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.
I owe an apology to some friends. I claimed recently that SCHOOL OF ROCK the movie written by Mike White was based on SCHOOL OF ROCK THE MUSICAL but it's really the other way 'round. I'm that much of a (misinformed) theatre snob. Not so misinformed usually, but I admit Andrew Lloyd Webber isn't generally one of my favorite composers, despite my love of EVITA and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. That's why I was all the more surprised that SCHOOL OF ROCK, as it turns out, isn't all that Webber-esque. I didn't know this was a movie starring Jack Black, and I didn't know Webber quietly bought the rights for it, hoping to make it into a musical some day. Webber takes the original concept, with lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by Julian Fellowes (yes, the Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes) and voila! Somehow with a little help from Lou Reed, Stevie Nicks and Mike White, and a few others, the whole thing comes together quite nicely. I'll leave you to imagine what these guys do to a story that was directed by Richard Linklater for film. But, suffice it to say, this is Andrew Lloyd Webber, but it's not your mother's Andrew Lloyd Webber.BWW Review: TILT Performance Group Delivers Unique Gifts with THE GIVER January 25, 2018
As I hear it, The Palace in Georgetown was due to produce Grease in the spot where LOVE ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE resides now. All I'll say about that is, thank goodness it worked out this way! This production is adorable and entertaining from start to finish. I smiled through most of the show, and even leaned into the fairly loose premise. Story line is not the intent of most jukebox musicals, but this one fared relatively well in the hands of its Director/Musical Director/Conductor/Bassist Lannie Hiboldt. Lannie also did the set design. Generally, this could be seen as overextending one's self, but it Lannie's case, it worked out nicely.BWW Review: Vortex SYT Tackles the Timely and Relevant: IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE July 27, 2017
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