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Performance Park Preview at the Vortex
PHOTO GALLERY  March 22, 2018
"...On March 23, the Vortex Repertory Company opens the most ambitious production in its 30-year history: Performance Park, an immersive theatrical adventure that engages audience members in a choose-your-own-adventure scavenger hunt that spreads across the entire Vortex compound. More than 70 artists have collaborated on the show, which draws inspiration from the Tarot..."

Performance Park Takes Over the Vortex
Bonnie Cullum’s dream wakes the Tarot into life in her company’s immersive theatrical experience
Arts Story  March 22, 2018, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Performance Park, a theatrical event that will encompass all the areas of the Vortex compound in its eight-week run, is what will bind these disparate elements together...."

The Vortex's Performance Park
Whatever you want to call this play/scavenger hunt/immersive live roleplay, it’s a one-of-a-kind, wonderful theatrical experience
Arts Review  May 3, 2018, by Shanon Weaver
"...Performance Park, now occupying the full Vortex compound (including the Butterfly Bar and Patrizi's food truck), is strange. I don't mean that disparagingly; simply as the antipode of "familiar." It is simultaneously a play, musical, game, scavenger hunt, live-action roleplay, immersive performance art, and more..."

Hyde Park on Hudson
The film gets big points for casting Bill Murray as FDR but its vision gets muddy after that.
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Film Review  December 21, 2012, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...The Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park on Hudson in New York state is one of the spots FDR (played by Bill Murray in a visionary bit of casting) decamped to when he escaped Washington, D.C. The household is under the command of his domineering mother (Wilson), who is the one who launches FDR’s affair with Margaret “Daisy” Suckley (Laura Linney) when she invites the president’s sixth cousin over to “keep him company.” Hyde Park on Hudson is based on the letters found underneath Suckley’s bed when she died at the age of 99, which revealed the affair she had kept secret until her death...."

Sunset Park
Sunset Park is an affectionate if lightweight and uneven testament to the power of communication, education, and human decency. The latest feature by Steve Gomer (Sweet Lorraine) stars Rhea Perlman...
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Film Review  May 3, 1996, by Alison Macor
"...Starring: Rhea Perlman, Fredro Starr, Carol Kane, Terrence Dashon Howard and De'Aundre Bonds. Sunset Park is an affectionate if lightweight and uneven testament to the power of communication, education, and human decency..."

SXSW Film Review: Carnage Park
Mickey Keating's take on classic American horror
DAILY SXSW  March 23, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...Another film festival, another Mickey Keating film. The only working director to give Sion Sono a run for his money on both quality and quantity of titles, the enfant terrible of American genre cinema has gone back to the desert for his fourth feature, Carnage Park...."

Hyde Park Theatre's Wakey, Wakey
This production of Will Eno's solo show puts us at ease with our mortality through a captivating talk from a dying man
Arts Review  March 8, 2018, by Shanon Weaver
"...Will Eno's Wakey, Wakey, which premiered off-Broadway last year and is now receiving its second-ever production at Hyde Park Theatre, would like us to change that, and much more...."

'floodlines': Hyde Park again awash in wonders
This Sunday, when Jaclyn Pryor's floodlines is presented again, the Hyde Park neighborhood will be abloom with mystery and have wonders wending their way down its streets
Arts Story  April 19, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...Most Sundays, Hyde Park looks like pretty much any old neighborhood – leafy, sedate, ordinary – but this Sunday, it will be abloom with mystery; wonders will wend their way down its streets. Curious figures in white will stand on its corners, sun themselves in its yards, bicycle before its elegant homes..."

Short Fringe @ Hyde Park Theatre
Arts Story  January 7, 2000
"...As before, all Short Fringe performances are at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, at 8pm..."

Klyde Warren Park: 'Think About It Bigger'
As Austin considers Reconnect Austin, a Dallas project gives a taste of what could come
News Story  January 17, 2014, by Robyn Ross
"...An oft-cited analog to the Reconnect Austin vision is Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. Opened in October 2012, the park is 5.2 acres built on a cap over the already sunken Woodall Rodgers Freeway, whose 1.5-mile span connects I-35 to the North Central Expressway in the urban core..."

Hyde Park Theatre's The Moors
This production of Jen Silverman’s play is an engaging cocktail of Gothic mystery, modern absurdity, and stunning surprises
Arts Review  July 13, 2017, by T. Lynn Mikeska
"...The performance in question was none other than The Moors, a nasty little fable set in a most puritanical time and in a quite bleak and dreary corner of the world. The work was exquisitely penned by Jen Silverman and featured an assembly of extremely adroit actors under the tutelage of Hyde Park Theatre Artistic Director Ken Webster, who has shown a great talent for direction...."

Hyde Park Theatre's The Wolves
This fun, honest, real production of Sarah DeLappe’s play zeroes in on the best part of playing a sport: being on a team
Arts Review  October 5, 2017, by T. Lynn Mikeska
"...However, any teenager on an athletic team can tell you that while the game consumes most of your energy, what happens off the field can be infinitely more interesting and important. The Wolves, Hyde Park Theatre's newest offering, is a do-not-miss story about a girl's indoor soccer team that takes you through their season sans actual sports and instead focuses on the team in the moments before and after their games...."

Hyde Park Theatre's John
In playwright Annie Baker's fun twist on haunted house tales, you learn what it is to be watched
Arts Review  March 16, 2017, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...And a storm that traps everyone inside. These are all great ingredients for a horror story, and playwright Annie Baker has jumbled them together in a loopy, fun twist on the genre in John, currently being produced by Hyde Park Theatre...."

Day Trips: Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, Houston
Historic water reservoir becomes one-of-a-kind public space and theatre
Columns  December 22, 2016, by Gerald E. McLeod
"...The Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern in Houston is like walking into the ancient ruin of an empty spaceship that has become a theatre. The unique man-made cavern on the edge of downtown is strangely inviting and embracing...."

Hyde Park Theatre's Confessions of a Mexpatriate
Raul Garza's solo show tells us that finding your true self in another country isn't easy
Arts Review  September 27, 2018, by Robert Faires
"...Ken Webster, who directed Trejo in the world premiere of this play for Teatro Vivo five years ago, revives it here with his own company, Hyde Park Theatre. The closeness of HPT's space makes it a good fit for a show that takes such a personal approach, though the wall that set designer Mark Pickell has created to represent the Mexico side of Samuel's journey is so large and imposing that it feels out of scale..."

Hyde Park Theatre's The Quarry
Greg Pierce's play is rough and has sharp edges, but in the end there is heart that is worth discovering
Arts Review  October 8, 2015, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...In the play by Greg Pierce at Hyde Park Theatre, Jean lives by herself in a house teetering on the edge of a marble quarry. She and her late husband Sammy (Ken Webster, who also directs) built the house themselves..."

Bass Concert Hall: Park, Pee and Leave (or not)
The musical was great, but the venue is a problem
DAILY Arts  February 20, 2009, by Andy Campbell
"...No one likes to bitch - But no one likes to pay $10 for parking, either...."

Colorado River Park Action Plan
News Story  December 17, 1999
"...Existing Krieg Fields, upper left, would see some landscape improvements and additional parking...."

Spoken Word Crash Course at Hyde Park Theater
Books Column  February 23, 1996
"...On Thursday, Feb 29 at 8 pm, Hyde Park Theater offers a tempting opportunity to catch up with Austin's performance poetry scene, with six of the more talented local writers together on one stage, reading in a high-energy, round-robin format. David Jewell, who wrote the love poem featured in Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise, is often funny, always listenable, both laid-back and intense at once -- like when my late husband used to order a cup of coffee with his beer..."

sxswf: Trailer Park: Hey, Gray Lady!
Page One, Moving Parts, & Surrogate Valentine
DAILY Screens  March 14, 2011, by Kimberley Jones


The Critics Table's Crème de la Crème
The winners of the 2017-18 Austin Critics Table Awards
DAILY Arts  June 5, 2018, by Robert Faires
"...Nine arts writers and editors who belong to the informal association spent three-plus hours handing out some 44 awards and special citations to creatives in the fields of theatre, dance, design, classical music, visual art, and improv. No single production, exhibition, or concert swept the field, though in a unique show of appreciation for an individual work, the Critics Table recognized the Vortex Repertory Company's expansive and immersive theatrical production/scavenger hunt Performance Park with four special citations..."

Risk Immersion
Time again to sink deeply into FronteraFest's exhilarating experiments in performance
Arts Story  January 16, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...The Chronicle takes pleasure in offering you a guide to the fun. The Short Fringe – the showcase of pieces 25 minutes or less – runs Tuesdays through Saturdays, at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W..."

Scavenging for Home
The NATObombing of Belgrade provoked playwright Lisa D'Amour to examine the intention behind her art and reasons for being an artist.
Arts Story  January 28, 2000, by Lisa D'Amour
"...Currently, I live in Minneapolis, where I develop most of my work through the Playwrights' Center (where I am a core member) and renegade theatre companies such as the Red Eye Collaboration. Minneapolis, however, only constitutes about one-quarter of my home base: I spend almost as much time living under the "roofs" of Austin Script Works, Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre, and my collaborator Katie Pearl (all in Austin), New Dramatists (in New York City), and my partner-in-new-Deep-South-performance, Kathy Randels (in New Orleans, my town of origin)...."

Excitingly Unpredictable
The best fringe since fashion week, FronteraFest 2015 promises a month of exhilarating alternative performance
Arts Story  January 8, 2015, by Seth Orion Schwaiger
"...After the Christmas wrappings are thrown out, the Kwanzaa kente is folded up, the Chanukah dreidel stops its spinning, the Yule log ashes are discarded, the Festivus grievances are aired, and the new year has been rung in, Austin performers and performance enthusiasts gear up for a second round of celebrating and events. January is when Hyde Park Theatre and ScriptWorks' FronteraFest begins, kicking off a month of some of Austin's best fringe theatre, music, choreography, and improv..."

Johns
A scene about halfway into Scott Silver's feature film debut johns perfectly captures the main characters' lives as street hustlers. Cars pass by on Santa Monica Boulevard as John (Arquette)...
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Film Review  April 4, 1997, by Alison Macor
"...Of the two hustlers, John is the savvier, and his street-wise advice to Donner demonstrates his gruff affection for him. On Christmas Eve, in preparation for his 21st birthday the next day, John sets out to hustle enough money to stay overnight in the swanky Park Plaza Hotel..."

Fences
Denzel Washington scores big in August Wilson's great American play
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Film Review  December 23, 2016, by Marc Savlov
"...This is Denzel Washington’s third at bat behind the camera while directing himself and, holy smokes, does he knock it out of the park with a vicious, visceral performance that fairly sets the screen ablaze. Adapted from the canonical Pittsburgh-set play by August Wilson, Fences crackles with spitfire dialogue, blazing emotions, and worn-down, gut-punched humanity...."

The Host
This manic monster party from South Korea cleverly updates the Japanese monster-movie genre while offering a witty and sweet look at what's left of the nuclear family.
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Film Review  March 23, 2007, by Marc Savlov
"...Directed by: Bong Joon-ho. Starring: Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hie-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Du-na and Ko Ah-sung..."

Oldboy
This 2003 revenger from Korean upstart Chan-wook Park is a multilayered, intensely performed, shockingly violent, and viscerally visual tour de force.
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Film Review  April 29, 2005, by Marc Savlov
"...Directed by: Park Chan-wook. Starring: Choi Min-sik, Yu Ji-tae and Kang Hye-jeong..."

Ruby in Paradise
Ruby in paradise. Ruby in Florida. Ruby out of the hills of Tennessee. Ruby adrift in the Sunshine State. Ashley Judd (daughter of Naomi, sister of Wynona) stars as Ruby...
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Film Review  February 4, 1994, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...So far, her greatest accomplishment in life has been, as she says, getting out of Tennessee without getting pregnant or beat up. The movie indeed begins with Ruby's car peeling out from park as her Tennessee boyfriend hollers after her in the rearview mirror..."

Blue Jasmine
Class difference and life's shambles are on Woody Allen's mind as he leads Cate Blanchett through a perfectly calibrated performance as a Park Avenue matron brought low by modern finance.
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Film Review  August 9, 2013, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...The Woody Allen mojo is at work in his latest film, which gets an extra boost from Cate Blanchett’s extraordinary performance as a Park Avenue matron brought low by the recent financial crisis. Drawing in equal measures from A Streetcar Named Desire and the real-life Ruth Madoff story, Blanchett plays the titular Jasmine as a woman aghast by and ill-equipped to deal with how low her circumstances have fallen..."

'Floodlines'
Jaclyn Pryor's site-specific performance can get you lost in a familiar neighborhood
Arts Story  April 3, 2009, by Barbara Chisholm
"...As a resident of Our Fair City for more than 20 years, I can navigate the avenues and boulevards easily and with familiarity. I've lived in West Campus, Clarksville, Bouldin Creek, and, oh yeah, Hyde Park..."

FronteraFest: The Place to Start
Hyde Park Theatre and ScriptWorks' annual performance festival keeps giving artists a spot to launch a stage career in Austin
Arts Story  January 7, 2016, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...FronteraFest, now entering its 23rd year, has become a tradition in Austin's annual arts calendar. For years, Hyde Park Theatre and ScriptWorks' unjuried jamboree of performances has followed the same format: a Short Fringe featuring five short pieces per evening for five weeks; a two-week Long Fringe that offers a handful of one-act and full-length shows; plus some works in unconventional locations, including a full day devoted to such works (Mi Casa Es Su Teatro)..."

50 Years of Rolling Stones
Today, I’m as old as rock & roll itself
DAILY Music  August 7, 2015, by Raoul Hernandez
"...Online or in the (get off my) cloud, film and music won’t even be sold some day, just utilized for a fee. One fossilized DVD that didn’t make deadline in this week’s issue (yes, that’s me buying a Laser Disc at Half Price Books last month...) was a new Blu-ray by the Rolling Stones, From the Vault: Hyde Park Live 1969, out on Eagle Vision...."

In the Mouth of Madness
Clearly having a ball, Carpenter fills the screen with equal amounts of unsettling atmosphere and shameless jolts, while at the same time successfully walking the tightrope that separates the horrific from the hilarious. ? Joey O'Bryan
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Film Review  February 3, 1995, by Joey O'Bryan
"..."Reality isn't what it used to be," warns a creepy-looking old man just seconds before he blows his head off with a double-barreled shotgun, an image which perfectly sums up the bizarre theme and tone of director John Carpenter's latest film, In the Mouth of Madness. The underrated Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) stars as the hard-boiled and cynical John Trent, a claims collector with a special talent for sniffing out a con..."

Pina
Wim Wenders celebrates the great, innovative, German dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch – in commanding 3-D, no less.
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Film Review  February 10, 2012, by Kimberley Jones
"...The bulk of the film is comprised of a series of staged performances of Bausch's works, including Cafe Müller, which arthouse audiences will recognize from the opening frames of Pedro Almodóvar's Talk to Her. These set-pieces are bracketed by breathtaking solo and duo performances set in the wilds, so to speak, of the cityscape – an industrial park, an escalator, a moving tram – and by the heartfelt testimonials of troupe members reflecting on their experiences with Bausch..."

Hell Fest
Murder at the amusement park, but this time it's horror themed

Film Review  October 5, 2018, by Josh Kupecki
"...Because that is the film’s bread and butter. It is a succession of teenagers navigating an elaborate amusement park of what amounts to jump scares of skeletons popping out of closets and overly costumed fiends vying to give you a shock...."

The Woodsman
Writer-director Nicole Kassell’s debut film is a lean drama anchored by subject matter which, although difficult, remains distantly disquieting yet never challenging.
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Film Review  January 14, 2005, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...We watch him as he silently sits on the bus going to work and wonder what he’s thinking as he observes the other passengers, or when he looks out his apartment window at the playground below. In another scene he sits on a park bench with a young girl and we wonder if Walter will succumb to his demons, but we never actually witness his interior struggles..."

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Having already played the greatest lover of all time, Don Juan de Marco, Johnny Depp now sets his sights on the second in line: Pepé Le Pew. In recent interviews,...
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Film Review  July 11, 2003, by Kimberley Jones
"...Had Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl no other attributes, the sheer spectacle of Depp would be worth the cost of admission, but shockingly, his cheeky performance is just one bit of a booty bursting with goodies. What could have been a two-hour-long advert for a Disney theme-park ride (the, er, source material for the film) is in fact a rollicking adventure yarn, the most perfect realization of the "summer movie" to float down the pike in a good long while..."

A Whole New Ball Game
Stakeholders say Colorado River Park can serve a lot of different needs.
News Story  December 17, 1999, by Dan Oko
"...The view across the Colorado River from David Moriaty's porch makes it easy to understand why he has spent the past 20 years lobbying the city of Austin to preserve the land. A band of trees hides the softball fields and parking lots from view, so that the only visual cues about what lies beyond are a handful of lights standing high above the tree line..."

An Idiot at FronteraFest
Diary of getting a homegrown 25-minute play onto the stage for Austin's biggest annual performance festival
Arts Story  February 9, 2017, by T. Lynn Mikeska
"...I make rash decisions, I procrastinate like you wouldn't believe, and I have ideas that turn out terribly. All of this was proven thoroughly as I prepared a 25-minute piece for the 2017 edition of FronteraFest, the annual performance event at Hyde Park Theatre..."

Developing Stories
Getting back to our Wooldridge Square roots
News Column  August 3, 2007, by Katherine Gregor
"...Wooldridge Square Park (the right answer) was one of the original four public squares designated on the 1839 plat of the city of Austin. Like its remaining historic sisters Republic Square and Brush Square, Wooldridge Square has a way to go to realize its potential as a dynamic people place..."

All 'Round Republic Square
A new context of major civic buildings may yet make a people place of our historic downtown park
News Story  September 1, 2006, by Katherine Gregor
"...What makes or breaks an urban park like Downtown's Republic Square Park is how well it's used by people. One of four city blocks set aside for public use in Edwin Waller's original 1839 town plan, Republic Square has endured many reincarnations over the years..."

Antibirth
A party girl discovers she's pregnant
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Film Review  October 28, 2016, by Marc Savlov
"...Sex, drugs, and rock & roll is a classic formula for disaffected youth, but Danny Perez’s debut feature spins the cliche like some sort of infinitely outrageous horror-show centrifuge. Think Gregg Araki’s The Doom Generation if it had instead been penned by body horror master David Cronenberg circa Videodrome and then psychedelically art directed by the gang behind 1987’s gross-out classic Street Trash, and you’re in the gory ball trailer park..."

2016 Long Fringe Canceled
Permit issue leads FronteraFest to shut down part of festival
DAILY Arts  January 22, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...20, a joint statement from fest co-producers Christina J. Moore of ScriptWorks and Ken Webster of Hyde Park Theatre announced that the 2016 Long Fringe, scheduled for Jan..."

Ground Plan
Lisa Scheps' Christmas gift to the local stage scene is a new performance venue, Ground Floor Theatre
Arts Story  November 26, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...Scheps' re-entry into the theatre biz was launched a few months ago during a conversation with ScriptWorks Executive Director Christina Moore and Hyde Park Theatre Artistic Director Ken Webster about theatre space in Austin – how tight it is now and how more theatres might be lost in the near future. Scheps had been hankering to produce again, this time focusing on what she calls "do-gooder theatre" – new works by and for underrepresented populations like communities of color, the LGBT community, and the differently abled..."

The Devil's Double
Saddam Hussein's decadent and monstrous eldest son Uday forced Latif Yahia to serve as his body double, and this movie recounts his experience.
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Film Review  August 12, 2011, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...It’s not that such things as the torture scenes or the vivid disembowelment of a crony are not emotionally fraught and intense, nor that Uday was a misunderstood lunatic in need of explication. Rather, The Devil’s Double simply offers a trip through hell on a one-way track, like a spook-house ride at the amusement park meant to titillate and excite the senses and then deposit the rider/viewer safely on the other side in the full light of day..."

Adam
Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne co-star in this love story about a guy with Asperger's Syndrome and the girl who lives next door.
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Film Review  August 14, 2009, by Kimberley Jones
"...It’s a time-honored woo, that of boy describing the solar system to some starry-eyed girl. It works on schoolteacher Rose (Byrne), an aspiring storybook writer who is charmed by the glow-in-the-dark wall astronomy chart of her neighbor Adam (Dancy), not to mention his late-night jaunts into Central Park to watch a misfit family of raccoons..."

P2
Horror overtakes a woman on level P2 of a parking garage, and the film's suspense plays on our collective unease with being alone, at night, surrounded by concrete and rebar.
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Film Review  November 16, 2007, by Marc Savlov
"...Perkins' performance in that film set the psycho-bar impossibly high. For more than four decades, the horror genre has been trying and failing to top it, and so when handsome, awkward garage-park security guard Thomas (Bentley) offers to share his meager Christmas dinner with the late-leaving, workaholic Angela (Nichols) – and she declines – you realize right away there's going to be blood somewhere down the line, and it almost certainly won't be flowing from the Yuletide goose..."

The Nanny Diaries
An awful lot of good talent was squandered on this by-the-numbers film version of the bestselling tell-all about the child-rearing habits of the rich.
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Film Review  August 24, 2007, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...It's hard to empathize with Annie Braddock (Johansson), a new college grad who's so daunted by the brightness of her future that she decides to downgrade her plans and accept a live-in nanny gig that Mrs. X (Linney) improbably offers to her when their paths cross in Central Park..."

A Prairie Home Companion
It's been a very long time since any Robert Altman film has been as enjoyable as A Prairie Home Companion.
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Film Review  June 9, 2006, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...It's been a very long time since any Robert Altman film has been as enjoyable as A Prairie Home Companion. Sure, Altman turned in a couple of nice movies with Cookie's Fortune and Gosford Park, but those films have scripts so solid they could have been directed by just about any competent director and probably delivered the same agreeable results..."

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