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 March:
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 March!
Steve Scott Solves Them All – A Small Dog Mystery – March 7th
Steve by Steve West – March 14th & 21st
Shows at 10am, pay as you wish
The Flying Theater Machine
This spring at the Hideout Theatre, say hello to the friendly Monster Family! Join them in improvised adventures, games, stories and interactions to discover Kid Monster’s unique gift– talking to humans! Kid Monster doesn’t care if you are human or monster, or anything else; all Kid Monster cares about is making friends and having fun. And you too can help Kid Monster show Monster Family that humans are really nice! Families, monster and human alike will be able to experience a new way of seeing the world; all before Kid Monster’s bedtime! So bring your tails, paws, stomps and cheers for this hilariously monster of a good time.
Every Sunday (no shows on March 15th nor 22nd)
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
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. Check out our review and giveaway here.
$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
Stella, Queen of the Snow
Stella, Queen of the Snow tells the story of Stella and her little brother Sam, as they spend the day playing in the snow. The forest, snowballs, snow angels and the mysterious white stuff itself provide fuel for Sam’s questions and Stella’s answers as they discover the world of winter together. First published in 2000, the book remains a favorite with worldwide fans. This production features whimsical puppets, striking scenic effects and evocative original music. Best for Pre-K-3rd grade.
March 8 at 2pm, $20
Studio Spotlight – Director’s Choice
Up-close, personal and informal, Studio Spotlight gives guests a preview of the choreography and elements from the upcoming production while it is still in the works. Ballet Austin dancers rehearse excerpts from the show while Artistic Director Stephen Mills and Associate Artistic Director Michelle Martin lead a brief lecture and Q&A. This is the perfect lunchtime break or happy hour activity. The express lunchtime session lasts from 12 – 12:30pm, and features an optional dancer Q&A and costume viewing from 12:30 – 12:45pm. Recommended for ages 11 and older. The happy hour session lasts from 6 – 7pm and features guest speakers and a dancer Q&A. Recommended for ages 11 years and older.
March 12 at noon and 6pm, FREE with RSVP
Jack and the Beanstalk
Scottish Rite Theater
After selling the family car on Craigslist in exchange for magic beans, Jack ascends to new heights as he tries to make things right. Live music, puppets, and lots of action make this the perfect show for young kids. Jack and the Beanstalk opens March 21 and closes April 5 on Easter Sunday with a bonus golden egg hunt in the historic Scottish Rite theater.
March 21-April 5, 11:00am and 1pm shows on Saturdays and 12:30pm and 2:30pm shows on Sundays (shows on Sunday, April 5 are preceded by an Easter Egg Hunt), $10 for adults and $6 for 12 and under
Click, Clack, Moo
One World Theatre
Cows that type? Hens on strike! Whoever heard of such a thing?’ Farmer Brown cries. When his granddaughter Jenny comes for a visit, Farmer Brown declares the farm a ‘tech-free zone.’ He confiscates her laptop in the cold barn along with the shivering cows who use the computer to type messages requesting blankets. ‘No blankets!’ replies Farmer Brown. So the cows go on strike and the chickens join them in solidarity. No blankets = no milk, no eggs! Will Farmer Brown give in to the animals’ demands? Will Jenny get her computer back? Find out in a hilariously ‘mooooo-ving’ musical by TheatreworksUSA about negotiation and compromise, based on the Caldecott Honor Book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin.
March 28 at noon, $15 adult and $12 child (general admission)
Theatre Roundup for the Older Kids and Grown-Ups for March:
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)
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
The City TheatreWilliam Shakespeare’s timeless political thriller portrays the life and death struggle for
power as honor,envy and patriotism collide. Caesar’s political genius, military prowess
and overwhelming appeal, make him the most powerful leader the Republic has ever
known. But his growing ambitions threaten his rivals, and Caesar’s disregard to
prophetic warnings leads to his tragic fall, setting in motion one of the most famous
murder conspiracies in history. With the conflict of war and the loyalty of country,
Shakespeare’s masterpiece is a discourse on ambition and ideals, how the choices of
great men can have grave consequences. The play’s message is not soon forgotten.
February 20-March 15, $15+
The Institution Theater
We all know the stories: Cinderella and her glass slipper, Jack and his magic beans, Sleeping Beauty and her curse. But what if there were a different, grittier side to those beloved tales of enchantment and adventure? Grimm Noir takes you into the dark alleys and seedy spots often edited out of the tales you were told as a child.
February 20-March 7 – Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, $10
Salvage Vanguard Theater
Simple Sundries is a new comedy featuring Glass Half Full’s unique blend of puppetry and live performance. The story centers on a budding entrepreneur named Constance, recently arrived in Austin in search of a more authentic lifestyle. Her plans to open an extravagant sundries shop in Austin are thwarted by the former residents of her recently flipped bungalow, namely a colony of monk parakeets who have other plans for their longtime home. A comic exploration of Austin’s current economic explosion and what happens to those who were already here, using puppets and physical comedy.
February 27-March 14, $12 and up
There is a movement afoot… a movement that celebrates the power of everyday lives, and which proclaims that the memories we hold within our hearts are the most powerful stories we can tell. You can see it alive in projects like PostSecret, Mortified, Found Magazine, StoryCorps, and This American Life, all of which take our lives and reflect them back to us respectfully, humorously, and sincerely. In every show we’ll use improvisation to explore secrets anonymously submitted by you and other Austinites. Serious secrets will be treated with proper respect, and more lighthearted secrets will be treated frivolously, so expect a mix of drama, comedy, and everything in between.
Saturdays at 8pm in March and April and select Sundays at 8pm in April, $12
Second Sunday Comedy Showcase
Watch the improv all-stars of Austin, The Known Wizards, headline this improv comedy showcase with spontaneous scenes, hilarious games, surprisingly good songs, and fantastic stories all made up on the spot based on audience input. You say it, we play it–like magic! The March show features Merlin Works Improv 301 & Singing 301 students and Improv 601 graduating students.
Second Sundays (March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13, October 11, November 8, December 22), $9
The Second City 55th Anniversary
Celebrate with Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe as they spotlight hilarious new material as well as sketches, songs, and improvisations from the past, made famous by notable comedians and former company members like Belushi, Radner, and Carell. Second City Touring Company, GreenCo, will be performing, featuring Lisa Barber, Jo Feldman, Julie Marchiano, Chucho Perez, Nick Rees, and Adam Schreck.
March 6 at 7pm & 9:30pm, March 7th at 7pm & 9:30pm, $39
Der Berstrafte Brudermord or Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
York Rite Masonic Hall
The mysterious origins of Brudermord are being put to the test as we perform this rarely seen 1710 adaptation of Hamlet as it may have been intended: a puppet show. Acting as a laboratory for Professor Stern’s research, the Hidden Room uses a new English translation by Christine Schmidle with puppets created by Mystery Bird Puppet Show and styled and costumed by Jennifer Davis to imagine the staging conditions of an early 18th Century puppet play. Live music, sound effects, and onstage narration will accompany this most unusual, and at times outrageously slapstick version of Hamlet that includes added characters and scenes, yet still enjoys a brisk running time of just over an hour.
March 6-8, $25 (special events each night are offered for an extra fee)
Oscar G. Brockett Theatre
Under the direction of Charles O. Anderson, Andrea Beckham and Yacov Sharir, The University of Texas at Austin’s award-winning dance company Dance Repertory Theatre is going “downtown” this season, presenting experimental, contemporary works inspired by New York City’s “downtown dance” scene. Highlights include Kate Watson-Wallace’s Wildness: a requiem for Jamaal Muhammad, a reflection on the murder of a young African American man. Sidra Bell’s schematic focuses on pure movement, showcasing the dancers’ exploration of self from the inside out. And University of Texas at Austin Professor Yacov Sharir’s AdMortuos examines virtual environments, cyberspace and computerized choreography. MOVE! contains mature content. It is suitable for ages 13+.
March 6-14, $15+
Hands Up Hoodies Down
Hands Up Hoodies Down is a protest song sung in the key of high octane spoken word stanzas exploding through tears and heartache; it’s the balled fist full of possibilities; it’s the feeling of the day after the riot and no place to buy groceries; it’s the mother’s moan and the father’s wail. How do we react when human beings are taken out of existence?
March 12-14 at 8pm, $20 General Admission ($10 artist/student/senior; 2-for-1 admission Thursday with a donation of two cans for SafePlace)
This one-woman show, written by Tony nominated actress Charlayne Woodard, begins with a dangerous premature birth and two young parents who place their child’s survival directly in the hands of God.
Co-produced by Spectrum Theatre Company and Austin Playhouse, Pretty Fire intertwines tender memories of triumph, faith, adversity, and love from an African-American childhood that entertains while connecting to deep places of the heart.
March 12-22, $20 regular tickets, $15 seniors & students
Austin Dance Collaborative
Austin Allegro Dance presents Austin Dance Collaborative, where professional dancers from all over Austin, TX come together for an amazing opportunity to showcase their work.
March 14 at 3pm & 6pm, Suggested donation of $5 Cash or Credit Card (50% of the proceeds from the silent auction will go to Leap of Joy!, a nonprofit empowering young people through dance and theater arts.)
The Last Five Years
Trinity Street Theatre
The Last Five Years tells the emotionally powerful story of Jamie and Cathy, two 20-something New Yorkers who dive head first into a marriage fueled by the optimism that comes with finding “the one.” But in a city where professional and personal passions collide and only the strongest relationships survive, navigating the waters of love and matrimony can sometimes prove too much. Funny, honest, and intimate, with an exuberantly romantic score, the Drama Desk Award-winning story explores the delicacy of love in a unique structure: Cathy tells her story from end to beginning while Jamie tells his from beginning to end.
March 19-April 12 Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 5pm (free childcare on March 28th; registration required); $20 regular, $18 students, $18 seniors(60+)
WONDERSHOW: Acts of Magic, Mischief and Mystery
Award-winning producer Patrick Terry returns to The VORTEX with a line up of the best contemporary conjurors the world over! Don’t miss WONDERSHOW: Acts of Magic, Mischief, and Mystery for Two Nights only. The VORTEX stage is graced by incredible performances from magician and mind reader VINNY DePONTO (“Breathtaking” –NY Daily News), as well as the rock star of Jugglers, MARCUS MONROE, (The Tonight Show) plus breathtaking classical illusions from ANDREW GOLDENHERSH – multiple award winner at the famed Magic Castle & much more!
March 20-21 at 8pm, $30 priority seating and $25 General Admission
Oxford students Jack and Charley can”t court their sweethearts without a chaperone. Charley’s aunt is on her way from Brazil and will fit the bill – until her arrival is delayed! What to do, what to do? By George, they hire an impersonator, or rather coerce their rascally schoolmate Fancourt to pose as Charley’s aunt from Brazil, – “where the nuts come from.” Complications begin when the schoolmate, in drag, becomes the love object of two older men.
March 20-April 11, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 5pm, with the exception of March 29th at 3pm; $15 Thursdays, $20, $25, and $30 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Peter Aguero, storyteller and popular host of The Moth, takes the audience through a raw and sympathetic look at his relationship with his father over the years with Daddy Issues. Through crippling honesty, brutal humor, and vivid reflection, Peter tackles the universal plight of not being able to pick your family.
March 22 at 8pm, $30 priority seating and $25 General Admission
Sister Easter’s Catechism
Rollins Studio Theatre
Celebrate the Easter Season with Sister as she answers the time worn questions of the season like “Why isn’t Easter the same day every year like Christmas?” and “Will My Bunny Go To Heaven?” Part pageant, and wHOLY hysterical, this latest of the sinfully funny Late Nite Catechism series unearths the origins of Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter bonnets, Easter baskets, and of course those yummy Easter Peeps. Sister answers questions about pet heaven and the significance of those adorable baby chicks! Classroom participation is a must, so don’t forget to wear your Easter bonnet and join Sister for this seasonal treat! Ages 12 and up.
March 27-29, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3 & 8pm, Sunday at 3pm; $39+, $5 eyeGO tickets available for high school students
Save 25% on tickets to see Sister’s Easter Catechism when you use the code BUNNY.
Enter a Woman, Pretty Enough
Oscar G. Brockett Theatre
Cora is a twelve year-old girl on an exciting field trip to visit a historic gold rush town in northern California. But when her best friend she’s expecting to see never appears, Cora finds herself in a totally new frontier: rough, wicked, and bizarre. Partnered with the dark adventures of Judah, a virtuous gold miner in 1849, Enter a Woman, Pretty Enough performs the wild west’s past, present and future. Bar fights, camp fires, taffy, and booze make up this history of man’s ruthless, wild appetite for expansion even well after all the gold’s been seized and the girls long gone.
March 27, 28, April 2, 3 at 7:30pm; March 28, 29 at 2pm; Admission is free, seating is limited
Bass Concert Hall
Welcome to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd––and to leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-WWII Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times? Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.”
March 29-April 3, $28.50+
Bass Concert Hall
JERSEY BOYS, is the Tony®, Grammy® and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30! JERSEY BOYS features their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” JERSEY BOYS contains authentic, ‘profane Jersey language’, and is recommended for ages 12+.
March 24-29, $34+
[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]