Review: Don’t miss hilarious Tony-nominated musical “Something Rotten!” now thru 10/1

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

Frivolity! Foolishness! Fanfare! All the aforementioned in abundance for those 5th Avenue Theatre-goers who partake of “Something Rotten! It’s easy to understand why this outrageous play about the “world’s first musical,” directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, earned 10 Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.

The loud, boisterous, enormously talented cast members had command of the stage and the audience from the start with  “Welcome to the Renaissance.” The most outstanding crowd pleaser, “A Musical,” delivered hilarious tidbits of song and dance from a plethora of musicals we theatre goers know and love. For those Shakespearean buffs in the audience, references to the Bard’s works, throughout, delightedly added yet another layer of insight and sophisticated humor.

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The dynamic Bottom brothers, played by Rob McClure and Josh Grisetti, delivered with tremendous strength and vocal range. Nostradamus, played by Blake Hammond, stole the show repeatedly with his wry humor and wacky predictions of all things musical to come in Renaissance theatre. Don’t miss this show, on now through October 1 at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Tickets here and check out the video on The 5th Avenue Theatre’s website.

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Photos by Jeremy Daniel

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Giveaway! Burlesco DiVino: Wine in Rome

Lily Verlaine & Jasper McCann (the team that brings us the Burlesque Alice in Wonderland and Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker) return this month to The Triple Door with their “newest spectacle of ecdysiastic pageantry,” Burlesco DiVino: Wine In Rome, a celebration of wine, liberation, beauty, and frivolity in The Eternal City. This show features a great cast, including one of my favorite performers, The Luminous Pariah.

This show runs for five performances over three days, September 21-23, at The Triple Door. Tickets here.

Want to enter to win a pair of tickets? Here’s how:

  1. RSVP “Interested” or “Going” to the Burlesco DiVino Facebook event page.
  2. Post a comment and tag a friend on the Seattle Pockets Facebook post.

That’s it!

Video:

 

More about the show:

The first and only burlesque production commissioned by The Triple Door, Burlesco DiVino takes the audience on a wild trip across Rome in 1963 with American choreographer Babs Lawson and her friend, Italian musician Lanzo Travaglio. After disappointing their widowed patron Donatella Chianti with a work of avant-garde dance, Babs and Lanzo are in over their heads. With a deadline looming and Babs’ visa on the line, they search for inspiration in the streets, at a wild party, and get a morning after they’ll never forget, thanks to a lot of wine and a little advice from feminist icon Helen Gurley Brown. Will their new show be a tragic failure, or will they be able to charm the citizens of Rome to get into the act and lift Donatella out of her grief? Inspired by the great costume epics Quo Vadis and Satyricon, and the mid-century visions of Rome La Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday, this show mixes classical music, jazz, and Italian go-go rock with the traditional music of ancient Rome. Priestesses, paparazzi, Vespa-girls, fire dancers, and fashionistas all take their turn in the spotlight as the ensemble weaves belly dance, go-go, and ballet with comedy, striptease, glamour, and song! Burlesco DiVino: Wine In Rome is the intoxicating theatrical burlesque mélange that you’ve come to expect from Verlaine, McCann, and company. Join us in the Bacchanal!

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Photos by Angela Sterling.

Giveaway ends Saturday, September 16 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Winner will be contacted via Facebook.

Review: “The Who and the What” shares the story of a Pakistani family in America

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller of “The Who and the What” (by Ayad Akhtar) production at ArtsWest:

The Who and the What” deals with a Pakistani family’s conflicted cultural experiences in America. This struggling family provides a painfully (oft times humorous) intimate glimpse into misunderstandings and divisiveness encountered by many who strive to smoothly transition into foreign territory.

The amazing foursome cast in this play was totally plausible, incredibly strong, and equally talented. Hats off to Monika Jolly, Haley Alaji, Abhijeet Rane, and Andre Nelson.

This intro into the 2017-2018 ArtsWest season runs now through October 1, 2017, with a most promising lineup of productions to follow. Contemporary technical theatre at its best!

Tickets and more info here.

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

Video from ArtsWest about the show:

Pocket Potpourri: Tattoos, Acrobats, Pike Place Market & Crisis Text Line

Another August Pocket Potpourri!
Here are a few things that have come to my attention lately that I wanted to be sure to share with you.
Got ink?
The Seattle Tattoo Expo returns August 18-20! Over 200 invite-only tattoo artists will be at Seattle Center during the expo. Enjoy live music and burlesque (including a performance by one of my favorites, Ruby Mimosa!), a beer garden, “Drawing Heads and Hands” workshop, and more. SeattleTattooExpo.com

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Circus arts in action!
 
Don’t miss SANCA (School of Acrobatic & New Circus Arts)’s Staff Show “Summer on the Cirque Riviera” August 18-20 at Broadway Performance Hall. “Catch some rays poolside with buff babes and saucy sailors, but beware of pool sharks! Or just relax and beat the heat with a glass of wine, or perhaps something stronger at Cirkuski Kafić where you may even catch a glimpse of the Green Fairy.” Tickets here.
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Enjoy the tastes of Pike Place
 
Pike Place Market celebrates their 110th anniversary this week and their popular “Sunset Supper” event is this Friday! Celebrate Pike Place Market’s 110th birthday with the party of the summer, Sunset Supper, featuring Seattle’s top chefs, artisan purveyors, breweries and Washington’s favorite wineries and distilleries. This delicious event benefits the Pike Place Market Foundation which supports the Pike Place Senior Center, Food Bank, and so much more. Tickets here.
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Crisis Text Line
 
If you are in crisis or know someone who is, text 741741 for free to talk with a Crisis Counselor 24/7. Save this number in your phone now so you can use it if you find yourself in a time of crisis or want to pass it along to someone else. Learn more.

Pocket Potpourri: Jen Kirkman, Light installations, #SAMRemix & Guacamole

Here’s an early-August edition of “Pocket Potpourri” My way of sharing a bunch of fun tidbits with you in one fun blog post.
Here are some pockets of fun you might like:
The Guac Stop August 9 – 13
What’s better than guacamole? FREE Guacamole! The folks at Wholly Guacamole are going to be at Seattle Center this Wednesday – Sunday with a pop-up “Guac Stop.”
There will be a free guac bar where you can customize your guac with mix in flavors plus some fun activities such as live music, macramé classes, hula hooping, avocado facials, and more.  The Guac Stop opens at 11am daily and ends at 7pm Wednesday & Thursday, 8pmFriday and Saturday, and 6pm on Sunday at The Next 50 Plaza in Seattle Center (between the Armory and Memorial Stadium). eatwholly.com/guac-stop
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#SAMRemix  – August 11
This late-night event happens only a few times a year—and only once a year at Olympic Sculpture Park! Advance tickets are sold out but a limited number will be available at the door. I’m excited to dance and take part in art activities led by local artists Tariqa Waters, Eve Sanford, Sensebellum, Neon Salt Water, and Lion’s Main Art Collective. visitsam.org/remix
 
Lusio: A Night to Awaken  – August 12
Walk through Volunteer Park after dark to witness fun light and sound installations during this free, family friendly event. Be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp as the ground is uneven and wasn’t well lit last year. The art is delightful, plus you’ll be able to shop for fun LED costume pieces from locally owned Bright Costumes! facebook.com/events/291152831301300
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Comedian Jen Kirkman – September 8 
I was first introduced to Jen Kirkman through her stand up on Netflix. I was reading her book I Can Barely Take Care of Myself last week when I heard she’s back on tour this year, with all new material. Her show “All New Material, Girl” about “her year of seeing fraudulent spiritual healers, holidays without family, being accused of not being “woke” by young people, and tales of when she was a young obnoxious third party voter, and pretentious hater of pop culture” comes to the Neptune Theatre September 8. jenkirkman.com/tour-dates
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Planning on attending one or more of these events? Let me know in the comments or message me on Facebook!

Review: Tony-award winner “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is unforgettable

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

 

Based on a 2003 best-selling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, the current play at The Paramount Theatre provides an unforgettable experience.

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Adam Langdon’s portrayal of Christopher, a fifteen-year-old mathematical genius struggling with autism, is phenomenal in every way. Effortlessly, or so it seems, his ability to pull the audience into the frenetic existence of one plagued with the terror of being touched, loud noises, and other ghastly triggers is astounding. Langdon’s agility, flexibility, and brilliance in this role are a must see—he truly carries the show to unimaginable heights.

A shout out to Amelia White for strengths in her delightful role as Mrs. Alexander—her elocution was perfection.

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Choreography by Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett is fantastical and astounding. Ingenious scenic designs by Bunny Christie, in addition to innovative lighting designs by Paule Constable, transport the audience into Christopher’s frightening, autistic world. Never have we experienced theatre more mesmerizing.

This five-time 2015 Tony Award winner, including the award for “Best Play,” is at The Paramount in Seattle now through July 30. Tickets here.

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Photos by Joan Marcus.

“Fun Home”: A totally original new musical about sexual identity and family (at The 5th Avenue Theatre now through July 30)

Guest review by Molly Fortin:

Yes, it’s got “fun” in the name, but when you learn that “Fun Home” is short for funeral home, the family business of protagonist Alison Bechdel, and that the musical explores her family tragedy, you might think it’s an ironic title. Admittedly, after reading Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir which the show is based on, I was expecting intelligent, complex, and moving. I wasn’t expecting “fun.”

That’s why the eruptions of laughter at The 5th Avenue Theatre on opening night came as such a welcome surprise. Lisa Kron’s book and lyrics, Jeanine Tesori’s music, and Sam Gold’s direction wring this family tragicomic for every emotion – with three humorous moments to offset every poignant one.

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I love a show that makes me laugh, and one that moves along quickly. With a 1 hour 40 minute running time and no intermission, Fun Home hums along as quickly as the pages of a good graphic novel.

I had wondered how the musical´s creators would solve the problem of integrating Alison´s stories at many different points throughout her life, and so I was delighted with the inventive staging. Three actors play Alison throughout the musical, often all on stage at once, but Abby Corrigan as the adolescent Medium Alison steals the show. She immediately wins over the audience with her painfully sincere, awkward interactions with university co-eds as she comes into her own as a lesbian. She’s so cute and funny as she prances around the dorm room in boyish tighty whities singing “I’m changing my major to Joan.”

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Lately, I’ve been loving WNYC’s Nancy, frank conversations about the LGBTQ experience (“because everyone’s a little bit gay…”). The podcast featured one woman who was suddenly transported back to her own childhood while listening to Fun Home’s “Ring of Keys,” Small Alison’s ballad about recognizing herself in a butch delivery woman.

It’s so refreshing to hear diverse stories and experiences and to see them come alive on the musical theater stage in new, inventive ways.

“Fun Home” plays The 5th Avenue Theatre in downtown Seattle now through July 30. Tickets here.