Archive for the ‘Austin Live Theatre’ Category

Toad Gets A Letter!

October 28th, 2014 No comments

Meaningful Mail From An Adoring Young Fan

By Logan Fox

I think we all remember growing up and learning some of our first life lessons with Frog and Toad. Arnold Lobel has a magnificent way of phrasing the simplistic lessons that are valuable for a child’s development and a kind reminder for the rest of us – be true to yourself, sharing, nurture your friendships, and be kind.

A Year with Frog and Toad has kicked off our Family Series this October. This musical brings the books to life in such a manner that will have the children dancing in their seats.

We were lucky enough to get an email from an enduring fan that had the rewarding experience of taking a couple of children to their first live theatrical performance.

Atha ,the nine year old, “asked if we could have cookies after dinner so we could sing the cookie song. We ended up singing the same tune with words about eggs.” Walter, who is three, “kept saying “aghk! clover.” Genny almost eight, “handed me some ‘seeds’ and waited for me to start singing. They all loved the spinning houses and falling things, too. This was the first play they ever saw, and I fear they now have unreasonably high expectations of the theater.”

“These kids (and the rest of our family here in town) are going through a very difficult period. Seeing them fixated on the show (and these are not the sort of kids who usually sit still, but they were FIXATED on the stage and the actors) and then seeing them take that joy with them out into the world made me so happy.”

“Live theatre is incredibly beneficial for young children. Not only does it provide a brief and entertaining escape from situational hardship it also teaches empathy, tolerance, vocabulary and myriad of other good things. We are really proud of the work we do here,” said the Director of A Year with Frog and Toad, Nat Miller, Director of Education.

A Year with Frog and Toad will put a smile on a child’s face and that smile can brighten the whole community.


Actor Nicholas Rodriguez on LES MISÉRABLES

October 22nd, 2013 No comments

Actor Nicholas Rodriguez discusses his role as Javert in ZACH Theatre’s production of LES MISÉRABLES – live on stage in ZACH’s intimate Topfer Theatre through November 3, 2013.

Click here to view this video directly on YouTube.

For tickets and more show information, please visit

Director Matt Lenz on LES MISÉRABLES

October 11th, 2013 No comments

Director Matt Lenz discusses his vision for ZACH Theatre’s production of LES MISÉRABLES live on stage in ZACH’s intimate Topfer Theatre through November 3, 2013.

Click here to view this video directly on YouTube.

For tickets and more show information, please visit

Video: LES MISÉRABLES Live at ZACH Theatre

September 30th, 2013 No comments

The international musical phenomenon LES MISÉRABLES is live on stage at ZACH Theatre.

Tickets and more show info at


September 26th, 2013 1 comment

Experience the international musical phenomenon LES MISÉRABLES, up-close and personal, in the intimate Topfer Theatre! Soaring anthems, unbridled patriotism and the quest for redemption reveal the heart of a man who must leave his past behind to fight for life, love and liberty. Photos from ZACH’s production below are by photographer Kirk Tuck.

For tickets and more show information, please visit

Photo Gallery: ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN live at ZACH Theatre

July 11th, 2013 1 comment

ZACH’s production of the Broadway-bound musical ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, created, written and directed by Randy Johnson, is live on stage for a limited time. See it first at ZACH before it hits Broadway this fall!

Photos from the production (below) are courtesy of ZACH Photographer Kirk Tuck. Feel free to share these photos on your favorite social networking sites or blog, but please credit Kirk Tuck wherever they appear.

Tickets and more show information is available online at

Video: HARVEY at ZACH Theatre

May 7th, 2013 No comments

HARVEY is live on stage in ZACH’s new Topfer Theatre May 15-June 16, 2013.

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy “Austin’s favorite actor” (The Austin Chronicle), Martin Burke stars as Elwood P. Dowd, a happy-go-lucky chap with a kind word for everyone he meets, especially his invisible best friend, a six-foot tall rabbit named “Harvey.” When Elwood’s social-climbing sister, played by Lauren Lane, decides to have him committed, this delightful play embarks on a madcap discovery that is by turns hilarious and endearing. Maybe our dreams are more important than we ever imagined.

If this video does not display in your browser, you can view it directly on YouTube at

For tickets and more show information, please call ZACH’s box office at (512) 476-0541, x1 or visit us online at

Special thanks to cameraman Kirk Tuck for the fantastic video and photos!

And the Beat Goes On

April 12th, 2013 No comments
Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac

Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
– Jack Kerouac

In his new play Mad Beat Hip & Gone – now in its world premiere on ZACH Theatre’s new Topfer Theatre stage – playwright Steven Dietz explores the Beat Generation and its influence on two small-town young men who have a chance meeting with Beat poet Jack Kerouac and his traveling partner, Neal Cassady.

Today, the term “beatnik” conjures up the stereotype of young men and women dressed in all black, wearing berets while they recite poetry and play the bongos.  But for movement founder Kerouac — who introduced the phrase “Beat Generation” in 1948 to characterize his his social circle of underground, anti-conformist youth gathering in New York at that time — the cultural well-spring had a more religious intention.

Kerouac explained what he meant by “beat” at the Brandeis Forum “Is There A Beat Generation?” in November 1958 at New York’s Hunter College Playhouse, where he appeared with fellow seminar panelists James A. Wechsler, Princeton anthropologist Ashley Montagu and author Kingsley Amis. Reading from a prepared text, Kerouac reflected on his beat beginnings:

It is because I am Beat, that is, I believe in beatitude and that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son to it…who knows, but that the universe is not one vast sea of compassion actually, the veritable holy honey, beneath all this show of personality and cruelty?

The media, of course, ignored the Romantic aspects of the Beat Movement and instead perpetuated the cartoonish versions of Dobie Gillis knockoffs, counter-culture hipsters and “Cool, man, cool” jargon expressed in rhyme set to drum beats.  The term “beatnik” was actually coined by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen by sarcastically punning on the recently launched Russian Sputnik to imply the beatnik’s perceived rejection of red-white-and-blue-blooded all-American ideals.

Jack Kerouac's seminal Beat novel ON THE ROAD

Jack Kerouac's seminal Beat novel ON THE ROAD

To Kerouac, this vision of the Beat Movement portrayed by the mass media only existed as the invention of journalists and entertainers, saying the real Movement was animated more by a vague feeling of cultural and emotional displacement, dissatisfaction, and yearning, than by a specific purpose or program.  In “Aftermath: The Philosophy of the Beat Generation,” Kerouac criticized what he saw as a distortion of his visionary and spiritual ideas:

“The Beat Generation, that was a vision…of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way — a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word “beat” spoken on street corners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America — beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction. We’d even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneer. It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn’t gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization…the Beat culture was a state of mind, not a matter of how you dressed or talked or where you lived. In fact, Beat culture was far from monolithic. It was many different, conflicting, shifting states of mind… move beyond the cultural clichés and slogans, to look past the Central Casting costumes, props, and jargon the mass media equated with Beatness, in order to do justice to its spirit.”

Experience Kerouac’s culture in Mad Beat Hip & Bone, now playing through April 28th on the Topfer Theatre stage.  For tickets, call (512) 476-0541, x1, or click here for tickets online.

Truman Redux

March 6th, 2013 No comments

It’s the final weekend for TRU starring Jaston Williams as Truman Capote. And it now seems that Truman Capote is everywhere! In fact, Capote will be popping up on Broadway this season.

Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out) has adapted Capote’s classic novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s into a full-length play, opening March 20th at the Cort Theatre.  Rehearsals began January 28th for the production officially called Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Emilia Clarke (from HBO’s Game of Thrones) stars as “Holly Golightly,” with Cory Michael Smith, of Off-Broadway’s The Whale, co-staring as “Fred,” who is pulled into Holly’s social whirl in 1940s New York City. George Wendt (Broadway’s Hairspray and TV’s Cheers) plays bartender Joe Bell. Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard starred in the famous Blake Edwards film in 1961.

Recently, Vanity Fair uncovered an unpublished chapter of Capote’s infamous novel Answered Prayers, that vicious, gossipy page-turner of the seamy lives of New York’s elite. Serialized in Esquire in 1975, it ostracized Capote from the movers and shakers he had so carefully cultivated and became his personal and professional decline.

Only three chapters were ever published, and none of the remaining chapters, which Capote claimed to have written, has appeared in print.  But while researching for the article “Capote’s Swan Dive” at the New York Public Library, Vanity Fair writer Sam Kashner discovered a six-page manuscript of a chapter titled “Yachts and Things.” Like Answered Prayers, it is unfinished, but it makes for a great read.  See it here at the Vanity Fair website: (URL:

The article “Capote’s Swan Dive” was published in the December issue, and reveals – among other tidbits:

  • Publisher Random House ended up paying $1 million to Capote for the never-delivered manuscript.
  • The finished manuscript is supposedly in an unnamed bank safety deposit box somewhere in California.
  • Ann Woodward, one of the society women who Capote skewered in Answered Prayers, actually committed suicide in disgrace – and her two sons followed suit a few months later.

Read the compelling article here:  For Truman Capote’s take on the whole affair, see TRU at ZACH Theatre.

It’s the final weekend. Tickets are available online 24/7 and with the box office at (512) 476-0541, x1.

Behind-the-Scenes: 33 VARIATIONS at ZACH Theatre

February 5th, 2013 1 comment