The best possible list so far for the Austin arts season

We are assembling the best possible preview list for the coming Austin arts season. This is what we have been able to gather so far.

Austin Chamber Music Center

Various locations, 512-454-0026, austinchambermusic.org

Sept. 22-23: Dvorak, Gershwin, Amy Beach

Nov. 17-18: Bizet, Mendelssohn, Borodin

Jan. 19-20, 2018: Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn

March 2-3, 2018: Ravel, Chopin, Piazzolla

April 6-7, 2018: Bach, Haydn, Rachmaninov

Austin History Center

810 Guadalupe St., 512-974-7480, library.austintexas.gov

Aug. 29, 2017-Jan. 28, 2018: “Austin at Midcentury: Photographs of Dewey Mears”

Aug. 15-Nov. 17: “Fehr & Granger, Architects: Austin Modernists” (Austin Center for Architecture)

Austin Opera

Long Center, 512-472-5992, austinopera.org

Nov. 11-19: “Carmen”

Jan. 27-Feb. 4, 2018: “Ariadne auf Naxos”

April 28-May 6, 2018: “La Traviata”

Austin Playhouse

6001 Airport Blvd., 512-476-0084, austinplayhouse.com

Sept. 1-24: “This Random World”

Dec. 1-23: “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley”

Jan. 5-28, 2018: “The Immigrant”

March 23-April 22, 2018: “Shakespeare in Love”

May 25-June 24: “Curtains”

Austin Shakespeare

Long Center, 512-474-5664, thelcongcenter.org

Sept. 21-24: “The Crucible”

Nov. 16-Dec. 3: “Much Ado About Nothing”

Feb. 1-Feb. 25, 2018: “The Seagull”

May 3-27, 2018: “Merry Wives of Windsor” (Zilker)

The Austin Symphony will play along with Disney’s ‘Fantasia.’ Contributed

Austin Symphony

Long Center, 512-476-6064, austinsymphony.org

Sept. 8-9: Mozart, Poulenc

Oct. 6-7: Vaughan Williams, Beethoven, Mahler-Britten, Bruckner

Oct 20: Disney’s “Fantasia” in concert

Oct. 29: Halloween Children’s Concert

Dec. 1-2: Prokofiev, “Beyond the Score”

Dec. 12: Handel’s “Messiah”

Dec. 29-30: “I Heart the ’80s”

Jan. 12-13, 2018: Stravinsky, Rossini, Bach, Hovhaness, Haydn

Feb. 9, 2018: “Jurassic Park” in concert

Feb. 23-24, 2018: Schumann, MacDowell

March 23-24, 2018: Saint-Saëns, Jongen

April 12-14, 2018: Bernstein, Torke, Beethoven

May 18-19, 2018: Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff

Jun 1-2, 2018: “The Rat Pack: 100 Years of Frank”

June 16, 2018: Butler Texas Young Composers Concert

Austin Symphonic Band

Various locations. austinsymphonicband.org

Sept. 17: Fall Concert in the Park

Nov. 12: Indoor Concert No. 1

Feb. 11, 2018: Indoor Concert No. 2

April 8, 2018: Indoor Concert No. 3

May 13, 2018: Mother’s Day Concert

June 17, 2018: Father’s Day Concert

June 30, 2108: Bastrop Patriotic Festival

July 4, 2018: July Fourth Frontier Days Celebration

Ballet Austin

Long Center, 512-476-9151, balletaustin.org

Sept. 15-17: “Romeo and Juliet”

Oct. 21-29: “Not Afraid of the Dark” (Studio Theater)

Dec. 8-23: “The Nutcraker”

Feb. 16-18, 2018: “Masters of the Dance”

April 6-8, 2018: “Exit Wounds”

May 11-13, 2018: “Peter Pan”

Blanton Museum of Art

200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., blantonmuseum.org

Through Oct. 1: “Epic Tales from Ancient India”

Through Oct. 1: “Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler: Giant”

Nov. 25-Jan. 7, 2018: “The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip”

Spring 2018: “Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin”

Big Medium

916 Springdale Road, 512-939-6665, bigmedium.org

Sept. 23-Dec. 2: Texas Biennial

Oct. 27-Nov. 19: Tito’s Prize Exhibit

Nov. 11-19: East Austin Studio Tour

Briscoe Center for American History

2300 Red River St., 512-495-4515

Through Sept. 17: “Exploring the American South”

Nov. 11, 2017-May 31, 2018: “Civil Rights Photography”

Broadway in Austin lands ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.’ Contributed

Broadway in Austin

Bass Concert Hall, 800-731-7469, BroadwayInAustin.com

Oct. 13-15: “Rent” (season option)

Dec. 12-17: “The King and I”

Jan. 16-21, 2018: “Finding Neverland”

Feb. 13-18, 2018: “School of Rock”

March 20-25, 2018: “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”

April 17-22, 2018: “The Book of Mormon” (season option)

May 30-June 3, 2018: “An American in Paris”

Bullock Texas State History Museum

1800 Congress Ave., 512-936-8746, thestoryoftexas.com

Through Feb. 4, 2018: “The Nau Civil War Collection”

Through March 18, 2018: Pong to Pokémon: The Evolution of Electronic”

Sept. 2, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018: “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition”

Feb. 17, 2018-Jan. 15, 2019: “Texas Rodeo”

Chorus Austin

Various locations, 512-719-3300, chorusaustin.org

Nov. 4-5: “Art of the Prophets”

Dec. 2: “On a Winter’s Eve”

Dec. 16: “Sing-It-Yourself Messiah”

City Theatre

3823 Airport Blvd., 512-524-2870, citytheatreaustin.orgtk

July 21-Aug. 13 “August: Osage County”

Aug. 18-Sept 10: “Chicago”

Co-Lab Projects’ Demo Gallery

721 Congress Ave., co-labprojects.org

Through July 23: “Unrealpolitick”

Aug. 5-26: “Expedition Batikback”

September: Claude van Lingen Retrospective

October: “Good Mourning Tis of Thee”

The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center

700 Congress Ave., 512-453-5312, thecontemporaryaustin.org

Sept. 23, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018: “Wangechi Mutu”

Sept. 23, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018: John Bock: “Dead + Juicy”

The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria

3809 W. 35th At., 512-458-8191, thecontemporaryaustin.org

Sept. 23 – Ongoing: Ryan Gander: “The day to day accumulation of hope, failure and ecstasy”

Nov. 18 – Ongoing: “Carol Bove”

Conspirare

Various locations.

Oct. 10: Symphonic Choir Sings

Dec. 2-1: Conspirare Youth Choirs: Breath of Heaven

Dec. 9-14: Conspirare Christmas with Carrie Rodriguez

June 28-29, 2018: Bernstein Mass

Gilbert & Sullivan Austin

Various locations. gilbertsullivan.org.

Sept. 10: “The Daughter of the D’Oyly Carte”

Oct. 29: “Fall Gilbert & Sullivan Musicale”

Jan. 7: “Gilbert & Sullivan Revue and Sing-Along”

March 4-5: “Trail by Jury”

June 14-24: “Rudigore”

Georgetown Palace Theatre

810 S. Austin Ave., 512-869-7469, georgetownpalace.com

Sept. 1-Oct. 1: “You Can’t Do That Dan Moody” (Courthouse)

Sept. 29-Oct. 22: “Drinking Habits”

Oct. 20-Nov. 26: “Annie”

Oct. 27-Nov. 5: “Tony Harrison: Ballads & Bobbie Socks”

Nov. 17-Dec. 30: “Santaland Diaries”

Dec. 8-30: “A Christmas Carol”

Jan. 19-28, 2018: “Buddy Patsy”

Feb. 16-March 11, 2018: “Barefoot in the Park”

Feb. 23-March 25, 2018: “Mame”

March 30-April 22, 2018: “Dearly Departed”

April 20-May 20, 2018: “My Fair Lady”

June 1-24, 2018: “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

July 13-Aug. 12, 2018: “Mary Poppins”

Aug. 31-Sept. 30, 2018: “Million Dollar Quartet”

Hyde Park Theatre

511 W. 43rd St., 512-479-7529, hydeparktheatre.org

Through Aug. 5: “The Moors”

Sept. 21-Oct. 21: “The Wolves”

Jan. 16-Feb. 17. 2018: FronteraFest

March 1-31, 2018: “Wakey Wakey”

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Graham Reynolds lands at the Long Center. Contributed

Long Center for the Performing Arts

Aug. 11-13: “Fun Home”

Aug. 23: “An Evening with the Piano Guys”

Aug. 30: “An Evening with Carrie Rodriguez”

Sept. 13-14: Manual Cinema: “Lula Del Rey”

Sept. 16: “Kaki King: The Neck is a Bridge to the Body”

Sept. 30: Terrence Malick’s: “The Tree of Life”

Oct. 11-12: “Star Wars: A New Hope”

Oct. 21: “Shopkins Live!”

Oct. 25: “The Jeff Lofton Thang”

Nov. 13: Photographer Annie Liebovitz

Nov. 18: “An Evening with Maureen Dowd and Carl Hulse in Conversation”

Nov. 24: “Santa on the Terrace”

NOv. 24-25: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer: The Musical”

Dec. 20: “Graham Reynolds Ruins the Holidays”

Dec. 29: “A Christmas Story: The Musical”

LBJ Presidential Library

2313 Red River St., lbjlibrary.org

Through Sept 6: “Deep in the Vaults of Texas”

Through Nov. 12: “On the Air: 50 Years of Public Broadcasting”

Oct. 28, 2017-Jan. 21, 2018: “Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection”

April 21, 2018-Jan. 13, 2019: “Get in the Game: Gender, Race and Sports in America”

Mary Moody Northen Theatre

St. Edward’s University campus, 512-448-8484, stedwards.edu/theatre

Sept. 28-Oct. 8: “Rhinoceros”

Nov. 9-19: “Anon(ymous)”

Feb. 15-25,2018: “Romeo and Juliet”

April 12-22, 2018: “Violet”

Mexic-Arte Museum

419 Congress Ave., 512-480-9373, mexic-artemuseum.org

Sept. 16–Nov. 26: “Diego y Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way”

Sept. 16–Nov. 26: “Community Altars”

October 2017–September 2018: “Changarrito Project”

 Oct. 17-September 2018: #ElMeroMuro”

Oct. 22: “The Catrina Ball: Viva Frida”

Dec. 9, 2017–Jan. 7, 2018: “Mix ‘n’ Mash 2017”

Dec. 9, 2017–Jan. 7, 2018: “Nacimientos y Retablos”

Jan. 26–March 1, 2018 and March 31–May 27, 2018: “Fotografia y Nuevos Medios from the Permanent Collection”

Jan 26–Feb. 14, 2018 and March 31–May 27, 2018: “Desert Triangle Print Portfolio”

June 15–Aug. 26, 2018: “YLA 23: Beyond Walls, Between Gates, Under Bridges”

June 15–Aug. 26, 2018: “Museum Studies Exhibition Library”

One World Theatre

7701 Bee Caves Road, 512-330-9500.

Aug. 10: Livingston Taylor

Aug. 11: Pieces of a Dream

Aug. 12: Edwin McCain

Aug. 20: Pure Prairie League

Sept. 2: Hillbenders – The Who’sTommy: A Bluegrass Opry

Sept. 3: The Everly Brothers Experience featuring the Zmed Bros

Sept. 8: Spyro Gyra

Sept. 9: David Cook

Sept. 10: Dailey & Vincent

Oct. 19: Joan Osborne

Oct. 22: Ricky Skaggs

Oct. 26: Jimmy Webb

Oct. 27: Lisa Fischer

Oct.  29: Jonathan Butler

Nov. 3: Guess Who

Nov. 9: Stanley Jordan

Nov. 12: Herman’s Hermits

Nov. 17: Ottmar Liebert

Nov. 19: Eddie Palmieri

Nov. 26: Riders In The Sky

Nov. 30: Kim Waters

Dec. 3: Petula Clark

Dec. 8: Norman Brown’s Joyous Christmas with Bobby Caldwell & Marion Meadows

Dec. 13: Annie Moses Band

Dec. 15: Tidings of Jazz & Joy with Keiko Matsui, Euge Groove featuring Lindsey Webster & Adam Hawley

Jan. 2018: Pete The Cat

Jan. 26, 2018: The Lettermen

Feb. 7-8, 2018: George Winston

Feb. 25, 2018: BJ Thomas

March 3, 2018: Judy Collins

March 10, 2018: Nugget & Gang

March 25, 2018: Take Six

March 30, 2018: 1964 The Tribute

April 29, 2018: Music of Abba

Gladys Knight.jpg
Gladys Knight. Contributed

Paramount and Stateside

713 Congress Ave., austintheatre.org

Sept. 22: The Flatlanders with Dan Penn

Sept. 23: Roger McGuinn

Sept. 28: Radney Foster

Sept.r 30: AJ Croce

Oct. 4: Lila Downs

Oct. 20: Del McCoury Band

Oct. 21: Selected Shorts

Oct. 21: Hal Ketchum

Nov. 8: An Evening of Storytelling with Garrison Keillor

Nov. 9: Demetri Martin presented by Moontower Comedy

Nov. 12: Jack Hanna’s Into The Wild Live

Nov. 17: Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Birthday Bash

Nov. 18: John Hodgman: Vacationland

Nov. 19: Gladys Knight

Dec. 1: A John Waters Christmas

Dec. 12: Tommy Emmanuel

Dec. 14: The Moth

Dec. 16: Bruce Robison & Kelly WillisTheatre

Jan. 31: Captain Scott Kelly

Penfold Theatre Company
Various locations, 512-850-4849, penfoldtheatre.org
Oct. 13-30: “Woman in Black”
Nov. 30-Dec. 23: “A Miracle on 34th Street Classic Radiocast”
Apr. 29, 2018: “A Marvelous Party”
May 31-Jun. 23, 2018: “Much Ado About Nothing”

Pollyana Theatre

Long Center, pollyanna.org

Sept. 30-Oct. 8: “A Moon of My Own’

Nov. 9-Dec. 18: “Chicken Story Time”

Jan. 18-Jan. 27, 2018: “Dog’s Job”

Feb. 14-Feb. 17, 2018: “Liberty, Equality and Fireworks!”

March 22-May 20, 2018: “Hurry Up and Wait”

May 12-May 20, 2018: “The Secret of Soap and Spin”

June 23-July 1, 2018: “If Wishes were Fishes”

July 12-July 21, 2018: “All Aboard!”

Ransom Center

300 We. 21st St., 512-471-8944, hrc.utexas.edu

Sept. 11, 2017-Jan. 1, 2018: “Mexico Modern: Art, Commerce and Cultural Exchange, 1920-1945”

Jan. 29-July 15, 2018: “Vaudeville”

Rude Mechs

Various locations, rudemechs.com

Aug. 27: “Gragelart”

Sept. 24: Stand-up Comedy Workshop

Oct. 21: “The Eye Ball”

November: “Gin & Tonix”

December: “Christmas Karaoke”

January, 2018: “Salon in a Salon”

February, 2018:  Off Center On Screen

March, 2018: “Fixing Troilus & Cressida”

April, 2018: “Perverse Results”

May, 2018: “Gragerlart”

Salvage Vanguard Theater

Various locations, salvagevanguard.org.

Oct. 26-Nov. 11: “Blu”

March 15-31, 2018: “Con Flama”

Tapestry Dance

Long Center, 512-474-9846, thelongcenter.org

Oct. 12-22: “Just Tap!”

Dec. 7-17: “Of Mice & Music: A Tap Jazz Nutcracker”

April 26-May 6, 2018: “April Fools”

June 14-16, 2018: “Soul 2 Sole Fest”

Texas Performing Arts presents the Philip Glass Ensemble playing with ‘Koyannisqatsi.’ Contributed

Texas Performing Arts

Various locations on UT Campus, 512-477-6060, texasperformingarts.org

Sept. 18: Dover Quartet

Sept. 21: Storm Large & Le Bonheur

Sept. 24: Spanish Brass

Sept. 29: Abraham.In.Motion

Oct. 5: Sergei Babayan

Nov. 8: Fifth House Ensemble’s Journey Live

Nov. 16: Seth Rudetsky’s Deconstructing Broadway

Nov. 18: Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express

Dec. 1-2: Kurt Elling with the Swingles

Jan. 20, 2018: Chanticleer

Jan. 25-26, 2018: “Sancho: An Act of Remembrance”

Feb. 1, 2018: Ezralow Dance

Feb. 2, 2018: Ute Lemper

Feb. 16, 2018: Sergio & Odair Assad and Avi Avital

Feb. 23, 2018: Philip Glass Ensemble’s Koyaanisqatsi

March 8, 2018: “Musical Thrones: A Parody”

March 27, 2018: Che Malambo

April 3, 2018: University of Texas Symphony Orchestra

April 11, 2018: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

April 14, 2018: University of Texas Jazz Orchestra with Conrad Herwig

Texas State University Theatre and Dance

Various locations on the Texas State campus. theatreanddance.txstate.edu

Sept. 26-Oct. 1: “A Chorus Line”

Oct. 12-15: “A Doll’s House”

Oct. 31-Nov. 5: “Perfect Pie”

Nov. 9-12: “We Are Proud to Present …”

Nov. 14-19: “Hamlet”

Feb. 1-4, 2018: “Speech and Debate”

Feb. 13-18, 2018: “The Rivals”

Feb. 22-25, 2018: “Instructions for Dancing”

April 10-15, 2018: “A Wrinkle in Time”

April 17-22: “Ragtime”

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum

605 Robert E. Lee Road, 512-445-5582, umlaufsculpture.org

Aug. 8: “Umlauf After Dark”

Sept 5-Nov. 26: “Umlauf Prize Exhibition featuring Bucky Miller”

Oct. 29: “Last Straw Fest”

Nov. 12: Classical Garden

Feb. 14, 2018: Classical Garden

April 26, 201: Umlauf Garden Party

UT Butler School of Music (highlights)

Various locations on the UT campus. 512-477-6060, texasperformingarts.org

Sept. 7: Miró Quartet

Sept. 22: Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra

Oct. 8: Anton Nel on the Fortepiano

Oct 27-Nov. 5: “Cosi Fan Tutte”

Nov. 16: Miró Quartet

Dec. 9: Holiday Choral Concert

Jan. 26, 2018: Miró Quartet

March 3, 2018: UT Symphony Orchestra

March 20-29, 2018: “Falstaff”

UT Theatre & Dance

Various locations on UT campus, 512-477-6060, texasperformingarts.org

Aug. 30-Sept 10: “Building the Wall”

Oct. 4-15: “Anon(ymous)”

Nov. 7-12: “Fall for Dance”

Nov. 8-19: “The Crucible”

Dec. 6-10: “The Drowsy Chaperone”

Feb. 21-March 4, 2018: “Enron”

March 28-April 8, 2018: “Transcendence”

April 12-22, 2018: “UT New Theatre”

UT Visual Arts Center

2300 Trinity St., 512-232-2348, utvac.org

Sept. 22-Dec. 9: Larry Bamburg

Sept: 22-Dec. 9: “Artists’ Books in Mexico”

Sept. 22-Oct. 20: Marta Lee and Anika Steepe

Sept. 22-Oct. 20: “New Barbizon Collective”

Sept. 22-Oct. 6: Fieldwork: “Mille Otto”

Rob Nash returns with ‘Holy Cross Sucks.’ Contributed by OUTmedia

The Vortex

2307 Manor Road, 512-478-5282, vortexrep.org

Sept. 8-24: “Storm Still”

Sept. 8-9: “Linda Mary Montano’s Birth/Death”

Sept. 22-Oct. 21: “Vampyress”

Oct. 4: “Icons: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol 1”

Nov. 2-5: “P3M5 Plays”

Nov. 9-11: “Somewhere Between”

Nov. 16-Dec. 9: “Wild Horses”

Nov. 17-Dec. 9: “The Member of the Wedding”

Dec. 14-17: “Rob Nash’s Holy Cross Sucks”

Dec. 21-Jan. 7, 2018: “The Muttcracker (Sweet!)”

Jan. 11-20, 2018: “The Way She Spoke”

Jan. 26-Feb. 10, 2018: “893/Ya-ku-za”

Feb. 14-18, 2018: Outsider Fest

Feb 22-25, 2018: “Reveal All Feature Nothing”

March 2, 2018: Cinema Dada

March 3, 2018: Congo Square

March 23-May 12, 2018: Performance Park

May 17-19, 2018: Toni Bravo’s “Home”

May 25-June 9, 2018: “Polly Mermaid”

June 15-30, 2018: “The Claire Play”

July 6-21, 2018: “The Last Witch”

July 27-Aug. 4, 2018: Summer Youth Theatre

Zach Theatre

202 S. Lamar Blvd., 512-476-0541

Through Sept. 3: “Million Dollar Quartet”

Sept. 27-Oct. 29: “Singin’ in the Rain”

Nov. 1-Dec. 31: “A Tuna Christmas”

Nov. 22-Dec. 31: “A Christmas Carol”

May 30-June 24, 2018: “Sunday in the Park with George”

June 20-July 22, 2018: “Heisenberg”

July 11-Sept. 2, 2018: “Beauty and the Beast”

 

 

Artists and audiences prepare now for the coming Austin arts season

The Austin arts season is upon us.

Wait, you say, it’s just July.

Right.

Jeff Lofton plays the Long Center on Oct. 25.

With some exceptions, arts and other cultural groups — we include major literary and historical outlets — don’t return to full form until September.

Yet now’s the time for all arts groups to confirm their seasonal slates and for all readers to consider purchasing season tickets.

In fact, for some high-demand groups, if you haven’t secured your 2017-2018 subscriptions already, you’re stuck with angling for single slots.

For instance, galvanized by the chance to secure tickets for the matchless musical, “Hamilton,” in the 2018-2019 season, more than 3,000 new subscribers have signed on for Broadway in Austin’s 2017-2018 offerings.

RELATED: Broadway smash “Hamilton” coming to Austin in 2018-2019 season.

Now, some groups don’t operate on the traditional season system, rolling out one show at a time. Others split up their seasons. For instance, the Long Center for the Performing Arts won’t announce its Winter/Spring slate until September.

We respect that. What will follow soon in these pages is a list of shows that we could discover with relative ease in July. We’ll add others to digital extensions on the Austin Arts blog when they arrive.

Scope out UT’s fabulous ‘Collections’ as it goes free and digital

One of the most beautiful and compelling books to come out of Austin in many a year is “The Collections,” an encyclopedic account of the 170 million artifacts preserved by the University of Texas.

It’s a big one. The doorstop, released in January 2016, comes in at 720 oversized pages. I’ve browsed through it incessantly and have cooked up some tasty stories from its contents, derived from more than 80 collections of art and artifacts over a wide range of subjects.

Wonder of wonders: It’s now available for free digitally.

UT-Collections-cover2-e1458147024827

If you prefer the hard copy, the list price is $125.

RELATED: ‘Collections’ highlights unusual and historic objets held at UT.

“This is the first time a publication of this kind has been produced by a public university,” said Andrée Bober, the book’s editor and director of the university’s public art program, Landmarks. “By making it available for free and online, we are putting the collection before a greater public. It’s our hope that this digital edition will increase awareness of these materials and inspire other universities to make their collections known.”

Bober conceived this survey and organized more than 350 individuals to lend their expertise. She’s an enormous asset to the university, to say the least.

The warm, loving, slightly boozy embrace of the Austin Critics Table Awards

The Austin Critics Table Awards ceremony was long. Very long. A record four hours at Cap City Comedy Club.

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Yet the 25th anniversary celebration of all things arts might have been the best one ever. Because every minute was a warm, loving, slightly boozy embrace between artists and the writers who cover them.

I loved every tribute from the critics and (almost) every enthusiastic and authentic acceptance speech. (Why do some people choose a moment of honor to be mean?) Bonus: a witty proclamation from Austin Mayor Steve Adler for the occasion

RELATED: Behold: The Austin Critics Table Awards nominees

Some people — well, a lot of people — left early. But then they missed the best acceptance speech of the evening, given by Christine Hoang, who shared the David Mark Cohen New Play Award with Lisa Thompson, and who talked about how each word from her reviews reduced her “imposter anxiety,” and whose bilingual play, “A Girl Named Sue,” represented a social and cultural leap for the descendants of Vietnamese refugees and their families.

The big news, however, was the expansion of the Critics Table to 20 members including web-based writers, a move I’ve strongly supported for years. The Table began with just five of us newspapermen, sole survivor Robert Faires reminded us — I no longer vote — and over the years has included more than 50 writers.

AUSTIN CRITCS TABLE AWARDS 2016-2017

W.H. “Deacon” Crain Award for Student Work: Madison Williams, Emily Ott

Lighting Design: Jason Amato (“Atlantis: A Puppet Opera”), Patrick Anthony (“A Perfect Robot,” “Old Times”)

Group Gallery Exhibition: “The First Horizons of Juno: Christina Coleman, Jane Hugentober, Candice Lin, Karen Lofgren, Christine Rebet, Alice Wang and Chantal Wnuk,” Mass Gallery

Museum Exhibition: “Nina Katchadourian: Curiouser,” Blanton Museum of Art

Singer: Donnie Ray Albert (“The Manchurian Candidate,” “I Too: The Voices of Langston Hughes”), Liz Cass (“Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance”), David Adam Moore (“The Manchurian Candidate”), Paul Sanchez (“Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance,” “A Christmas Carol”)

Chamber Performance: “I, Too: The Voices of Langston Hughes,” Living Paper Song Project

Original Composition/Score: “Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance,” Graham Reynolds & Lagartijas Tirades al Sol

Scenic Design: Chris Conard (“Totalitarians,” “The Drowning Girls”), Desiderio Roybal (“Clybourn Park,” “The Price,” “The Herd”)

Short Work, Dance: “Camille: A Story of Art and Love,” Jennifer Hart

Solo Gallery Exhibition: “Tammie Rubin: Before I Knew You, I Missed You,” De Stijl Podium for Art

Artist: Deborah Roberts

Costume Design: Susan Branch Towne (“One Man, Two Guv’nors,” “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”)

Dancer: Alexa Caparedo (“Tikling(bird),” “Loose Gravel”), Amy Morrow (“Hiraeth,” “We’ve Been Here Before”)

Ensemble Dance: Dance Repertory Theatre (“Momentum”)

Gallery, Body of Work: “Museum of Human Achievement”

Independent Project: “Workout with Erica Nix,” Erica Nix

Ensemble, Classical: Schumann Chamber Players

Classical Concert/Opera: “The Manchurian Candidate,” Austin Opera

Sound Design: Lowell Bartholomee, “Clybourne Park,” “Fahrenheit 451”

Direction: Jenny Lavery (“The Drowning Girls”), Lily Wolff (“Lungs”)

Dance Concert: “Las Cuatro Estaciones: A Story of Human Trees,” Sharon Marroquin, produced by Latino Art Residency Project, Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

Choreographer: Lisa Nicks, “Dear Johnny, in Response to Your Last Letter”

Digital Design: Greg Emetaz, “The Manchurian Candidate”

David Mark Cohen New Play Award: “A Girl Named Sue” (Christine Hoang), “Underground” (Lisa Thompson)

Ensemble, Theater: “Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe,” Doctuh Mistah Productions

Actor: Liz Beckham (“Lungs,” Neva,” “Clybourne Park), Chase Brewer (“Hand to God”), Michael Joplin (“Lungs”), Amber Quick (“One Man, Two Guv’nors,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Herd”)

Production, Theater: Clybourne Park (Penfold Theatre), “The Drowning Girls” (Theatre en Bloc), “The Great Society (Zach Theatre)

Special Citations: Luis Armando Ortiz Gutierrez, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Andrea Ariel, Babs George, “Rambunctious,” Jennifer Sherburn for “11:11,” Theatre Synesthesia, Sandy Yamamoto, Thr3e Zisters,” Amy Downing.

Austin Arts Hall of Fame: Katherine Brimberry and Mark L. Smith, Zell Miller III, Kate Warren

UPDATE: Thanks to Robert Faires for correcting some embarrassing typos in names banged out quickly this morning.

Famed Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei, sending works to Austin

The news broke early this morning that Ai Weiwei, among the world’s most influential artists, would send two monumental works to Austin.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

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We offer a snippet to Austin Arts:

“The extraordinary, long-term loans — no end dates have been announced — were arranged by the Contemporary Austin and the Waller Creek Conservancy with help from a $1.1 million grant from the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation. Family-friendly activities are scheduled for the Waller Creek site from 10 a.m. to noon June 3.

“This project taps into one of my greatest passions — bringing art directly to the public in ways and in places that they may not expect it,” said Louis Grachos, director and CEO of the Contemporary Austin. “When I started at the Contemporary, I spoke of creating a ‘Museum Without Walls,’ and these projects with Ai Weiwei are exactly what I dreamed of bringing to Austin: works that inspire wonder while addressing important social and political issues that affect us all.”

Go see this Blanton Museum show!

We were dubious about the humor behind this conceptual art outing. But we walked away charmed and cheered.

FULL STORY: Laughter and magic fill this must-see Blanton Museum of Art exhibit.

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Excerpt:

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English). “Now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!”

It is tempting to attribute the title of Nina Katchadourian’s delightfully off-kilter show “Curiouser” to Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” In fact, the ingenious Brooklyn-based artist says the name of her big Blanton Museum of Art show is a close fit to her profession.

Constantly in a state of wonder about the mundane world, Katchadourian feels like a “curious-er,” not unlike a “farm-er” or “build-er.”

Still, there’s an “Alice”-like appeal to this large exhibition spread out over several rooms downstairs at the Blanton.

Two wall-sized projects, constructed or reconstructed at the museum by the artist, look like oversize genealogical charts. One is made up of postcards from around the world, including Austin. Katchadourian has altered some of the familiar images with delicate red threads that appear to connect key elements.

Flashback to Farrah Fawcett at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

Lots going on over at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum these days. Right around the corner is the glorious Umlauf Garden Party on April 27.

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Charles Umlauf and Farrah Fawcett working in studio, Austin, 1971. Contributed

Before that, the Tailwaggers neo-gala will be held at the museum to benefit Austin Pets Alive.

RELATED: Revolt against the traditional Austin gala at Tailwaggers.

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Charles Umlauf and Farrah Fawcett with Umlauf’s ‘The Kiss,’ Austin, 1971. Contributed

Now through Aug. 20, the main gallery is populated with “Mentoring a Muse: Charles Umlauf and Farrah Fawcett,” a closer look at the bond between the eponymous sculptor and a prized and loyal student, who went on to Hollywood fame.

Fawcett, Standing Nude, n.d., photo by Maryhelen Murray
‘Farrah Fawcett, Standing Female Figure,’ n.d., bronze, photographed by Maryhelen Murray. Contributed by Blanton Museum of Art

Some of the objects come from the Blanton Museum of Art as part of the Bequest of Farrah Fawcett.

Yet another event on tap: Tuesday, April 4 on the Umlauf Terrace, four panelists will share their memories of Fawcett for a museum event called “Friends of Farrah.”

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Charles Umlauf, ‘Untitled [Farrah, looking right]’, c. 1966, detail, charcoal on paper. Contributed

They include Sylvia Dorsey, Fawcett friend since UT days. She lives in Austin.

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Andy Warhol (attr.), ‘F.F. Eye,’ n.d., ink on folded cloth napkin, photographed by Maryhelen Murray. Contributed by Blanton Museum of Art.

Also expected: Gray Hawn, also a friend of Farrah since the late star’s Austin days.

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Charles Umlauf, ‘Head Study of Farrah,’ 1977, bronze. Contributed

As well as Karen Spelling, childhood friend of Farrah from Corpus Christi and UT/Austin.

Umlauf, Female Head Bookend (open eyes), n.d., photo by Maryhelen Murray
Charles Umlauf, [sculptural head attached to bookend I], n.d., terra cotta, acrylic, photographed by Maryhelen Murray. Contributed by Blanton Museum of Art.
And finally, Greg Walls, Fawcett’s nephew and caretaker of Farrah’s personal archives, who lives in Houston.

How will the federal axe to arts, humanities and public broadcasting affect you personally?

Eighty programs would lose federal funding under the president’s proposed budget. Among the independent agencies to be eliminated: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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That doesn’t mean that what these agencies do would go away altogether. There’s still a lot of politics to go before they turn out the lights.

And, as the New York Times reported, Republicans legislators are lining up to fight for the NEA and NEH, for instance.

Also, all three endeavors maintain strong support from donors and others, especially in urban area such as Austin.

As some observers have pointed out, the cuts will hurt rural, low-income voters the most, since all three agencies are required to distribute their services fairly evenly across the country.

So how do you expect these cuts to affect you directly and concretely? We want to know. You can leave a comment here or send a short note to mbarnes@statesman.com.

Spotting the Blanton Museum’s cheeky Austin billboards

We like a museum with a sense of humor: Without warning these cheeky messages popped up on Austin billboards, courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art, which recently unveiled a rehang of its permanent collection.

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Blanton Museum of Art billboard on Duval and San Jacinto Blvd north of the UT campus. Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman

RELATED: A new museum in Austin: It’s called the Blanton.

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Blanton Museum of Art billboard on Interstate 35 near East Cesar Chavez St. Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman

We understand there are two more on view at 607 Anderson Lane — at Chevy Chase — 2418 South Lamar Boulevard at Bluebonnet Street.

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This one’s outside the UT museum on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

 

Ballet Austin among Austin’s best

Don’t take the arts in Austin for granted. Because it wasn’t always this way.

During the past few weeks, I’ve rediscovered Austin’s arts. Not that I ignored them during the past 10 years. But with everything else going on in this city, it’s not easy to focus on one thing at a time.

I’m now reminded that Austin is home to first-rate symphony, opera, ballet and choral ensembles, along with equally potent theater, dance and performance troupes, art museums, community arts groups and public art projects.

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Edward Carr (Beast) and Michelle Thompson (Belle) in “Belle Redux: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast.” Contributed by Tony Spielberg

Thirty years ago, Austin artists showed enormous creativity. The scene crackled with energy. But it lacked top leadership, revenues and facilities. Those have arrived — or are on the way.

EXAMPLE: A new museum in Austin: It’s called the Blanton.

A search of GuideStar.org reveals that, since the last time I checked 10 years ago, Austin arts groups have doubled, tripled or in some cases quadrupled their revenues.

No longer the skinny teen that needed reassurance and safeguarding. Rather the arts have reached a sort of gorgeous maturity that will always need steady reporting, storytelling and celebrating from all sorts of writers.

I was reminded of this at a matinee performance of Ballet Austin’s “Belle Redux: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast,” packed as it was with every stripe of Austinite.

RELATED: Ballet Austin explores love, death and sex.

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Demetria and Reid Wilson at Ballet Austin’s “Belle Redux.” A dancer, she convinced him to attend. He was grateful she did.

I do not hesitate to call Stephen Mills‘ and Graham Reynolds‘ ballet a masterpiece. Every moment was riveting, ravishing. It dealt with the emotional residue of sex in a way that made me shiver and, in the end, weep.

After the show, an Austin artist approached me at the H-E-B.

“Thank you so much for writing about the ballet the other day,” she said. “I haven’t paid enough attention to them and your article made me want to go. I adored the show. I won’t ignore them from now on.”

My own reporting interests still encompass a wide swath of Austin — social, historical, literary, etc. — but I won’t blink when it comes to exalting the arts whenever appropriate.