Navy Band’s national tour. The band performs frequently at the White House and the U.S. capitol building, and has participated in 21 presidential inaugurals.” Members of several area high school bands will join the band to perform John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March.” Tickets are required. (Update: Tickets are no longer available. But you can watch the concert live online tonight.)
The Chinese Lantern Festival ends tonight. The Fair Park show, which has been open since the State Fair of Texas this fall, features 25 scenes. They include a royal dragon boat and a 52-foot-tall porcelain pagoda made from 68,000 plates, bowls, spoons and wine cups. A team of more than 100 artisans put together the lanterns. The festival describes the scene: “Brilliant, glowing, artworks comprise 25 stunning displays in a kaleidoscope of color. Like stained glass in 3D, each lantern set is made of hundreds and thousands of individual pieces.”
Composer Libby Larsen with Fort Worth Opera’s Darren K. Woods. Photo: Ellen Appel, Fort Worth Opera
The Fort Worth Opera has pulled the plug on the sci-fi opera A Wrinkle in Time, the $1.2 million world premiere by American composer Libby Larsen that was to have anchored the company’s 2015 festival.
General director Darren K. Woods says the festival will shrink from four productions to three next year because the company’s fundraising has not kept up with rising costs. It’s a setback for the company’s long-term “Operas of the Americas” project. A Wrinkle in Time has been scored, and Woods expects the futuristic opera will be performed later. He says the cuts won’t affect this year’s festival , which starts in April and includes another world premiere — With Blood, With Ink, which is about a 17th-century Mexican nun defending women’s rights in the face of the Inquisition.
Woods sat down with KERA to talk about the 2015 change and the company’s fundraising challenges.
Q. How did you decide to take this out — this was one of the signature pieces for the season?
The Meyerson Symphony Center will turn 25 this year, and the Dallas Symphony will be celebrating. KERA’s Jerome Weeks says after several years of cutbacks and caution, good financial news has the DSO making more ambitious plans for its new season, including launching an annual festival in the Arts District.
KERA radio story:
The three-week music and arts festival is called Soluna. The name combines the Latin words for sun and moon, indicating the kind of round-the-clock activity the festival hopes to offer next May in the Arts District (the festival calendar at the moment is a bare framework of the DSO’s concerts — the other participants and a fuller calendar will be announced in early April). In addition, for its 2014-2015 season, the Dallas Symphony will inaugurate a new recital series for the acclaimed Lay Family concert organ in the Meyerson. The orchestra will also expand its new ReMix series, the one that has the DSO performing more adventurous, more chamber-music-style concerts in the City Performance Hall.
DSO president Jonathan Martin says all this is possible because the orchestra’s audience and revenue numbers are looking up. “We reversed a long-term trend starting this past year,” he says. “If we can continue to build our audience, and if we can continue to build the funding, it does make economic sense to expand [the number of concert weekends]. So it’s not just for artistic reasons, it’s part of our business plan. And also, the reality is we’re in a better economy than we were three years ago.”
Five stories that have North Texas talking: a black business executive gets into the Dallas Country Club after a 13-year wait, a transgender widow wins a fight in court, catch WFAA’s Dale Hansen on Ellen, and more.
Chillin’ backstage with their homies.Photo credit: Jerome Weeks
If you’ve heard of the opera, Death and the Powers, you’ve probably heard it called the ‘robot opera.’ It features not just futuristic robots onstage, but an entire set that moves and flashes images. Dallas Opera is currently presenting Death and the Powers, and KERA’s Jerome Weeks went backstage at the Winspear Opera House to learn more about the robots’ inner workings.
The sound of the future in composer Tod Machover’s opera, Death and the Powers, is a sound that manages to combine symphonic music, choral wails and the synthesized bleeps and chitterings one would expect from a sci-fi opera: In this case, it’s the sound of robots downloading human memories in Death‘s opening prologue.
But backstage at the Winspear Opera House, the future sounds a little different — a bit rattley. It’s one of the opera’s eleven robots racing — well, rolling slowly — to get in place for a rehearsal. The robot is being directed by its human handlers to move to center stage, but it needs to get up a little ramp first.
Composer Tod Machover has made a name for himself where technology meets music — that’s what he teaches as part of the MIT Media Lab. He’s even invented new kinds of musical instruments. But these opera bots are something different: “They’re about seven feet tall.” he says, “and their heads look like Plexiglas, triangle pizza boxes, something Apple might make if they were selling pizza, you know.”
Art&Seek followers know that Dallas artist David Bates has two major exhibitions running simultaneously at two different museums. His sculpture is on view at the Nasher Sculpture Center and his paintings are at The Modern in Fort Worth. Quite an unprecedented achievement.
Bates is Krys Boyd’s guest on Think today at noon. And you can get all the details about his current shows from Jerome Weeks’ recent report on KERA FM.
But we thought you’d also be interested in this video we unearthed, part of the Deep In the Arts series on KERA TV. Bates talks about how he was drawn to magnolias, beer bottles and a big bundle of fish. Enjoy!