Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Super Musical at Taproot: The Hello Girls ends this weekend

Rebecca Cort, Miranda Antoinette, Cassi Q Kohl,
Lauren Engstrom, and Jessica Ziegelbauer
(Photo by John Ulman)

The Hello Girls
Taproot Theatre
Composer/Lyricist Peter Mills, Book/Lyricist Cara Reichel
Through August 19, 2023
This musical is a treat from start to finish. It is also such a pleasure to be able to experience full-blown musicals on stage again. Taproot’s choice is a wonderful summer treat!
Likely, you won’t know the true history this musical is based on. But boy! is it fun to find out about it!
During World War I, at a time when women were sorely underemployed and shunted into very specific “pink” jobs, some women found themselves employed as telephone operators. It was a newer profession, since telephones themselves were pretty new. Operators used large banks of plug-in boards where they had to learn which cords to specifically plug into which switch, quickly and seamlessly. This was a good job across the country.
Logically, the need for seamless, fast telephone service applied to the Armed Services, particularly in a war situation. As the war heated up, the generals realized that telephone connections were crucial, and that the reality was that the best operators were women. They were needed in France and had to be bilingual. This is the story of how a bunch of pioneering, brave women fought their way into the military and became unsung heroes of the military communication network.
The cast at Taproot is top-notch. It is mostly an ensemble piece with one star turn from Cassi Q Kohl as Grace Banker. Kohl is onstage almost every minute as the woman with natural leadership skills and an innate sense of self-esteem. She is indefatigable, with a belting power that lasts throughout the entire show – which is about two and a half hours. She is riveting.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

August Theater In Seattle Includes Classics, Parodies And….Ms. Pak-Man!


Ms. Pac-Man (courtesy Shoes and Pants Productions)

Here's your opportunity this summer to revisit classic works from Ibsen and Shakespeare plus new plays and campy comedies to amuse us between barbecues. Get outcher calendars!

Hedda Gabler, General Gabler’s Theatre (GGT), 8/4-12/23 (at West of Lenin)
Hedda, a 19th Century woman with plenty of will but no room to exact it, thought she made a wise deal with the man she just married. She would be his wife, and he would provide her with the safe and respectable means to occupy her active mind. When it becomes clear that her husband can’t fulfill his end of the bargain, her mind quickly turns dangerous.
Ballabhpur Ki Roopkatha, Pratidhwani, 8/4-13/23 (at Ethnic Cultural Theatre)
Once (upon a time) there was a King. His name was Bhoopati Rai. He had a Quee... Nope! He had no queen. That doesn't work! What kind of a fairytale has a king with no queen? To tell you the truth, this isn't a very good tale at all. In fact, it is quite weak in some spots. But if you come to listen to our tale, we will be glad to tell it to you! A Hindi translation of Badal Sircar's original Bengali play.
Titanish, Marxiano Productions with Seattle Public Theater, 8/10/23-9/17/23
Crashing onto the shores of Green Lake this August, this musical parody (that lampoons the epic film) will showcase the wit and creativity that The Habit Comedy writers are acclaimed for. If you missed it last summer, here’s your chance to see and hear all the silliness, and enjoy a giant ship recreated in a tiny theater.

Dancing at Lughnasa, SecondStory Repertory, 8/11-27/23
This intimate portrait of a country and a family at a crossroads, set in rural Ireland in 1936, tells the tale of five unmarried sisters -- the proud Mundy sisters -- staving off the hardships of daily life through talk, laughter and dance. But after they welcome their frail missionary brother home from Uganda, several intersecting events threaten to irreparably burst the Mundy women's fragile bubble of happiness.

Festival of New Musicals, Village Theatre, 8/12-13/23
The premiere developmental workshops for new musicals has again drawn major musical theater-writing talent to Issaquah for a weeklong process with professional actors, directors and music directors. The culmination of the work will be presented over two days. “Festival” is a fun-filled and exciting annual summer event, and this weekend is a significant marker in the post-Covid theater landscape!