We’ve returned to the office, where I can post a little easier. Here are some more photos from today’s media day at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. I’d say more than half of the 150 or so TV, radio, and print people in attendance hailed from beyond our burg’s borders. It was a good group. You can check out Zac’s Flickr page for his pics. You’ll see that we covered some of the same ground. That said, jump for the pretties.
Yes, there is already a wodge of gum in the Wyly Theatre. This particular wodge was spotted at the base of the main stairwell that leads up from the box office to the performance hall. Shocking.
This is Jacob Cigainero standing at the Wyly box office. He does PR for the Dallas Theater Center, which, given its new home, ought to consider changing its name to the Dallas Theatre Centre. Just a suggestion.
Eric Celeste issued a challenge to the female media members, daring them to enter this backstage unisex bathroom with him. He got no takers.
The Wyly is very big on this shade of green, which I was told is NOT the same color as the Nasher green. In any case, I like it. Professor Willard Spiegelman, on the other hand, gave it the thumbs down. (Green? Thumbs down? See what I did there?)
Rem Koolhaas addressed our sub-group of media types in an antechamber to the roof-deck party space atop the Wyly. At one point, while answering a question, he took out his cellphone and fiddled with it. He seemed distracted and not entirely ecstactic about being there. Which made this all the more delicious: when he'd finished his five minutes of explication, a member of the media who shall remain unnamed said, "I couldn't hear what you said. Can you say it again?"
See? Told you. Koolhaas' cellphone was blowing up.
Here's the view from the roof-deck party palace. The photo gives the impression that it looks like a jail. It doesn't. This space is glorious. I was told you can rent it for parties, and I predict it will instantly become the most sought-after rental space in Dallas. Unless that space is ....
... the balcony one floor down. The outdoor space is smaller, but the inside room is larger. Great for receptions.
The floor of the outdoor balcony is covered with a lush faux grass. Manny Mendoza (now a filmmaker, previously of the Morning News) looked at it and said, "Did you bring your 7-iron?" It's really cool. The foot you see here belongs to a journalist from Vancouver. They put her up in the Mansion. Things must be good in Vancouver, eh?
As noted earlier in the blog, I have a crush on architect Joshua Prince-Ramus. But here's the other interesting thing about him: when we were going through fact check on the story we published in October, we received a three-page fax from P-R correcting the way we'd identified the Wyly's designer. It's complicated. Koolhaas and P-R used to work together. Then they split. The Wyly was conceived and built before, during, and after this split. I am simplifying here, but P-R's fax to us essentially said: you're not giving me enough credit. I asked him about this dual credit, and he gave a very polite, political-sounding answer about how he and Koolhaas work (or worked) really well together, blah, blah. I don't buy it. IJS.
Our tour of the Wyly completed, we mosied over to the Winspear Opera Ho. As opposed to the Wyly, which Prince-Ramus described as a "theater engine," the Winspear is a glorious, soaring space -- especially in the lobby. I really like the Wyly. But it's an intellectual treat. The Winspear speaks to the soul. Everywhere you look, you want to take a picture. Which I did. Forgive me. I tried to edit these down.
Look! You can see your reflection!
Sir Norman Foster is an engaging guy. I've been told that he and Koolhaas don't play well together. At some of their Dallas appearances together, they have gravitated to opposite sides of the room. If that's true, and if I had to make a choice between one or the other architect to have a beer with, I'd go with Foster. No question.
Foster said the grand staircase is a democratizer. There are no special entrances for the silk stocking crowd. Everyone walks together.
Or perhaps you prefer the elevator. The floor numbers are displayed thusly. Cool, no?
As I said, everywhere you look in the Winspear, you want to take a picture. Here you can see the DSO's Di Suvero sculpture in the distance. You know, seems to me that Dallas almost has two colors fighting for its soul: red and bright green. I'll take red, for obvious reasons.
Fun fact: every seat in the Winspear has its own heating and cooling vent beneath it. Comfy!
Here's the lunch we were served. By far, the best press lunch I've eaten. The short ribs were delicious. I assume this is the same food the cafe at the Winspear will turn out for non-media folk. If so, mark it down now as a place to check out, even if you don't like singing.
I put up an earlier pic of landscape architect Michel Desvigne walking through his shallow reflecting pond. As a couple of us shot pics, he seemed embarrassed for the attention. Eric Celeste, on the other hand, decided to play Jesus. One more point: I love the space between the two buildings. And I understand why they named it the Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park rather than the Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Space Between the Buildings. But still. Would you call it a park?