FronteraFest 2005

Shannon Grounds and Lynn Mikeska in Cyndi 
Williams' <i>Where Are They Now?</i>
Shannon Grounds and Lynn Mikeska in Cyndi Williams' Where Are They Now?

FronteraFest 2005

This annual five-week collection of short theatre pieces at Hyde Park Theatre started back in '93 and has returned year after year to redefine the word "eclectic." Luckily for Austin, it sometimes manages to define "brilliant," too, although who knows what forms or qualities any of these nights of four to five performances of 25 minutes (or less) each will bring? Monologues? Plays in progress? Comedy improv? Cabaret singers? Avant-garde dance? Multimedia? A guy with a plastic comb and a piece of wax paper doing for the Nirvana songbook what Jimi Hendrix did for "The Star-Spangled Banner"? Co-produced by HPT and Austin Script Works, it's our own homegrown Gong Show, albeit sans gong, and (especially during "Best of the Week" Saturdays) it's a sure bet for off-kilter entertainment. And that's just the Short Fringe. The Long Fringe (plays of 90 minutes or less, filling nights at the Blue Theater), Bring Your Own Venue, and other FFest spinoffs will be manifest in the coming weeks, and we'll have your schedules right here.


SHORT FRINGE WEEK ONE:

Thu., Jan. 13: "Xenophobia" by Kirk German; "Who Allowed This to Happen?" by David Ansel, Ethan Azarian, Tucker Livingston, and Brian Shapiro; "Letters From the Wall," by Aaron Eckman and Claude File; "Morale," by David Toscano; "Cuentos con Consuelo IV" by Consuelo Samarripa.

Fri., Jan. 14: "Dossier of Pearls," by Cris Edwards; "Syncopation/Dissonance," by Leslie Hollingsworth; "Baka Gaijin," by Loaded Gun Theory; "Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear to Be," by Ryan, Robert, Tina, and Steve; "The Fourth Man," by Lillian Kaufman.

Sat., Jan. 15: Best of the Week, followed by an opening reception catered by Asti Trattoria.


SHORT FRINGE WEEK TWO:

Tue., Jan. 18: "My Dream Date With Laurie Anderson" by Hank Schwemmer; "Playdate" by Julia Davenport, Otis Cleveland, Moses, Cooper, & Max; "SpiltLetf, Plit Right" by David Thigpen and Brock Gloor; "Impetuous Argo" by Patton Quinn; The Austin Poetry Slam's "Prayer," performed by Matthew John Conley, Sonya Feher, Mike Henry, and Tara Sheth.

Wed., Jan. 19: "Chicken and Ice Cream" by Jason Tremblay; "Halway to Custer" by Martha Lynn Coon; "The Manual" by Philip Crabtree; "Brute, Brute Heart" by Katherine Craft; "Gatecrash" by Espie Randolph III and Douglas Jr.

Thu., Jan. 20: "My Own Little Empire" by Sharon Sparlin; "The Newest Thing" by Eric Geyer; "Two Conversations" by Debra Frey; "The Plurals: Pineapple Fever!" by Braden Walker, Joel Osborne, Lauren Kearcher, Adam Hilton; "Eve the Former: 2" by David Taylor.

Fri., Jan. 21: "The Veterinarian" by Simon Renwick; "Mary Lou Turbine: Space Cowgirl" by John P. Funk; "Yellowman" by Dael Orlandersmith and the Austin Theatre Club; "Three Pointing Back at You" by Matthew Garcia; "C'lamour" by Linda Leseman.

Sarah Yamada in Hans Frank's <i>Candyland</i>
Sarah Yamada in Hans Frank's Candyland

Sat., Jan. 22: Best of the Week.

Performances begin at 8pm each night at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 479-PLAY. $10, Tue.-Fri.; $12, Sat. For more details about the shows and their creators (and for those harried, last-minute updates), check out the HPT Web site.


THE LONG FRINGE BEGINS:

Candyland is a drama from Goatsong productions, about a young stripper, caught between her lover and the eccentric club owner who's befriended her in the Big Easy. Written by Hans Frank, directed by Ken Webster. Ahem: Nudity, strong language. Tue., Jan. 18, 9:15pm; Sat., Jan. 22, 6:30pm; Thu., Jan. 27, 7pm; Sun., Jan. 30, noon. $10.

Dance Carousel features 40 one-minute dances by 10 members of Austin Independent Choreographers. This is the best introduction to modern dance you'll find anywhere, and a representation of Austin's finest: Ellen Bartel, Cristina Jesurun, Nancy Moran, Caroline Sutton-Clark, Sharon Marroquine, Peggy Lamb, Karen Carlson, Amy Cone, Mendie Clark, and Ray Swartz. Wed., Jan. 19, 7pm; Sat., Jan. 22, 2:15pm; Sun., Jan. 23, 4:30pm; Fri., Jan. 28, 9:15pm. $8.

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is about "two lost and damaged souls looking for love, hope, and redemption." ("Take a number, souls," we say.) Scripted by John Patrick Stanley (the writer behind the movie Moonstruck), performed by Weldon Philips and Martinique Duchene for TPF Productions. Fri., Jan. 21, 7pm; Sat., Jan. 22, noon; Tue., Jan. 25, 9:15pm; Sat., Jan. 29, 6:45pm. $10.

Mao on Line One A certain Little Red Book viruses itself into the jargon-heavy world of the "uber office from uber hell," but nothing can disconnect the romance a-brewing between comrade workers Daniel and Lorraine in this new play by Kimberly Megna, presented by the Championship Theatre Group. Wed., Jan. 19, 9pm; Thu., Jan. 20, 9:15pm; Sun., Jan. 23, 8:45pm; Sun., Jan. 30, 4pm. $10.

Paul Bullock: A One-Man Show features the titular Bullock himself presenting "original poetry performed by several different characters, with subject matter running the gamut from war stories to comedy." Thu., Jan. 20, 7pm; Sat., Jan. 22, 4:15pm; Mon., Jan. 24, 9:15pm; Sun., Jan. 30, 6pm. $5.

The Unbearable Marketing of Being is a new comedy (by Joshua Lellis, for Cameo Productions and the Austiner Ensemble) that intertwines the Stone Age inventor of the wheel, two medieval English wheelbarrow manufacturers, and two disgruntled, present-day marketing pros in Austin. Also: Brecht, Beckett, and Kundera. Tue., Jan. 18, 7pm; Sat., Jan. 22, 8:15pm; Sun., Jan. 23, 2:15pm; Wed., Jan. 26, 9:15pm. $8.

Where Are They Now? is a fantasy based on a true crime, written by Cyndi Williams for Aunt LuLu Plays and Shrewd Productions, in which two New Zealand schoolgirls commit a murder that eventually cleaves their thick friendship in twain. We're imagining it's a more document-based take on Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures. Directed by Williams and Julia M. Smith, with music by Catherine Berry. Fri., Jan. 21, 9:15pm; Sun., Jan. 23, noon; Wed., Jan. 26, 7pm; Sat., Jan. 29, 4:30pm. $10.


All Long Fringe shows are at the Blue Theater, 916 Springdale, 479-PLAY. www.hydeparktheatre.com.

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