Thursday, September 17, 2009

I've Never Been So Happy, Rude Mechanicals at the Off Center, September 10 - 20

It's clever. It's mythic. It's melodic. It's multimedia.

It's the Rude Mechanicals still-in-workshop production of I've Never Been So Happy with book and lyrics by Kirk Lynn and music by Peter Stopchinsky, who also sings the part of the mountain lion.

But it's short and it's incomplete. By design, it will leave you wanting more.

The Rude Mechanicals have made for themselves an enviable place in the bubbling world of Austin's young non-Equity original-works theatres.

The Rudes are highly creative. They've done 22 original productions since inventing themselves in 1995, building a reputation, a following and support. They are not a high-volume theatre company, despite their six co-producing artistic directors, 28 company members, 88 business partners and an impressive array of individual supporters.

They've survived and triumphed by learning networking and grantsmanship. The Rudes succeeded in getting grant funding for this Western operetta fable from the National Endowment for the Arts, both directly and as part of the subsequent anti-recession stimulus package. The show is part of the NEA's new play development project, coordinated by the Arena Stage in Washington DC. Last December they did a workshop production in Austin of the early scenes of the play. They've worked parts of it further at the Orchard Project in the Catskills and last June with the UT Department of Theatre and Dance.

Read more at . . . .

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