The Austin Chronicle

Hank Yanked

By Robert Faires, July 22, 2005, Arts

Over at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Hank has left the building – and not exactly voluntarily. The theatre's production of Hank Williams: Lost Highway, which opened in April, was such a hit that Zach extended its run through June and might have kept it running well into the fall, but on June 30 the theatre was told by Dramatists Play Service, which holds the rights for the show, that it would not be allowed to extend the run. According to Zach Artistic Director Dave Steakley, a national tour of Lost Highway was being planned, and the producers didn't want any further exposure of the show in Austin, even though there were no plans to bring the proposed touring production here. Attempts to negotiate a compromise with the producers were unsuccessful, so Zach shut down its Lost Highway and for two weeks offered a Hank Dance Party, with the band from Zach's Lost Highway performing Hank Williams hits and other country & western standards, plus some originals by Kenneth Brian, who played Hank for Zach.

To fill the gap left by Hank's sudden departure, the theatre has turned to another died-too-young country legend: Patsy Cline. Zach will remount its huge 2004 hit Always … Patsy Cline for a limited run, July 28-Aug. 28. After that, the long-awaited Zach original Keepin' It Weird, putting Austin stories on stage, will take over the Kleberg stage. Previews begin Sept. 15, with opening slated for Oct. 1. For more information, call 476-0541 or visit

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