We had a lovely evening at the Hidden Room last weekend in the company of some of Austin's more whimsical and talented theatre artists. That impossibly long title might suggest more whimsy than one could stomach, but in fact the Evening in the Parlour of the Brothers Grimm was something of a Halloween valentine. Or more precisely, perhaps, a delicate, exciting dark chocolate delight, laced with spices and bitter almonds.
Sweet enough to make you giddy with the fetching, subtle taste of cyanide. . . .
Imagination was rife. This collaboration must have been a labor of love, done for three nights only. Guiding forces were Beth Burns of Hidden Theatre, that gifted refugee from Los Angeles who has become thoroughly Austin; the genial Robert Matney, so familiar in character roles in this town; puppet wizards Connor Hopkins, Caroline Reck and theTrouble Puppet team; musicians masked and led by Jennifer Davis, sorcerer of period music; and the slim, mysterious and exotic Djahari Clark, a bicoastal dancer who leads her own group Desert Sin.
Spectator participants gathered with their passwords at the historic Masonic building on West 7th Street. Those who know Austin theatre received a special shiver of anticipation when they realized that Bernadette Nason was the prim receptionist downstairs. Nason is a clever and personable actress in her own right -- her presence in the downstairs antechamber in itself promised astonishing events upstairs.