News and Features

Fort Worth Experimental Jazz Great Ornette Coleman Dies

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Ornette Coleman. Photo: John Murphy

The jazz world lost a great today — an original. Ornette Coleman grew up poor and fatherless in Fort Worth. He was largely self-taught as a jazz player and composer. Yet he went on to revolutionize the music and become a worldwide icon of experimentation. He died this morning of cardiac arrest at 85. KERA’s Jerome Weeks has this report.

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Analysis: Last Thoughts On ‘Medea’ – And Some Serious Questions About DTC Casting

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Sally Nystuen Vahle in the title role of Medea. Photo: Karen Almond

The Dallas Theater Center’s 2014-’15 season is now in full hindsight. Done and done. Sets gone, casts dispersed, on to the next show. Single tickets for the 2016 season go on sale to the general public in two weeks.

Yet there’s one recent, unsettling performance that lingers. A number of actors remain marvelous in memory, but this one has left me pondering: Sally Nystuen Vahle in the title role of Medea. I’ve been thinking about not just Medea or Vahle but wider concerns involving casting and programming at the Theater Center. And such thoughts have repeatedly led to this single question.

Why does the Brierley Resident Acting Company even exist?

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Jubilee Theatre Announces 35th Season – With Guest Directors

Brochure Cover ImageNorth Texas’ longest-established African-American company is still standing and producing shows. But the need for a new Jubilee Theatre season staged entirely by guest directors is plain enough: Tre Garrett, the artistic director hired five years ago to run the theater, is “no longer associated with Jubilee,” said David Hadlock, the theater’s marketing manager.

Garrett — whose full name is Declois Garrett Beacham — was placed on administrative leave after he was arrested January 31st this year for allegedly soliciting sex for $100 from two boys, one 11-year-old and the other 17-year-old. Samantha Jordan, communications officer with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, says the charges are still pending, with the next court date set for June 30th. Through his attorney, Patrick Curran, the Houston native has denied the charges.

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The Big Screen: Oak Cliff FF Preview

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BIG SCREEN LOGO FOR POSTThe 4th Oak Cliff Film Festival takes over a number of venues across the Dallas neighborhood beginning Thursday night. This week, we’ll get a preview from the festival’s programmers and talk about honoring a style of filmmaking that rejects convention.

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

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The Big Deal: Barefoot At The Belmont: Leon Bridges With Gollay

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Categorized Under: Giveaways, KXT, Local Events, Music

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Art&Seek has tickets for the next show in the KXT’s Barefoot at the Belmont series. Sign up to win tickets to the ALREADY SOLD OUT concert featuring soul singer Leon Bridges with Fort Worth songstress Gollay. The June 18 concert, of course, will be hosted at the historic Belmont Hotel, the Oak Cliff venue with a killer view of the Dallas Skyline.barefoot at the belmont logo

Go ahead and take the time now to also sign up for our other two prize giveaways this week – tickets to the Bruce Wood Dance Project’s 5Years at Dallas City Performance Hall, or tickets to Exhibition on Screen: Girl with a Pearl Earring and Other Treasures from the Mauritshuis Museum Netherlands showing at Cinemark West Plano and HD or Ridgmar 13 + Extreme in Fort Worth.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to go Barefoot at the Belmont with Leon Bridges and with Gollay presented by KXT 91.7

UPDATE: We have our winners. Thanks for playing.

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The Big Deal: Bruce Wood Dance Project’s 5Years

Photo: Brian Guilliaux

Photo: Brian Guilliaux

The Bruce Wood Dance Project is celebrating its fifth season with what else – but an evening of great dance. The program, 5Years, will begin with Wood’s signature Requiem, set to Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor. Following that is the contemporary piece, Whispers. The commissioned work by BWDP alum, Albert Drake is a testament of Wood’s influence and how he continues to inspire others. Then it’s time to boogie on down with Wood’s tribute to the music and culture of the 1970s.  Polyester Dreams features the music of Gladys Knight, the Jackson 5, and Marvin Gaye. The winner of this Big Deal will receive a pair of tickets for the Friday night performance, June 19 at Dallas City Performance Hall.

But before you start pulling out those lamé pants and silk shirts out of the closet be sure to first sign up for our other Big Deals this week – tickets to KXT’s Barefoot at the Belmont featuring Leon Bridges with Gollay, or tickets to Exhibition on Screen: Girl with a Pearl Earring and Other Treasures from the Mauritshuis Museum Netherlands showing at Cinemark West Plano and HD or Ridgmar 13 + Extreme in Fort Worth.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to win tickets to see Bruce Wood Dance Project’s 5Years.

UPDATE: We have our winners. Thanks for playing.

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The Big Deal – Exhibition On Screen: Girl With A Pearl Earring And Other Treasures From The Mauritshuis Museum Netherlands

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Girl with a Pearl Earring is the contemplative work by Dutch artist Johannes Vermer.  Who was the modest model in the painting, and how did Vermeer paint his photograph-like masterpiece? Girl with a Pearl Earring is featured prominently in the next Exhibition on Screen event – the series that brings the world’s greatest art to a cinema near you.  Win a pair of tickets to see the high definition documentary screening on June 23.  Choose to see Girl with a Pearl Earring and Other Treasures from the Mauritshuis Museum Netherlands at the Cinemark West Plano and XD or at the Ridgmar 13 + Extreme in Fort worth.

Don’t forget to take the time now to sign up for our other Big Deals this week – tickets to see 5Years presented by the Bruce Wood Dance Project at Dallas City Performance Hall, or tickets to KXT’s Barefoot at the Belmont featuring Leon Bridges with Gollay.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to discover the secrets behind one of the world’s most enigmatic masterpieces, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

To see Exhibition on Screen in Plano at the Cinemark West Plano and XD, sign up here.

Fill out my online form.

To see Exhibition on Screen in Fort Worth at Ridgmar 13 + Extreme, sign up here.

UPDATE: We have our winners. Thanks for playing.

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Art&Seek Jr: 5 Events For The Littlest Animal Lovers

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.

Our household was sans pets until Rose was 6. I’d owned a succession of cats and dogs from the time I was small, but when the last geriatric cat from my single years died a few months before Rose was born, I decided to take a break from pet ownership. In my opinion, potty training should be limited to one small being at a time.

Lilah isn't much of lap cat. ( Photo: Therese Powell)

Lilah isn’t much of lap cat. ( Photo: Therese Powell)

When Rose was mature enough to take care of a pet–i.e. I was ready to clean out litter boxes again–we welcomed Lilah into our family. Lilah was adopted from the city’s animal shelter and although she was a cute, huggable, ball of fur, she made it clear from the beginning she was no lap cat and public displays of affection were strictly off limits. If there were any doubts about how she felt about being picked up and loved on, “Lilah Scissor-Claws” set the record straight. Pretty much everyone gives Lilah a wide path. Even my sister’s dog nervously looks over her shoulder when the cat is in the room. But Rose is undeterred by Lilah’s growly, curmudgeony disposition and routinely carries her around like a baby despite the cat’s protests.

The funny thing is, even though Lilah puts on a big show about wanting nothing to do with us, she never seems to be far away. She’s at the end of the couch when we’re watching TV, she’s sitting on the counter when I’m getting ready in the morning, and most curious of all, she sleeps with Rose at night. Granted, she waits until Rose is asleep before getting into bed, but she shares her bed all the same.

I guess Lilah understands the true meaning of being in a family. Even though they sometimes bug you and they don’t always listen, you still love your family.

Check out these events for your little animal lovers.  Read More »

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Flickr Photo Of The Week

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Categorized Under: Visual Arts

18289575712_7fb0fc373f_zCongratulations to Dan Huntley of Carrollton, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. Dan is a first time winner of our little contest. He follows last week’s winner, Ofwa Mwalilino of Dallas,.

If 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 Tuesday to Monday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Friday 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 Tuesday.

Dan HuntleyTitle of photo: Trinity River – Dallas, Texas

Equipment: Nikon D750 – Nikon 16-35mm

Tell us more about your photo: I captured this image during a meet up with other Dallas photographers at Reunion Tower. Reunion Tower has fantastic views of the Metroplex area, but what made this night special was the swollen Trinity River and the epic sunset. The orange glow on the river that night was priceless.

 

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So The DSM Lost At The Tony Awards – But It’ll Still Win

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Categorized Under: Theater
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Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone and Emily Skeggs play Alison at different ages in Fun Home. Photo: Joan Marcus

  • Hear Michael Jenkins this Thursday chat about An American in Paris and the Dallas Summer Musicals’ 75th anniversary in a radio conversation. The DSM opens Cinderella tomorrow at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

The Broadway musical Fun Home scored a significant upset last night at the Tony Awards, winning not just best musical and best direction of a musical but also best original score, best book and best actor in a musical. It was quite the cheering, underdog victory for a show that has no star and no big theater names attached to its creative team. An American in Paris, which has the Dallas Summer Musicals‘ director Michael Jenkins as one of its producers, went in as the popular favorite — with twelve nominations (tied with Fun Home), a George Gershwin score adapted from a beloved Gene Kelly movie and acclaimed dance work from renowned British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon (who premiered his own version of the Can-Can for the opening galas of the Winspear Opera House in 2009).

But Wheeldon’s win for best choreography was one of the few bright spots for American. It won three other Tony Awards in categories like best orchestration — categories that don’t typically cause stampedes on the box office. Not the way the ‘best musical award’ traditionally has done, at any rate.

Doesn’t matter. At all. Really. Not when it comes to the future of An American in Paris. The fact is Fun Home — the musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s moving, graphic novel of growing up a lesbian with a closeted gay father, living in the family funeral home — it needed that best musical win for its financial future more than American. Despite its boundary-pushing material, Fun Home is doing well at the box office. And once it got those twelve nominations, the show got a national tour set up. In other words, the safe and predictable world of theater tours has changed and expanded — after Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon did so well (and continue to do well). But don’t expect Fun Home to do that kind of business or play much beyond the biggest cities.

In this regard, it’s worth noting that Fun Home is selling very well in New York, but it’s playing at Circle in the Square, one of the smallest Broadway houses, ever, with only 623 seats (the Wyly Theatre has 600).

In contrast, as the DSM’s Michael Jenkins pointed out in a phone call this morning from New York, not only are the box office sales for American doing extremely well at Broadway’s Palace Theatre (with 1,740 seats, it’s almost three times the size of Circle in the Square), the show has already lined up a national tour of more than 73 cities (it comes to Dallas in 2017). On top of all that, Jenkins added, ticket sales for American actually went up during the Tony Award telecast itself.

So no need to feel bad about the DSM’s loss of the big prize. American‘s financial future is very secure.

The other big North Texas connection at the Tonys was known beforehand and has been noted elsewhere: the fact that Wichita Falls native Tommy Tune won a lifetime achievement award, having won nine regular Tonys already.

But there were two other Dallas links among the Tony winners that have been overlooked. Natasha Katz won her fifth Tony Award for lighting design — for An American in Paris. Throughout the ’80s, Katz was the Dallas Theater Center’s ‘house lighting designer’ under artistic director Adrian Hall. And Michael Cerveris, who won his second best-actor Tony for his performance in Fun Home, played Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream under visiting director David Petrarca at the DTC in 1991 — two years before his Broadway career lifted off in the title role of The Who’s Tommy.

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