The renovation of Laguna Gloria is a go, Charo is not, and Flaming Idiot Rob Williams whips up one of his bologna specials for Katie Couric.
Renewing Laguna Gloria
The long-awaited renovation of Laguna Gloria is a little closer as of this week. Three couples put up the collateral for a $1.1 million loan from Liberty Bank that will enable the Austin Museum of Art to begin the physical renewal of its original facility. AMOA started on the project a few years ago, in tandem with the development of its permanent downtown facility. To date, it has raised only $1.6 million of the estimated $2.7 million necessary for the project, but through the generosity of some well-known local patrons of the arts -- Pam and Michael Reese, Ernest and Sarah Butler, and Bill Nowlin and wife Bettye, who is currently president of AMOA's Board of Trustees -- the loan was secured that would get the ball rolling. Lake | Flato Architects, the illustrious San Antonio firm that is also project architect for the renovation of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at UT, created the master plan for the Laguna Gloria project, which will involve expansion of the art school, re-landscaping the museum grounds, developing a sculpture park, and erecting a new visitors' center on the grounds of Clara Driscoll's former home. Restoration architects Carolyn Peterson and Jeff Fetzer of Ford, Powell, & Carson will lead the work on the Driscoll Villa. For more information, call 458-8191.
Charo a No Go
Don't get your cuchi-cuchis in an uproar, but the Latin sensation known as Charo won't be paying a visit to Austin anytime soon. Stuart Moulton, producing artistic director of Austin Cabaret Theatre, had snagged the entertainment legend to headline a mid-May benefit for his company, but when the Sahara in Las Vegas came calling with a long-term offer to headline the Conga Room, ... well, it wasn't an offer she was inclined to refuse. So it was "adios, Austin," at least for the time being. However, Moulton reports, there is the possibility that sometime in the future an off night may allow her to perform in Austin. For more information, call 453-ACTS.
Feet, Don't Fail Me Now
Tune in this Friday, April 26, for the latest installment in the intermittent miniseries, Bologna Sandwiches for the Network Stars, starring one-third of the Flaming Idiots, Rob Williams. The man his fans know as Gyro has been booked on several national talk shows to perform his trademark culinary stunt: making a sandwich with his feet. He's served up this rare delicacy to Jay Leno and Rosie O'Donnell; now he gets to do the honors for The Today Show's Katie Couric. Check it out on the tube, then see it live when Williams and partners Kevin Hunt and Jon O'Connor -- aka Pyro and Walter, respectively -- deliver the Idiots' new show, What Goes Up, at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center starting May 3. For more information, call 476-0594.