Reviews for Austin Shakespeare Performances

Review: The Belle of Amherst by Austin Shakespeare

Review: The Belle of Amherst by Austin Shakespeare

by Jessica Helmke
Published on November 17, 2013

At Home with Emily Dickinson

I told myself, "I should have brought my favorite pen. Or maybe my secret stash of amateur poems? Some decorated stationary perhaps? Then again, freshly baked sugar cookies are sure to do the trick. . . ." I was finally going to meet her. The dark, secluded and intriguing poetic genius herself, Ms. Emily Dickinson. I waited patiently and quietly in my chair for over an hour, but she never showed. Instead, a woman dressed …

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Review: Design for Living by Austin Shakespeare

Review: Design for Living by Austin Shakespeare

by Christine El-Tawil
Published on February 11, 2013

Despite the speed of the exchanges and the posh accents, not one joke or pun was lost on the audience. The shifts between tense drama moments to absurdly lighthearted funny ones deeply engaged us.

Kara Bliss greets you with song as you enter the Rollins Studio Theater at the Long Center for Austin Shakespeare’s production of Design for Living by Noël Coward. Jason Connor accompanies her on the upright piano.  Bliss’s soulful delivery of witty and fun compositions by Coward instantly transports you to the 1920’s.   The puns and clever humor set the audience laughing even before the action began, particularly with references to “gay” behavior. In Coward’s time, “gay” usually …

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Quick Comment: Design for Living by Austin Shakespeare

Quick Comment: Design for Living by Austin Shakespeare

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 07, 2013

Helen Merino, Martin Burke and Michael Miller deliver the most exuberant, mischievous and riveting ensemble work I've seen in many a day.

The songs performed by chanteuse Kara Bliss highlight Noël Coward's sly wit, but Ann Ciccolella's staging of Design for Living proves he was no mere champagne dandy.  Marvelously articulate dialogue pops and snaps, and it's full of emotion.  Helen Merino, Martin Burke and Michael Miller deliver the most exuberant, mischievous and riveting ensemble work I've seen in many a day.     Hits as of 2015 03 01: 755

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Review: Arcadia by Austin Shakespeare

Review: Arcadia by Austin Shakespeare

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 09, 2012

Georgia McLeland is a natural -- perfectly in mastery of her character, playful and thoughtful by turns and entirely convincing. Our hearts go out to her as we watch her quiet delight at her first and last waltz with Septimus in the final scene.

Tom Stoppard's Arcadia shines with wit and whimsicality.  The dialogues between these characters are so quick and clever that sometimes you perch on the edge of your seat, breathlessly holding back your laughter so that you won't miss a single syllable. This is wit writ deep -- in the characters, their contrasting views of the world and their social positions; in dissembling, feuding and courtship; and in the juxtaposition and then the overlapping within the same genteel …

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Review: Hamlet by Austin Shakespeare

Review: Hamlet by Austin Shakespeare

by Michael Meigs
Published on October 02, 2011

Austin Shakespeare's Hamlet is a riveting evening, despite the questions and issues that this staging raises.

The question that must be addressed when discussing this Hamlet staged by Austin Shakespeare is not "Why cast Helen Merino for the title role?" but rather "What does casting Helen Merino as Hamlet do to the play?"   Merino played Hamlet ten years ago for the same organization, then known as the Austin Shakespeare Festival, at free performances in Zilker Park downtown.  She was an Austin favorite at that time; a 2001 article in the weekly Austin Chronicle identified …

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Review: Love's Labor's Lost by Austin Shakespeare

Review: Love's Labor's Lost by Austin Shakespeare

by Michael Meigs
Published on May 16, 2011

This is a fine evening of theatre and a gift to Austin. It's colorful, funny, accomplished and Shakespeare, all together.

Robert Faires' imaginative staging of Love's Labor's Lost takes place at the Sheffield Hillside Theatre in Zilker Park, literally a stone's throw away from Barton Springs pool. Spectators spread out blankets or set up lawn chairs in the sloped meadow above the playing area and settle in for the pleasures of free entertainment for a Texas evening in May.   Love's Labor's Lost is one of Shakespeare's earliest comedies and not one of the world's favorites.  The language …

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