Reviews for FronteraFest Performances

Review: Iced Tea in Texas by FronteraFest

Review: Iced Tea in Texas by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 02, 2014

Everybody loves Bernie, judging from the theatre crowd turnout for Bernadette Nason's third autobiographical one-woman show.

I'm no exception. Checking the files, I find that I positively gushed when I reviewed installment no. 2, Dinner in Dubai in 2012.  I missed the opener Tea in Tripoli in July 2011, but I have some vague hope that one of these days she'll provide us all a four-pack, perhaps on successive evenings ...

Read more »

Review: Mad & A Goat by Diana Lynn Small, FronteraFest 2014

Review: Mad & A Goat by Diana Lynn Small, FronteraFest 2014

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 23, 2014

Once they begin to speak and move, mirroring one another, complementing one another, delivering the lengthy shaggy goat story written by Small (whichever one she is), it doesn't matter. They are the same woman.

 

 

 

Two women appear, standing side by side, each dressed in a frumpy oversized T-shirt and holding a portable tape recorder.  

 

Expressionless -- or is that ironic? -- they take turns jabbing buttons so that the machines blurt forth, a phrase at a time, the intro.  

 

(Oh, gosh, is this going to be an endless evening of pseudosmart absurdity?)

 

(The answer is triumphantly 'no.')

 

One of those women is ...

Read more »

Review: Four Square by FronteraFest

Review: Four Square by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 02, 2012

Zarate's choice of an extremely strong and experienced cast helps the audience past those blurs. This piece is rationally irrational, one that keeps you guessing and wraps you up emotionally.

Inevitably, Manuel Zarate's one-act play Four Squarereminds one of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story.  There's a chance encounter in a public place with no one else around.  A chat between two strangers starts with simple exchanges, courtesies, really, then progresses until we eventually see that one of them is a psychotic and the other is a victim.  There's something of the bull ring to the concept, except that instead ...

Read more »

Review: Women in Search of Love by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 02, 2012

Ah, though, the women! They captured my heart.

Last Saturday's FronteraFest "Best of Week 3" brought us a lot of yin and very little yang. Of the five pieces brought forward, four were solos by actresses.

Yang did hold its own. The six "Confidence Guys" who did improvised Mamet gave us that playwright's expletives, elisions, incomplete understoods and macho pushiness to the life. After a quick poll of the audience they played it as salesmen in a failing car dealership. Maybe ...

Read more »

Review: Somewhere in Utopia (A Travesty) by FronteraFest

Review: Somewhere in Utopia (A Travesty) by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 31, 2012

Face it: there's no use getting annoyed with the theatre of the absurd, no matter how confusing it may seen. Go ahead, get out of your comfort zone and stretch your mind. Maybe getting annoyed will do you good.

Face it: there's no use getting annoyed with the theatre of the absurd, no matter how confusing it may seen. Or even with the neo-theatre of the absurd such as this piece by Jared J. Stein, produced a good 50 years after the audacious thumbing-its-nose-at-the-bourgeois art style hit the European stages.

 

In Somewhere in Utopia Stein portrays a dystopia: two principal characters are fixed unthinkingly before a television screen as the audience files ...

Read more »

Review: One Venus Hour by Sheila Gordon

Review: One Venus Hour by Sheila Gordon

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 30, 2011

The widowed or divorced father, retired alone in Florida, with the querelous mutter and collapsed world of an aged New Yorker, pushes back at his daughter's pained, well-intentioned ministrations.

Equity actor Shela M. Gordon took the opportunity of FronteraFest 2011 to do a solo turn showing friends, the general public and her students at St. Ed's that she's endowed both with an actor's shape shifting wiles and with a warm and thoughtful writer's imagination.

 

Gordon developed this piece with support from Scriptworks, here in Austin. Her One Venus Hour is not about the goddess or even about the planet ...

Read more »