Joni joins BroadwayWorld after over twenty-five years of involvement in the Central Texas theatre scene. Most recently, she has worked as a company member and educator for Pollyanna Children's Theatre. She is a B Iden Payne nominated director whose acting and directing work has been seen in Austin with her own theatre company NxNW Theatre Company, Austin Children's Theatre, The Sam Bass Theatre in Round Rock, The Georgetown Palace, and The Temple Civic Theatre. Joni's diverse directing portfolio includes You Can't Take It With You, Steel Magnolias,The Marriage of Figaro, and the award winning I Love You, You're Perfect Now Change. As an actor, Joni has been seen in dozens of productions including Arcadia, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Man Who Came To Dinner, The Taming of The Shrew, and Hay Fever. Joni is also a trainer, lay chaplain and professional photographer,who recently published her first book entitled A Poet Danced Here, in partnership with her poet wife Tammy.
Since 1976 the Gilbert and Sullivan Austin has dedicated itself to providing the city with the works of Gilbert and Sullivan not so much by reinvention but by recreating how a production might have been staged originally. There is a respect due this sort of commitment, and the audience in attendance this last Saturday when I viewed the production, showed theirs in a true sense of a special occasion. I can recall the respect I was expected to display, and the authentic excitement I felt anytime I attended a play or musical back in the day. Back in the Ice Age, when I simultaneously became a teenager and discovered theatre, it was considered an event just shy of your cousin's wedding to attend the theatre. People got dressed up, showed up on time and applauded civilly after each musical number back then. Why, no one stood for an ovation even unless the production was spot on literally flawless.BWW Review: Shrewd Productions' THE REVOLUTIONISTS - Where the Women Reign June 15, 2017
So DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE. Let me begin by heaping praise on female playwright Sarah Ruhl for bringing us a quirky and lovable female lead, and a story dominated by female characters. Second, thank goodness for En Route productions and their two female artistic directors, one of whom also directed the show, the other whom also designed the set. Third, credit is due to this theatre company for incorporating their work into the visual arts landscape to give us a double dose of worthy culture in a city where having a sandwich at Micklethwaite Meats is possibly as close as some hipsters will get to art or theatre.BWW Review: REQUIEM FOR TESLA at The Off Center December 15, 2016
The Rudes. They're like the cast of Star Wars or Star Trek, iconic and revered in that way that Trekkers love Leonard Nimoy or George Takei, but for Austin and its avid theatre going Rude fans, well, that, and their collaborative works with others from Helsinki to Cedar Rapids. And their current production, REQUIEM FOR TESLA, is, in its third incarnation, like a Star Trek reboot. While other theatres around town dust off the usual December holiday fare, The Rude Mechanicals, never to be usual, have resurrected REQUIEM FOR TESLA in celebration of their 20th anniversary season. It's obvious they've been around and drummed up an enthusiastic fan base. (Full disclosure: I'm one of them). On opening night for this particular production, one ebullient fan behind us waxed poetic to total strangers about each and every Rude production he'd seen (many of which I've seen myself) including the 2001 and 2003 iterations of REQUIEM FOR TESLA.BWW Review: SANTALAND DIARIES at ZACH Theatre December 6, 2016
ZACH's A Christmas Carol isn't the only game in town, ya know? Before Dave Steakley masterminded the mashup of the classic Dickens tale with contemporary hit music there was another staple of the Austin holiday theatre scene, ok? Martin Burke has been doling out shade on the holiday madness by way of David Sedaris' classic SANTALAND DIARIES since William Jefferson Clinton was in office. And there's practically no crying and sentiment and warm fuzzy Christmas cheer to be found in it, thank GOODNESS, fer CRYINOUTLOUD!BWW Review: BASKERVILLE - A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY at Austin Playhouse November 25, 2016