Imaginary Opus – Musical – Seattle Center

Opening night to the musical/artshow "Imaginary Opus." No substantial plot. Just the message that everyone is a special snowflake. ? — attending Imaginary Opus: A Sensory Experience in Two Acts at Seattle Center.
Opening night to the musical/artshow “Imaginary Opus.” No substantial plot. Just the message that everyone is a special snowflake. ? — attending Imaginary Opus: A Sensory Experience in Two Acts at Seattle Center.

Type: Musical

Recommendation: Don’t see it unless you’re a die-hard social justice warrior and special snowflake lover.

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 2 stars

Negatives: Plot was overly simplistic, underdeveloped, hallmark-y, and mostly boring.

Story, Script, and Lyrics: They advertised this as “A Sensory Experience in Two Acts.” Apparently the first act was the musical and the “second act” was an art show.

  • First Act: The musical followed the struggles of socially awkward kid who gets overly-stimulated easily and paints/draws to cope. The “moral of the story” was that everyone is special and contributes something worthwhile to society (I’m gagging).
  • Second Act: The “second act” art show consisted of paintings by a local (mentally-challenged?) artist who I assume the main character is based on. I’m no visual art critic but I wasn’t too impressed by the works. Just because someone picks up a brush doesn’t mean they’re an artist.

Cast and Theater Company: Cast wasn’t bad. Though I assume the non-main characters had limited experience in the theater.

Venue and Set: Black Box Theatre is a hidden tiny theater in the back of the Center Theatre at the Seattle Center Armory. Set was very simple and occasionally featured the works of the artist from the art show.

Music and Audio: Meh. Venue was small enough that mic-ing wasn’t needed.

Price: $ (Low-priced at $25)

Dates: February 25-28, 2018

Seating: General Admission

Linkhttp://www.soundtheatrecompany.org/2018-season/making-waves-experimental-performance/

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – Musical – Newport Covenant Church

Attended a matinee of You're A Good Man Charlie Brown. Collection of good and bad sketches/songs without a plot. Not sure why this show won a Tony. Band/actors were great though. Curious to see what they perform next. — attending You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown at Newport Covenant Church.
Attended a matinee of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. Collection of good and bad sketches/songs without a plot. Not sure why this show won a Tony. Band/actors were great though. Curious to see what they perform next. — attending You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown at Newport Covenant Church.

Type: Musical

Recommendation: Worth seeing if you’re bored. Just know that this is a new theater company.

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 3.75 stars

Negatives: Seating does not gradually elevate like risers so it’s often hard to find a good view. Also the set was very plain. Musical was a little too kid friendly (which may be a positive for you) and didn’t really have a plot. Not sure why it won a Tony Award.

Story, Script, and Lyrics: This musical was basically little vignettes featuring the characters in the Peanuts comic. Consequently, there was no developed plot or story. It definitely appealed to kids, which surprised me because usually you don’t find this in a musical that was previously performed by a star-studded cast (Anthony Rapp, Kristin Chenoweth, and Roger Bart).

Cast and Theater Company: For being a new theater company, Newcastle Players cast was pretty talented. I suspect they all came from the audience of the Newport Covenant Church.

Venue and Set: Venue was in a the carpeted (yuck!) gym of the Newport Covenant Church . It felt very church/school program-y. There was even a collection at intermission where they pass around offering plates. Nice bonus was the free intermission snacks (Chex Mix and water).

Music and Audio: Actors were mic’ed well and the band was good (I suspect this was the church’s band haha).

Price: $ (Low-priced at free!!!)

Dates: Feburary 16-17 & 23-24, 2018

Seating: General Admission – Church style!

Linkhttps://www.facebook.com/events/191670521568553/

Afterwords – Musical – Village Theatre

Watched the developing beta series rock musical "Afterwords." Incredible voices. Wish it wasn't too early to buy the soundtrack. First 5 mins was a little confusing though. Very promising contender for the Village Theatre mainstage next year.
Watched the developing beta series rock musical “Afterwords.” Incredible voices. Wish it wasn’t too early to buy the soundtrack. First 5 mins was a little confusing though. Very promising contender for the Village Theatre mainstage next year.

Type: Musical

Recommendation: See it!

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 4.25 stars

Negatives: The beginning of the story was hard to follow … though it may be because of my forever wondering mind.

Story, Script, and Lyrics:  The past and present intersect as two daughters cope with the death of their mom and a reporter copes with the death of her colleague. Script and lyrics were good but not mind-blowing. Deaths could have been more dramatic.

Cast and Theater Company: Typical high-quality Village Theatre  talent/production. Note that this was a developing musical in the Beta Series so nothing is really set in stone. Literally, every performance will be intentionally different as they try new things. Hopefully, they’ll axe or revise the Franklin character, who provided unnecessary comedic relief to the piece.

Venue and Set: Pretty detailed for being a developing Beta Series musical.

Music and Audio: Incredible voices and great music. Wish it wasn’t too early to buy the soundtrack. Musical was touted as a “Rock Musical,” which I don’t quite agree with. The only rock songs/voice came from the mother Lydia (well-played by Mari Nelson). Loved the golden voice of Taylor Niemeyer. There were often two side actor who randomly came on stage to harmonize with the main actors, which I thought was weird. I suspect this was because it was a developing Beta Series musical.

Price: $ (Low-priced at $30)

Dates: February 16-25, 2018

Seating: Assigned

Link: https://www.villagetheatre.org/issaquah/beta-series-afterwords.php

You Can’t Take It With You – Play – Sound Theatre Company

The Stranger tricked me into watching You Can't Take It With You on Broadway thinking it was a musical. Ended up being a 3-act (yikes!) play. Sooooo Seattle what with its colorblind and "gender-blind" casting. Great set but not-so-great sound effects. Good actors. Just not a fan of long plays with few scene changes.
The Stranger tricked me into watching You Can’t Take It With You on Broadway thinking it was a musical. Ended up being a 3-act (yikes!) play. Sooooo Seattle what with its colorblind and “gender-blind” casting. Great set but not-so-great sound effects. Good actors. Just not a fan of long plays with few scene changes.

Next to Normal – Musical – Twelfth Night Productions

Watched my 1st/2nd-most favorite musical Next to Normal with Paul. Aside from from the pitch issues (I mean ... it was early in the day), I was impressed. Powerful musical with a realistic (aka sad) commentary/ending on mental health. Is there hope?
Watched my 1st/2nd-most favorite musical Next to Normal with Paul. Aside from from the pitch issues (I mean … it was early in the day), I was impressed. Powerful musical with a realistic (aka sad) commentary/ending on mental health. Is there hope?

Type: Musical

Recommendation: See it! It’s my favorite (or 2nd favorite) musical. Seen it 3 times already … and none of them were professionally produced!

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 4.5 stars

Negatives: Sometimes actors’ vocal pitch was flat. I suspect this was because I attended an afternoon matinee. It probably would have sounded better during an evening performance when their vocal cords were more warmed up. That being said, any tonal variation would probably have been unnoticeable to the untrained ear.

Story, Script, and Lyrics: Suburban mom with bipolar depression and schizophrenic features. One of the few musicals to win a Pulitzer (which is usually for books and not for stage performances), this piece is so well written and relevant for an over-medicated society (this coming from a pharmacist). It’s a great commentary on the practice of psychiatry. One of the treatments (won’t spoil it) was a bit over the top though. I absolutely love how in the middle of the first act (again, won’t spoil it) the audience caught completely off guard. I felt so betrayed! Such good writing. Unlike most musicals I like to watch, the ending was more realistic (aka sad) than your typical happily-ever-after. Basically, there’s no easy answer to mental illness.

Cast and Theater Company: Well-chosen cast. Hilary Heinz Luthi had a great raw voice for this rock musical. David Naber added a nice ballet-like sinister aspect to the Gabe character. It didn’t hurt that he was great eye candy as well haha. I’ve seen 3 performances from Twelfth Night Productions. Two have been good and was one was mediocre. I’m curious to see what the next one will be like.

Venue and Set: Venue in an old elementary school converted to youth arts center. The performance was actually in the gym. Despite the simple set, the cast worked well with what little they had and it let the writing/acting shine more. My friend said that he preferred this intimate simple production over the national professional tour he saw on the big stage at a major venue. He said it’s easier to experience the raw emotion. Interesting stage effects during the climax (i won’t spoil it!) of the first act.

Music and Audio: What can I say, I love rock/pop musicals. The band was good and the conductor/pianist (Greg Smith) was particularly enthusiastic and expressive.

Price: $ (Low-priced at $20)

Dates: February 16-18 & 23-25, 2018

Seating: General Admission

Link:

The Gin Game – Play – Village Theatre

Watched The Gin Game at Village Theatre. Grandma and grandpa playing gin rummy and complaining about nursing home life. Was like watching paint dry. ?
Watched The Gin Game at Village Theatre. Grandma and grandpa playing gin rummy and complaining about nursing home life. Was like watching paint dry. ?

Type: Play

Recommendation: Don’t see it unless you like to watch people talking with no action. So boring!

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 3 stars

Negatives: There was no plot/action. It was like watching paint dry. This was the first Village Theatre production where I actually left at intermission. I guess there’s a first for everything… :-/

Story, Script, and Lyrics: Gramps and granny play gin rummy and talk out life … mostly complaining about their nursing home. You may actually like this play if you liked The Humans (which was also “meh” in my book).

Cast and Theater Company: Small two-person cast, which didn’t do this boring play any favors. The actors were good but the play was just bad. I’m surprised  Village Theatre  took on such a bad piece to perform since their productions are usually pretty satisfying.

Venue and Set: Interesting detailed set. It’s a shame they never had any scene changes.

Music and Audio: Okay. Nothing particularly good or bad to say.

Price: $$ (Mid-priced at $58-72)

Dates:

  • Issaquah: January 18 – February 25, 2018
  • Everett: March 2-25, 2018

Seating: Assigned

Linkhttp://www.villagetheatre.org/issaquah/the-gin-game.php

Love, Chaos, & Dinner – Dinner Theatre – Teatro Zinzanni

Attended Teatro ZinZanni: Love, Chaos & Dinner with coworkers. Very entertaining carnival/circus dinner theatre with some camp. Much better than Cirque du Soleil. So glad we didn't get called on stage though.
Attended Teatro ZinZanni: Love, Chaos & Dinner with coworkers. Very entertaining carnival/circus dinner theatre with some camp. Much better than Cirque du Soleil. So glad we didn’t get called on stage though.

Type: Dinner Theatre Show

Recommendation: So entertaining. See it! Much better than Cirque de Soleil.

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 4.75 stars

Negatives: They pick audience members to “haze.” Among other things, some people in the audience got put in a cage and others were forced to dance. This may be a positive for you if that’s the experience you’re looking for. I usually just like to sit and watch without interaction (except sing-a-longs which I LOVE!).

Story, Script, and Lyrics:  Simple story about the campy shenanigans behind the scenes when a food critic visits a restaurant. The story, script, and lyrics were nothing to write home about but the talent performing them was top notch.

Cast and Theater Company: Impressive how the performers wittily improvise and don’t break character even when mingling with the audience members during intermissions. Most actors had some sort of circus/carnival-type talent (like trapezee) that they showcased.

Venue and Set: Circular immersive theatre. The good thing about this is that there’s no bad view. The bad thing about this is that there is no “great” view. Every seat will miss something unless your eyes see 360 degrees. This theatre company performed across from the Seattle Opera’s McCaw Hall but they got kicked out and are now performing in a circus tent at Marymoor Park.

Music and Audio: Adequate sound engineering.

Food: Okay. Your typical pretentious, small-portioned American fare.

Price: $$-$$$ (Mid to high-priced at $99+). Keep in mind that this already includes dinner so you can technically classify as mid-priced. Check Goldstar for occasional discount or search Google for codes.

Dates: October 19, 2017 to April 29, 2018

Seating: Assigned at the facility. Be aware, you may be sitting with strangers.

Linkhttps://zinzanni.com/seattle/lovechaosdinner/

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Musical Revue – Seattle Musical Theatre

Opening night to "Ain't Misbehaving - The Fats Waller Musical Show." Didn't realize this was a musical revue ... not a musical. That's what I get for not reading up about what I attend! ?It's a shame the bad sound system setup distracted from the amazing voices.
09Opening night to “Ain’t Misbehaving – The Fats Waller Musical Show.” Didn’t realize this was a musical revue … not a musical. That’s what I get for not reading up about what I attend! ?It’s a shame the bad sound system setup distracted from the amazing voices.

Hamilton – Musical – Paramount Theatre

Watched Hamilton: An American Musical w/ Paul. Golden voices & tight harmonies. Dual-rotating stage & lighting were a nice touch. Not a fan of the history lesson or the rapping. I'll concede to Paul though: yes, it's probably one of the most important artistic works of our time esp in this political climate. It was a great musical but I don't understand the hype.
Watched Hamilton: An American Musical w/ Paul. Golden voices & tight harmonies. Dual-rotating stage & lighting were a nice touch. Not a fan of the history lesson or the rapping. I’ll concede to Paul though: yes, it’s probably one of the most important artistic works of our time esp in this political climate. It was a great musical but I don’t understand the hype.

Type: Musical

Recommendation: Does not live up to the hype but it’s still worth seeing.  It’s probably one of the most important artistic works of our time especially in this political climate.

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 4.5 stars

Negatives: Hard to understand what was going on. Also, not a fan of rap or history lessons.

Story, Script, and Lyrics:  The life and times of Alexander Hamilton during the birth of the USA. Since a lot of the lyrics were fast rap, it was hard to follow the story. Re-listening to the soundtrack cleared things up and I later realized that a lot of script/lyrics were quite clever.

Cast and Theater Company: Typical high-quality national tour production.

Venue and Set: Elaborate set with a dual rotating stage and clever light show.

Music and Audio: I was happy to discover that they didn’t turn the volume way up like they do most Paramount Theatre performances.  Not much of a rap fan but I loved the golden voices and tight harmonies of the girls’ songs especially “Helpless,” “Satisfied”, and “Schuyler Sisters.”

Price: $$$ (High-priced at $300+) – Sold out

Dates: February 6 – March 18, 2018

Seating: Assigned

Link: https://www.stgpresents.org/tickets/eventdetail/3492/-/hamilton