Must-see drama, opera, classical music


As soon as one season ends, another rises, albeit hazy, on the horizon.

Preparations are already underway for next season’s major performing arts events, which will begin before the weather gets cold again in Texas.

In preparation for this season, I’ve divided the major product announcements into three categories: “Must See,” “Should See,” and “Maybe See.”

More season announcements are coming soon. I’ve included some summer art here too.

‘Funny Girl’ tops Austin Broadway charts

The Texas Performing Arts Troupe at the University of Texas is by far the largest arts group in town. Its “Broadway in Austin” series is the company’s biggest attraction to date, with 10 touring shows in the upcoming season that will draw nearly 250,000 viewers. Texas Performing Arts Network

  • Must see: “Funny Girl” – Buzzy’s hit musical revives the classic 1960s musical about Fanny Brice.
  • You should see: “Moulin Rouge,” “Escape,” “Hamilton,” “Les Misérables,” “Come From Away” — the first two are new shows worth watching, while the last three are returning shows with great discographies and plenty of fan base.
  • You may see: MJ: The Musical, Annie, Peter Pan, Clue – it depends on the quality of the touring version, don’t you think?

Texas Performing Arts brings the world to Austin

While the Texas Performing Arts Center is best known for its Broadway series, over the past 40 years many of us have agreed that its Off-Broadway content can be even stronger. These programs should educate and entertain. Texas Performing Arts Network

  • Must see: Conspirare’s “Considering Matthew Shepard” – This oratorio is one of the most profound and moving plays Austen ever created. Twyla Tharp’s “Diamond Jubilee” – A great American choreographer celebrates 60 years of creativity.
  • You should see: Branford Marsalis, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Andrew Schneider — the first two stars are back in Austin, and everyone’s welcome , and a third created an immersive light show that sounded like a lively version of Lady Bird Theatre’s recent magical “Luminations” at the Johnson Wildflower Center. I would add to this category: “Postcards from the Border” by Carrie Rodriguez, Oscar Cásares and Joel Salcido, Works will originate from campus residencies and dance club performances by Steven Hoggett, Christine Jones and David Byrne.
  • You may see: “Salsa Navidad” by the Spanish Harlem Symphony Orchestra, Huang Yi’s dance “Ink,” “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at 300” by Les Arts Florissant and Théotime Langlois, and five exciting cutting-edge premieres by Austin’s Fusebox in collaboration with TPA.

Zach Theater

Austin’s largest resident theater company recently hosted previews for its upcoming season, including two noteworthy summer shows at the end of the season. Always look to the creative side of this team, which continues to gain national prominence.

  • Must see: “The Lehman Trilogy,” “Jersey Boys,” “What the Constitution Means to Me” — it’s great! The first is a multi-generational drama about wealth; the second is the first time a resident theater company has staged this award-winning jukebox musical anywhere; and the third is a hit solo show – what else? –the U.S. constitution.
  • You should see: “The Wizard of Oz,” “Bob & Joan: A Love Story,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” — frankly, any one of these three shows could be in the “must-see” category. The first is Dave Steakley’s adaptation of the film musical classic, the second is a family story from Austin-born playwright Robert Schenkkan; the third is a stunningly effective ’s bio-musical, its first local performance can be seen here.
  • You may see: “A Christmas Carol,” “Luna,” “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” — The first is Zach’s wildly entertaining take on Charles Dickens’s seasonal tale, which enters this category because it returns almost every year; the other two are dramas aimed at teenagers.

Austin Ballet

Some Austinites know the dance company primarily through its seasonal performances of “The Nutcracker.” Not only that, it has earned an international reputation as one of the best ballet companies in the United States. balletstan website

  • Must see: “Belle: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast” — One of dance-maker Stephen Mills’s most complex treatments of a familiar yarn (other recent winners: “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” and “Stephen Mills’ Poe: A Mad Story”).
  • You should see: — It’s been a few years since I immersed myself in the cultural richness of The Nutcracker. Additionally, I also enjoyed the shorter dances, such as the Promise combination of Where the Heart Is and Love’s Tender Spring. I find love and ballet go well together.
  • You may see: “Romeo and Juliet” – I have a soft spot for traditional story ballets. The piece wisely features Sergei Prokofiev’s dramatic score.

austin symphony orchestra

Austin’s oldest performing arts company didn’t get there through innovation. In addition to its much-loved series of masterpieces and popular music, it regularly hosts incredibly ambitious concert groups. austin symphony website

  • Must see: Austin-based international concert star Anton Nel performs all five Beethoven piano concertos in one weekend with conductor Peter Bay’s skilled orchestra.
  • You should see: The rest of the series of symphonic masterpieces including Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn, Dvořák, Barber, Orff, Brahms, Strauss (John and Richard) and the music of Gershwin.
  • You may see: Symphony’s Steward Pops series includes Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas , as well as Steve Hackman’s Beethoven x Coldplay and John Williams ‘s music”.

Austin Opera House

This great company is launching three very different products next season, and short-term screenings of two of the three shows.

  • Must see: The Manchurian Candidate – If you missed this political thriller in 2016, don’t miss it this time. Composer Kevin Putz (Silent Night) has deep Austin roots.
  • You should see: With music director Timothy Myers and chorus Austin, Verdi’s Requiem transcends strictly operatic repertoire and, let’s face it, is very operatic in its own right.
  • You may see: Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is one of the ten most prolific operas in the world and needs no explanation. This performance involves a collaboration with Opera San Antonio, a logical pairing.

Before fall, try these summer delicacies

Summer Inventory AustinIn a town filled with youth arts training programs, Impact Austin stands out, especially when it comes to musical. Evidence: One of the students, Langston Lee of Louth High School, won a national Jimmy Award in his first year of eligibility as an Austin-area student. The group’s summer equity offering in Austin is further evidence of this. Impact Art Network

  • Must see: “Guys and Dolls” – One of the classic musicals in Broadway history, this show is suitable for artists and audiences of almost all ages.
  • You should see: “Disney’s Little Mermaid” – Impact Austin recently held a summer stock show specifically for young audiences. While some adults consider this a classic, I have to admit: I’ve never seen it. Maybe it’s time to correct this problem.

Zilke Summer MusicalThis annual outdoor event traces its roots to the Zilker Hillside Nanny in the 1930s, and we can consider it the largest free community show in town.

  • You should see: “Legally Blonde: The Musical” – Love the original movie. I’ve never seen a Broadway musical. It should be a crowd-pleaser. Be warned: that hill in Zilke Park is hot. Be prepared.

paramount summer movies If you like to use air conditioning during the hotter months, consider this big-screen drama, which turns 50 this summer. During the celebration, Congress Avenue Queens is showing approximately 120 movies! The season has begun.

  • Must see: Jaws, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Star Wars: A New Hope, The Godfather Part II, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz – I’m thinking of the shows you can’t miss watching on the big screen to a group of like-minded people.
  • You should see: “Pulp Fiction,” “The Color Purple,” “Paris Is Burning,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “The Graduate,” “Water for Chocolate” and “What’s Up, Doc?” — Here, the big screen isn’t as important as storytelling.
  • You may see: — Dawn of the Dead, Point Break, I’m Not Your Negro, Lolita, American Psycho, To Kill a Mockingbird, Muriel’s Wedding ”, “The Lunchbox” — shows you may not see them elsewhere, in part because some are made from banned books.

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