All singin’, all dancin’ for Zach Theatre’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

For our money, there’s never too much singing and dancing in a stage musical. So we rejoiced at the chance to interview dance maker Dominique Kelley (“Sophisticated Ladies,” “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”) and Austin newcomer Luke Hawkins, who plays Don Lockwood in Zach Theatre’s staging of “Singin’ in the Rain.”

READ FULL STORY HERE

Sasha Hutchings and Luke Hawkins star in “Singin’ in the Rain” at Zach Theatre. Contributed by Kirk Tuck

Here’s some catnip:

“Tap dancing will always be with us. It’s a quintessential American dance form.

And Austin, with its nationally respected Tapestry Dance Company, is a tap hub of sorts.

Yet tap dancing doesn’t play a huge role in the contemporary Broadway theater. Especially given the numerous jukebox musicals derived from postwar pop or rock music, or equal number of hits based on animated movies, which might include a smattering of rhythm dancing, but nothing on the scale of, say, “Singin’ in the Rain,” which can be seen at Zach Theatre starting Sept. 27.

“There certainly are tap elements in current shows,” says Dominique Kelley, who made the dances for this “Singin’ in the Rain.” “A friend of mine always includes it. He doesn’t always use tap shoes, or it’s in the way back, but there’s always tap. Some say that tap is dying, but you can find people who can do it, like you can find krumping, flamenco or break dancing. I can find good people to do it, but do they fit the type? Can they actually sing and act, too? When you whittle it away, you don’t necessarily get the best tappers.”

Combing through Zach auditions held in Los Angeles, New York and Austin, Kelley and director Abe Reybold came up blank for a leading man who could do all these things as Don Lockwood in this stage show based on the revered 1952 Gene Kelly movie.

“Then someone said: Do you know Luke Hawkins?” Kelley remembers. “Just hire him.”

Hawkins, who grew up in his mother’s dance studio outside Sacramento, Calif., has been a go-to guy for a type of tap dancing that requires more than mere rhythm.

“In my 20s, my agent sent me out for a lot of tap shows,” he says with a heart-melting smile. “But it was for the ensemble. I am a soloist tap dancer. Because I’ve devoted so much time and practice to falling in love with tapping, where it’s been and where it’s heading, being an ensemble member was too easy in shows I didn’t love. I didn’t feel challenged.”

Suffice it to day that “Singin’ in the Rain,” which costars Sasha Hutchings as Kathy Seldon, presents a challenge even for Hawkins.

“This pretty much utilizes everything,” he says. “Singing, acting, ballet-ish dance, tap dance. Because of Dom, I’m allowed to improvise, too, and that’s so rare. Most other choreographers don’t allow it.”

Making ‘A Chorus Line’ come alive at Texas State

The Broadway mega-hit “A Chorus Line” opens at the Texas State University Performing Arts Center in San Marcos on Sept. 26.

SEE FULL STORY HERE.

Liliana Rose, Jacob Burns, Emma Hearn and Ben Toomer play characters auditioning for a Broadway show in “A Chorus Line.” Contributed

We visited a run-through rehearsal and interview director/choreographer Cassie Abate to prep you for the show. Here’s a peek:

“What would you encounter if you dropped by a run-through rehearsal of “A Chorus Line” 2 1/2 weeks before it opened at Texas State University?

Actually, something very close to a fully consummated version of the hit 1975 show about performers auditioning to appear on a Broadway chorus line, meanwhile revealing their personal histories.

White light illuminates a few pieces of scenery. Young performers line up in studio togs. The late Marvin Hamlisch’s genius score, though rehearsed this night without orchestra or microphones, shines through.

Because these performers are part of the San Marcos school’s nationally ranked musical theater program, not only is the singing and dancing already top-notch, the original anecdotes that grew out of a singular play development process — it somewhat resembled group therapy for working chorus members — are deeply felt and communicated.”

Hurricane Harvey inspires a Broadway response in Houston

Just returned from Houston. My large family’s experience with Hurricane Harvey mirrored the wide range felt by other Houstonians. Some weathered heavy damage; others helped out those in need.

Contributed by UPI

You probably have already seen this video, but at least two of my siblings’ neighborhoods looked a lot like this. Or worse. But how clever of someone to see piles of debris and think of the barricades in “Les Miserables.” This sync is rough, touching, big-hearted and a little fun.

After Harvey, who preserves our culture?

The organized arts and humanities generally don’t save lives directly during emergency situations. Yet they save our culture — our shared memory — over the long run. Here are some ways the state and national communities are responding to Harvey and where the help will be most needed.

The Rockport Center for the Arts after Hurricane Harvey. Contributed by Rockport Center for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Humanities has pledged $1 million to cultural groups hurt by Harvey.

The National Endowment for the Arts is working with the Texas Commission on the Arts to assess the situation. NEA Chairwoman Jane Chu: “As the current situation stabilizes, the NEA is prepared to direct additional funds to these state arts agencies for re-granting to affected organizations, as we have done in the past.”

The Texas Library Association and Texas State Library and Archives Commission are working to coordinate a response for the affected library community.

While some smaller arts facilities have been devastated on the coast (see image from Rockport), the massive Houston Theatre District has sustained enormous damage, as it has in previous storms (much of it was built underground not far from Buffalo Bayou).

At the Alley Theatre, the small Neuhaus Theatre and its lobby were flooded. The same spaces were severely beat up during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.

The Wortham Theatre Center, where Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet perform, took water on the Brown Theatre stage and out front of the house. The basement with its costume and prop storage, however, was totally flooded.

On the other hand, the Hobby Center and Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, came off relatively unscathed, although the parking garages were inundated.

Trinity Adams wows as Annie Oakley for Summer Stock Austin

Only two Austin theatrical performances this year have sent me into the streets singing, nay, shouting the praises of a performer. Both are relative newcomers to the scene, but if there’s any justice, they won’t ever become strangers.

The first was Chanel‘s profoundly inspired take on Billie Holiday in Zach Theatre‘s “Lady Day at the Emerson Bar and Grill.” How many times I’ve turned over in my memory her point-on patter, unvarnished vulnerability, ravishing voice and total embrace of the audience.

The second was Trinity Adams as Annie Oakley in Summer Stuck Austin‘s “Annie Get Your Gun,” currently running at the Long Center. Just 17, Adams is an award-winning actor who recently graduated from Dripping Springs High School.

Hey, Dripping, do you know what ya got in this gal?

The minute Adams bounded onto the stage at the Rollins Studio Theatre, the room just expanded exponentially to take in her radiance. Not that everything she did in the Irving Berlin classic was big and grand, no, she electrified the audience with slightest grin or aside.

As my theater companion, Suzie Harriman, pointed out, she’s like Broadway star Sutton Foster. No matter where she is in director Scott Thompson‘s stage-filling production — you won’t believe how well these kids dance! — your eyes are drawn to Adams.

She was capably complemented by Max Corney and a host of other troupers. Almost all of them also appear in “Spamalot,” a wonderfully cute Summer Stock musical directed by Ginger Morris. In that show, I was particularly taken with Lydia Kam, Ben Roberts, Michael Morran, Coy Branscum and Matthew Kennedy.

But why kid? All the the Summer Stock players are talented. Adams, however, at this precious theatrical moment, shines like the brightest stars in the heavens.

Zilker Theatre’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is fun for parents and their munchkins

It’s hard to think of a movie musical more classic or family-friendly than 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz.” The movie, based on writer L. Frank Baum’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” has proven so popular over the decades that it was adapted into a stage production by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987.

Andrew Cannata, Hannah Roberts and Jordan Barron perform in “The Wizard of Oz,” the 59th annual Zilker summer musical presented by Zilker Theatre Productions. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

The resulting show, with a book by John Kane (adapted from Baum as well as the screenplay by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, and Edgar Allan Woolf), music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, and background music by Herbert Stothart, has since become a standard across the UK and the United States.

PHOTOS: ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at Zilker Hillside Theater

Zilker Theatre Productions’ latest free summer musical, running through Aug. 12 at the Zilker Hillside Theater, is a new production of this version of “The Wizard of Oz.” This is the 59th annual Zilker Summer Musical, and the most expensive show to date, with a great deal of that money clearly going toward creating the magic of Oz as experienced by naïve young Dorothy Gale, a Kansas farm girl transported to the other-dimensional realm via a convenient tornado. Through liberal doses of both theatrical innovation and beautiful carpentry and design, director J. Robert Moore and scenic designer Paul Davis effectively evoke both the plainness of Kansas (pun intended) and the splendor of Oz.

Much like the movie it is based on, Bilker’s “The Wizard of Oz” is long on broad, entertaining character types and short on actual character development. However, the zany antics of Dorothy and her companions (the “brainless” Scarecrow, “heartless” Tin Man, and “courageless” Cowardly Lion) play well in the open-air atmosphere of the Zilker Hillside Theater, with its huge, all-ages audience.

The main cast of the show all give big, broad performances that would be over-the-top in a small theater, but work nicely in this context. Andrew Cannata, Jordan Barron and Kirk Kelso, as the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, respectively, are vaudevillian in their physical comedy and banter, while Emily Perzan’s Wicked Witch delights more in being comedic than overtly scary.

MORE PHOTOS: The Zilker Summer Musical through the years

The production’s Dorothy, Hannah Roberts, is a star on the rise. She embodies the character’s youth and naivety in a charming, guileless manner, a complete turn-around from her delightfully dour portrayal of Wednesday Addams in last year’s Summer Stock Austin production of “The Addams Family.” She only manages to get upstaged by the exuberant full-cast numbers, which inventively feature children as the Munchkins of Oz performing the whimsical choreography of Adam Roberts (who is also the show’s musical director).

Zilker’s production of “The Wizard of Oz goes” beyond the show, itself, in order to create a full night of family entertainment. There are booths and amusements for kids to enjoy before the show, as well as refreshments that can be purchased both ahead of time and at intermission. Remember to bring a blanket and pillows along with some bug spray, and be sure to arrive early to pick out a good spot on the hillside.

MORE SUMMER FUN:

Where to get frozen drinks in Austin

5 hotel pools with passes for free hours for locals

Summer music: All the sounds under the sun, through September

 

 

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”

jwj-graham-reynolds-0026b
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.

Time to plan your fall season at the Long Center

A picture of Austin’s fall arts season is falling into place. The latest booking news is from the Long Center for the Performing Aarts. We rearranged, condensed and edited for style their fine descriptions of the following.

Notice that the fall season begins in July. Why not? We only wish the weather would comply.

Also, there’s a lot of other offerings, including Summer Stock Austin, at the center that aren’t part of this season package, so stay alert.

A character from Legend of Zelda. Contributed

“The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses
”


Dell Hall, July 7

Coinciding with the newly released “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and Nintendo’s new Switch, this returns to the Long Center stage on July 7 for one performance only. Now in its fourth season and featuring new music and video, the concert comes to life with a 66-piece orchestra, 24-person choir.

“Fun Home”

Dell Hall, Aug. 11-13

The winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Direction, this unusual show is based on Alison Bechdel’s 2006 best-selling graphic memoir.

“An Evening with The Piano Guys

Dell Hall, Aug. 23

The Piano Guys have become an internet sensation by way of their immensely successful series of self-made music videos, leading to over 500 million YouTube views.

Carrie Rodriguez. Jay Janner/American-Statesman

“An Evening with Carrie Rodriguez
”

Rollins Studio Theatre, Aug. 30

Austin native Carrie Rodriguez is a fiddle playing singer songwriter who approaches her country-blues sound with an “Ameri-Chicana” attitude.  Her latest release, “Lola,” takes her back to her ranchera musical roots and was hailed as the “perfect bicultural album” by NPR’s Felix Contreras.

Manual Cinema: “Lula Del Ray”

Rollins Studio Theatre,  Sept. 13-14          

This troupe of theatrical artists are not just puppeteers, but creators of otherworldly landscapes through a striking combination of live actors, old-school projectors and silhouette magic.

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

Rollins Studio Theatre, Sept. 16

Hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine as “a genre unto herself,” composer, guitarist, and recording artist Kaki King performs her latest work — a simultaneous homage and deep exploration of her instrument of choice. In this bold new multi-media performance, Kaki deconstructs the guitar’s boundaries as projection mapping explores texture, nature, and creation.

Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life”

Dell Hall, Sept. 30

Part coming-of-age story and part divine commentary, Terrence Malick’s star-studded and slow-burning art film, “The Tree of Life,” sparked a dialogue within the industry about memory, the meaning of life, and the role that film can play in representing those ideas. Screening with live score performed by Austin Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Austin.

“Star Wars: A New Hope”

Dell Hall, Oct. 11–12

John William’s legendary “Star Wars” score didn’t just enhance a great story, it gave life to an entire galaxy. From “Binary Sunset” to the “Imperial March,” the themes of “A New Hope” ushered in a renaissance of film music, the likes of which Hollywood had never seen before. A special screening with live score performed by the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

“Shopkins Live!”

Dell Hall, Oct. 21

This lights up the stage in this premiere live production packed with show-stopping performances featuring the Shoppies and Shopkins characters taking the stage with an all-new storyline, music, and videos. Join Jessicake, Bubbleisha, Peppa-Mint, Rainbow Kate, Cocolette, and Polli Polish as they perform the coolest dance moves, sing the latest pop songs, and prepare for Shopville’s annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.”

Jeff Lofton. Contributed by Claire Newman.

“The Jeff Lofton Electric Thang
”

Rollins Studio Theatre, Oct. 25

Jazz artist Jeff Lofton – together with his groups The Jeff Lofton Trio and his Electric Thang – has quickly become a household name around Austin’s low-key bars and jazz lounges.

An evening with Maureen Dowd and Carl Hulse In Conversation

Dell Hall, Saturday Nov. 18

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, Maureen Dowd, and award-winning author and the Times’ Chief Washington Correspondent, Carl Hulse, will examine the state of the nation one year following the most divisive presidential election in American history. Join us for an evening of incisive dialogue as Dowd and Hulse discuss how we got here and what lies ahead.

“Santa on the Terrace”

City Terrace, Nov. 24 

Bring the family and join us on the City Terrace and take some time out of the busiest holiday of the year to celebrate the season. Bring the kids for a free photo with Santa and enjoy holiday treats, activities and entertainment, all overlooking the best view in Austin!

“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical”

Dell Hall, Nov. 24-25

The favorite TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage in this beloved adaptation. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and of course, Rudolph brought to life.

Graham Reynolds. Jay Janner/American-Statesman

“Graham Reynolds Ruins the Holidays”

Rollins Studio Theatre, Dec. 20

Composer and bandleader, Graham Reynolds, along with some of Austin’s best musicians wreak musical havoc with an explosive set of holiday favorites. By playing most of them in a minor key, Reynolds and his band bring a new perspective to these season standards.

“A Christmas Story: The Musical”

Dell Hall, Dec. 29–31

After a smash-hit Broadway run garnering three Tony-Award nominations including Best Musical, this Christmas classic returns for another year. Based on the perennial holiday movie favorite, the story takes place in 1940s Indiana, where a bespectacled boy named Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot range Model Air Rifle.

 

Salute the late Boyd Vance at city hall

I recall a downtown Austin leadership luncheon near the turn of the century that was populated chiefly by men and women in business suits. Out pops performer Boyd Vance — lithe, fearless, radiant, scampy — to sing an adapted version of “Hello, Dolly,” as if he were positioned at the top of a staircase dressed in red sequins and flanked by a dozen men in show tuxedos. At various points, he sat in the laps of men and women to sing directly to them.

MRZ_vance03
Boyd Vance in 2004. Matt Rourke/American-Statesman

Nobody else could have done that.

Austinites remember Vance, a graduate of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and the University of Texas, for many things. His undeniable charisma. His unforgettable performances. His leadership of the African-American arts community. And more.

AANkwanza1jpg.jpg
Boyd Vance, then artistic director of ProArts, introduces members of the David Chenu Trio in 2004. Amber Novak for the American-Statesman

No wonder when the new Carver Museum and Cultural Center opened in East Austin, its lively little theater was named after Vance. He died in 2005 at age 47.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 22, the Austin City Council will salute Vance’s memory with a proclamation. Now you know that the timing of these honors is never exact — I recently accepted one in the name of the Austin Critics Table and heard first some thoroughly fascinating speeches on plumbing regulations and flood abatement — but I imagine the scene will be something like Old Home Week in chambers. All are welcome.