Preview Post – Memoirs of a Forgotten Man – Play – Thalia’s Umbrella

Memoirs of a Forgotten Man play opening weekend by Thalia’s Umbrella at 12th Ave Arts. Performing until 3/9/24. Stay tuned for my full review! #memory #USSR #soviet #sovietUnion #russia #synesthesia

Tickets: https://www.thaliasumbrella.org/

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Preview Post – Luchadora! – Play – Seattle Children’s Theatre

Luchadora! play opening night by Seattle Children’s Theatre. Performing until 3/17/24. Stay tuned for my full review!

Tickets: https://www.sct.org/onstage/productions/luchadora-2/

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Born with Teeth – Play – Review – ArtsWest

@showsiveseen Liz Duffy Adams' "Born with Teeth" #play by ArtsWest staring Ricky Spaulding & @Michael Monicatti. Nice catwalk stage. Success comes at a price … eat or be eaten! Proud that I correctly predicted the ending. Closes this weekend! Review: showsiveseen.com/8061 Photos: John McLellan Director: Mathew Wright #theatre #showsiveseen #shakespeare #gay #lgbt ♬ Loving Me – Janine

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Born with Teeth play by ArtsWest staring Ricky Spaulding & Michael Monicatti. Nice catwalk stage. Success comes at a price … eat or be eaten! Proud that I correctly predicted the ending.

Recommendation
See it if you’re familiar with the history/politics surrounding Shakespeare, Marlow, and Tudor England. Highbrow fancy literary gays would also enjoy this.


Synopsis from the Theatre: An aging authoritarian ruler, a violent police state and a restless, polarized people seething with paranoia: It’s a dangerous time for poets. Two of them — the great Christopher Marlowe and the up-and-comer William Shakespeare — meet in the back room of a pub to collaborate on a history play cycle, navigate the perils of art under a totalitarian regime and flirt like young men with everything to lose. One of them may well be the death of the other in this biting comedy about ambition, ego, and history.

Attended Performance Date: Opening Night 2/1/24 – Keep your eyes peeled for my preview posts on my website and social media if you want earlier notification of shows I’ve seen. Get your tickets now since the show ends this weekend!

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: Just three scenes

Several or Few Settings/Locations: Just one location

Static (Stationary) Set? Yes

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: As I alluded earlier, you should be familiar with the history/politics surrounding Shakespeare, Marlow, and Tudor England. If not, definitely analyze the diagram on the program’s first page below.

Defined Plot/Storyline: No, this play was more dialogue with less action and less story.

Equity Actors: 1

Total Number of Actors: 2

Perceived Pace of the Show: Slow to medium speed

Length (Including Any Intermission): 1.5 hours

Was there an intermission? No

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? No

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above

  • Acting and Characterization: Ricky Spaulding’s portrayal of William Shakespeare struck me as honest. However, it was difficult to sympathize with Michael Monicatti’s Christopher Marlowe since the character was reminiscent of the tiresome stereotype of insufferable know-it-all bratty selfish Mean Girl gays with a handheld fan and with claws (proverbial or not). I will say though that the most interesting scenes in this play were when Marlow showed his vulnerable soft underbelly. Their interactions reminded me of opposite attractions … but were they really opposites in the end? 😉 Side note, kudos for crying on-demand on-stage!
  • Romantic Tension : Michael and Ricky created sizzling romantic tension without too much gratuitous visuals. It’s difficult finding this amount of visual modesty in gay art and entertainment … even gay fiction books are typically filled with sex! The only exception was the first scene. While it effectively hooked the audience and the actors looked hot shirtless, the scene felt irrelevant to the play as a whole, and it obviously pandered to sex appeal.

Theatre Company: ArtsWest

Venue: ArtsWest

Venue Physical Address: 4711 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

Price: Medium

Tickets: https://www.artswest.org/events/born-with-teeth/

Ticket Affordability Options: The ticketing website offers honor code discount options .

Dates: February 1 to February 25, 2024

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: There are paid lots and free street parking. I usually park on 44th or 45th Ave behind the theatre.

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Pictures: See pictures below and in video above by John McLellan.

Ricky Spaulding. Photo by John McLellan.
Ricky Spaulding & Michael Monicatti. Photo by John McLellan.
Ricky Spaulding & Michael Monicatti. Photo by John McLellan.
Ricky Spaulding & Michael Monicatti. Photo by John McLellan.
Ricky Spaulding & Michael Monicatti. Photo by John McLellan.
Ricky Spaulding & Michael Monicatti. Photo by John McLellan.

The Lower Depths – Play – Review – Intiman Theatre & The Seagull Project

@showsiveseen "The Lower Depths" #play by @Intiman Theatre & The Seagull Project at Erickson #Theatre Off Broadway. Desolate portrayal of society's miserable underbelly & squalor. Closes this weekend! Adapted from Maxim Gorky's masterpiece. Review: showsiveseen.com/8027 Photos: Joe Moore Director: Gavin Reub Stage Manager: Emily Doorenbos #showsiveseen ♬ Empty – Letdown.

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): The Lower Depths by Intiman Theatre & The Seagull Project at Erickson Theatre Off Broadway. Desolate portrayal of society’s miserable underbelly & squalor. Closes this weekend!

Recommendation
See it if you enjoyed Arlington (which incidentally also featured Kiki Abba) or the dystopian aspects of Les Misérables.


Synopsis from the Theatre: In the basement of the exploitative King family live nine people on the edge of the world. Card sharps, artists, sex workers, and more make up this dynamic cast of characters, whose dreams and realities bump against the low ceiling society has built for them. When a stranger arrives with a message of hope, their situation is challenged and their lives upended. An ensemble of fourteen actors paint a vivid portrait of life in the margins of society. Love, poverty, addiction, loss, and healing play across the stage in this contemporary adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s classic play. The Lower Depths was first produced by the Moscow Art Theatre on December 18, 1902, where it was directed by Konstantin Stanislavsky. It is Gorky’s best known play and is now a hallmark of Russian realism.

Attended Performance Date: Opening Night 2/8/24 – Keep your eyes peeled for my preview posts if you want earlier notification of shows I’ve seen. Get your tickets now since the show ends this weekend!

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: A couple

Several or Few Settings/Locations: Two

Static (Stationary) Set? Yes

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: No, but I imagine you’d appreciate this more if you’re familiar with the original play by Maxim Gorky.

Defined Plot/Storyline: This play was more dialogue with less action and less story.

Equity Actors: A whopping 10!

Total Number of Actors: 14

Perceived Pace of the Show: Slow to medium speed

Length (Including Any Intermission): 2.5 hours

Was there an intermission? Yes

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? No

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above

  • Dawn: I enjoyed Dawn’s (played by Esther Okech) character the most. Her visual stark transformation in the 1st act was unexpected and she said a poignant statement towards the effect of “If I’m such a burden to society, why do I feel so weighed down.” Plus, I’m always of fan of dramatic dishware smashing.

Theatre Company: The Seagull Project and Intiman Theatre

Venue: Erickson Theatre Off Broadway

Venue Physical Address: 1524 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Price: Cheap to Expensive

Tickets: https://www.intiman.org/depths/

Ticket Affordability Options: The ticketing website offers honor code discount options for students, military, industry, … or anybody. They also offer 20 free rush tickets 1 hour in-person before each performance.

Dates: February 6 to February 24, 2024

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: It’s Capitol Hill … so good luck. Try taking the bus. Ironically, the lots on Harvard Avenue across Seattle Central College are cheaper than street parking. Geeez!

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Pictures: See pictures below and in video above by Joe Moore.

Miguel Castellano and Alexandra Tavares in The Lower Depths. Photo by Joe Moore.
Julie Briskman and Tyler Polumsky in The Lower Depths. Photo by Joe Moore.
Charles Leggett and Julie Briskman in The Lower Depths. Photo by Joe Moore.
Amy Thone in The Lower Depths. Photo by Joe Moore.
Amy Thone and Sharva Maynard in The Lower Depths. Photo by Joe Moore.
Amy Thone, Antonio Mitchell, and Tyler Polumsky in The Lower Depths. Photo by Joe Moore.
Amy Thone, Antonio Mitchell, and Tyler Polumsky in The Lower Depths. Photo by Joe Moore.

The Book of Will – Play – Review – Taproot Theatre

@showsiveseen Lauren Gunderson's "The Book of Will" #play at @TaprootTheatre. Enthusiastic delivery. Nice #Tudor costumes. Love letter to #Shakespeare, #acting, posterity, & legacy. #theatre #showsiveseen ♬ Takes forever – Subyub Lee

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): The Book of Will play at Taproot Theatre. Enthusiastic delivery. Nice Tudor costumes. Love letter to Shakespeare, acting, posterity, and legacy.

Recommendation
See it if you enjoyed Bruce or if you’re a Shakespeare fan.


Synopsis from the Theatre: An unforgettable true story! In an act of undying devotion, Shakespeare’s best friends race to do the impossible: Publish every play he wrote. This irreverent, witty, and surprisingly modern tale celebrates friendship, found family, and an unselfish act that changed the world forever. From the author of Silent Sky and the Christmas at Pemberley series.

Attended Performance Date: Opening Night 1/26/24 – Keep your eyes peeled for my preview posts if you want earlier notification of shows I’ve seen. Get your tickets now since the show ends this weekend!

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: Several

Several or Few Settings/Locations: Several

Static (Stationary) Set? Yes

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: Obviously, you should be familiar with Shakespeare references and his major plays.

Defined Plot/Storyline: Yes

Equity Actors: 2

Total Number of Actors: 10

Perceived Pace of the Show: Medium Speed

Length (Including Any Intermission): 2.5 hours

Was there an intermission? Yes

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? No

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above

  • Purpose of Theatre/Acting: My favorite scene was at the beginning of the second act when John Heminges (played by Eric Jensen) and Henry Condell (played by Reginald André Jackson) solemnly waxed poetically about the reason for live theatre – it’s so the people in the room can feel. “The faeries aren’t real, but the feeling is.”

Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)

  • Storyline: It’s not an absolute requirement, but it didn’t feel like the storyline followed the classic narrative structure of the typical plot pyramid/diagram. Additionally, similar to Bruce, there didn’t seem like enough substantial significant conflict or cliffhanger. The deaths seemed random/unnecessary, and characters appeared out of nowhere.

Theatre Company: Taproot Theatre

Venue: Jewell Mainstage at Taproot Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 204 N 85th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Price: Medium

Tickets: https://taproottheatre.org/shows/2024/the-book-of-will/

Ticket Affordability Options: TodayTix/Goldstar

Dates: January 24 to February 24, 2024

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Paid lot or usually-free street parking. I always find free street parking on Greenwood Ave just South of the theatre.

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Pictures: See pictures below and in video above by John Ulman.

Reginald André Jackson, Nolan Palmer, and Eric Jensen in The Book of Will at Taproot Theatre. Photo by John Ulman.
Nolan Palmer and Melanie Godsey in The Book of Will at Taproot Theatre. Photo by John Ulman.
Andrew Litzky and Nik Doner in The Book of Will at Taproot Theatre. Photo by John Ulman.
Reginald André Jackson and Eric Jensen in The Book of Will at Taproot Theatre. Photo by John Ulman.
Llysa Holland, Nikki Visel, Eric Jensen, and Reginald André Jackson in The Book of Will at Taproot Theatre. Photo by John Ulman.
Reginald André Jackson, Melanie Godsey, Nik Doner, and Eric Jensen in The Book of Will at Taproot Theatre. Photo by John Ulman.
Eric Jensen and Llysa Holland in The Book of Will at Taproot Theatre. Photo by John Ulman.