The Shows Must Go On(line)

More Austin performers take their acts to the internets for streaming

Austin is a city of musicians, of course: The whole damn world knows that. But we’re also a city of other performative artists – actors, dancers, comedians, wrestlers, spoken-word poets, and even that one guy who rides a unicycle and juggles while his trained birds and dogs do their own cute shtick around him.

And now – do we have to mention this again? – there’s no place for them to perform for the public … in public.

But some of the public – guilty as charged, me; and probably you, since you’re reading this – some of the public loves that sort of live, performative art and would sure enjoy catching a bit of it right about now, if only

Never mind “if only,” citizen: Austin’s performative community is ready to go, is getting ready to stream its dedicated heart out. That’s right, they’re bringing their milieu of meatspace marvels and musings directly to you through the cyberian ones and zeroes as if it’s gonna take more than social distancing and other anti-pathogen protocols to stop them. Because it won’t stop them.

[Cue: That one Gloria Gaynor song.]

We already told you about the Parallelogramophonograph troupe and what they’ve got going for your improv comedy pleasure. And now Beth Burns – you know: the esteemed Matriarch of The Hidden Room – will be joining actors from the U.S. and the U.K. in an international collaborative reading of Two Gentlemen of Verona. That’s happening today (Thu., March 19, at 2pm CST). It’s part of a weekly Shakespeare reading series, covering the Bard’s plays “in the order they were written, helping actors and theatremakers to stay connected and creative during unprecedented times.”

Note: Not only that, they had the brilliance to use the same obvious title that I (and who’s next?) fleetingly thought myself so clever for having come up with: The Show Must Go Online.

So that’s a thing.

And The Vortex, that Austin epicenter of wild ritualistic spectacle and much good & socially relevant theatre, is going online as well:

“Just because we can't do live performance in our space right now doesn't mean we're going to leave you hanging,” says Vortex managing director Melissa Vogt. “We're bringing you live chats, solo performance, improv, music, tutorials, and some of our best hits.”

This Friday, March 20, for instance: Vogt and Dillon Yruegas will be kicking off the digital programming with a virtual chat about all things theatre, both in Austin and Boston. Other programming will run Thursday though Sunday, at least until May 2nd.

Note: They’re currently solidifying the lineup, so check back for updates on individual nights. (And if you’d like to participate in the shows, please email that irrepressible Ms. Vogt at And it’ll be free to watch, but donations are especially appreciated in these fraught times. (Instead of linking to tickets, you’ll be directed to their donation page.)

Valerie Lopez and Comedy Wham, the fierce online resource of stand-up-focused podcasts and profiles and reviews – damn, they have a shit-ton of excellent interviews in there – will be presenting Isolation Comedy Show, their first streaming (maybe Austin’s first streaming?) stand-up showcase via Twitch on Friday, March 20, at 8pm. You want details, citizen, follow them here.

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