Visiting the Nasher Sculpture Center Monday, Mar 26 2012 

While I was in Dallas last week for work, I visited the Nasher Sculpture Center. PJ and I had visited it a few years ago, and I’m not really all that much into sculpture, but I had time between meetings and was in the neighborhood, so I decided to stop in and see what’s on exhibit.

Most of the collection is the same as the last time we were there, but I very much enjoyed the special exhibit, the touring exhibit of Elliott Hundley’s The Bacchae. As the Nasher website describes,

Over the past decade, Hundley has developed a multifaceted, intricate art using paint, photographs, and organic and found materials ranging from bamboo, goat hooves, and pine cones to pins, magnifying lenses, and gold leaf. The mythic world of ancient Greek tragedy becomes vividly contemporary as Hundley reimagines Euripides’s last play, The Bacchae, in twelve works presented in one of the Nasher’s street-level galleries.

Here’s a picture I found online of my favorite work in this collection, Hundley’s Pentheus:

Wikipedia explains who Pentheus was in Greek mythology:

The king of Thebes, Cadmus, abdicated in favor of his grandson, Pentheus, due to his old age. Pentheus soon banned the worship of the god Dionysus, who was the son of his aunt Semele, and did not allow the women of Cadmeia to join in his rites.

An angered Dionysus caused Pentheus’ mother Agave and his aunts, Ino and Autonoë, along with all the other women of Thebes, to rush to Mount Cithaeron in a Bacchic frenzy. Because of this, Pentheus imprisoned Dionysus, but his chains fell off and the jail doors opened for him.

Dionysus then lured Pentheus out to spy on the Bacchic rites. The daughters of Cadmus saw him in a tree and thought him to be a wild animal. Pentheus was pulled down and torn limb from limb by them (as part of a ritual known as the sparagmos), causing them to be exiled from Thebes. Some say that his own mother tore off his head, and that she was the first to attack him, tearing his arm off.

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My New Barbara Cook Obsession Sunday, Mar 11 2012 

When Barbara Cook was honored during the Kennedy Center Honors earlier this year, I didn’t know who she is — I was just watching to see the Meryl Streep tribute! I was a little bummed last night, and I thought to myself that I should reconnect with something that made me happy when I was younger. The first thing that came to mind was my youthful devotion to Broadway soundtrack albums (of course!). I started browsing on iTunes, and when I came across some Barbara Cook albums, it initiated my newest obsession.

Miss Cook is, without a doubt, a musical genius. I can’t believe I’ve gone nearly 42 years without knowing about and worshiping her! One of my favorite Broadway love songs as a kid was from The Music Man: “Til There Was You.” Imagine my joy when I learned that Cook originated the role of Marion the Librarian! Here’s her version of the song:

She won a Tony award for her performance in this show.

My newest favorite Broadway song is “Losing My Mind” from Follies. Cook has a great version of this too!

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