Photo Gallery: LES MISÉRABLES

September 26th, 2013

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 http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/les-miserables.

Video: “Spirit in the Dark” from ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN

August 8th, 2013

Tiffany Mann plays the Blues Singer in in ZACH Theatre’s ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN. Here is a clip from her performance as Aretha Franklin of “Spirit in the Dark” with Kacee Clanton as Janis Joplin. They are accompanied by Joplinaires Tricky Jones, Felicia Dinwiddie and Cari Hutson.

Tickets and show info at http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/one-night-with-janis-joplin

Video: “Piece of My Heart” from ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN

July 24th, 2013

Kacee Clanton plays Janis Joplin in ZACH Theatre’s ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN. Here is a clip from her phenomenal performance of “Piece of My Heart” in the show. She is accompanied by the Joplinaires.

Tickets and show info at http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/one-night-with-janis-joplin

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

July 11th, 2013

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 http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/one-night-with-janis-joplin.

Janis Joplin Comes Home to Austin in Brand New Musical

July 3rd, 2013
Janis Joplin and her art car Porshe

Janis Joplin and her custom-painted 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet

Iconic rock ‘n’ roll singer Janis Joplin returns to Austin in the new musical theatre production ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN when the Texas Premiere, created, written and directed by Randy Johnson, plays ZACH Theatre’s new Topfer Theatre from July 10th though August 18th.

In the new musical, Janis – played by singer and actress Kacee Clanton – shares her music, truths, influences, art, philosophy and spirit.  Joined by an on-stage band and a trio of back-up singers, Joplin also shares the stage with “The Blues Singer,” who performs as the artists who influences Janis on her musical journey, including Bessie Smith, Etta James, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin.

Joplin’s journey started in Port Arthur, where she was born in January 1943.  During her school years, she befriended a group considered social outcasts, and that is where she first heard albums by the African-American singers whose voices and styles would shape her own music.

After high school, Janis attended Lamar State College of Technology in Beaumont for one summer before heading north to The University of Texas here in Austin.  The free spirit quickly became a local legend, much in the way the late Leslie Cochran was adopted as the unofficial city mascot.

The July 27, 1962, issue of The Daily Texan campus newspaper ran a profile of Joplin, headlined “She Dares to Be Different.” The article began, “She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levi’s to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her Autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin.”

Her first actual song recording – made on a tape at the home of a fellow student in Austin in December 1962 – was “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do.”  The next month, she left Texas for San Francisco, where for three years she sang, drank, developed a taste for hard drugs and recorded blues standards with future Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen.  Fearing that the hard-living lifestyle would kill her, her friends convinced her to return to the safety of Port Arthur in 1965.

Back in Texas, Joplin subdued her lifestyle.  She once again enrolled in Lamar State College and avoided drugs and alcohol, and made regular trips to Austin to perform at the now-legendary beer joint Threadgill’s, singing solo and accompanying herself on guitar.  She also recorded seven studio tracks that year, including her original composition “Turtle Blues.”

Joplin’s performances at Threadgill’s caught the eye of the Austin American-Statesman, which published a piece on the singer.  She also caught the attention of promoter Chet Holmes, who convinced her to return to San Francisco to become the lead singer for a new band: Big Brother and the Holding Company.  Thus, the legend was created.

ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Rocks Austin Before Broadway Debut

July 1st, 2013
Kacee Clanton Stars as Janis Joplin in ZACH's ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, Photo: Don Ipock from KC Rep's 2006 Production of LOVE, JANIS

Kacee Clanton Stars as Janis Joplin in ZACH's ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, Photo: Don Ipock from KC Rep's 2006 Production of LOVE, JANIS

If you liked ZACH’s production of Love, Janis, you will LOVE the all-new musical One Night With Janis Joplin, which had its World Premiere in 2011 and is making its Texas Premiere this summer at ZACH.

The new show blends Janis’ music and life with the music of the blues and soul singers that inspired her accompanied by a live 8-piece band of Austin musicians. This is a new, never-seen-before production in Austin, making its Texas Premiere at ZACH’s Topfer Theatre prior to its just-announced bow on Broadway!

In the grand tradition of ZACH, Austin audiences will have a rare opportunity to see One Night with Janis Joplin prior to the show’s opening in September at the Lyceum Theatre on New York’s Great White Way.

When Randy Johnson – who created, wrote and directs the new musical stage production One Night with Janis Joplin – first started toying with the idea of musical based on the life of the iconic singer, he immersed himself in the culture of Janis Joplin with the help of her siblings, Michael Joplin and Laura Joplin.  At 3 a.m., one week after he had spent time with the Joplin family, he was hit with the realization that this new production should simply be One Night with Janis Joplin – a night where Janis could share her music, truths, influences, art, philosophy and spirit.

That experience will light up Broadway this fall when One Night with Janis Joplin premieres. But Austin audiences will have a chance to share the night with Janis themselves as she rocks the Topfer Theatre from July 10th through August 18th.

Tiffany Mann stars as The Blues Singer in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN live on stage at ZACH!

Tiffany Mann stars as The Blues Singer in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN live on stage at ZACH!

Singer and actress Kacee Clanton – who toured as the lead singer for Big Brother and the Holding Company, Joplin’s original band – takes the stage in ZACH Theatre’s production as the iconic title singer. This brand-new production also spotlights the other singers that were influential in Joplin’s life – including Bessie Smith, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone – all brought to life by ZACH favorite Tiffany Mann (Ragtime, Hairspray, Rockin’ Christmas Party). In addition to a live band on-stage led by Musical Director Allen Robertson, ZACH powerhouses Felicia Dinwiddie (Ragtime, Beehive, Dreamgirls) and Tricky Jones (The Drowsy Chaperone, Porgy & Bess, Hair, Crowns) join award-winning Austin singer Cari Hutson to round out the cast.

ZACH’s production is a co-production with San Jose Repertory Theatre and the entire show will transfer to San Jose, CA, this September. Several nights of the ZACH Theatre performances are already sold out in advance of opening night.

The Austin performances of One Night with Janis Joplin will run for six weeks only, July 10th through August 18th, on Wednesday through Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2:30 pm. For tickets, call (512) 476-0541, x1, or click here.

Author: Rob Faubion Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Director’s Notes: Randy Johnson on ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN

June 21st, 2013
ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Creator, Writer and Director Randy Johnson

ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Creator, Writer and Director Randy Johnson

In these days where fame is instant and true musicianship rare, the word “artist” is an often-misused statement. As we are held hostage to a manufactured pop culture on a daily basis, I feel we must constantly revisit our history and explore the authentic forces that have shaped the landscape of our lives. One of those authentic forces is Janis Joplin.

There never has been, and never will be, another Janis Joplin. Her fame was earned – her following grew as she grew – as people were drawn to her and she was drawn to them. Janis Joplin was a true artist without contrivance or artiface. She was an extraordinary woman. People like to say “ahead of her time.” I happen to believe she was right on time.

After immersing myself in the culture of Janis Joplin with Michael Joplin, Laura Joplin and Janis herself, the one prevailing message that kept coming back to me was the commonality of the paths and influences that guide and shape all of us and our spirit every day. I am constantly astonished and inspired by the depth of the wisdom she imparted in her music, her interviews, her writing and her art. All of us are influenced and shaped by artists, poets, musicians, thinkers and ordinary people. That’s what creates new thought every day. Janis provoked a lot of thought by simply being herself.

At 3 a.m., one week after I had spent time with the Joplin family, I knew that this play would simply be One Night with Janis Joplin. It’s a night where Janis (one more time) could share her music, truths, influences, art, philosophy and spirit. Janis lives on as most great artists eventually do: forever in the conscious collective. This isn’t just Janis’ story – it’s all of our stories in one way or another. We all touch and inform each other as we travel this life. I trust that you, the audience, will take away with you a piece of Janis’ heart.

The world is a better place because she was here for a moment.

- Randy Johnson

Playwright and Director of One Night with Janis Joplin

Photo Gallery: HARVEY Live at ZACH Theatre!

May 16th, 2013

HARVEY is live on stage at ZACH 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.

Photos below are from ZACH’s production and by photographer Kirk Tuck. Please feel free to share these photos, but remember to credit Kirk Tuck wherever they appear.

For tickets, video and more show information, please visit http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/harvey or call ZACH’s box office at (512) 476-0541, x1.

Video: HARVEY at ZACH Theatre

May 7th, 2013

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 http://youtu.be/QDtoFI25BUM

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

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

Thank you, ZACH – A note from Board Trustee Tom Terkel

April 15th, 2013
(L-R) Colleen, Tom and their daughter Taylor Terkel

(L-R) Colleen, Tom and their daughter Taylor Terkel

When my daughter asked me at lunch today what MAD BEAT HIP & GONE is really about, I told her — I don’t really know. I knew it was about the beatnik era and two young guys out on the road searching for something. That was about it. There was a time when I would have been worried.

And so, when we were driving to the theatre and her friend asked the same question, I jumped in to say “I am not real sure, but I have learned to trust Dave Steakley. If he thinks we should see this, he is probably right.” And right he was.

I didn’t realize then as I now do that MAD BEAT HIP & GONE is a metaphor for every generation’s passage from idealistic youth to accommodating middle age and back again to idealistic old age. The play is completely timeless in that regard.

When the play ended, I had similar feelings to what I have experienced so many time: gratitude that I had trusted ZACH. Thought provoking, timeless, and ageless — when do we stop wrestling with the two sides of ourselves — idealism vs. accommodation, settling or seeking? I know I haven’t reconciled the two yet and I bounce back and forth between the two, using my civic commitments to somewhat satisfy the yearning for seeking, but really? That’s not really seeking … Who doesn’t dream about setting out on a road trip without a map, focusing instead on the characters met and the lessons to be learned?

So, instead of providing a window into the lives of others as Dave has so often done in the past, tonight he provided a mirror for me. And, I suspect, everyone in the theatre — young, old, man, woman of all ethnicities — had a similar look inside, for this dilemma is universal. It was a healthy introspection.

It was great to see bright new stars on our stage, and, once more, Michael Raiford’s set was the perfect backdrop to display this piece of art — evocative at times, symbolic at others, literal at still others. He designed a perfect environment to convey the appropriate context at each moment.

So, thank you, ZACH, and please thank playwright and director Steven Dietz. We’ll be discussing this production for days and weeks to come.

- Tom Terkel
ZACH Board Trustee, FourT Realty

For tickets and more show info, please visit http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/mad-beat-hip-gone.