The Austin Chronicle

Trey Gutierrez's Top 10 Moments That Left Audiences Speechless in 2019

The year celebrated through moments when performers stunned their audiences into silence

By Trey Gutierrez, December 20, 2019, Arts

1) JESÚS I. VALLES IN BALA.FRUTA./BULLET.FRUIT. (FuturX) Valles' pained musings on El Paso's Walmart massacre echoed FuturX's overarching message: Shut up and listen.

2) SAMUEL GRIMES IN MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN (Different Stages) A dynamic cast brought Frankenstein to life, but when Grimes' menacing Creature broke his silence, nobody dared answer back.

3) KHALI MCDUFF-SYKES IN THE VINEYARD (Heartland Theatre Collective) A seemingly homeless McDuff-Sykes snapped, "I don't want your fucking money," revealing nothing was what it seemed in this far-out one-act.

4) CHANEL IN THE BALLAD OF KLOOK AND VINETTE (Zach Theatre) Covered in blood, her panicked expression revealed that nothing – not even love – lasts forever.

5) HUCK HUCKABY IN THE BOOK OF WILL (Austin Playhouse) Sitting in solemn reverence seemed the second-best option to personally consoling Huckaby's grieving John Heminges.

6) THE CYRANO DE BERGERAC ENSEMBLE (Archive Theater Company) A soundboard hiccup left the Gascony cadets frozen – mid-battle – in an artfully framed theatrical still life.

7) MARTINIQUE DUCHENE-PHILLIPS IN MÁS CARA (Vortex Repertory Company/Teatro Vivo) Her husband's gun pointed at her face, Duchene-Phillips' Alma stared back, unmoved.

8) BABS GEORGE IN THE WAVERLY GALLERY (Alchemy Theatre) George's visceral portrait of Alzheimer's made me wish quiet reflection – not applause – was the norm following plays.

9) LIZ BECKHAM IN THE DUCHESS OF MALFI (Hidden Room Theatre) This sensational performance, brutally cut short by an executioner's garrote, is something I couldn't stand watching again. Bravo.

10) KIMBERLY BECKER IN DRACULA (Zach Theatre) What's scarier than a vampire (possibly) hiding behind your curtains? Becker milking that tension for all it was worth.

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