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Arts Reviews 2,550 results


The thrill that comes from the bright, full, flashy, splashy sound of a brass band is the feeling you get from Austin Musical Theatre's production of Sweet Charity and to coin a phrase, how sweet it is.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, May. 17, 2002


With Rigoletto , Austin Lyric Opera once again executes in bold strokes a classic opera in the vaulting openness of the City Coliseum, with director Joseph McClain again showing a flair for the theatrical and finding a degree of intimacy in that vast space.

Reviewed by Robi Polgar, May. 17, 2002

El Paraiso

The Rude Mechs took a road trip to see the Marfa lights, and their journey has been translated by playwright Kirk Lynn, director Shawn Sides, and a gifted ensemble into a raucous, sweet, funny, fanciful meditation on the tension between desire and intellect, and heaven as embodied in the land called Texas.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, May. 17, 2002

The Kindermann Depiction

In The Kindermann Depiction, Physical Plant Theater's Steve Moore and director Carlos Trevino have created two worlds, one flooded with leaves, one made of cloth, that are full of strange wonders. We wouldn't want to live there; but our lives are much enriched by having paid a visit.

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, May. 10, 2002

Really Rosie

In the Second Youth Family Theatre production of the Maurice Sendak-Carole King musical Really Rosie, a cast of young performers brings a gang of rowdy Brooklyn kids to life with a spark and sass that suits their streetwise scrappiness and executes the show's musical numbers with the polish of much more experienced stage performers.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, May. 10, 2002

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Portraying the kids from the Peanuts comic strips is trickier than you might think, but two of the performers in the Silver Star Theater Group production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown radiate the bold outline and broad humor -- the cartoon essence -- of the source material.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Apr. 26, 2002

Seven Deadly Sins

The seven short plays that make up iron belly muses' production Seven Deadly Sins aren't always pleasurable to watch, but several capture that desperation behind sins' commission and ask interesting questions about transgression itself.

Reviewed by M.B. Rice, Apr. 26, 2002

A Streetcar Named Desire

Doghouse Theatre's production of A Streetcar Named Desire creates an interesting environment in the back yard of a University neighborhood, but the story gets lost in the show's directorial freedoms and delivery.

Reviewed by Barry Pineo, Apr. 26, 2002

The Medea Stories

With The Medea Stories, the St. Edward's University Theatre Department with guest artists from the SITI Company reinvents Euripides' tragedy as a modern courtroom drama and connects us to Medea's tale with immediacy and a great urgency.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Apr. 19, 2002

The Rainbow Machine

Rick Ehrstin's play The Rainbow Machine is ultimately a tale of a man and a woman who simply cannot communicate, but this idea is drowned in a deluge of words and much tangential, quasi-absurdist schtick.

Reviewed by Robi Polgar, Apr. 19, 2002

Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off

Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Liz Lochhead's award-winning dramatization of the bonnie queen's reign, is an ambitious first production for Renaissance Austin Theatre Company, but producer Lorella Loftus prevails by enticing some of Austin's finest actors from the Shakespearean courts to the realm of the experimental.

Reviewed by Rob Curran, Apr. 19, 2002

True West

Boys will be boys -- especially if they're brothers and they're written by Sam Shepard. And this offering of True West from 4th &1 does a damned fine job of showing us what that means.

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Apr. 12, 2002

'David Douglas Duncan'

David Douglas Duncan inaugurated the David Douglas Duncan Endowed Lecture Series in Photojournalism by talking about his dog Yo-Yo, a small terrier, and providing the audience with an intimate and entertaining slide show from one of the world's master photographers.

Reviewed by Clay Smith, Apr. 12, 2002

Blade to the Heat

The Nushank Theater Collective produces a cast of powerful performers for its production of Oliver Mayer's glove love drama Blade to the Heat.

Reviewed by Rob Curran, Apr. 12, 2002

As You Like It

Director Johanna McKeon opens her UT Department of Theatre & Dance staging of As You Like It in a court of stylish bleakness, but when she moves it to the Forest of Arden, spring permeates the production and a buzzing, exuberant spirit takes over.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Apr. 12, 2002


As produced by Hyde Park Theatre, playwright Melanie Marnich's Blur draws the audience along in a briskly-paced, dynamic ride.

Reviewed by M.B. Rice, Apr. 5, 2002

Matthew Hinsley

Accompanying his tenor voice on his classical guitar, accomplished musician Matthew Hinsley plucked and sang his way through an intriguing mix of music from Renaissance England to modern America to highly entertaining effect.

Reviewed by Robi Polgar, Apr. 5, 2002

Fuddy Meers

Different Stages' production of Fuddy Meers never quite manages the chaotic verve of a Warner Bros. cartoon to which it seems to aspire, but there are laughs to be had from David Lindsay-Abaire's consistently inventive and surprise-filled script and from these actors' handling of it.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Apr. 5, 2002

The Glass Menagerie

If any 20th-century American play deserves to be called "classic," it is Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie but the State Theater Company's puzzling production seems to ignore what is most obvious in the play, only rarely connecting with the story.

Reviewed by Barry Pineo, Mar. 29, 2002

Blues in the Night

Austin Playhouse's production of the musical Blues in the Night pinpoints feelings of love and loss among three women all hurt in love, with singers Jacqui Cross, Janis Stinson, and Melanie Wilkinson blending their three strong voices into a mighty harmony and reclaiming blues music for their sex.

Reviewed by Rob Curran, Mar. 29, 2002

Seven Wonders of the World (Plus One)

The Tongue and Groove Theatre gang have some serious fun with the disconnect between dreaming and waking life in their world premiere production of Seven Wonders of the World (Plus One), a 1940s-era suite of songs linked by spoken text, follows a dreamer across time and space to various landmarks of both the ancient world and the modern U.S.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Mar. 22, 2002

Yankee Doodle

Yankee Doodle is an ensemble piece full of verve and a punster's quick wit, with moments that are deeply thoughtful alternating with plenty of songs to present a pastiche history of our land, from the ride of Paul Revere through Charles Lindbergh's famous flight.

Reviewed by Robi Polgar, Mar. 22, 2002

City Water Tunnel #3

If the Department of Environmental Protection hired someone to explain New York's City Water Tunnel #3, the largest non-defense public works project in the Western Hemisphere, that someone couldn't do a better job than performer Marty Pottenger, who delivers the truth of the project, as plain and raw as the earth that's being tunneled, as bright and ragged as the people tunneling.

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Mar. 8, 2002

Celebrity Crush

We've all got 'em, crushes on celebrities. At least, that's the premise of Refraction Arts' Celebrity Crush, and a bunch of talented artists reveal theirs in some quite entertaining ways.

Reviewed by Barry Pineo, Mar. 8, 2002

Laughing Wild

Like a (Canadian) figure skating pair, actors Kirk Burg and Katie Brock provide the most entertainment in town, but in Christopher Durang's Laughing Wild, they don't get to work with the most fulfilling piece of art.

Reviewed by Rob Curran, Mar. 8, 2002

Fugitive Pieces

The Salvage Vanguard Theater production of Caridad Svich's Fugitive Pieces is a nowhere road reminiscent of the Tom Waits milieu, with vagabonds hopping trains to anywhere other than where they are now. But while it's not for everyone, it's worth the journey.

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Mar. 1, 2002

Once on This Island

Lynn Ahrens' and Steven Flaherty's musical Once on This Island has a fairy tale feel, but director-choreographer Kevin Archambault can't always get the large-student cast of this St. Edward's University production to bring its colorful, swirling world to magical life.

Reviewed by Barry Pineo, Mar. 1, 2002

Conception of Fate

The Austin Symphony's performance of the program Conception of Fate, with its works by Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven, melded craft and style into a profound, spirited, joyful night of art.

Reviewed by Robi Polgar, Mar. 1, 2002


Teatro Humanidad's production of Evelina Fernandez's play Luminarias has a hip, urban style and flair, but more importantly, it has characters who are individuals, distinct personalities who draw us into their lives with the feelings and thoughts they express.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Feb. 22, 2002

Lion in the Streets

In its staging of Judith Thompson's play Lion in the Streets, the tale of a ghostly girl who wanders the streets searching for her life, Kia Productions mines some deep material, with a passionate cast that takes the work to the edge -- and sometimes, unfortunately, too far over it.

Reviewed by Barry Pineo, Feb. 22, 2002

Giants Have Us in Their Books

There are moments of magic in Shard Live Performance Collective production of Giants Have Us in Their Books, Jose Rivera's five-play take on human vices and virtues, but they are few and far between in an evening filled with urban and suburban angst, folly, and outright nastiness.

Reviewed by Robi Polgar, Feb. 22, 2002

The Gin Game

Onstage Theatre Company's production of The Gin Game manages to do justice to D.L. Coburn's 1978 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, taking two people who sit around playing cards and holding our attention for the better part of two hours.

Reviewed by Barry Pineo, Feb. 15, 2002

Una Panthera: Music from the Trecento and Early Renaissance Italy

In Una Panthera: Music from the Trecento and Early Renaissance Italy, a concert of love songs from 14th-century Europe presented as part of the 2002 Mid-Winter Festival of Music, exquisite pain and longing were brought to exquisite life in the enrapturing voices and instruments of Texas Early Music Project singers and musicians.

Reviewed by Robi Polgar, Feb. 15, 2002

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

In the Zachary Scott Theatre Center's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Andrew Rannells is wonderfully ablaze in the role of the German-born rocker whose sex-change operation was botched, and everything about this hilarious musical spectacle has been fine-tuned to maximum pleasure.

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Feb. 8, 2002

Madame X

In Madame X, playwright Ann Ciccolella dramatizes the events surrounding the creation of Sargent's famous portrait of Virginie Gautrau, using them as a springboard for an absorbing inquiry into the meaning and relationships of art, beauty, and society.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Feb. 8, 2002

FronteraFest Long Fringe


Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Feb. 8, 2002

The Dinosaur Within

In The Dinosaur Within, playwright John Walch links people of vastly different worlds, each of whom has suffered some traumatic loss, to show us the necessity of letting go, and the State Theater Company production communicates that message with compassion, humor, and grace.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Jan. 25, 2002

Ambiguous Ambassador: SlutForArt

In Ambiguous Ambassador: SlutforArt, choreographer-performer Muna Tseng, working with multimedia artist Ping Chong, has created an elegant elegy to memorialize the art and life of her brother, photographer Tseng Kwon Chi.

Reviewed by Robi Polgar, Jan. 25, 2002

A Streetcar Named Desire

In Austin Lyric Opera's production of the opera A Streetcar Named Desire, director Brad Dalton and his design team translate the unsettled mental state of Blanche Dubois into literal elements of the setting, creating a distorted, exaggerated, haunted work.

Reviewed by Robert Faires, Jan. 25, 2002

'Contents/Discontents -- Abby Levine'

Accounts of the death of irony since last September 11th have been greatly exaggerated, and in her showing of work at Gallery 1313, artist Abby Levine provides three-dimensional proof that it is still a powerful way to communicate and process ideas about life, death, and pop culture in America.

Reviewed by Jesse Sublett, Jan. 18, 2002

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