Recent Reviews

Review: A Christmas Carol: A Rockin' Family Musical by Zach Theatre

Review: A Christmas Carol: A Rockin' Family Musical by Zach Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on December 05, 2019

Dave Steakley's happy jukebox interpretation of A Christmas Carol is set in a world of diversity and human warmth that's too Austin to be true, and it's all the more appealing for that. Constant celebration overshadows Ebenezer's redemption.

 

Zach Theatre's A Christmas Carol is back for the sixth year, and Dave Steakley's canny jukebox presentation is a charming delirium. Zach's producing artistic director again takes the simple structure of the much loved tale of redemption and decorates it with celebratory rock and roll the way folks all across the nation are dangling ornaments and tinsel on forests of Christmas trees. Sometimes the connections to Dickens' simple, sturdy plot are ...

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Review: Little Women, the Broadway musical by Texas State University

Review: Little Women, the Broadway musical by Texas State University

by Michael Meigs
Published on November 22, 2019

LITTLE WOMEN showcases impressive vocal talents, giving them a full Broadway-style musical workout. The score and lyrics are full of flinging ambition, self query, and sentiment. And we know the sisters will all turn out just fine.

 

Texas State University's Little Women is a lovely evening of performance, and by now this Broadway rendering of Louisa May Alcott's novel about the four March sisters in Concord, New Hampshire, during Civil War years, a favorite of young girls, may well be more known and popular than the original. A quick check of the captain's logs at CTXLT revealed a total of nine productions of the 2005 work over the ...

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Review: Rigoletto by Austin Opera

Review: Rigoletto by Austin Opera

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on November 15, 2019

Music is the food of love, and it's the very meat and potatoes of this production. The work of the symphony, the chorus and the principals is so emotive one could close one's eyes and still be haunted by this production.

 

Austin Opera’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto has a brief three performance run ,which is unfortunate considering how stellar this show is. Presented as a three-act opera  (the original had four) is based on Victor Hugo’s play Le roi s'amuse (The King Amuses Himself), and despite the deceptively light-hearted title the story is a brutal one indeed. The work originally debuted in Venice in 1851 and despite some initial issues with government ...

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Review: The Vineyard by Heartland Theatre Collective

Review: The Vineyard by Heartland Theatre Collective

by David Glen Robinson
Published on November 05, 2019

Khali McDuff-Sykes is Susanna, an unexpected angel who journeys to the homeless of Austin, and with some divine sixth sense finds those in need of her vineyard. As with many plays of high concept, the problems are long, but the solutions are short.

 

 

The Vineyard, a new play by Nicole Oglesby statged at the Trinity Street Theatre downtown, throws us in with under-thirty-somethings working and communing with angels at their own Hill Country vineyard and winery. They largely hail from the homeless streets of Austin. This gives the play immediacy and familiarity but without losing a potential wider audience. Its freshness is very well appreciated. And as we see every day, everyone on the streets has ...

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Review: It Is Magic by Capital T Theatre

Review: It Is Magic by Capital T Theatre

by David Glen Robinson
Published on October 27, 2019

There is something here for everyone who appreciates art in any mode, who feels transported by a painting, song, opera, or movie, and who then simply calls it magic.

Mickle Maher is becoming a synonym for prolific. It Is Magic is his latest play, receiving its regional premiere now from Capital T Theatre at Hyde Park Theatre. Mark Pickell directs. The play is self-reflexive in the extreme, about theatre people obsessed with theatre, auditioning for theatre in a theatre basement while theatre happens upstairs on the theatre mainstage. The play is about theatre.  

 

But no, non-play-going people need not switch channels now ...

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Review: Macbeth by The Baron's Men

Review: Macbeth by The Baron's Men

by Michael Meigs
Published on October 20, 2019

Forget the footnotes and study guides. MACBETH by the Baron's Men is honest, vigorous Shakespeare, and they'll keep you attentive and rooting for the good guys right to the end.

 

Yesterday a fellow translator, who works from German to English, confided to me, "I really didn't like Shakespeare in school. I finally took a course, with one of the university's leading professors, the last semester before he retired. I'm glad I did. But I still don't like Shakespeare. He's too hard to read."

 

How to respond to that comment? He wasn't seeking to be provocative; he was ...

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