Whether you consider 2017 to be a great or terrible year, we can all agree on one thing—it’s almost over! For theater addicts, this means that you get to look over the past year and create your own “best of” lists, while simultaneously salivating about what’s to come in the new year. To help get you excited, here are four Austin shows that promise to be innovative and exciting in 2018:
Florian Zeller’s The Father—a dark comedy about an elderly man’s increasing dementia told from the man’s confused point of view—was a 2016 Tony nominee for best play, and will be getting its Texas debut early next year from Jarrott Productions. With Austin mainstay David Jarrott set to take on the lead role and award-winning actress Amber Quick cast as the daughter who struggles to care for him, this production promises to feature some deeply moving, powerhouse performances.
Trinity Street Theatre; Feb 8-Mar 4, Thu-Sat at 7:30pm, Sun at 3pm. $18-$25.
A Delicate Ship
Ann Ziegler’s new play, A Delicate Ship, debuted in New York several years ago, and this year will receive its Texas debut courtesy of the Filigree Theater, a new company that produced an achingly sad and nuanced version of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal this past fall. Director Elizabeth V. Newman and star David Moxham return for A Delicate Ship, which explores the nature of time and suffering for three New Yorkers on one Christmas Eve. Given the resonances between this text and Betrayal, it seems more than a natural follow-
up for Filigree and should prove to be a vital part of their first season in town.
The Filigree Theatre at The Santa Cruz Theatre. Feb 15-25, Thu-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 5pm. Prices TBD.
Shakespeare in Love
A movie about a playwright, with a screenplay co-written by a renowned playwright, has now come all the way back around and been adapted as a play. Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall’s Shakespeare in Love tells the story of a young, sexy Shakespeare moved by love and lust to write one of his tragic masterpieces. Austin Playhouse, which always does an excellent job creating classical theater with a modern flair, seems the perfect venue for the production of this brand new stage adaptation.
Austin Playhouse. Mar 23-Apr 22, times TBD. $16-$36.
Sunday in the Park with George
When it debuted in 1985, Sunday in the Park with George, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine, became only the sixth musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. The show was inspired by Georges Seurat's painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," and tells the stories of both a fictionalized version of Seurat and his great-grandson, who is a contemporary artist also named George. The moody, complex exploration of what it means to be an artist is a big production worthy of the Zach Theatre main stage, and should be the musical event of the spring season.
Zach Theatre. May 30-Jun 24 at 7:30pm with some 2:30pm matinees on weekends. $30-$150.