Live from the A-Team: A Fictitious Biography on Pruning the Starlite

Another round of reviews for a week gone by, this time hearing about Ballet Austin’s La Sylphide, the Paradox Player’s Biography, ZACH’s Fiction, Easy Theatre’s Pruning the Family Tree, and opening night at the new location of the Blue Starlite Drive-In.

Reviews after the jump, and as always, info for all of these and more at

The Roots Go Deep – Pruning the Family Tree

This is a sweet and endearing play about the pains of family relationships and the possibility for reconciliation. The ensemble cast has good chemistry and shows the realistic side of life’s tragedies, which means the humor and absurdity that is often involved.



Unrequited Love & Guilt – Fiction

Does unrequited love possess a life of its own? As we move on with day-to-day existence, does a past romantic encounter move and grow along with us in a parallel universe . . . or perhaps with a sub-reality in a painfully revealing journal or a secret diary? Those are questions the talented (and thankfully local) playwright Steven Dietz raises in this play.
Charles Otte, the Director, writes that the complexity of the play’s theme mirrors some of the same complexities of the human heart. And that, folks cuts to the chase of this sensitive play with its playful wordplay . . . and occasional laughter. Where do we draw the line in our own lives between reality and the embellished fictional lives we wished we lived?

The arena stage is perfect and kudos to the lighting and sound design – Jason Amato and Antonio Garfias that let’s the characters step backward in time and then into the present. And this trio of actors – McCall, Gomes, Andrews, with a handful of props and little set furniture, play off of each other in sparkling fashion, thanks to Dietz wonderful script.

I urge, yes, “urge” Austin theatregoers, particularly men and women “of a certain age and experience,” to see this “comedic drama,” or is it “dramatic comedy”? For lovers, longtime partners and particularly writers, it will be an examination of the heart and the imagination and the thin boundary between reality, longing and creativity. During, or afterwards, patrons will likely revisit their “roads not taken,” or at a minimum, push their private journals into more secure hiding places and their subconscious encounters into darker recesses of their mind.

-Preston Kirk

Classic Good Times at the Blue Starlite

Classic movies with the backdrop of the Austin skyline instead of some musty old wall — that’s what the Blue Starlite Drive-In offers. While they’ve been around for a little while, the East-Side has been graced with another location for under-the-stars movie viewing.

Opening night of the Blue Starlite’s 2nd location showcased Back to the Future, the perfect kind of classic to saddle up with a few friends and drive down and watch. There’s a special kind of feeling sitting with a bunch of friends in your truck’s bed, or your car’s open trunk–passes are for a carload, not individuals, so split up the cost and the more the merrier I say–along with plenty of others doing the same, especially in the comforts of the near-East side, it feels like a real sort of community.

Great atmosphere, good, clear screen, food trailers to be had behind, and it’s no more expensive than a regular movie, less with lots of friends, with great movie choices. No excuse for not already having a ticket.


A Beautiful, Enchanting Story – La Sylphide

This was my first time at the ballet, and I have to say, I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

La Sylphide is a charming, exciting story and the sets, costumes and choreography fell nothing short of enhancing this lovely tale. The lead characters of the boy, his best friend, the fairy and the witch were incredibly strong not just as dancers, but as actors. It was a joy to watch all four of them.

Though the first act was very strong, the second act was absolutely breathtaking–from the witches magical encantations which filled the stage with smoke to the lighting of the forest and the fairy’s finale. It was a spectacle certainly worth seeing.

I loved it!

-Lindsey S.

What If You Write Your Own Biography? – Biography

I have always wondered what would happen when I write my own memoirs. Do I use real names or make them up? This play follows Marion’s story as she accepts an offer to write her own Biography. All performances were done very well and portrayed very strong character types, that were often contrasted with another personality type. To her credit, Marian does her best to help everyone get along. The costumes and the set help bring us back to the 1930’s, but the story could have been set in a more current time, since the struggles continue today. The characters will seem very familiar. There are some great lines. My favorite line is “I used to be like you – rude on principle, just to make an impression.” (Hmmm. Reminds me of someone I know.) Paradox Players do a fine job of bringing volunteers together to produce performances on quite a professional level. I absolutely loved the set and its burgundy colors. Well done all around.

-Pam B.

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About nowplayingaustin

The Austin Creative Alliance is a nonprofit performing arts service organization working to cultivate an environment where the performing arts can grow and flourish. We serve over 130 arts organizations with marketing, ticketing, audience development services; AEA paymaster, information & referral services — plus access to affordable health, liability, and event insurance. We also provide online professional development seminars, fiscal sponsorship services for emerging arts groups, host annual unified general auditions, annual theatre industry awards, and consistently advocate for the many benefits the arts bring to our quality of life.

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