May 2017

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Like Penelope, MAIDEN VOYAGE Waits for Greatness

In the world of adapting ancient stories, inventing “the history behind the myth” is the order of the day. From Wolfgang Peterson’s film Troy to Esther Friesner’s young adult novel Nobody’s Princess, modern artists are bringing us “believable” versions of Homer’s epics, devoid of gods and monsters, and Parley Productions’ Maiden Voyage falls squarely within this trend.
True to its subtitle, “A Feminist Reimagining of The Odyssey,” Maiden Voyage weaves us a history behind the myth in which Penelope, the true author of The Odyssey, spins tales of her absent husband’s encounters with gods and monsters in order to raise a son longing for a father he has never known.

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Busman’s Honeymoon Offers a Mysterious Ride

Taproot’s artistic director Scott Nolte pulled off some crafty sleuthing in finding a script for Dorothy Sayers’ novel Busman’s Honeymoon. He had enjoyed the book and learned that the story was originally written for the stage. The work hadn’t been in publication for some time, but eventually Nolte was able to track down a photocopy of the play from a publisher’s shelf. Lord Peter Wimsey would be proud! The show lays out a baffling mystery with a basketful of clues available for the audience to help puzzle out the solution.

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Life-All the answers in 8 minutes

Preceding Something Incredible the light-hearted examination of the cosmos’ profound questions, Annex Theatre presented an adaptation of Chuck Mee’s play Life, produced by –filament; a collab lab

A solo piece starring Brittany Allyson, Life, actually does answer, in only 8 minutes, one of the great questions which concerns some but not all homo sapiens. Is life about discovering the ultimate truth? In the end a simple answer suffices.

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Script Tease- Magnificent, Stupendous, Outstanding and every other superlative

Even with the help of a thesaurus, it is difficult to find the right words to express how amazing Script Tease was. Amazingissimo? Seriously Annex’s Research and Development’s off night “project” was quite unbelievable. First of all there was the process, which was truly intriguing.

Take a talented playwright, have her write six pages of a play for six actors, then let the actors complete the rest of the play by improvisation. The end product-a 90 minute performance- was as hilariously funny, fast-paced, witty and polished as any play. Laughter erupted on average about every 30 seconds as the actors moved the plot right along, developed their characters, while establishing great rapport with the audience.

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MacBeth-The Definitive Production

Five Star Production of MacBeth

It was with great delight that I attended Fern Shakespeare’s truly magnificent inaugural production, MacBeth, this past weekend at Seattle Center’s Theatre 4. Everything about this production was outstanding, and what set it apart from other Shakespeare productions around the Sound, was the uniform quality of the cast’s vocal production. Every actor spoke “trippingly on the tongue” and the elevated language was communicated directly to the audience. Truly this is the best Shakespeare I have ever seen in Seattle.

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Richard III – à la Chinoise

The Royal Family of England portrayed as 1920’s Gangsters in Chinatown

If you have ever wondered why King Henry VIII of England was so obsessed with having a legitimate male heir, read the Shakespearean plays set during the during the War of the Roses. Shakespeare’s rendering of the end of these dynastic wars, when two rival branches of the royal family, the Yorks and the Lancasters, fought endlessly for the disputed crown of England, opened this weekend at Theater off Jackson. Produced by Rebatensemble Theatre Group, director Elizabeth Wu, staged Richard III in Chinatown in the 1920’s, with the Yorks and Lancasters, as rival gangs of speakeasy owners i.e. gangsters.

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…And Starring Claire From Hollywood: New Play Review

As the summer blockbusters start to roll out, Macha Monkey Productions presents a small-scale story that’ll get big laughs at 18th & Union. …And Starring Claire From Hollywood, a new comedy by Jim Moran, is full of humanity, heart, and humor, all in a small town Pacific Northwest setting.
… And Starring Claire From Hollywoo” tells the story of a D-list Hollywood actress, the titular Claire, who returns to her hometown on the Oregon coast…

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Review-THE FUN AND FANTASY of THE MAGIC FLUTE

You know you’re in for a comic treat of an opera when after an introductory serving of serious music, you’re greeted with the specter of a hapless prince being mauled by a dragon. The Magic Flute is a mash-up of genres- part fairy tale, part circus and part religious pageant flouting astronomy and ancient Egypt. Here spectacle reigns supreme. The opera is packed full of sensory overload, with treats for the eyes, ears and the mind too. Seattle Opera’s newest production of The Magic Flute just opened at McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center and will run till May 21st.

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