Now Playing Onstage in Austin - Week of 8/17/2014

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Salvage Vanguard Theater
BRIGHT NOW BEYONDDaniel Alexander Jones; music: Bobby Halvorson.
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Trouble Puppet Theatre Company & Glass Half Full Theater Company (at Salvage Vanguard Theatre)
Hilarious, lyrical, horrifying, inventive! The fourth annual Austin Puppet Incident is an evening of short puppet works by local and national puppet artists. Two nights only! The Austin Puppet Incident is a joint creation of Glass Half Full Theatre and Trouble Puppet Theater Company, presenting the work of local and national puppet artists on the Austin stage. This year's puppet slam includes lyrical shadow puppetry, a little horror, a piece from Gulliver's Travels, twisted fairy tales, The Worst Day Ever, and more! August 22 and 23, 8 pm & 10 pm Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd, Austin, 78722 $12 general admission, $10 student/senior/group The Austin Puppet Incident is supported by the Puppet Slam Network. Glass Half Full Theatre creates puppetry and physical theatre of objects and ideas, devising visually- driven narratives inspired by issues that concern humans across the globe. The company was formed in France in 2004 by graduates from the Ecole Jacques Lecoq and was based in Paris and Baltimore before settling in Austin in 2010. Austin productions include FupDuck, The Orchid Flotilla, and Once There Were Six Seasons. Glass Half Full Theatre has received B. Iden Payne awards for Outstanding Direction and Original Script, is a sponsored project of the Austin Creative Alliance, and is funded in part by the City of Austin & the Jim Henson Foundation. Trouble Puppet Theater Company, recipient of such B. Iden Payne Awards as Outstanding Director of a Drama, Best Production of a Drama, Outstanding Original Script, and Outstanding Puppetry, is dedicated to the creation of exceptional works of puppet theater for grownups. Trouble Puppet was created in 2004 by Artistic Director Connor Hopkins and has in recent years been making trouble in shows such as Frankenstein, The Jungle, Riddley Walker, Toil and Trouble, The Head, and The Crapstall Street Boys. Trouble Puppet is a sponsored project of Salvage Vanguard Theater and is supported in part by the city of Austin, the Jim Henson Foundation, and individual donors.
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Breaking String Theater (at the Rollins Studio Theatre)
Breaking String's We Play Chekhov includes two of Chekhov's masterful short stories adapted for the stage, presented as a double-bill in what will be the perfect summer night out for any theater-goer. The Black Monk (adapted by Kama Ginkas and translated by John Freedman) depicts Andrei Kovrin - a writer who is visited by an apparition in the form of a monk, dressed in black. The monk bears a tantalizing message: Kovrin's art flows directly from God. But when loved ones suspect a mental illness, this joyful chapter in Kovrin's life becomes a terrifying encounter with madness, megalomania and the mystery of artistic creation. The second half of our double-bill features the world premiere of playwright Eliza Bent's adaptation of Chekhov's final story, The Fiancee. In Bent's The Beyonce, a young woman's engagement to a wealthy young man leaves much to be desired. Nadia's search for authentic love and purpose in a small town set her at odds with the community, and she faces the challenge of finding her own destiny in the world. Bent re-imagines Chekhov's wrenching story of love and self-discovery in a voice that is absolutely fresh, unique, and resonant with Chekhov's delicate humor. Directed by Graham Schmidt with assistant director Bob Jones and featuring performances by noted artists Matt Radford, Ev Lunning, Jr, Noel Gaulin, Kathleen Taylor, Katherine Catmull, Lana Dieterich, and Judd Farris, with design by Ia Enstera (scenic), Pam Fletcher Friday (costumes), Steven Shirey (lights), and Buzz Moran (sound).
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Dougherty Arts Center
The musical that began it all for the composer who brought us WICKED and PIPPIN! This wonderful telling of the story of Jesus is filled with memorable music and delightful stories. Directed by Barbara Schuler, with music direction by David Blackburn and Choreography by Sara Burke
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The City Theatre Company
One of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, Urinetown is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he's had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom! Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Urinetown is an irreverently humorous satire in which no one is safe from scrutiny. Praised for reinvigorating the very notion of what a musical could be, it catapults the "comedic romp" into the new millennium with its outrageous perspective, wickedly modern wit, and sustained ability to produce gales of unbridled laughter.
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Hyde Park Theatre
In a first-ring suburb just outside a city that might be Detroit, Ben and Mary see sudden signs of life at the deserted house next door and invite their new neighbors Sharon and Kenny over for a barbecue. As the action unfolds we learn that Sharon and Kenny met at rehab, neither is employed, and they don't own a stick of furniture. The quintessential American back-yard party turns quickly turns into something more dangerous-and filled with potential.
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