We join our intrepid explorer, fresh from a SkyMall induced aneurism as she touches down in Austin, Texas. Again with the bullet points and photos:
- Shitloads of Mexican food. I had three margaritas on arrival and spent the rest of the evening in a delightful tequila induced haze. But not hazy enough that I missed any of…
- …some of the best narrative improv I have seen in a long time! I turned up on a seemingly random weekend, inflicted myself on my Loose Moose Summer School pal, Andy, and happened upon the Hideout Theatre‘s first-ever Improvised Play Festival. i.e. Long form narrative improv ahoy. Sweet, sweet, Austin, I love you. I actually enjoyed every single show I saw (totaling seven over the weekend). These were some highlights:
- The Plagiarists who performed a show each inspired by a different playwright. I thought it sounded unnecessarily handle-y but I was pleasantly surprised by a tight show that developed interesting characters that interacted and formed relationships I cared about. Great cast – I wanted to perform with all of them.
- The Confidence Men who performed a show in the style of David Mamet. The ask-for they got yielded ‘The Core of the Earth’, which served as the setting for the show. I particularly enjoyed the first half, which was some of the funniest shit I have seen in a long time, where the improvisers perfectly inhabited each of their cabin-fevered characters and bantered, allowing the story to flow from there. HiLARious. The second half got away a little but it was still a satisfying show.
- Holy 1960s Batman, Batman! was so much fun. Batman and Robin (in full lycra-spandex) were in fine form, with their banter providing some of my favourite moments in the show (Robin bargaining with Batman about being allowed to go out on a date with a girl while they drove around Gotham in the Batmobile), along with the Robin-obsessed Chief O’Hara. The whole ensemble nailed the craziness that is 1960s Batman, complete with inane Gotham-townsfolk, the onomatopoeia fight cards (Bam! Smash! etc) and a suitably communist villain. Loved it. Check out some of their teasers on their Facebook page including, my favourite, Batman and Robin talking about Robin’s class picture.
- Spending Fourth of July, or ‘Liberty Day’ as I like to call it, with a bunch of Texans watching Team America: World Police Quote-along at the Alamo Drafthouse. This is the coolest cinema ever. You can order food, which is delivered to you while you watch the movie. Choice quotes were highlighted to enable the whole theatre to quote-along with the movie. Props (including cap guns, American flags and red-white-and-blue glowsticks were provided to enhance the experience. America – Fuck Yeah.
- After the movie, I tagged along to a Fourth of July barbecue where I sampled my first Dr Pepper (it tastes like medicine!), and got into a long involved discussion about the (inevitable?) game-ification of life with a bunch of people that work in the games industry. Fascinating.
- I went browsing in some of the delightful stores in South Congress, particularly one store which had all of the cool things in the world. I particularly like Lady Liberty hanging out next to a heart-shaped crucifix cushion.
- And finally, I got a Brass Fox necklace! Result.