May 2019


Tiny Beautiful Things Dazzles at Seattle Rep

In her program notes, director Courtney Sale bemoans the arduous task she is given of staging Tiny Beautiful Things. In an imagined letter to the author Cheryl Strayed, Sale writes, “I am a bit terrified and a little angry you aren’t a play like I know a play.” Her concern is well founded: how in the world do you turn the give and take of Strayed’s advice column into a coherent stage production? Turns out Sale needn’t have worried. Playwright Nia Vardalos has done a marvelous job of adapting Strayed’s 2012 book into an effective stage piece. With the aid of a topnotch cast, the Seattle Rep’s Tiny Beautiful Things is a one-act play filled with moments of hilarity as well as heart tugging drama. Its hundred minutes fly by in a wonderfully entertaining night of theater.


Spring Awakening-The Musical

“They stood perplexed in top hats, as if round the carcass of a vulture. Bewildered crows.”

Berthold Brecht about Franz Wedekind’s funeral

The musical version of a once highly controversial play, Spring Awakening, by Franz Wedekind, opened at Garfield High School’s Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center this week. Although the musical version, with music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater. won numerous Tony awards on Broadway, in my opinion, it was the sort of play that should never be adapted into a musical.


A Delightful Kim’s Convenience Premieres at Taproot

The confounding conflict between the natures of love and duty that swirls within the members of so many families is the driving force of Kim’s Convenience, a charming one-act play from the Korean-Canadian playwright Ins Choi. That these forces collide in a struggling immigrant family only ups the stakes in the inherent give and take that consume parents and their children when they search for some balance between deeply caring for each other while still working under the onus that stringent expectations be met. Choi has these battles take place within the wonderfully entertaining Kim family, gamely running a convenience store in modern day Toronto.


Benefit Concert for Stella

Benefit Concert for Stella, daughter of Hans Alwies and Amy Thone

On Wednesday May 22, musicians connected with Seattle’s theatre community will offer a benefit concert at the Royal Room in Columbia City to help with this effort. This will be a great event to bring our community together in celebration of this amazing family, who have touched so many of us in beautiful ways.


The Full Monty-The Musical

My Minister is out there, with my Mother!!!!!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the way to save a weak play is to turn it into a musical. Why anyone would want to turn the material of the film, The Full Monty, which has a strong plot, based on human tragedy and social relevancy of a global nature, into a musical is beyond me. Yet three years after the 1997 film Terrance McNally and David Yazbeck did just that. This weekend Tacoma Musical Playhouse produced The Full Monty, the Musical.

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