Recent Reviews

Review: A Doll's House by Different Stages

Review: A Doll's House by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on July 02, 2019

Hendrik Ibsen, that canny old plot spinner, packs a lot into his story, and Catherine Williams brings protagonist Nora Helmer vividly alive.

 

Attending The Doll's House by Ibsen by Austin's Different Stages, I couldn't help but think of the American music hall ballad She's Only A Bird in a Gilded Cage, a sentimental portrait of a woman who married for money, not for love. Ann Marie Gordon's set in the Trinity Street Players' black box theatre subtly suggests just such a cage.

 

At the center of this famously intimate space ...

Read more »

Review: Miss Murder by Blunt Force Drama

Review: Miss Murder by Blunt Force Drama

by Justin M. West
Published on June 28, 2019

MISS MURDER, a series of monologues from some of the vilest women to have lived, is a solid first outing, one that's mostly positive but curiously hard to decipher thematically.

“I’m not an animal,” says Aileen Wuornos (Kelsey Vanderstine). Frantically, she wants us to understand her plight. She’s been convicted of brutally slaying seven men in less than a year and vents to us from death row, pacing and scanning the faces around her to make sure we’re paying attention. 

 

“I’m not an animal,” she says. She lets that sink in before slumping into her seat with folded arms, shielding her ...

Read more »

Review: Outside Mullingar by Reverie Theatre Company

Review: Outside Mullingar by Reverie Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on June 25, 2019

Two families exist in a stark landscape of the mind where the land and tradition predominate. A father and son; a recent widow; a spinster daughter. Only about once a season do we get a production of this depth, intimacy and autheticity. Go see it.

Two points:

1. Go see Outside Mullingar. Only about once a season do we get a production of this depth, intimacy and autheticity. There's only one weekend left and seats are scarce. The Mastrogeorge Theatre, part of the Carol Hickey acting studio, just behind Blue Owl Brewing at E. Cesar Chavez and Pedernales, is a small space with limited makeshift seating. 

2. And when you do, get there ahead of time. The place ...

Read more »

Review: Immortal Longings by Zach Theatre

Review: Immortal Longings by Zach Theatre

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on June 24, 2019

Steven Epp's Diaghilev is unrelenting, explosive, and -- one imagines -- exhausting. He embodies the grace of a ballet instructor with a mischievous streak that enlivens his performance.

Terrence McNally was born in the 1930s and has had a distinguished career spanning multiple decades, which include four Tony Awards, an Emmy Award, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Obie Awards, only to mention a few. It is no surprise he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in the 90's, and yet he's still producing great work. McNally is famedfor his plays and librettos including Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master ...

Read more »

Review: Rally by Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre

Review: Rally by Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre

by David Glen Robinson
Published on June 22, 2019

In RALLY the conversion of movement and music into Soundpainting by Andrea Ariel and the company was an immensely generous community approach to performing art.

What does the word “rally” mean to you? My ideas run heavily to baseball teams who go on scoring frenzies when trailing on the scoreboard, as teammates in the dugout wear their ball caps inside out. I thought I was solid with the concept when I attended a show of the same name at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center off Rainey Street. 

 

Four powerful, athletic dancers entered the stage one ...

Read more »

Review: The Book of Will by Austin Playhouse

Review: The Book of Will by Austin Playhouse

by Michael Meigs
Published on June 21, 2019

Stephen Mercantel as shy, neurotic copyist Ralph Crane performs with aroused intensity, while other cool kids onstage played so broadly one half expected conspiratorial winks to the audience.

 

Lauren Gunderson's The Book of Will at the Austin Playhouse is a lot of fun, and it doesn't intend to be anything else. It's a players' play, patterned on history, not particularly deep, but with the predictable happy ending -- the printing and sale of the 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, seven years after his death.

The great Will is mostly absent from the narrative and dialogue, except when pirated ...

Read more »