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Mothers and Sons

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ZACH Theatre presents Terrence McNally‘s “Mothers and Sons,” a provocative new play that covers 90 minutes out of the lives for four characters that explores the lives of gay men after the early days of the AIDS epidemic which would alter and reshape the entire gay subculture. From coping with loss to the changing portrait of the modern American family, “Mothers and Sons” is a poinant reminder of how far the gay community has come in these past decades and those that we’ve lost along the way, as well as how far we still have to go.

Emmy Award-winning actress Michael Learned, best known for playing the mother on The Walton‘s, stars as Katharine Gerard, a recently widowed Dallas matron en route to Europe who seeks out her deceased son’s former lover Cal Porter, played by Martin Burke (This Wonderful Life, Peter and the Starcatcher, and the The Santaland Diaries at ZACH Theatre). Here she comes face to face with Nicholas Rodriguez (Les Misérables, Master Class and Love! Valour! Compassion! at ZACH Theatre) as Cal’s husband Will Ogden and their son, Bud, played by young actor William May (A Christmas Story, and Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol at ZACH Theatre). Dave Steakley directs the wonderfully cast production at ZACH Theatre.

“Mothers and Sons” is a 90-minute emotional rollercoaster ranging from wounding outbursts to witty banter to touching moments of shared loss. There is no intermission. There are no costume changes. It is a real-time snapshot in the lives of the four characters, dealing with some heavy issues like the aftermath of the AIDS crisis and probably the most topical subject at the moment– same-sex marriage … with plenty of jabs at Texas, and a shoutout or two to Austin, thrown in there. And conveniently timed as LGBTQ Texans, along with our fellow Americans, await a ruling by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

“Mothers and Sons is a beautiful play of this moment in time as our country, and our state, struggles to define what constitutes a family, and who has the right to marry. This Spring at ZACH we are focused on equality, from the Civil Rights legislation at the heart of All The Way, to the dialogue around marriage equality today,” says Steakley. “As we have witnessed societal change occurs slowly and then there are certain junctions in our history where progress toward equality moves swiftly. We are poised at one of those moments in American history, and I’m delighted we are one of the first to produce McNally’s thoughtful, human, compassionate play.”

Regardless of your age, “Mothers and Sons” is a must see play that tries to summarize the change our world has seen over the last couple of decades. Mrs. Gerard struggles to come to terms with the death of her only child, trying to not forget him, trying to find someone to blame and seeing the life that could have been his had he lived. Older audience members will probably connect more with Cal and his struggle with the loss of his former partner and an entire generation of friends during the height of the AIDS crisis. Younger audience members will relate more with the younger aspiring writer Will, and his want for the American Dream and a politically correct world.

One of the most poignant moments of the performance was when Will talks to Mrs Gerard about the time when to be diagnosed with AIDS was effectively a death sentence: “First it will be a chapter in a history book, then a paragraph, then a footnote. … It’s already started to happen. I can feel it happening. All the raw edges of pain dulled, deadened, drained away.”

Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM through June 21, 2015 at ZACH’s Topfer Theatre at 202 South Lamar Blvd. Tickets start at $25 and are available online at www.zachtheatre.org, the ZACH Theatre box office in the Topfer Theatre Mondays through Saturday from 12 NOON to 7 PM and by phone at (512) 476-0541 x1. Discounts are available for groups of 8 or more. Student Rush Tickets are $18 one hour before show time (with valid ID).

[gdlr_icon type=”icon-camera-retro” size=”16px” color=”#999999″]PHOTO CREDIT: 1) Michael Learned, William May, Nicholas Rodriguez and Martin Burke / photo credit: Kirk Tuck; 2) Martin Burke and Michael Learned / photo credit: Kirk Tuck; 2) William May, Martin Burke and Nicholas Rodriguez / photo credit: Kirk Tuck; 3) William May, Martin Burke and Nicholas Rodriguez / photo credit: Kirk Tuck.

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MOTHERS AND SONS

By Terrence McNalley; Dave Steakley, director; J. Robert Moore, assistant director; Michelle Ney, scenic designer; Gabrielle Garcia, scenic design assistant; Michael McDonald, costume designer; Jason Amato, lighting designer; Craig Brock, sound designer; Scott Groh, properties designer; Shannon Richey, stage manager. Presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, Kathleen and Harvey Guion, Lee Manford and Casey Blass, Pamela and Scott Reichardt, and Mercedes Benz of Austin. At ZACH’s Topfer Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd. (corner of Riverside Drive and South Lamar Blvd.), 512-476-0541 x1, www.zachtheatre.org. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

WITH: Martin Burke (Cal Porter), Michael Learned (Katharine Gerard), William May (Bud Ogden-Porter), and Nicholas Rodriguez (Will Ogden).

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Chase is the Founder and Creative Director of therepubliq.com, Host and Executive Producer of OutCast Austin, an award-winning LGBT weekly radio program on KOOP 91.7 FM in Austin. In 2011, he was named the Critics Pick for 'Most Gaybiquitous' in the Austin Chronicle's Best of Austin. In 2012, CultureMap Austin named him one of Austin's Top LGBT bloggers and he received the AGLCC's Chamber Award for Social Media Diva.

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Theatre

Penfold Theatre presents GHOST QUARTET

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Penfold Theatre presents Dave Malloy’s spirited new musical, Ghost Quartet, at Blue Genie Art Bazaar and the Driskill Hotel October 11 to November 1, 2019.

Ghost Quartet is a happily haunted musical about love, death, and whiskey. We listen in as four friends drink and spin yarns about two fairy tale sisters, a tree house astronomer and a lazy evil bear, a subway tragedy and the ghost of Thelonious Monk. As the evening winds on and glasses empty, we realize the narrative threads are interweaving into a centuries-long tale of encounters with the otherworldly. Ghost Quartet seductively pulls at our desire to believe in ghosts and subtly asks us why these stories continue to endure and multiply in the human imagination.

The New York Times calls the piece “rapturous… [Ghost Quartet] slyly addresses the questions of why we want to believe in ghosts and feel the need to keep talking about them. And I promise you, you will believe by the evening’s end… ingenious and affecting.” The Boston Globe praises the work’s “seductive allure… Tight harmonies, compelling characters and rich musicianship draw us into a cozy world to explore our fascination with and connection to the otherworldly spirits for a uniquely thrilling evening.”

Ghost Quartet is penned by Dave Malloy, the ascending composer most known for the hit Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, which is enjoying an international tour after winning 2 Tony Awards and being nominated for 10 others. Mr. Malloy’s work has never been seen in Austin, making Penfold’s Ghost Quartet the regional premiere of both a thrilling new work and an increasingly important voice in musical theatre.

The Blue Genie Art Bazaar will be transformed into a haunted hideaway for the show’s first three weekends. Then, for two nights only – October 31st and November 1st – the production will move to the Citadel Ballroom of the Driskill Hotel. These Halloween performances will feature a special pre-show of live ghost stories, told by Penfold co-founder and Haunted Texas alumnus Nathan Jerkins, about the eerie environs of the historic Austin landmark.

11oct8:00 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

12oct8:00 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

13oct5:00 PM7:00 PMGHOST QUARTET5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

17oct8:00 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

18oct8:00 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

19oct8:00 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

20oct5:00 PM7:00 PMGHOST QUARTET5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

24oct8:00 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

25oct8:00 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

26oct8:00 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

27oct5:00 PM7:00 PMGHOST QUARTET5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Blue Genie Art BazaarCategories:TheatreAges:18+

31oct7:30 PM10:00 PMGHOST QUARTET7:30 PM - 10:00 PM The Driskill HotelCategories:TheatreAges:18+

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JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

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Following critically acclaimed, sold-out engagements in the UK, the reimagined 50th Anniversary tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR will launch its national tour at Austin’s Bass Concert Hall from October 8 – 13, 2019. The 2017 Olivier awarding-winning production from Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre are on sale now.

Featuring award-winning music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, the North American tour of this iconic musical will be helmed by acclaimed director Timothy Sheader and cutting-edge choreographer Drew McOnie. Rounding out the creative team is set and costume design by 2016 Tony Award nominee, Tom Scutt, lighting design by Lee Curran, and music supervision by Tom Deering.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is a proven musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. As demonstrated by NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, this epic work attracted over 9.6 million viewers, earned the highest ratings in its time period, and received the highest critical ranking of any live musical event on network TV. Now, almost 10 years after the last major tour in the US, this award-winning Regent’s Park production will play over 50 markets throughout North America.

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, selling out two consecutive engagements in 2016 and 2017. The production will open for a limited engagement on West End, this summer at the Barbican.

The North American tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is produced by Stephen Gabriel and Work Light Productions. The original production was produced by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

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Theatre

LES MISÉRABLES

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The company of LES MISÉRABLES performs “One Day More." Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts is proud to present the Austin engagement of LES MISÉRABLES. By popular demand, Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, LES MISÉRABLES will return to Austin at Bass Concert Hall for one-week only September 10-15, 2019. Tickets on sale now.

With its glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking new production has left both audiences and critics awestruck and has been hailed as the “Les Miz for the 21st Century.”

Cameron Mackintosh said, “I’m delighted that after a four-year absence this glorious production is once again touring the major cities across North America and is more spectacular than ever.”

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, LES MISÉRABLES tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Featuring one of the greatest scores of all time, with thrilling and beloved songs including “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” “Do You Hear the People Sing” and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Along with the Oscar-winning movie version, it has now been seen by more than 120 million people in 52 countries and in 22 languages around the globe. LES MISÉRABLES is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere in its 33rd year.

Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Boublil and Schönberg’s LES MISÉRABLES has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer from the original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, additional material by James Fenton and original adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. The original LES MISÉRABLES orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker. The production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, designed by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter, musical staging by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt and projections by Fifty-Nine Productions. Music Supervision is by Stephen Brooker and James Moore, with casting by Kaitlin Shaw for Tara Rubin Casting.

LES MISÉRABLES originally opened in London at the Barbican Theatre on October 8, 1985, transferred to the Palace Theatre on December 4, 1985 and moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre on April 3, 2004 where it continues to play to packed houses and is the only version of the original production left in the world. The original Broadway production of LES MISÉRABLES opened at the Broadway Theatre on March 12, 1987 and transferred to the Imperial Theatre on October 17, 1990 running for 6,680 performances. The original US National Tour began in November 1987 and visited over 150 cities before closing in St. Louis, MO in 2006. Broadway audiences welcomed LES MIZ back to New York on November 9, 2006 where the show played the Broadhurst Theatre until its final performance on January 6, 2008.

The new production was conceived in 2009 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary, with record-breaking productions in the U.K., Australia, Korea, Japan, Spain, France, Manila, Singapore, São Paulo and Dubai. The North American Tour traveled across the U.S. for two years then played a five-month engagement in Toronto before returning to the Imperial Theatre on Broadway in March 2014 for over 1,000 performances. The new production is currently playing to sold out houses across North America, Mexico City and on tour in the U.K and has also been seen in Brazil, Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Manila, Singapore, Dubai and Broadway..

To date, LES MISÉRABLES remains the 5th longest-running Broadway production of all time.

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