Get a serving of musical nostalgia at ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’

Here’s another new review, this time of TexARTS’ production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe, a fun, if insubstantial, show.

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Filigree Theatre’s ‘A Delicate Ship’ looks at love in the shape of a triangle

And one more new review this week, of The Filigree Theatre’s A Delicate Ship.

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‘The Father’ is a heartbreaking drama about an overlooked problem

Here’s another new review, this one of a heartbreaking production of Florian Zeller’s The Father by Jarrott Productions.

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A few more updates!

Here’s a couple of pieces that have gone live since my massive update the other day.

Here’s a new post for Time Out Austin:

UT’s newest theater production tackles modern issues through past scandals

And here are two new reviews for the Statesman:

Talented kids of ‘School of Rock’ make an otherwise lackluster production sing

Austin Shakespeare takes on a different type of classic: a moody story of art and love from Chekhov

Thanks for reading!

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First Update of 2018

Well, it’s happened again. I’ve fallen woefully behind on my updates. The good news, though, is that I’ve fallen behind because I’ve been doing so much, including becoming a regular pop culture columnist for the fabulous Sightlines magazine!

*To begin with here’s the two pieces I wrote for Sightlines most recently, about comic books and toys. I’m living every pre-teen boy’s dream!

The Comics of 2017

The Toys That Played Us

*Here’s a slew of my weekly blog posts for Time Out Austin:

Look forward to spring with four upcoming school theater productions

Austin Playhouse resurrects an old play with a modern message

One of Austin’s most experimental theaters celebrates its 30th anniversary

What to watch for at this year’s off-the-wall FronteraFest

Two new theater companies are making a splash in Austin

“The Seagull” takes flight at Austin Shakespeare

*Next, a dollop of reviews from the Austin American-Statesman:

Austin gets to know classic musical ‘The King and I’

Austin Playhouse brings back timely, moving story of immigrant to small-town Texas

Play about Juarez murders – and how we react to such stories – challenges audiences at the Vortex

Family-friendly ‘Finding Neverland’ charms but never quite soars

Bilingual play offers inclusive message for Austin children

Strong performances, dynamic visuals boost Zach Theatre’s ‘Curious Incident’

*Finally, a feature that I also wrote for the Statesman about Austin Arts Hall of Famer Zel Miller III:

Austin poet/performer talks race, fatherhood and arts in Austin

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Four theater performances to look forward to in 2018

Yet another Time Out blog post, this time looking at the year to come in Austin theater!

Four theater performances to look forward to in 2018

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Four upcoming musicals that’ll have you dancing in the aisles

Enjoy my latest Time Out blog post, looking ahead towards some upcoming musicals in town!

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‘People of Color Christmas’ a witty and aware holiday tradition

Here’s my review of a cool, woke new holiday show, People of Color Christmas, by local playwright Christine Hoang!

 

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Some Holiday-Season Updates

Life continues to come at me pretty fast these days, but I’ve been continuing to write reviews and articles, even if I haven’t been updating them here. So it’s time for another round-up!

Sightlines

I wrote another piece for Jeanne Claire van Ryzin’s fabulous online magazine, Sightlines. This one combines my comics studies background with my current political obsessions and a lot of soul-searching, which I’m really proud of. Please check it out!

Wonder Women and Malignant Men

Time Out Austin

Here’s a bevy of weekly blog posts for Time Out Austin blog:

A nationwide premiere is coming to Austin’s tiniest stage tomorrow

Broadway in Austin returns with a series of larger-than-life musicals

How a discount furniture store became Austin’s latest performance space

Austin’s top actresses shine in three upcoming plays

Ballet Austin’s principal dancer is ending his career with a bang—and a bow (this last one’s actually a full feature, not just a blog post!)

Austin American-Statesman Reviews

And last but not least, some good old fashioned theater reviews:

In the mood for a rom-com? ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ still charms

Jane Austen meets charming Christmas comedy in latest from Austin Playhouse (according to the comments, this one has the most boring sentence one reader has ever read in his life, so be on the lookout for it!)

‘A Miracle on 34th Street Classic Radiocast’ is charming, if old-fashioned, Christmas treat

In Street Corner Arts’ latest play, when you’re here, you’re family

Catch you all next time with (let’s be honest) probably another scrambling catch-up post!

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Updates. So, so many updates.

Oof, where does the time go, eh? It’s been a busy few months since the last time I updated. Things have been in a rush in both my professional and personal life, so I haven’t really had the bandwidth to attend to this blog, but the time is finally upon us!

First, I should say that I’m writing a ton of stuff for my day job at Software Advice, much of which you can find on the company’s resource hub. However, since I write specialty pieces about customer relationship management (CRM), marketing, and other software niches, I figure it won’t be of much interest to people who follow this blog for my critical, cultural, and creative writing, so I won’t be posting that work here unless I write something particularly noteworthy.

However, you can now find my writing in a variety of cool new venues! Let’s run things down one at a time.

Sightlines

The brilliant Jeanne Claire van Ryzin has started a new Austin-based “online magazine of arts, culture and ideas” called Sightlines, and it’s something pretty special. While outlets for traditional long-form journalism and criticism are shrinking in Austin, this magazine is providing an outlet for in-depth looks at topics of importance to both Austin audiences and readers everywhere.

She has kindly asked me to contribute from time to time, including in the first issue. I was excited to do so, and wrote a somewhat personal post about my sense of personal identity, some now-questionable assertions I made in my book, Retcon Game: Retroactive Continuity and the Hyperlinking of America, and the nature of critiquing the arts in a post-Trump world. Check it out here:

Bursting the bubble: Art and audience in the age of Trump

Time Out Austin

For the better part of 2016 I’ve been contributing to Time Out Austin‘s quarterly print edition, writing features about theatre/dance and also providing listings of upcoming productions. Now, I’ll be working for Time Out on a more regular basis, providing theatre/dance-related weekly blog posts. You can check out the first one here, and stay tuned to the Time Out Austin blog for weekly posts:

Four holiday theater performances to catch this winter (that aren’t The Nutcracker)

Beauty and the Bitch

My friends Morgan and Mic host their own podcast, called Beauty and the Bitch, that would be of interest to readers of my work. They cover lots of topics about geeky pop culture, genre fiction, movies, and whatever else it is they’re geeking out over at any given moment.

With the upcoming Justice League movie hitting theaters this month, they kindly invited me to come on their show and share some of my thoughts about the DCEU (DC Comics’ movie universe) and about the Justice League in general. Normally I hate how I sound in interviews, but I actually think I come off OK in this one!

Here’s the episode I appear in, but you should go back and listen to all of their shows:

Episode 023: Justice League

Statesman Reviews

And finally, I’m still hard at work writing freelance reviews (and a few features) for the Austin American-Statesman/Austin360. Although almost all of these shows are long gone at the time of writing this, I wanted to post their links for posterity:

Summer Stock Austin’s ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ brings young stars to stage

Elvis, Johnny Cash and more come to life in Zach’s ‘Million Dollar Quartet’

Science fiction tale delivers powerful real-life messages about race

Forget story — TexArts’ ‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ is all about musical fun

‘Building the Wall’ a riveting warning about political extremes

Monologue, memoir and stand-up comedy: One-man show tackles loss and language

‘Storm Still’ explores family dynamics through one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies

Austin Shakespeare finds timely political message in classic play

Broadway hit ‘Rent’ still speaks to the misfit in us all

Austin Playhouse’s ‘This Random World’ reveals the hidden ties that bind us

Glam rock meets the Bard in Hidden Room’s ‘Henry IV’

From nun to genocidal monster: Paper Chairs’ ‘Catalina de Erauso’ looks at history through different lens

Girl power puts ‘The Wolves’ ahead of the pack

Young actor gives star turn as troubled, tempestuous ‘Prodigal Son’

Texas State’s ‘A Chorus Line’ is a singular sensation

Secrets, lies and revelations in new theater company’s first production

Trouble Puppet Theater ties history to today’s politics

The Vortex’s bloody ‘Vampyress’ is an adults-only Halloween treat

Zach Theatre’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ has snazzy special effects but somewhat soggy story

‘Woman in Black’ offers classic scares for Halloween

See another powerful work from ‘Moonlight’ writer on stage in ‘The Brothers Size’

‘Dry Land’ is a gripping first production from a new Austin theater company

Young cast shines in somewhat updated, still problematic ‘Crucible’

And that’s just about that for this mega-update! Sorry for the very long lapse, and hopefully it won’t happen again.

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