Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Don Toner News

 
Don Toner Headshot
Austin Playhouse To Depart Austin Community College Highland As Their Home Photo Austin Playhouse To Depart Austin Community College Highland As Their Home
by Stephi Wild - Jul 7, 2021

This summer will also bring the public launch of Austin Playhouse's Capital Campaign for their permanent home. Announcements to come and will have information on campaign goals, naming opportunities and all the ways everyone can be involved in the building of this new venue space that will house Austin Playhouse and serve Austin's creative community.

SHE LOVES ME Now Running At Austin Playhouse Through December 21 Photo SHE LOVES ME Now Running At Austin Playhouse Through December 21
by A.A. Cristi - Nov 27, 2019

Austin Playhouse is celebrating the holiday season with the romantic musical comedy, She Loves Me. She Loves Me is a charming story set in the 1930's about two feuding shop clerks, Amalia and Georg. By Day, the two sparring co-workers can't seem to find common ground, but by night write beautiful love letters to their a?oesecret admirersa??. The unlikely romance unfolds as Georg and Amalia discover the truth that the anonymous pen pals they are falling for happen to be each other! But will their love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed? Musical favorites include, a?oeVanilla Ice Creama??, and a?oeShe Loves Mea??. She loves me is a musical adaption of the 1937 play Parfumerie. The story has also been adapted into the popular films The Shop around the Corner (1949) and You've Got Mail (1998).  

Austin Playhouse Kicks Off its 20th Anniversary Season with HOLMES AND WATSON Photo Austin Playhouse Kicks Off its 20th Anniversary Season with HOLMES AND WATSON
by Sarah Hookey - Jul 11, 2019

Austin Playhouse is celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season by revisiting two of their favorite characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.

Austin Playhouse Announces 20th Anniversary Season Photo Austin Playhouse Announces 20th Anniversary Season
by Julie Musbach - Jun 6, 2019

Austin Playhouse announces their 20th Anniversary Season celebrating the human connections at the heart of live theatre.

BWW Review: COPENHAGEN Pontificates the Explosive Meeting of Atomic Minds in Austin,  Photo BWW Review: COPENHAGEN Pontificates the Explosive Meeting of Atomic Minds in Austin, TX
by Amy Tarver - Apr 26, 2019

The mission statement of Austin Playhouse is to "Provide opportunities for both Austinite performers and audiences to celebrate the human experience". COPENHAGEN, now playing at their temporary home in the ACC Highland Campus, examines a highly debated meeting between Quantum Mechanics pioneer Werner Heisenberg (played by David Stahl), and his mentor, the "Pope" of Quantum Mechanics, Niels Bohr (play by Ev Lunning Jr.). Also attended by Bohr's wife Margrethe Bohr (played by Babs George), this meeting of the minds takes place years after their first skiing vacations together, in which they collaborated to prove Albert Einstein wrong on atomic theory. The examined reunion took place in September 1941, when Heisenberg was working in Nazi Germany as part of their atomic program. Travelling to Denmark to meet with Bohr, a Danish Jew, tensions ran high as the time for the meeting came closer. Within the polarizing political climate of the time, the show displays the current debate and inherently speculative narrative of what was discussed during this visit and how it may have changed human history.

Austin Playhouse Purchases 2.8 Acre Lot On East Anderson Lane Photo Austin Playhouse Purchases 2.8 Acre Lot On East Anderson Lane
by A.A. Cristi - Apr 5, 2019

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, Austin Playhouse closed on a 2.8 acre site at 1717 E. Anderson Lane, along the 183 frontage road in Northeast Austin. The building site will be developed into a home for the veteran professional theatre as well as serving as a rental facility for other arts organizations. The purchase price of $1,280,664 was primarily funded by a $1 million anonymous contribution and a bridge loan from Comerica Bank.

BWW Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Misses a Lot of Opportunities But Still Highly Photo BWW Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Misses a Lot of Opportunities But Still Highly Entertaining
by Frank Benge - Dec 6, 2018

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (or, as it is sometimes called, the much shorter, 'Drood') is a 1985 musical based on Charles Dickens unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Written entirely by Rupert Holmes, it was the first Broadway musical with multiple endings determined by the audience. Holmes received Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score. The production won five Tony Awards out of eleven nominations, including Best Musical. The musical is derived from both Dickens' final unfinished novel and British pantomime and music hall traditions that reached the height of their popularity in the years following Dickens' death. Produced originally by Austin Playhouse in 2005, it was nominated for six B. Iden Payne awards including the winner of Best Director for Musical Theatre (Don Toner). Jill Blackwood, Rick Roemer, and Jacqui Cross reprise their roles from that 2005 production.

Austin Playhouse Presents World Premiere Of MONROE Photo Austin Playhouse Presents World Premiere Of MONROE
by A.A. Cristi - Jul 11, 2018

Austin Playhouse is thrilled to open its 2018 - 2019 season with the world premiere of Monroe by local playwright Dr. Lisa B. Thompson. The play was a winner of the Austin Playhouse Festival of New Texas Plays, receiving a staged reading in April 2018.

BWW Review: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE A Love Letter to Theatre Photo BWW Review: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE A Love Letter to Theatre
by Frank Benge - Mar 26, 2018

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is a 2014 stage adaptation by Lee Hall of the 1998 Academy Award winning film by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard of the same name. It was first created under the auspices of Disney Theatrical Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions. The story concerns an imaginary love affair involving Viola de Lesseps (Claire Grasso) and playwright William Shakespeare (Stephen Mercantel) while he was writing Romeo and Juliet. Many of the characters are based on historical figures, and many of the characters, lines, and plot devices allude to Shakespeare's plays. The production, now playing at Austin Playhouse, is one of their biggest productions to date. This script has become one of the most produced plays in America this season, and rightfully so, as it as entertaining as the 1998 film was.

BWW Review: THE IMMIGRANT is a Touching and Timely Piece of Theatre Photo BWW Review: THE IMMIGRANT is a Touching and Timely Piece of Theatre
by Frank Benge - Jan 8, 2018

Director Don Toner first directed Mark Harelik's THE IMMIGRANT 28 years ago. Happily for Austin, he and Austin Playhouse have decided to restage this charming, inspiring and touching tale for a new generation. THE IMMIGRANT is based on the true story of Harelik's grandfather, a young Russian-Jewish man who entered America through the port of Galveston. Set in Hamilton, Texas (a tiny town with a population of 1,203, no Jews) Haskell Harelik (Joseph Garlock) begins life in America with only a hand pushed fruit cart and a mere smattering of English words at his disposal. It is his gentle spirit and hard work that touches the heart of the local banker and his wife to win him a helping hand. Milton (Huck Huckaby) and Ima Perry (Cyndi Williams) offer him a place to live and eventually, financial help from Milton. With their help, Haskell finally saves up enough money to open a store and send for his wife, Leah (Estrella Saldana). Since the original World Premiere production, directed here in Austin by Toner, Harelik has also adapted the show into a chamber musical.

BWW Review: THIS RANDOM WORLD Soars at Austin Playhouse Photo BWW Review: THIS RANDOM WORLD Soars at Austin Playhouse
by Scott Shipman - Sep 10, 2017

This Random World, the new Steven Dietz play that kicked off Austin Playhouse's 18th season on September 8th, is a well paced and finely built show. The production at Austin Playhouse, utilizing a handful of skilled actors and minimalistic set, deftly crafts a consistently interesting and entertaining show that captivates the audience as it unfolds.

BWW Review: GUYS AND DOLLS at Austin Playhouse is Lighthearted Fun.
by Lacey Cannon Gonzales - Jun 1, 2017

GUYS AND DOLLS is presented by Austin Playhouse as part of their 2016-2017 season. Directed by Don Toner and with musical direction by Susan Finnigan, this musical theatre gem tells the story of rolling the dice and taking a gamble on love. The musical, based on two short stories by Damon Runyon, originally premiered on Broadway in 1950 with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. It went on to win the Tony in 1950 for Best Musical and was later adapted into the 1955 film starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.

BWW Review: BASKERVILLE - A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY at Austin Playhouse
by Joni Lorraine - Nov 25, 2016

BASKERVILLE is a rollicking bit of fun, especially for the mystery fans among us.

BWW Preview: Austin Playhouse Presents: BASKERVILLE By Ken Ludwig, 11/18
by Joni Lorraine - Nov 3, 2016

The game's afoot! Austin Playhouse produces the Texas premiere of a famous Sherlockian tale, Ken Ludwig's BASKERVILLE, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

Austin Playhouse Presents SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson, Today
by BWW News Desk - Sep 23, 2016

At the dawn of modern astronomy, Henrietta Leavitt leaves her home and beloved sister to work in Harvard's male-driven observatory and map the night sky. She forms a new sisterhood with her fellow star "computers," Annie and Williamina, and begins to fall in love with her supervisor, Peter Shaw. As Henrietta makes a revolutionary discovery about where the Earth is in time and space, she must fight to be heard in a world where women's ideas are dismissed until men take credit for them. A celestial romance and a true story of determination, Silent Sky invites you to revel in the magic of the universe on this historic journey of love, family, feminism and science.

Austin Playhouse Presents SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson, 9/23
by Frank Benge - Aug 25, 2016

At the dawn of modern astronomy, Henrietta Leavitt leaves her home and beloved sister to work in Harvard's male-driven observatory and map the night sky. She forms a new sisterhood with her fellow star "computers," Annie and Williamina, and begins to fall in love with her supervisor, Peter Shaw. As Henrietta makes a revolutionary discovery about where the Earth is in time and space, she must fight to be heard in a world where women's ideas are dismissed until men take credit for them. A celestial romance and a true story of determination, Silent Sky invites you to revel in the magic of the universe on this historic journey of love, family, feminism and science.

BWW Review: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is Superb, Sublime Sondheim
by Frank Benge - Jun 19, 2016

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, it involves the romantic lives of several couples. Since its original 1973 Broadway production, the musical has been produced in the West End, by opera companies, and in a 2009 Broadway revival. It was adapted for film in 1977. It received Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score.

BWW Interview: A Quick Shot With Tito Beveridge
by Joni Lorraine - Jun 10, 2016

BWW caught up with Tito Beveridge, owner of Tito's Vodka, to chat for a minute about his new play, THIS SIDE OF THE DIRT.

BWW Review: DISGRACED Looks At The Prejudice That Simmers Under The Surface
by Frank Benge - Jan 19, 2016

DISGRACED is the 2013 Pulitzer Prize award-winning play that asks difficult questions about religion, assimilation and individuality. It is now in its Regional Premiere at Austin Playhouse. DISGRACED tells the story of Amir (J. Ben Wolfe), a successful Pakistani-American lawyer, whose life unravels after he lends his name to the cause of an imam accused of terrorism. When he and his artist wife Emily (Molly Karrasch) host an intimate dinner party, the social niceties that can disguise a person's prejudice soon dissolve when the evening escalates into increasingly brutal language exposing all the prejudice simmering underneath the veneer of civility.

Photo Flash: Meet the Cast of Austin Playhouse's THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
by BWW News Desk - Nov 20, 2015

Austin Playhouse presents THE PHILADELPHIA STORY by Philip Barry, November 20 - December 20, 2015 at Austin Playhouse at ACC's Highland Campus. BroadwayWorld has a sneak peek at the cast below!

 1