“LAND WITHOUT EVIL” NOW AT THE PARAMOUNT THEATER

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This article is a collaboration between the Austin Creative Alliance, Blogs By Lucas, and AMFM Magazine

Austin’s Agent Red and Sky Candy collaborated to craft a full-length stage show, adapted from Matthew Pallamary’s award-winning novel “Land Without Evil”. Agent Red and Sky Candy’s co-founder and Artistic Director Chelsea Laumen are directing. Land Without Evil, a collaboration between almost 50 artists, aerialists, dancers, contortionists, performers, singers, musicians, and actors, is showing at The Stateside at the Paramount for 8 select performances from Sat. Dec. 8 – Sun. Dec 16th.

Rehearsals and performance are the subject of the Emmy-winning PBS series Arts in Context, premiering nationally January 2013. The show explores a boy’s conflict between the spiritual beliefs of life in the Mission and the visions of his father, the shaman of a threatened tribe, forced into a perilous journey through the rainforest in a quest for the mythical Land Without Evil. With a narrative richly told through aerials and acrobatics, dance, flow arts, ASL, music, and vocal performance, this visually dynamic show will feature stirring, new music and performance by local artists, including SORNE, and ground-breaking video-mapping by internationally renowned projection artist João Beira, and visionary art provided by Jesse Noemi.

GET TICKETS FOR THE SHOW

http://agentred.net/ http://skycandyaustin.com/performances/lwe/

HOT TUNA back in Austin, 2012 at the One World Theater

Lucas and Jorma Kaukonen

Just when you think the music couldn’t get any better, it does.

I should know, my first Hot Tuna show was in 1972. Back then I had a seat on stage
(a trunk), behind the band, my uncle being the concert promoter. Mesmerized, I watched the band play with Papa John Creach (former member) on the Fiddle. Today I’m still in awe of these legendary musicians.

I’ve been crossing paths with Hot Tuna ever since. There were my high school years, shows in Commack, Belmont Racetrack (Jorma with rainbow-colored hair), the infamous Lone Star Cafe a few blocks from home in the West Village. There was my neighbor down the hall in the dorm at college, one of Hot Tuna’s future booking agents, now tour manager. The iconic slogans used along the way and the audience screaming, “Hot _’n Tuna”, “Jorma Saves”, “If you don’t know Jorma, you don’t know Jack”, “Got Jorma?”

 It was a stellar acoustic show!

And an unusually cool July evening in Austin, set against a beautiful sunset in the Texas
Hill Country. In this incarnation, Hot Tuna was composed of the Acoustic Trio, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady and Barry Mitterhoff. It was my first, I hope of many shows in this intimate setting at the The One World Theater. The co-Founder and Executive Director, Hartt Stearns graciously offered us seats in the front of the house.

Hot Tuna and Cindy Cashdollar

Hot Tuna played classics as well as new tunes off the latest studio recording entitled, “Steady As She Goes”, produced by Larry Campbell at Levon Helm’s in Woodstock N.Y.

“We got the wondrous Cindy Cashdollar to sit in with us”– Jorma Kaukonen

Full of good surprises, Hot Tuna brought Cindy Cashdollar out on Dobro and Steel Guitar. Cindy is a stunning talent and adds a wonderful dimension to the Hot Tuna sound. Jorma was thrilled to have her back for the evening (she toured with Hot Tuna in 2006). An Austin resident, be sure to check Cindy out on Wednesdays at The Saxon Pub.

Barry Mitterhoff of Hot Tuna and Cindy Cashdollar

Whether it’s Roots, Blues, Acoustic or Electric, Hot Tuna keeps it fresh. Over the years they’ve had a rotating cast of musicians that have performed with the band. Well known talent such as GE Smith, Charlie Musslewhite, Steve Kimock to Jim Lauderdale and John Hammomd, just to name a few. Back at home in Ohio, Jorma with his wife Vanessa, run a guitar camp at the Fur Peace Ranch. Some of the musicians that tour and record with Hot Tuna are guest teachers at the ranch. If this isn’t enough, Hot Tuna still continues to tour the world, with recent stops in Israel and China.

It was a great evening of old and new friends. I had the pleasure of meeting Cash Edwards, Hot Tuna’s Austin based Publicist for a second time. We first meet at the monthly networking luncheon for Woman in Music Professional Society, (WIMPS). Austin, The Music Capital of the World, is happy Hot Tuna has us back on their touring schedule this year and hope to see them again next tour. Their dedication continues to shine through their music putting big smiles on many faces.



         Blog by Lucas

54th Annual Zilker Summer Musical: The Sound of Music!

The audience gathered on the rolling, green hillside, happy with anticipation. Photo by Margie

Click play to listen to “Preludium” sung by the Nuns as they come in from the hills for prayer.

The hillside around the Zilker Theatre was alive with chatting, eating, and playing on Thursday night as children and adults of all ages lounged on a patchwork quilt of blankets spread across the grass. Some groups had arrived as early as 6 p.m. – two and a half hours before the performance began – in order to claim a spot on the crowded lawn. Others, like myself, were returning to the hillside with fingers crossed, anxiously watching the sky for rain clouds after Sunday’s performance had been rained out.

Phoebe Johnson and other audience members braved the drizzling rain on Sunday to see The Sound of Music at the Zilker Hillside Theatre. Unfortunately the show was canceled due to the weather. Photo by Margie

Instead of rain, we had a glorious blushing pink sky with ethereal clouds and even a cool breeze running across our bare feet from time to time. The evening’s natural ambiance was a fitting backdrop to the beautiful stage set that transformed the open-air Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater into a picture of the mountains that surround Salzburg, Austria.

The Sound of Music by Zilker Theatre Productions on a lovely summer evening in Austin. Photo by Margie

“How do you solve a problem like Maria?”  Photo by Margie

Undoubtedly, the film production of The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews is, and always will be, the most beloved version of the musical. However the production on Thursday, directed by M. Scott Tatum, would have made Rodgers and Hammerstein sing with joy and pride. With solid and enthusiastic performances by the entire cast, an incredibly beautiful and cleverly maneuvered set design, and an orchestra worthy of its own standing ovation, Zilker Theatre Production’s The Sound of Music is worth getting out of the house to see. All the treasured standards like “My Favorite Things” and “Do-Re-Me” are performed, but fun variations in the musical along with less familiar tunes like “No Way to Stop” allow ZTP’s production to step away from being constantly compared to the movie.

The von Trapp children answer to their father’s whistle. Photo by Margie

Uncle Max Detweiler (Neal Gibson), Baroness Elsa Schraeder (Leslie Hollingsworth), and Captain Georg von Trapp (Joshua Denning) sing a lively version of “No Way to Stop” Photo by Margie

One song that you might miss is “Something Good” between Maria and Captain von Trapp. Similarly in the production though Michelle Hache makes a spunky Maria and the Captain, played by Joshua Denning, is as stern as always, there is some chemistry missing between the two. The Captain’s love interest, Baroness Schraeder (Leslie Hollingsworth), appears as less of an evil character than I remember as a child. The development of her relationship with the Captain is mature and sensible, making her likeable enough to where I almost wish she could have married the Captain after all.  The most entertaining love story, however, occurs between sixteen-going-on-seventeen year old Liesl (Alyssa Muir) and seventeen-going-on-eighteen year old Rolf (Jordan Barron).  Teens in the audience watching Liesl and Rolf’s “timid and shy” romance develop will gain some perspective on young love. Their parents will appreciate the messages relayed about being cautious and kind, and talking to your parents or mentors about your feelings.

Maria (Michelle Hache) frolics on the mountain. Photo by Margie

The most impressive message of the evening – perhaps because it is delivered by Coty Ross’s majestic voice – is that you cannot run away from your problems but must instead “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” to find what is right in life for you. As the von Trapp family ventures out into the Alps of Zilker Park the Mother Abbess (Ross), a kindred spirit of Maria’s who also grew up on the Austrian mountains, gives an inspiring solo bolstered by a pure and robust voice. Every member of the audience will leave happily humming a medley of show tunes and encouraged to follow their dreams as they also climb the hillside back to their cars.

The von Trapp family performs “Do-Re-Mi” before escaping the Third Reich’s Anschluss by fleeing through the mountains. Photo by Margie

The story has something for audiences of all ages. Whether you are attending with your family, on a date, or enjoying an evening with a group of friends, Zilker’s production certainly will not disappoint – unless it gets rained out. So be sure to catch The Sound of Music at the Zilker Hillside Theatre before it is too late!

The performance runs Thursdays – Sundays through August 11, 2012. The show starts at 8:30pm, but get their early (blankets are allowed on the lawn beginning at 6pm) to claim a spot with the best view.

Admission is free, parking is $5, donations are greatly appreciated and well-deserved.

Click here for more information

Follow ZTP’s Facebook for photographs and updates on inclement weather

-M

blog by Margie Eades

A Global Roots Fundraiser for the Amala Foundation: Think Globally and Act Locally in Austin

On Sunday June 24th, I attended an inspiring night of community, music and art.

Entrance to CTC Garden. Photo by Lucas

It was the 6th Annual Global Roots fundraiser held at CTC Garden in East Austin to benefit the Global Youth Peace Summit. The event was presented by the Amala Foundation along with CTC International, Urban Roots, The Austin Junior Chamber of Commerce, The Khabele School, and Generous Art.

Indu Agrawal and Tammy Howard with the Amala Foundation. Photo by Lucas

It was certainly a lively and engaging night of live global music. The line up included Bamako Airlines, Minor Mishap Marching Band, Hard Proof Afrobeat. The evening was kicked off with ZaBoomBa: An Interactive Drum Experience, lead by Kenya Masala. He had the crowd drumming in call-and-response style that brought us all into focus.
It was fantastic.

Kenya Masala of ZaBoomBa leading the interactive drum experience. Photo by Lucas

Click here to see ZaBoomBa: An Interactive Drum Experience, lead by Kenya Masala

Vanessa Stone, Founder of the Amala Foundation, (seated left). Ryan Jordan, Executive Director, (standing). Photo by Lucas

There was a silent auction and an art show presented by Generous Art which included work by Jennifer Chenoweth whom I recognized from the East Austin Studio Tours. Aside from being an accomplished artist, she cooks a great Posole, but that’s another blog. Speaking of food, delicious Indian cuisine was available on sight, à la Austin trailer style. I enjoyed a plate of spicy lamb stew and rice among good company.

Face painting with Randi Southard and Laven Blumoff. Photo by Lucas

This year’s Global Youth Peace Summit, August 12-19th will unite 70 youth from 25+ different countries for an 8-day youth summit devoted to cultural exchange, heart-centered dialogue, healing, and exploration of self and world.

Face painting was enjoyed by Talia Masala and friend. Photo by Lucas

As of post date, The Amala Foundation raised $4,000 which will enable them to purchase airline tickets so that two Kenyan youth will be able to attend this year’s Global Youth Peace Summit. While they have yet to raise enough money to cover their passport, visa and scholarship fees, we trust that this funding is on its way ($2500 additional).

Maya Adjani. Photo by Lucas

It was a delight to meet Maya Adjani, of Breathe, Eat, Dance, Evolve and to sample her home-made raw chocolates.

If you feel inspired to help support these youth as well as other under-served, local and international children in their efforts to make a difference in their communities and in their lives, you can make a tax-deductible donation by visit: www.amalafoundation.org/donate.

For more about the Amala Foundation and the Global Youth Peace Summit
visit: www.amalafoundation.org

Blog by Lucas

Dividing the Estate: A Picture of the South

on stage at the ZACH Theatre for its last weekend!
by Margie Eades
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May 29, 2012 - July 1, 2012

Written by Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winner HORTON FOOTE
Directed bySTEVEN DIETZ (Doubt, Shooting Star and Becky’s New Car)
———–

Last weekend I visited the ZACH Theatre for the first time ever for the opening weekend of Fully Committed. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to return less than a week later for ZACH’s production of Dividing the Estate, written by the celebrated Texan playwright, Horton Foote (1916 – 2009).

The play follows the familiar dysfunctions of a Southern family, exaggerated by financial troubles and imperturbable greed. The Gordon children and grand-children constantly bicker about the future of their family’s historic – and valuable – estate, while Mamma Gordon (excellently portrayed by Marijane Vandivier) prefers to reminisce on days of a bygone era with her elderly servant, Doug (Eugene Lee).

Stella Gordon (Marijane Vandivier) and Doug (Eugene Lee) remember the “good old days” in Dividing the Estate. Photo by Kirk Tuck

If nothing else, Foote’s play serves as historical record of Texas in the 1980s: a Texas where big money and big hair ruled society and a strange sort of veiled racism still tinged the Southern mindset. I would even go as far as to say that this production of the play presents an opportunity for a brutally honest analysis of present-day Texan mentality towards issues such as race.  It was painful to see the characters of Mildred (Janis Stinson) and Cathleen (Sharayah Reed), the estate’s domestic workers, reduced to the stereotype of the large, overbearing Mammy figure. Historically, the Mammy archetype is one of the two roles (the other being the sensual Jezebel stereotype) that have been imposed upon Black actresses throughout the history of popular entertainment.

Mammy Stereotype (from Ethnic Notions by Marlon Riggs 1986)

However Foote must have been aware of the weight of the topic he was dealing with when writing the roles of the Black female domestic workers into the play, right? He did write the screenplay for To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) after all. My concern on Friday night was with how many of Foote’s fellow Texans actually caught on to the seriousness of these depictions. With the audience’s hearty laughter at every cliché “Mmmhmm” and cheeky comment made by the cook and her helper, I had to wonder how many others in the audience were having the same considerations I was about the historical and racial implications of these women’s roles in the script. Perhaps the fact that young Cathleen is attending a junior college while Emily and Sissy Gordon and their thick-headed mother Mary Jo can hardly do simple division presents a more accurate statement from Foote about the status of African-Americans in the South.

Mildred (Janis Stinson) and Cathleen (Sharayah Reed) in Dividing the Estate. Photo by Kirk Tuck

Mary Jo’s character, defined by relentless greed and a bad case of “youngest child syndrome”, is responsible for setting the tone of the entire drama. Unfortunately on Friday night, the lively actress Barbara Chisolm was unable to perform due to a death in the family and was temporarily replaced by Lauren Lane. While Lane played her new role bravely and whined and schemed very convincingly, her reading from a script inevitably took away from the play as a whole.

Marijane Vandivier’s portrayal of Stella “Mamma” Gordon hit straight to home, as I already mentioned. Her facetious quips about “overly educated women” divorce, living through the Great Depression, God’s wrath, reinstating plantation life, and Baptists versus Methodists are quintessentially “Southern grandma”. Whether it is her quirky and stubborn feminine ways or her pursed pink lips and permed white hair, there is something in her character that will remind every Texan of their grandmother. Her comments alone are revealing of the philosophy on life native to the South and make Foote’s play and ZACH’s production worth seeing.

Catch Dividing the Estate in its last weekend on the Kleberg Stage. A few more performances have been added due to popular demand. Get your tickets while you still can!

-M

CsillaWear Arrives on Congress Avenue

Csilla at work in her new retail space.

As part of our effort to expand Austin Creative Alliances’ support of the greater creative community, we are happy to showcase one of our newest, local fashion designers.

CsillaWear at 504 Congress Ave. (at 5th)

I met up with Csilla while she was hard at work cutting fabric for her next pattern. It’s impressive to meet this “hands-on” designer that retains a craft we rarely see in American-made fashion. As a young girl watching her grandmother sew, Csilla soon learned the skill. She explains that her passion for clothing design began while in High School, when she began making her own wardrobe and her own fashion statement. It blossomed from there.

“For my summer job at a local high-end boutique and seeing those cool clothes in the boutique gave her the idea. I put two and two together and bought one yard of fabric here and there and made a new dress or top every day through that summer”.

As a student at University of Texas, Csilla studied Interior Design and subsequently moved to New York to pursue a fashion career. Beginning with studies at Fashion Institute of Technology, lead to an internship with Nautica and eventually full-time positions with Liz Clairborne and Macy’s. After years of working in the corporate world, Csilla felt it was time for a change. With the support of her sister and friends she took the leap and went out on her own. CsillaWear was launched in New York City.

A Night to Indulge in Fashion and Beauty: CsillaWear recently hosted a fitting party to introduce her line to the broader Austin community where woman were invited to try-on the variety of her styles.

Attendees who graciously modeled CsillaWear.

Csilla’s designs are inspired by fabric, movement and silhouettes. She chooses an array of lively, colorful patterns to create fun to wear, elegant designs. Her international background influences her sophisticated styles, while all her creations have a natural, easy fit. Perfect for Austin.

Makeup artist Lecia Harkins.

Professional hair stylist, Deborah Lira and makeup artist, Lecia Harkins of Russ and Company Salon www.russandcompanysalon.com were also on site for all to enjoy a fresh look along with these stunning designs.

If you are looking for fashion with ease, dress it up or down, this is the place to shop, you’ll want to add a few styles to your wardrobe. Stop by and meet the lovely designer behind CsillaWear. Located at 504 Congress Ave. (at 5th St), Austin, TX. Hours M-F 11- 6pm, Saturdays 11-4pm.
www.csillawear.com

Blog by Lucas

Austin Filmmaker Paul Bright on World Premiere of Goliad Uprising, June 21st

Goliad Uprising

I spoke with NYC based Paul Bright about his most recent project, a sci-fi feature film called “Goliad Uprising.” This is his sixth feature film and is set to premiere June 21st at the Spirit Theater at the Bob Bullock Museum in Austin at 7:30 p.m.

Tell me about your film and why you choose the name “Goliad Uprising”?

The film is really a David and Goliath story. It’s about a small underground group of people who are trying to fight a large corporation. Goliad and the name Goliath are so very similar, they kinda suggest alliance. The town of Goliad in Texas where the local citizens were revolting against the government in power at the time, in this case, the Mexican Government. So it has a similar tale in some ways and the local citizens were rising up to assert their rights to gain their freedom. That’s why I thought “Goliad Uprising” was an appropriate title for the film.

How have recent events such as “The Occupy Movement”, “Arab Spring” and the “Syrian Rebellion” all which have been supported through Social Networking sites, make your film more timely?

When I wrote the script it was before anything was coming about in the Arab Spring and certainly before the Occupy Wall Street came into play. The script is about how large media in the United States influencing how people think and feel about whats going on in the world based on the information that they give or that they fail to give.

What I’ve been seeing is that our country has become very polarized in terms of personal opinion but a lot of that has to do with the fact that people aren’t really getting the whole story or balanced views from the media.

Whats going on with the Arab Spring and Occupy Movement is that there is a whole group of people who are rebelling against the people who are in power in each of these countries and It’s very similar to what’s going on in the film “Goliad Uprising”.

The way “Goliad Uprising” originally came about is that I noticed that in the United States, people were starting to protest at political rallies and they were being arrested and tasered and dragged off. I am a bleeding heart liberal, I will gladly admit to that. However, what I was seeing is at these rallies was that people who were not protesting, the people who I thought would be concerned and empathetic to different points of view of those who were demonstrating, were not at all. The security was in fact very harsh to the people who were very silently standing up and protesting.

So I realized that we have a real problem in our own country here…that it’s no longer acceptable to even exercise our first amendment rights of disagreeing and the act of disagreeing somehow becomes an illegal act. and so that is why I wrote this film as a statement of protest of how our society is evolving and starting to accept that we will approve of and tolerate and go along with whatever the people in power are doing.

Goliad Uprising

How do you see Social Networking movements like the “Goliad Uprising” fitting into the plans for your movie?

In the story of the film, the way the rebels, the protesters are getting together is through tweets and online text messages and basically having flash mobs. Same that was going on with the uprisings in the Arab World, the Middle East, is that people were finding a place to protest because it’s so easy and instantaneous nature a lot of this can take place anonymously allows people to gather very quickly and protest. Much can be done without having to risk the full extent of one’s identity. That is very similar to what’s going on in the storyline of the film, people are able to get together rather quickly using social media. In the film, even just the basic nature gathering together just to do this, they put on a performance rallying people around realizing and informing them that the technology is very dangerous. Just the simple act of stating this, is ruled to be illegal. Compare it to a fire in a theater, in the film there are 4 police raids and people are being held down because they are there to protest the power of this corporation.

How do you see media sites assisting you in your endeavor?

It’s about spreading the word. It also gives people a chance to interact back and to give feedback to what their experiences are in life. Social Media has put me in contact with people who have seen his films literally, all over the world. I hear from them what they think about the movie and what issues are going on in their lives, their concerns. By interacting this way and commenting on each others’s posts with the these people in the greater community, separates it from broadcast media which simply puts the news out there and there no way to hear your audience.

In the film world, what has happened very recently, within the last couple of years, is that filmmakers are starting to realize that the only way that we can do our work is with the support of our community.

This film, “Goliad Uprising” was funded entirely by donors who came to him through his social media contacts, through Facebook none of which he knew personally, at all. This was all from people who he meet online and who have supported his work in the past by watching it and wanted to see me continue to make these stories that they relate to that mean something to them.

Why did you choose Austin for the premiere?

Well that’s a no brainer, Austin is where the film was shot, there are 97 actors in the film and most of them are from Austin and it is where I have shot my previous 5 films. Austin is known for being a really cool town and very receptive to film.

Goliad Uprising Filmmakers

Yes, Austin has a reputation for being loved, people say good things about Austin.

For detailed information on the screening go to: www.nowplayingaustin.com/event/detail/441586509/GOLIAD_UPRISING_World_Premiere

Also see Facebook page: /www.facebook.com/goliaduprising

Blog by Lucas

Interview courtesy of AM/FM Magazine