“There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom” UT Department of Theater and Dance – saw this last night. Well done show. One of those shows for 5th graders that really resonates no matter what your age. Like the kids movies from your youth that they don’t make anymore. It treats the kids in the play seriously and parallels their troubles with bullying with the adults in the play. There are some truly cringe-worthy scenes coming from parents where you just want to run up on stage and protect the kids.
The dramaturgy at the end of the show should be seen by anyone who has ever done a talk-back (and really anyone involved in producing theater). It was focused, funny, engaged the audience and ended at a set time. Really great work.
As with most UT performances their were some weak performances, but not from any of the kids or adult leads. And there were puppets which always make me happy. This is a dark horse to check out. I get burned out watching so much theater and this one really kept me engaged the whole way through.
Tickets (careful, they have no show tomorrow night due to the football game)
“The Collection” Hyde Park Theater – If you want to see this one you should probably get your tickets within the next few minutes. They’re pretty much sold out. And for good reason. The story revolves around marital infidelity. Or not. There are Kafka-esque phone calls and strangers showing up at the door. And yet it’s a great comedy. Joey Hood and Ken Webster are great. My only problem with the show is that I wasn’t sure at the end whether infidelity had occurred, and probably more importantly I wasn’t 100% convinced the actors knew. But all in all it was a concise, hilarious, and intriguing night of theater.
“The Jungle” Trouble Puppet – Trouble Puppet’s production last year of “Frankenstein” was my favorite show of the year, so I had very high hopes for their production of “The Jungle”. By and large the puppetry was flawless. Trouble Puppet mixes puppetry styles, but it’s mainly Bunraku. In this case it was seamless. The puppeteers were dressed like the puppets as factory workers and renacted some of the puppets tasks in real life which really made it seem like their was no real barrier between the two. That said I felt like it didn’t have as much of the horror as Frankenstein (which seems odd considering the source material). Also, it felt like it was simply reaffirming the audiences views. It’s hard to find someone now who doesn’t feel like turn-of-the-century factory conditions were horrific. Their production of Frankenstein put a fantastic feminist spin on the story, and I would have liked to seen the same thing here. That said, it will probably still be one of my favorite plays this year. Can’t wait to see Connor Hopkins do the puppets for “Evil Dead: The Musical”!
Zoe’s Kitchen (arboretum area) – Had a Pimento Cheese Sandwich, Fresh Pasta Salad with Basil, Izzi Soda, and Chocolate Chip Cookie. My entree was free due to a promotion they’re running right now. The place was fresh, but not excessively healthy. The bread was toasted in some sort of oil. The pasta salad was a bit bland and dry. That said, for restaurants South of 183 and West of MoPac this is one of the best. Probably only beat out for me by the Hub.
Woodland (south congress) – Had two of their cocktails which were both fantastic. The Socu was nice and cucumbery (which is one of my favorite flavors in cocktails). It was not sweet and the cayenne did a great job of getting the scent of the drink into your nose (can you tell I don’t write food reviews). I can’t figure out what my second drink was anymore. For mains I had the woodland veggie burger. It is beet based, which was suprisingly tastey, but about 3/4 of the way through the burger I was done with the taste. The cocktails were good, but it didn’t inspire me to want to go back and try the rest of the menu.
La Reyna (south first) – great margaritas, and they have super tender ribs that fall off the bone and you can roll into a taco. Our new favorite Mexican place.
East Side Show Room (east 6th) – worth the trip just to see how built up East 6th has become. The drinks were good, but both Julie and my food were exceedingly simple. Mine tasted like beef that had come out of a crock pot, and Julie’s was merely good. Our chatucherie plate was like something out of a commercial making fun of gourmet food. It was a regular sized app plate with one tiny slice of pate, a tiny dollop of some sort of mouse, and various other tiny things. There was far more white showing than there was food. All in all, we were underwhelmed. We might go back for cocktails, but we were not inspired to try the food again.
Frank (Colorado and 4th) – tasty hot dogs. They have specialty sausages made daily. Definitely one of the food bargains in downtown Austin and just a really satisfying lunch. Kid friendly for well behaved children. They have Maine Root root beer on draft which makes them probably the closest to my vision of heaven that’s possible. I’ve had a sausage stuffed with portobellos and shallots, and one topped with daikon and they were both perfectly balanced dogs. Highly recommended. We’ve already been twice.
Taverna (2nd street) – pretty decent italian. Julie got a really tasty pizza covered with fresh veggies and I got a risotto. It was good, but at the end of the day it was a risotto. I don’t understand the fetishization of that dish, I wanted to try it somewhere upscale to see if I could figure it out. It was good, and it was nice to sit on the sidewalk and people watch, but I think we’ll probably stick with Primizie as our favorite Italian restaurant in Austin.