Speaking for Lowell

Every playwright needs a mouthpiece, an actor to communicate his vision to an audience, and Lowell Bartholomee has his in Robert Fisher.

If you're a writer or a director, and especially if you're a writer/director, you need a mouthpiece. You need a talented actor through which your opinions, your perspectives, sometimes even your hopes and dreams, can be communicated to an audience. Capra had his Jimmy Stewart, Scorsese his Robert De Niro. Not to put too much of a strain on the comparison, Lowell Bartholomee has his Robert Fisher.

"If Fisher's doing it, it's gonna work," says Bartholomee. "If I've done everything right -- hell, even if I've only done half of it right -- Fisher's gonna make it work. He's a terrific actor, and he's really tuned in to what I'm trying to get across."

"It's amazing fun, doing Lowell's shows," says Fisher. "And it's great to be doing Blah, Blah, Blah, to get to do the pieces we've done before -- at different FronteraFests -- in the same production. In some respects, especially in the Casablanca piece, "A Hill of Beans," it's like someone going off on a rant about Bogart and duty and sacrifice and what it all means. It's almost pure ranting, which I enjoy. And Lowell, when he's directing, he tends to favor a sort of rapid-fire delivery, so it definitely works. But even then, he's got this subtext going, there are these underpinnings to the subject that give the thing a lot more depth than most writers go for.

"And at the same time, it's very engaging, the ideas always flow naturally. Lowell writes some damned good dialogue, some damned funny dialogue. Although, yeah, the Casablanca piece is more of a monologue."

Fisher and Bartholomee met in '98, two actors among several in a play directed by David Jones. They clicked immediately and have worked together ever since -- whenever the writer has an appropriate text for the intense young actor. Which is why you'll find him on stage in Blah, Blah, Blah, working with a cast of peers to breathe life into the often extreme characters from the World of Bartholomee. Which is why you'll likely see him doing more of the same, even long after this show's final curtain.

"Definitely," says Fisher. "If Lowell writes it, I'll do it. Who'd hate getting up on a stage and performing something this well-written, something that's gonna make an audience laugh their asses off? I'm definitely in this for the long haul."

  • More of the Story

  • Mouthing Off

    Lowell Bartholomee has a lot to say, and he says it in plays that blaze like a Klieg instrument throwing gritty metrosphere of modern life into stark relief -- stark comic relief.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle