ATTPAC, DTC add open captioning for the hearing impaired

Hand making P signLast month, we ran a story about Don Jones, who for decades has been the American Sign Language interpreter for the Turtle Creek Chorale. We also mentioned how Theatre 3 was leading a push to sponsor real-time deaf interpretation during certain performances.

Now the AT&T Performing Arts Center and Dallas Theater Center are getting into the act as well. In conjunction with the Theatre Development Fund, ATTPAC and DTC will provide open captioning — similar to the supertitles at an opera, with all the dialogue, lyrics and sound effects projected on the side of the stage — at select performances of shows. The first was last Sunday at A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, but the DTC will do it four more times this season: At the new musical Bella: An American Tall Tale (Oct. 6), at A Christmas Carol (Dec. 11), at The Christians (Feb. 12, 2017) and at the world premiere Hood (July 16). ATTPAC is expected to add more dates as shows come available.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Review: Turtle Creek Chorale’s ‘O Holy Night’

Last year, the Turtle Creek Chorale performed their holiday concert — because they kinda had to — at the newly opened Winspear Opera House. It was not a success. The acoustics in the hall did not suit choral voice. The hall, larger than the Meyerson, was not filled. The show itself was goofy, with a plot-line (I’ve forgotten what) that wasn’t very funny.

Artistic director Jonathan Palant has said this year’s concert was a kind of greatest hits — favorite songs from past seasons — as well as a homecoming to the Meyerson. And it’s not a funny show … or at least, not filled with shtick. It’s a classic holiday concert, and one well worth seeing. The final performance is tonight.

Of course, there’s the finale, “Silent Night/Peace, Peace,” which includes a soundless verse performed by the entire chorus in American Sign Language; there’s Santa (one of the best out there); there is the poinsettia dedication (182 now fill the stage representing past members). But there are few gimmicks (just the ones we like, such as flamboyant performances by a few members set to the tune “Single Ladies” and the snow effect that ended Act 1). Still, it’s not a somber concert, just a beautiful one; at intermission, I overheard several attendees remark how they enjoyed sticking with the music (Palant himself noted from the podium that he’s not the funniest guy when he’s unscripted) — and they were right.

The performance of “Auld Lang Syne” stood out most of all, as it takes a tune we think we are familiar with an added a lovely, ethereal quality with a tin whistle accompaniment that left a haunting memory in the auditorium. It’s a great way to spend an evening before the holidays.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones