Tag Archives: long center

Austin Shakespeare’s Medea

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Originally written for and published by Texas Lifestyle 🙂

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Trade in the predictable rom-com at the movie theater for the twisted, intense Greek tragedy, Euripides’ Medea. The Austin Shakespeare Company is well-known for their free performances in the park every summer (this summer, get your blanket and picnic basket ready for Macbeth), but they perform all year at different venues. Medea will be at The Long Center through early March and it’s a MUST SEE.

Medea, portrayed by the brilliant, nationally-acclaimed classical actress Franchelle Stewart Dorn, is a woman scorned—her husband, Jason, is leaving her for a princess. To help with this transition, the king has decided to banish Medea—but she won’t leave quietly, that’s for sure.

I wouldn’t dare ruin the ending for you, so all I’ll say is get ready for an emotional roller coaster—this tragic tale is warped to say the least. But that’s what makes it so fascinating!

Dorn plays Medea with such ferociousness and elegance—you fall in love with her fierce, feminist character quickly. In fact, you’re still rooting for her while she’s plotting numerous insane schemes and violent murders.

Infidelity, friendship, family, revenge, death…Medea has it all.

Buy your tickets now! Eighteen dollars a piece is an awesome deal for this show, especially since the event is held in one of The Long Center’s smaller theaters, so the experience feels really intimate.

Fair warning though—this isn’t a “pleasant” or “romantic” story. Definitely not a first-date kind of feel. Medea is what all Greek tragedies are—shocking and horrific, but solid entertainment.

Austin Opera’s Of Mice and Men

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Originally written for and published by Texas Lifestyle Magazine 🙂

Combining a love of classic literature and amazing music—it’s not an easy task. I had my doubts when I scored free tickets to the final dress rehearsal for “Of Mice and Men” at the Long Center. Steinbeck and sopranos?! I thought skeptically. Didn’t seem to be a match made in heaven, especially since the novella deals so heavily with Lennie Small’s mental disability. I underestimated the Austin Opera—they skillfully and successfully conveyed all of the intricate themes of the book.

If you haven’t read “Of Mice and Men,” do so—right now! I’m not sure I would’ve enjoyed the opera if I hadn’t read the novella first—I definitely recommend reading, then enjoying the performance. But don’t worry, you have plenty of time. The novella is called a novella for a reason—it’s super short (but packed with amazingness). However, as I type this, I’m reminded that I went to the opera with someone who had never read the novella—and he still enjoyed it thoroughly! Maybe the English teacher in me can’t help but push reading on people. I will say, if you haven’t read the novella, the opera could be a little too slow for you. It’s not an action-packed plot or a twisted romantic drama—it’s a character piece.

Corey Bix, who plays Lennie, is making his Austin Opera debut with “Of Mice and Men” and wow—what a debut! It’s not only his insane vocals that will impress you, but simply his presence on the stage. You can’t take your eyes off him as he struggles through life on the ranch; you find yourself rooting for him so relentlessly. That’s how you know Bix’s performance was outstanding—Lennie is a character who you shouldn’t be able to help but love.

The orchestra was phenomenal, the props, backdrops, and costumes were perfect, and they even used a real-life dog and puppy on stage—I loved that extra touch (although, if you know the story, that might not excite you too much). Also, lyrics appear on a screen above the stage, which is helpful if you’re like me, and not always fluent in opera. Every effort made by the composer, director, and cast did not go unnoticed—it was flawless.

Austin Opera is currently selling tickets to only three shows—January 23, 28, and 31—so act soon!

 

About the author: Alysha Kaye is a high school English teacher in Kyle, TX and recent author—her debut novel The Waiting Room is available on Amazon and at BookPeople. When she’s not wrangling 9th graders, she’s blogging, reading, or exploring Austin.

For more, follow her on Twitter @alyshakaye7 or check out her website: http://www.alyshakaye.com