“Indecent” at Seattle Rep is powerful, charming, and incredibly moving. (Now through October 26)

By Keridwyn Deller

Seattle Rep brings important, engaging, and relevant work to their audience. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to experience the incredible production of “Indecent” here in Seattle now through October 26th.
“Indecent” takes us on the journey of the production of “Gods of Vengence,” starting with its first appearance in Yiddish in 1906 Poland to Broadway in 1920s and beyond. While the show calls upon the play-within-a-play device, and echos some moments of the familiar musical “Cabaret,” “Indecent” is like no other production I have seen. Extremely well cast and directed, Seattle Rep’s “Indecent” is rich, creative, bold, endearing, and relevant. How can a show be so powerful, and charming, and moving all at once? You’ll have to experience it for yourself.
In the Seattle Rep’s own words:
“A luminous representation of Jewish artists and music; and a reminder that love in all its forms provides solace in times of dark oppression, Indecent is the play we all need to see in 2019. Featuring a talented cast of actors and musicians, this production set in the 1920s tells the story of a troupe of actors performing Sholem Asch’s controversial God of Vengeance – with deep and unexpected consequences. Don’t miss out on the chance to see this riveting production, fresh from a wildly successful Broadway run.”
While the run continues through October 26th, I imagine word will get out quickly about how excellent this show is, so get your tickets now. Celebrate jewish culture, love, and rising above hate. The Washington Post nailed it when they described the play as “A eloquent account of art happening against all odds.” The Seattle Rep offers a selection of pay what you choose tickets on select dates (including this weekend) for those on a budget. The show runs 1 hour 45 minutes with no intermission.
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Photos by Bronwen Houck 

Giveaway: Bubble Ball: Disco Dance & Champagne Tasting at Century Ballroom

By Keridwyn Deller

Century Ballroom is bringing back the Bubble Ball (Champagne Tasting and Disco Dance) on September 27! Facebook event page here.

Read on to learn more about this event, then keep reading to learn how to enter to win.

“One night only! Join us Friday, September 27 for a special champagne tasting and disco dance.

– 7:30-9:30pm Champagne Tasting
– 9:30pm Hustle Lesson
– 10:30pm-1am Disco Dance w/DJ Dana Dub

Tickets on sale now: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4325592.
21+”

Note: tickets in advance are for the whole night (Champagne tasting, hustle lesson, and disco dance). Tickets available at the door for just the dance or the lesson and dance.

 

Want to enter to win tickets to the dance?

Simple!

First: 

Make sure you’re signed up to receive SeattlePockets.com emails. See the “Sign Up for Blog Emails” box  – on the right at seattlepockets.com on a computer or after scrolling down past this post on your mobile device. (If it says “Thanks for Following” you’ve already signed up to get emails. Just make sure they aren’t going to your spam folder.)

Then:

you can enter via Facebook (or on this blog post if you don’t have Facebook):

To enter via Facebook, RSVP “Interested” or “Going” to the Facebook event page here. Then tag a friend in the comments on the event wall. Tag multiple friends (up to 8) on the event wall for up to 8 entries (Same comment for all friends is fine).

You’ll also want to comment on this blog post and let me know your name on Facebook, to finalize your entry.

Good luck! If you win, or not, I hope to see you on the dance floor for this fun evening!

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Enter by 9/20/19 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Winner will be contacted the next day. All local, state, and federal rules apply.

 “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is gleefully overtaking stages at Village Theatre in Issaquah and Everett.

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

Hold onto your seats – you’re in for a wild ride in attempting to keep up with the wacky and weirdly propelled students in this unconventional spelling bee. Village Theatre’s stage is filled with raucous, rollicking antics as each contestant of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” vies for the coveted trophy to be awarded to the last-student-standing. 

It’s easy to fall in love with each of the eccentric characters as they divulge and act out their greatest joys and fears around qualifying for their local spelling bee.  Likewise, it’s easy to be pulled into the fray as students strategize and agonize over every word (well, mostly!) they’re required to dissect and recite for their oft challenged judges.

While Chip Tolentino (played by Justin Huertas) excels in pandemonium, his fellow contestants are equally creative, zany, and no less crazed. Do read the bios and watch closely – each and every actor transcends expectations in portraying his/her characters’ quirky personality. This “Spelling Bee” is one you definitely want on your calendar – not to be missed!

Tickets are available for”The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Issaquah’s Village Theatre now through October 20th, and Everett Performing Arts Center from October 27th through November 17th, 2019.

Tickets and more info, here.sb-press6.jpg

Photo by Mark Kitaoka

The Williams Project’s “Time of Your Life” is a high speed, chaotic romp (at Washington Hall now through August 25)

Review by Paul Levy

Two plays. One bar. Eight actors. The Williams Project’s “The Bar Plays” series tackles two different plays and stages them both in the same bar with the same 8 actors. It’s an ambitious project to take on two scripts for one run, but director Ryan Guzzo Purcell and the cast of adrenaline-seeking actors somehow managed to rehearse two different well-known plays at the same time. The two shows in the series are “Small Craft Warnings” and “Time of Your Life”. The night I went was the opening for the second play in the series “Time of Your Life.” You can catch both shows now through August 25th.

“Time of Your Life” is a five-act play by American playwright William Saroyan written in 1939. But don’t let the five-acts scare you. Purcell keeps the show moving at high speed, as the cast of eight actors become the 27 various characters that stumble in and out of Nick’s Waterfront Saloon. The Washington Hall venue transforms into Nick’s Saloon with bar tables and an actual bar that serves drinks throughout the show. Actors take over every nook and cranny of this space, and it’s open seating. At times some seats have you sitting very close to the actors, blurring the lines between audience an actor.

The show itself centers on a large cast of characters all holding onto the routines of their daily lives while the city around them is transforming. Much like the journey for the characters in the play, the show itself also transforms, breaking the norms of theatre by having actors randomly assigned their roles in front of the audience and not skipping a beat as they jump into the 27 different characters. A feat that requires them to keep the script close at hand to recite character lines they’ve never memorized, and likely only individually rehearsed a handful of times.

The Williams Project “Time of Your Life” is a chaotic romp that will put a smile on your face while the delightful cast performs all around you. 

The show runs until August 25th at Washington Hall in the Central District, with a range of ticket pricing including pay what you can at the door. You can find out more here.

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[You can read Tony Bohn’s review of  The Williams Project “Small Craft Warnings” on our blog here.]

More about guest blogger, Paul Levy: Paul Levy is always on the hunt for stories brought to life in immersive formats. He is the Creative Director at TPN, an agency that creates small and large live-events and experiences for fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing.

Psst! “Don’t Tell Comedy” brings secret comedy shows to Seattle

By Keridwyn Deller

Secret comedians, secret locations . . . and BYOB! “Don’t Tell Comedy” offers unique stand-up comedy shows in Seattle (and Tacoma). You know the date, time, and neighborhood when you buy tickets – then you get the delight of discovering the specific location at noon the day of the show! I’m intrigued! You know I’m a fan of comedy, so I’m so excited to see what unique venues this group chooses to host comedy shows in.

Also, how cool is it that the event is BYOB? No pressure to order expensive drinks (and no pressure to drink at all, if you’re not drinking)! “At Don’t Tell Comedy, we are redefining live comedy by bringing it to your backyard, sometimes quite literally! Venues range from backyards and living rooms, to local businesses, steam ships, and yoga studios. We’re removing the expensive drinks – it’s BYOB! Crack open your own beer and enjoy the best local and touring comedians – there are no transactions at a Don’t Tell Comedy show and that’s the way we want to keep it.”

This August, Seattle shows will be in Wallingford on August 17th and in South Lake Union on August 22nd!

Check out their website and sign up for their emails to hear upcoming shows. Have a cool venue? Check out their website for details on how to apply to be a host (the before and after photos are pretty cool of venues they’ve used in the past).

I’m planning on going to the August 22 show in South Lake Union (they mention it’s a “super special location”). FB event page here.

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Drama ensues in The Williams Project fantastic production of Tennessee Williams “Small Craft Warnings” (now through August 25)

Review by Tony Bohn

I have nothing but good things to say about The Williams Project’s new production of Tennessee Williams’ classic play “Small Craft Warnings,” and highly recommend everyone checks this show out ASAP!  Directed by Ryan Guzzo Purcell at Washington Hall, “Small Craft Warnings” takes place in a dive bar on the rural coastline of Southern California sometime around the mid-1900s.  This show is an immersive experience with the entire room in Washington Hall having been transformed into a bar where audience members sit amongst all the action taking place in the play.  The show gives us a glimpse into the troubled lives of all the bar patrons whose struggles combined with alcohol provides us with laughs, lots of drama, and several poignant moments.

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The mission of The Williams Project states that it is a theatre ensemble that strives to make theatrical excellence accessible to diverse and engaged audiences while paying their artists a living wage.  Ticketing utilizes a pay-what-you-can model which allows everyone of all financial means to attend and support the production.  The diverse and talented cast very much lived up to this mission, and I can’t stress enough how refreshing and important it is to see a theater trying this social justice approach in their productions.

All eight actors were skilled at bringing their roles to life, and it was so delightful seeing this production done in a non-traditional way.  I could see a little of myself in all the characters in this show, and I felt like the show was holding up a mirror for me to do some self-examination of my own life by dropping little truth bombs throughout the play.  This production also had a surprise heart-warming ending!

Overall, through the mission of this theater, the direction of this production, and the actual play itself, I was left with a feeling of just how essential inclusivity is to society as well as an understanding and sense of empathy for just how tough it is for all of us to live on this planet sometimes.  “Small Craft Warnings” runs at Washington Hall now through August 25, 2019.   Ticket reservations and info can be found here.

Photo by Marcia Davis

Awesome & eye-popping: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” oozes charm & hilarity at The Paramount (now through August 11)

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

Willy Wonka lives! The current tour of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is one awesome production – how can live theatre be this crazy, funny, dazzling, and thoroughly astounding? The brilliant special effects are far more sophisticated than seem possible on any stage – might it be pure magic? The most riveting dynamics are elevated to mind-blowing heights in the second act. Wait for it!

Accolades to Noah Weisberg who exceeds every lofty expectation in his depiction of Willy Wonka. Equal laurels go to Rueby Wood for an endearing portrayal of the precocious Charlie Bucket. We were enamored with Rueby (who shares the coveted role with two other young actors in this tour) on opening night. 

In hot pursuit of the Golden Ticket, convoluted family ties result in utter pandemonium as the superlative cast sings and dances its way into the heart of the audience. One need not fear the beguiling Oompa Loompas, Willy Wonka, nor the perils of a chocolate factory that casts off naughty children. The night is filled with all things remarkable, including jaw-dropping escapades galore. 

Throngs of theatre-goers, while exiting the theatre and waiting in line to validate parking tickets, were left wondering how “THAT” (you’ll know it when you see it! worked. You know the old adage – when patrons exit the theatre discussing the show you know it’s a winner! You, too, can be enveloped in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” charms. Your golden tickets are on sale now through August 11, 2019, at The Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle.

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Students & Educators, check out Broadway at the Paramount’s Facebook page for info on rush tickets.
Photo by Joan Marcus