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FronteraFest Review: 'Iced Tea in Texas'

British ex-pat Bernadette Nason pours some sweet memories

By Wayne Alan Brenner, 12:24PM, Sat. Feb. 1

Putting the 'tea' in Texas
Putting the 'tea' in Texas
Courtesy of Bernadette Nason

British ex-pat Bernadette Nason, frequent star of local stages and sterling storyteller, brings the latest of her tea-spiced monologues to the FronteraFest Long Fringe, this one a tale of moving to America – to Texas – to Austin – and experiencing culture shocks she thought she’d grown immune to during her stints in the Middle East.

In this follow-up to Nason's previous-years shows Tea in Tripoli and Dinner in Dubai, here’s a sweetly charming English lady relating a sweetly charming tale of friends and family, of the trials attendant to wanting to be a movie actress, of what it’s like to encounter, up close and personal and for the very first time, such local phenomena as cornbread, candied yams, boot-scootin’ urban cowboys at the Dallas nightclub, and the UT/Texas A&M football rivalry. And, of course, the ever-present sweet tea, iced, that saturates so much of the American South.

Nason regales her audience from a variety of spare settings when she’s not standing center stage, moving smoothly from one onstage chair to the other as fits the story-portion she’s telling at the moment. She holds forth in a well-rehearsed, aiming-to-please manner, giving glimpses of those earlier Middle Eastern forays, reading selections from her years-ago journal, conjuring a relatively recent past (she moved to the ATX in 1992) that fairly glows with sweetness and charm. If dimpling cheeks and twinkling eyes were music, this one-woman show would put John Phillips Sousa to shame.

Final performance: Sat., Feb. 1, 2:15pm, at Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd. For more information, visit www.hydeparktheatre.org.

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