Recent Reviews

Review: The Niceties by Jarrott Productions

Review: The Niceties by Jarrott Productions

by David Glen Robinson
Published on January 18, 2020

Director Jeremy Rashad Brown tries to tease apart the issues writhing in this spaghetti bowl of despair, but he can’t. The script won’t let him. And that’s the point of the play.

 

The Niceties is about intersectionality, the intersections of every issue you can name: race, gender, age, sexuality, class, power, revolution, economics, freedom, history, semiotics, equity in all modes, communication theory, pronoun etiquette, and morality over all. The intersections of these issues, each to all, are touched lightly or embraced passionately in this play by Eleanor Burgess. Jeremy Rashad Brown directs. 

 

The play is set in the office of a history professor of ...

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Review: Tiny Beautiful Things by Austin Playhouse

Review: Tiny Beautiful Things by Austin Playhouse

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 16, 2020

TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS is an accomplishment of grace and bravura on both sides of the non-existent footlights at the Austin Playhouse.

 

The premise is simple, almost anodyne, and celebrated in the publicity and the program: what if we put together a play based on real letters from real people to an anonymous advice columnist? Counsel dispensed by newspaper column is an entertaiment that dates back centuries but really proliferated in the early twentieth century. Back then it was "Dear Abby" or "Hints from Heloise" or similar lesser lights; now, ageing millenials can get an ...

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Review: The Butcher of Baraboo by Street Corner Arts

Review: The Butcher of Baraboo by Street Corner Arts

by Michael Meigs
Published on December 16, 2019

THE BUTCHER OF BARABOO is one of the most gripping and entertaining pieces I've seen in Austin. Director Carlo Lorenzo Garcia and a breathtaking cast deliver insightful, imaginative, thought-provoking gothic comedy.

 

No theatre performance is the same from night to night. The combined talents of the company create the front part of the magic, delivering the text richly incorporating the visuals, the rhythm, and subtleties of gesture and tone, but just as important is the ardent, usually silent participation of those who attend, witness, and vicariously participate. Attending The Butcher of Baraboo on "industry night," the Monday evening after opening weekend, was a rare high ...

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Review: Next to Normal by Ground Floor Theatre

Review: Next to Normal by Ground Floor Theatre

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on December 13, 2019

This collaboration between Ground Floor Theatre and Deaf Austin Theatre is unique, and it's groundbreaking in the effectiveness of both concept and execution. Highly recommended; one of the must-see theatrical performances of the year.

 

Diana, portrayed simultaneously by Megg Rose and Kerry McGinnis, is suffering from bipolar disorder. Her psychic struggles spread out and ensnare all those near and dear to her. First affected are  her husband and daughter; from there her crisis reaches  her doctor, her daughter’s boyfriend, and — most frightening of all — the ghost of Gabe, her long lost first born.

 

The brilliant dual casting of most parts with two distinct performers, one ...

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Review: A Christmas Memory by Alchemy Theatre Company

Review: A Christmas Memory by Alchemy Theatre Company

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on December 12, 2019

I wouldn't be surprised to see this production go on to become an Austin Christmas tradition. It's a memory one will want to relive again and again.

 

 American novelist, playwright, and actor Truman Capote is best known for Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood. Many of his works are considered American literary classics and were adapted for film and television, which helped give him a wide and admiring audience. Yet Capote's origins were remarkably humbler, even Dickensian. His youth was beset by familial issues including divorce, an absentee mother, and a transient lifestyle.

 

He began to deal ...

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Review: A Christmas Carol: A Rockin' Family Musical by Zach Theatre

Review: A Christmas Carol: A Rockin' Family Musical by Zach Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on December 05, 2019

Dave Steakley's happy jukebox interpretation of A Christmas Carol is set in a world of diversity and human warmth that's too Austin to be true, and it's all the more appealing for that. Constant celebration overshadows Ebenezer's redemption.

 

Zach Theatre's A Christmas Carol is back for the sixth year, and Dave Steakley's canny jukebox presentation is a charming delirium. Zach's producing artistic director again takes the simple structure of the much loved tale of redemption and decorates it with celebratory rock and roll the way folks all across the nation are dangling ornaments and tinsel on forests of Christmas trees. Sometimes the connections to Dickens' simple, sturdy plot are ...

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