The Five Most Exciting Stage Events Coming to the Arsht Center This Season
On Saturday, September 8, tickets for the Arsht Center's 2012-2013 season events will go on sale to the general public. But because you're special, you can buy your tickets early -- and with no extra fees -- the day before, at a lunchtime shindig at the Arsht.
The free street party begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday. In addition to advanced ticket purchasing, visitors can enjoy a rock 'n' roll art installation, games, giveaways and scrumptious treats from Ms. Cheezious and the Rolling Stove food trucks.
With more than 40 events booked from November through May, the Arsht lineup offers lot of culture through which to navigate. Here's a look at our top five purchase-worthy stage events of the Arsht season.
Ballet Austin: Light/The Holocaust and Humanity Project
There are ambitious ballets, and then there is Ballet Austin's Light/The Holocaust and Humanity Project. This epic work in five sections begins at the dawn of time, diagnoses decades of exploitation, bigotry, and internment, and finally suggests hope for the triumph of the human spirit. A passionate plea for human rights, it includes music by postmodern minimalists such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
Who should go: Those who appreciate ballet productions that stray from tradition. The New York Times ;praised the company for "departing from balletic convention." That's no surprise: This is a company from the city of Austin, after all.
November 3-4, $25-$95
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses
Even Andy Warhol, with his incorporation of lowbrow iconography in a high-art setting, might raise an eyebrow at the level to which video games -- once a pastime for Doritos-munching adolescents -- have permeated the ivory tower of symphonic performance. Following the lead of Video Games Live and Play!, Symphony of the Goddesses is the first game-themed concert to feature a four-movement symphony and full chorus, dedicated entirely to the Zelda franchise, a Nintendo cash cow for the past quarter-century.
Who should go: That rare breed of person who can distinguish a violin from a viola and Ganon from Vaati.
December 9, starting at $35
All New People
This four-character comedy by Scrubs star Zach Braff recently closed in New York City and London, and Miami's own Zoetic Stage at the Arsht snagged it up as soon as it became available to regional theaters. It's about a guy who's just turned 35 and is on the precipice of suicide -- a task he could complete were it not for the three eccentric characters who converge on his New Jersey beach house. Nicholas Richberg, Todd Allen Durkin, Amy McKenna and Betsy Graver will star in Zoetic's production.
Who should go: vintage movie fans. Braff is known mostly as an actor, and Hollywood cinema is a touchstone for All New People. Braff has called it "The Breakfast Club for adults," and there are elements in it of Harold and Maude, Woody Allen and It's a Wonderful Life. There's even film projection employed in the scenic design.
January 10-27, $40-$45
Penned by local playwright David Michael Sirois and first presented by Alliance Theatre Lab in March 2011, Brothers Beckett earned three Carbonell nominations -- a major achievement for a new work. This funny, sensitive, authentic and occasionally heartbreaking examination of the bloodlines and love lives of 20-something college graduates was a notch above most world premieres. Now, two years later, it will receive a grander treatment its second time around, in the Arsht Center's Carnival Studio Theatre.
Who should go: Anyone with a sibling, anyone with a dream, anyone who's fallen in love, anyone who, for a time, didn't want to grow up. In other words, pretty much everyone.
March 7-24, $35
Most exclamation marks, in titles or otherwise, are superfluous. In the case of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, one exclamation mark doesn't seem to do him justice. Before dying at 58 from an AIDS-related disease, he released 45 albums bridging gaps between jazz, funk, psychedelic rock and other genres, helping to create hip-hop and world music as we know them today. This groundbreaking Broadway musical celebrates his life, legacy and especially his music, in a phantasmagoria of light, color and sound, and of dance, theater and music, co-produced by Jay-Z and Will Smith.
Who should go: Naturally, Fela fans will love it, but the musical also will make a great primer for those who have never heard Kuti's music. The 27 songs in the show examine his political rage as well as his progressive musicality, with songs like "Coffin for Head of State" and "Expensive Shit."
March 19-24, tickets TBA.
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