Austin Cabaret Theatre

Looks like we made it

Austin Cabaret Theatre
Photo by Sandy Carson

In its eight seasons, Austin Cabaret Theatre has bunked down in more spots than a UT undergrad: Scottish Rite Theatre, Mary Moody Northen Theatre, Chez Zee, the Driskill Hotel, and the Mansion on Judges' Hill, where it's had a stable residence for the past four years. But as it begins its ninth season, ACT is on the move again. Now, the company that brought us Carol and Eartha and Stritchy will be hosting stellar musical performers in the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Some shows will take place in the Rollins Studio Theatre, but it will also be the first local arts company to make regular use of the Kodosky Donor Lounge, that splendid glassed-in room curving along the eastern side of the center's mezzanine level.

According to Stuart Moulton, ACT founder and producing artistic director, the opportunity to move to the Long Center "was one of those kismet things where it all fell into my lap. The Kodosky is so Rainbow and Stars," he says, recalling the late, lamented cabaret atop 30 Rock: a room awash in glamour where "the city is the backdrop."

Inaugurating ACT's new home will be Lennie Watts in Manilow '73-'83, a show focusing on the songwriter's astounding hit parade over those 10 years. "I actually picked it to open," says Moulton. "I thought, if we're moving into a brand new space, I want it to be a celebration, and this show is a party, equal parts homage, equal parts tongue in cheek. You know every damn song, and you leave not only laughing but realizing what a contribution the man has made to the American songbook. Manilow himself saw it and said, 'Finally, somebody gets what I've been trying to do all these years.'"

Lennie Watts in Manilow '73-'83 will be performed Thursday and Friday, Sept. 24 & 25, 8:30pm, in the Kodosky Donor Lounge at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside. For more information, call 453-2287 or visit

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Austin Cabaret Theatre, Stuart Moulton, Long Center for the Performing Arts

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