By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Over at the Bath House Cultural Center, the matinee-only One-Thirty Productions has taken a shine to Austin playwright Ellsworth Schave. The company has done well by his gentle comedies A Texas Romance and Under a Texaco Canopy and now they're debuting his latest, a comedy called Well-Traveled, But Not Well-Known.
It's a play about the writing of a play. Thurman Bulverde (played by Ted Wold), who runs a small Texas town's summer theater, wants to put on a dramatic tribute to the mother he never knew. But the director (John Venable) thinks there's more juice in the real story of why the old gal hit the road 50 years earlier. With the help of the hired-in star (Morgana Shaw), her blowsy ex-circus sharpshooter mother (Gene Raye Price), the fledgling playwright (Jason Kennedy) and Thurman's crazy-coot dad (Larry Randolph, who also directed), they get to the truth.
Most Valuable Player continues through May 23 at Dallas Childrenís Theater. Call 214-740-0051.
[title of show] continues through May 23 at Theatre Three. Call 214-871-3300.
Well-Traveled, But Not Well-Known continues through May 22 (matinees only) at Bath House Cultural Center. Call 214-532-1709.
The play meanders like the Pedernales, but One-Thirty's cast pulls it off nicely, particularly Shaw as she transforms from flirty actress into 90-year-old Harmony Bulverde, the runaway mother. Rather like an old-timey radio serial about a band of theater folk solving a mystery, Well-Traveled offers a behind-the-scenes peek at eccentrics and their family secrets. Where it's not well-written, it's certainly well-played.