Saturday, November 28, 2009

ANGEL IN THE BARN puppet play

Audacity Theatre Lab presnts this delightful and heart-warming puppet tale of a Farmer and his Wife who have fallen upon hard times. They encounter an old Man with giant wings who seems to have crash landed in their barn. Is he an Angel? Will this event bring the Farmer and his Wife prosperity? Will it bring them back together?
Presented in a modified Bunraku-style of table top puppetry, this production appeals to the young and old alike.

Directed by ATL's Managing Producer Ruth Ann Engel and featuring puppeteers Oscar Contreras, Cinnamon Rhoades and Jeff Hernandez.

Presented in conjunction with Project X at the Green Zone, 161 Riveredge Drive, Dallas TX 75207

Playing December 5 & 12, 2009 at 2 & 4 PM. Family audiences welcome (ages 6 and up)! FREE OF CHARGE! (donations will be welcomed)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More MILKY WAY pics

Jeff Swearingen as The Amazing Arnie
Angela Parsons as Travelin' Alice... going through a black hole
Tyson Rinehart as Buzz and Rhianna Mack as Charlotte

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A Spaced-Out Odyssey

Greg Romero's "The Milky Way Cabaret" floats across the universe at Audacity Theatre Lab

by Mark Lowry/
Published Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A magician, two clowns and an Alice in Wonderland-esque girl: These are characters that should make you feel all warm inside, right?

Not so fast. In Greg Romero's time-trippin' play The Milky Way Cabaret, currently being staged by Audacity Theatre Lab at Teatro Dallas, it's no so cut-and-dry.

The magician is Arnie (the incomparable Jeff Swearingen), an alcoholic whose tricks are fading and wife Lorraine (Tristy Wyly) has filed for divorce. The sadistic clowns are Buzz (Tyson Rinehart) and Charlotte (Rhianna Mack), who have tragic pasts and are really assassins on a mission. And the magic-loving girl, named Alice (Angela Parsons), is the daughter of Arnie and Lorraine and a victim of her parents' separation. She's on her own mission, risking danger to travel through a series of cosmic wormholes from 2037 back to 2009, perhaps to change everyone's destiny.

Milky Way is the second of three plays by Louisiana-bred and onetime Texas resident Greg Romero (now based in Philadelphia) to be produced by Audacity. The first was another universe-crossing, non-linear piece, The Most Beautiful Lullaby Ever Heard, in 2008. The third will come in 2010.

This middle play, directed and designed by Brad McEntire, is an absurdist construct that might be too easily chalked up as merely "interesting" if it weren't for the sparkling banter between Buzz and Charlotte. They sit in chairs on a stage-right platform for the entire show and discuss their pasts and their interests, and develop an affinity for one another. Romero conjures up some vivid imagery in these conversations, most notably in the character of Charlotte, who was born conjoined at the heart to a twin. Both Rinehart and Mack are affecting and wryly humorous.

Speaking of funny, Swearingen is the perfect choice for a down-on-his-luck man whose passion is sleight of hand. Arnie desperately tries to keep his act going (which sometimes involves the audience, painlessly) as Mr. Boss (Jeff Hernandez) threatens to can him. There's at least one sweet scene between Arnie and Lorraine, too, carried out with lovingly deep-rooted emotion by Wyly and the devastating Swearingen. His reaction when she tells him "You used to be great" is priceless.

The play features some good ideas and memorable dialogue, and Romero and McEntire make smart use of pauses and silence. Presented in the teensy Teatro Dallas space and with an even tinier budget, Audacity's staging still feels very much like a work-in-progress—which it is.

As enjoyable as the clown thread and the magician stuff are, though, they're occasionally dragged down by something that seems thrown in for nothing more than shock value, such as the large rubber double-ended dildo with which Mr. Boss beats down Arnie. It's funny for about two seconds, then quickly devolves into the realm of irritatingly pointless.

It's needlessly smug. Surely Romero can come with a device that gets the same point across without being so cocky.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meet Arnie

A little intro video about everyone's favorite magician (except his wife, boss and some folks at the dog races)... Amazing Arnie!

Courtesy of ATL's own Jeff "Mr. Boss" Hernandez

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

MILKY WAY CABARET: Notes on the Play

About the Play
The second project of three in a series of collaborations between ATL and Romero called 3P/3Y (three plays over three years), MILKY WAY CABARET was originally commissioned by the Cardboard Box Collaborative in Philadelphia, PA. It was composed as a sort of valentine to the city. ATL's production will be the second mounting of the production which was developed further through readings and conversations back and forth between ATL artists and Romero.

About the Playwright
Greg Romero received an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas-Austin where he held the James A. Michener Fellowship. Originally from Louisiana, he is currently based in Philadelphia. Mr. Romero's works include THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LULLABY YOU'VE EVER HEARD, THE MILKY WAY CABARET, DANDELION MOMMA, THE MISHUMAA, and ZOMBIE HEART SANDWICH. Mr. Romero currently resides in Philadellphia, PA where he teaches and writes. 

For more information on Greg Romero click here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

THE LAST CASTRATO: Notes on the play and playwright

 About the Play
THE LAST CASTRATO is the darkly comic, bittersweet tale of Joseph, who was born without a penis, and his love affair with Elena, who was born with her skin inside out. Elena, though, was blessed with a beautiful singing voice to balance her deformity, while Joseph has no talent whatsoever to make up for his missing member. "A penis," he muses, "in terms of artistic merit is worth nothing." 

THE LAST CASTRATO sprang from the mind and pen of Chicago playwright Andy Eninger after initial development as part of a solo performance workshop at The Blue Rider Theatre. Audacity Artistic Director Brad McEntire made contact with Mr. Eninger in October 2004 when they were both featured performers in Chicago's third annual Single File Solo Performance Festival. THE LAST CASTRATO recieved its world-premiere at Single File, performed by its author. The piece was then presented by Audacity Productions at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival. It was subsequently presented exclusively by Audacity Productions throughout 2005 and 2006 at theatres in Dallas, Addison and Austin, Texas. 

The piece runs about 50-55 minutes and is performed by a single actor who portrays nearly a dozen different characters. Though this is the first time THE LAST CASTRATO will be presented by ATL ( as opposed to Audacity Productions), Jeff Swearingen returns to act in the piece and ATL Artistic Director Brad McEntire comes back aboard as Producer and Director. 

About the Playwright
Andy Eninger lives in Chicago. He is the creator of "Sybil," an improvised solo form. He has performed and taught "Sybil" across the country, in London, and in Toronto - 'Now Toronto' magazine selected his performance as one of the Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2002. Andy is a founding performer with GayCo Productions, where he has performed in a number of fabulous comedy revues, and with the Chicago Comedy Company, which focuses on corporate comedy and training. Andy teaches improvisation and comedy writing for The Second City Training Center in Chicago, including the yearly "Sybilization" solo improv program. He also teaches a Solo Performance class for both the Chicago Comedy Company, and the Metropolis center for the Performing Arts, and coaches or directs several solo performers each year. 

Mr. Eninger holds an MA in Playwriting, and studied directing and writing for film at the Hungarian Academy of Film and Theater. His writing/directing credits include BEDLAM for the Playground Theatre, TENNIS for the Bailiwick Theatre, music and direction for LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PARODY and music for BAND GEEKS: THE MUSICAL.