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Esther's Follies: The Laughs, the Gossip, and the Story Behind Texas' Most Celebrated Comedy Troupe
In his history of Esther's Follies, author Jesse Sublett follows the flow of four decades of frivolity
Arts Story  November 30, 2017, by Robert Faires
"...Ross Perot; Margaret Wiley's Chi Chi La Bomba; and of course, still pulling mementos and hardware out of her dress after all these years, Sedwick's Patsy Cline. And he pays worthy tribute to many of the show's best-loved bits: Lyova Rosanoff's classical gas "Jalapeño Chorus," Kerry Awn's audience-interactive "Yes, My Darling," Ted Meredith and Shaun Branigan's politically astute "Ted for President," and, naturally, the through-the-windows-and-on-Sixth Street, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink, aqualicious closer "Cry Me a River." In each, you find, as I once wrote in these pages (and which Sublett kindly quotes), "the renegade streak running deep in [Austin's] soul" and a "tweaking of the nose of the status quo." Those are qualities, along with a love of revelry, that our citizens see in themselves..."

Brutality Television
Why you won't be seeing Austin emo puppet band Fragile Rock on America's Got Talent
Arts Story  July 14, 2016, by Brently Heilbron
"...So I put a joke on Facebook to the effect of: "I'm going to start an emo puppet band and call it Fragile Rock." To my surprise, people started signing up to be part of this. First, Shaun Branigan of Esther's Follies, who I had known from my early days at the Velveeta Room, mentioned that he'd be interested in making puppets..."

Fragile Rock: Austin's Emo Puppet Band
Maybe the world's only emo puppet band?
DAILY Arts  June 3, 2015, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"..."So I'm writing these songs," says Heilbron, "and I got together with some friends – a bunch of improvisers who are also musicians – and Shaun Branigan, he's an actor at Esther's Follies, he built the puppets. And we made a video, Jessica Gardner directed it..."

Esther's All-Stars
Arts Story  July 29, 1999, by J. C. Shakespeare
"...Top row: (l-r) Ray Anderson, Adam Rodriguez, Keith Kelly, Margaret Wiley Middle row: Jerome Schoolar, Todd Lowe, Tamara Beland, Kerry Awn, Shaun Wainwright-Branigan Bottom row: Cynthia Wood, Shannon Sedwick, and Boni Hester MICHAEL SHELTON..."

Bats Left, Sings Right
With help from Esther's Follies, Austin Lyric Opera turns Strauss' Viennese waltz into a Texas two-step
Arts Story  May 30, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...And you can relish the results this week when Austin Lyric Opera premieres a new version of Die Fledermaus, titled simply The Bat. Though it preserves the music of the original and the basics of the plot, this adaptation by Lyova Rosanoff, Steve Saugey, and Shaun Wainwright-Branigan transports the popular operetta from the capital of Austria to the capital of the Lone Star State, where one may easily find a "flutter-mouse" (to translate the German literally) or two million making their summer home under the bridge of the city's main avenue..."

The Bat
ALO's hometown take on Die Fledermaus with wit, affection, enthusiasm, and style from all parties
Arts Review  June 6, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...Certainly, much of the tone is set by the text as reinvented by Lyova Rosanoff and Steve Saugey (lyrics) and Shaun Wainwright-Branigan (dialogue). All three have spent years in the vaudeville training ground of Esther's Follies, and their work here shows the same intelligence, ingenuity, and polish that have propelled the Follies' satirical sketches for 30 years..."

Esther's Follies
Using inventive props, puppets, costumes, and live music, the gang at Esther's Follies stuffs fast-paced skits, political satire, and illusions into a tightly compacted show
Arts Review  April 16, 2004, by Heather Barfield Cole
"...and the exaggerated pride of a tie-dye wearing, Barton Springs-swimming citizen of South Austin. Shaun Wainwright-Branigan and Meta Rosen superbly topple a naughty Cat in the Hat rhyme routine..."

What's Up with Matt "Rubber Repertory" Hislope, Lately?
Esther's Follies, mostly, but let's not forget that other thing
DAILY Chronolog  September 11, 2012, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Hislope: I'm not in a ton of actual sketches. There's a sort of sketch crew of the three guys – Ted [Meredith] and Shaun [Wainwright-Branigan] and Donnie [Loa]..."

LipSchtick Traces
When Cindy Wood scores the big laughs at Esther's Follies, she's channeling comedy's funniest femmes
Arts Story  April 4, 2014, by Robert Faires


Superlatives
The 2008-2009 Austin Critics Table Awards
Arts Story  June 5, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...Lyova Rosanoff, Steve Saugey, and Shaun Wainwright-Branigan for their Austintatious libretto to The Bat New Kid on the Block Award..."

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