Articulations

Deming Departs

It seems like only weeks ago that we were congratulating David Deming on being named permanent dean for the UT College of Fine Arts and just yesterday we were sitting in his office listening to him discuss the direction of the college in the 21st century. In fact, it's been half a year that Deming has been in the arts school's top spot and a full semester since we sat down with him for an interview. But even so, it's still too short a time for this successful sculptor and longtime UT faculty member to be abandoning the dean's post. Yet that's precisely what Deming is doing. Word came down this week that the dean is resigning and leaving Austin to return to his hometown, Cleveland. What's there? Well, the proverbial offer he couldn't refuse. It seems the one job that could lure Deming from his home of 26 years and the deanship at UT was the presidency of his alma mater, the Cleveland Institute of Art. And that's the job he was offered. You can't blame the man for answering when his hometown calls, but after a quarter century, the 40 Acres just won't seem the same without him. Best wishes to you, Dean Deming, and thanks.

Mixed Nuts!

Austin has been nuts for everybody's favorite holiday ballet for 35 years now, and Ballet Austin figures that's a swell time for a reunion. A reunion of everyone who has ever taken part in one of the company's productions of The Nutcracker. The company is sounding the call to anyone who ever took on a role in the seasonal standard -- and by role, BA means any role: snowflake, party guest, or bon bon, even -- to come on down to the Performing Arts Center this Sunday, December 14, for a group photo and brief appearance onstage during the matinee performance of this year's production. If you're one of the proud, the many, and would like to join in the reunion, call the Ballet at 476-0541.

Speaking of this year's Nutcracker, Ballet Austin artistic director Lambros Lambrou has added a gimmick that some audience members may find even more memorable than those still new sets and costumes by Richard Isackes and Tommy Bourgeois. In a choice touch of holiday whimsy, Lambrou has persuaded 10 local celebrities to take a part in the show. At each performance, one of these Austin stars will step into the spotlight dolled up as Mother Ginger. That's right, Mother Ginger, the monstrous mama in the Land of the Sweets whose voluminous skirts conceal those dozens and dozens and dozens of dancing kiddos, the Bon Bons. It's a goofy part, a campy part, and this year 10 Austinites will have the chance to camp it up atop that 10-foot frame. Who, you want to know? None other than Coach Jody Conradt (Dec. 12), Hizzoner Kirk Watson (Dec. 13), Shannon Sedwick (Dec. 14), Jane Greig (Dec. 19), Coach Bubba Thornton (Dec. 20 matinee), Julie B (Dec. 20 evening), Willie Kocurek (Dec. 21 matinee), J.R. Gonzales (Dec. 21) Ron Oliveira (Dec.22), and "Hollywood" Henderson (Dec. 23). Make your plans accordingly. Ticket prices are $13-$40. Call 476-9051 for information.

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