Where we look at what was big this week with reviews from viewers like you.
Whether you are a long-time fan of the musical RENT or a newbie, you will delight in this powerful show performed with passion and verve by a very talented and dedicated cast. The emotional power of the show is all the more palpable due to the intimate scale of the Kleberg Stage at Zach Scott. The upper “wings” of the theatre are also used by the cast so that at times you are surrounded by the action of this heart-moving performance. Jonathan Larson-creator of this work- must surely be pleased, as he looks down from heaven, to see his record-breaking work deeply delight, move, and motivate audiences in Austin! All of the actors give stellar performances that will make you thrill with joy as well as weep with heart-ache. Especially note-worthy for me were the performances of Andrew Cannata in the role of Mark, Joshua Denning as Angel and Karma Stewart as Mimi. Folks, you can see Broadway-quality work right here in Austin. Please give yourself the gift of attending this play.
2. Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection
Harry Ransom Center
A wonderful display of photographs! Have you ever heard of SALT Paper photos? I hadn’t until I saw this exhibit. Also, see the different phases of the moon from the 1800’s, quite amazing. There are so many photographs, by many wonderful photographers. It is very difficult to pinpoint anyone photo that is better than the other. I also enjoyed the display of cameras; one of my favorites was the spy camera. A really cool way to learn about photography, to see where it has been and where it is going. So get going to the Harry Ransom Center and check out this awesome exhibit and see for yourself how truly lucky we are to have a place like the Ransom Center in town!
Director Dustin Wills soaks and intoxicates the audience with Baal, Brecht’s first and most juvenile play, foretelling best elements of epic theatre. We enter Night Cloud Cabaret, masterfully designed by Lisa Laratta, and enjoy a chorus of actors who frolic through the fourth wall in prologue, patter in view, costuming (beautifully) and vocalizing with intriguing affect, and delivering scene transitions with playful movement vocabulary. Gab Luna as drunk-poet-musician-narcissist-antihero (Baal) teases our sensibilities brilliantly for an “arduous” 3 hours. Kimberly Adams steals the show musically and is sheer delight in her roles. The plot is fragmented, dramatic arc hard to discern, and yet this play may be a requirement for serious students of theater. The average lay audience may resonate, however, with Ekart (well played by Joey Hood) when he questions Baal: “what is the purpose of this hoax?” Only the 20 year-old theatre student at Munich University (1918) knows for sure.
The E.A.S.T kicked off with rave reviews at the events and parties Friday night. This is really becoming a strong Austin event! Way to go artist of East Austin