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Showing posts with label Theater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Theater. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Book-It's new musical adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle is timely and stays true to the original classic book!

by Brian Matt

Book-it Repertory Theatre's production of Howl's Moving Castle is a multilayered tapestry of exploration and discovery. Based on Myra Platt's adaptation of the book by Diana Wynn Jones, it delves into the lives of Sophie Hatter (Sara Porkalob) and her family and friends as they find their true selves.

Sophie, the eldest daughter of Fanny Hatter (Opal Peachey), begins by describing life in the town of Market Chipping in the land of Ingary. She also points out that her being the oldest has predisposed her to failure as she pursues her dreams. Her younger sister Lettie (Sarah Russell) and youngest sister Martha (Rachel Guyer-Mafune) join her singing about life. Fanny then appears and informs them they're going to need to leave school because she can't afford to pay for it any longer.

Lettie is to go to Cesari's bakery to become an apprentice - and she'll also be able to find a good husband there. Clearly un-enthused about baking, Lettie thanks her mother. Martha is being sent to Mrs. Fairfax (Kate Jaeger) to learn about magic. Also clearly disappointed, she thanks her mother as well. This leaves Sophie, who is assigned to the hat shop. Of all the sisters, she is the only one who is clearly resigned to her fate - being the oldest and feeling doomed to failure.

Fanny finds that Sophie is very skilled with making hats, so she puts Sophie in a corner making the hats while she herself sells them. Sophie begins to talk to the hats since she's so busy she doesn't have time to talk to anyone else. Surprisingly, they start to sell well. Fanny promises Sophie that she can have a day off on May Day, since she needs her to make hats as fast as possible.

Friday, September 22, 2017

(OUTview AMERICA) RE-view: Powerful performances and rough passion bring intensity to Afterglow, currently making a splash Off-Broadway

by MK Scott

 I don't get to New York often, but when I do I see as much theater as I can. I saw the musical, Bandstand (Sept. 5) during its final week but instead of another musical like Hello Dolly, Dear Evan Hansen, or even Hamilton, I had much anticipation for an Off-Broadway show (Sept. 6) that is now the talk of the country and which has now been extended for two more months.

As the synopsis on the Afterglow website states: 'Afterglow is a raw, one-act play exploring the emotional, intellectual, and physical connections between three men and the broader implications within their relationships.

'Josh and Alex, a married couple in an open relationship, invite Darius to share their bed one night. When a new intimate connection begins to form, all three men must come to terms with their individual definitions of love, loyalty, and trust as futures are questioned, relationships are shaken, and commitments are challenged.'

Friday, May 12, 2017

(OUTview NW) 5th Avenue Theatre and Broadway composers team up to raise money for famed Oregon high school theater program!

by MK Scott

Everything I learned about theater and performance I learned from my high school drama teacher and as a Gay kid in the late 80s it really helped me stay in school and come out. My high school drama teacher was a legend and a well-known musical theater director in the Portland theater scene for over 40 years.

James Erickson was also the head of the Beaverton High School Theater Arts Department for 29 years from 1970 to 1999, and was an enduring mentor to Broadway stars such as Brooks Ashmanskas (currently in Sunday in the Park with George), Shoshana Bean (Wicked), indie film star, Jesse Archer (A Four Letter Word, Going Down in LaLa Land), Pixar's Angus MacLane and NPR's Ari Shapiro.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Frozen at Artswest is 'Killer' Entertainment!

Photo credit- John McLellan
by MK Scott

 A play about a serial killer of children may be depressing and hard to watch, but when Artswest Playhouse, under the direction of Mathew Wright, and  with powerhouse actors of Amy Thone (Festen, My name is Asher Levi) and Peter Crook (The Seagull Project), that changes the dynamics immensely.

 With anecdotes of humor in all the right places,  the play is gripping as it is entertaining. With the addition of Jonelle Jordan as Agnetha is a psychologist who is as crazy as her patients and some of her behavior is hysterical.

With all seriousness aside, Ralph (Crook) is a disturbed man who creates fantasy that leads to reality and his sickness of sexually molesting and killing towards young girls. One girl, Rhona is in the wrong place at the wrong time, while her mother, Nancy (Thone) is hopeful that her missing daughter could return at any moment.

Once caught, Angetha arrives at the prison to determine if Ralph is pure evil or pure mad. Nancy wants Ralph to suffer and die. 

Nancy wants to confront her child's killer and goes to see Ralph against Agnetha's wishes. Nancy tells Ralph, she forgives him and is ready to move on. Getting there to that stage creates moving performances. 

The set was interesting as each actor had their own stage and space, but by the end of the play, those spaces are shared by two actors at month. The being in-the-round created more intimately with the audience. 

Artswest's Frozen, by Bryony Lavery and directed by Mathew Wright continues through May 14th. Tickets at http://www.artswest.org

Thursday, April 13, 2017

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Bob the Drag Queen takes center stage and Sparkle Leigh and Abby Roads shine in Peaches Christ's 'Legally Black'!

by MK Scott

The SIFF Egyptian Theatre had a full house on Thursday, April 6 for the stage show and parody, Legally Black, written and directed by Peaches Christ and produced by Qurb Productions. As usual, Peaches gave her star, RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8 winner, Bob the Drag Queen, room to shine.

As Peaches Christ said in her March 31 interview with the Seattle Gay News, she created this show for Bob at the suggestion of the Seattle producer Jimmy Scarpello.

This production was wonderful!

Local queen Sparkle Leigh sparkled and shined in the role of Professor Stromwell made famous by Holland Taylor in the movie Legally Blonde. Several other local performers made cameo appearances, including Mahlae Balenciaga, (the delicious) Mackenzie Miller, Isabella Extynn (out of drag as the UPS man), Fraya Love, La Gaviota, Strawberry Shartcake, Kristie Champagne, and Stacey Starstruck.

Abbey Roads was picture perfect as the defendant, Anna Nicole Smith (yes, Anna Nicole) - I heard later that she borrowed Drew Paradisco's breast plate to enhance her assets.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Fanstastic Z's 'Bad Panda' is Really Good, Yes, Really!

by MK Scott

Listen to this scenario, 2\two pandas have mating issues, and things spice up when the male panda is seduced by a crocodile. Ok, you expect this camp from Fantastic Z theater, but what "Bad Panda' is, is good and not to be missed.

The 90-minute play by Megan Gogerty and directed by Kate Huisentruit delves into the argument of straight relationships as for pro-creation and what truly makes a family.

In the animal world there are issues about conservation and same sex attraction as well.

Gwo Gwo and Marion (Richard Sean Glen and Helen Martin). are two mating pandas and are dreaming of having a family. Unfortunately, Gwo Gwo's equipment doesn't seem to working but when he meets flamboyant Chester (the incredible, Michael Ryan Blackwood), Gwo Gwo has no problem in connecting with Chester in a natural way.

When Marion discovers the truth and goes missing, she later returns insisting she has delivered a baby panda. The audience is unsure if the baby stuffed panda is real or imaginary.

As Chester slithers in and out of the den, Marion and Panda-like Chester start as Hostile to slowly creating a bond as Gwo Gwo becomes more crocodile and grows up in the same process.

Fantastic Z "Bad Panda" continues through Aril 8th at Theatre Off Jackson through April 8th. For tickets or information visit them online at www.fantasticz.org.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Sarah Rudinoff is a Triumph as Lisa Kron in 'Well' at Seattle Rep!

Sarah Rudinoff as Lisa Kron in “Well” at Seattle Rep. (Alan Alabastro)
by MK Scott

Sarah Rudinoff is a Seattle treasure as is writer/performer, Lisa Kron is beloved on a national level and with the production of 'Well' currently at the Seattle Rep, ii is triumph, even though getting there is little confusing.

I had thought this was a one woman show at first with Rudinoff (as Kron) talking to the audience and then we are introduced to her mother, Ann (Barbara Dirickson).  (Kron's mother, not Rudinoff's).

Kron, the Tony-winning lyricist and book writer of musical “Fun Home” (the Lesbian musical), first made her mark in solo performance, and she starred in both the off-Broadway and Broadway productions of “Well.”

We learn that Lisa a directing a play and Ann wants to know what it is about. It is autobiographical, and claims it is not about her over-bearing mother. But is it really?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Latrice Royale takes center stage and Willam and Abby Roads shine in Peaches Christ's 'MISTER ACT'!

by MK Scott

The SIFF Egyptian Theatre had a full house on Thursday, January 12 for the stage show and parody, 'Mister Act,' written and directed by Peaches Christ and produced by Qurb Productions. As usual, Peaches gave her star, Latrice Royale, room to shine.

As Peaches Christ said in our January 6 interview in the Seattle Gay News, she had created this show for Royale, at the suggestion of Willam who also had a part in the show.

Local queen Abbey Roads was picture perfect in the hysterical role made famous by Kathy Najimy (in the movie version of 'Sister Act') as 'Sister Abbey Roads Najimy.'

Several other local performers made cameo appearances, including Sylvia O'Stayformore (as Sister Sylvia Lazarus), Aisha Oni, Sparkle Leigh, La Gaviota, Fraya Love,  Isabella Extynn, and Strawberry Shartcake.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

(OUTview NW) RE-view: 'Woody Sez' bring Song and Protest to the Seattle Rep!

(Michael Doucett)
by MK Scott

You may have never heard of singer and songwriter, Woody Guthrie, but certainly have heard his songs that became folk anthems. Does "This Land is your Land" ring a bell?

In a concert style musical, Woody Sez, currently at the Seattle Repertory Theater, showcases parts of Guthrie's life through music.

In the backdrop of the dusty plains, during the great depression of the 1930's, Guthrie uses songs to protest like many of contemporaries from Dylan to Springsteen, and becomes a folk hero and pioneer.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

(OUTview NW) Best of 2016 For NW Music and Theater!

Olivia was FAB!

In 2016, OUTview NW continued to RE-view Concerts, Theater, and Comedy/Cabaret in Both Seattle and Portland. Here are Our Top 5 Faves in each category:

Top 5 Concerts:

1) Olivia Newton-John (Aug)
2) Duran Duran/Chic (Sept)
3)  Dolly Parton (Sept) and Bernadette Peters (Nov)
4) Weird Al (July)
5) Culture Club (July)

The Devil made us all squirm!   (Sound)

Top 5 Theater:

1) The Last Days of Judas Iscariot  (Sound)
2) Luna Gale (Seattle Rep)
3) Parade (Sound)
4) Really Really (Artswest) and Disgraced (Seattle Rep)
5) Psycho Beach Party (Fantastic Z)

You should see them without clothes!

Top 5 Comedy/Cabaret:

1) Who's Afraid of Bianca Del Rio? (June)
2) Seattle Vice (Jan)
3) Disney After Dark (March)
4) Andy Cohen with Anderson Cooper (Jan)
5) Realish Housewives of Seattle (Feb)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Ham for the Holidays is Back and Gayer than ever!

Shielding the Candy?    (Bennion)
By MK Scott

It is that time of year again that we get to Check IN with the Spudds and the Drama queens of the Sequim Gay Men's Chorus and more at Ham for the Holidays: Jurassic Pork.  Always performed by Seattle comedy legends of Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt! Also last but not least the supporting talents of Michael Oaks, Abbie Drake and the ripping beefcake of Joel Domenico (Judy's Scary Christmas, Robbie Turner Revue) plus newcomer, Bruce Hall, made his debut as Musical director and new head of the Sequim Chorus, replacing DJ Gommels  .

Once again (For 4 years in a row) with a larger budget at ACT Theater and a Full house, this comedy masterminds went from sketch after sketch with professional ease.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

(OUTview NW) Re-view: "Peter and the Starcatcher" is only part of the story, but that is A-OK!

Peter not flying yet! (John McLellan)
by MK Scott

Oh, Peter Pan, you know that show with Mary Martin and later Cathy Rigby, you know the story?

How about the Backstory? No, this is not 'Finding Neverland" about author, J.M. Barrie, but more of a prequel called "Peter and the Starcatcher" co-written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and Adapted  by Rick Elice (“Jersey Boys”) that opened the past weekend at West Seattle's Artswest Playhouse.

Directed by the FAB, Eric Ankrim who helmed last years huge hit, "American Idiot" surely brought the youthful energy to this production.

The cast is 99% men with the exception of the refreshing,  Aly Gutierrez as Molly. Plus Molly's Nanny and Head Mermaid, is played with Pizazz by Nathan Brockett.

Monday, November 21, 2016

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Seattle Rep's "King Charles III" is a scandalous look at the Royals in the near future!!

William betrays Charles!  (Michael Doucett)
by MK Scott

With the Drama of Shakespeare to a modern day comedy, it all works in Seattle Rep's (co-produced  by American Conservatory Theatre and The Shakespeare Theatre Company) new lavish production of "King Charles III" by Mike Bartlett.

It is nearing, 2022 and Queen Elizabeth II has died after reigning the UK for 70 Years, and Prince Charles is automatically King (without  ceremony) and that is when it gets complicated with hilarious results.

There are numerous times of when an actor has a long monologue in the style of Shakespeare, but in a tone that most people can understand.

Friday, November 18, 2016

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Seattle Opera's As One is a triumph and provides discussion and education about the Transgender community!

by MK Scott

Get this, an opera with only two performers, with no elaborate set or costumes, in a smaller venue in the Central District. The fact that the characters (one male and one female) are two sides of one transgender character (Hannah) makes this a rare treat. Seattle Opera has finally brought this groundbreaking 2014 production to share with their Seattle audience.

As One by Laura Kaminsky is a chamber opera that made its debut in 2014 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of American Opera Projects. What makes this production so unique is the performers are people of color.

We meet 'Hannah-before' (played by baritone Jorell Williams) with 'Hannah-after' (played by mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven) in the shadows as Williams expresses himself and struggles with his gender identity.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

(OUTview NW) RE-view: Seattle Rep's "A Raisin in the Sun" is Beyond a Classic, It is a Testament in Class!

Walter thinks he is Da Man, Ruth isn't so sure! (Alabastro)
by MK Scott

I confess, I never saw 'Raisin in the Sun' by Lorraine Hansberry, on stage until now. I never saw the 1961 film starring Sidney Poitier, but I did see the stunning 2008 TV film starring Sean Combs and Phylicia Rashad and was somewhat familiar with the story.

In the new production at the Seattle Rep, you see from the get go of why this play is endearing Classic and still holds up today over 55 years later.

The Play isn't just about racism in 1960's Chicago, but more about Class-ism and working your butt off to get somewhere in life.

For the Younger family, waiting for their payday comes in the form of the late-patriarch's $10,000 life insurance payout and ideas of how to spend it. Walter Lee (Played by the Fab, Richard Prioleau) is tired of working as a chauffeur and wants to invest the money in a get rich quick scheme. His Mother, the old and wise, Lena (the incredible,  Denise Burse) wants to buy a house away from the ghetto to show that they have accomplished the American Dream. Walter's Wife, Ruth (Mia Ellis), supports that idea, especially learning she is pregnant. Walter's Free-spirited sister, Beneatha (Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako) is a Med student, her Nigerian classmate Joseph Assangai proposes to her, wanting to take her to Africa with him after they finish school, but she is unsure what to do.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

(OUTview NW) Theater RE-view: Artswest's "GHOSTS" is Classic Ibsen Plus a Whole Lot of AMAZING!

No 'GHOSTS' but a whole-lotta Drama! (Artswest)
by MK Scott

When I think of Ibsen, I recall doing a scene from A Doll's House in College and being told by the instructor that I was no longer the shy kid that she met 2 years earlier I was an actor and I never forgot that.

So when I saw that our friends at Artswest was doing an Ibsen ONE Act play called Ghosts, I knew I would enjoy it and I certainly did.

It turns out that Henrik Ibsen originally called it Gengangere, back in 1881 and according to Wikipedia, totally disliked  English translator William Archer's use of the word "Ghosts" as the play's title, as the Norwegian Gengangere would be more accurately translated as "The Revenants", which literally means "The Ones who Return".

The subjects were quite controversial during its time which includes religion, venereal disease, incest and euthanasia, etc.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

(OUTview NW) RE-view: an International Scandal turns into an AMAZING threesome in Bad Apples at ACT!

Chadwick, Taylor and Hagreen shine! (Jeff Carpenter)
by MK Scott

Back in 2004, America was stunned at the actions of the guards of Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, and it was clear that this wasn't your grand-daddies war.

The images of the prisoners in shocking poses along with images of the 3 guards tells one story. In the new rock-musical, Bad Apples,  by Jim Leonard and music and lyrics by Beth Thornley and Rob Cairns,  currently at ACT Theatre (co-presented by Circle X in LA and our very own Artswest in West Seattle} is something different and very reminiscent from last fall's "American Idiot" at Artswest.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

(OUTview NW) RE-view: SOUND Theater's Amazing "Ensemble" Season continues with the Sensational 'One Man and Two Guvnors'!

(Ken Holmes)
by MK Scott

When I attended the opening night performance of Sound Theater's production of One Man and Two Guvnors by Richard Bean, it felt oddly familiar and I knew of the story and then it hit me that this was an adaptation of a play staged by Seattle Rep in 2013 called a Servant of Two Masters, an Italian play that was written in 1753 by Carlo Goldoni.

For Two Guvs (written in 2011) the play is updated to 1963 England with contemporary Songs added that each cast member takes turns performing.

Compared to Two Masters, that featured so much Improv, that got a little too much as I wrote in 2013:

Truffadino is more like the Aladden's Genie with the modern references and slapstick Inprov. By Act 2, the constant Improv, which in the theater, can be misunderstood as Ad-libbing. Sometimes it went on for too long. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

(OUTview NW) RE-view: With Sound Theater's 'Judas', Everyone Sees the Light!

Satan Stuns Cunningham!              (Holmes)
by MK Scott

A few years back, I reviewed 2 plays back to back about famous people in the after life, and I would assume,  the Mountaintop (staged by Artswest) and Sleep, Marilyn and Dream (staged by SPT) were most likely inspired by Stephen Adly Guirgis' 2005 Play, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, currently staged by Sound Theater.

Judas (played by the incredible, Jose Abaoag, recently from WET's 99 Ways) is catatonic in Hell, while top Attorney, Cunningham (Played by the always FAB, Caitlyn Francis) is in a pugatory courtroom pleading ex-confederate soldier and judge (Keith Dahlgren) to plead Judas' right for an appeal of betraying Jesus. On the prosecution side, we have the very flamboyant Egyptian, Yusef (the super entertaining, Yusef Mahmoud, recently seen in Artswest's American Idiot) and finally as the trial begins, so do the incredible performances of several of the actors.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

(OUTview NW) INTER-view: Gershowitz's 'OZ ANEW', set for PRIDE Weekend Preview!

by MK Scott

This brand new production of America's favorite American Classic story is brought to you by a Award winning NYC Director and Writer, Michael Gershowitz and based on the original book of the Wonderful Wizard of oz, and the backstories of the character's that Dorothy and Toto are introduced to.

Oz is not a happy fairy tale, politics and intrigue are rampant as power struggles between opposing forces divides the land and its people. It is here that a young Orphan girl from Kansas first enters the story as a helpless traveler and later becomes Oz's greatest heroine. Lifted from the pages of L.Frank Baum's Oz books, the history of the land and its strange inhabitants are presented by Page 2 Stage Entertainment. With lush and exciting and at time's intoxicating Score, this World Premiere of OZ ANEW should not be missed by any Oz fan or book reader.

Cone see a free preview this weekend on Seattle's Broadway,  I had a chance to chat with Gershowitz:
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