DUSTING OFF A CLASSIC: Every year, the Dallas Theater Center performs A Christmas Carol. The trick is figuring out how to keep the material interesting when many of these actors have performed the show hundreds of times. The good news is that it sounds like the DTC has figured it out. Lawson Taitte says in his dallasnews.com review that shaking up the cast – most notably moving longtime Bob Cratchit Chamblee Ferguson into the Scrooge roll – was an inspired idea. But while Taitte was impressed with Ferguson, Kris Noteboom wasn’t. “Primary among the inconsistencies is Chamblee Ferguson’s Ebenezer Scrooge,” he writes on theaterjones.com. “One dimensional and cartoonish, his interpretation would have worked well if he weren’t consistently pitted against the decidedly darker characters, the ghosts.” You be the judge through Christmas Eve.
COOL CANVASES: San Antonio native Erik Parker is the subject of a Focus show at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Parker’s brightly colored paintings look like album and magazine covers – not a coincidence since he developed his talent early on be re-creating them in his own style. Gaile Robinson calls the canvases at the Modern “fiercely cool” in her dfw.com review.
ABOUT THOSE INCENTIVES: The Wall Street Journal reports that the state of Texas is refusing to make good on $1.75 million worth of incentives it pledged to the producers of Machete because the film paints the state in a negative light. The state says the movie violates a law that essentially says incentives won’t be paid to movies that don’t reflect the state favorably. It’s the same law that has kept a movie about the Branch Davidian compound from shooting in the state. The WSJ says Texas is the only state with such a law on the books.