Reviews for Zach Theatre Performances

Review: NOTES FROM THE FIELD by Anna Deavere Smith, Zach Theatre

Review: NOTES FROM THE FIELD by Anna Deavere Smith, Zach Theatre

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on March 05, 2019

Culled from the interviews with real people, the texts are filled with words that are passionate, well-spoken, and as colorful as any a playwright might wish to craft. NOTES FROM THE FIELD is an intrepid work of art.

Using empirical evidence and recorded interviews, playwright-actor Anna Deavere Smith tells the personal stories of those dealing with the difficult communities challenged to escape what they describe as “America’s school-to-prison pipeline.” There is mature content in these stories, and Zach Theatre recommends that audience members be at least 14 years of age.

 

Smith originated Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education as a one-woman performance. She's a famous actor, playwright, and ...

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Review #1 of 2: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH by Zach Theatre

Review #1 of 2: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH by Zach Theatre

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on January 29, 2019

A cycle of three songs by Hedwig is a most beautiful battering of the audience’s psyche. It's unmistakably puissant, powerful, and gratifyingly self-indulgent. The story of Hedwig is a modern-day fable that deserves retelling as Zach Theatre has done.

Inside all that fabulousness there is so much pain. 

 

During The Long Grift, Hedwig tries and tries to finish the opening when s/he senses a breakdown. S/he throws out some banter and attempts to restart the song, but it is not to be. S/he storms off stage and becomes a quiet rainstorm in the distance. The audience is subdued, but only momentarily, since Leslie McDonel as Yitzhak steps to the ...

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Review #2 of 2: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH by Zach Theatre

Review #2 of 2: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH by Zach Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 29, 2019

Director Dave Steakey and star Daniel Rowan prove that Hedwig, already larger than life back in 2002, can be scaled up to a needy, appealing, viciously funny and achingly vulnerable monster who towers over Zach Theatre's Karen Kuykendall stage like King Kong in a tanga and high heels.

Hedwig is twenty years older now than when s/he first came out on American stages, but in the magic bubble of theatre s/he hasn't aged a day. Director Dave Steakley put on an Austin version of the 1998 Broadway musical in 2002, at just about the same time the movie version premiered, and it played in the snug Whisenhut theatre in the round for months. In his Austin Chronicle review Wayne Alan ...

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Review: The Santaland Diaries by Zach Theatre

Review: The Santaland Diaries by Zach Theatre

by Justin M. West
Published on December 20, 2018

J. Robert Mooreas Crumpet the Elf will roast a good portion of those in attendance before the night is over. It’s all in good fun, and Moore should get a hell of a lot of credit for being able to roll with heckling, keep it funny, and get the show going again without missing a beat.

 

 

As a young boy, Christmas to me meant anticipation. Excitement. The joy of wadded up wrapping paper being stuffed by my parents into a plastic bag as I eagerly tried to figure out how to connect my spiffy new Nintendo Entertainment System to the TV. Yes, we used plastic bags. Plastic! Egregious of my family, I know. Free range, homeopathic, kale-infused garbage bags didn’t exist back then. I’m sure that shit is busy ...

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Review: Beauty and the Beast by Zach Theatre

Review: Beauty and the Beast by Zach Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on July 26, 2018

Zach Theatre's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is familiar, polished, and entirely reassuring -- comfort food served in a lavish banquet.

 

With its seven-week-long production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast Austin's Zach theatre sets the stage with its familiar flourishes and mastery of theatrical design for a lavish banquet of comfort food. It's a fun evening with beloved characters in a familiar story, where the sweet, bookish heroine prevails over her caddish, smug suitor and recognizes the true worth of the towering, rude and resentful beast who turns out to be ...

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Review: Sunday in the Park with George by Zach Theatre

Review: Sunday in the Park with George by Zach Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on June 06, 2018

Artistic director Dave Steakley makes SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE an explosion of sound and image. The Zach Theatre applies its talents and vast resources to fill that virtually bare stage with a work so intense that it verges on an experiment in synesthesia.

The Zach Theatre's staging of Stephen Sondheim's 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George offers a tempting treat. Sondheim's oeuvre is extensive and varied, and I've had the opportunity to sample it only from time to time. Of course there are the most popular pieces, including West Side Story with Bernstein, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Into the Woods with James Lapine, so familiar ...

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