Review: “Ibsen in Chicago” at The Seattle Rep through March 4th

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

The amazingly flawless casting of “Ibsen in Chicago” has gifted Seattle audiences with a funny, explosive, and memorable glimpse into trials and tribulations of some of Chicago’s early Scandinavian immigrants. Spot-on, powerfully engaging portrayals from every cast member, and wonderful direction by Seattle Rep’s Braden Abraham, earn this new production by David Grimm an A+. 

A zealous and heart-warming portrayal by Annette Toutonghi (Solveig); engagingly keen timing, wit, and perfection from R. Hamilton Wright (Per); escalating comedic skirmishes between Kristen Potter (Helga) and Hannah Ruwe (Elsa) – what more could you ask for? Add Christopher McLinden’s (Hennig) fortitude in attempting to ground his cohorts; and, the roguish, antagonistic moves of Allen Fitzpatrick (Pekka). There you have it: one incredible production.

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“Ibsen in Chicago,” on the far lighter side of Ibsen, offers up this superlative play on words, an engaging display of befuddlement and a tangle of humanity. If you’re one who has deemed Ibsen as dark and dreary, you’ll want to give this new World Premier take on Ibsen a shot. Now through March 4 at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Tickets here.

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Photos by Alan Alabastro

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Giveaway: Seattle Wine & Food Experience Grand Tasting in February

One of the most delicious and delightful weekends of the year returns February 22 – 24! The Seattle Wine & Food Experience will have you enjoying delicious bites and sips from incredible wineries, restaurants, food purveyors, and more. This tasty weekend offers three events: Comfort, Pop! Bubbles & Seafood, and The Grand Tasting! Here’s what The Stranger’s Julianne Bell had to say: “This annual extravaganza of all things edible and drinkable is an ode to gluttony in three parts. First up is Comfort, a festival of “feel-good foods and crafty brews,” complete with bars for French fries, Bloody Marys, hot toddies, and milk and cookies. Next, POP! Bubbles and Seafoodcapitalizes on the felicitous pairing of bubbles and bivalves with a celebrity shucking contest and over 30 sparkling wines from around the world. Finally, the Grand Tasting will showcase local and regional wines, beer, cider, spirits, and tastes from big-name Seattle chefs, with plenty of opportunities to watch demonstrations and meet artisan food producers.”

Want to enter to win 2 General Admission tickets to The Grand Tasting? OF COURSE YOU DO!

Enter to win on the giveaway form here: http://gvwy.io/9dey39m. 

(Hint, since you’re already here on the post, comment here to get entries in the giveaway, then visit the giveaway form).

What booth are you most excited to visit during the Grand Tasting?!

Learn more about this weekend of amazing events on the Seattle Wine & Food Experience on their website.

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Giveaway: Mamma Mia at The 5th Avenue Theatre!

Unleash your inner “Dancing Queen” with The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of “Mamma Mia!” This Seattle production features a jaw-dropping talented cast, including the incredible Sarah Rudinoff and Lisa Estridge. I can already sense the feel-good shivers and pure joy we’ll experience during the show as we hear these two alongside the fabulous Kendra Kassebaum, who plays the lead. Yes, Seattle has seen this show before but it’s NEVER seen it like this. The direction is bound to be amazing and the sneak peeks of the production are so much fun. (Check out this video of one of their very early rehearsals together.)   If you like the musical (or even just the songs of ABBA), GO.

Want to enter to win two tickets?

To enter, simply:

RSVP “Interested” or “Going” on the Facebook Event Page

then

Tag a friend and write a comment on my Facebook Giveaway Post (be sure we’re Facebook friends or you’re “following” me on Facebook at fb.com/keridwyn).

That’s it!  Buy tickets here.

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PS You love the songs of ABBA! That’s fantastic! Please stick to mouthing along silently to the songs instead of singing along (unless the cast directs you to do differently, as they likely will during the curtain call or encore). Your fellow audience members paid to hear the actors on stage and they can’t do that if you’re singing from your seat. Yes, you’re adorable! Yes, the songs are fabulous. So THANKS in advance for being respectful by waiting until after the show to belt the songs at karaoke!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm Pacific Time 2/3/18. Prize is two tickets to see Mamma Mia on February 6, 7, or 8, 2018.

Review: “Peerless” at ArtsWest through 2/11 inspired by Macbeth

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

ArtsWest’s latest production, “Peerless,” written by Jiehae Park, is a take on Shakespeare’s classic “Macbeth.”  You won’t want to miss this show (on now through February 11) if you’re into dark and twisted comedy. Peerless is directed by Sara Porkalob, a rising star whose name is becoming well-known in the Seattle theatrical scene.

Facing the modern day dilemma of getting into the college of their dreams, two Asian-American sisters plot and advance, perversely, to ensure they will come out victors over all of their high school classmates. Their deadly approach to obtaining the only affirmative action spot is wild, convoluted, and crazy. 

Tickets here.

ArtsWest 2017-18 Peerless

ArtsWest’s show description:

Asian-American twin sisters M and L will do whatever it takes to win the one coveted affirmative action spot at “The College.” But when the thick acceptance envelope falls into the hands of D, a white male colleague who is 1/16th Native American, the sisters will stop at nothing to take back what is rightfully theirs – and eliminate anyone who stands in their way. Jiehae Park’s clever and incisive adaptation of Macbeth explores how the drive to succeed can become an all-consuming – and deadly – obsession.

“With its staccato rhythms, short scenes, and farcical characters, unlike any you’ve ever seen before onstage, it’s hard to know how to characterize this play, except to say that it’s unexpectedly wonderful.” – The Arts Fuse

Content note: Characters in this play make active use of offensive and derogatory language toward each other and other marginalized groups.

Giveaway: Seattle Restaurant After Hours

Do you need to network more but have found it hard to force yourself to go to networking events? What if the event was in a fun, playful setting and filled with delicious bites throughout the night? More interesting, right?
Mark your calendar for February 21, when one of the most popular and fun Seattle networking events, Restaurant After Hours at Seattle Aquarium. Check out the beautiful creatures in the venue and taste delicious treats from some of the area’s best restaurants, as you meet others and exchange business cards. It’s easy to use “What’s been your favorite bite so far?” as an opening line when meeting strangers when you network!
Want to enter to win two tickets to the event?
To enter, first
RSVP “Interested” or “Going” on the Facebook Event Page
then
Tag a friend and post a comment on my giveaway Facebook post.
That’s it! This popular event tends to sell out, so I recommend you buy your tickets now.
I look forward to seeing you there! Mention Seattle After Hours networking event when you contact me about Hypnotherapy for a special rate.
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Review: August Wilson’s Two Trains Running at Seattle Rep

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

“There’s a new president in the White House and racial tensions are on the rise. No, it’s not 2017, it’s 1969,” so notes the Seattle Repertory Theatre’s description of the timely return of August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running.” Wilson’s earthy portrayal of racial tensions in 1969 is a brilliant study of humanity in a broken society at large, not unlike today’s America.

“Two Trains Running” hones in on Pittsburgh’s Mecca Cafe regulars, all attempting to make sense of each other, community, and country while immersed in struggles during the Civil Rights era. Every member of this superb cast is exemplary and ever so convincing in bringing their character’s plight to the forefront. Nicole Lewis, in her role as the lone female waitress, is flawless!

Having experienced all of August Wilson’s Seattle Rep productions, “Two Trains Running” remains this reviewer’s favorite and is not to be missed. Playing now until February 11 at the Seattle Rep. Tickets here. 

Review: The Gin Game at Village Theatre

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

Currently at Village Theatre in Issaquah, “The Gin Game” takes the audience to a completely different realm from its musical norm. This anything-but-musical production, winner of the 1978  Pulitzer Prize for Drama, stars Marianne Owen (Fonsia) and her spouse, Kurt Beattie (Weller), both well-known in the local theatre community.

“The Gin Game” introduces its audience to Fonsia and Kurt as they are just getting to know each other. While the unsuspecting might anticipate these new acquaintances making nice, the observer is thrown a curve in witnessing an increasingly abusive relationship. Reminiscent of Virginia Woolf?

An intimate glimpse of elderly cast aside by families, friends, society, and government – dramatic responses, all. Food for thought at Village Theatre in Issaquah through February 25, 2018 and from March 2-25, 2018 in Everett. Tickets here

Have YOU seen “The Gin Game?” Leave your review in the comments below.

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Image via Village Theatre