arts eclectic

"Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic were two staples of my nighttime reading," says Stephanie Carll of her childhood love of Shel Silverstein's popular books of kids' poetry. "As a kid, I tended toward... the darker humor, the more macabre. And so Shel's tone and really unique style stuck with me. And when I found out that he had adult stuff..."

Shel Silverstein is likely best remembered for his work for children, but he was also a well-known songwriter (he won a Grammy for writing Johnny Cash's hit "A Boy Named Sue") and a prolific writer of more adult material. That's the Shel Silverstein that's on display in the aptly titled An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, a vaudeville-style collection of Silverstein's R-rated poems, songs, and skits that's currently being produced by Carll for Present Company.

"I saw the play with my best friend, and by the time it was over we were just clinging to each other, so emotionally rocked we didn't even know what had happened," says Cry It Out director Lily Wolff, recalling the first time she saw the play performed. "Every since that experience with it, I knew I wanted to do it and I knew I wanted to do it here."

Wolff asked Theatre en Bloc artistic director Jenny Lavery to read the script, and Lavery was quickly on board with the idea of producing (and acting in) Cry It Out

Michael Lee

"It's really a collaborative [project]," says artist Ethan Azarian of his latest outdoor mural. "The nice thing about it is, the kids are so... they're already artists. They're not afraid to make a mark. I really like working with young people, because I like the enthusiasm and I like the fact that they're just not afraid to make a mark. It's exciting for me -- I really enjoy the whole process."

"We wanted to do an improvised telenovela, but we wanted to take ourselves outside of stereotypical roles," says Latinauts producer and performer Lili Lopez. "We didn't want to be maids or pool boys or ..."

"Landscapers," fellow producer/performer Carlos LaRotta suggests.

"Landscapers. Nannies," Lopez continues. "We talked about it [and] asked ourselves how we can take it out of this world. And we took it out of this world."

Specifically, they took the concept off planet Earth entirely and into outerspace, creating the improv show Latinauts, which chronicles the comedic adventures of the Starship Edward James Olmos.

In his quarter century as a working musician in Austin, Oliver Rajamani has explored and performed music from all over the world. His musical interests and influences are remarkably varied -- he's performed with Willie Nelson, the Gypsy Kings, Eric Johnson, Dotschy Reinhardt, Edie Brickell, and many, many others.

In his latest project, he's exploring the common roots behind Flamenco music and the music of his home country of India.