Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas and a Jane Austin-style play: Great Combination (Taproot Theatre)

Georgiana and Kitty (Robert Wade)
Georgiana & Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley
Taproot Theatre (for tickets)
Through December 30, 2023
Taproot Theatre loves period pieces, and period pieces love to be done at Taproot. And add Jane Austin and you’ve got a powerful combination. This holiday season, they have mounted the third and final play of a trilogy of Pride and Prejudice “spin-offs” written by Lauren Gunderson and Margo Melcon.
Pride and Prejudice introduced us to the five Bennet sisters who all needed to be married off, as per the cultural demands of the time. Each of them had distinct personalities and views. Gunderson and Melcon created plays based on these sisters, but not on the book. In science fiction, writers often extend the “world” of the first book by writing “spin-offs” incorporating side plots or prequel or sequel-like stories.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley and The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley were produced at Taproot in 2018 and 2022. Now, the last of the trilogy focuses on the younger Bennet sisters, Lydia the troublemaker (played again with great zest by Kelly Karcher), Kitty, the stalwart independent who has learned a lot from her sisters’ exploits (played with gusto and loyalty by Ays Garcia), and Fitzwilliam Darcy’s (a stern Brian Picheu) sister, Georgiana (a charming Claire Marx) who loves music and is so reticent that she rarely gets to finish a sentence.

Saturday, December 09, 2023

December Theater Has Gone to The Gays!

The Gays have taken over holiday shows! They may have let a few other productions escape, it's true, but if you want your holidays to be Gay, this year is all for YOU! Enjoy yourself and have a wonderful holiday season! (Get outcher calendars!)

Fellow Passengers (John Ulman)

Fellow Passengers, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, 12/1-23/23 (at 12th Avenue Arts)
Told in the narrative style that Book-It Repertory Theatre made famous in Seattle, Passengers is every page of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol performed by just three actors, who bring over fifty characters to the stage. Amy Thone, Galen Joseph Osier and Shermona Mitchell perform the play with live music by keyboardist Ayako Okano.

War on Christmas
Scott Shoemaker’s War on Christmas, Shoes and Pants Productions, 12/1-23/23 (at Theatre Off Jackson)
The all-star variety spectacular, a Yule Tide tradition, returns! 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? A night of comedy, songs, dance numbers, delightful videos, and partial nudity!
Joining Scott are an amazing group of illustrious superstars Ade, Joel Domenico, Mandy Price.  And Major Scales.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at PemberleySecondStory Repertory, 12/1-23/23
A sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set two years after the novel ends, Miss Bennet continues the story, only this time with bookish middle-sister Mary as its unlikely heroine. Mary is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings’ romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love.

A Treemendous Holiday (courtesty Seattle Choruses)

A Treemendous Holiday, Seattle Men’s Chorus, 12/1-23/23 (at Benaroya Hall)
It’s time to ho ho ho with Seattle Men’s Chorus. Greater Seattle’s most joyful holiday tradition is a fun-filled celebration of seasonal favorites along with the Pacific Northwest’s gayest sing-a-long.

Thursday, December 07, 2023

“A Very Electric Christmas”: Intriguing Light Show, But Know What To Expect


A Very Electric Christmas
Seattle Children’s Theatre (for tickets)
Through December 31, 2023
Seattle Children’s Theatre has brought an intriguing performance company to town that everyone from 3 (ish) to 93 will enjoy. Lightwire Theater has developed a “light show” that is tourable without a lot of encumbering technology: Dancers who wear neon-style tubing costumes that they can control themselves with battery packs! The battery packs allow them to not have to rely on a whole elaborate computerized performance. There are a lot of background visuals, though, that are controlled in the booth.
Lightwire ( was a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent in Season 7, and I remember them! But that was only three minutes of performance and storytelling, and they’ve come to Seattle with A Very Electric Christmas which is claimed to be 60 minutes but was closer to 70 when I saw it.

Monday, December 04, 2023

“White Christmas” is Here to Smile Up Your Holidays

Cayman Ilika and Taryn Darr in White Christmas (Mark Kitaoka)

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
5th Avenue Theatre (for tickets)
Through December 24, 2023
Your Christmas delight on stage is at hand. The 5th Avenue Theatre has decided to mount White Christmas again, having produced it in 2006 and 2009. The reason is very clear: it’s a chance to sit back, laugh, and relax while a bunch of singers and hoofers sing and dance their tushies off. This talented cast is here to do exactly that for you!
The script is aging, although romances never go out of style, but there are jokes a plenty – some good, some groan-worthy, and almost everyone in the cast gets a little cameo and a lot of applause. 
David Armstrong and James A. Rocco have co-directed this production all three times, so they know what they’re doing cold and recreate their vision pretty exactly. The sets and costumes are absolutely gorgeous (by Anna Louizos and Carrie Robbins), and the orchestra, led by Matt Perri, has the lush 1940s sound needed for all that Irving Berlin music.