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.
This month’s Theatre Mama is brought to you by the Scottish Rite Theater. Get tickets for you and your spouse (or a friend) and enjoy an evening out laughing to one of the Bard’s earliest plays starring not one, but two sets of identical twins, The Comedy of Errors. The show runs until Saturday, October 10th.
Children’s Theatre Roundup for October:
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.
Shows at 10am, pay as you wish
The Flying Theater Machine
“Super Buddies!” is where multiple comic book stories come to life! What will be their powers? How did they get them? What are their weaknesses? The audience helps decide in these epic stories of Hero vs Villain, Sidekick vs. Henchman, and super buddy vs. super buddy! These fully improvised stories will need your help! Kids and adults alike will be asked to lend their aid with their suggestions, creative input, and acting powers so that these strange tales can be completed. Help us, brave Heroes! (and villains!)
Shows at 2pm, $5
Wild and Wacky Weather
Austin Public Library locations
If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a few minutes and it will change! Take a stroll through sunny songs, breezy stories, and wintry puppetry when Literature Live! presents their new puppet show, Wild and Wacky Weather! Check out the trailer here.
September 7 – December 4
Showtimes vary, FREE
Snow White & Rose Red
Emily Ann Theatre (Wimberley)
Join us for the next installment in the EmilyAnn’s interactive Children’s Theatre Series. Adapted by D. Heath Thompson, this 40-minute show promises fun for audience members ages 2 – 102. Performed in the indoor Burdine Johnson Studio Theatre.
September 12 – October 4
Saturdays at 10am & Sundays at 2pm, $8+
Winnie the Pooh
ZACH Kleberg Theatre
Winnie-the-Pooh finds himself involved in all sorts of frantic adventures, assisted by such friends as the dismal Eeyore, Piglet and Rabbit. Pooh’s intentions are always the best, but his passion for honey and condensed milk keeps getting him into trouble. Come see A.A. Milne’s beloved characters in this charming musical adaptation.
September 18 – December 12
September 18 at 6:30pm, most Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm, some Saturdays at 11am, October 29 at 4:30pm, Autism/Sensory-Friendly Performance on October 31 at 11am, $15+
The Little Mermaid
Bass Concert Hall
In a magical kingdom fathoms below, we meet Ariel, the little mermaid who is tired of flipping her fins and longs to be part of the fascinating world on dry land. Joining her are Sebastian, Ariel’s crabby sidekick; Ursula, the evil sea witch; Triton, King of the Sea and the handsome and human Prince Eric. Based on the Disney animated film and hit Broadway musical. Dive on in! Life is the bubbles, under the sea!
September 29 – October 4
Tuesday – Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, Sunday at 1pm & 7pm, $35+
Just a Minute! A Día de los Muertos Play
Scottish Rite Theater
Celebrate el día de los muertos with this staged adaptation of Yuyi Morales’s fantastical award-winning books Just a Minute and Just in Case. Señor Calavera wants Grandma Beetle to leave with him right away, but she still has one house to sweep, two pots of tea to boil, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas – and that’s just the start! Kids of all ages will love these bilingual counting and alphabet tales.
October 3 – November 1
October 3rd, 10th, 24th & 31st at 11am and October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th and November 1st at 12:30pm and October 18th, 25th and November 1st at 2:30pm and October 24th & 31st at 1pm; $7/child and $13/age 13 and up
Fly Guys & Other Stories
One World Theatre
Seven delightful stories come to life in Theatreworks USA’s musical revue Fly Guy & Other Story Books. In the title story Fly Guy Meets Fly Girls (by Ted Arnold), Fly Guy has met his match, and her name is Fly Girl. Fly Guy is totally impressed, and totally smitten. Join us to find out if Fly Guy and Fly Girl get married and leave Buzz without his dear pet? Other books featured in the show include: Diary of a Worm (by Doreen Cronin), Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig (by Kate McMullan), Horace & Morris But Mostly Dolores (by James Howe), Kitten’s First Full Moon (by Kevin Henkes), Lilly’s Big Day (by Kevin Henkes) and Paper Bag Princess (by Robert Munsch).
Show begins at noon, $9/child and $12/adult
Poetry on the Plaza: Actors from the London Stage
Harry Ransom Center
Claire Redcliffe from the touring Shakespeare company Actors from the London Stage will present a dramatic reading of “Perchance to Dream,” an exploration of sleep and dreaming in poetry. Light refreshments will be served. Shakespeare lovers will want to return for our exhibition Shakespeare in Print and Performance, opening December 21.
Show begins at noon, FREE but donations welcome
Dog Loves Books
One World Theatre
Louise Yates’ New York Times best seller comes to life in ArtsPower’s newest musical about the irresistible Dog who loves everything about books. In fact, he loves books SO much that he decides to open up his own bookstore. Once the store opens for business, no customers come. Dog is alone in his store. But, he soon realizes that when he is surrounded by books, he is never alone. Dog begins to read the books in his store and discovers that when customers finally come in to his store, he knows exactly which books to recommend. ArtsPower’s delightful new musical celebrates the power of the imagination and the satisfaction that comes when you share books with others.
Show begins at noon, $9/child and $12/adult
Theatre Roundup for the Older Kids and Grown-Ups for October:
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.
Every Thursday (except for September 3 when the Hideout hosts the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival)
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
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 October show features a Free Improv Jam Night with special guest MC Harold!
Second Sundays (October 11, November 8, December 22), $9
Emily Ann Theatre (Wimberley)
At the behest of John the Baptist, young men and women forsake their jobs and take up the mantle of Jesus Christ, becoming his disciples, in a musical retelling of the Gospel of Matthew set in modern-day. Using song and dance, the apostles traverse the city, spreading Christ’s message of love and tolerance as the time moves ever closer to his betrayal at the hands of Judas and, ultimately, his crucifixion. Godspell will be performed in the indoor Burdine Johnson Studio Theatre.
September 4 – October 4
Fridays – Sundays at 7:30pm, $10+
The 39 Steps
The Wimberley Playhouse
A fast-paced comedic whodunit that combines elements of the original Hitchcock film, a juicy spy novel and a dash of Monty Python – magical theater all the way! Action centers on a man with a boring life who meets a woman who claims to be a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered, and a mysterious organization called “the 39 Steps” pursues him in a madcap manhunt leading to a death-defying finale.
September 11 – October 4
Friday & Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:30pm; $12+
The Real Thing
Stoppard combines his characteristically brilliant wordplay and wit with flashes of insight that illuminate the nature–and the mystery–of love, creating a play that challenges the mind while searching out the innermost secrets of the heart.
September 18 – October 11
Thursdays, Fridays at Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 5pm; $28+
The Importance of Being Earnest
Way Off Broadway Community Players
The Importance of Being Earnest is the most renowned of Oscar Wilde’s comedies. It’s the story of two bachelors, John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, who create alter egos named Ernest to escape their tiresome lives (and chase women without accountability). They attempt to win the hearts of two women who, conveniently, claim to only love men called Ernest. The pair struggle to keep up with their own stories and become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure. The elaborate plot ridicules Victorian sensibilities with some of the best loved, and indeed bizarre, characters to be found on the modern stage.September 18 – October 10
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm; $10+
Freud’s Last Session
Black Box Theatre
An intellectual debate by two brilliant minds, the young Oxford don C.S. Lewis and the legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud, discussing everything from love and sex to the meaning of life and the existence of God. Although there is no historical record that the two men ever actually met, Lewis and Freud certainly knew of each other. This supposed meeting is set in Freud’s London home on September 3, 1939, the day that Great Britain entered World War II. With frequent BBC news broadcasts concerning the war as a backdrop for the action of the play, the threat of death is in the air and on both men’s minds.
September 23 – October 18
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2:30pm; $15+
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play
Mary Moody Northen Theatre
After the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of “The Simpsons” episode “Cape Feare” entirely from memory. 7 years later, this and other snippets of pop culture (sitcom plots, commercials, jingles, and pop songs) have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society sincerely trying to hold onto its past. 75 years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created. Ben Brantley of the N Y Times writes: [W]ith grand assurance and artistry, Ms. Washburn makes us appreciate anew the profound value of storytelling in and of itself, and makes a case for theater as the most glorious and durable storyteller of all.” Featuring Equity guests Jill Blackwood and Marc Pouhé. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
September 24 – October 4
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm; $18+
Hyde Park Theater
Only the second production in the country of this new work by Greg Pierce, who wrote HPT’s award-winning smash hit Slowgirl. After a series of unsettling discoveries in a marble-quarry town in Vermont, antisocial widow Jean McClain decides to conduct her own investigation. A funny and surreal detective story with a haunting original score by Randal Pierce.
September 24 – October 24
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm, October 1 at 8pm, $22+
The Comedy of Errors
Scottish Rite Theater
Identical twins separated at birth. No, make that two sets of identical twins separated at birth. The Comedy of Errors, the Bard’s wackiest play, comes to life in Austin’s oldest, dearest theater. For all ages with a few bawdy bits. This is Shakespeare, after all!
September 25 – October 10
Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, September 27 at 2pm, October 1 at 8pm, $15+
ZACH Topfer Theatre
Experience passion and seduction in the seven-time Tony Award®-winning musical Evita, in an all-new production created by ZACH. Revered by her people as an advocate for the poor, Eva Perón climbed meteorically from the slums of Argentina to her role as beloved First Lady at the age of 27, and became one of the most powerful women in the world. Evita tells Eva’s passionate and unforgettable true story through some of the theatre’s most beautiful songs, including the unforgettable “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.”
September 30 – November 1
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm, most Saturdays & Sundays at 2:30pm & 8pm, Wilde Party on October 1, Post-Show Discussion on October 7, Champagne Opening on October 8, $25+
In Your Shoes
Long Center Rollins Theatre
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are only one step away from losing our secure lives if we are indeed blessed to have one. All it takes is a missed paycheck, an illness, depression or insecurity that has no support from others, losing family, returning to a country you fought for but have no home or escaping from a home that is no longer. When we see our homeless souls around us, we have to realize that there’s a history attached to that humanity – one decision or event away from security, warmth, family and a home. Tapestry Dance Company’s “In Your Shoes” takes a close look at five unique individuals in their present homelessness and returns to the reality that put them there. Our universal rhythms of life.
October 1 – 11
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm & Sundays at 2pm, $23+
The Indigo Shift Cabaret: A Fête at the End of Days
The Institution Theater
There’s a club at the edge of the world, just past the ruins and right next door to the pillar of fire. There’s a stage with curtains as blood red as the sea and flickering lights as dim as the dying sun. The drinks are always cold as an ice storm, strong as the tides, and cheap as the grave. Welcome to The Indigo Shift Cabaret! Pull up a chair. Have a drink. Come and see. One night only, because there’s only one night left! Indigo Shift is an improvised dystopian cabaret, an apocalyptic mix of stories, scenes, and songs to wait out and ring in the end of days, one final show for the last night on Earth! We invite you to join us for the ultimate performance (literally) as we count down the final gasping breaths of our world with a variety of acts, featuring music, dance, and feats of both physical prowess and mental acuity the likes of which have never been seen! And perhaps will never be seen again…
Show begins at 10pm; $5
The City Theatre
Opening City Theatre’s 10th anniversary season, the Austin premiere play by Deborah Salem Smith pulls no punches as it lays bare the emotions of two families after a routine medical procedure goes tragically wrong. When Helen’s lesbian partner of twenty years dies unexpectedly, she and her daughter want answers. Confused by the hospital’s silence around the death, a lawsuit transforms the lives of both the patient’s family and the doctor charged with her care. Love Alone tracks the fallout as two households navigate uncharted waters of loss, anger, humor, and longing on their path to healing. This powerful, deeply emotional, and fearless work of how we grieve and how we heal speaks to an essential truth: when faced with terrible tragedy — your own life and the lives of those around you — are worth saving.
Content includes smoking and loud noises.
October 2 – 18
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm; $10+
Much Ado About Nothing
The Curtain Theatre
William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is a much beloved and popular comedy believed to be first performed sometime in late 1598 or early 1599. The timeless theme of Love and Deceit has been embraced by audiences throughout the ages. Driven by the courtship of two couples, one is brought together by deceit, the other is split apart by it. Benedict & Beatrice are rivals in a ‘merry war’ of wits, engaging each other in banter and sly repartee. Their friends decide to push the couple together by convincing each that the other is in love with them. Young Claudio & Hero are engaged in a courtly love, formal, delicate and chaste. Deceived by others that Hero has been dishonorable, Claudio mistreats and breaks off with her. The unwinding of the plot against the younger couple brings the play to its conclusion where all is revealed.
October 2 – 24
Fridays and Saturdays (and a few Thursdays); $10+
The Diary of Anne Frank
Oscar G. Brockett Theatre
A story known across the world, The Diary of Anne Frank is the haunting, yet inspiring account of a young Jewish girl and her family’s lives during World War II. Seeking refuge from Nazi persecution, Anne, along with seven others, hid in a “secret annex” in Amsterdam for two years. Told through recordings in Anne’s cherished diary, the play stands as a timeless reflection of her fear, hope and faith during one of the darkest periods in history. Presented in recognition of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces, this production is the centerpiece of a two-day event that both commemorates this unspeakable tragedy and celebrates the poignant works of artistry and intellect that will continue to endure for generations. The estimated run time is 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission. Suitable for ages 13 and up. This production contains adult content and themes. Content includes smoking and loud noises.
October 8 – 18
October 8 at 8pm, October 9-10 & 13-17 at 7:30pm, October 10, 11, 17, 18 at 2pm; $15+
The House on Haunted Hill
Ground Floor Theatre
The party begins when eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren brings together 5 strangers with the promise of $10,000 if they stay the night in his haunted house, but soon these skeptics are all trapped with ghosts and a very real murderer in The House on Haunted Hill. This chill-filled production, adapted by Weird City Theatre Company member Robert L. Berry, combines elements of Castle’s films and his frightening gimmicks. House on Haunted Hill marks Weird City Theatre’s own resurrection after a three year hiatus.
October 8 – 24
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm; $12+ (Thursdays are “Pay What You Wish”)
The Screwtape Letters
Long Center Dell Hall
The Screwtape Letters is a smart, provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view. The play, set in a eerily stylish office in hell, follows the clever scheming of one of Satan’s Senior Tempters, Screwtape. He advises his nephew, a junior tempter, on enticing a human ‘patient’ toward damnation. In this topsy-turvy, morally inverted universe, God is the “Enemy” and the Devil is “Our Father below.” The stakes are high as human souls are hell’s primary source of food.
Shows at 3pm & 7pm; $29+
Sondheim on Sondheim
An intimate multi-media look at the Father of the Modern Musical, featuring new arrangements of his most beloved work. His story. His inspiration, His genius. The tapestry of creativity that characterizes Stephen Sondheim remained largely undiscussed, especially by the man himself, until the creation of Sondheim On Sondheim. Ranging from the beloved to the obscure, the carefully selected two-dozen songs hang from a framework of in-depth video interviews delving into Sondheim’s personal life and artistic process.
October 15 – 25
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm & Sundays at 2pm, $7+
Dougherty Arts Center
Four women fall from grace at a mega-media news corporation and are banished to the company basement to write an advice column, Dear Penelope. They have one chance to get their old jobs back, and all they have to do is hijack the most spectacular story of the year! ALEX REED, VERIS HUMPHRIES, JOLLY KINCAID and TONI BARON work together at an advice column located in the basement of Bluestone Communications, the largest mega-media news corporation in the United States. Each of them was sent here as a demotion because of something they did or didn’t do. They’re miserable, desperate, and looking for a way to get back “upstairs” no matter what it takes. Their former boss, DARBY STILLS, reappears after being sent to the London bureau for unknown reasons. His return sparks fear that the division is going to be shut down. So they concoct a scheme to get in front of the camera and deliver a top secret story unfolding at the White House. But they’re a little rusty. With the help of WENDELL FISSER, their misunderstood and macabre mailroom clerk, they put everything they’ve got into getting the story and getting Bluestone’s attention one last time. Oh, they get attention, all right…
October 16 – 25
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm & Sundays at 4pm, $18+
TexARTS Kam and James Morris Theater (Lakeway)
Steel Magnolias focuses on the camaraderie of six Southern women who gossip, needle and harangue each other through the best of times- and comfort and repair one another through the worst. The play is alternately hilarious and touching with six female characters that are delicate as magnolias yet as strong as steel.
October 16 – 25
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm & Sundays at 2:30pm, $48+
Spirit of India
The Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers of India present The Spirit of India, a new step toward a bold vision in Indian live music and dance being presented to the world for the first time. Rahis Bharti, one of India’s greatest musical figures, and the Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers will guide you on a lively musical journey from Rajasthan to Mumbai. With 17 professional artists on stage, you will experience the soul of a veritable feast of Indian sounds, featuring a mix of Indian and Western instruments such as bass drums, side drums, trombone, tabla, dholak, harmonium, and clarinet, among many others.
Show begins at 7:30pm, $29+
The Strings of Time
Long Center Rollins Studio Theatre
“Strings of Time” is a show produced by Agni Entertainment that combines dance and physics in a unique way to narrate the story of the very early universe. It is named in light of the fact that the music for the production is primarily strings based. Various dance forms and genres of music come together to create a symphony of sorts, the symphony that is our universe. It is a homage to science, the cosmos and a showcase of some of the concepts associated with string theory. It is by no means an explanation of string theory or a claim that it is the answer to all of the questions in our known universe.
October 22 – 25
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm, Saturday & Sunday at 3pm; $29+
To Kill A Mockingbird
Emily Ann Theatre’s Burdine Johnson Studio Theatre
It’s 1935, and racial tensions are high in Maycomb, Alabama. Young Scout lives a carefree and privileged existence until she watches her father defend an innocent man, Tom Robinson, against a potential death sentence and is forced to confront the issue of race head-on. With the help of Atticus and her older brother Jem, she learns that “growing up” often means doing what is right, even when it comes at great cost. To Kill A Mockingbird is considered an American masterpiece about the power of childhood innocence and morality, but author Harper Lee always defined it as a simple love story.
October 30 – November 22
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm (the performance on October 31st will be at 2pm); $10+
[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 9-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]