Karen Kuykendall Tribute: More bouquets for the missing diva

Zach Theatre hosts a memorial tribute to the beloved performer, patron, and local legend

Karen Kuykendall Tribute: More bouquets for the missing diva
Photo by Bret Brookshire

When Karen Kuykendall passed away last November, she was the recipient of many lovely tributes, but those who knew her knew there weren't nearly enough. Karen was the kind of performer, the kind of supporter, the kind of hostess, the kind of friend, the kind of – well, there's no other word – diva who sparked more stories than the Ann Richards Bridge has bats. To do this beloved Austin native and local legend justice, more tributes would be needed. Zach Theatre, where Karen starred in many shows, does its part this Sunday, May 4, 4:30pm, at the Kleberg Stage, 1421 W. Riverside. Theatre artists who worked with Karen and members of her family will perform and speak. You can expect to hear anecdotes about Karen in Zach's production of Angels in America from actor Martin Burke (The Santaland Diaries); songs from actress Jill Blackwood (Urinetown: The Musical), Karen's granddaughter Jennie Kuykendall, and crooner Jerry Conn (Say It With Music), who will be accompanied by Carol Koock, wife to Karen's brother Ken Koock; selections from Full Gallop, the one-woman show about fashion maven Diana Vreeland that was a tour de force for Kuykendall, performed by Barbara Chisholm (Present Laughter) and Karen's granddaughter Haley Naiser; and more.

Donations collected at the memorial celebration will benefit the campaign to name the stage in Zach's proposed third theatre after the divine Ms. Kuykendall. When it's completed, you can count on that to be a place where friends and fans will continue to share Karen stories for a long time to come. For more information, call 476-0594 or visit www.zachscott.com.

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Karen Kuykendall, Zach Theatre, Martin Burke, Jill Blackwood, Barbara Chisholm, Jerry Conn

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