January 2019

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Taproot Stages a Classic

For years, Joseph Kesselring’s Arsenic and Old Lace (1939) has been one of our nation’s most performed plays, presented by countless schools and Community Theater groups. Taproot helps celebrate this chestnut’s 80th birthday party by staging a delightful rendition to open their new season. Though this famous piece is hardly a challenge for our successful Greenwood troupe, the Taproot folks led by Marianne Savell’s able direction, make sure that it provides a wonderful evening of solid Comedy Theater. Savell writes in her program notes about the play, “It’s good. Like, really good.” It is indeed, and as comforting and enjoyable as a warm fire on a mid-winter evening.

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Seattle Rep Explores Divisive U.S. Era in The Last of the Boys

Steven Dietz’s Last of the Boys opened at the Seattle Rep last week while our nation was in the midst of an historically lengthy government shutdown. In the early days of 2019 we seem to be embroiled in an endless battle of conflicting ideologies with no end in sight. How we will finally emerge from this predicament and the cumulative effect it will have on our country will doubtlessly be the study of many a future writer. In Last of the Boys, Dietz explores the effects of another era in which the U.S. was faced with what Seattle Rep Artistic Director Braden Abraham refers to as a “paradigm shift.” The Viet Nam War challenged our nation to intently reexamine what our country really stood for. Dietz sets his play’s action at the end of the 20th century and has his four characters come to terms with some of the devastating consequences of that much debated war. While the play does not succeed as a complete artistic vision, it does provide a number of moving and thought provoking moments in which the four Americans come to a greater understanding of themselves and the parts they played in the tumultuous 1960’s Viet Nam War conflict.

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We are Here: Do You: A Journey Home.

The Shotglass Heard Round the World

Was a line in Sara Geiger’s Church of Christ N’Pals solo performance part of Intiman’s Festival of Emerging Artists. It referred to Marsha P. Jones who started the Stonewall riot of 1968 in New York City, which ignited the Gay Liberation Front by throwing a shotglass at the N.Y. City vice squad. The image was great and it was a great parody of a famous patriotic line in a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson about the Battle of Lexington.

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We are Here-Do you, A Journey Home

I am not a cafeteria

Was one of the funniest and most pertinent lines in the solo performance Dandyland: Queering Motherhood One Day @ a Time written and performed by Laurie Lynch, as part of the Intiman Festival of Emerging Artists. As the name implies, it was about a queer woman’s experience with artificial insemination, pregnancy and all its secondary effects- such as the avalanche of advice as one’s body and condition seems to become public property.

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Preview: Two Uncle Vanya’s but different!!!!!

Vanya I and Vanya II

Two different productions of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, but using different translations, will be playing more or less at the same time at different theatres in Seattle. First to open will be The Seagull Project’s, at ACT Theatre on Feb 1, using Carol Rocamora’s translation. The play will be set in the era when it was written; fin de siècle Russia (1898)

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