Treat yourself to “Dreamgirls” in Issaquah or Everett!

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

Village Theatre’s presentation of “Dreamgirls” brings this Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical to life with a strong and dynamic cast throughout. If you’re unfamiliar with the rise of rhythm and blues, from the African American community into mainstream entertainment, you’re in for a bit of valuable history.



The agility and musicality of this wildly, wonderful cast portray the music industry at its best and at its worst – those embarking upon careers with talent and heart and those determined to exploit them at the highest level.

A true standout in this production was Angela Birchett (Effie White) and, most notably, her incredibly powerful rendition of “(And I’m Telling You) I’m Not Going.” Nathaniel Tenenbaum’s brilliant antics as James “Thunder” Early kept the theatre ringing with laughter. Ensemble dance routines with various instruments proved mesmerizing, as did many of the elegant costumes and costume changes. 


“Dreamgirls” plays Village Theatre in Issaquah through July 2 and will play July 7-30 in Everett.


Photos by Mark Kitaoka.

Giveaway: Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (a new musical) at 5th Avenue Theatre June 8 – July 2

The World Premiere of the new musical “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” (based on the 1997 cult hit film) takes the stage of The 5th Avenue Theatre June 8 – July 2.
From the photos and videos I’ve seen, this show looks perfectly cast. I’m excited to hear the 80s and 90s inspired score and see the costumes. This story of friendship between two quirky, ridiculous characters is bound to put a smile on your face! (Yes, there’s a musical number about post-its. Like I said, ridiculous!)
This is the 18th new musical that The 5th Avenue Theatre has produced! They have sent a ton of musicals on to Broadway–Seattle is a great place to try out new work! This musical’s book (the spoken script) was written by Robin Schiff who wrote the movie’s screenplay and the creative team is nearly all women. “Romy and Michele is a story about friendship, rather than a story of romance, or winning a man being the ultimate success or driving action of the characters.”
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Want to join me on June 8? Enter to win two tickets to see this wacky and fun show!
To enter, comment on my Facebook giveaway post! Tag a friend in the comments. You can tag up to four friends (one per comment) for four extra entries.
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Giveaway ends 5/16/17 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.
Photos: Cortney Wolfson as Romy and Stephanie Renee Wall as Michele in “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.” Photos by Mark Kitaoka

Giveaway: ICE CREAM at Can Can in Pike Place Market– an “effervescent, dance-crazed spectacle!”

Seattle’s Can Can is a “Moulin Rouge-inspired cabaret hailed for creative retro entertainment” in Pike Place Market.
Tickets for their upcoming show ICE CREAM (June 9 – October 1) are on sale now. AboutICE CREAM: The infamous, historic venue will transform into a doo-wop ice cream shop — a colorful backdrop for this effervescent, dance-crazed spectacle of glitz, glitter, and above all, glutes! Inspired by all-time-favorite summer cult-classics like “Grease,” “Cry Baby,” “Hairspray,” and “Beach Party,” ICE CREAM celebrates revelry with the finest in Market fresh food, craft cocktails, and Can Can’s own unique brand of entertainment.
This show is totally up my alley and sounds like a perfect distraction from reality. See the show at 7pm Wednesdays through Sundays, 9:30pm Fridays & Saturdays. Got kids and no babysitter? This production offers family-friendly brunch showings at 12:30pm and 2:30pm every Saturday and Sunday!  “It’s high kicks, culinary delicacies, and world-class cabaret during the weekend’s Magnificent Matinees when Can Can’s award-winning dance theatre company performs a fresh version of ICE CREAM intended for audiences of all ages — kids welcome!”
Want to enter to win 2 tickets to ICE CREAM?
1) RSVP “Interested” or “Going” on the Ice Cream Facebook event page, then post on the wall:
I want to win tickets toICE CREAM via! 
2) For additional entries, tag friends in the comments of my Facebook post about the giveaway! You can tag up to five friends for five entries (one friend per comment).
Prize includes 2 tickets to ICE CREAM at The Can Can in Pike Place Market (date subject to availability). Giveaway ends 5/13/17 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Winner will be contacted 5/15/17. Prize can not be exchanged or returned for cash.
Photos via Can Can.

Delightful “An American in Paris: A New Musical” plays The Paramount in Seattle through May 14.

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

Now at The Paramount in downtown Seattle, beloved George and Ira Gershwin music and lyrics come to life with the delightful production of “An American in Paris, A New Musical. Opening scenes take the audience to post World War II in Paris—a chilling reminder of Nazi occupation and all that contributed to the downfall of so many European countries.

On the upside, as time and characters move beyond war-torn Parisian survival mode, Jerry (played by McGee Maddox) and Lise (played by Sara Esty) weave their way into, through, and out of a tangle of triangulated affairs.

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Bob Crowley’s brilliant set and unique costume designs not only compliment director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s endeavors, but add a bright, new dimension to this energetic production. Riveting, unforgettable musical numbers Fidgety Feet and An American in Paris alone, are worth the price of the ticket.

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“An American in Paris: A New Musical” plays The Paramount now through May 14th. Tickets available here.

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Photos by Matthew Murphy. 

“Here Lies Love” at Seattle Rep tells powerful story with immersive dancing experience

Brandon and I had the chance to see “Here Lies Love” at the Seattle Rep. This “Revolutionary Musical Experience from David Byrne & Fatboy Slim” is one of the best productions I’ve seen in Seattle in many years.  If standing/dancing for 90 minutes for you isn’t an issue, I strongly suggest buying the standing ticket seats so that you can be a part of the immersive theater experience on the floor. For those not comfortable or able to stand for that long, we’ve had friends who sat for the show and also thoroughly enjoyed it.
It’s a history lesson wrapped up in an immersive dance party. It’s a timely and emotional tale of the life of Imelda Marcos and her husband Ferdinand (Ferdinand was the 10th President of the Philippines). It starts out as a dance party and the show includes the audience for many dance moments throughout the show. I found it incredibly strange to break into dance during or directly after moments that focused on poverty, scarcity, fear, power struggles, and other upsetting moments in the story of Imelda’s life and the struggle of the people of the Philippines. This juxtaposition was incredibly powerful, showing how we so often learn of the struggles of others, then turn a blind eye and stay comfortably within our own bubbles. The floor seats in the Seattle Rep have all been removed and the staging, lighting, and visuals are really fantastic. The voices of the cast are truly incredible. I was blown away.
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I asked on my personal Facebook page what others thought of the show. Here’s what some friends and friends-of-friends had to say:
“The show was incredible! I think the cast of “Here Lies Love” was one of the top three casts I’ve seen in the past few years – right up there with the original Broadway cast of Hamilton and Allegiance! I loved that it was immersive. It also struck a balance between being entertaining yet making you feel uncomfortable plus a history lesson to boot!”
-Stacy Justino
“A few things: The most remarkable immersive theater I’ve ever experienced. I laughed, cried, sang karaoke and line danced. I think each type of ticket has pros and cons. I had to sit for most of it because of some physical issues and was every bit as happy as my friends who stood (and got herded around throughout the show). The stagecraft and costuming are truly exceptional. Not that the cast and writer/director team don’t deserve a ton of credit; they absolutely do. But when I talk about the show, I talk at least as much about the dresses and multimedia pieces as I do the actors.”
-Jill Lightner
“My favorite thing about “Here Lies Love” was the incredible cast—top notch singing, acting, and dancing from everyone. And Filipino actors actually playing Filipinos! As a Filipino American, I can’t tell you how much that means to me.  I watched “Here Lies Love” from the floor, and while I enjoyed the innovative staging, I did feel like not all of the stage moves were necessary. I’m going to watch the show again from the gallery to see how the experience is different.  Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos plundered the Philippines and were responsible for the execution and torture of thousands of people. “Order 1081” was a powerful song about martial law, but I wish there had been more about how the Philippine people suffered under the Marcos regime. “Here Lies Love” makes Imelda Marcos much too sympathetic. I hope that “Here Lies Love” encourages more people to learn about the true history of the Philippines and the Filipino people.”
-Madeline Moy
“I loved how the audience was encouraged to participate at whatever level they were comfortable with. The choreography of everyone, including the stagehands and audience wranglers, assisted in making the setting a safe space for all. We were welcomed to this amazing, dazzling world that was a visual and audible delight. Totally worth the cost of admission. One of my top five theatre experiences.”
-Hollie Daye
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“I loved this out of the box (or seats!) experience, we felt like we were a part of the show. At one point, Imelda was singing directly to my husband, and we were both swooning. It was an amazing experience that I would happily see again. Bravo Seattle Rep, hope to see more unique shows like this in the future.”
-Tiffany Middleton Jessup
The best immersive theatre experience I have ever, well…experienced! A feat of technological and human staging that was so well executed, I am still thinking about it many days later. I am so glad I saw it from the floor and cannot wait to go back and experience it again.”
-Rachael Brister
“Get ready to move and be moved, this immersive show encourages dance. This can be challenging and even overwhelming, but it is worth it . . . it is just a bit overambitious and asks a bit much of its audience, but the immersive experience is unique and totally worth it despite its shortcomings  . . . perhaps most importantly, I don’t think it quite deals adequately with the abuses of the regime it sets forth as a hero(ine) for most of the show, then vilifies at the end (though I do enjoy some moral ambiguity). Despite all that, I think it has great songs and costumes, hits some good emotional notes, is interesting and a lot of fun, and makes for a totally worthwhile theater experience. Imperfect, but a very solid B+ despite its flaws. Also, I will consume anything David Byrne does with glee.”
– Isaac Kaplan-Woolner
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Have you seen the show? Join the conversation and share your review on this Facebook post. 
“Here Lies Love” plays The Seattle Repertory Theatre in Seattle Center and has been extended through June 18, but I hear tickets are going fast. Details and tickets here.

Photos by Navid Baraty via Seattle Repertory Theatre

Giveaway: Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland

Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland returns to The Triple Door April 26-30.

To enter to win a pair of tickets, comment on this blog post, then fill out our giveaway form here. 

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About the show:

Now in its ninth consecutive season at The Triple Door, Through The Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland follows Alice as she discovers what wonders lie beyond the velvet rope at Wonderland’s most exclusive nightclub, The Looking Glass, and tries to beat the evil Queen of Hearts to become the next ruler of Wonderland. New this year, Verlaine and McCann’s Alice boasts a fresh set design by Footlight Award-winning scenic designer Julia Welch.

“Last year, we added incredible costume pieces and this year we are taking a big leap forward in scenic design,” Lily Verlaine commented.  “As new artists take on a character, we let the artists’ strengths inform the character. For instance, Tory Peil’s stoic/manic performance of the Cheshire Cat role differs greatly from prior artists’ performances, and the Tribellas’ (Maiden Egypt, Ivy D’Vine, Juwana Heart) Flamingoes number now showcases their signature fusion belly dancing.”

The complete cast stars Lily Verlaine (Caterpillar, Red Queen); Jasper McCann (White Rabbit); Miss Indigo Blue (The Mad Hatter, Tiger Lily, The Duchess); Babette La Fave (Jabberwocky, Tweedle Dee, Cook); Dreamy Tangerine (Alice); Cookie Bellini (Alice); Tory Peil (Cheshire Cat, White Queen, MaryAnne); Paris Original (Knave of Hearts, Door Mouse); Trojan Original (March Hare, Caterpillar Cavalier, Cook); Maiden Egypt (Queen Of Hearts); Juwana Heart (Tweedle Dum); Ivy D’Vine (Flamingo, Mushroom); Isobella Bloom (Drink Me); Britt Hobson (Eat Me); Tom-Tom The Phenomenon (Paraffin the Chandelier); and from New York City, Lena Foxe (Brass the Chandelier).

Tickets here.


Giveaway: Holier than Thou May 4, 5 & 6

Long-time readers of my blog know how much I love the work of Kitten LaRue & Lou Henry Hoover. If you are fan of burlesque, you’ve likely seen them in Atomic Bombshell productions such as J’Adore, Cream, and Lost in Space, or in DeLouRue’s production of Homo for the Holidays. Perhaps you saw Kitten N’ Lou’s production of “Camptacular” last summer.

Well, Kitten N’ Lou are back with a blasphemous show: “Holier Than Thou.”

Enter to win a VIP table with four tickets plus a Kitten N’ Lou t-shirt and more. Click here for their giveaway

Whether you’re a huge fan already or are excited to see them for the first time, don’t miss “Holier than Thou” at Century Ballroom’s West Hall May 4-6. That’s right, there’s only 3 nights to see this show! Tickets here.

About Kitten N’ Lou: Holier Than Thou

“…the “show-stopping, costume-laden, full-out-camp, gender-bending, queer-positive retooling of the Bible you never knew you needed!” (The West Australian)

LET’S GET BIBLICAL. Fresh from a critically-acclaimed smash run at Fringe World in Australia, everyone’s favorite gay-married superduo drag darlings return home to Seattle with a brand new glitter bomb of award-winning dance, irreverent striptease, and surreal comedic magic that’s been called “BRILLIANTLY DERANGED” by Time Out NY. Expect to be converted and shouting “YAS GAWD!”  May 4th, 5th, and 6th at 8pm at West Hall (915 E. Pine St in Seattle).

Holier Than Thou features vocal characterizations by RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 Winner Jinkx Monsoon and her partner in crime Major Scales.

“Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover gave me life, and I wasn’t alone in my joy – this is the first Fringe show I’ve seen that elicited a unanimous standing ovation…Go see it. Revel in it.” (Xpress Magazine) 9.5/10 stars

“These two astonishing women will touch your heart and your funny bone.” (OUT in Perth 2016) ★★★★


Photo via Kitten N’ Lou Facebook Page.