Where to find this year's Critics Table Awards party and what former Austin actress Sharron Bower is up to in NYC.
Critix Pix Redux
The city's loosest awards ceremony is upon us again, and if you're at all interested in seeing what honors will be dished up this year by the Austin Theatre Critics Table (motto: "We make it up as we go along."), take note: For the first time in its history, the Critics' Table awards ceremony and slosh session will not, repeat, will not be held at Top of the Marc. That's because there is no Top of the Marc anymore, the onetime club above Katz's having recently gone the way of so many theatre companies in our town. When word of the club's demise broke earlier this spring, the reviewers went out and threw themselves on the mercy of another local club owner, and through the generosity of all-around good guy (and Bouldin Creek neighbor of Critics Table members Michael Barnes and yours truly) Steve Wertheimer, the critics will be celebrating excellence on local stages Monday, May 29, at the Continental Club, 1510 Congress. The revelry starts at 7pm sharp. No cover; just come thirsty and help make it a worthwhile night for the club to be open early. And feel free to stick around after and celebrate the awards or Memorial Day with Monday night regular Roger Wallace. The full list of awards will be published in next week's Chronicle.
Gone But Not Forgotten: Sharron Bower
T'was just about this time a year ago that Sharron Bower was treating local audiences to her sparkling performance as Tzeitel in the Austin Musical Theatre production of Fiddler of the Roof, a performance for which she was honored with a B. Iden Payne Award and a Theatre Critics Table nomination. Alas, it was Bower's farewell performance in Austin; shortly after, she and husband Mark Greene (of AMT's Gypsy) relocated to New York City. Like so many Austin theatre expatriates, Bower is gone but not forgotten, so it was a delight to receive an e-mail from her recently describing some of her New York adventures. The family firm, Greene's Pecos Design business, is doing well -- well enough to hired another ex-Austin actor: Troy Schremmer (Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet at Capitol City Playhouse). And on the theatrical front, Bower is thriving, with several new stage credits to her résumé in the past year. The most recent is a version of Measure for Measure, produced by 2texans in association with the Faux-Real Theatre Company, which featured a number of former local actors, among them Sonnet Blanton (A Family Affair at The Public Domain) and Lisa Hargus (American Arcana at Austin Script Works). (Apparently, 2texans is a hotbed of Austin theatre in New York with a number of Public Domain and UT theatre department alumni appearing in their projects and readings of new plays by our own Cyndi Williams and Ron Berry.) Anyway, Measure closed this past weekend, but Bower is already on to her next project, and it's noteworthy: the Westport Playhouse production of The Constant Wife by Somerset Maugham, which is being directed by Joanne Woodward. In the e-mail, Bower notes that she was "the audition reader for the project (at her and Paul N.'s house -- could not believe it), and somehow ended up with a role in the end. Shocked and thrilled, needless to say." She invites Austinites who "happen to be up in the northeast" June 12-24 to see "what will surely be a lovely production of an interesting and somewhat forgotten play." And, of course, to say hello to an old friend while you're at it.