New York is calling, and Austin performers from the Rude Mechanicals to the Flaming Idiots to MOMFest are answering.
Still More New York Stories
If you're doing a play in New York, you can hardly do better than a plug in The New York Times, and that's exactly what the Rude Mechanicals did last week. In the March 9 edition, in the column "On Stage and Off," writer Jesse McKinley's weekly roundup of theatre news in the New York area, the Rudes scored a 180-word item about the upcoming NYC run of their award-winning stage adaptation of Lipstick Traces. Under the heading "Play of the Century," McKinley makes what has now become the standard observation about the play (it adapts a most unlikely work into theatrical terms), outlines the basics of the New York run (happens in May at the Ohio Theater, mounted by the Off-Broadway company Foundry Theatre) and the show's earlier appearance in the city (a 40-minute version staged at the Ohio in 1999, just prior to its original Austin run), then winds up with a quote from director Shawn Sides. "We've been scrambling to call in every favor we have," Sides says. "We'll probably be sleeping on couches. But we basically sleep on couches here, so it won't be that different."
New York is the destination for a number of local arts types of late. Besides the Rudes and the Vortex Repertory Company, which just finished its NYC run of Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio, those vaudeville virtuosos known as the Flaming Idiots will be heading back to New York -- back to Broadway, in fact -- for an extended run at the New Victory Theatre, where they played to enthusiastic audiences and a New York Times endorsement in early 2000. Sadly, the return engagement conflicts with their already-feels-like-a-holiday-tradition run at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center. But you can bet that if Zach can't have the Idiots for Christmas, it'll find another spot on the calendar to host 'em.
Also, MOM is moving to the Big Apple. That's MOM as in MOMFest, or the Mind Over Money Theatrical Festival. The independent theatre festival has established a working partnership with the New York International Fringe Festival to exchange performers between the two fests. Called the Pipeline Project, the arrangement will see four Austin companies sent to New York in August for a five-night run at the New York Fringe, then the following month, four New York companies will journey down to Texas for a similar run here. Scheduled to set the Big Apple on fire are Dirigo Group co-founder Laura Somers, Subterranean Theater Company Artistic Director Ken Webster, and the Realm Dance Project. For more info, call Wade Williams at 707-8464x3 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking of New York, a recent visit allowed me to catch up with some onetime Austinites who have transplanted themselves to the big city. Sxip, the performer whose percussive and rhythmic breath work once left audiences for the locally based Performance Art Church (aka PeACh) breathless, is active on the New York scene these days and presented a piece titled blood is the only good adhesive in heaven at a Methodist church in Greenwich Village. Directing the piece was Katie Pearl (who returns to Austin briefly this spring to stage Anna Bella Eema, a new play by Lisa D'Amour, at the Blue Theatre, and in the improvisational a cappella choir backing Sxip were former locals Tara Vamos, Carlos Treviño, and Chris Green. The results were impressive, an off-beat but utterly endearing discussion of vandalism, the gum on the sidewalks of New York, and elderly angels in the New York Public Library.