There’s no doubt that Austin is flush with creative, artistic individuals. Beyond the live music shows that we’re so well-known for, Austin is also home to a thriving performing arts scene. While it make take extra planning and prepping for us busy moms to get a night out at the theatre, it’s such a worthwhile and emotionally satisfying activity. So get out there in 2015! Take advantage of our city’s “culture of creativity”. Enjoy some singing, dancing, and storytelling that will move you, entertain you, and inspire you.
Children’s Theatre Roundup for February:
What’s the Story, Steve?
Help Steve and his cast of improvisers bring original stories to the stage! These 50 minute live performances feature Steve the improvising poodle. Each show is a unique story inspired by audience suggestion. All ages welcome. Tickets at the door. Volunteer to be a part of the show or enjoy from your seat.
Special shows in February!
Steve Scott and the ValenTimes – February 7th & 14th
Steve Scott Solves Them All – February 21st & 28th
Shows at 10am, $5
The Flying Theater Machine
The Flying Theater Machine has finished their homework, played around at recess, and made it to school on time. Now they’re ready for a field trip! And you’re invited to go on this magically scientific journey to explore all sorts of things–from the ocean to outer space to prehistoric times to your own human body. You’ll be lead by a fun-loving teacher into a new scientific subject each week along with the intellectual student, the nervous student, the class clown, the athlete, the misfit, and anyone else you might meet at school. Come learn with us on our weekly journeys, which we bring to life with suggestions and help from the kids (and their parents). The more explorers, the more to discover together!
Shows at 2pm, $5
Austin Public Library branches
Bawk! It’s an elephant! It’s an umbrella! No, it’s a… chicken?! See how the chickens in this coop make room for a giant new friend in Literature Live!’s less-than-traditional puppet show production of Austin author Keith Graves’ wonderful book, Chicken Big! This show is recommended for ages 4 and up.
January 26th – April 30th, times vary
Peter and the Starcatcher
This swashbuckling pirate story tells what happened before a young orphan became the boy who never grew up—the boy we know as Peter Pan. The five-time Tony® Award-winning play will have you hooked from the moment you let your imagination take flight to Neverland! In an evening of madcap fun, a dozen brilliant actors play more than 100 unforgettable characters from James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, using their enormous talent, ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination.
January 28-March 1
Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:30pm, $25 and up
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote
Scottish Rite Theater
Pancho Rabbit meets danger at every stage of his journey to find his missing Papá, but the greatest danger of all is his untrustworthy guide. Kids will be inspired and cautioned by this resonant and powerful story. Live music and imaginative scenes fill the Scottish Rite Theater stage. Curricular materials created by master teacher Caroline Sweet are available to teachers. Recommended for K-5th Grade. Read more about this play in our earlier post.
January 31st – March 1st
11am on Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays), $8 and up
Brentwood Christian School
The farcical story centers around deception, mixups, disguise, and surprise. It was premiered in London in 1875, shortly after Trial by Jury opened, and like The Gilbert and Sullivan opera it is written in one act, running approximately 40 minutes, and contains no spoken dialogue. After its rediscovery in the 1960s, it has entered the repertory of “association works” like Cox and Box.
February 15th at 2:30pm & 4pm
$10 suggested donation at the door
Dougherty Arts School Presents: Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads
Austin Public Library branches
Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem. Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits.
February 17th – March 12th, times vary
The Three Little Pigs
ZACH Theatre’s Kleberg Stage
Take three little piglets, their devoted single-parent mom, and a misunderstood Big Bad Wolf, and you’ve got the perfect “Great Big Little Broadway Show” for audiences ages 3 and up. Filled with humor, this endearing tale will leave you squealing with glee and howling with laughter!
February 27th – April 25th, Shows at 11am and 2pm on Saturdays, 2pm and 4:30pm on Sundays (no shows on 4/5, 4/11, 4/19), opening night at 6:30pm; Autism-friendly performance on March 7th at 2pm
$15 and up
EmilyAnn Theatre (Wimberley)
February 28th – March 22nd, Saturdays at 10am, Sundays at 2pm (10am performance on March 3rd & 26th)
$8 and up
Theatre Roundup for the Older Kids and Grown-Ups for February:
The Free Fringe
There are hundreds of performers, and every single one of them is prone to saying things like “Wouldn’t it be crazy if…?” or “I just had the most insane idea.” This is where those dreams go, not to die, but to live gloriously on the stage for one night only. Every week will be dramatically different. There could be shows with improvisers tied up in rope, 50 performers onstage, blindfolded actors, improvising dogs, or 1000 other things. THE FREE FRINGE IS FREE. FOREVER. Reserve your tickets in advance to guarantee yourself a spot.
Shows start at 10pm
Prepare for MOVIE RIOT— a live improvised comedy double header event. Two teams of comedy juggernauts take the ColdTowne Theater stage to create brand new never-before-seen movies live on stage. From a title or song lyric, the performers will lovingly craft complete improvised films, all made up on the spot. But the fun doesn’t end there. Add in free popcorn and movie candies (and for a limited time FREE MAGARITAS), you’ll get a recipe for a killer cinema-inspired live comedy event.
Show starts at 7pm, $5
The Hideout presents twelve of Austin’s virtuoso improv comedians for a night of games and scenes based on audience suggestions — but only one of them will make it to the end of the show and be crowned MAESTRO for the week and awarded the coveted Canadian five-dollar bill. Also, all Maestro shows are now wheelchair accessible as they are performed in the Downstairs Theater. To guarantee a space ahead of time e-mail Artistic Director Roy Janik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shows at 10pm, $12
All Ages Improv Night
Each week, we welcome one or two troupes of young performers and an established adult troupe to improvise original shows. In addition to family friendly performances, each show features an Improv Jam. Audience members are invited to join performers on stage for low pressure, supportive and occasionally very silly improv.
5-6:15pm, pay as you wish (Suggested donation: $3-$5)
Changelings conjures a magical realm where anything is possible. A VORTEX World Premiere of a new play by Reina Hardy, Changelings blends fantasy and adventure to create a vibrant pop mythology that is entertaining, yet unnerving. Integrating puppetry, acrobatics, and original music, Rudy Ramirez directs a stellar cast in the creation of the fairyland beneath Austin. But beware these fairies—they might steal your babies! With exuberant spectacle and nods to 1980’s classic fantasy flicks, Changelings appeals to a broad audience of all ages.
January 16th – February 7th, $30 priority seating, $20 general admission, $10 artist/student/senior
The Long Center
Do you believe in love at first site? Written and performed by Luciann Lajoie and based on interviews with a wildly diverse group of more than 150 online daters (young, old, straight, gay, Mormon, Jewish, etc.), this hilarious and candid multimedia show explores the hits and misses of one woman’s surprising quest to find love online.
February 3rd – 7th, $27.50 and up
The 22nd Annual FRONTERAFEST
Hyde Park Theatre
A collaboration between Hyde Park Theatre and ScriptWorks, FronteraFest is composed of four separate performance events; the Short Fringe, which runs the entirety of the Festival through February 14th, showcasing pieces 25 minutes or less (Hyde Park Theatre, 511 West 43rd Street); the Long Fringe, with pieces between 45-90 minutes running through February 1st at Austin’s new Ground Floor Theatre (979 Springdale Road), and ‘Mi Casa es Su Teatro’, which offers one day (Saturday, February 7th) of performances hosted primarily at private homes from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. The fourth component, Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV), allows participants to perform work in their own unique venues, held on various dates and locations listed on www.hydeparktheatre.org.
January 19th – February 14th, times and ticket prices vary
Three Zisters is an amalgamation of a modern adaption of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, a literal translation of the original Russian text, and dramatic criticism of Chekhov’s work. The piece explores the innate conflict between performing classic texts and the changing roles of gender and performance in contemporary culture. Oh, and the sisters are zombies. The synopsis: The three sisters have long been dead and buried. Vershinin, Tusenbach, and Suleny exhume them with the hopes of creating the perfect women for their pleasure. The sisters, unburied and ready to adapt to a new way of life, learn that there are already very stringent expectations in place for their arrivals.
January 22-February 14
Thursdays – Saturdays at 8pm, $20 (Thursday night performances are pay-what-you-wish)
Jesus Christ Superstar
Georgetown Palace Theatre (Georgetown)
Christ’s final days are dramatized with emotional intensity, thought-provoking edge and explosive theatricality. Propelled by a stirring score, by turns driving and majestic, satirical and tender, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR illuminates the transcendent power of the human spirit with a passion that goes straight to the heart.
January 16th – February 15th, Friday and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm
$27 and up
The True Story of Bonnie & Clyde
In the ‘30s, the newspapers loved Bonnie and Clyde. Reporters called them everything from bloodthirsty killers to modern-day Robin Hoods. Whether heroes or villains, their iconic images sold millions of newspapers to a fascinated public. The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde explores the mix of fact and fiction in 1930s journalism that landed Bonnie and Clyde on the front pages of national newspapers.
February 5th – 14th
Shows at 8pm, $10
Everything is Established
Two hapless servants are forced to contend with the arrival of their master’s mail-order bride – after the master has suddenly passed away. This new comedy by local phenom Hannah Kenah features three of Austin’s great comedic all-stars: Lee Eddy, Michael Joplin, and Jeffery Mills.
February 6th – 21st
All shows at 8pm, $20
She Stoops to Conquer
Austin Playhouse at Highland Mall
Two well-bred young men arrive at the country estate of Mr. Hardcastle, intending to court his daughter Kate and her cousin Constance, but when local mischief-maker Tony Lumpkin plays a practical joke on the two urbanites, the Hardcastle household is launched into a dizzying, deliciously frothy romp that examines romance and social manners as well as the art of love. Recommended for middle school and up.
February 13th – March 8th
Thursdays – Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 5pm, $28 Thursdays/Fridays, $30 Saturdays/Sundays and $35 Opening Night (Student tickets are half-price and $3 discount for seniors 65 and up. A limited number of Pick-Your-Price Rush tickets will be available at the box office one hour prior to show time for each Thursday performance.)
The Invention of Love
The Long Center
Considered by many to be Tom Stoppard’s finest play, The Invention of Love explores the secret, unrequited and life-long love of the great poet A.E. Houseman. The play is written from the viewpoint of Housman, dealing with his memories at the end of his life, and contains many classical allusions. The Invention of Love received both the Evening Standard Award (U.K.) and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award (U.S.) for Best Play. The Invention of Love also features the young, rambunctious aesthete Oscar Wilde bursting on to the scene.
February 18th – March 8th, Thursdays – Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm, $14 and up
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 8-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]