ARTS: Theatre
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Other Desert Cities

Jon Robin Baitz's acclaimed drama – his Broadway debut in 2011 – is a complex of family secrets, lies, and betrayals playing out against a backdrop of Californian affluence and restraint. The cast boasts the talents of Lara Toner, Babs George, Rick Roemer, Jacob Trussell, and Bernadette Nason – directed by Don Toner for Austin Playhouse, currently staging their productions in Highland Mall. Through Feb. 24. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. 6001 Airport. $28-37 (student discounts available).


The Picnic Plays: Readings on Sundays

The Paper Chairs company presents free staged readings of plays they're considering for production. Most of these gems are locally scripted, all of them voiced by a sharp cast, each in a different venue every Sunday in February. Murder Ballad Murder Mystery: Redux by Elizabeth Doss; Sun., Feb. 24, 2pm; Longbranch Inn, 1133 E. 11th. Free.


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

The hilarious Long-Singer-Winfield deconstruction and twisting of Sweet William's oeuvre gets a fresh airing from the Paradox Players, featuring Jason O'Brien, Cameron Bergeron, and Michael Jastroch(!) under the direction of Ben Schave. Through Feb. 24. Fri.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. $15 ($10, students, seniors).

First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover, 512/452-6168

Design For Living

This Austin Shakespeare production of Noel Coward’s provocative comedy of 1933, directed by Ann Ciccolella, stars Martin Burke, Helen Merino, and Michael Miller as a romantically entangled trio of artists. Featuring chanteuse Kara Bliss and pianist Jason Conner performing Coward songs. Here, see what the Chronicle's Jillian Owens thought of it. Through Feb. 24. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. $17-34.

Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside, 474-5664

Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare's last (and darkest) comedy is directed by Michelle Polgar and features Jeremy Lee Cudd, Greg Holt, and David Stahl tromping the bardic boards at St. Ed's. See what Jillian Owens said about it here.Feb. 14-24. Thu.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. $20 ($15, students, seniors, SEU community).

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

Jugglefest XX

Jugglefest is an annual three-day event replete with workshops, games, demonstrations, and shows featuring juggling, unicycling, and related circus arts – featuring national and international stars – and this is its 20th anniversary. Feb. 22-24. Fri., 5-10pm; Sat.-Sun., 10am-6pm. $10-20.

Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S. Congress, 512/462-5353

A Ride with Bob: The Bob Wills Musical

Ray Benson and Anne Rapp's fiddle-spiced tribute to the King of Texas Swing returns to set ZACH's new Topfer Theatre reeling in memory and musical marvels. Feb. 21-24. Thu.-Fri., 7:30pm; Sat.-Sun., 2 & 7:30pm. $80-115.

Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey, 512/476-0541


Beauty Is the Best Priest: Short Plays of the Harlem Renaissance

ACC's newest production features works by some of the most influential playwrights, poets, novelists, and activists of the Harlem Renaissance era – here directed by Marcus McQuirter, Zell Miller III, Feliz McDonald, and Florinda Bryant. Through March 3. Fri.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2pm. $10 ($5, students, seniors).

Boyd Vance Theatre at the Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina, 223-3343


William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of love, deceit, jealousy and murder. Directed by Jeff Hinkle for City Theatre. Through March 17. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5:30pm. $15-25 ($10, Thursdays).

City Theatre, 3823-D Airport, 524-2870


Harold Pinter's heartwrenching drama about an adulterous seven-year affair that's presented backward – from end to beginning – is directed by Andrew Black for Chaotic Theatre Company. See what Dan Solomon said about it here. Through March 2. Thu.-Sun., 8pm. $15.

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

Once There Were Six Seasons

Austin's own Glass Half Full Theatre, a cadre of virtuoso puppeteers, offers this workshop production of their newest work, wherein the acclaimed company manipulates vast miniature landscapes, highlighting how the accelerating pace of human-caused climate change has outstripped the ability of traditional cultures to adapt their lifestyles. Written and directed by Caroline Reck, performed by people who seem able to bring dead objects to life. Through March 3. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 6pm. $12-20.

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

It Could be Any One Of Us

Ahoy, wannabe Sherlocks! This is Alan Ayckbourne's ingenious murder mystery in which the killer is different for each performance – but maybe you can figure it out from the clues provided? The sizzling comedy whodunit's is directed by Frank Benge out Round Rock way. Through March 2. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2pm. $13-18 ($10, children).

Sam Bass Community Theatre, 600 N. Lee St., 512/244-0440


Jaston Williams, known to many Austinites as That One Greater Tuna Actor, is directed by Larry Randolph in this revealing and humorous Jay Presson Allen play about Truman Capote. Back at Zach after 12 years – by popular demand! Through March 10. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2:30pm. $40.

Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey, 476-0541

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