Top Weekly Events!

Review your favorite events at NowPlayingAustin.com!

1. Our Body: The Universe Within
H. J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture & Sports
April 24, 2010 – Ongoing

“Our Body!”

Our Body: The Universe Within is a wonderful opportunity to view a stunning and well-presented exhibit of the human body. You WILL see and understand the body like you never have before… regardless of your background. ALL of the body “items” shown have undergone a process which preserves and make them plastic-like. There are many full bodies shown in various ways so that you may study the many different and interrelated systems that make up the human body. There are also many exhibits of body parts: hands, feet, lungs, liver, muscles, etc…. available for detailed study. In terms of logistics: The exhibit is well lit, there is quiet music playing in the background, some museum patrons are silently studying the bodies, some patrons are quietly chatting with their friends about what they are viewing, there are some benches to sit down on should you need to rest…More at nowplayingaustin.wordpress.com

2. Machinal
Paper Chairs
May 28-June 13, 2010

Sarah Saltwick from Austin TX said:
“Wow! You think theater isn’t for you? Go see this play.”

A thrillingly creative professional production. The acting is perfect – both stylized and believable, never forced. I love this script but it’s tough one. A lesser production could have been too intellectual or too emotional but this has a wonderful sense of balance. Oh it’s so good! The brilliant set and lighting design are perfect for the play and radiant with meaning. If your (or your loved ones) recent theater experiences have been disappointing, go see this play. The production does what I believe theater does best – it creates a rich world, tells a powerful story and gives you an experience to remember. And talk about beyond that night.

3. Becky’s New Car
ZACH Theatre
June 3-July 11, 2010

Pammyla Brooks from Austin, Texas said:
“Fast-Paced New Show at Zach”

This is a very enjoyable show, as the plot twists and turns unexpectedly. It features some of Austin’s finest talent and teachers, who do a great job on Zach Scott’s intimate theater-in-the-round. The actors explore the “Fourth Wall” as they refer to the audience, and interact with us at unexpected times throughout the performance. This works well and causes the audience to feel like we are welcome in their homes. The writer also uses the delightful device of jumping from home to work in a split-second. Wouldn’t that be convenient if we could all do that? Since I have two degrees in Psychology, I thoroughly enjoyed the psychological references and terminology. The terms made the audience laugh yet added extra depth for me. Especially the second act will keep you on your toes, as it is very fast-paced, with actors coming and going. I am confused by the ending, since it does not follow the New Car metaphor that Becky explains early on, but I don’t wish to ruin the ending for you! Enjoy!

4.BUG
Capital T Theatre Company
May 27-June 26, 2010

Anne deBuys from Santa Fe, NM USA said:
“capital T Astounds Again”

(Please note: this is a rewrite of a formerly submitted review.) Director Mark Pickell has again assembled the kick-ass cast from last summer’s extended-run production of “Killer Joe” for another stunning Tracy Letts drama, “Bug.” The first act builds a quirky love story between two lonely misfits, with a backdrop of menacing domestic violence and moments of humor. So, going into the second act, the audience is disarmed as tension builds around interlocking conspiracies much bigger and more terrifying than the lead characters’ relationship first implied. Both action and emotions explode as revelations build on each other. Performances by the five-member cast are intense and visceral. Images from this powerful production have stayed with me for days. Do NOT miss seeing “Bug.”

5. Matisse as Printmaker
The Blanton Museum of Art
May 23-August 22, 2010

Preston Kirk from Austin (Spicewood) Texas, USA said:
“Out of the Shadow”

Henri Matisse, perhaps better known as a sculptor and an extraordinary artist, is revealed at the Blanton as a thoughtful, sometimes edgy printmaker, exploring such techniques and processes for more than 50 of his 85 years. Unless you’re a serious art student, you don’t really have to know an etching from an aquatint; a monotype from a lithograph; a woodcut from a linoleum cut. Simply appreciate this exhibition of graphic virtuosity. There are 61 pieces of art, some as series, drawings of his children and even a self portrait. However Matisse’s narrow range focused on one of his favorite themes, nudes (mine, too), typically reclining or seated. Jay Fisher of the Baltimore Museum of Art has organized the works in a manner that elevates the viewer’s appreciation of the artist’s ongoing refinements. Each unfolding sequence is like “a pause along the path” of Matisse’s expanding, artistic sensibilities. The lighting is subdued in this gallery, so take a few minutes (more)

6. Chris Jordan: Running the Numbers
Austin Museum of Art
May 22-August 15, 2010

Ruby Sinclair from Austin, TX said:
“Inspiring and Thought-Provoking!”

I continue to be amazed and delighted by the work that AMoA is bringing here to Austin!! Chris Jordan’s work is profound and I highly recommend everyone to go and see it. His large-scale digital prints resonate the true impact that today’s society has made on waste, the environment, and quality of life.

7. The Wife of Bath’s Tale
Lorella Loftus and the Vortex
May 28-June 13, 2010

Steven Fearing from Austin, TX said:
“Clever and Demanding”

Straddling the fence of satire and direct polemic, Lorella Loftus deftly delivers a fast paced onslaught of bawdy reflections on Chaucer’s insight from the Wife of Bath: women most desire to be in control of their husbands and lovers. With five husbands buried, Loftus schools us on marriage, chastity, domination, the pernicious power of religion and the pre-eminence of female erotic power to combat all adversaries of female self-determination. This adaptation is clever and theatrically demanding. Loftus is up to the task! Andy Agne serves as great foil for her exhortations and truly excels in depicting the men in her life from the well-crafted “video” design by Kell Condon. Sound design by David DeMaris and graphic illustrations by Ann Marie Gordon are perfectly rendered. Although the cockney accent and smattering of Middle English were too “thick” to decipher every word, couples were listening and probably took these lessons home with them, for better or worse.

8. Menopause The Musical
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
June 8-June 11, 2010

Pammyla Brooks from Austin, Texas said:
“Hilarious Fun!”

This show is consistently a lot of fun and very entertaining. This musical has taken very well-known songs and replaced the original lyrics with new subjects of interest to older women. Therefore, “Staying Alive” becomes “Staying Awake” to describe insomnia. “Chain of Fools” becomes “Change of Life” and so on. Some of these lyrics are so funny, I had tears rolling down my face the first time I saw this show because I was laughing so hard! This performance at the Long Center is as successful as past performances I’ve seen. It is made up of energetic actresses with marvelous singing voices, and fun choreography. As always, women in the audience are invited to come up and dance onstage at the end. Although there are not typically many men in attendance at this show, those who do brave the subject matter end up laughing and clapping even louder than the women in the audience, at times! That is to say, there is nothing offensive to men. So come on out and celebrate the change of life!

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