Bogosian Hits Talk Radio

Austin's musicians may be used to having star artists drop in to hear the locals when they visit town, but its theatre artists aren't. A national theatre artist seeing a local stage production is about as rare as an Austinite getting nominated for a Tony. So, it created a stir when noted actor/writer Eric Bogosian stopped by Hyde Park Theatre to catch a performance of his play Talk Radio by homegrown troupe The Company. Bogosian, in Austin to perform his Wake Up and Smell the Coffee at the Paramount Theatre, was urged to see the show by director Rick Linklater, who had seen it earlier. Bogosian attended last Saturday's show with Paul Beutel and Paul Alvarado of the Paramount. What did he think? Well, the author gave The Company company a standing ovation. And the group's Cathy Grant reports Bogosian saying that he thought Ken Bradley was better than the guy that replaced him in the New York production. Bogosian also talked with cast and crew for half an hour after the performance.

Comedy Transitions

The changes are coming fast and furious at The Laff Stop. Last month, the longtime stand-up spot's new owners (who also own San Antonio's Rivercenter Comedy Club) announced a new name for the venue: the Capitol City Comedy Club. Now, they've closed the lounge as part of a major renovation, displacing ComedySportz Austin, which has been performing improv shows in the lounge since last fall. The biggest change comes Nov. 19th, when the whole club shuts down for several weeks for a big makeover. Fans wishing to bid a fond adieu to the Stop as it's been for 10 years have this week with hypnotist Mike Mesmer "Eyes" and next week with Fred Greenlee to get, well, the last laugh... As for ComedySportz, bouncing from one space to another is nothing new. Their residency at the Stop began after their own space on Sixth Street closed in 1994. CSz already has a new home in mind and will announce it soon, once details are finalized. In the meantime, the group is staying busy with private bookings. More info may be had via the ComedySportz Hot Line: COMEDY -7.

Salon Success for ACoT

The Austin Circle of Theatres held a low-key fundraiser this past Sunday: a salon reading of Harold Pinter's Old Times, featuring Joe York, Babs George, and Karen Kuykendall, directed by ACoT Executive Director Ann Ciccolella, in Kuykendall's home. As the event was held in a residence, attendance was limited and the final tally was only $660, but the level of interest astonished ACoT. "We sold out a week in advance," said Ciccolella, "and could have filled the house three times over." Given the reponse, ACoT has decided to reprise the event January 31, same cast, again in Kuykendall's home, with a salon series perhaps to follow. Former Board President Bill McMillin is considering a reading of Shaw's Saint Joan at his home in February. Six hundred bucks may not seem much in some ways, but, as Ciccolella notes, "For us, that`s a painless, enjoyable chunk." n

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