Dallas' independent source of
local news and culture
Conduit's Annex Gallery would be considered roomy if there were, say, pants and shirts hanging in it instead of art. Never let it be said, however, that the Annex Gallery didn't make the most of its limited space. Like its counterpart, Conduit Gallery, Annex has opened itself to some of the brightest up-and-coming artists, including the first show by members of Denton's Good/Bad Art Collective in Dallas. As time goes by and a new layer of paint is added every six weeks, Annex only grows smaller, but it'll always have big ideas.
Before besting a miserable field in District 8, James Fantroy told constituents at a debate this spring at Singing Hills Recreation Center that people in his district are worried about being poisoned by water siphoned specifically to South Oak Cliff from the spill-infested Lake Tawakoni. Paranoia is always one of our favorite traits in an elected official. It's even more fun when it's spiked with racial overtones. No wonder nobody votes in this town. It's kind of a logical choice to simply bag it and go to a movie.
The DMA does not win by default. Dallas' one and only combines the best aspects of art museums from across the metroplex. It has the regional art and historical objects of the Amon Carter and Kimbell. It showcases new talent and cutting-edge, contemporary works as do the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Arlington Museum of Art. Its large, continuously displayed permanent collection puts it over the top, allowing it to highlight acquisitions in special-themed exhibits and retrospectives. Plus it looks ahead with community-centered exhibits (Dallas Perspectives on Art and Religion, its home companion to Seeing God: Art and Ritual Around the World) and its Concentrations series, which has focused on young artists such as Annette Lawrence, Shirin Neshat, and Richard Patterson.
If you had bought Theatre de Marionette season tickets for the little ones this year, you could have assured them of seeing fun, professionally done, European-style puppet performances of such kiddie classics as Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin & His Lamp, Peter Pan, and The Littlest Angel. This is not Freddie the Clown or Howdy Doody stuff. Russian puppetry artist Tina Gromova, who toured Eastern Europe and Asia with the renowned Moscow Puppet Theater, is this year's headliner. Recommended for kids 3-4 years old and up. Individual tickets are still available: $8 for adults, $7 for children.
Undermain Theatre stalwart Bruce DuBose excels at roles in which self-absorption can be easily confused for intensity. Onstage, he's often as serenely soporific as one of his voiceovers for KERA Channel 13 or a truck company, and veteran theatergoers have grown so accustomed to his rich-throated narcotic stylings, they forget that the role can be played in a way not dependent on Nyquil chic. Imagine our surprise when we discovered what has been a widely known phenomenon in the Dallas theater scene for quite a while--DuBose's tendency to pitch major, lung-blasting hissy fits with little provocation. Late last year, we called DuBose at home--he'd given us the number a couple years ago--to invite him to lunch, with the expressed intent to nail down those rumors about the Undermain Theatre's uncertain future. Straight out of the gate, DuBose's voice was a self-righteous sneer ("We're not interested in addressing rumors"), but it quickly gathered into a thunderhead tantrum of adolescent bohemian outrage. Why, he wanted to know, were we calling people at home? Because messages left at the Undermain office are not returned. We, in turn, asked why calls weren't answered, and why press releases weren't sent out to help us inform the public of the Undermain's status. "I don't consider the Observer press!" (get in line on that one, Bruce) was not the corker of the short conversation. That would have to be: "Why should we conform?!" The yelling made his sentences incomprehensible, so we had to hang up on him. The Undermain's imminent displacement after 16 years of excellence is truly tragic, but to have one of its founders represent the company's legacy with such petulance is confounding.
For several years now, Dick's has been doing its part to promote local authors with book-signing parties that are really parties. No boring "readings," no scholarly lectures allowed upstairs where the highly successful gatherings are held. Just lots of friendly mingling, munchies, cash bar, the opportunity to purchase the latest by a local writer and, most important, a good time.