Recent Reviews

Review: For the Love of Mahalia by RKJB Entertainment

Review: For the Love of Mahalia by RKJB Entertainment

by David Glen Robinson
Published on March 04, 2017

FOR THE LOVE OF MAHALIA is a thrilling musical, a star vehicle for singer Jacqui Cross, and the best recent theatrical call in Austin to social activism..

Several theatrical productions in town now, on stage or just closing, give or claim to give important messages about activism, resistance, gender, and race relations in America in our current time of turmoil. Perhaps the clearest and most moving of these activist guidebooks is about to pass under the radar, but it is not to be missed by anyone. For the Love of Mahalia sings its vibrant song at the Boyd C. Vance Theatre ...

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Review: The Curious by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

Review: The Curious by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on March 02, 2017

The pauses in Bottle Alley's THE CURIOUS speak unbounded stories. Writer-director Chris Fontanes has again bound a group of explorers in a mystery and invited the witnesses along. The case remains both solved and unresolved. As in life, we'll have to be satisfied with that.

Writer-director Chris Fontanes prefers the shadow worlds of mystery, enigma and the threatening unseen. Forced to turn to 'found' spaces, his essentially penniless and well named Bottle Alley Theatre Company makes a virtue of that necessity by incorporating the environment fully into the action. Their cryptic parables don't hang like abstract art from the surfaces of scenery flats on a stage.

 

The Curious is set in a modest but comfortable bungalow in Austin ...

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Review: A Girl Named Sue by Color Arc Productions

Review: A Girl Named Sue by Color Arc Productions

by David Glen Robinson
Published on February 26, 2017

Christine Hoang's bilingual English-and-Vietnamese A GIRL NAMED SUE does not stop at harshly lit explications of the problems—we see those every day—but instead it prompts us to think forward to practical solutions.

 

A Girl Named Sue is an innocuous, almost innocent, title for a powerful and hardhitting stage presentation. Other theatre productions in town currently tout their relevance to our political and social state of affairs, and many have called for a new discussion of race in America. Without much fanfare, A Girl Named Sue actually delivers the punch, showing and telling us much about ourselves. This proverbial mirror held up to America is formed of ...

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Review: The Tempest by Classic Theatre of San Antonio

Review: The Tempest by Classic Theatre of San Antonio

by Kurt Gardner
Published on February 23, 2017

The Bard's comic drama gets the royal treatment in the Classic Theatre's new production.

 

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

 

Considered by scholars to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote entirely on his own, The Tempest is also one of his best-loved works. Typical of the Bard, the plot combines dramatic elements with comedy, but here the blending of genres is more successful than in his “problem plays.” Mark McCarver’s production, now ...

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Review: An Iliad by Penfold Theatre Company

Review: An Iliad by Penfold Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 23, 2017

Cami Alys as the poet and narrator of AN ILIAD is transcendent, and the staging at the historic Scottish Rite Theatre is exactly right for this superb venture into the howling heart of mankind.

 

We walked away afterwards stunned and wordless.

 

My wife was moved to tears.

 

From the interpretation of an epic poem written nearly three thousand years ago.

 

This is the power of theatre and this is a performance and interpretation that must not be missed. Essential if you want to understand why the art form refuses to die; essential if you're not frightened by huge themes of life, death, love and ...

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Review: The Secret Garden, musical by Playhouse San Antonio

Review: The Secret Garden, musical by Playhouse San Antonio

by Kurt Gardner
Published on February 22, 2017

Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon's modern classic comes to the Playhouse San Antonio in a strikingly revisualized production.

The Tony Award-winning 1991 musical The Secret Garden is a beautiful show with a memorable score that can be adapted any number of ways to good effect.

 

As a case in point, the version now playing at the Playhouse San Antonio takes that idea to heart, featuring a strikingly minimal, impressionistic scenic design in place of the more traditional, foliage- and furniture-laden set that audiences would expect in an Edwardian-era theatrical – and it ...

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