Rising from the ashes in a smaller but comfortable venue in Belltown, Theater Schmeater hit the boards with a collection of six quirky one acts. Each of the plays examines different aspects of the lives and times of artists; the lion’s share dealing with men and women of the theater. While not all of the bits worked to perfection, a joyful and somewhat zany mood was maintained throughout the evening.
One successful play was “Tipping Point”, written by Cornish College graduate Ben D. McFadden. Here, a struggling actor/waiter slips in and out of reality as he attempts to make sense of his stressful life and art. Ben Burris ably assumed the lead role. Other plays featured seances calling back actresses who have slipped off the mortal coil, a caveman writing a story and dealing with a troubled relationship, and a cockeyed riff on A Christmas Carol.
In between acts, the musical combo Argentina Weeps provided the entertainment. The trio featured Monica Wultzen on vocals and Jesse McNeece on guitar, wearing a dress that seemed to have been stolen from a very large Oprhan Annie. Fanny Tragic added to the Schmee’s premiere with a couple of surrealistic vaudville pieces, opening her time on stage maniupulating a giant singing breast.
Raymond Williams, David Rollison, Shermona Mitchell and Bellevue College drama professor Karen Jo Fairbook all took roles in the the evening’s one acts. Theater Schmeater’s Gala Schmala runs through June 14 at 2125 3rd Avenue in the heart of Belltown. Ticket information at 206-324-5801 or www.schmeater.org