SAT., AUG. 16, 2003
When it comes to keeping Austin weird, nobody steps up to the plate like local theatre. Sure this town is lousy with freaks, fops, and funsters hellbent on subverting the norm, but none go at it with the alacrity of the thespian set (one notable exception being Leslie Cochran, who is arguably Austin’s longest-running performance-art piece). No doubt a need for attention is an essential element in weirdness, but following a close second is a flair for the dramatic. The only thing weirder than a freaky-looking musician is a mime. Don’t try to explain it. It is what it is. One night at Cirque du Soleil is far more unsettling than a week on the Iron Maiden tour bus. Musicians, regardless of how strangely dressed, pretty much are who they are. Actors however, are never who they really are even when they are trying to be who they really are. How weird is that? Maybe not Leslie Cochran weird, but if you dress them up in a stewardess outfits and run them for mayor, most actors would give Leslie a serious run for his money – especially if they pretended to climb imaginary stairs or wash imaginary windows. Therefore, if you truly want to keep Austin weird, you might consider saving the cash you were going to spend on that T-shirt or bumper sticker and throwing it at a local theatre company. Feeding a starving actor is an act of mercy similar to putting out a bowl of milk for a stray kitten. You never know whether the kitten loves you back, but it always shows up for the bowl of milk. The bonus in the case of the actor is that very often it will entertain you and in some extreme cases even sleep with your roommate. This Saturday from 7:30-10:00pm the Salvage Vanguard Theater is throwing the Salvage Vanguard Labor Party, a fundraiser featuring a silent auction, cash bar, and previews of the company’s upcoming shows. There’s no cover at the door, but between the silent auction and the cash bar, you should find a way to milk the theatrical cat and meet a few interesting (weird?) people.