Three 100% SXSW-free reviews

Even as Austin descends into the annual madness of the South by Southwest festival, theater goes on in our fair city! Here’s three reviews to prove just that:

What we can learn from ‘Junk,’ a tale of corporate takeovers set in the 1980s

Hyde Park Theater explores what happens when Nora comes home in ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’

‘Notes From the Field’ is powerful, necessary and ultimately hopeful

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Austin Shakespeare’s “Indian Ink” a sensual production of a classic

I have a flurry of new reviews coming soon, but here’s just one for now, Austin Shakespeare’s production of Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink.

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A Trio of Reviews

Another weekend gone by, another three shows seen! Here’s reviews for several productions actually still playing in Austin.

The Hidden Room’s ‘The Rover’ is a sexy old thriller (this one has my highest recommendation; I didn’t write that headline, I swear!)

‘Xanadu’ will roll into your heart and leave a beat behind

‘For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday’ flies on nostalgia, family dynamics

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Two Very Different Reviews

Here’s two reviews from this past week, and a study in contrasts. One is for a small-scale children’s show that turns out to be interesting and engaging for adults, while the other is for an ostensibly family-friendly blockbuster musical that was lackluster, at best.

New ‘Rap Unzel’ is a show with music, dance and depth for kids and adults

Slow ‘Anastasia’ is neither fairy tale nor accurate history

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‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ at Zach: energy for miles and a political swerve

Here’s a potentially divisive review of the new production of Hedwing and The Angry Inch at ZACH Theatre, which nonetheless features some pretty staggering performances.

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‘Waitress’ serves up a slice of charm with a side of troubling gender politics

My latest review is up–the national tour of Waitress at Bass Concert Hall.

This was an interesting show for me because I’d seen the original Broadway cast, in which Jessie Mueller’s rendition of “She Used To Be Mine” was maybe the single most powerful performance of a song I’d ever seen. The tour was good, but the original cast was, not surprisingly, better.

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In new ‘Heartland,’ love, death and grief cross borders

A new review of a fantastic new play, Gabriel Jason Dean’s Heartland at the VORTEX.

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Southern satire of Austin Playhouse’s ‘Paradise’ is sharp with an unnecessary twist

Here’s a new review, of the new musical Paradise at Austin Playhouse!

Southern satire of Austin Playhouse’s ‘Paradise’ is sharp with an unnecessary twist

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My Top 10 in Austin Theater of 2018

This came out at the end of the year, but I was too busy being as lazy as possible towards the end of December to actually get it posted here. So, better late than never, here’s my top ten list of local theater in Austin from 2018 (an annual list I write for the Austin American Statesman that’s my favorite thing to write each year)!

Statesman theater critic shares his favorite shows from 2018

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Big Changes, Big List of Reviews

It’s been quite awhile since the last update, but I swear I have a reasonable excuse this time!

During the four months since I last posted, I started a new job (as a contracted copywriter) and wrote a book (another academic tome which I’ll post more about as publication nears, many moons from now), so I’ve been busy!

In fact, I’ve got to finish up the first draft of the book, so I’m still in the realm of way-too-busy, but I didn’t want to let this lack of updates get so out of hand I’d never get to them all. Since I have been so snowed under with the one-two punch of the new day job and working on the book, I’ve only had time to write reviews (and a preview piece or two) for the Austin American-Statesman in the past few months, so without further ado here’s a list of them:

Jarrott Productions’ Significant Other

‘There and Back’ looks at history of immigration through one woman’s life

Play about professor with cancer is a moving look at death and how we live

TexArts tries to take some of the nastiness out of ‘Trailer Park Musical’

‘The Goat’ makes audiences take hard look at what we consider taboo

City Theatre brings rock opera ‘The Who’s Tommy’ to life

Austin playwright examines those left in wake of racial violence

‘Significant Other’ prompts a significant emotional reaction

‘Confessions of a Mexpatriate’ is a travelogue both external and internal

Zach Theatre’s ‘Once’ is an ode to the beauty of music

The Filigree Theatre’s ‘Miss Julie’ is a timely reminder of a history of sacrificing women

Shark tale ‘Matawan’ shows beauty and fury of nature

‘Side Show’ might feel familiar, but it’s still a lot of fun

‘Macbeth,’ staged completely in the dark, opens Halloween

‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is pure escapist hilarity

Agatha Christie comes to Austin in elegant, classic murder mystery

One-woman show looks at race, violence in wake of Ferguson

Play about consent hopes to spark conversations on UT campus

‘An Evening of Short Plays’ also an evening with two master actors

Texas State’s ‘Cabaret’ is a dark production for a dark time

‘Doubt’ is a compelling drama with astonishing performances

UT’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ is Shakespeare for today’s world

Austin Shakespeare’s ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ is sexy, sultry take on a classic

No ‘Mystery’: Austin Playhouse’s ‘Edwin Drood’ is goofy, campy fun

Permanent Record’s ‘White’ is a satire of art and identity

Whew!

Back soon with more updates (it probably won’t be another four months, but, y’know, let’s be honest…).

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