Articulations

Great Scott!

Dave Steakley has hardly had a minute to savor the success of his latest stage sensation at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center. Zach's managing director and the director of Beehive, Forever Plaid, and several of the theatre's other many musical hits no sooner got The Gospel at Colonus open than he had to jet off to Pittsburgh to start work on a production of Avenue X at City Theatre there. Steakley was hired to direct the Pittsburgh production after being recommended for the job by none other than Avenue X's creators, Ray Leslee and John Jiler, who came to Austin last year to see Zach's production and were much impressed with Steakley's work. In fact, the pair liked it so much that they want Steakley to direct more developmental productions of Avenue X in other theatres across the country. The City Theatre production opens next Wednesday, December 4.

Speaking of Gospel, though, ZSTC Marketing Director Jim Reynolds reports that the musical, which was a risky endeavor for the theatre, turned out a certified hit. In terms of Zach's projections for the run, the show did 150% business during its six-week run. Now, that doesn't make it the first big hit for the theatre this season; that distinction belongs to Sylvia, the A.R. Gurney comedy starring Emily Balanoff as an irrepressible pooch. It opened September 14 and is now in its 12th week, with a guaranteed extension through the end of December. For info, call 476-0541.

Boffo Box Office

For two years now, The Box Office has given Austin a central outlet for tickets to area performing arts events. Its beginnings were modest -- in July, '94, it handled tickets for just two shows -- but, like the acorn, that little thing has given way to something big. Now, the service routinely handles one-quarter or more of the tickets to local stage productions and arts enthusiasts repeat its phone number like a mantra: 499-TIXS, 499-TIXS, 499-TIXS.... In fact, The Box Office has gotten so big that it's outgrown its cozy spot in the Dougherty Arts Center. So, Sunday, it's moving to new digs. Box Office maven Roxy Becker says the Office's new home is roomier but cannot accommodate walk-up traffic as the DAC did (walk-up business is directed to the AusTix/Box Office booth in BookPeople). Worse, the service is having to give up its easy-to-recall 499-TIXS number. Becker reports trying numerous variations on "TIXS" to soften the switch -- "TIKS," "TICS," "TKTS" -- but to no avail; all such numbers were taken. We'd tell you what number The Box Office took, but at press time, it was not available. Come Monday, though, a recording will direct you where to call. Until then, call 499-TIXS for info.

Day Without Art

Just a reminder that the annual observation of Day Without Art, held in conjunction with World AIDS Day, is this Sunday, December 1. Sally Jacques will again lead the Body Count ritual, but this year it will take place on the Congress Avenue Bridge instead of the Capitol grounds. For details, see the "Recommended" box in the "Arts Calendar," page 86.

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The Harry Ransom Center has acquired all the professional and personal materials of profoundly influential acting teacher Stella Adler

Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

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It's the end of an era for the city of Austin's Art in Public Places Program as Martha Peters, administrator of the program for 11 of its 18 years, departs to direct a public art program in Fort Worth.

Robert Faires, July 18, 2003

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