Tokyo Miracle

Sure, you know that UT Austin extends far beyond the 40 Acres that originally made up the campus, but did you know it stretches all the way to the heart of Japan? Well, it will for a few weeks, while a professor from the UT Department of Theatre & Dance is directing a production at Tokyo's Aoyama Theatre. Michael Bloom, who heads the department's Acting and Directing programs, is staging a revival of The Miracle Worker, William Gibson`s drama about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. The production is serious business -- it's backed by TV Asahi and Japan's largest talent agency and features Japanese stage star Shinobu Otake -- which makes it a real honor for Bloom. It also confirms the success of his first directorial stint in Tokyo, staging The Glass Menagerie three years ago; it was on the basis of that production that Bloom was invited to direct The Miracle Worker. The production opens March 28, which gives Bloom lots of time to refine his skills at directing through an interpreter and saying "Otsukare sama deshita," the ritual closing to every rehearsal, which means "A good day's work." (Think we can get directors here to take up that practice?)

Worthy Causes

VORTEX Repertory Company and the HIV Wellness Center are presenting a five-night run of concerts by the a cappella group The Flirtations. Noted for their harmonies, humor, and homosexuality, the Flirts have built a strong following here, but this will be the first time that locals will have the chance to see the Flirts' new incarnation as a trio and a coed band (a move taken after the death of the group's longtime tenor Michael Callen and departure of singers Aurelio Font and Cliff Townsend). When remaining Flirts Jon Arterton and Jimmy Rutland chose to regroup as a trio, they invited the singer Suede to be the first female Flirtation. They hit town March 11-15, Tuesday-Saturday, at Planet Theatre, 2307 Manor. Gold tickets are $50; silver tix $35. Proceeds benefit VORTEX and the Wellness Center. Call 454-TIXS.

The University YWCA is holding its second Circle of Friends: A Celebration of Women in the Arts, and this year's Circle features four hours of exciting, eclectic music from several Austin women well worth celebrating: singer-songwriter Ana Egge; wordsmith Tammy Gomez and her band Con La Palabra; singers Diana Jones and Deborah Duncan; and Latin dance band Sazón, with singer Pati Ayala and percussionist Clemencia Zapata. Media queen Jenn Garrison hosts the affair Saturday, March 8, 8pm, at Mexic-Arte Museum, Fifth & Congress. Tickets are $5. Proceeds benefit University Y programs. Call 326-1222.

Off the Desk

Austin Access Arts provides another of its Audio Described Performances, in which trained volunteers provide descriptions of plays to patrons wearing headsets tuned to a specific FM frequency, Monday, March 10. It's for the Austin Lyric Opera production of La Bohème. For info, call 454-9912.

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

Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

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.

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