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.
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
'On the twenty-third day of the month of September in an early year of a decade not too long before our own, the human race suddenly encountered a deadly threat to its very existence. And this terrifying enemy surfaced, as such enemies often do, in the seemingly most innocent and unlikely of places.' And so goes the prologue to the popular small cast musical LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. Based on the 1960 movie directed by Roger Corman, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by writer Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken, is the marriage of a 60's love story and the apocalyptic sci-fi films of the era set to music. The result is a crowd pleasing intimate campy black musical comedy. Its success led to the musical being produced as a movie in 1986 with Rick Moranis, Vincent Gardenia, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin in the lead roles.BWW Review: ALL SHOOK UP Lightens Up A Rainy August August 18, 2016
Taking on a story of such biblical proportions (pun intended) as SALOME is a courageous act and The Gale Theatre Company, is a courageous ensemble. 'Everyone is safe but no one is comfortable,' is a commitment the company shares in the program for their interpretation of SALOME. Salome, the 'dancing woman' from the New Testament, has been depicted in all manner of artful medium - theatre, opera, poetry, film, ballet, even a video game. She is an icon, arguably more interesting even than the first woman Eve. And so it is that the Gale Theatre Company, under the direction of Katherine Wilkinson and choreography of Earl Kim, tackle this biblical figure made icon by playwright Oscar Wilde, portrayed in film by the likes of Theda Bara and Rita Hayworth. In this depiction though, we start at Salome's end, rather than her beginning. 'What does a woman do when she is left alone to grieve?'BWW Review: SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE A Pleasant Diversion July 28, 2016