Katy Cusack

Kathryn Lacy Cusack, a member of the Austin arts community in the Eighties, died of breast cancer November 19 in Dallas. During her time here, Cusack ran a small clothing store, Chameleons, was an active supporter of the music and performing arts scenes, and took part in numerous stage productions. Her strongest ties were to Kathleen Weager's Angel Theatre, a "home for battered actresses" that produced original works, poetic and dramatic, in the early part of the decade. Cusack's most notable appearance was in the 1982 production, Daisy Pajer in the Heart of Cotton, written by John Westerfield, with music by Pat Mears and Lucinda Williams, which featured performances by Mears, Jo Carol Pierce, Hedwig Gorski, and Margaret Moser, among others. Cusack left Austin for Seattle in the late Eighties and was living in Hawaii when she was diagnosed with cancer. She was 41.


Avenue X Marks the Spot

The Zachary Scott Theatre Center has ended its 10-week run of the a cappella musical Avenue X, but it was able to send off the show with a couple of sizable flourishes. The first was in the December issue of American Theatre magazine, which led off its listing of productions around the country with a sizable photo from Zach's production. (Alongside the closeup of performers John Robinson and Roderick Sanford was a quote from director Dave Steakley.) The second came the production's last weekend, when the show's creators, John Jiler and Ray Leslee, flew down from New York to see ZSTC's version. According to Steakley, the authors "were really, really pleased. They sent a wonderful letter to the cast this week. And they fell in love with [actors] Meredith Robertson and Janis Stinson. For an hour, that was all they would talk about." Steakley reports that some significant rewrites of the script may come out of Zach's production. And future productions of this script and collaborations with the playwrights may involve some of the talent from Austin. Stay tuned.


King, Live Oak at It Again

Live Oak Theatre and Lone Star scribe Larry L. King are teaming up once more. The two, which have enjoyed a relationship since 1988, when Live Oak produced King's drama The Night Hank Williams Died, will re-team next spring for a production of King's latest, a comedy titled The Dead Presidents' Club. The play, which imagines former Chief Executives Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman, and Calvin Coolidge cooling their heels together in the Afterlife, is set for a world premiere run May 3-28 at the State Theatre on Congress. The production will star actors G. W. Bailey (Police Academy) and Barry Corbin (Northern Exposure), both of whom participated in a staged reading of the play at Southwest Texas State University. For more info, call 472-5143.

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