Austin helps the Lysistrata Project become the Little Peace Project That Could, the Long Center says "no thanks, after all" to the $25 million in Waller Creek tunnel bond money, and Austin Shakespeare Festival launches a new reading series.

'L' Is for Lysistrata and Love

This Monday, March 3, is the day for the Lysistrata Project, and this wild idea to hold readings of an old Greek comedy on the same day all over the world has become the Little Peace Project That Could. With 800 readings scheduled in 49 countries from Uruguay to Cambodia, Estonia to New Zealand (including all 50 states in this country), this will be the largest theatre event in history. The Project has attracted several high-profile artists, with Mercedes Ruehl, Kevin Bacon, Kathleen Chalfont, Kyra Sedgwick, F. Murray Abraham, and David Strathairn in one New York event, and Julie Christie, Alfre Woodard, Christine Lahti, Mary McDonnell, and the Doors' John Densmore in one in Los Angeles. Austin's event can't boast luminaries of quite that magnitude, but you won't see Holly Babbitt, Janelle Buchanan, Katherine Catmull, Barbara Chisholm, Mary Cox, Joy Cunningham, Lee Eddy, Kristen Ensrude, Jessica Hedrick, Anne Hulsman, Content-Love Knowles, Karen Kuykendall, Traci Laird, Meredith McCall, Bernadette Nason, Lowell Bartholomee, Sean Carey, Richard Craig, Gray Haddock, Craig Kanne, Barry Miller, Matt Patterson, Doug Taylor, Spencer Zuzolo, and Yours Truly onstage together in one show again. They'll all be reading Drue Robinson Hagan's new "woman's translation" of Aristophanes' Lysistrata under the direction of Robi Polgar, at the Lounge, Fourth and Colorado, on Monday. And so will realmdanceproject; artists Mark Smith, Mo Scollon, and Farley Pedini; and musicians Elizabeth McQueen and Mandy Rowden, says local event organizer John Howrey. Proceeds from the Austin event will benefit MADRE, a human rights organization assisting women and families. Doors open at 7pm. Admission is by donation at the door. For information, call 791-4918 or visit

Long Center: 'No' to $25 Million

Arts Center Stage has backed off the idea of having the city transfer $25 million in bond money from the flood control tunnel on Waller Creek to build the Long Center for the Performing Arts. City Council had slated a Feb. 27 vote that could have put the matter on the May 3 ballot, but when opposition threatened to divide the city and alienate potential Long Center backers, the organization asked Mayor Gus Garcia to pull the item from the agenda. The organization still needs to raise $48 million for the $110 million project and needs to start construction this year for the Long Center to open in 2006, when the ballet, symphony, and opera must be out of UT's Bass Concert Hall. For more information, call 482-0800.

Hear Shakespeare

This week, the Austin Shakespeare Festival inaugurates a new series of staged readings of Shakespeare's less frequently performed plays. First up is The Tragedy of Coriolanus, directed by ASF Literary Manager Ian Manners and featuring Corey Gagne, Tom Green, Harvey Guion, Don Howell, Patricia Pearcy, Guy Roberts, David Stahl, and Ben Wolfe. The free event is Saturday, March 1, 3pm, at BookPeople, Sixth and Lamar. For information, call 454-BARD.

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The Lysistrata Project, Mercedes Ruehl, F. Murray Abraham, Kevin Bacon, Kathleen Chalfont, Kyra Sedgwick, David Strathairn, Julie Christie, Alfre Woodard, Christine Lahti, Mary McDonnell, Eric Stoltz, Roscoe Lee Browne, John Densmore, the Doors, Holly Babbitt, Janelle Buchanan, Katherine Catmull, Barbara Chisholm, Mary Cox

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