By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
In the 1970s, it wasn't easy for a Pinkston High schoolgirl, even a really bright one, to make the leap over the river to the campus of SMU, but Taylor doesn't tell that story. She doesn't provide any local flavor at all. Calling them The Trinity River Plays is grandiose. These aren't even the Jefferson Viaduct plays.
The performances all are first-rate, but isn't it puzzling that DTC, with its large resident company of professional actors, would cast out-of-towners to play characters who live in Dallas? All the actors come with impressive credentials—if you ever watched The Larry Sanders Show, you'll recognize Ms. Jerald, who played Garry Shandling's secretary—but really, not one role could have gone to a local actor who might actually have known where Oak Cliff was on a map before starting rehearsals?
Not that locale makes much difference in this. A tacked-on final speech by Iris about the Trinity River Project sounds suspiciously like product placement and will make no sense to Chicago audiences. Nor will weak jokes about Waxahachie and Terrell. Perhaps Taylor can change references to Skokie and East Moline. The state tree of Illinois, by the way, is the white oak.