Rude Mechanicals

The future's so bright ...

Rude Mechanicals

As many a wise wag has observed, "The future just ain't what it used to be." Those sunny days of jet packs and flying cars, of wisecracking, martini-mixing robots and daring space-farers named Flash and Buck have given way to pitch-black nights of postapocalyptic wastelands, roving herds of brain-munching zombies, and mass-murdering cyborgs. Man, those are so not the droids I'm looking for. Which makes this summer's annual fundraiser from the Rude Mechs a welcome trip back to the future: The Sci-fEye Ball – continuing the event's unshakeable tradition of eyeball puns – taps the future of the past, when every story was truly amazing, the final frontier was fun and stylish (not to mention sexy), and you couldn't wait to blast off. Expect an eerie earful of theremin (courtesy of space musician Blair Bovbjerg) and other out-of-this-world sounds (from DJ Graham "Gort" Reynolds), plus some succulent soylent greens from Leilah Stewart Catering. Mission Control for the ball will be the only woman Mars needs, Rebecca Havemeyer. Launch begins at 7pm on Saturday, Aug. 22, and you'll stay in orbit until midnight at the Off Center, 2211 Hidalgo. For more information, call 476-7833 or visit

As for the Rudes themselves, their future is looking considerably brighter than that of, say, John Connor these days. The collective not only enjoyed a successful workshop of its work-in-progress horse opera I've Never Been So Happy (at the University of Texas Department of Theatre & Dance) and is raring to go with the next version of the show at the Off Center in September, but it was one of just a few arts organizations in Central Texas to receive federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Rudes landed $50,000, which they will use toward further development of I've Never Been So Happy and toward their ongoing effort to make their summer outreach program, Grrl Action, a year-round program with its own home in the warehouse adjacent to the Off Center. And some little dachshund whispered in my ear that papers have been signed so that long dreamt of space is now part of the Rude Mechs' galactic empire. Talk about a bright future for Austin's grrls. ... Now, where are those shades?

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Rude Mechanicals, Off Center, Sci-fEye Ball, Grrl Action, I've Never Been So Happy

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