Culture Flash!

Council candidates talk the arts, the people's choice from City Hall's art exhibit, musical theatre training from Broadway pros, and local playwrights get read on both coasts

<i>West Texas Beach Ball</i>
West Texas Beach Ball

The Arts Alliance, an organization representing Austin's film, performing arts, visual arts, and literary arts industries, is hosting its second Austin City Council Candidates Arts' Forum. Last year's forum was standing-room only. This year, 12 of the 14 candidates are confirmed to appear. Find out where they stand on the upcoming bond package, and other arts policy issues. The Austin City Council Candidates Arts' Forum will be held Tuesday, April 11, 5:30-7:30pm, at Nuevo Leon Restaurant, 1501 E. Sixth.

Belated congratulations to artist Hank Waddell, whose contribution to Austin Green Gates was featured on the cover of the March 31 Chronicle, for winning the City Hall People's Gallery vote. In January, city employees and visitors to City Hall had the opportunity to vote for their favorite work among the 79 pieces in the 2005 City Hall art exhibit, and Waddell's West Texas Beach Ball, sculpted from a piece of mesquite, took top honors. As a result, the city is buying the sculpture and will make it the first work in the City Hall permanent collection. Runner-ups, according to the city's Cultural Arts Division, were Toro Obscuro, by Joel Salcido; Tears, by Randy Jewart; Hillerova's Faces, by Young-Min Kang; and Heart String, by Waddell. The 2006 exhibit, which features more than 100 local artists, opened March 3 and will remain on display for a year.

The TexARTS Musical Theater Academy, co-founded by veteran Broadway choreographer Robin Lewis – who put the moves on Zach's recent staging of Urinetown: The Musical – and actor/administrator Todd Dellinger, has assembled a strong intensive for young musical theatre artists this June. Students will spend three weeks working with Broadway pros Rachelle Rak (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Carol Bentley (Wonderful Town), and Scott Fowler (Movin' Out), then cap the course in high style performing on the Paramount stage in a concert version of The Music Man starring Tony nominee Rebecca Luker and Jim Walton, reprising their roles as Marian the librarian and Prof. Harold Hill, respectively. The great Lee Roy Reams, last seen here opening Austin Cabaret Theatre's current season, will direct the show, slated for June 24. For more information, visit

C. Denby Swanson's play The Death of a Cat continues to draw interest from around the nation. The 2004 work, premiered in Austin by Salvage Vanguard Theater, gets a reading at Circle X Theater in Los Angeles this week: Tuesday, April 11. For more information, visit

Playwrights Greg Romero and Jason Tremblay got their own national attention last week with a UT-Austin Playwrights at New Dramatists Play Reading Festival. Romero's The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, presented in the FronteraFest 2006 Long Fringe, was read Friday, March 31. Tremblay's The Virgin W/10,000 Arrows was read Saturday. For more information, visit

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Arts Alliance, Austin City Council Candidates Arts' Forum, Nuevo Leon Restaurant, Hank Waddell, Austin Green Gates, City Hall People's Gallery, 2005 City Hall art exhibition, West Texas Beach Ball, Cultural Arts Division, Toro Obscuro, Joel Salcido, Tears, Randy Jewart, Hillerova's Faces, Young-Min Kang, Heart String, TexARTS Musical Theater Academy, Robin Lewis, Zach, Urinetown:The Musical

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