What's in a Name?
The other name change comes from the community and from the field of theatre. The Friends of the Summer Musical, which has long provided community support for the musicals staged in Zilker Park for the past 40 years, is now Zilker Theatre Productions. As the company seeks to expand its efforts beyond the one show each summer, while retaining the sense of place and history with which it is identified, taking on a new moniker makes perfect sense. (And as long as we're talking about the summer musical, this is a good place to remind you that this year's show is that Rodgers & Hammerstein staple South Pacific, to run July 11-August 15 on the recently renamed (!) Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theatre, and auditions are being held this weekend, April 25 and 26, Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm, at the Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd. Call 479-9491 for more info.)
Happy 434th, Will!
And as long as we've brought up the Bard's name once, it wouldn't be fitting to close the column without wishing him a happy birthday. April 23 is, as I'm sure you know, the birthday of William Shakespeare. That makes this a perfect time to haul out the old sonnets for a good re-read to one's best beloved, or to take in a production of one of Will's plays. There's a bloody fine Macbeth winding up a nice run at Planet Theatre, and UT's Department of Germanic Languages has turned to the Bard for its 51st annual theatrical production, a translation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ein Sommernachtstraum. Or for a real novelty, you can jog on down to Winedale, and see a rarely staged early draft of Hamlet - the so-called "Bad Quarto" - performed by students in James Ayres' Shakespeare at Winedale program. It's this streamlined early version that Ayres and some of his former students will take overseas this summer and perform on the stage of the new Globe Theatre in London. (More on that later.) Anyway, see the Arts Calendar listings for details on these shows, then hoist one for the greatest playwright ever.