Cheer Up Charlies
"...Still, summer theatre in Austin isn't always Into the Woods. Sometimes it's The Tree Play – that is, a locally generated drama geared more toward putting your mind on something than taking your mind off it, that has a message about the world we're living in today and an urgent need to deliver it now..."
"...Some spend too much. The Tree Play, nurtured from seedling to sapling and beyond by writer-director Robi Polgar, clears a path through the passion and the politics of deforestation and conservation, leaving us with a moving piece about the fragility of our symbiosis with nature...."
"...The film is the most personal (and dare we say autobiographical) of Malick’s career, yet at the same time it is the most mysterious, abstract, and puzzling of his five feature films. It is also strongly impressionistic, and perceptions of the film can be as variable as the play of light rippling through a tree’s branches..."
"..."When you find something you love to do, then Work can become the highest form of Play." – David Kinch..."
"...The story in the present day has research scientist Tommy (Jackman) racing to find a cure for the brain tumor that is killing his wife Izzi (Weisz), who has written (in perfect script) an unfinished manuscript about Mayan mysticism. In the 16th century, Jackman plays a conquistador named Tomas, who is in the New World seeking out the Tree of Life for his queen, Isabella of Spain (Weisz again)..."
"...Spiders in their stockings and reindeer spore begriming their front porch this year, I pray. Former home improver Allen and former teen screamer Curtis play married couple Luther and Nora Krank, who, facing their first-ever Christmas sans Peace Corps-bound daughter Blair (Julie Gonzalo), decide to dispense with the pleasantries and embark on a 10-day luxury cruise to help fend off the holiday blues..."
"...But that treats works of art somewhat like animals in a zoo, isolating them in an environment constructed for the explicit purpose of human observation and reflection. It's where we've come to expect art to be, and how we view it there plays off those expectations..."
"...If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to celebrate Christmas at Birdland, you can find out this week. Cabaret all-stars Jim Caruso, Billy Stritch, and Klea Blackhurst are bringing their seasonal special A Swingin’ Christmas to the Long Center direct from the classic NYC jazz club, where it's played for six seasons...."
"...And rightly so. It's through Tuna that these two theatre artists have received their greatest attention: playing Broadway, appearing on network talk shows, starring in their own HBO special, performing at the White House -- twice -- for President Bush (the elder) and First Lady Barbara Bush...."
"...None of them were jazz musicians; they were all in rock bands. They just came together and taught themselves, and chemistry-wise play really well together..."
"...Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter, Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton, Kelly Macdonald, Evanna Lynch and Maggie Smith. Much like his character, the sour, pinch-faced Professor Snape, Alan Rickman has been playing the long game..."
"...I was in attendance at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, and let me assure you, the Janoris Jenkins of 2010 still exists. There is no rust from his short sabbatical playing in the kiddie pool..."
"...This month, the Moonpies play 14 dates in nine Texas towns, plus Oklahoma and Arkansas. In November, they're in Tuscaloosa, Ala., one Friday, then Knoxville, Tenn., that Sunday..."
"...In that way, my myriad projects overlap and support one another, as it's less like starting completely from scratch, and hopefully that results in a better end product for each. For the symphony, I might take a theme from a Rude Mechs play for one section, a riff from the ballet Cult of Color for another, and a drum beat from my UT Percussion Ensemble piece for a third..."
"...As a middle-aged guitarist stands on the bar, playing blues licks with his teeth, a rangy cowboy with a sunburn and a blinding white smile teaches his son to play pool, both of them in matching straw cowboy hats. The brightly colored balls glow in the pyramid of pool table light..."
"...Last, but far from least, is the Mansion of Terror itself. Glenn couldn't leave those old bones behind, so he conjured up the classic Austin haunt as a way to play with the grand traditions of the American haunted house: "Supernatural, voodoo, Ouija board, curses, all those things that creep people out."..."
"...Madonna had recently premiered her new single “Live to Tell” at an AIDS benefit at Madison Square Gardens. Martin Sheen had been tapped to star in the London premiere of the groundbreaking play, The Normal Heart, a heartbreaking indictment of the gay community’s confused response and the Reagan administration's inaction in the face of the new plague..."
"...The Senate proposes capping the property tax rate at $1.25 (for an overall reduction of $4.8 billion) and adding a dollar to the cigarette sales tax and 20% to the tax on alcohol. Both bills allow for voters to decide local "enrichment" taxes for schools although still in play is how much enrichment to allow the wealthiest school districts without being subject to recapture (aka "Robin Hood")...."
"...He muses that the last Oscars would have showcased a Texas filmmaking powerhouse if our state had incentives to keep Texas-set stories like No Country for Old Men from New Mexico and Charlie Wilson's War and The Great Debaters from Louisiana. He believes 50% or more of the work opportunities for Texas crews have gone elsewhere since the state incentives game started being played in earnest..."
"..."That was a funny show, though, because you were playing in a fake bedroom that was part of a set at the Hyde Park Theatre."..."
"...Despite the gusts of sorrow and longing that blow so vividly through The Leaf Storm, the work is not unrelentingly grave. "There's a big element of humor," insists Pérez -- which seems only natural given both its creators' propensity for playfulness and good cheer..."
"..."It's kind of crappy, but that's how it goes," said Welch. "If you can't afford to play the game, you can't play and you get bullied; it's pretty shitty." The most painful part, Welch said, was that CFC and Samann required Detwiler to agree that he is not allowed to use the trademark design, even as a "parody of [the] Tree Design." But that wasn't all; in addition, CFC is requiring Detwiler not only to turn over all of his leftover cards, but also to release to the company the names of all customers and retailers who bought the pine tree holiday card, to provide the amount each customer paid and believe it or not to pay $100 in damages to the corporation..."
"...Like I was the one who's thick! He asked me what I thought it was for, and I just said, "Look, Hunter, that's your chair, not mine. Not my chair, not my problem." He was put out cuz I wouldn't play along and said I didn't have enough sexual savant about me to stay there any longer..."
"...THE NEWTON PLAYERS..."
"...Because make no mistake, these are no twinkling pixies. As Garda Davey (played by Irish acting lucky touchstone Michael Smiley) explains/warns, this is the countryside, where things really do go bump in the night...."
"...Aaron is a “beta program,” so-called in the ruthlessly anonymizing speak of his higher-ups: a super-trained, genetically rejiggered agent of Operation Outcome, the third-generation in the Treadstone assassin family tree. (He’s like Jason Bourne, but cut from a superior cloth; the film hints there are even finer threads coming down the factory line.) As Aaron makes his way across a barren snowscape, the film zips to and fro in time and space, interlacing footage from The Bourne Ultimatum – Paddy Considine’s murdered journalist and Joan Allen’s CIA agent-turned-whistleblower get replayed – with a new cast of characters, including the unconsciously complicit Dr..."
"...Ronan, as she demonstrated in Atonement, is one of the most accomplished young actors of today. Tucci, who never fails to impress, shows his range this year by playing both The Lovely Bones’ nebbishy murderer and Julia Child’s love-besotted husband in Julie & Julia, while Imperioli grows out his sideburns to play the supportive detective on the case..."
"...So we're having Sarah write about her point of view, about her experiences with David, her feelings about environmentalism and everything that happened. And she's narrating the story, but she also plays different characters within the scenes."..."
"...The idea is to provide readers with more of a window into what artists do by having them talk about how they do it -- the impulses they follow, the techniques they employ, the experiences they draw from -- and to do so not in response to questions fired by an uninvolved interviewer but through the course of a discussion with a peer, someone who shares an intimate sense of the technical challenges involved in creating art. We begin with two of our city's most accomplished actors discussing villainy onstage and how to play it..."
"..."When I was about 12, a gospel quartet wanted me to play guitar with them," remembers Clark. "I wasn't real good at guitar; I'd learned a few chords and could play a few country-western songs, a few gospel songs..."
"...Man, was it cool, because everything was there. We were down the street and around the corner from the orchestra hall where the Chicago Symphony played..."
"...James Ayres didn't set out to create an army of ardent theatre makers. All he was trying to do was help students in a university English course see more of the possibilities within a Shakespeare play through the lens of performance, to learn the play from the inside..."
"...Starting at age 3, my parents took me to lots of plays, concerts, and musicals, which hooked me on theatre for life, and I discovered a love of fashion while making dress after dress for my army of Barbie dolls. But I would say my "eureka" moment about costume design came while watching The Carol Burnett Show in the early 1970s, when I was about 8..."
"...Tim O'Connor's association with Willie Nelson has yielded lots of similarly colorful tales over the ensuing decades, but they're a small part of his story. As Austin's most successful concert promoter, O'Connor has earned and lost several fortunes, ridden deals to the edge of bankruptcy, and played chicken with the IRS since his arrival in town during the early Seventies..."
"...In fact, on this Saturday night, immediately following our interview, Ely is scheduled to meet Rick Trevino, Joel Guzman, and Max Baca for a Los Super Seven rehearsal. The next day, he's off to Los Angeles to meet fellow superheroes Los Lobos, central players in the Mexican-American all-star group, then, in short order, a House of Blues gig, a press day in New York, and a taping of Late Night With Conan O'Brien...."
"...Dog: Snoopy, while always the consummate performer, plays a minor role in Charlie Brown's Christmas, mostly for comic relief. His skating antics to open the show are vintage Snoop..."
"...Allen Smith, & Nicole Taylor – America: The Cookbook Mark Bittman – How to Cook Everything Vegetarian Sheila Black – The Right Way to Be Crippled and Naked Nate Blakeslee – American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West Benjamin Blum – Ranger Games Peter Brown & Joe Holley – Hometown Texas Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Pierce Bush – Sisters First David Callahan – The Givers Francisco Cantú – The Line Becomes a River Gretchen Carlson – Be Fierce Watt M. Casey – My Guitar Is a Camera Carina Chicano – You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages David Collins – Accidental Activists Chad Conine – Texas Sports Michael Corcoran – All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music David Courtney – The Texanist: Fine Advice on Living in Texas Angela J..."
"...A few years ago for FronteraFest, I wrote and performed a short play based on the “Wool & Water” chapter of Looking Glass. In the play, a half-asleep woman is describing her dream..."
"...This is Week 13. Many reading this are likely in a win-to-get-in situation for their fantasy playoffs..."
"...The crime section bulges with a mixture of first editions and reprints of all my favorite authors, the vast majority being of the hard-boiled school. I have a lot of signed first editions by living authors, like Donald Westlake, Robert Parker, Michael Connelly, and Walter Mosley, a first edition of Raymond Chandler's Playback, a neat facsimile reprint of Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon, at least half a dozen firsts by hard-boiled pioneer Carroll John Daly, and lots of other cool stuff..."
"...It is painted bright yellow, and seated on the dilapidated porch between two rusty reclining chairs is a dingy mutt of a dog; a small cloud of flies attend it. Inside Jim Donaldson, a 19-year-old meat market manager from the local Wal-Mart, sits playing video games as his 20-year-old and very pregnant girlfriend watches on..."
"...The Mustangs managed only two field goals in the first three quarters of play, something any defensive coordinator would take. The Aggies also found a way to get some turnovers, with one interception to go along with two fumble recoveries, including one in the second quarter that A&M cornerback-turned-safety Deshazor Everett returned 12 yards for a touchdown...."
"...If you've ever played a Legend of Zelda game and thought, "I like this soundtrack, but wish the Ocarina was replaced by a full orchestra," then hoo-boy are you in luck this weekend. The Long Center hosts The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses as classical musicians tackle jams from a wide spectrum of the series' musical offerings..."
"...He picked up a guitar late in life (30), found he had a natural affinity for it, and suddenly started spewing forth the guitar immortals (Hendrix, Neil Young) he'd been hearing at the music store he worked in. The results are A Glorious Lethal Euphoria, a guitar album of mammoth proportions, whose obvious reference is surf guitar. But if what the Mermen play is just surf music, then Hendrix was just a blues guitarist..."
"...At the tail-end of four years, primary voters had only four months to familiarize themselves with the two most prominent candidates (there are nine in total), neither of whom are particularly recognizable political names to the general public. Talk about playing catch-up...."
"...Over the last three years, complaints about commercial music have dropped from 6,557 to 1,836 annually. Since there's been someone telling someone else to turn their music down since man's first drum circles, sound standards including C-weighted monitoring give venues clear rules to play by, which is what they've been asking for...."
"...BW: Definitely. As a matter of fact, last night I was down in Boston doing a tribute to one of the sax player in the Savages..."
"...Lehmberg describes Baird’s claims as “absurd,” noting that the three lawyers accused by name in the email – Wayne Reaud, Cary Patterson, Walter Umphrey – were investigated by state and federal agencies during the tobacco litigation, and that her office had no role to play in those investigations. Former U.T..."
"...But it was a thing that would cause people to walk over to where he is, a thing that made sounds that gave his own words richer sounds, and would give him his way to show his people around him all of the things that he felt inside and out. He would play the tones on the music box and then he would tell me a story, you a tale, and all of his life history..."
"...Inside, massive worktables line the walls, with books and magazines in stacks and boxes tucked underneath. These piles of future fodder are Letscher's archives, sitting in shadow, awaiting their turn to come into play on the light-table tops above..."