The Austin Chronicle


By Robert Faires, August 24, 2001, Arts

Friends in Need

It may still be too hot to frolic in the noonday sun, but it's not too hot to put on a show to help someone in need. That's what a number of artists are up to this month, and, of course, they're counting on you to brave the heat for the good causes they're promoting. The Big Shoe, as Ed Sullivan would have called it, is H2O, aka Helping Houston Out, a benefit performance for Houston's theatre district, which suffered millions of dollars worth of damage from Tropical Storm Allison, including major losses to Jones Hall, the Alley Theatre, and the Wortham Theater Center. The Austin Theatre Alliance has enticed most of the major arts institutions in the city to take part, and Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Musical Theatre, Austin Symphony, State Theater Company, Tapestry Dance Company, Women in Jazz, and the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, will all be presenting performances from past, present, or future productions. In addition, the Original Texas Jewboy Kinky Friedman and musician and sometime actor Guy Forsyth will perform, with the event's emcee being our own Mayor/ Aspiring Attorney General Kirk Watson. As Austin arts events go, they don't get much bigger. It all goes down at the Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress, on Monday, August 27, at 8pm. Tickets are $25-$100, with the top-priced VIP ticket entitling patrons to a pre-performance reception at the Driskill Hotel, and may be purchased at the Paramount box office and all Star Ticket Outlets or by phone at 469-SHOW or 1-888-597-STAR (7827). For info, call 472-5470 or go to

The flood in Houston was also on the minds of flutist Renata Green and classical guitarist Tony Morris, who organized their own benefit to raise money for flood victims. Alas, their concert of solo guitar and flute & guitar duets already passed -- it was held last Friday, August 17, at St. Mary's Cathedral downtown -- but if you're still inspired to contribute to their cause, I'm sure they would be willing to accept a donation or direct you to an agency that would. Contact Tony Morris at 626-6499 or [email protected]

On a much smaller scale, but no less meaningful for the friends of the one in need, is a benefit concert for Austin Symphony musician Doug Tabony, a violinist with ASO since 1977 and the organization's personnel manager. Last September, Tabony was riding his bicycle on Loop 360 near Walsh-Tarlton when he hit a piece of lumber, ran off the road down into a ditch, and was thrown from his bike. He landed on his head and sustained a serious spinal cord injury which will require extensive physical therapy for rehabilitation. He had surgery to fuse two of his vertebrae and spent several lengthy periods in hospitals, and has already endured months of therapy, all of which, thankfully, has been covered by the symphony's health insurance. But as happens in such situations, unrelated expenses and loss of income can drain a bank account quickly, so Tabony's friends at the symphony have put together a night of music featuring Maestro Peter Bay and Austin Symphony musicians performing Beethoven's Egmont Overture and the fourth movement from his Symphony No. 7, Austin Lyric Opera vocalists singing assorted arias, and Grammy Award-winning singer Larry Gatlin performing his country hits. The event is Thursday, August 23, 7:30pm, at Riverbend Church. Tickets are $25 and are available at:, the ASO Box Office, 1101 Red River, and at Riverbend Church the evening of the concert.

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