Recent Reviews

Review: Travisville by King Productions

Review: Travisville by King Productions

by David Glen Robinson
Published on March 08, 2020

Harper's brilliantly written and plotted TRAVISVILLE is a straightforward, brutally honest statement to the world by African-Americans of their plight in gentrification. Dialogues surely echo those from Austin's kitchen tables and church basements.

 

Austin was doubly blessed this weekend in having overlapping performances of two new and emerging plays that will influence race relations in America for years to come. The first was The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, on the last days of Martin Luther King, Jr. It played its last weekend at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Grover Avenue. The second related play is Travisville by William Jackson Harper, produced by King Productions. That play illuminates ...

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Review: The Mountaintop by Paradox Players

Review: The Mountaintop by Paradox Players

by David Glen Robinson
Published on February 24, 2020

The Mountaintop is an incredibly beautiful play by Katori Hall, and Austin is blessed by a production of it with two fantastically talented actors who arrive by convergent paths at Paradox Players of Austin's First Unitarian Universalist Church.

 

The Mountaintop is an incredibly beautiful play by Katori Hall, and Austin is blessed by a production of it with two fantastically talented actors who arrive by convergent paths at Paradox Players of Austin's First Unitarian Universalist Church. The premise, simply, is the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life at room 306 in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The only other character in the play is the motel maid ...

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Review: Come from Away by touring company

Review: Come from Away by touring company

by David Glen Robinson
Published on February 20, 2020

On 9/19 nine thousand grounded travelers more than doubled the population of the small town of Gander, about 6000 people. The potential number of stories for this show is 15,000. Superlatives fail, descriptions fail fail for the inspiration.

Come From Away, the lauded Broadway musical, is now on stage at the Bass Concert Hall on the UT campus, running until February 23rd. The touring show stops in Austin for a brief run before moving on. Its tale of people trapped in events over which they have no control is a source of inspiration with the sole message that life is full of wonder, and it is a gift to be a human ...

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Review: The Man of Destiny by The Archive Theater Company

Review: The Man of Destiny by The Archive Theater Company

by David Glen Robinson
Published on February 13, 2020

Shaw's wit, crisply delivered, impressively detailed period costumes, Napoleon and a mysterious lady, kitchen delights, and charming music, all in an unexpected and perfectly appropriate venue!

 

The Archive Theater Company is staging George Bernard Shaw's The Man of Destiny at Pioneer Farms in far north Austin. The company’s second production, following last year’s Cyrano de Bergerac, is another reputation builder, an exceptionally well produced play with a historical focus, featuring period music performed live. The company founded by Garrison Martt and Jennifer Rose Davis has established a very distinctive esthetic that emphasizes vivid language and period costuming. In Austin ...

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Review: Gliders by Different Stages

Review: Gliders by Different Stages

by David Glen Robinson
Published on February 10, 2020

World War II gliders and the 1969 moon landing are the awkward frame for a story of domestic abuse and a fractured family. The abuser's always off stage, but the cast of women does have one male character, bankrupt and passive, to beat up on.

Gliders by Rita Anderson is a story set in the late Sixties of domestic abuse and a fractured family. The first Moon landing is the background of the play but it's no more than that, background. We see elements of three generations of a family of mothers and daughters. The family cannot gain lift-off due to the instability, alcoholism, nicotine addiction, and promiscuity of the matriarch, who blames it all on her early widowhood ...

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Review: A Night with Janis Joplin by Zach Theatre

Review: A Night with Janis Joplin by Zach Theatre

by David Glen Robinson
Published on February 03, 2020

A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN gives meaning to the otherwise trite phrase that the music lives on. We all can be grateful for that.

 

Zach Theatre has once again produced one of its brightest assets, A Night with Janis Joplin, at the Topfer Theatre. The show is perfect for midwinter in Austin. The blues and rock songs, sung and played by headliner Mary Bridget Davies and a highly talented ensemble of singers and musicians, give us a set of popular music of the Sixties and earlier decades of blues singers. 

 

Davies makes a career specialty ...

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