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Austin Arts: Seeing Things: Reviews

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Summer Stock Austin's "Footloose"

Review: Summer Stock's 'Footloose'

Summertime in Austin brings mosquitos, triple digit temperatures, and a smorgasbord of musical theater productions. This summer’s crowning glory just might be Summer Stock Austin’s production of “Footloose,” playing now through Aug. 10 in the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center – unless, that is, their production of “Chicago” ...

Review: "Stone Soup"

Adults could learn a lot by paying attention to children’s stories. They tend to teach valuable lessons about sharing and caring and treating people well – which it seems like a lot of us forget by the time we go off to college. “Stone Soup,” the Theater For All production ...

Zilker Theatre Production's "Oklahoma!"

Review: Zilker Theatre Production's "Oklahoma!"

The smell of BBQ mingles with popcorn and bug spray on the Zilker Park hillside in summer. Families sprawl across a rainbow of blankets as children and dogs explore the sights and smells of the pre-show dusk. For its 56th annual summer musical, Zilker Theatre Productions brings us Rogers and ...

 Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals’ “Boys of Summer,” plays through Aug. 23 at The Institution Theater.

Review: Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals’ “Boys of Summer”

Have you ever wished that people around you would just burst into a song and dance number? I know I have.  Although flash mobs do happen, and Broadway musicals make it seem like life is a song, if you want real spontaneous singing, treat yourself to a Saturday night with ...

"The Who's 'Tommy'" at Zach Theatre

Review: "The Who's 'Tommy'" at Zach Theatre

A script set in the 1970s that encourages dream sequences and phantasmagoric visions serves up a smorgasbord of opportunities for an ambitious design team.  “The Who’s Tommy,” playing now through Aug. 24 at Zach  Theater, is the first production in the new Topfer space to really pull out all the ...

Top to bottom: Tom Green, Ken Webster, & Nate Jackson in “Port Authority” by Conor McPherson, through Aug. 9 at Hyde Park Theater.

Review: "Port Authority" at Hyde Park Theatre

Every day, people make choices that affect the rest of their lives. Sometimes these decisions are obviously monumental: which college to attend, what job to take, where to live. But more often, it’s the slow and steady unfolding of our relationships that have the most profound effect on who we ...

Review: Weiss Kaplan Newman Trio at the Austin Chamber Music Festival

It’s the start of that most wonderful time of the year for chamber music aficionados, as the Austin Chamber Music Center’s summer festival got underway with its first weekend of concerts from touring ensembles, including an opening set by the Weiss Kaplan Newman Trio. Defying its popularity-proof name, the WKN ...

“The International Improv Experience” at the Hideout Theatre

Review: “The International Improv Experience”

You may not have heard, but Austin’s improvised comedy scene is kind of a big deal. With events like the 46-hour improv marathon hosted at the Hideout Theatre each June and the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival at the end of August, Austin’s talented improvisers have been steadily building an ...

“Silence! The Musical” plays through July 13 at the Salvage Vanguard Theater

Review: 'Silence! The Musical'

Nothing screams “camp” quite like musical theater, particularly when the creators brew up an enthralling amalgam of singing, dancing, and cannibalism. “Silence! The Musical,” playing now through July 13 at Salvage Vanguard Theatre, turns the gruesome story of Hannibal Lecter (Huck Huckaby), Buffalo Bill (David Ponton), and Clarice Starling (Amy ...

Sky Candy's "Cosmicomics" is a the Long Center through June 28.

Review: Sky Candy's 'Cosmicomics'

Italo Calvino's  1965 collection of capricious, absurd short stories, "Cosmicomics" offers a delightfully speculative spin on notions of space and time that still enchants readers today. And "Cosmicomics" has proved irresistible to theater-makers along the way too. Now director Rudy Ramirez in collaboration with aerial arts toupe Sky Candy give ...

Review: "La Femme Boheme"

Rebellious creative young people hang out together, share dreams and miserable apartments. They make big plans. They fall in love. They suffer tragedies. The 19th-century Parisiam mileau of Puccini's "La Boheme" really varies little from scenarios of contemporary life. So why not, in re-imagining the beloved opera for slimmed down ...

John Reed as Johnny Cash in “Rock N Roll Purgatory”  with (left to right) Luke Wallens, Ann K. Flynn, Heidi Rogers, Justin Davidson, Donna Rice, Adam Niederpruem, Callie Sharon.

Review: 'Rock N Roll Purgatory'

We’ve seen a parade of retrospective musicals over the past decade or so – turning the life story of famous singers into fodder for the stage. None of those plots take audiences beyond the closing act and on into the afterlife -- until now. Bringing together a medley of world-class ...

Carla Nickerson and Jaston Williams in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” at Zach Theatre through June 22.

Review: "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,

Though the precise ringing of their death knell may not be easy to pinpoint, the glory days of television sitcoms are long since past. Perhaps it makes a strange sort of sense, then, that Christopher Durang would take the works of Anton Chekhov (whose plays beat with the lifeblood of ...

Review: Conspirare sings Muehleisen's 'Pieta'

Conspirare's ambitious festival, comPassion began in earnest Friday night, with composer John Muehleisen's modern passion, "Pieta."The word "Pieta," Muehleisen points out, is usually only said in reference to Michaelangelo's great sculpture, but in fact, the root meaning is "pity." Only recently, writes the composer, has the word taken on a ...

Review: Theatre en Bloc's "Bethany"

They say that desperate times call for desperate measures, and that’s a clichéd but accurate synopsis of Laura Marks’ “Bethany,” playing through June 7 at the Long Center's Rollins Studio Theatre. Produced by Theatre en Bloc, the show is beautifully put together, offers critical commentary on our contemporary moment and ...

Review: Cap T Theatre's "Punkplay"

Teenage boys are almost always good for a laugh – especially if you take two angst-ridden adolescents and drop them back in the 1980s (a farcical decade in itself). Give them their first pornographic video, too many bottles of cough syrup, and a desperate desire to fit in by standing ...

Review: Revel's "Mixtape: Stomp & Dance"

Sometimes you a hard look at the classical music scene and wonder, Where’s the innovation? For all its insecurities, all the public hems and haws over whether the next generation will come out to these shows, actual novelty in the way music is presented is surprisingly hard to come by. ...

Review: Austin Symphony Orchestra with Gabriela Montero

The Austin Symphony’s season, proper, came to a close this weekend, with a gratifyingly diverse concert of contrasting works: a Mozart concerto by Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, a contemporary work by Robert Paterson and a vibrant performance of Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” under conductor Peter Bay. Paterson (1970) is a ...

Review: Ensemble VIII's "Love Songs From Italy"

Ensemble VIII’s fans attend the group’s Renaissance & Baroque concerts in search of something pristine, and that’s usually what they get. At the finale of its third season, Ensemble VIII continues to deliver on its premise of importing interpreters from around the country to put on intimate concerts specializing in ...

Review: Ballet Austin’s “The Sleeping Beauty”

The great 19th-century ballet “The Sleeping Beauty” requires technical prowess, endurance and story-telling abilities of its dancers. The beloved choreography by Marius Petipa spans a prologue plus three acts, which makes for an unusually long evening at the ballet. The emotional score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky is punctuated by complex ...

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