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Getting Political With The Tree Play and Robin Hood: An Elegy
Two new Austin plays tackle timely subjects
Arts Story  August 6, 2015, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

The Tree Play
For this story of a rain forest over a lifetime, Robi Polgar created a living, breathing poem
Arts Review  August 13, 2015, by Shanon Weaver
"...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 Tree of Life
Terrence Malick's latest film bursts with unbridled ambition and vision, and while it doesn't always reach the heights for which it aims, it soars boldly and fearlessly.
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Film Review  June 3, 2011, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...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..."

Manresa: An Edible Reflection
Food Story  December 6, 2013, by MM Pack
"..."When you find something you love to do, then Work can become the highest form of Play." – David Kinch..."

The Fountain
Like some epic figure of yore, writer/director Aronofsky has allowed his hubris to get the better of him: The Fountain is a dry well.
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Film Review  November 24, 2006, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...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)..."

Christmas With the Kranks
Holiday pap and circumstance.

Film Review  November 26, 2004, by Marc Savlov
"...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..."

In Search of the Wild Art
'Cracks in the Pavement' leaves art objects in unexpected spaces throughout the city
Arts Story  June 18, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Swingle All the Way!
Stritch, Caruso deliver hit holiday cabaret from Birdland
DAILY Arts  December 20, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...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...."

The Secret History of Tuna
Tuna isn't the only Texas town with which actor-writers Jaston Williams and Joe Sears can be closely identified. Austin has played a significant role in the development of their town, and in return Sears and Williams have changed the face of the capital city.
Arts Story  April 12, 2002, by Robert Faires
"...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...."

The New Rites of Spring
The Last Word in Instrumental Rock
Music Story  April 27, 2001, by Michael Chamy
"...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..."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Although this sendoff to the young leads feels a little thin, the culmination of the Harry-and-Voldemort show more than satisfies.
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Film Review  July 15, 2011, by Kimberley Jones
"...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..."

'The NFL Beat': Jenkins Island
Catching up with one of the NFL Draft's top CBs
DAILY Sports  April 23, 2012, by Alex Dunlap
"...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..."

The Real Country
In and out of Austin with honky-tonk road crew Mike & the Moonpies
Music Story  August 9, 2013, by Chase Hoffberger
"...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..."

Outside the Bachs
Classical sounds new when Austin artists do the composing
Arts Story  May 1, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

What's on the Slab
Texas roadhouses are far from middle-of-the-road
Features Story  June 13, 2008, by Kathy McCarty
"...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..."

Into the Woods at Scream Hollow
Behind the scenes at the local destination horror house
DAILY Arts  October 28, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...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."..."

The Chain Drive and the Rumor Mill
A gay Austin institution holds its last hoorah, again and again.
DAILY The Gay Place  June 13, 2014, by David Estlund
"...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..."

On the Lege
Instead of businesses, consumers and working stiffs will shoulder much of the property tax cut approved by the Senate.
News Column  July 15, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...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")...."

Waking the Dead
Okkervil River's Will Sheff and Centro-matic's Will Johnson find common ground.
Music Story  September 12, 2003, by Melanie Haupt
"..."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."..."

Abandoning the Nest
Hurt by the state's inadequate incentives program, Texas film crews take flight
Screens Story  May 23, 2008, by Joe O'Connell
"...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..."

Riders on the Storm
With The Leaf Storm, choreographer José Luis Bustamante and songwriter Lourdes Pérez have become the wind, blowing past boundaries between artforms to share their vision in collaboration and spinning elements of their lives into an artistic whirlwind.
Arts Story  May 5, 2000, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

If a Tree Falls on a Corndog ...
Austin novelty card company gets crushed by lawyers and money
News Story  March 24, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"..."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..."

The Luv Doc: A Sexual Savant
On the dangers of following someone into a dark basement
Columns  September 12, 2014, by The Luv Doc
"...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..."

How the West Was Sung
The Newton Boys Soundtrack: An Oral History
Music Story  March 20, 1998
"...THE NEWTON PLAYERS..."

DVDanger: The Hallow
There’s something evil in the woods
DAILY Screens  April 9, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...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...."

The Bourne Legacy
This franchise reboot doesn't reinvent Bourne, but it does revive it to great effect.
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Film Review  August 10, 2012, by Kimberley Jones
"...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..."

The Lovely Bones
Peter Jackson forgets to imbue his living characters with emotional weight, and instead focuses on this story's visually stylized netherworld between life and death.
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Film Review  January 15, 2010, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...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..."

Shivering the Timbers
The Dirigo Group's 'Gypsy Chain' Speaks for the Trees
Arts Story  August 3, 2001, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...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."..."

Born in the Barn
How Shakespeare at Winedale spawned some of Austin's – and the country's – best theatre
Arts Story  July 23, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Playing the Bad Guy
With actor David Stahl currently appearing as the wicked Richard III and actor Katherine Catmull having recently played the evil Goneril in King Lear, the challenge of playing villains seemed a ripe topic to launch a series of artist-to-artist conversations on craft.
Arts Story  August 17, 2001, by Katherine Catmull
"...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..."

Confessin' the Blues
Soul Man W.C. Clark
Music Story  July 31, 1998, by Christopher Hess
"..."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..."

Ray Manzarek: Trying to Set the World on Fire
The late Doors keyboardist at the Garden of Eden
DAILY Music  May 23, 2013, by Danielle Zelisko
"...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..."

The First Time
Austin artists reveal the intimate details of how they got their muse on
Arts Story  July 17, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

'The NFL Beat': Week 13
Waiver-wire pickups and more
DAILY Sports  December 1, 2011, by Alex Dunlap
"...This is Week 13. Many reading this are likely in a win-to-get-in situation for their fantasy playoffs..."

Ruling the Roost
Austin Preeminent Concert Promoter Ponders Retirement
Music Story  June 1, 2001, by Andy Langer
"...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..."

Son of the Circus
Twistin' in the Wind
Music Story  October 2, 1998, by Raoul Hernandez
"...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...."

The Smart Ass & the Smart Guy, the Redneck & the Jock
  December 26, 1997, by Jon Garrett
"...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 Grinch v. Charlie Brown
The Great Christmas Special Debate
Screens Story  December 27, 1996
"...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..."

We Remember What the Dormouse Said
Ten authors cut you a little slice of their own personal Wonderlands
DAILY Arts  March 31, 2015, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...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..."

One of the Great Ones
Books Story  November 6, 1998, by Jesse Sublett
"...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..."

Aggies Get Back on the Horse
Texas A&M resets with easy win over SMU
DAILY Sports  September 23, 2013, by Rod Machen
"...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...."

Get Real. Get Right. Get Savage: The Return of Barrence Whitfield
Whitfield rekindles his local love affair
DAILY Music  June 27, 2012, by Kevin Curtin
"...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..."

The Week in Gaming Events
You will have to leave the house
DAILY Screens  June 15, 2012, by James Renovitch
"...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..."

The Mermen, Nero's Rome, Death Valley
Music Story  January 19, 1996
"...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..."

Playback: The Westin Sues the Nook Over Sound
And “Playback” votes in the Austin Music Poll
Music Column  January 5, 2017, by Kevin Curtin
"...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...."

Charlie Baird and the Tobacco Lawyers
Reaud, Tigar denounce Baird D.A. campaign charges
DAILY News  May 26, 2012, by Michael King
"...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..."

Page Two: The Long Scream
The endless Republican nightmare casts its shadow on health care reform
Columns  February 12, 2010, by Louis Black
"...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..."

The LCRA Moves to Turn on the Tap
Future of Hill Country waits on Authority's decisions on water plan
News Story  December 3, 2004, by Amy Smith
"...subdivisions in the works, the largest being Cypress Realty's planned 2,700-home development. If the LCRA carries out Beal's plan, many people are predicting a repeat performance to play out in western Travis Co..."

The Book on Lance Letscher
What lies behind the buzz of Austin's hot collage artist
Arts Story  June 25, 2004, by Madeline Irvine
"...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..."

The Memory of Music
Discovering Moby Grape's Skip Spence via his only solo album Oar, and it's new tribute album, More Oar
Music Story  December 17, 1999, by Louis Black
"...My head is laid back, my eyes closed, my body buzzing. On the record player, playing over and over again is Skip Spence's Oar..."

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