The Low Brow Opera Collective’s first commissioned show opened up this weekend in the cozy 18th and Union Theater. Katie Kelley directs, and Sam Peters is the pianist to the sequel of 2019’s #adulting, aptly named #adulting2: here we go again. Austin Nuckols, John Ervin Brooks, Natalie Elder, and Stefan Melnyk are the creative geniuses behind this intentionally chaotic and delightfully hot mess queer smorgasbord of an opera that follows four friends—Ruth, Tony, Bucket, and Andrew— attempting to adult.
#adulting2 is not your typical opera, as the name of the production company suggests. If you’re expecting tears, elaborate sets, makeup, and a traditional beginning-middle-end story line you will be sorely disappointed. The stage is sparse with a couple walls, a sofa, and coffee table being the focal points. For the most part the costumes are just your run of the mil Seattle normcore. And most of the action takes place in the apartment shared by the four friends. However, if you are open to hearing classically trained opera singers conduct perfectly harmonized rounds while a personified intestine dances around or a giant makeshift dildo accidentally rolls under your seat then this is the show for you.
Due to the random nature of this unique opera a plot review seems misplaced. It consists of a series of extremely loosely connected storylines as opposed to one overarching plot with a main theme. One really must experience it to get it. But isn’t that life when you are in your 20s and 30s? This is where #adulting2 truly glitters like the sassy little unicorn it is. “The gay cast, gay director, gay writers” took everyday occurrences like job searches, orgies, IKEA furniture building, the struggles of being lactose-intolerant and sprinkled them with a liberal dose of comedy then served it all up on a rainbow platter. It doesn’t take itself too seriously at all and that’s what makes the show work. It is the outspoken raunchy weirdo no one invited to the party, but somehow everyone ends the night by trying to bang said weirdo.
While some of the songs seemed to be a bit of a filler to stretch the show to a full two hours, they also gave all four of the leading cast members at least one chance to show off their vocal chops.
Odd-couple Ruth and Tony, played by Christine Oshiki and Eric Angus Jeffords, voices and banter melded excellently together. At times Oshiki hit notes so high it will not be surprising when she gets the chance to show off her vocal range in a theatre more equipped to hold her voice. Perhaps the most unlikely stars of the show were ensemble members Devorah Detzer and Nic Varela. Both possessed the talent to shift effortlessly between playing inanimate objects and a multitude of live characters. A good portion of the show’s comedic value can be found within the gyrating hips and eyebrows of these two thespians.
If you’re seeking a small-scale quirky opera to celebrate Pride #adulting2: here we go again should not be skipped.
#adulting2: here we go again, by Austin Nuckols, John Ervin Brooks, Natalie Elder, Stefan Melnyk. 18th & Union, an arts space, 1406 18th Avenue Seattle, WA. 98122. June 16th-18th (7:30pm), 19th* (3pm) | June 23rd*-25th (7:30pm). COVID GUIDELINES: Proof of vaccination required (or negative same-day test). Masks required. Tickets: https://ci.ovationtix.com/34824/production/1126739?fbclid=IwAR3C1ly77ObBnPaSpyqNiV-4a3psXAarT4SQceWbYq8gPIeAcZqThfCsenc Info: https://lowbrowoc.org/