Elizabeth Cobbe's Top 10 Arts Entrances of 2019

It was the onstage arrivals – some creepy, some hilarious, all welcome – that made this year distinctive


Matt Hislope (r) in Plano (Photo by Leon Alesi)

1) MATT HISLOPE entered, or rather re-entered, Austin theatre as a creepy, silent Faceless Ghost in Paper Chairs' Plano, along with his co-star and longtime collaborator Josh Meyer. Welcome back, guys! Can't wait to see what you've brought home.

2) By the time JILL BLACKWOOD arrived onstage as the perfectly pitched third sister in Capital T Theatre's It Is Magic, you knew the show was going for another level of crazy.

3) AMBER QUICK broke and entered in Street Corner Arts' The Butcher of Baraboo, to hilarious effect.

4) BONNIE CULLUM has been running the Vortex for decades, and her appearance onstage this year in Last: An Extinction Comedy was priceless.

5) ELIZABETH GEORGE rose to the surface in the UT Department of Theatre & Dance's 12 Ophelias, and all of us gasped for air.

6) HAMILTON finally got to town. Hell yeah.

7) JOSEPH GARLOCK assumed power in Penfold Theatre Company's Henry V. There were even push-ups.

8) BEN WOLFE's appearance as the calm and self-possessed police inspector Porfiry in Penfold's Crime and Punishment gave necessary balance to the dark, true-crime flavor.

9) SUZANNE BALLING's vacant-eyed entrance at the end of Southwest Theatre Productions' Sweat brought the play home.

10) It's double-dipping, but ROBERT PIERSON re-entered (and reanimated) as a zombie with his hand shoved in his mouth in It Is Magic was at once hilarious and terrifying. Just die already, dude!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Top 10s
Robert Faires' Top 10 Works That Spoke to Me About 2020
Robert Faires' Top 10 Works That Spoke to Me About 2020
Throughout 2020, performances and books seemed to contain messages about the year – its trials, its traumas, and its echoes in history

Robert Faires, Dec. 18, 2020

Top Nine in Visual Art of 2020, Plus One Exceptional Other
Top Nine in Visual Art of 2020, Plus One Exceptional Other
Wayne Alan Brenner chooses outstanding visual artistry that made this year a feast, save for one performative and culinary experience that was the cherry on top

Wayne Alan Brenner, Dec. 18, 2020

More by Elizabeth Cobbe
Book Review: <i>Network Effect</i> by Martha Wells
Book Review: Network Effect by Martha Wells
In this first full-length novel featuring Murderbot, the violent but endearing rogue AI is back for more adventures to delight "all the stupid humans"

July 31, 2020

Sad Girls Productions’ <i>So Lucky</i>
Sad Girls Productions' So Lucky
This world premiere from a brand-new company lacks polish, but it does honor its community’s stories

March 20, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Top 10s, Tops 10s 2019, Matt Hislope, Jill Blackwood, Amber Quick, Bonnie Cullum, Elizabeth George, Hamilton, Joseph Garlock, Ben Wolfe, Suzanne Balling, Robert Pierson, Paper Chairs, Penfold Theatre Company, Capital T Theatre, Street Corner Arts, Vortex Repertory Company, UT Department of Theatre & Dance, Southwest Theatre Productions

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle