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,
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.