I’m taking a break. First stop: Prague.

The Munro Review is going on hiatus for a couple of weeks. When I return, there will be exciting changes ahead

The high-speed Intercity train to Krakow just pulled out of Praha hlavní nádraží, Prague’s main train station. As I write this post, Shane and I are watching the countryside of Czechia (which is what the Czech Republic goes by these days) fly by.  Agricultural fields dominate the foreground and stubby-treed forests are in the distance, all verdant and lush. The suburbs of Prague sprawl a lot less than they would in a similar sized American city. There are lots of buildings and then, boom, green as far as you can see. Could I fit some of that city-and-regional planning in my pocket and take it back to California?

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Catching opera the way they do it in Europe: I’m at intermission at the Prague National Opera of “Lohengrin,” a nearly five-hour Wagner opera.

All this is a roundabout way of telling you that 1) I’m 5,618 miles from Fresno right now; 2) high-speed rail can be a wonderful thing; and 3) high-speed internet is a blessing and a curse. I’ve been out of the country for the past five days. Wait, you ask, how is it that you’ve been publishing posts during that time? The answer: WordPress knows no borders.

But now, the second part of my vacation — the non-Munro Review part — begins. I’ll be gone for nearly two weeks bopping around Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. This will be my first extended absence from the site since I started it more than a year ago. (Time flies!)

My flight from Fresno meant I had to miss Audra McDonald’s big concert, to my disappointment. Just a few minutes ago, however, I posted a review of the event by my friend and former Bee colleague Doug Hoagland, who graciously agreed to give his take of the event. (Thank you, Doug!)

Continue reading “I’m taking a break. First stop: Prague.”

A blog is born

I’m here and I’m clearly passionate about continuing to cover local arts.

New platform. Newer Donald.

Welcome to The Munro Review, where I cover arts, culture and other interesting stuff in the central San Joaquin Valley. I spent the last 16 years covering local arts and culture for The Fresno Bee. Now I’m ready to take my passion for the arts to the next level.

Based on questions you’ve been asking, here’s a quick rundown to start things off:

Q: What do you plan to cover on The Munro Review?

A: I’m going to offer a curated look at the local scene with a special emphasis on theater, classical music, visual art, dance, the literary arts and anything else that strikes my fancy. I believe that advance stories about upcoming events are an important part of arts coverage because they give audience members added context in terms of relating to and connecting with artistic events. I’ll be continuing to offer a critical voice through reviews, and I will cover local arts news. I’ll throw in coverage of some of my own interests, too, including travel and books, and will likely be unleashing some Fresno-centric commentary from time to time. All this is in the early stages, but I’m excited about the possibilities ahead.

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Photo / Craig Kohlruss

Q: Will other writers be contributing?

A: Maybe! I’m starting off as a one-person show, but who knows what the future holds?

Continue reading “A blog is born”