ARTS: Theatre
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Trouble Puppet Theatre: The Head

Oh, here we go into the contentious depths of terra incognita: Merrily, raucously, horrifically, and with substantial flairs of humor. Trouble Puppet maestro Connor Hopkins, not content to craft compelling adaptations of classic works (Frankenstein, Riddley Walker, Macbeth, et al.), now directs his talented company to bring forth this original work: "Inside one man's head, an overworked Mechanic struggles with faulty machinery and the head's other residents, the Personal Demons, to navigate through the day … when those Demons climb out of the shadows of the Limbic Lobe, all hell breaks loose inside and outside the Head." Bonus: Music by Justin Sherburn, lighting by Megan Reilly, sound design by K. Eliot Haynes, and costume design by Monica Gibson. [Note: This ain't a kiddie show; keep your children away, unless you want them asking, "Mommy, why do these fuckin' puppets curse so much?"] Sept. 26-Oct. 12. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. $10-20.

Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd., 512/474-7886


St. Ed's new season of theatre kicks off with this Tina Howe comedy about "closing day at a contemporary art exhibition called 'The Broken Silence,'" inspired by actual comments overheard at the Whitney biennial. Directed by David M. Long, featuring Babs George, Jarrett King, and David Stahl. Through Oct. 6. Thu.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. $22 ($17, students, seniors, SEU community).

Mary Moody Northen Theatre at St. Edward's University, 3001 S. Congress, 512/448-8484



Penfold Theatre presents this Tony-winning John Logan play about the late Mark Rothko's creation of murals for The Four Seasons restaurant on NYC's Park Avenue. Directed by Nathan Jenkins. Sept. 12-29. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. Trinity Street Theatre, 901 Trinity. $20-25 ($18, students, seniors).

The Man of La Mancha

Austin Playhouse opens its newest season with this classic, Tony-winning musical based on Cervantes' Don Quixote. Directed by Don Toner, with musical direction by Michael McKelvey, and starring Rick Roemer as that ageless knight. Romance! Derring-Do! Songs! Chivalric optimism! Through Oct. 6. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. Austin Playhouse at Highland Mall, 6001 Airport. $34-36 (half price for students).


National Pastime

Austin Theatre Project presents this "Broadway-bound" musical, a screwball comedy, set in 1933 Iowa, about a failing radio station and its miraculous comeback. Through Oct. 6. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. Center State Theatre, 2826 Real. $15-30.


Tragedy: A Tragedy

From the mind of Will Eno – whose Thom Pain (based on nothing) recently scored a sold-out run at HPT – comes this new comedy, a media-savaging "satire in the face of Armageddon." Directed by Ken Webster, starring Molly Karrasch, Michael Ferstenfeld, Benjamin Summers, Nathan Brockett, Nahila Bonfiglio, and that same Webster. Thu.-Sat., Sept. 12-Oct. 12, 8pm. $20-22 (discounts available for students, seniors, military, and Austin Creative Alliance).

Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 512/479-7529

Stop Hitting Yourself

Austin's fiercest theatre company presents a bare-bones, work-in-progress showing of their latest spectacle as they prepare it for a world-premiere at Lincoln Center in January. No one knows precisely what it'l become after these Austin performances, but the Rude Mechs' arch and dazzling investigation of the structures supporting the haves and have-nots in America will never be presented quite this way again. And – ah, shit – this run is already SOLD OUT. Through Sept. 28. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. $10.

The Off Center, 2211-A Hidalgo, 512/476-7833

Les Miserables

We blame Vidoqc, ultimately. Here's the worldwide phenomenon of a smash musical success fashioned from Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, now at Zach Theatre in Austin and featuring a cast of 33 led by Broadway stars Pat McRoberts as Jean Valjean and Nicholas Rodriguez as Inspector Javert, directed by Matt Lenz, with musical direction by Allen Robertson, with more polished grit and streetwise glory and rousing anthems than you can shake a purloined baguette at. Through Nov. 3. Wed.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm (See website for extra show times). $25-65 ($18, student rush tickets).

Topfer Theatre at Zach, 202 S. Lamar, 512/476-0541


This dark spectacle showcases almost 20 years of original work by ethos, the Austin-based performance troupe headed by maestro Chad Salvata. Blending electronic media and live performance to transcend typical theatrical offerings, this concert-style event invites the audience to dance, drink, tweet, take photos – there's an Instagram photo contest during the performances, even – and be dazzled by performances from cybernetic operas including The Black Blood, Panoptikon, Triskelion, Elytra, and more. (Bonus: Songs from ethos' upcoming film, Octia of the Pink Ocean.) Directed by Bonnie Cullum and featuring a top-notch cast and tech crew of talented Vortex regulars. Wild? Bizarre? Complex? Electronically rocking? Yes, and then some. Sept. 20-28. Thu.-Sun., 9pm. $10-30.

The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282

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