10 big Austin arts stories from the past 7 days

En route between two glorious musicals — “A Chorus Line” at Texas State University and “Singin’ in the Rain” at Zach Theatre — on Saturday, my traveling companions paused to consider the American-Statesman arts coverage for just the past week. We were able to rattle off at least 10 significant stories by staff reporters and freelancers during the previous seven days, Sept. 22-28.

Later I thought, hey, 10 in seven ain’t bad. Why not share the bounty here? Dates are for original digital publication. This fat list doesn’t even include substantial descriptions of arts events that appeared on Page 2 of the Austin360 section, thanks to the extraordinary Ari Auber.

From left, Sydney Huddleston, Annika Lekven, Adrian Collins, Maria Latiolais, Kelsey Buckley, Estrella Saldaña, Kenzie Stewart, and Shonagh Smith in Hyde Park Theatre’s production of “The Wolves,” by Sarah DeLappe. Contributed by Bret Brookshire

Sept. 22: Girl power puts ‘The Wolves’ ahead of the pack.

Sept. 24: Preview: Broadway classic ‘A Chorus Line’ connects with Texas State performers.

Sept. 25: Interview: Bring on the music, bring on the tap dancing for ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’

Sept. 25: Review: Young actor gives tar turn as troubled, tempestuous ‘Prodigal Son.

Sept. 25: Pairing the Ballet Austin Fête with the Thinkery’s Imaginarium.

Sept. 26: Review: Texas State’s ‘A Chorus Line’ is a singular sensation.

Se[t 27: Biennial art exhibit takes the long way to get back.

Sept. 28: A world of dance alights at the University of Texas.

Sept. 28: Austin to kick off citywide Day of the Dead celebrations.

Sept. 28: Scary laughs, Eddie Izzard, Kevin Nealon and plenty of sex.



Magic Lights Up Austin at Esther’s Follies

Ray Anderson worked his magic on Ellana Kelter during an audition for Esther’s Follies years ago when she performed an illusion without even knowing it. Something clicked and they formed a partnership rooted in passion and trust, performing dangerous illusions three nights a week in downtown Austin.

“People can tell we love one another,” Anderson said.

Ray and Ellana 2

During the show, Ray and Ellana descend onto the stage in a huge metal cage. As they dance passionately and seductively, Ellana disappears before the audience’s eyes, reappearing as she bursts through the cage, and lands in Anderson’s arms.

“I can’t wait to look deep into his eyes. That’s part of what makes it easy, nothing is fake,” said Kelter. “The magic is really us. It’s our own personality. Each piece, its own story.”

In another illusion, Ellana springs up out of a fiery box. Anderson hypnotizes her to the driving beat of KONGOS song, Come With Me Now, and suddenly she levitates.

“Entertaining an audience is true magic,” Anderson said. “We get the same gratification when it’s successful. To share that moment with someone else is spectacular.”