To buy a ticket to Esther's Follies, call our box office at (512) 320-0553 or buy online. For General Admission, the seating is first come, first serve. Arrive early for best seats. If the show is a sellout, we release all General Admission reservations at 20 minutes before showtime, and sell to our standby line.
All General Admission seats are first come-first serve. You pay at the door $25 per person for general admission, and only pay for the number of people that arrive. You can buy tickets for people who are not here yet, and in order to hold seats all tickets for the party must be purchased. We will hold the tickets up front for anyone who is running late as long as the ticket is paid for. If the show is a sellout, we release all of the General Admission reservations 20 minutes before show time, and let in our standby line until we fill up.
It is a matter of convenience between General Admission and Special Reserved tickets. Reserved seats are prepaid in advance. Call our office inside line at (512) 320-0198 to buy your tickets over the phone, or buy online. Our reserved seat section of the theater is limited to 120 seats in the center and right risers. Arrival is requested 20 minutes before showtime, and seats are saved until showtime. Your seats have your name on them, and you arrive 15-25 minutes before show time. Seats are reserved until show time, and we resell any unclaimed tickets at that time. If you arrive with fewer people than you reserved we cannot give refunds. There is a 24 hour cancellation period for the Special Reserved seats.
We have a full bar and serve popcorn during the show. Drinks and food are allowed inside the theatre. Eat, drink, and be merry!
You can look for street parking which is paid at the street meters.
For your convenience there is a parking garage located at 5th and Red River St. This 4-story parking garage, The Austin Convention Center Parking Garage, charges a fee (usually between $7-10) but you can park all night. It is well-lit and safe.
The show is approximately an hour and a half, with one 5 minute intermission. Be sure to arrive early so you don't miss any of the entertainment!
We are a theater and welcome all ages!
Our show contains strong language and sexual innuendo. The subject matter is political and social satirical comedy. We allow all ages to attend but generally rate the show PG-13 to R. Only you can determine what is appropriate for the young people in your life. If you have specific questions feel free to call the box office line (512-320-0553.)
The original Esther's Pool at 515 E. Sixth Street was the site of the first mural, which was painted by Doug Jaques (who also painted the mural on the Drag at 24th St. across from Tower Records). He painted the entire wall with a real and imaginary underwater world of fish, sunken treasure ship, coral reefs, and make believe denizens of the deep. The theater burned down in 1983, and the mural went with it, but Doug volunteered to re-create the original in our current home in 1990, when we moved in at 525 E. Sixth Street. He also painted a smaller version that hangs above the ticket desk as the audience enters the lobby.
- "CUBAN PETE"-Cuban Petee/Jim Carey
- "ECLIPSE"- Paradise/Coldplay
- "TILL THE END OF TIME"- Father Figure/George Michael
- "IMPAILED"- Grindhouse Soundtrack
- "A WINK AND A SMILE"- Wink and Smile/Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack
- "WET"- Say What You Need To Say/John Mayer
- "FRANK AND LUCKY"- Maria/Ricky Martin
Esther is Esther Williams of 30-'s and 40's swimming movie fame. We always enjoyed the campy, splashy fun of her musical numbers in her film career, and when we were just starting our theater troupe in 1977, we did a parody water ballet in the hot summer at Liberty lunch, our first restaurant, and called ourselves the "Esther's Hard Corps du Water Ballet," spitting water and doing synchronized swimming choreography. We have a diving Esther on our building forever swimming above Sixth St.
Carl Hickerson-Bull is indeed part of the show experience, bringing the street into the theater with his antics spinning flowers, dancing, and being generally eccentric. He has been voted Austin's Favorite Eccentric by the Austin Chronicle far more times than Leslie, twirls and sells flowers for a living, but keeps drunks away from our windows with his giant squirt gun, and in his off time enjoys UT Baseball games, and Competitive Scrabble.
They are Patsy Cline as played by Shannon Sedwick, the Amazing Frank, Ray Anderson's well stuffed sexy alter ego, and Chi Chi LaBamba, Margaret Wiley's memorable bombshell character who always started the show after the News Medley by going out into the audience and picking out three contenders for "Hunk of the Night", asking them questions, and letting the audience decide who was the hunkiest to dance with her in sombrero and maracas. Margaret was our wild and wonderful star from 1980 - 1999, one of our major writers, creative choreographer and costume/prop maker extraordinare. She appeared in a Steve Ray Vaughn video, built floats for Ann Richards Inauguration Parade, and made all our wig's towering beehive masterpieces. She died a few years ago. We will miss her always.
The portrait is of William Dente, Esther's first star, in his character Dame Della Diva, who sang comic opera in the Follies in its early days, and branched out to all manner of comedy as he learned the trade. William joined the cast in 1977, and his Dame Della Diva was an outrageous opera singer who could cluck like a chicken, bray like a donkey, and sing glissandos like his favorite, Joan Sutherland. He also could whistle incredibly well, and performed "The Whistling Mozart" to thunderous ovations at our yearly Paramount Theater Birthday Bashes. He died in 1989 of cancer, but his spirit lives on at Esther's forever.