Reviews for Bottle Alley Theatre Company Performances

Review: Wraith Radio by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

Review: Wraith Radio by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on November 18, 2016

Like Wraith and Star, in our lives we may find ourselves in rooms without safe exits and without clearly defined missions. Our messages become our missions.

Chris Fontanes' original works for Bottle Alley Theatre Company tend to take place in the dark. There are good reasons for that. He and his collaborators have been making seat-of-the-pants theatre in Austin since September, 2012.   I reviewed his work Stage back then, and when I checked the date on that review just now I discovered to my embarrassment that in 2012 I used exactly the same term: "seat-of-the-pants theatre."   So let's be more …

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Review: Cloud Formations by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

Review: Cloud Formations by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on October 21, 2015

Playwright Fontanes has a thing for strong women protagonists, and Samantha Ireland as Marlow is the forceful and articulate but existentially confused center of this piece.

Chris Fontanes' Cloud Formations sets a Zen-like entry to the world of shadows it depicts. Part of that is the venue, Sessions on Mary, a 78704 bungalow with a scrap of yard out front, and part may be unintentional, an oversight in the publicity. Cloud Formations is announced for 7:30 p.m. Fridays - Sundays. In fact, the house opens at 7:30, but the action of the play begins sometime closer to 8 p.m. As happened with …

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Review: The Insomniacs' Ball by Chris Fontanes

Review: The Insomniacs' Ball by Chris Fontanes

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 22, 2015

The insomniacs' late sleepless night breathed not of angst but of ennui. . . . In his millenial neo-Romantic script Fontanes moves his characters toward communion, if not toward hope or optimism.

Theatre, in the concept of this website, isn't an industry or an institution. It's a way of experiencing and reporting the world, a collaborative effort to explore what's important to us now, at this moment in history and at this time in our lives.   The power of mimesis lends itself to large scale commercial presentation, including on screen and in extravagant live entertainments ("Razzle-dazzle 'em," as Billy Flynn advises Roxy in Kander and Ebb's …

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Review: Land of the Weird by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

Review: Land of the Weird by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on September 18, 2014

The gang over at Bottle Alley Theatre Company is finishing up their second season, already very diverse, with some good fun.  With support from mainstay Chris Fontanes, they took on a puppet project.  This is a new art form for all of them, and they benefited from a couple of sessions with Connor Hopkins, Austin's own emperor of animated objects. Bottle Alley has to scrape, cadge and liberate for venues and material, facing the same perpetual challenge …

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Review: Make Believe by Chris Fontanes, Bottle Alley Theatre Company

Review: Make Believe by Chris Fontanes, Bottle Alley Theatre Company

by Jessica Helmke
Published on July 15, 2013

Experiencing Make-Believe was like watching a painter fresco a wall in lime plaster. Tension mounted as the plot was slowly revealed.

A Commentative Search for Truths    I ended up parking two blocks away by accident and only once had to stop and ask for directions to the Grayduck Gallery [click for map]. I was really excited to watch the premiere of Make-Believe, a new work by Chris Fontanes of Bottle Alley Theatre Company. I'd received an early version of the full length play from Chris a couple of months earlier, so I'd gotten an actresses's inside view …

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Review: The Ivy House by Chris Fontanes, Bottle Alley Theatre Company

Review: The Ivy House by Chris Fontanes, Bottle Alley Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 28, 2013

Memoryspeak by these characters informs us of a pregnancy, an accident that was really a suicide, a fierce breakup and abandonment and a despairing effort to reach beyond the grave.

The very venue is a dream catcher.  This tidy wood-frame two-story house is situated on Garden Street -- hence its bed & breakfast title The Eponymous Garden -- and it's saturated with atmosphere.  Owner Sterling Price-McKinney has written scripts for performance here in connection with the Salvage Vanguard Theatre, and this is the location for the SVT's annual fundraiser.   This isn't the Austin of of the politicians and high rollers who used the Driskill Hotel just …

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