A weekly rundown of the latest news in Austin's visual and performing arts scene.
Season of Giving
This time of year is often referred to as the season of giving, but a number of local arts groups got started a little early this year. Austin Musical Theatre, which opens its production of The Sound of Music this week, gave Austin's Fire, EMS, and Police personnel and the staff of the Austin Blood & Tissue Center free tickets to its last production, Man of La Mancha, and during the run of that show collected $20,000 for the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund. During its production of Tilt Angel, Salvage Vanguard Theater collected 228 pounds of canned food the Capital Area Food Bank. Through its Starving Artist Nites, which allow audience members to see a show for half-price with the donation of a can of food, SVT has collected a grand total of 4,132 pounds of canned food. Naughty Austin is giving 80% of the proceeds from its Sunday evening performances of Mr. 80 Percent (reviewed in this week's "Exhibitionism") to local organizations: the Austin Tavern Guild (Nov. 25), Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (Dec. 2), and Project Transitions (Dec. 9). Please support these companies and the other cultural companies like them in their charitable endeavors. More reasons to be thankful for the artists in our community.
Idiots on Broadway
You can't keep a good idiot down, especially when he's a flaming idiot. Almost two years ago, Austin's Flaming Idiots, those vaudeville virtuosos who juggle fire, beanbag chairs, and each other, were booked into Broadway's New Victory Theatre for an abbreviated run, and the response was so enthusiastic that the theatre wanted them back. This week, Pyro, Gyro, and Walter (aka Jon O'Connor, Rob Williams, and Kevin Hunt) return in triumph to the Great White Way, settling in at the New Victory for an extended run -- and we do mean extended: a full seven weeks, November 30-January 13. The NYC booking made it impossible for the three-man troupe to continue their holiday tradition of performing at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, but local fans won't have to do without their Idiots fix this season; Zach has booked the guys and their new show, titled What Goes Up, for a nine-week run in the spring (April 25-June 23, 2002). That show, by the way, will feature a wealth of new material. For more info, check in with Zach, 476-0541 or www.zachscott.com, or the New Victory Web site, www.newvictory.org.
Have a Hukey, Jukey Xmas
If you've yet to start your holiday revelry and would like a truly Austintatious way to do so, may we humbly suggest Guy Juke's Holiday Cavalcade of Art. The legendary local artist, aka De White or Blackie White, is having a big Yuletide print sale and meeting of the Blackie White Fun Club this Saturday, December 1, at Jovita's, 1619 S. First. Images from his Armadillo World Headquarters days to the present will be available for purchase, so you can pick up a genuine Juke for everybody on your shopping list, then kick back to the sounds of the Cornell Hurd Band. You might even get to hear Blackie croon "Gotta Lotta Livin' to Do," and if that doesn't scream Christmas joy, what does? The fun starts at 7pm. Call 447-7825 for info.