So, we now have a definitive answer as to the authenticity of that danged seat being auctioned off on eBay: It's the real deal, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed chair that was in the 1959-constructed Kalita Humphreys Theater until, most likely, the 1983 makeover. Says Eva Chien, the DTC's public relations director who spent the entire day with many Dallas Theater Center staffers tracking down the chair's lineage, "It is absolutely and in fact an original chair from the Frank Lloyd Wright theater. But it is not in its original upholstery, because the original was gold in conjunction with this organic theory of architecture."
So, yeah. It's orange. Used to be gold. There ya go.
"We pulled the archives and looked at picture after picture," says Chien, who says it was indeed a day well spent. "The seats have been changed a number of times -- not just since 1983. This adventure in color has been nothing but fun."
Earlier in the day, Unfair Park got an e-mail from Friend of Unfair Park Lorlee Bartos, who wrote, "I was at the Dallas Theater Center working on an MFA during the Baker regime -- 1977 to '79 for me -- and it sure looks like the chairs I remember, orange." Chien says that's probably accurate.
"Those seats could very well have been orange in the 1970s," she says. "They just were not orange in 1959. But that is the original seat, just not in its original format."
Fact is, Chien says, the Dallas Theater Center actually still has some of those original chairs on hand in its production facility. They're leftovers after some were auctioned off years ago. And if you must know, the Undermain actually has some in its space. "So," Chien says, "they're all over the place."
And one can be all over your place, if you act fast: Eighteen hours left, and counting... --Robert Wilonsky