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Austin Arts: Seeing Things: Reviews

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Review: La Follia’s Bach Vs. Handel “Smackdown”

(This review is by Luke Quinton, American-Statesman freelance arts critic.) When the warring parties have been dead for a few hundred years, the stakes are lowered, but that didn’t mean the performers for La Follia’s Bach Vs. Handel “Smackdown” this weekend were taking the competition frivolously. There was a moment ...

The Salvage Vanguard’s third and final Made in the SVT production of its 20th season is the premiere of “Am I White” by local playwright Adrienne Dawes. The play is about Neo-Nazi terrorist Wesley Connor — when he returns to prison after a failed bomb plot, he is confronted with the two identities that threaten his position within the White Order of Thule most: fatherhood and his own mixed-race heritage. Inspired by the true story of Leo Felton and Erica Chase, “Am I White” travels between recurring dream and minstrel show nightmare to discover if a singular self exists in an alleged “post-racial” America. Saturday’s VIP show is $35 and includes an opening reception. 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday. Show runs through Oct. 18. $20. 2803 E. Manor Road. www.salvagevanguard.org.

Review: “Am I White” at Salvage Vanguard Theater

(This review is by American-Statesman freelance critic Claire Christine Spera.) In local playwright Adrienne Dawes’ intense new work, showing at the Salvage Vanguard Theater through Oct. 18, everything is mixed up: the present with the past, reality with the dream world, reason with feeling and, as the play’s title suggests, ...

Review: Ballet Austin’s “The Firebird” and “Agon”

(This review is by American-Statesman freelance writer Claire Christine Spera.) Ballet Austin’s productions of “Agon” and “The Firebird” at the Long Center made for an evening of contrasts threaded together with a commonality: Both ballets are set to Igor Stravinsky scores, beautifully performed in this case by the Austin Symphony ...

Review: Mary Moody Northen Theatre’s “Love and Information”

(This review is by American-Statesman freelance writer Claire Canavan) In the modern world, information flows freely and it’s easy to get swept up in the current. In “Love and Information,” British playwright Caryl Churchill explores the ways relationships function (or don’t) within the fragmented nature of contemporary life. David M. ...

Penfold Theatre's "Now Then Again"

Review: Penfold Theatre's "Now Then Again"

Although romantic comedies tend to follow the same basic formula – boy meets girl, boy loses girl (or can’t have her because she’s taken), boy gets girl in the end – it’s a nice departure when the dramatic overlay for the story offers up fodder for interesting conversation. “Now Then ...

Mel Sagrado Maghuyop & Jill Blackwood in Zach Theatre's production of "The King and I."

Review: Zach Theatre's "The King and I"

From the moment the curtain rises on the King of Siam’s palace dancers, who perform dutifully in golden outfits, we are confronted with the King’s royal reality. His court members — always glittering, always subserviently lying prostrate — are a sharp contrast to the quick-witted, independent Englishwoman Anna Leonowens, here ...

Caroline Reck in "The Orchid Flotilla"

Review: 'The Orchid Flotilla'

It’s a rare gift to be able to tell a story without using words. And it’s even less common for us to get to witness such beauty on Austin stages. Caroline Reck’s “The Orchid Flotilla,” playing through September 20th at Salvage Vanguard, is a beautiful, eloquent performance that needs no ...

Review: “The Full Monty” at Georgetown Palace Theatre

There’s something particularly charming (and surprising) about a community theater producing a musical that tells the story of a few average guys who get together to learn how to put on a show… by taking off all their clothes. Georgetown Palace Theater’s rendition of “The Full Monty,” playing now through ...

Jaston Williams reminisces about theater life in the 1970s in his one-man show "Maid Marian in a Stolen Car."

Review: 'Maid Marian in a Stolen Car': Jaston Williams steals a one-man show yet again

Although it wouldn’t hurt, you don’t have to be from the theatrical world, or from Texas, or even a fan of the wildly popular “Greater Tuna” and its three sequels to enjoy “Tuna” co-creator Jaston Williams’s latest one-man show, “Maid Marian in a Stolen Car.” The veteran writer/performer’s storytelling skills, ...

Daniel Alexander Jones in "Bright Now Beyond"

Review: "Bright Now Beyond"

 The Land of Oz towers in our collective imagination as a magical place ripe with possibilities. We envision the glittering Emerald City and the shimmering yellow brick road, we hear the voices of the munchkins and the click of the ruby slippers. But decades after Dorothy’s journey, Oz has turned ...

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 ...

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