Wednesday, July 24, 2019

“Citizen” is Poetry with a Purpose! Don’t Miss It! (only 4 more performances)

Nicholas Japaul Bernard in Citizen - An American Lyric (Jovelle Tamayo)
Citizen – An American Lyric
Sound Theatre Company and The Hansberry Project
Through July 28.2019

“Because just getting along shouldn’t be an ambition.” That was a microphone-dropping moment among many in this event.

This “event,” a cooperative mounting of a dramatization of the book, Citizen – An American Lyric (written by Claudia Rankine and adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs) by Sound Theatre Company and The Hansberry Project, demands attention and for every possible seat to be filled! I’m naming it an event rather than a “play” because it is a string of poetic narratives that are more like stones in a path or knots in a long rope.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

A “Bright” New Musical For Summer

Brenna Wagner in Bright Star (Erik Stuhaug)
Bright Star
Taproot Theatre
Through August 17, 2019

Steve Martin (yes, that one, the “wild and crazy guy”) and Edie Brickell wrote a feel-good musical that debuted on Broadway at the same time as that juggernaut Hamilton… So, Bright Star got zero attention and closed soon after.

But we, here in Seattle, get to enjoy the fruits of their labor as Taproot brings us their summer musical! The bluegrass music is insanely good and plays a lot throughout. It provides a lot of the great energy of the story of two young people growing up in a small town with some typical barriers to their love. Set in 1923-24 and then jumping forward to 1945-46, these North Carolina young folk have a lot of adults looking at and tut-tutting at their behavior.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Huertas Wins with “Octopus Wrestling Champion”

The cast of The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion (John McLellan)
The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion
Through July 28, 2019

For a few years now, I’ve been attending readings and productions of new musicals around town. I’ve been fortunate to attend Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals for many summers, now, where at least five new musicals try to capture momentum, and attended most of their new Beta Series readings of fully produced but still in-development new works.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Free parks shows start in July! See what else is opening!

Sarah Harlett and Conner Neddersen in The Events at Intiman (Joe Moore)

July is, of course, the month when FREE OUTDOOR THEATER begins all over the area (donations always accepted). The official launch is at Volunteer Park for the whole weekend of July 13 and 14, all day long (see below for the link to the schedule). This month, there are a couple of world premieres and a revamped Gilbert & Sullivan operetta along with other varieties of shows.

Bon Appétit! The Julia Child Operetta, 7/1-29/19 (at the Rendevous)
Spend a Monday evening with memories of Julia Child while Anne Allgood bakes chocolate cake on stage and sings opera and host Julia Child Prud’homme dishes up remembrances of her great aunt. Anne and Julia will be joined by Mark Anders, musical accompanist, who -- like a fine wine -- provides the perfect musical pairing for a decadent evening of savory delights. Following the performance, you’ll be invited to share a slice of chocolate cake lovingly created from Julia’s original recipe!

Monday, July 01, 2019

PRIDE Profile: Film-maker Wendy Jo Carlton

Wendy Jo Carlton (in hoody) directing Good Kisser (Rafael Rodriguez Ochoa III)

Film maker Wendy Jo Carlton is a self-effacing and privacy-seeking artist. She’d rather talk about her films than her personal history. She says, “I feel like it’s not about ‘me,’ it’s about my art.” Still, SGN wanted to do a profile for Pride and that meant talking about how she got to this place of success and significance through the lens of where she’s come from.

Wendy Jo Carlton directed her first feature, Hannah Free, starring Emmy-winner Sharon Gless, in 2009. Carlton wrote and directed her second feature, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together, (said to be the first lesbian romance musical). Her LGBTQ digital series, Easy Abby, received 50 million views for its 13-episode Season One, and Seasons 1 and 2 are now distributed by