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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Holiday Traditions to be thankful for!


Your favorite holiday traditions can now be visited in person! Check out what's opening in December and don't miss your present by getting tickets late! Shows are already selling out.

Snow Business, Seattle Men’s Chorus, Benaroya Hall, Federal Way Performing Arts Center, Everett Civic Auditorium, 12/5-23/21

Everyone’s favorite Christmas chorus is back on the boards at Benaroya Hall, where it seems they belong best. Get ready for sexy Santas and colorful choralography and the dulcet tones of a 200-man musical melding.

www.seattlechoruses.org or
https://flyinghouse.secure.force.com/ticket/#/events/a0S1S000009r1gHUAQ

Scott Shoemaker’s War on Christmas, Shoes and Pants Productions and Theatre Off Jackson, 12/2-24/21

Christmas is saved! The all-star variety spectacular that quickly became a YuleTide tradition makes its triumphant return at Theatre Off Jackson! After two years of sold out shows at Re-bar and a hit streaming special in 2020, "Scott Shoemaker's War on Christmas" is ready to knock your stockings off once again. Come spend an evening with Scott and a cast of Seattle luminaries as they try to figure out who's fighting a war on Christmas and what for? Comedy, songs, dance numbers, delightful videos, and partial nudity! Joining Scott are an amazing group of illustrious superstars: Adé, Waxie Moon, Mandy Price & Faggedy Randy!

https://tinyurl.com/ytmbw3f5

Christmastown: A Holiday Noir, Seattle Public Theater, 11/24/21-12/24/21

In this film noir-inspired holiday thriller, hard-boiled detective Nick Holiday investigates some un-holiday-like shenanigans taking place in Christmastown that sends him on a search for the truth about Big Red. Add a glamorous elf, a used-Christmas-tree salesman, a muckraking reporter, and a quick-thinking cab driver, and you have a new holiday classic.

www.seattlepublictheater.org

A Very Die Hard Christmas, Seattle Public Theater, 12/3-30/21

Yippie Ki Yay, it's a Christmas miracle. From The Habit, the comedy writers that have had Seattle in stitches for years, comes the return of the new annual holiday favorite - A Very Die Hard Christmas. This musical comedy is a fast-paced laughter-packed parody of "the greatest Christmas movie of all time." For those who like their Christmas entertainment with lots of snarky 80s comedy and over-the-top action, this is one of Seattle's must-see shows.

www.seattlepublictheater.org

The Winter’s Tale, Seattle Repertory Theatre, at Cornish Playhouse, 12/16-29/21

“A Hybrid Film and Live Theatrical Experience” Seattle Rep’s Public Works family of community and professional actorsjoin togetherfor a dazzlingjourney of reunion and redemption in amusicaladaptation of ShakespearesThe WintersTale.The Sicilian KingLeontessuspects his wife of infidelity and seeksrevenge by imprisoning her and banishing their newborn child to distant shores. Sixteen years later, in the wild woods of Bohemia, the consequences of his actions begin to unfold.

(Note: What does a “hybrid film and live experience” mean? The Winter's Tale has been rehearsed and filmed onsite at Seattle Rep and Seattle Center campus and beautifully edited to feature the Bard-inspired story as well as a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes magic of creating a Public Works production. To experience The Winter’s Tale in person, you will join fellow theater fans at the Cornish Playhouse for one of five showtimes to watch the film together.)

www.seattlerep.org

 

 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

“What We Were”/Pony World Theatre – Intense Re-introduction to Great Seattle Theater

 

What We Were (photo by Sayed Alamy)

What We Were
Pony World Theatre
(at 12th Avenue Arts)
Through November 6, 2021

If you feel ready to embrace live theater again, and you long for the dark cover of a large room with many silent eyes riveting their gaze at the lighted area in the center with real people telling a story of heartbreak, neuropathways that are disrupted by trauma, and a history of never speaking for themselves, then you must hurry to get tickets for What We Were at Pony World Theatre.

Before I get too far into the “about” section, you’ll be gifted with performances by four of Seattle’s solid talents. Tracy Leigh and Lisa Viertel are two veterans of many small company productions and when you see their names in a cast line-up, you can feel secure that you’ll be experiencing their high-quality acting. They are nuanced and complex and embody full human beings with clear positives and negatives.

Lauren Freman and Tyler Bonnell complement these actors, with Lauren carrying the bulk of the focus and Tyler providing a heart-breaking vulnerability in a small but crucial role. All three women must time-shift without changing a thing except their behavior and do so while never leaving the audience feeling unsure of “when” these characters are portraying the events.

Vaccine or evolution – That is the question

Vaxed (Photo by Michael Brunk)


Vaxed
Theatre 9/12
At Trinity Church
Through October 3, 2021

A geneticist and an immunologist walk into a bar ― and sit down and discuss the nature of humanity ― Shakespeare and all! Charles Waxberg’s new play, Vaxed, is not shy about tackling a huge question. 

The 90-minute play takes a kind of sci-fi leap into a nearby future where an immunologist Ted (Tyler Scowcroft) thinks he’s discovered an essence that could change humanity forever. He’s called his sister Natalie (Cynthia Geary) to an “emergency” at 3a.m. at which he plans to disclose this possible scientific result.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Virtual Smorgasbord of Treats from Seattle Men's Chorus


Seattle Men’s Chorus Holiday 2020
(through December 31)
https://www.seattlechoruses.org/attend/concerts-events/holidayspecial/
 
Also! A second little treat to watch to celebrate the advent of vaccinations:
A terrific song by the Seattle Women’s Chorus starring Andi Alhadeff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q85-e-dM9A0
 
We know you can’t go without every Holiday Comfort just because you can’t go out. And what about that annual treck to Benaroya to attend a Seattle Men’s Chorus Holiday Extravaganza? I’ll bet you think that’s just an impossible dream for 2020.
 
Hold On! You absolutely can still get almost all the grins and feels of an in-person event, because Seattle Men’s Chorus managed to somehow rehearse ! and perform !! their Holiday Concert this year and even found the perfect guest star to host!
 
With the help of Nina West, and an inventive new Muppet-like little guy called Holiday Harold (think Herald, too, from the mind of Chip Sherman), the whole family can gather around a streaming screen and enjoy an hour of all the “normal” entertainment you’re used to. They’ve even included a dance number - Festival Gloria (graced with Nahshon Omari’s original dance accompaniment).

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Kathy Hsieh Reflects – Zoom Edition

Kathy Hsieh (John Ulman)

Kathy Hsieh is all things arts-related, really. She knows virtually anyone/everyone in the theater community (at minimum) and has headed up her own theater company (SIS Productions), written many plays, directed plays, acted in scores of productions on stage, and been an employee of the City of Seattle in the Office of Arts and Culture for 17 years!

She’s also a delightful and thoughtful conversationalist and a deep-thinker on subject matter. She has presented talks about aspects of arts-and-communities-of-color all over the world.

So, I thought it would be fascinating for me, and hopefully also for my readers, to discuss various aspects of the arts during COVID-time. We’re all going to be making huge changes in how, when, and where we experience the arts. None more particularly than theater, dance, and other live in-person events.

For our first conversation, we took on the explosion of theatrical events that are being presented either on Zoom or the free streaming opportunities from theaters like National Theatre Live, Lincoln Center, BroadwayHD, and local events (many on YouTube channels).

The question: Is it theater?

KH: Theater is its own experience and Zoom is its own. Film scripts (for instance) are very different from stage plays and you can’t take film and plop it on stage or vice versa. A lot of writers, when they’re writing, envision the arena it might be best done and the Zoom platform needs to be thought of as a specific place to write to and a way to take advantage of the unique aspects it provides.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Lots To Stream (Free or low cost)

Macbeth (Carol Pratt)

Theater lovers have a bounty of filmed stage productions from various companies around the globe that are providing free entertainment on their websites or on YouTube. Listed below are mostly Shakespearean productions. 


Here are some specifics and their date ranges:
NOW to 5/27/20
Much Ado About Nothing
This bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece features Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black, Broadway’s The Color Purple) and Grantham Coleman (Buzzer, The Americans) as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Filmed in the summer of 2019 at the Delacorte Theatre in New York’s Central Park, this Public Theatre production was directed by Kenny Leon.

NOW - $10/ticket each stream for a one week “rental”
Henry IV Part 1 and Part 2
These two productions feature former Seattle Shakespeare Company actor David Anthony Lewis (Wooden O Henry IV, Measure for Measure, Othello) as King Henry. See the streaming versions of American Shakespeare Center’s staging of this thrilling and poignant coming-of-age story.
American Shakespeare Center.com

NOW – 7/1
Macbeth – Parts 1 & 2
Shakespeare’s chilling Scottish tragedy is realized by Emmy-winning magician Teller (of Penn & Teller) and director Aaron Posner as a startling, supernatural show brimming with magic, mayhem, and madness.
Folger Theatre – FolgerLibrary YouTube

Thursday, March 12, 2020

“Jitney” – Theater At The Top Of Its Game

A moment from Jitney (Joan Marcus)

Jitney
Seattle Repertory Theatre
Suspended for the time being

I know. This is a time of uncertainty and now many theaters are announcing temporary closures. This includes the touring production of Jitney by August Wilson, now presenting at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Since it is a tour and all the personnel have traveled here, it’s unknown if the production can be continued in a few weeks or not. Having said that, it is one of the finest productions you’ll see in a long time.

The evening is a master class in directing by Ruben Santiago-Hudson! Each moment has been considered and planned. Each of the many actors performs at the top of his (similar to many Wilson plays, this one only has one woman in it) game. All the subtle humor is teased out and gifted to the audience.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Special One Night Performance of Jason Robert Brown with Roosevelt High!


Jason Robert Brown in concert (Erika Kapin)


Roosevelt High students performing The Trumpet of the Swan (James Bernard)
The Trumpet of the Swan

Roosevelt High School

March 7, 2020



A very exciting event is happening this weekend (3/7, Saturday night, 7:00p.m.) at Roosevelt High School! Their theater department has paired with their orchestra program to present composer/musical writer Jason Robert Brown’s The Trumpet of the Swan. Not only that, but Jason Robert Brown is going to be there! Not only that, but he’s going to perform a special benefit concert after the school’s 70-minute presentation as a benefit!



The benefit is to help pay for subsidized tickets of K-8 students and for buses to bring them to hear the work. Tickets are on sale now at www.rhstheatre.net.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

March Brings Fresh Theater – even if it showers


 
Lisa Estridge in Sister Act (Mark Kitaoka)
At least five world premieres are opening this month. That’s an impressive number! Look for puppetry and programming for the youngest audience member to the oldest. Find a company you’ve never been to before and take a chance on their work! Broaden your artistic horizon. Get outcher calendars!



Last Days of the Tsars, Witness, 3/1/20-3/22/20 (at Stimson-Green Mansion) (world premiere)

A fully immersive experience, Last Days of the Tsars will plunge the audience into Imperial Russia circa 1917. Surrounded by figures such as Tsar Nicholas II, Princess Anastasia, and Grigori Rasputin, audience members will be free to roam throughout Stimson-Green Mansion and follow whichever characters they please. Watch the unraveling of the Romanov household from an intimate vantage point, and explore the dark and mystical final days of the Russian Empire.




The Highest Tide, Harlequin Productions, 3/1-21/20

The beach talks to Miles O’Malley. Obsessed with all things aquatic, 13-year-old, stature-challenged Miles loves combing the tidal beaches near his Puget Sound home in the middle of the night. When one of his discoveries lands him unexpectedly in the news, he is launched into involuntary celebrity, shaking his world in a way that is only topped by the Nisqually earthquake.




Ugly (Black Queer Zoo), Washington Ensemble Theatre, 3/5-16/20

GUSH is WET’s series that presents contemporary theatrical works from artists outside of Seattle, curated by the Ensemble. Written, directed, and performed by the internationally recognized choreographer Raja Feather Kelly, this event is part dance theater and part pop culture collage about black queer subjectivity in the mainstream.