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Molly Beth Brenner

52 articles   •   page 1 of 2

'Books and Parts of Books: 1996-2004'

Lance Letscher's current retrospective at the Austin Museum of Art is exciting in its breadth and diversity and the sense of possibility those qualities create

Arts Feature, Jun. 25, 2004

A Piece of Work

A combination of inscrutability and aristocratic beauty seduces the viewer of Ray Donley's 'Figure in Black Cap'

Arts Feature, Jun. 18, 2004


Zachary Scott Theatre Center's production of Cabaret embraces the play's sexuality and hedonism but doesn't always convey its debauched defiance

Arts Review, Jun. 18, 2004

'"Now and Tomorrow"'

The kid art in Creative Research Laboratory's "Now and Tomorrow" exhibit is more than notebook doodling; it's inventive, arresting self-expression

Arts Review, Jun. 18, 2004

"New York Stories"

In Studio 2 Gallery's "New York Stories," photographers Hannah Neal and Martha Grenon turn their lens on the city that never sleeps

Arts Review, Jun. 11, 2004

'"Heroines, Harlots, and Hussies: Old Testament Women in Renaissance and Baroque Prints"'

The prints and drawings in the Blanton Museum's "Heroines, Harlots, and Hussies: Old Testament Women in Renaissance and Baroque Prints" illuminate the way women shape biblical history, even though it's often through their misbehavior

Arts Review, May. 21, 2004

'A Piece of Work: AquaPoint'

AquaPoint is not overly arresting, but if you're leisurely walking the grounds of the Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria, Damian Priour's limestone arrow dripping water is hard to walk by without pausing

Arts Review, May. 14, 2004

A Piece of Work


Arts Feature, May. 7, 2004

'"Jim Hodges"'

Artist Jim Hodges invites light into his exhibition at the Austin Museum of Art and through his unusual concepts and craft, he builds a show as illuminating as it is incandescent

Arts Review, Apr. 30, 2004

The Road to Wigan Pier

Despite its focus on the bleak lives of English coal miners in the 1930s, The Road to Wigan Pier, with its live music, film, and skits, is a ridiculous amount of fun

Arts Review, Jan. 23, 2004

One Flea Spare

Newcomers Vernacurious Performance Group create some potent moments in One Flea Spare, but overall, their staging of Naomi Wallace's highly poetic drama misses its emotional mark.

Arts Review, Jan. 16, 2004

Top 10 Contemporary Art Shows of 2003

Arts Feature, Jan. 2, 2004

'Cream, Frost, Mint'

In the arresting mélange that is Women & Their Work's annual "Juror's Choice" exhibit, Cream, Frost, Mint stands out as a calm, bright presence.

Arts Review, Dec. 12, 2003

Piece of Work

In her painting Katherine, Katy O'Connor portrays the subject's relationship to her purse such a way as to suggest multiple possibilities, questions left unanswered, which makes the work unusually intriguing.

Arts Feature, Nov. 14, 2003

'"Lo feo de este mundo: Images of the Grotesque"'

The 20th-century Latin artists featured in the Blanton's exhibition "Lo feo de este mundo: Images of the Grotesque" recognize beauty's tyranny with a special fervor, creating works that directly reject it with humor, boldness, and great intensity.

Arts Review, Nov. 7, 2003

Piece of Work

Organizers of Three Recent Arts Festivals Pass on Lessons Learned

Arts Feature, Oct. 31, 2003

'The New Yorker,' My Mother, and Me

An Austin writer courses through her favorite magazine's festival circuits.

Books Feature, Oct. 3, 2003

Sisters Under the Scrim

Six of the finest theatrical artists in Austin discuss their work behind the curtain designing lighting schemes, mixing sound, and creating and constructing sets and costumes and how their careers have been affected by the fact that they're women.

Arts Feature, Sep. 12, 2003


Perdita, playwright Monika Bustamante's chilling exploration of what can happen when loss barrels its way through everyday lives, is one of the most tightly crafted and beautifully written works of the year, and its production at Hyde Park Theatre is of sterling quality.

Arts Review, Sep. 12, 2003

Acting Out and Causing Trouble

The works in "Difficult Daughters," the final installation in the Blanton Museum of Art's "Projections" series of contemporary films, show women acting out and causing trouble, but they also demonstrate how women of different generations approach feminism.

Arts Feature, Aug. 29, 2003

A Piece of Work

There's nothing conventionally beautiful about Virginia Fleck's Indented Round Sod, a large, dun-colored disc of dried earth cemented together with mortar, and yet it exudes a strong, serene presence in its shape and balance of the natural and the manmade.

Arts Feature, Aug. 29, 2003

'"Diana Dopson: Biota"'

In Women & Their Work's current exhibit "Biota," Diana Dopson creates color photo boxes with insects that draw out the bugs' beauty in unusual ways and nudges our perception of insects from the pestilential to the subtly reverential.

Arts Review, Aug. 15, 2003

'"New American Talent: The Eighteenth Exhibition"'

For the 18th edition of the annual "New American Talent" show at Arthouse, curator Dominic Molon has steered away from choosing what might be the "best" new art today and chosen instead what suits his particular tastes, which means art that is sardonic, humorous, and hip, with lots of brightly surreal color and texture.

Arts Review, Aug. 8, 2003

Fully Committed

Zachary Scott Theatre Center's production of the comedy Fully Committed is a thrill ride for an audience, with Becky Mode's script and Dave Steakley's choice direction wittily capturing the mania of restaurant life, while Martin Burke's chameleonlike star turn -- playing 40 characters -- imbues the central character with heart and soul in the midst of a soulless, if comic, mob.

Arts Review, Jul. 4, 2003

The Bremen Town Musicians

Although it harbors minor inconsistencies, Allen Robertson's The Bremen Town Musicians, set in Depression-era America and scored with gospel and bluegrass music, is a fine play for family viewing. It has enough talking, singing animals to satisfy any kid and music that is highly enjoyable in and of itself.

Arts Review, Jun. 20, 2003

The Dead Presidents Club

In The Dead Presidents Club, Larry L. King brings together Calvin Coolidge, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon in the afterlife for a lighthearted exploration of these American leaders' strengths and foibles, and the best part of Austin Playhouse's funny, entertaining revival is the inspired work of the excellent team of actors who fully embody these presidents.

Arts Review, Jun. 13, 2003

Side Man

In the Zachary Scott Theatre Center production of Side Man, director Dave Steakley conducts the play's overlapping conversations and monologue "solos" like a good bandleader, but that fine work can't compensate for the distance from the action created by playwright Warren Leight in depicting the gap between jazzmen and their families.

Arts Review, Jun. 6, 2003

'"Natural Selections: Julie Speed and Bale Creek Allen"'

Seeing "Natural Selections," Arthouse's new two-artist show featuring collages by Julie Speed and sculpture by Bale Creek Allen, reveals these two to be excellent examples of Austin cultural affluence, creating work that is rich in artistry and inventiveness, with a touch of weirdness thrown into the mix. .

Arts Review, May. 2, 2003

Piece of Work

The materials that make up Shellife are commonplace, likely to be found in any thriving household: eggshells, a white ceramic bowl, tulle, a small wood table, fabric. Yet the way artist Regina Vater has placed them together elevates them from everyday to shrinelike, allowing the installation to strike a spiritual chord.

Arts Feature, Apr. 25, 2003


Ballet Austin's Touch, choreographed by Artistic Director Stephen Mills, was one of these rare productions that have both stunning choreography and dancing, but also seem to open a level of emotional connection with the audience that's more direct than even language-based works of art.

Arts Review, Apr. 18, 2003

Love! Valour! Compassion!

The Zachary Scott Theatre Center's production of Terrence McNally's Tony-award winning Love! Valour! Compassion! may last three hours, but it captured every second of my attention, weaving themes of family and forgiveness into a moving experience.

Arts Review, Apr. 4, 2003

Mamma Mia

You may love musicals, and you may love ABBA, but Mamma Mia, the hit musical that features dozens of hits by the Swedish pop band, is so treacly and so utterly invasive in its attempts to win over its audience that you may feel like you've been violated with a candy cane.

Arts Review, Mar. 28, 2003

Piece of Work

In his large charcoal drawing Rock n' Roll, Drugs and Sex, artist Randy Twaddle reverses a familiar phrase and places it on a curling banner floating through a dark and grimy background, making it an example of verbal recycling in an otherwise wasted landscape.

Arts Feature, Mar. 21, 2003

Hush: An Interview With America

In Hush: An Interview With America, the students of the UT Department of Theatre and Dance handle the complexities of James Still's play with steady hands, which may please viewers who enjoy supporting the development of young artists, but the play's inconsistencies may leave other visitors to this theatrical lab disappointed.

Arts Review, Mar. 21, 2003

Rock Your Eyes Out

"The Musikshow" and "The Rawkshow," a pair of linked exhibitions at Gallery Lombardi, explore the connection between rock music and art, one from the angle of musicians who also make art, the other from the angle of artists who also make music.

Arts Feature, Mar. 14, 2003

Damn Yankees

Austin Playhouse's production of Damn Yankees doesn't always serve up the vocal prowess to make his tender moments sweet, but the overall production is a true-blue treat: a traditional home-cooked musical, well done.

Arts Review, Mar. 14, 2003

A Piece of Work

In Wash, influential media artist Bill Lundberg projects video loops of hands being washed onto the bowls of three white sinks, calling to mind our culture's fears, now deeper than ever, of dangerous filth that might do us harm.

Arts Feature, Mar. 7, 2003

Barrio Daze

Barrio Daze, a series of damn funny and poignant sketches created, woven together, and performed by Adrian Villegas is both absurdly funny and dead-on insightful, not only dissecting stereotypical views other groups hold of Hispanics, but challenging those Hispanics have applied to themselves.

Arts Review, Mar. 7, 2003

Dreamland Via Cuba

Artists Virginia Fleck and Sandra Ceballos found dreams to be a recurring theme in both their work when Gallery 106 sent Austin-based Fleck to Ceballos' home in Cuba, and now they've collaborated on an exhibition titled "Dreaming My Dreams."

Arts Feature, Feb. 21, 2003

Blanket: Ann Carlson

As an old woman shuffling rhythmically in slow, jagged lines across the stage, accompanied by an audio montage of media snippets, instructional tapes, and music, contemporary dance artist Ann Carlson explores the way memory shapes narrative and time in Blanket.

Arts Review, Jan. 31, 2003

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