Recent Reviews

Review: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill by Zach Theatre

Review: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill by Zach Theatre

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on April 20, 2017

Chanel as Lady Day is surrounded by ghosts, adoring fans, beautiful music, a supportive band and the shadowy pull of drug addiction. She owns every square inch of the stage.

Hey, Lady Day!

 

There is no question that her presence is regal if not refined. Chanel playing the titular role of Lady Day enters the stage via the audience. Her presence is so bold, sassy and commanding that spotlights are rendered redundant. She sweeps over the crowd with her gaze and the sterling luminosity of her voice. We are welcomed into the world of Lady Day, and what a world it has become. A ...

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Review: As You Like It by Baron's Men

Review: As You Like It by Baron's Men

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 20, 2017

If you haven't made it out to the forest of Arden on the banks of the Colorado just twenty minutes from downtown, you should do penance. Or, better, get thee hence and hie thee thither. There's nothing remotely like it elsewhere in Central Texas.

The Baron's Men's staging of As You Like It is indeed just as Shakespeare aficionados like it. Of course there's the timbered Curtain Theatre, a tidy recreation of the half "O" of Elizabethan theatre, and there's the costume eye candy from Liegh Hegedus aided by Dawn Allee and her busy stitchery fairies. But more than anything there's the play itself, Shakespeare's whimsical tale of two aristocratic maidens running off ...

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Review: Perfect Mendacity by Street Corner Arts

Review: Perfect Mendacity by Street Corner Arts

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 19, 2017

PERFECT MENDACITY's two acts fly by. The knowledgeable audience appreciated a clever well executed script and familiar faces giving strong performances. The evening had just the right mixture of suspense, contradiction and comedy.

Playwright Jason Wells has contributed a lot to the brand Street Corner Arts has established since their 2011 debut. Perfect Mendacity is the third of his oeuvre they've put on stage at the Hyde Park Theatre, which gives them a clean sweep of this Steppenwolf playwright's 2008 - 2016 work. Men of Tortuga and The North Plan share the same sardonic cynicism about U.S. businesses and government. It's no surprise to ...

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Review: The Herd by Jarrott Productions

Review: The Herd by Jarrott Productions

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on April 15, 2017

Though I was expecting a comedy I was treated to something better, something more deft, taut as a tendon, gritty and very endearing. The humorous lines popped and sizzled when they came.

“The quality of mercy is not strain'd, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

 

This quote is brought to mind several times during Jarrott Production’s Texas premiere of The Herd, a play about the stress-inundated lives of a family raising a very disabled child. And it’s no surprise Kinnear has chosen it. Not only ...

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Review: Sister Act by Woodlawn Theatre

Review: Sister Act by Woodlawn Theatre

by Kurt Gardner
Published on April 13, 2017

The Tony-nominated musical comes to the Deco District's Woodlawn Theatre in a sparkling, superbly-acted production.

 

There are some pretty funny nuns in Sister Act, the hit musical based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg film of the same name. Set in 1978 Philadelphia, the show takes full musical advantage of the soul and disco sounds of the era – and the Woodlawn Theatre’s current production is a delight.

 

Deloris Van Cartier is a diva who sings in a nightclub owned by her gangster boyfriend Curtis. When she inadvertently witnesses ...

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Review: Pool (No Water) by Ensemble Mercury

Review: Pool (No Water) by Ensemble Mercury

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 04, 2017

POOL (NO WATER) is as chilling and intimidating as a straight razor. Diane Irwin's fluid direction sends five theatre artists swirling in shared consciousness like an aerial storm of starlings or underwater plunges of a school of fish.

There's something eerie yet very satisfying about witnessing a tight group of young contemporary artists present a play about a tight group of young contemporary artists who turn on one of their members because she was more successful than they were.

 

Ensemble Mercury is half a dozen theatre artists from Texas State University now set loose on the outside world and specifically upon Austin.  Five are in the cast; Diane Irwin, their contemporary ...

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