Sunday, February 28, 2010

Upcoming: Recent Tragic Events by Craig Wright, Transit Theatre Troupe, St. Edward's University, March 3 - 8

Received directly:

Transit Theatre Troupe

at St Edward's University


Recent Tragic Events

March 3-5 & 8 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 6 at 11 p.m.
St. Edward's University, in front of Trustee Hall (click for campus map).

It is September 12th, 2001; the setting is the Minneapolis apartment of Waverly, a young advertising executive. Soon to venture on a blind date amidst the television news coverage of the September 11th attacks, Waverly becomes preoccupied when she discovers that her twin sister, Wendy, a student in New York, has not been heard from. Waverly reassures herself that Wendy had no reason to be at the World Trade Center. As the evening unfolds, Waverly and her blind date, Andrew, an airport bookstore manager, realize that they are connected by a succession of bizarre coincidences. As Waverly awaits word on Wendy, the date is complicated by visits from her crazed-musician neighbor, Ron, and his girlfriend, Nancy, and a startling visit from Waverly’s great aunt, Joyce Carol Oates—played by a sock puppet. Recommended for adult audiences only.

Recent Tragic Events marks the directorial debut of Chad Duda. Assistant director and stage manager is Kiara Smith. The cast consists of Jacqueline Harper and Sam Buckner and features the performance debuts of Alex Benson, Kendra Perez, and Meredith Montgomery.

SEU's Transit Theatre Troupe is an award-winning student organization dedicated to supporting a variety of charitable organizations through theatrical performances.

In accordance with Transit Theatre Troupe’s mission statement, this production will be free and all proceeds (in the form of donations) will be sent to the Haiti Relief Fund, to assist the nation in their recovery from recent tragic events.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Daily Texan: UT Lab Theatre Project profiled by Sara Pressley of Daily Texan, February 26

Excerpted from Sara Pressley's article of February 26 about the UT Lab Theatre presentations of plays by MFA playwriting candidates:

Event lifts curtains on student-driven playwright project

By Sarah Pressley
[photo: Sydney Andrews rehearses lines, by Jeff Heimsath, Daily Texan] [. . . .]

Blue Point

Kyle John Schmidt decided to switch from acting to playwriting when, during a train ride to Connecticut, he realized the change meant choosing writing over memorizing monologues.

Once he saw how time-consuming writing full-length plays can be, Schmidt decided to take advantage of the opportunities graduate school has to offer.

“I had time and space to make mistakes and do things,” Schmidt said about his graduate school experience. “I had time to write. It’s been nice.”

Schmidt’s play, Blue Point, was featured last weekend as a part of the UTNT production. Schmidt began writing Blue Point for a UT workshop, but it took encouragement for him to realize the potential of the play. [. . .]

The Tides of Aberdeen

This weekend, UTNT will feature The Tides of Aberdeen by Erin Phillips, who is happy to have spent the past three years exploring her craft.

“An M.F.A. in playwriting is sort of like a gift because you get three years to just write and not have to do anything else,” Phillips said. “The people you work with and your collaborators are probably going to be your collaborators forever, so it’s a good place to network.”

During her first week of graduate school, Phillips began the first version of The Tides of Aberdeen, though she did not realize it would develop into a play at that point. [. . .]

Read full article at Daily Texan online. . . .

A Little Night Music, Georgetown Palace Theatre, February 19 - March 14

A Little Night Music at the Georgetown Palace theatre is a giddy delight. Stephen Sondheim’s elegant fable has the magic of a midsummer night in far northern Sweden. The sun never fully disappears, time is in suspension and the world hums with yearning and expectation.

In this gentle world of lovers and fools the story is attractively simple . Sondheim’s music and lyrics lift in subtle fashion the sentimental dilemmas of the cast of vivid, idle upper class characters, transmuting a Feydeau-style farce into something far more touching and poignant.

On opening night Palace Artistic Director Mary Ellen Butler reminded us that for this 1973 piece Sondheim and librettist Hugh Wheeler had been inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 film Smiles of A Summer Night. Bergman attended and appreciated the musical but commented simply, “These are not my characters.”

Perhaps that’s just as well, for there's little of Bergman's darkness about this glittering tale. These elegant people are all fools for love, each in his or her fashion. Central to the story are a married pair: Frederik Egerman, a gentleman of middle age and considerable gravitas, and his blonde 18-year-old Anne, a breathless young thing who might more properly be his ward than his wife. Alas for Frederik, his young bride is skittish of the pleasures of the flesh. In their 18 months of marriage she has never admitted him to her bed.

Ah, the flesh, its delights and temptations, and the keen edge of time! Love in a summer night “smiles three times,” we hear from the elderly grande dame Mme Armfeldt. A Little Night Music accordingly gives us the innocent intensity of ardent youth, the knowledgeable longing of middle age and the wry wisdom of age.

Read more and view images at . . .

Friday, February 26, 2010

Images: A Little Night Music, Georgetown Palace Theatre, February 19 - March 14

Images of A Little Night Music by Elaine Funk, received directly; now playing at the Georgetown Palace, Fridays - Sundays through March 14:

In early twentieth-century Sweden, middle-aged Fredrik Egerman brings his 18-year-old bride Anne to a play starring his former mistress, Desirée Armfeldt. Soon, Fredrik and Desirée resume their romance, incurring the wrath of her current lover, a pompous Count. The situation culminates in a weekend at a country estate, with Fredrik, Anne, Desirée and the Count in attendance, as well as Fredrik’s son (who is hopelessly in love with Anne), Desirée’s illegitimate daughter, the Count’s manic-depressive wife and the Egerman’s lusty maid. And there, under the summer night, things are set right.

Read more and see additional images at . . . .

Upcoming: All My Sons by Arthur Miller, Classic Theatre of San Antonio, March 11 - 28

UPDATE: Review by Thomas Jenkins in the San Antonio Current, March 17

Received directly:

The Classic Theatre of San Antonio presents one of the great plays of the twentieth Century that is as timely today as it was in 1947:

Arthur Miller's
All My Sons

March 11-28
Thursdays - Saturday at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m.
Sterling Houston Theatre at Jump-Start
1400 S. Alamo in the Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio

General Admission $20; Seniors (65), SATCO, Mil w/ID: $15
Full Time Students with ID: $10
For tickets: 1-800-838-3006 (no service charge)
or buy on-line from

Arthur Miller's second Broadway play is an explosive family drama, set in the post-World-War-II United States. It took home the 1947 Tony Award for Best Production and Best Direction (Elia Kazan). Two years later, Miller's Death of a Salesman won 6 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. All My Sons was revived on Broadway 40 years after its original run and won the 1987 Tony Award for Best Revival. Last year on Broadway, the third revival of All My Sons featured John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Patrick Wilson and Katie Holmes in her Broadway debut.

All My Sons is a classic American drama, especially worthy of revisiting in time of war.

Read more at . . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Upcoming: The Red Princess Goes West, Easy Theatre at Bastrop Opera House, February 26 - March 7

Red Princess Easy Theatre john daniels jrReceived directly:

Easy Theatre Austin Texas

presents a wonderful comedy by John Daniels, Jr.,
inspired by an O. Henry story

The Red Princess Goes West

starring Engela Edwards, John Daniels, Jr. & Danielle Huber

The Red Princess Goes West is physical comedy and word play about the Mild Wild West. It's a
show for all ages with laughter for the whole family.

February 26 - March 7, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., single Sunday matinee March 7 at 2 p.m.
Bastrop Opera House.

Info: 512-303-5516

General Admission Seating: $10 Adults; $8 Seniors (60+); $7 Students, Veterans, & Active Military; $5 Children 14 and under.
VIP Reserved Seating available on line for $12.50 (click for on-line ticketing for March 5 - 7)
Produced by special arrangements with the author.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Curse of the House of Usher, Weird City Theatre Company, February 18 - 28

Weird City Theatre Company specializes in the creepy, the spooky and the haunting. Their sense of "weird" shares something with the scruffy, quirky laid-back attitude of the now clichéd slogan "Keep Austin Weird," in that they are working on a shoestring and a vision. But they are really embracing a different notion of Austin creativity: the idea of translating otherworldly out-of-copyright works into evening séances to give us suspense, a shiver and a release.

Patti Neff-Tiven's set and Philip B. Richard's lighting provide plenty of atmosphere. That's particularly important for a piece in which Poe immediately establishes the crumbling Usher mansion as a character in its own right. In the first paragraph of the short story as he arrives on the scene, the unnamed narrator stops to examine that manse:

What was it—I paused to think—what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? It was a mystery all insoluble. [. . . ] I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down—but with a shudder even more thrilling than before—upon the remodeled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.

Poe's language goes on like that through his twenty atmospheric pages, as the narrator seeks to renew the childhood friendship and draw Roderick Usher from black depression and acutely painful reactions to sound and sensation.

Read more and view images at . . . .

Upcoming: John and Jen concert, Friar Tuck's, Round Rock, March 6

Found on line:

John & Jen in Concert
in Round Rock
March 6, 7:30 p.m.
Friar Tuck's Pantry, 204 East Main Street
[map it! with Mapquest]
Tickets $15.00

Info Line (512) 850-4849
Penfold Theatre website

Penfold's acclaimed production of John & Jen will be presented in concert March 6 in downtown Round Rock. John & Jen takes audiences on a musical journey from the mid-50s to mid-90s, exploring the relationships between brothers and sisters and parents and children during four decades of change.

Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be provided and are included in the ticket price.

*Read more and view image at . . .

Upcoming: Toxic Assets by Steve Tomlinson at the Off Center, March 11-13

Received directly:

Fusebox Festival presents

Toxic Assets

by Austin's acclaimed monologist Steven Tomlinson
directed by Christina J. Moore

March 11-13, 8 p.m.
at the Off Center, 2211 Hidalgo (Mapquest map)

Thursday pay what you can
Friday sliding scale $15-50
Saturday reserved for Friends of Fusebox--donors of $1000 or more
All proceeds benefit Fusebox Festival 2010
Tickets can be bought at the door or on-line

In his new play Toxic Assets, Steven Tomlinson (Managed Care, Curb Appeal, American Fiesta) searches for the origins of the financial crisis in the psyche of an economics professor who becomes obsessed with cleaning up litter. His compulsion complicates his work as an economist and his relationships with family, friends and neighbors.

"As an artist, I'm trying to make sense of the disconnect between what we worry about (huge forces like markets and the environment) and what we can actually accomplish as individuals," notes Tomlinson. "These little things we do, picking up trash, making time to help one person get back on track, are they worth doing, even if they can't save us?"

Photo of Steven Tomlinson by Liz Berry

Read more and view image at . . . .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Upcoming: Walk Like A Man by Laurinda Brown, ALLGO at AustinVentures Studio Theatre, March 13

UPDATE: Feature/interview of Laurinda D. Brown by Carlo Castillo at the Daily Texan, March 12

Found on-line:

Walk Like A Man - The Play

"It's about life...not lifestyles."

Saturday, March 13, 7 p.m.
AustinVentures Studio Theater inside Ballet Austin's Butler Dance Education Center, 501 W. 3rd Street

Tickets $20 per person. On sale now at

Based on the 2006 Lambda Literary Award-winning book of short stories Walk Like A Man by Laurinda D. Brown. What began as a self-published idea has evolved into the first African-American lesbian play to be performed Off-Broadway.

Welcome to Walk Like A Man - The Play, an edge-of-your-seat dramedy that educates through entertainment. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll leave entertained. Walk Like A Man - The Play is all about you! Don't miss twelve enticing actresses who educate through entertainment, portraying labels, issues, and stereotypes in relationships. "Don't ask, don't tell" to runaway youth, love and religious controversies to domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, safe-sex messages, and affairs in the workplace -- these topics and more are presented for your thought-provoking pleasure.

Read more, see images at . . . .

Upcoming: Desire Caught By The Tail by Pablo Picasso, staged reading by Listrunk at Salvage Vanguard Theatre, March 11

Found on-line:

a brand spankin' new collective of visual and performing artists, invites you to digest our first public offering: a salon reading of Pablo Picasso's stage play

Desire Caught by the Tail

complete with Picasso-inspired illustrations, a talk about Picasso's life in Paris during World War II, and refreshments.

MARCH 11 at 8:30 p.m.
Salvage Vanguard Theatre, 2803 Manor Road, Austin
$5 suggested donation
Call 409-365-7306 for reservations and pay at the door.

Directed by Meghan Adriel Dwyer
Illustration by Todd Mein
Featuring Zeb West, Michael Ferstenfeld, Melissa Recalde, Briana McKeague, Jorge Sermini, Kelli Bland, Cassidy Risien, Steven Shirey, Courtney Outlaw and Walter Young

Monday, February 22, 2010

Upcoming: Shakespeare's Husbands and Wives, Blue Theatre, February 24 - March 5

UPDATE: Click for ALT review, March 1

Found on-line:

Shakespeare’s Husbands & Wives

adapted & directed by Jill K. Swanson
February 24 - 26, March 3 - 5
Wednesdays - Fridays at 8 p.m.
The Blue Theatre, 916 Springdale Road, Austin, located behind Goodwill
Tickets: $10 at the door, student tickets half-price

Portia asks Brutus, “Am I yourself, but, as it were, in sort or limitation, to keep with you at meals, comfort your bed, and talk to you sometimes?"

While a wedding is the end to many a Shakespeare play, it’s only the beginning of the journey of marriage. After the world wind of romance, comes the hard work of balancing the dynamics of two people, building one life out of two and struggling with jealousy, equality, teamwork and disparate goals.

Join us nightly as these actors explore the dynamics of married life as seen through the spouses of Shakespeare’s plays. Each scene reflects a different dynamic, perhaps one you will recognize from your own marriage.

Featuring: Michael Amendola, Kathy Rose Center, Shauna Danos, Bridget Farias, Alejandro McDonald-Villarreal, Erin Molson, Robert Moncrieff, Garry Peters, Laura Ray, Robert Stevens, Heath Thompson & Katie Van Winkle.

Jill K. Swanson is co-editor and contributor of 111 Shakespeare Monologues and 60 Shakespeare Scenes by L.E. McCullough and Lisa Bansavage.

Auditions: The Dream, Austin Shakespeare, February 27 (by appointment only)

Found on-line:

Auditions for Austin Shakespeare:
SHAKESPEARE’S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM with 1960’s inspired music, directed by Ann Ciccolella

Saturday, February 27, 2010 1:30 pm- 3:30 pm
Blue Theatre, 916 Springdale Road

Actors Equity contracts under SPT 1
Rehearsals begin Sunday, March 28

Performances Thursday, April 29 - Sunday, May 30


Austin Shakespeare warmly encourages actors of all ethnic/racial backgrounds to audition.

Auditioners are asked to prepare a 1- 2 minute speech from any classic or Shakespeare play, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The piece may be memorized or read, but actors should be thoroughly familiar with the text.

Later auditions for The Dream will include singing a 1960’s style song. All characters will have one song.

All roles are currently open.

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: World Theatre Day in Austin, March 27

Received directly:

The Exchange Artists with
The Greater Austin Creative Alliance

An Austin Celebration of World Theatre Day
Saturday, March 27 All Day, All Over Town
Austin On Stage Magazine, presenting media sponsor

On March 27, theatre artists will take to the streets, busses, shops, parks and fountains of Austin to engage unsuspecting audiences as participants in Spect-Actor, Austin's World Theatre Day celebration. These diverse performances - theatrical acts for random audiences in everyday settings - will take place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in various locations around Austin, followed by a 7 p.m. party at the ACoT Studio, 701 Tillery Street.

The evening's highlights will include Judy Dench's International World Theatre Day message, read by Ken Webster (Artistic Director, Hyde Park Theatre), a delivery of the first-ever State of the Arts in Austin Address and a screening of videos of the day's acts of theatre. Cambiare Productions will stream the event live online, linking Austin to World Theatre Day Celebrations around the globe.

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: 4.48 Psychosis, University Theatre Guild, March 5 - 7

Found on-line:

UT's University Theatre Guild presents

4.48 Psychosis

by Sarah Kane
ART Bldg, Rm 1.120
March 5 - 6 at 7 p.m., Sunday March 7 at 2 p.m.
UT students (w/ ID) - $3, general admission - $5

Written just five days before her own suicide, Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis is one of the most electrifying and genre bending plays ever. Lacking concrete characters and stage directions, no two productions of this play are ever the same.

The play centers around a woman, much like Kane herself, focusing on her severe clinical depression. She wakes up every morning at 4:48 a.m. with a clear head, resigning to kill herself. Intensely emotional and gripping, this is a play not to be missed by anyone.

Read more at . . . .

Upcomiing: The Pocketbook Monologues, directed by LaTasha Stephens, UT Lab Theatre, March 4 - 7

Found on-line:

University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre & Dance
and Phoenix Theatre Company
as part of The Spring 2010 Lab Theatre Season

The Pocketbook Monologues

by Sharon McGhee

directed by LaTasha Stephens
March 4 - 6, 8 p.m., March 7 at 2 p.m.
Lab Theatre -- free, limited seating

The department's newest student-run theatre company will present Sharon McGhee's play using women of different races to tell stories that range from a girl’s first brush with womanhood, to waxing, to how an widow lives without her deceased husband.

The Play Hailed by many as “The Vagina Monologues with Soul,” The Pocketbook Monologues has played to sold-out houses in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee and made its television debut on the 2009 season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: In The Shadow of Giants, Craig Toungate at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum, March 12 and 19

Found on-line:

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

In The Shadow of Giants

Craig Toungate
Friday, March 12, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 19, 2 p.m.

This performance will mark the 174th Anniversary of the fall of the Alamo and the ensuing Sam Houston lead San Jacinto Campaign for Texas Independence.

In his piece In The Shadow Of Giants native Texan troubadour Craig Toungate portrays his great grandfather, Texas pioneer settler and member of Sam Houston’s army Meredith Toungate. The show tells the story of the Texas Revolution from the fall of the Alamo to the Battle of San Jacinto using original songs and narration based on eyewitness accounts and primary documents. This riveting show is full of drama and unexpected humor told with memorable music and narration from a true Texas character.

Tickets: $12 for Members; $15 for Non Members
Info Phone: (512)936-4649
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 North Congress Avenue, Austin Click for Google map

[Bullock Museum photo from]

Upcoming: Musical Rareties from The Yeomen of the Guard, Gilbert & Sullivan Society at Genesis Presbyterian Church, March 7

Received directly:

proudly presents a Sunday afternoon of Gilbert & Sullivan delights as Artistic Director Ralph MacPhail, Jr. – Master of Ceremonies of the event – reveals hidden mysteries and surprises in the ingenious

The Yeomen of the Guard

Audience favorites Janette Jones, Dan Girardot, Russell Gregory, and David Fontenot will perform various selections from Yeomen – accompanied by Martha Dudgeon.

Musical selections include:

  • A song cut immediately after the opening night performance in 1888, as the lovesick Head Jailer of the Tower of London reveals his broken heart – with perhaps the most sensuous lyrics in all Gilbert & Sullivan.
  • One of the most famous tenor songs in G&S that Sullivan composed three times.
  • The original Finale to Act I, cut to save time, that caused friction between its creators.
  • The rollicking but often cut duet by Dame Carruthers & Sergeant Meryll at the end of Act II, that features one of Gilbert's favorite words – Rapture – and also includes a secret plot element.
  • Hear Sergeant Meryll's lost song, cut after the opening night, in which he reflects on the passing of time and his pride in his son, the valiant Leonard, who's "come to join the Tower Warders."

This performance will preview the summer 2010 Grand Production of The Yeomen of the Guard, to be performed June 10-20. Last performed by the society in 1997, Yeomen is a richly textured show that is the closest thing to grand opera in the G&S repertoire.

Both Gilbert & Sullivan considered The Yeomen of the Guard to be their favorite collaboration. Its story is lofty and its score is magnificent, and yet it loses not one bit of the fun and frivolity that are hallmarks of G&S shows. Its hauntingly beautiful tunes, colorful pageantry, and topsy-turvy storyline have captivated audiences for well over 100 years.

Location for the March 7 musicale:
Genesis Presbyterian Church
1507 Wilshire Blvd | Google Map

Please Bring Munchies!

See You There !
Sunday, March 7th at 3 p.m.

The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin
PO Box 684542 / Austin, Texas / 78768-4542 / 512.472.4772 /

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Upcoming: Beauty and The Beast, American Family Theatre at the One World Theatre, March 6

Found on-line:

The One World Theatre

presents the

production of

Beauty and the Beast

March 6, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Tickets: $9-$12
Info Phone: 512-330-9500 Buy tickets on-line
One World Theatre, 7701 Bee Caves Road, Austin
Full map and directions

Through the magic of live musical theater, the all time favorite Beauty and the Beast comes to life at the One World theater stage in a delightful production from American Family Theater’s Broadway for Kids. Performances are on Saturday, March 6.

Follow Beauty’s father as he is chased by wolves and comes face to face with Beast. You are there when Beauty’s love for her father leads her to being trapped in the Beast’s castle. Beauty’s exciting adventures at the castle help her to discover the goodness and kindness within the Beast and lead her to the magical moment when the Beast becomes a man.

[Click on the image to open the Beauty and The Beast video in a new browser screen!]

American Family Theater’s award winning production of Beauty and the Beast has thrilled audiences of all ages nationwide with spectacle, song and special effects.

Adventure…Romance…Ancient curses! This musical has it all!” Be transported to a magical time in provincial France as American Family Theater presents Beauty and the Beast - a fantastic tale of courage and compassion where a beautiful girl discovers the power of love can overcome even the beastliest of adversities.

Upcoming: Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig, Way Off Broadway Community Players, Leander, March 5 - 20

Found on-line:

Ken Ludwig's

Leading Ladies

directed by Suzan Show
March 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 at 8:00 p.m.
Matinee: March 14 at 3:00 p.m.
Crystal Falls Playhouse, 10960 E. Crystal Falls Parkway, Leander
Admission: $15, $12 (seniors/students), $8 (children)
reservations at 259-5878 or on-line at

In this hilarious comedy by the author of Lend Me a Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, find themselves so down on their luck that they are performing "Scenes from Shakespeare" on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear that an old lady in York, Pennsylvania is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long-lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren't nephews, but nieces!

Romantic entanglements abound, specially when Leo falls head-over-petticoat in love with the old lady's vivacious niece Meg, who's engaged to the local minister. Meg knows that there's a wide world out there, but it's not until she meets "Maxine and Stephanie" that she finally gets a taste of it.

Cast: Kirsten Schulte, Ed Trujillo, Mark Butler, Matt Sigers, Tazz Kelly, Caitlin Sullivan, Keegan Kelly, Jo Rake

Upcoming: Urinetown, Southwestern University, Georgetown, March 3 - 7

Click for ALT review, March 10

Found on-line:

Southwestern University presents

Urinetown: The Musical

directed by Rick Roemer
Book by Greg Kotis, Music by Mark Hollman, Lyrics by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis

March 3 - 7, Weds-Thursday,
7 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m., Sunday, 3 p.m.
Tickets: Weds-Thursday $12, $10 seniors, $8 students; weekends $18, $14 seniors, $12 students

Think times are tough now with soaring gas prices and foreclosures? Imagine a time in the near future when a 20-year drought leads to a government-enforced ban of private toilets!

One of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, Tony Award winning Urinetown, The Musical is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. Due to the water shortage citizens of a Gotham-like city must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he's had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom!

Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Urinetown, The Musical is an irreverently humorous satire in which no one is safe from scrutiny. Praised for reinvigorating the very notion of what a musical could be, Urinetown, The Musical catapults the comedic romp into high gear with its outrageous perspective, wickedly modern wit, and sustained ability to produce gales of unbridled laughter.

"This adventurous and ground-breaking musical can provoke us, engage us in fresh ways, push the boundaries of the form, and make a real emotional connection with the people on stage."- Time Magazine

"There is no show I've ever seen that gives off such a sense that the creators and performers know what it takes to make the world a better place." – New York Times

1001 East University Avenue, Georgetown -- Map & Directions
Box-office website:
Phone: (512) 863-1378 E-Mail:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Atheist, Hyde Park Theatre, February 18 - March 13

Sleazy, pushy Augustine Early is the just the sort of brilliant sociopath that fascinates Ken Webster, judging from the programming at the Hyde Park Theatre.

The Atheist is billed as a "dark comedy," but it is no barrel of laughs. In fact, there are virtually no laughs at all in Joey Hood's intense, two-act 90-minute performance. If it's a comedy at all, it's a sardonic comedy, in the etymological sense: from 1630–40 <>sardoni(us) (<>sardónios of Sardinia) + -an; "the primary reference was to the eating of a Sardinian plant. . .which was said to produce facial convulsions resembling horrible laughter, usually followed by death." [OED]

Whatever the definition, it takes nothing away from Joey Hood. His intensity, rhythm, and bitter, corruscating delivery of this grotesque and bleak shaggy dog story fully deserve those standing ovations that he is getting every night at the theatre. The intelligence and daring of his interpretation almost justify the adulatory tone of Robert Faires' 2400-word profile in the Austin Chronicle last week.

Read more and view image at . . . .

Upcoming: Xephyra by Chad Salvata, Vortex Repertory, February 26 - March 14

Found on-line:

ethos presents

An Alternative World Music and Video Mythos

by Chad Salvata & Jo Beth Henderson
February 26 - 28 (Friday - Sunday), March 04 - 14 (Thursdays - Sundays), 8 p.m.

Click to listen to a sound clip from Xephyra

Award-winning artists Chad Salvata and Jo Beth Henderson have created the newest ethos adventure, Xephyra, An Alternative World Music and Video Mythos. This non-traditional performance is presented with video images and live music. The extraordinary vocals are performed in an imaginary language of a mythic tribal island world.

Xephyra, a warrior of the Blue Orchid tribe, journeys on her quest to find her husband Warrior, who has not returned from the Island Wars. Along the way, she is joined by Terra, a sea siren. They are hunted by monster birds, battle shark mermaids, and slay the kaleidoscope octopus. Will they find Warrior and return safely home?

Xephyra features the vocal and performance talents of Jo Beth Henderson and Kira Parra. With live music performed by Chad Salvata, Tyler Mabry, and Rachel Fuhrer. Live video creation and mixing by Sergio R. Samayoa. Lighting design by Patrick Anthony. Sound design by Roy Taylor.

Tickets: $30-$25 Priority Seating, $20-$15 General Admission. $10 Starving Artists.
2-for-1 Admission on Thursdays and Sundays with 2 non-perishable food items for SafePlace. Feed the Tribes of the World.

Friday, February 26 — Opening Night and CD Release Party of the Xephyra CD with free champagne and food.

Friday March 12 -- Performance free with SxSW Interactive Badge (Party after the show. Cash bar and drink specials.)

Produced in association with VORTEX Repertory Company. Xephyra is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division.

Upcoming: Steal Away, read by author John M. Lively, Austin Scriptworks at State Theatre, February 28

Found on-line:

SALON -- A Public Reading

by John Lively
Sunday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 pm
State Theatre, 719 Congress Ave.

Steal Away tells the story of a young couple intrinsically connected but separated by East Texas race relations. Charlamaine and Tommy fall in love and live out their secret tryst under the cover of a hidden bayou. As the narrative unfolds, the outside world, with all their social mores encroaches upon their relationship with tragic consequences. Part Our Town and part Romeo and Juliet, Steal Away expresses fundamental truths measured beyond the known distinctions of race, color and creed.

Originally from Arlington, Texas, John Lively is a Texas Tech University Graduate with degrees in English and Theatre. His play Tear Down was featured in the 2009 FronteraFest Long Fringe.

The Salon

The backbone of Austin Script Works, the Salon provides a place for playwrights to hear their work in an informal setting. Monthly salons feature unrehearsed readings of finished plays or fragments from plays-in-progress by members and are followed by writer-driven discussions with ASW members. Salons usually occur on the last Sunday of the month at 6:30 PM. Members must have attended two salons before they can have on scheduled for their work. Prospective members are welcome to attend a Salon before joining.

The Dixie Swim Club, Sam Bass Community Theatre, Round Rock, January 29 - February 20

The Sam Bass Community Theatre celebrates friendship and nostalgia in The Dixie Swim Club, by that clever trio of writers who dropped out of the big time to devote themselves to crafting vehicles for community theatres.

Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten now have residences in Asheville NC and in New York City, according to their website. After careers in television and regional theatre, they hit gold with their 2005 North Carolina premiere of Dearly Beloved, introducing the formidable Futrelle sisters from the mythical crossroads town of Fayro, Texas. The trio's Futrelle output is now up to a trilogy, and they've branched out to further quirky Southern-flavored comedies.

The Dixie Swim Club opened in 2007 in Wilson, a mid-sized town in eastern North Carolina, halfway between the sophisticated university town of Raleigh and the beaches of the Outer Banks. It's a female Southern Comfort buddy play, portraying summer ritual beach house vacations of five university classmates over 55 years. There's a Big Chill factor at work here -- offering audience members scenes that inevitably raise memories and tug at their heartstrings. This is sure-fire heart-warming stuff.

Read more and view images at . . . .

Upcoming: The Tides of Aberdeen by Erin Phillips, UT Lab Theatre, February 26 - 28

Found on-line:

The Tides of Aberdeen
by Erin Phillips

directed by Courtney Sale
February 26, 27 at 8 p.m., February 27, 28 at 2 p.m.
University of Texas Lab Theatre
Admission: $10, limited seating. Tickets available at the Winship Box Office 1.5 hours prior to each performance. Map of the area.

In the dreary Northwest town of Aberdeen, two kids endeavor to break the world record for holding their breath under water. When a drifter resurfaces in town, the kids' plans and lives transform. Tides… is a mysterious story dealing with the rise and fall of small town perceptions and dreams.

Assistant Director Kassie Crawford
Scene and Costume Designer Rowan Doyle
Lighting Designer Victoria Hendrix
Sound Designer Paul Bolinger
Stage Manager Denise Saenz

Playwright Erin Phillips is originally from the bay area and holds a B.F.A. in acting from Cornish College of the Arts. She was the 2006 joint recipient of the Corwin Award for best One Act Play, and the 2007 recipient of the Corwin award for best full-length play. She received a meritorious achievement award from the Kennedy Center for The Well. Erin holds a Masters degree in Dramatic Arts from The University of California at Santa Barbara. She is currently working on her M.F.A. in Playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also her Mom's favorite Playwright.

Director Courtney Sale joins the UT community by way of New York City, where she spent five years as Co-Artistic Director of The Management. Directing credits with The Management include Bruecklen, The Chalk Boy (Co-Production in Los Angeles), Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, and The Well written by UT M.F.A. Playwright Erin Phillips. Her production of Kristen Kosmas's The Scandal! was nominated for a New York Innovative Theater Award and featured in American Theatre Magazine. Seattle directing credits include Bright Room Called Day (Strike Anywhere Productions), Henry VI Part 1 (Babes with the Bard), and Singer Stories (Seattle Children's Museum). She assistant'directed Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith's Seattle premiere of Monster at A Contemporary Theater. She was also selected as one of fourteen emerging directors to participate in Peter Brook's workshop in conjunction with his tour of Hamlet. As an actor Courtney has worked with San Francisco's Crowded Fire, The Jewish Theater of New York and Seattle's ArtsWest. She holds a B.F.A. from Cornish College of the Arts.


* Stevi Baston as Abigal
* Tim Stafford as Jake
* Mark Scheibmeir as Truck
* Sydney Andrews as Ginger

[photo credit: Murdo McLeod, Guardian newspaper, UK]

Friday, February 19, 2010

Moonlight and Magnolias, Gaslight Baker Theatre, Lockhart, January 29 - February 14

Lots of folks turned out for the last Saturday night performance of Roy Hutchinson's Moonlight and Magnolias by the Gaslight Baker Theatre. Word of mouth had been at work down in Lockhart about this guys' screwball comedy.

There is a dame in the cast. Esther Williams has only a few lines in her role as Miss Poppenghul, the earnest and attentive secretary to Hollywood producer David O. Selznick (David Schneider). Most of those are variations on "Yes, Mr. Selnick" and "Right away, Mr. Selznick." In the midst of the rowdy five-day shouting match carried on by Selznick, screenwriter Ben Hecht (Randy Wachtel) and film director Victor Fleming (Steve Lawson) as they labor to save the script of Gone with the Wind, Miss Poppenghul's increasing disarray and wide-eyed apprehension are a running gag that neatly upstages the battle royal.

Playwright Hutchinson latched onto a remarkable moment in Hollywood history. Wikipedia quotes Ben Hecht's biographer William McAdams: "At dawn on Sunday, February 20, 1939, David Selznick ... and director Victor Fleming shook Hecht awake to inform him he was on loan from MGM and must come with them immediately and go to work on Gone with the Wind, which Selznick had begun shooting five weeks before. It was costing Selznick $50,000 each day the film was on hold waiting for a final screenplay rewrite and time was of the essence." The three men locked themselves up in Selznick's office for five days (Hecht later said it was for eight days). Because Hecht hadn't read the novel, the other two acted out the principal scenes and Hecht turned that into a script.

Read more at . . . .