Thursday, December 31, 2009

Upcoming: Verdict of Love by Ann Ciccolella, staged reading at private residence, January 10

Found on-line:

Austin Shakespeare presents

Verdict of Love
by Ann Ciccolella,
a staged reading at a private residence
January 10, 2010, 4 p.m.

Join Austin Shakespeare for an exclusive staged reading of Verdict of Love by Ann Ciccolella. Following on last year's successful reading of Madame X, some of Austin's finest actors will appear in this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's final novel A Marble Faun. In it, a mysterious young woman joins a couple of young American artists visiting the sensuous world of 19th century Rome along with an extraordinary Italian who has an uncanny resemblance to a delightful Greek statue. Hawthorne's final novel revolves around Romantic themes of freedom from guilt and the redemption that love can bring.

Tickets: $35 Includes refreshments. E-mail to purchase tickets
or telephone Austin Shakespeare at (512) 470-4505.

[illustration: portrait of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne, from 1884 biography by Julian Hawthorne]

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Arts Reporting: The Chronicle's Top 9s of '09 for Theatre

The Austin Chronicle appears early this week, clearing its decks with articles on the top 9s in 2009. Of interest for theatregoers:

Robert Faires' list of Top 9 Theatre Productions of 2009 That Did Ascend the Brightest Heaven of Invention salutes bobrauschenbergamerica, Spring Awakening, Dionysus in 69, House of Several Stories, The Psyche Project, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Jungle, Black Snow + Murder Ballad Murder Mystery, and The Last Five Years + Shooting Star. Faires gives "honorable mentions" to Spaceman:Dada:Robot, Arthuriosis, The Grapes of Wrath, the Method Gun, I've Never Been So Happy, and Confidence Men's Improvised Mamet.

Wayne Alan Brenner's list of Top 9 Creative Arts, Ah, Things I Was Lucky Enough to Experience This Year includes The Method Gun, Mr. Z Loves Company, The Jungle, and Arthur Simone's Dear Frailty.

Barry Pineo offers a list of the Top 9 Most Memorable Locally Produced Live Performance Offerings That I Chanced to See in 2009: Dionysus in 69, Murder Ballad Murder Mystery, House of Several Stories, Shooting Star, Killer Joe, La Bohème, Rabbit Hole, The Pajama Game, and As You Like It at the Scottish Rite Theatre.

Elizabeth Cobbe identifies the
Top 9 Ways to Decorate a Set: Three Days of Rain, Black Snow, Cyrano de Bergerac, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Henry V staged by Robert Faires, The Jungle, the puppets for The Long Now, The Music Man and (in case you missed it in first place!) Three Days of Rain.

Upcoming: How To Be A Rock Star! 2, Theatrikids at North Hills Community Church, January 23 and 30

Found on-line:

How 2BA Rockstar 2– On Tour

by Theatrikids

January 23 and 30, 2010

Theatrikids' hilarious sequel to last Spring's Original Musical How To Be a Rockstar is appropriate and entertaining to the whole family! Shows are performed accompanied by a live band, with raffle prizes and lots of fun.

at North Hills Community Church, 12233 Ranch Road 620 N Austin, TX 78750

Full map and directions

Tickets: $10 per person Phone: 512-250-0601 or E-mail:

CP Class on Saturday, January 23 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
RR Class on Saturday, January 30 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming: Abuelita de Batman in Spanish with English sur-titles, Proyecto Teatro at Boyd Vance Theatre, January 15 - 24

UPDATE: Review by ALT, January 18

Found on-line:

Austin's Spanish-language acting company

Abuelita de Batman
(Batman's Granny)

at the Boyd Vance Theatre, George Washington Carver Center, 1165 Angelina St.
Full map and directions
January 15-January 24 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m, Sundays at 2 p.m.)
Tickets: $10.00 - $12.00

***This theatre showcase will have English sur-titles as seen in the opera!***

Abuelita de Batman is a dark-humored contemporary play comprised of five stories, each about one couple, that highlight the different dynamics of interpersonal relationships while exposing issues we often try to cover but cannot hide. Although four out of the five stories involve couples and cynical relationships, love comes in at the very end of this production.

Audience members will get to peek into the lives of a cheating politician, a scorned fugitive, a cynical doctor, an AIDS-infected transvestite, and a high-class open marriage. The situations presented might be hard to grasp at first due to their resemblance to actuality and the truth that can be found within the lines, but as a result, Proyecto Teatro's Abuelita de Batman ends up being a clear satire of our present society.

Upcoming: World's Fastest Hamlet!, Austin Shakespeare at First Night, CIty Hall Stage

Received directly:

Austin Shakespeare at FIRST NIGHT AUSTIN, City Hall Stage at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, December 31

The World's Fastest Hamlet

Austin Shakespeare reprises its popular production of The World's Fastest Hamlet on New Year's Eve as part of Austin's First Night. We are honored to be presenting on the City Hall Stage at 6:15 pm. Don't miss this wonderful piece that turns Shakespeare's most famous tragedy into a delightful comedy for the whole family. starring Ted Meredith of Esther's Follies, Gwen Kelso, Robert Deike and Justin Scalise as Hamlet. Directed by Beth Burns.

Upcoming: That Jazz!, A Tribute to Bob Fosse, Tex-Arts Youth Production, January 16-17

Tex-Arts presents

That Jazz!
A Celebration of Bob Fosse

a Tex-Arts Youth Production
Saturday, January 16 at noon and 3 p.m.
Sunday,January 17 aT 2 P.M. and 5 p.m.

A musical tribute to the enduring legacy of choreographer Bob Fosse comes to life at Texarts! 30 Texarts Youth directed by Broadway’s Fosse dancers Robin Lewis and Vince Sandoval will dazzle you in this memorable production of this legendary showman.

The show features several rarely seen dance numbers from Fosse's early work, as well as such standards as "Steam Heat" from The Pajama Game (1954), "Mein Herr" from the film Cabaret (1972), and "I Want to Be a Dancing Man" from Dancin' (1977). That Jazz! is a showstopping tribute to one of the past century's most influential forces on Broadway. This is a Texarts Youth Academy Production.

Tickets: $15 Info Phone: 512-852-9079
TexARTS Kam and James Morris Theater
2300 Lohmans Spur Austin, Tx 78734 Full map and directions

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Auditions: Original Practice Taming of the Shrew, Hidden Room Theatre, January 16

Found on-line:

Casting Call
The Taming of the Shrew
Original Practices

Posted: December 29, 2009

The Hidden Room presents:
The Taming of the Shrew - Original Practices

Auditions: Jan 16th

directed by Beth Burns
April 30th - May 23rd, 2010
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 5pm
York Rite Temple

This is an all-male cast. All roles are open except Petruchio. Most parts will be doubled, and sometimes tripled.

Initial auditions are being held January 16th at the Dougherty Arts Center. 5-minute slots are available between 10am and noon. Please bring a one minute monologue from Shrew, a headshot and resume.

For questions, or to schedule an audition, please contact the Matriarch,


= =

[image is from Blue Owl Cocktail lounge in New York City]

Images: Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, Different Stages at the City Theatre, January 8 - 30

UPDATE: Click for ALT review, January 11

Received directly from Different Stages:
images by Brett Brookshire


a dramatic comedy by Sarah Ruhl

performances January 8 – 30, 2009

Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
The City Theater, 3823 Airport Blvd., Ste. D. (map)

Pick your Price: $15, $20, $25, $30

Experience the fantastic and hallucinatory myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine, Eurydice. Eurydice journeys through the jaws of death into the Underworld where she happily reunites with her father who teaches her about love, loss and the pleasures and pains of memory. There, washed in the river of forgetfulness, she struggles to remember her lost love.

When Orpheus returns to rescue her, she must decide whether to stay with her beloved father or return to the land of the living.

Things become more complicated when the malevolent Lord of the Underworld wants Eurydice for his bride, and a chorus of stones try to coerce her into conforming to the rigid rules of the Underworld. With humor, contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists, and breathtaking visual effects, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story.

Directed by Karen Jambon (Miss Witherspoon) Eurydice features Nicole Swahn (An Inspector Calls) as the title character. Bastion Carboni (Poison Apple Initiative) plays the musician Orpheus. Norman Blumensaadt (A Number) is Eurydice’s father, and Marc Balester (A Number) is the Lord of the Underworld. Betsy McCann (Oceana), Jonathan Blackwell (Oceana), and Miriam Rubin (The Shadow Box) are the chorus of stones.

Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.. Tickets are Pick your Price: $15, $20, $25, and $30.

For tickets and information call 474-8497

View more images at . . . .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Mousetrap, Austin Playhouse, November 20 - December 20

Theatre journalism has a half-life of perhaps two weeks, a fact that prompts me to strive to see a production as soon as possible. After all, a theatre review published only 48 hours before closing has not much more than archival interest.

One would prefer to deliver the report and comments hot off the first-night griddle, particularly when the show's an interesting or engaging one. Perhaps, just perhaps, the review might contribute to increasing the turnout for deserving productions.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to
The Mousetrap until its final weekend, due to family visits, a surging December theatre season, and my own return to the boards in mid-December.

We're subscribers and modest contributors to the Austin Playhouse, in part because it's the first theatre we discovered in Austin after relocating here in 2007. I have an affection and respect for Don Toner and the Playhouse's company of about two dozen actors. Now mid-way through their tenth season behind the Penn Field water tower at 3601 South Congress, they have increased their core season to five plays and they operate an intriguing side space, the Larry L. King Theatre.

Read more at . . . .

Auditions and Tech Call: Midsummer Night's Dream, Chaotic Theatre Company, January 6

Received directly:


Fresh off the explosive run of ALICE! at The Vortex, the Chaotic Theatre Company is holding auditions for William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. We are currently seeking 15 cast members for this imaginative production of the Shakespeare classic.

Shakespearean experience is preferred but not required. Please prepare and bring the following to the audition: a Shakespearean monologue of no more than 1 minute, a theatrical resume, your anticipated schedule through the first weekend of March 2010 and a headshot (if available). Also be prepared to read sides from the script.

Production runs late February through early March. Auditions will be held at the Dougherty Arts Center (Green Room) on January 6th from 1pm to 5pm.

If you would like to audition but cannot make the audition times or if you have any questions, please contact Michael Floyd directly at

- - -


The Chaotic Theatre Company is currently seeking volunteers for the following crew positions for its upcoming production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Stage Manager
Costume Construction and Design
Hair and Makeup Designer
Lighting Designer
Set Designer

Production runs late February through early March. If you are interested in any of these positions, please send your resume and any questions to Michael Floyd at

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hamlet, Austin Drama Club, December 10 - January 2

Going to an Austin Drama Club production is like Alice's falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Their venue is a house just off E. 7th Street in Austin, Texas, and you enter through a scruffy back yard surrounded by a chain link fence. When my son and I arrived, Jennifer Fielding was standing by the gate on back yard duty. Her question was, "Have you been here before?"

It wasn't a speakeasy challenge question, but rather an offer of guidance. Finding one's way into the theatre space isn't easy the first time, for that small house has been converted with curtains and a miscellany of improvised, tiered seating into a 25-seat ad hoc theatre. Sightlines are so constrained that three closed-circuit televisions offer alternative views into the corners of the playing space. Lighting consists of inexpensive floorlamps and wall-mounted goosenecks wrapped with aluminum foil and masked with gels in deep red and blue.

You could call it underground theatre, except that it isn't underground. Japhy and Ellen Fernandes and friends are more of a cult, one that is dedicated to dark and somewhat deranged productions of the classics, each done on half a shoestring. Their output is impressive. In 2009 they filled out Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with three-week runs of
Talk Radio, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Fool for Love, Henry V, The Wizard of Oz, Richard III, After the Fall and now, again, Hamlet, their fifth presentation in three years of the epic of the melancholy Dane.

Under Japhy's direction, this is a six-person Hamlet, edited down for a two-hour staging that includes two ten-minute intermissions. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern disappear -- as they did in Laurence Olivier's 1948 version. Also gone are Fortinbras and the gravedigger, much to my disappointment. What remains is a quirky Freudian psychodrama in which Shakespeare's language shines fitfully out of the dark.

The character transformations are often striking and often inexplicable. For example, Rob Novak's Hamlet dresses in white tights and short dark tunic but sports a Tyrolean hat and an ice ax, as if old Europe had somehow slipped in space and time. Casey Allen as Leartes (sic) looks like one of the three musketeers. Although Christopher Harris proved himself an articulate and focused actor in their previous Macbeth, here plays Horatio as a dimwit with a pistol.

The favor that Kat Eason as a juicy Ophelia in tight bustier seeks to return to Hamlet is a Playboy magazine with centerfold deliberately unfolded. The Player King phones in his performance -- literally -- and The Mousetrap is an eerie black-and-white pantomime on the television sets. Julio Mella's Polonius shuffles and mumbles. When Hamlet skewers him through the arras, neither Hamlet nor Gertrude investigates the identity of the corpse. After Hamlet berates her, Ellen Fernandes as Gertrude responds with scornful laughter when her son sees the Ghost.

Playing Claudius, director Japhy Fernandes applies an appropriately theatrical demeanor and uses impressive tone and phrasing, although in an occasionally flutey voice. The strength of his personalization of the confused king carries over the other actors like a big clear-channel radio transmitter dominating other signals.

The cast surprises us with the entirely unexpected and unforeshadowed means of Ophelia's demise, a plot development that suggests a rich and enigmatic undertext. There's madness in this Denmark, but Hamlet isn't the lunatic.

The Fernandes couple and friends are waving torches in a menacing darkness. There's potential treasure there, but unfortunately it is never fully revealed. If you can bear with ambiguity, you'll take away some food for thought. And perhaps you'll develop a taste for alt-Shakespeare.

Click to view ADC Hamlet slideshow on MySpace

Friday, December 25, 2009

Upcoming: R.A.W. Theatre, Vortex Repertory, First Tuesdays

Found on-line:

Vortex Repertory Company presents

R.A.W. Theatre

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 7 p.m. … and continuing the first Tuesday of every month
The Vortex Café, 2307 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722

FREE Admission

R.A.W. Theatre: The Resident Artists' Workshop
R.A.W. Theatre provides a chance for Vortex artists--those who are currently resident artists, company alumni, and those who have participated in a show within the past year--to perform work in front of a friendly audience before premiering onstage. This monthly event--part workshop, part open-mic, part good excuse to get together outside of rehearsal--is meant to develop new work, foster collaboration, and provide Vortex artists a forum to share their talents.

We invite:

* Playwrights who want to do readings or stagings of scenes from works-in-progress.
* Performance Artists and Songwriters who want to try out new pieces.
* Singers and Musicians who want to practice recital or audition pieces.
* Actors who want to practice audition pieces or participate in readings and stagings.

Audiences who want to see a sneak preview from Vortex artists and who want to support The Vortex with applause for its performers and a drink at the café.

Bring your art, bring your friends, bring yourselves, bring it on!

For more information call the Vortex at 512-478-5282 or contact Rudy Ramirez at

Vortex Repertory Company is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Upcoming: Schoolhouse Rock Live! by KidsActing at various locations, January 9 - 18

Found on-line:

KidsActing classes present

School House Rock Live!

A One Act Pop/Rock Musical Revue Rated G

A pop culture phenomenon comes to the musical stage! The Emmy Award-winning 1970s Saturday morning cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math, science and politics through clever, tuneful songs is not only making a small-screen comeback, instructing a whole new generation to “Unpack Your Adjectives” and “Do The Circulations,” it’s lighting up stages everywhere, from school multi-purpose rooms to university and regional theatres all around the country.

Tom, a nerve-wracked school teacher nervous about his first day of teaching, tries to relax by watching TV when various characters representing facets of his personality emerge from the set and show him how to win his students over with imagination and music, through such beloved Schoolhouse Rock songs as “Just A Bill,” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly” and “Conjunction Junction.”

KidsActing classes present two performances at each location: January 9 & 10 in Lakeway at St. Luke's On The Lake, January 10 and 16 in Westlake at the Children's Center of Austin, January 12 and 16 at the Oake Hill United Methodist Church, January 14 and 17 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, January 15 and 17 at GoDance Northcross, and January 17 and 18 in Cedar Park at the First United Methodist Church.

Information and tickets here.

More about School House Rock Live:


In the dark we hear the sound of an alarm clock ringing and we are introduced to Tom, a young teacher preparing for his first day of school, standing in his bathrobe. As he rehearses what he will say, he hears the school bell and the sound of the children settling into their desks. One at a time we see Tom's "other sides", as they enter speaking his thoughts. We are introduced to George, the romantic side; Dori, the goofy side; Schulie, the sweet side; Joe, the cool side; and Dina, the mature side. They tell us his thoughts that range from "I love children" to "these monsters are going to eat me alive". Tom decides to try and watch some television while he settles down and collects his thoughts. When he turns on the TV we hear the theme to Schoolhouse Rock. The characters begin to sing one of the familiar songs that Tom instantly recognizes (Verb: That's What's Happening). As the song goes on, Tom as swept up in the excitement and begins to sing and dance with the others. As it ends, he is startled to find himself standing with a group of strange people that he does not recognize. They explain to him that they represent all of the thoughts in his head. They represent everywhere he has been, everyone he has known, and every person that he has ever met (A Noun Is A Person, Place Or Thing). They explain that they are there to help Tom remember that teaching is as easy as 1,2,3 (Three Is A Magic Number).

Still thinking that all of this is a hallucination, he continues to try and get rid of the others. They explain to him that he needs them; and "necessity is the mother of invention" (Mother Necessity). Tom is asked to remember why he wanted to be a teacher in the first place. He remembers that his grandmother and her mother before that were teachers. Teaching was one of the few opportunities for women to work at that time (Sufferin' Till Suffrage). He also remembers working at his grandfather's hardware store as a child and sneaking away on Saturday mornings to watch Schoolhouse Rock (Lolly, Lolly, Lolly). After Schulie and company sing "Unpack Your Adjectives", Tom reminds them that he not only has to teach grammar, but math, science, and social studies as well (Just A Bill / The Preamble). Caught up in the moment, Tom remembers one very important thing; that learning should be fun (Ready Or Not, Here I Come).

When the gang becomes exhausted from all of the excitement, Tom encourages them to stay active and to keep their blood moving (Do The Circulation). Joe then tells the group that he is ready to sing a song and will need the help of you, me, him, them, and her (Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla). Dori enters with Tom's guitar and hands it to Schulie who says about her playing, "Oh ... on a scale from one to ten, I'd give myself about an eight (Figure Eight). Schulie reminds Tom that "Figure Eight" was the way she had learned her eight multiplication tables. Joe and Shulie enter in their leather jacket and poodle skirt and dance to George's rock and roll physics lesson (A Victim Of Gravity). George and Schulie then join together to sing "Zero, My Hero" while the rest of the gang acts out their duet.

Tom goes over all of the parts of speech that they have covered (adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, nouns, and verbs) and wonders what they have left out. Conjunctions! - and where do they come together - at the junction! (Conjunction Junction). Joe reminds Tom that English will not be the first language of many of his students. School will be a very important transition to America for many of his students, just as America went through an important transition as it struggled to expand and continues to expand (Great American Melting Pot / Elbow Room / Interplanet Janet). Hey! Wow! The thought of going to the moon has the whole group energized, and what kind of word bets expresses that energy - "Interjections". Tom then thanks them all for helping him remember that learning can be fun. He asks them to stay around and listen to him do a song (The Tale Of Mr. Morton). As the song ends, all of the characters are gathered around Tom as if he were teaching. "Any questions, kids?", he asks - and on the final beat we see Schulie's hand go in the air.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Upcoming: Coco Peru Takes On Texas, January 14 (Austin) and January 17 (San Antonio)

Found on-line:

Coco Peru Takes On Texas

Rusty Spur, January 14, 8 p.m.
403 East 7th Street
Full map and directions

Josephine Theater, January 17, 8 p.m.
339 West Josephine
San Antonio

Tickets on sale at
General Admission: $25 advance/$30 at door VIP Admission: $40 advance/$45 at door

Come catch up with Coco in what will be like a gathering of friends getting together for an evening of intimate chit-chat but only Coco gets to talk in an uncensored evening of sassy songs, amusing anecdotes and moving autobiographical stories.

Read more, view image and video at . . . .

Upcoming: Cinderella Kids by Disney, Tex-Arts Youth Production, Lakeway, January 9 & 10

Found on-line:

Tex-Arts Youth Production

Cinderella Kids

Saturday, January 9 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Sunday, January 10 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The timeless fairy tale meets the magic of Disney in this adaptation of the treasured animated film comes to life with the Texarts Musical Theatre Academy. Poor Cinderella is endlessly mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and denied a chance to go to the Royal Ball. With a little help from her mice friends, and a lot of help from her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella goes to the ball, meets the prince, and falls in love! With a beautiful score including A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes and the classic Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, this musical will charm its way into your heart, and remind you that dreams really can come true. This is a Texarts Youth Academy Production.

TexARTS Kam and James Morris Theater
2300 Lohmans Spur Austin, Tx 78734
Tickets: $15 Info Phone: (512) 474-8497
Full map and directions

Upcoming: Deathtrap by Ira Levin, Way Off Broadway Commuity Players, Leander, January 15 - 30

UPDATE: Review by Ryan E. Johnson at, January 22

Found on-line:

Way Off Broadway Community Players, Leander

by Ira Levin
Directed By Lissa Satterfield

Comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a "dry" spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds. A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college. Sidney offers to collaborate with the student, an idea which the younger man quickly accepts. Suspense mounts as the plot begins to twist and turn with such devilish cleverness that you will be held enthralled until the final, startling moment of the play.
Click Here to make Reservations

10960 E. Crystal Falls Pkwy in Leander, TX -- Click for map

Upcoming: Beyond Tolerance, Bastrop Teen Troupe at Bastrop Opera House, January 8 - 16

Found on-line:

Beyond Tolerance
by Alan Haehnel
Directed by Engela Edwards

Fridays & Saturdays. January 8-16, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Bastrop Opera House, 711 Spring Street, Bastrop, Texas
Rated PG
$5 tickets cash at the door or online with credit card or check.

A live play for older children and adults who enjoy absurdist humor. It is performed by the Bastrop Teen Troupe. Enter the bizarre world of U. Burnem, "the finest educational institution in the world." Here, tolerance and political correctness are taken to extremes, and students find conformity is not merely encouraged, but required.

45 minutes. Rated PG, because of the intensity of the subject..
Info or group sales: 512-303-5516
Groups of 10 -19 purchased together $4.50
Groups of 20 or more purchased together $4
If you can't afford to see this show, but would like to, please call 303-5516.
tickets here

[Photo: Back: Jacob Block, Rachel Edwards, Keaton Holcomb, Andrea Geuea, Ethan Glass
Front: Sarah Bullock, Landon Holcomb, Patrick Spicer, Steven Spicer]

Produced by special arrangements with Brooklyn Publishers

Upcoming: Nunsense II, Georgetown Palace Theatre, January 8 - February 7

UPDATE: Review by Olin Meadows at, January 27

UPDATE: Lisa Scheps and Stuart Moulton feature the full case of Nunsense II at KOOP-FM's "Off Stage and On The Air," posted January 15 (1 hr. program)

Found on-line:

Georgetown Palace Theatre

Nunsense II (The Second Coming)

Jan 8 - Feb 7, 2010 Fridays & Satirdays at 7:30 p.m.and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

Book, Music & Lyrics by Dan Goggin
Featuring our 2007 Cast of Nunsense!

The sequel to the international hit musical Nunsense takes place approximately six weeks after the first "benefit performance." (It could easily be subtitled “the rest of the story.”) The same five nuns are back on stage at Mt. Saint Helen's School for what is billed as a "Thank You Program" for their supporters. Since their first time out was such a success, they have decided that they should stick to their successful variety show formula. This time they are forced to work around the set dressing of The Mikado!

Prices: General: $22; Senior(55+): $20; Student: $12
Georgetown Palace Theatre, Inc., A non-profit performing arts facility
We accept Visa and Mastercard over the web & phone (512-869-7469)
Buy Tickets
810 S. Austin Avenue, Georgetown, TX 78627

Upcoming: Talking With by Jane Martin, Austin HS Red Dragon Players, January 7 - 16

Found on-line:

Talking With
by Jane Martin

This full-length comedy is composed of eleven full-length monologues. Idiosyncratic characters amuse, move and frighten, always speaking from the depths of their soul. They include a baton twirler, a fundamentalist snake-handler, an ex-rodeo rider and an actress willing to go to any length to get a job. 1982 winner of the American Theatre Critics Association Award for Best Regional Play.

We've triple-cast the roles, allowing us to showcase thirty-three of our actresses!

January 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16
All shows begin at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets $7 (No credit cards accepted -- cash or checks made payable to "AHS Theatre")
Austin High School, 1715 W. Cesar Chavez

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Upcoming: Manchild in the Wasteland, Vortex, January 10 & 12

Found on-line:

Vortex Repertory Company presents

Manchild in the Wasteland

A one man show about Peace Corps adventures in West Africa
by Barton Guy Bryan
2 shows only
Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 8 p.m.

You are invited to experience a play written and performed by former Peace Corps Volunteer and Austinite, Barton Bryan. His one-man show Manchild in the Wasteland will be presented for two shows only at The VORTEX in Austin, Texas.

In Manchild in the Wasteland, Barton Bryan’s desire to join the Peace Corps leads him on a journey to the remote villages of West Africa. Along the way, he experiences the dramatic events that move him to become a positive part of a remote West African village and explores the fascinating and sometimes shocking details of being a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Barton is performing his show to help three local high school students raise funds to go to West Africa for their Spring Break to help a village elementary school build desks for every boy and girl.

Tickets: $30, $25, $20
Seating is limited. Reservations recommended.

For more information visit and click on the header: “Manchild in the Wasteland Play”. If you have questions, please email Barton at

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: Hard Bargain, Overtime Theatre, San Antonio, January 8 - 30

UPDATE: Review by Ashley Lindstrom in the San Antonio Current, January 13

Received directly:


World Premiere “Stage Noir”

at the Overtime Theater, San Antonio

Now ensconced in its new home in the Blue Star Arts Complex, the arts center of San Antonio, the Overtime Theater will stage even more original works by San Antonio playwrights and directors. As our grand opening show in the Blue Star space, the Overtime presents The Hard Bargain, a “stage noir” detective story written by Scott McDowell and directed by Andrew Thornton.

Staged with the feeling of a classic film noir movie, The Hard Bargain brings back gritty detectives Blake and Winters from the hard-boiled detective play The Good Samaritan, which played at the Overtime Theater in August 2008. Andrew Thornton directed The Good Samaritan as well.

This time the detectives return to solve a seemingly impossible murder that leads them into the smoky world of jazz, nightclubs, and sensuous femmes fatales. The murder tests the limits of their own worlds and morals in a play that can only be seen at the Overtime.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Two Sunday matinees (3 pm) also are scheduled for Jan. 10 and Jan. 17. Ticket prices are $12 general admission, and $9 for teachers, students, seniors 65+, and SATCO members.

The Overtime Theater @ the Blue Star Art Complex
1414 S. Alamo St., Suite 103
San Antonio, TX 78210

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: Open Auditions by Austin Film Meet, Blue Theatre, January 11

Found on-line:

Austin Film Meet presents

An Actor Showcase

January 11, 2010
Blue Theatre (Behind Good Will)
916 Springdale, Austin

About The Actor Showcase
Local actors are invited to showcase their talents for an audience of indie filmmakers and casting directors. We believe that many indie projects in Austin are cast without auditions. Often actors are selected based on word-of-mouth referral or have previously met the director or filmmakers. Sometimes entire projects are written specifically for particular actors that the filmmakers like. Actors, this is your chance to show the local indie film scene what you can do. Let them know you are available for consideration for short films, web series and TV pilots. Both actors with agents and actors without are welcome.

Actors and actresses will select one of two options:

* Perform solo (monologue, song, talent, etc.) – 2 minute slot
* Perform with a scene partner – 5 minute slot for team

Filmmakers, producers, directors, writers, casting directors and agents. If you are in a position to influence casting decisions for film, video, television or web media, you are invited to come see the amazing talent that Austin has to offer. Don’t forget your business cards for networking.

This event is free to attend, but if you are performing, please make a $10 Donation to the Austin Film Meet in lieu of a registration fee.

Performance Registration Deadline: January 5, 2010
Registration Details & Info:

Please RSVP to (RSVP not required but appreciated)
Please address any questions or comments to

Monday, December 21, 2009

Upcoming: Over the Garden Wall by Ruth Margraff, staged reading at the Salvage Vanguard, January 8 and 9

UPDATE: GACA A-Team review by Ross Scarano, January 11

Found on-line:

Salvage Vanguard Theater Puts Artists to Work with "Works Progress Austin 2010," including

Over The Garden Wall

by Ruth Margraff

a staged reading of the new parlor play
directed by Jenny Larson

The production features actors Robert Pierson, Mark Stewart, Jamie Rhodes, La Tasha Stephens, and Jason Hays.

Nationally acclaimed playwright Ruth Margraff's band Café Anastarsia will perform before the play.Tickets are $10 at the door.

The Salvage Vanguard's annual Works Progress Austin (WPA) - the development project that gives artists a playground to develop new works - returns on January 8th through 24th. During the course of three weeks, a variety of actors, writers, directors, dramaturges, and musicians are given the opportunity to incubate and experiment. Inspired by Roosevelt's Works Projects Administration, Salvage Vanguard's program aims to put artists to work.

Ongoing: Surfin' UFO, Electronic Planet Ensemble at the Vortex, January 8 - 24

UPDATE: Click for ALT review, January 11

Received directly:


Surfin’ UFO

January 8–24, 2009, Thurs-Sun 8 p.m.
at the Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd.
Tickets: $30-$10 available on-line or at 512-478-LAVA (5282)
$30-$25 Priority Seating, $20-$15 General Admission, $10 Starving ArtistsThursdays and Sundays, 2-for-1 admission with donation of 2 non-perishable food items for SafePlace.

Electronic Planet Ensemble presents Surfin’ UFO, a multi-dimensional, multi-media, inter-galactic love story.

Feel the power of nature riding inside the curl of a monster wave. Fall in love with a space girl. The Anunnaki are knocking at your door, and one of them looks just like Brigitte Bardot.

Planet X, 2012, crop circles, Roswell, ancient astronauts, UFO sightings, and alien abductions. Something is going on here, and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones? Or, maybe you haven’t noticed because you’re too busy surfing.

The mysteries of Sumer and ancient Egypt meet Surf Boy and Space Girl, rare star crossed lovers, experiencing first love in all its wave crashing, heart pounding, supernova glory. Ride the tsunami of love, wipe out, get pounded, and ride again. Bend and fold the space-time continuum. Exceed the speed of light. Is it a particle or is it a wave? Uh, duh, it’s wave, dude…it’s totally a wave.

Surfin’ UFO is a multi-media event/performance created by collaborative improvisation and synergistic dada epiphanies; music, video and words created in jam sessions and brain storm singularities by Sergio R. Samayoa, David Jewell, Chad Salvata and Aliens.

Also, in the lobby, an International Mail Art show will display all mail received concerning the themes of Surfin’ UFO before and during the run of the show.

From the creators of last season’s hit Spaceman:Dada:Robot. Produced in association with Vortex Repertory Company.

Vortex and Electronic Planet Ensemble are funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Upcoming: Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, Different Stages, January 8 - 30

UPDATE: Click for ALT review, January 11

Received directly:

Different Stages

Sarah Ruhl’s

January 8 - 30, 2010
at City Theater, 3823 Airport, Suite D
Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

“Pick your Price: $15, $20, $25, $30
Call 474-8497

Different Stages continues its 2009–2010 season with the dramatic comedy Eurydice. Sarah Ruhl reinvents the fantastic and hallucinatory myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine, Eurydice. Eurydice journeys through the jaws of death into the Underworld where she happily reunites with her father who teaches her about love, loss and the pleasures and pains of memory.

There she washed in the river of forgetfulness, struggles to remember her lost love. When Orpheus returns to rescue her, she must decide whether to leave her beloved father to return to the land of the living. Things become more complicated when the malevolent Lord of the Underworld wants Eurydice for his bride and a chorus of stones try to coerce her into conforming to the rigid rules of the Underworld. With humor, contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists, and breathtaking visual effects, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story.

Directed by Karen Jambon (Miss Witherspoon) Eurydice features Nicole Swahn (An Inspector Calls) as the title character. Bastion Carboni (Poison Apple Initiative) plays the musician Orpheus. Norman Blumensaadt (A Number) is Eurydice’s father and Marc Balester (A Number) is the Lord of the Underworld. Betsy McCann (Oceana), Jonathan Blackwell (Oceana) and Miriam Rubin (The Shadow Box) are the chorus of stones.

Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p..m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.. Tickets are Pick your Price: $15, $20, $25, and $30.

Upcoming: 12 Steps to a More Dysfunctional Christmas by Rob Nash, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, December 25 - January 2

Found on-line:

VORTEX Repertory Company presents

12 Steps to a More Dysfunctional Christmas
Written and Performed by Rob Nash
Dec. 25-27, 2009 (Fri-Sun) & Dec. 31-Jan.02 (Thur-Sat.), 8pm !! 6 Nights ONLY !!

Rob Nash returns to The Vortex with his famous dysfunctional holiday show for 6 nights only. This one-man, black comedy is a sure cure for the average, overly-sweetened holiday fare. Rob’s biting wit, sharp writing, and exceptional acting have earned him numerous awards and accolades. Take the edge of the holidays and join us for 12 Steps to a More Dysfunctional Christmas.

Enjoy live holiday musical performances by John & Tyler in the cafe before and after the show Dec 25-27, Dec 31- Jan. 2. Come share some hot spiced wine!

The Vortex Café is now serving fabulous gourmet, sandwiches, tamales, cake from Chez Zee, and hot spiced wine, in addition to our exceptional assortment of beer and wine and homemade sangria. Come early, stay late.

Happy Holidays!

Tickets: $30-$10 ($30-$25 Priority Seating, $20-$15 General Admission, $10 Starving Artists)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Arts Criticism: Ryan Johnson's Austin Theatre Examiner Awards: Comedy + Musical Theatre + Drama + Special Awards + Ryan's 2009 Picks

Ryan E. Johnson, who regularly posts his reviews of Austin theatre on, is publishing slates of his picks for the best in 2009.

His nominations for comedy for his Austin Theatre Examiner (ATE) awards are up at the Examiner.

His nominations for musical theatre went up on December 22.

He posted his slate for drama on December 24.

He posted his slate for special awards on December 29.

He posted his "best of 2009 picks" on January 1. Responding to his invitation, his readers chose the Hyde Park Theatre production of Harold Pinter's The Collection as best production of the year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Upcoming: The Christ Foretold, Pursuit Church, December 18

Found on-line.

The website for this December 18 presentation (8 p.m.) at Pursuit Church, 12636 Research Blvd, features as background music The Transiberian Orchestra's Christmas in Sarajevo, along with a gallery of images and a link to the video promo of their 2007 production (see below).

Synopsis from the website:

The Christ Foretold. . . .
The beginning and the end. . . .
Since the fall of mankind a prophesy has been foretold!
A prophesy of a Messiah, a hope of a Savior, a promise of the Christ!

"The Christ Foretold" is exactly how it sounds. It is the truth of what has happened, and what will happen! This production shows you the coming of the CHrist while foreshadowing his path, his sacrifice, and his triumph!

With extraordinary music, a dramatic cast, live animals, and an extravagant multimedia display, "The Christ Foretold" is a powerful production that is a must see!

It is unlike any Christmas production you have ever attended, so expect to be blown away!

Ongoing: Georgetown Palace Adds More Performances of Annie, December 23, 26, 27

Received directly from the Georgetown Palace:
With the Holiday rapidly approaching, we are excited by the number of families joining us at the Palace for our hit musical Annie. The show is so popular that we have added three shows!

Wed. 12/23, 2:00 p.m.
Sat. 12/26, 2:00 p.m
Sun. 12/27, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are going fast. Don't miss your opportunity to see this family-friendly community event. Playing weekends now through Dec. 27th, plus special weeknight performances on Dec 17, 21-23 & 28-30th. Ticket availability depends on the show date. The added shows are wide open as of this mailing. Get tickets here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Upcoming: FronteraFest 2010 Long and Short Fringes, January 12 - February 13

UPDATE: News 8 interview Ken Webster and Christi Moore, February 6

UPDATE: Spike Gillespie's feature on FronteraFest 2010 for the JetBlue blog, January 18

UPDATE: Lisa Scheps and Stuart Moulton feature Christie Moore talking about FronteraFest and Mike Henry of Austin Poetry Slam at KOOP-FM's "Off Stage and On The Air," posted January 15 ( in second half of 1 hr. program)

UPDATE: Mike Lee of KUT-FM talks with C.J. Moore and Ken Webster about Frontera Fest 2010 on his program "Arts Eclectic," January 11

UPDATE: NowPlayingAustin podcast on FronteraFest 2010 featuring Ken Webster, Big Poppa E, C.J. Moore, Vince Bell, Aaron Black's Hotel Morocco, others, January 9 (11min, 40sec)

UPDATE: Robert Faires' backgrounder on FronteraFest in the Austin Chronicle, January 6

UPDATE: Ryan E. Johnson's backgrounder on FronteraFest at the, January 7

Received directly. Press announcement below includes full schedule and capsule descriptions both for FronteraFest Long Fringe and Short Fringe, as well as Bring Your Own Venue and Su Casa Es Mi Teatro.

17th Annual FronteraFest Showcases
29 Night, 100+ Production, Multi-Venue Fringe Theatre
Immersive 5-week Festival Offers Profusion of Performance from the Edge

Those looking to discover the newest, rawest, most exciting theatre happening need look no further than FronteraFest: a smorgasbord of over 100 new works presented over 5 weeks on a multiple stages. Named the “best theatrical event” by the Austin Chronicle and “the fringe theatre event of the Southwest” by the Austin American-Statesman, the 17th Annual FronteraFest will again exhilarate theatre fans and purveyors alike by opening its stages to some of the most innovative local and national talents on Tuesday, January 12 through Saturday, February 13.

“FronteraFest is like a huge grab-bag of performing arts” said Christina J. Moore, festival producer and executive director of Austin Script Works. “With multiple performances every night for five weeks, audiences can be surprised, delighted, touched, and entertained by the work of over 1,000 local and national talents, including performers, directors and playwrights, at venues all over Austin.”

Co-produced with Austin Script Works and Hyde Park Theatre, FronteraFest 2010 features more out-of-town visitors than ever before including performers from New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, and more.

For the last 16 years, FronteraFest has provided a venue for new theatre, comedy, and dance performers, as well as established local and national performers and writers to explore new works that challenge these artists and Austin audiences.

Nationally recognized playwrights like Kirk Lynn, John Walch, and Lisa D’Amour presented some of their earliest work at the festival. Many plays that began as FronteraFest pieces have gone on to become full-length, award-winning productions incuding works by Steven Tomlinson, Ron Berry, Hans Frank, Cyndi Williams, Lowell Bartholomee, Zell Miller III, and others.

The breadth and variety of offerings available in FronteraFest includes four tracks: the Short Fringe including 80 pieces under 25 minutes, the Long Fringe including 20 feature-length works, Mi Casa es Su Teatro where participants present their creative work specifically in their homes, and Bring Your Own Venue featuring site-specific performances.

Read details for each division of the festival, with full calendar, title list and capsule descriptions, all at . . . .