Po Boy Tango – Play – Tacoma Little Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Po Boy Tango play at Tacoma Little Theatre. Poetic food descriptions made me so hungry that I bought concessions at intermission … & I never do that! #theatre

Synopsis from the Theatre: Po Boy Tango tells the story of Richie Po, a Taiwanese immigrant who turns to his estranged friend Gloria, an African-American Soul Food Chef, to help him recreate his mother’s ‘Great Banquet’. Despite the challenges of shark fin soup, duck po boy sandwiches, and underlying cultural tensions, they find common ground through their shared humor and the blending of traditional Chinese cuisine and African-American soul food. Helped by lessons from Po Mama’s television cooking show, the two discover a deeper understanding of food, culture, and the nature of friendship.

Reviewed Performance: 1/20/23 – Opening Night

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Awards: TCG Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award (2008)

Defined Plot/Storyline: There was no well-defined plot. It was more dialogue.

Live Band/Orchestra: N/A

Recommendation: See it if you like shows that are more dialogue than story

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4.25 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: None

Length: 2.5 hours, which felt a little longer than what I’m used to

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Stage Backgrounds: Some of the projected backgrounds realistically complemented well with the stage furniture. For example, when the lights turned on in the first scene, I was wondering how they changed stage furniture so quickly but then realized I was seeing a kitchen cabinetry projection on the background projection with a kitchen island furniture piece on the foreground.

Rant(s)

  • Stagehand: There were two instances where I could see the stagehand in the back and I was wondering if they were part of the scene. They were not.

Other Thought(s)

  • Conflicts: Maybe I’m an unfeeling dense robot but I didn’t grasp the 10-year conflict. I mean, people sometimes drift apart and that’s life, right? I also didn’t understand what caused the anger at the end of act one.

Theatre Company: Tacoma Little Theatre

Venue: Tacoma Little Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 210 N I St, Tacoma, WA 98403

Price: Cheap

Ticket Affordability Options: Try the PWYC (Pay What You Can) performance on February 2nd or GoldStar

Dates: January 20 – February 5, 2023

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Mostly street parking. I usually like to park one block away on North Yakima Ave. Season ticket holders and donors can access a free parking lot.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video by Dennis K Photography

Cast and Production Team: See below pictures

@showsiveseen “Po Boy Tango” #play at @tacomalittletheatre. #Poetic #food descriptions made me so hungry that I bought concessions at intermission … & I never do that! Review + Photo Credit: showsiveseen.com/3445 #Taiwanese #black #POC #BiPOC #soulFood #Chinese #theatre ♬ Tango – ABIR
Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon) & Richie Po (Sam Lai)
Po Mama (Aya Hashiguchi)
Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon) & Richie Po (Sam Lai)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
Po Mama (Aya Hashiguchi)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
NameRole
Michelle Blackmon Gloria
Aya HashiguchiPo Mama
Sam Lai Richie Po
Kenneth Lin Playwright
David Hsieh Director
Thomas Robinson Stage Manager
Allen Melo Assistant Stage Manager
Blake R. YorkTechnical Director/Graphic Design
Burton K. Yuen Scenic Designer & Visuals
Michele Graves Costime Designer
Dylan Twiner Production Manager/Sound Designer
Niclas Olson Lighting Designer
Frank Roberts Lead Carpenter/Properties Designer
Jax Averna Assitant Properties Designer
Nate Lovitt Shop Assistant
Jennifer York Scenic Artist
Chandler Garry Sound Board Operator
Mauro Bozzo Hair and Wig Consultant
Dennis K Photography Photography

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter – Play – Seattle Repertory Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter play based on the book at Seattle Rep. Diverse audience/cast takes me back to San Antonio. Sly, wry, and unexpected-but-well-timed comedic quips to the 4th wall. Deliciously dramatic Quinceanera climax right before intermission.

Synopsis from the Theatre: As she grieves the death of her older sister, Júlia Reyes faces pressure to put her own dreams of becoming a writer on hold. She finds herself caught between her family’s expectations and the less than perfect life she grapples with every day as a 15-year-old growing up in Chicago. A rich and poignant exploration of how to transcend your circumstances while remaining true to who you are.

Reviewed Performance: 1/18/23 on opening night

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Awards: None for the stage adaptation but several for the book

Defined Plot/Storyline: Plot was semi-defined. It felt more like several chronologically consecutive stories and not one big story. But I guess that’s real life!

Recommendation: See it especially if you have any connection to Mexican American culture

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now: Maybe

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4.5 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: All actors are Equity but all understudies are not

Length: It felt a little long at 2.5 hours

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Romantic Scenes: Unlike the first act, the second act included more romantic comedy scenes, which I’m usually a sucker for. The main character Julia (pronounced in Spanish who-lee-yah) told the 4th wall that she felt like Julia Roberts. The non-explicit sex scene was funny and well-executed.
  • Mystery: I didn’t guess the mystery correctly about Olga’s secret life. That probably bodes well for the play.
  • Depression: I appreciated how they touched on mental illness especially when there’s a genetic predisposition. It’s a taboo subject in immigrant family culture … let alone American culture! I only wish they showed the audience ways to manage the depression.

Rant(s)

  • Microphones: Did Seattle Rep stop using microphones or has it always been like this? I noticed ths same thing in their last production. Update 1/21 PM: One of the actors messaged me (thank you!) that Seattle Rep doesn’t typically use microphones on their actors in plays … which baffles me! They likely use them for musicals though.
  • Hospital Scene: There was a major scene in a hospital that felt forgotten once the scene was complete. It was a major event in one of the characters’ life and the next scene felt like nothing critical happened at all.

Other Thought(s)

  • Missing Envelope: I think a second large envelope was supposed to fall from the ceiling in the second act. If there was a technical malfunction, kudos to Karen Rodriguez for the good improvised save.
  • Mom: I wonder how the play’s portrayal of Julia’s mom compares to the book. The mom in this play needed to chill out! She seemed more like an evil stepmother than a biological mother. I still don’t understand why she treated Julia worse than Olga especially with the twist at the end that revealed the mom’s background. I also felt like their reconciliation was too easy and sudden given her terrible treatment throughout the play.
  • Ceiling Furniture: There was an odd transition that felt out of place when a chairs and a dining table were lowered from the ceiling. The juice wasn’t really worth the squeeze for this advanced transition especially with the distracting visible cables. I think they would have been better off manually wheeling in the furniture from backstage.

Theatre Company: Seattle Repertory Theatre

Venue: Seattle Repertory Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 155 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

Price: Medium

Ticket Affordability Options:

Dates: January 13 to February 5, 2023

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: There are paid lots and paid street parking. I usually park on Mercer to the West of 1st Ave. There’s usually also a lot of street parking around Safeway. If there’s an event in Seattle Center or Climate Pledge Arena, street parking is usually limited and much more expensive. In those cases, I’ll park further north up on Queen Anne Hill.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video by Nate Watters.

Cast and Production Team : See below pictures

@showsiveseen “I Am Not Your Perfect #Mexican Daughter” #play based on the book at Seattle Rep. Diverse audience/cast takes me back to San Antonio. Sly, wry, & unexpected-but-well-timed comedic quips to the 4th wall. Deliciously dramatic Quinceanera climax right before intermission. Review + Photo Credit: showsiveseen.com/3348 #theatre ♬ Bidi Bidi Bom Bom – Selena
Karen Rodriguez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
 Jazmín Corona, Karen Rodriguez, Leslie Sophia Pérez, and Eddie Martinez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Karen Rodriguez and Jazmin Corona in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Karen Rodriguez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Karen Rodriguez and Michael Monicatti in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Karen Rodriguez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Karen Rodriguez and Leslie Sophia Pérez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Members of the cast of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Karen Rodriguez and Leslie Sophia Pérez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Marco Antonio Tzunux, Karen Rodriguez, and Leslie Sophia Pérez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
Karen Rodriguez and Sofía Raquel Sánchez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.
RoleName
OlgaSofia Raquel Sanchez*
JúliaKaren Rodriguez*
Amá/Mama JacintaJazmín Corona*
Apá/Tio ChuchoEddie Martinez*
Juanga/Esteban Marco Antonio Tzunux*
Mr. Ingman Aaron Blakely*
Connor Michael Monicatti *
Lorena/Belen Leslie Sophia Perez*
Understudy Apa Jesse Calixto
Understudy Olga/Ama Sophie Franco
Understudy Mr. Ingman Drew Highlands
Understudy Julia/Lorena Pilar O’Connell
Understudy Juanga/Connor Jason Trevino
Scenic Designer Efren Delgadillo Jr.
Costume Designer Danielle Nieves
Lighting Designer Robert J. Aguilar
Sound Designer and Composer John Nobori
Intimacy Director Jess K Smith
Vocal Coach Kate Myre
Dialect Coach Mischelle Lopez-Rios
Quincy Choreography Isaac Gomez
Stage Manager Stina Lotti
Assistant Stage Manager Stefania Giron Zuluaga
Seattle Casting Kaytlin Mcintyre & Shawna Grajek
Addtional Casting X Casting (Victor Vazquez, CSA)
Playwright Isaac Gomez
Novelist Erika Sanchez
Director Juliette Carrillo
*Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Arlington – Play – Washington Ensemble Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Arlington play w/ Washington Ensemble Theatre at 12th Avenue Arts. Experimental-like & abstract. Intriguing scenic/lighting design. Dystopian postapocalyptic Orwellian feel in an asylum-like prison. Peer into the disturbed mind! #theatre

Synopsis from the Theatre: Isla waits for her number to be called. A young woman finally understands her fate. And a young man faces a stark decision. In a cacophony of poetry, art, + dance, Enda Walsh’s Arlington tells an unsuspecting love story amidst a bleak Orwellian dystopia.

Reviewed Performance: 1/14/23 on opening weekend – Sorry for the late review! I was busy because my dad is in town.

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Awards: None

Defined Plot/Storyline: No, this is more abstract, open-ended, & mysterious. Lots of dialogue and dance.

Recommendation: See it if you like weird, abstract, & experimental theatre that make you think and is open to interpretation

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: None

Length: 1.5 hours

Intermission: No but there were technical difficulties that forced them to call an “intermission” and ask the audience to exit the theatre. I actually thought it was part of the performance since the play seemed experimental. Oh, the magic of live theatre!

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Portrayals of Abused/Disturbed Minds: Great depiction of prisoners who are losing their minds in bleak isolation. They also sprinkled in some mild self-abuse and (reverse?) Stockholm Syndrome.
  • Bizarre Scenes: For some reason, I enjoyed the parts when Kiki Abba romanticized a homemade stuffed mannequin or when her captors fed her food from a slot near the floor like in an asylum.
  • Scenic and Lighting Design: Portrayed a mysterious dystopian aura that was enhanced by the intriguing steampunk factory-like lighting design/effects.
  • Dance Break: There was a major scene in the middle of the play dedicated to an abstract/experimental solo dance.

Rant(s)

  • Technical Difficulties: As mentioned previously, there were some technical issues in the middle of the show. While I typically don’t ding performances for these unexpected events, it made me wonder what details I missed before they resolved the technical difficulties. For example, before the audience was asked to leave the theatre, I was thinking to myself that the surveillance room on the stage could use video footage on the screens and more lighting. When we arrived back in the theatre, there was video and more light in the surveillance room. What else did I miss due to the technical issues?

Other Thought(s)

  • Accents: While I appreciate the actors’ effort to speak with UK accents, I doubt speaking with their actual American accents would have detracted any value from the play.

Theatre Company: Washington Ensamble Theatre

Venue: 12th Ave Arts

Venue Physical Address: 1620 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Price: Cheap

Dates: January 12 to January 30, 2023 – Get your tickets now since the opening night was sold out!

Seating: General Admission

Parking: Paid lot or paid street parking. Street parking is extremely limited since it’s Capitol Hill. Your best luck would be East of Cal Anderson Park on 11th or 12th Ave. Cheapest paid lots are on 11th Ave across from the park. Sigh, “cheapest” was $16 dollars for me. :-/ I highly suggest parking far away or taking the bus.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video.

Cast and Production Team : See below pictures

@showsiveseen "#Arlington" #play w/ Washington Ensemble Theatre at 12th Avenue Arts. #Experimental-like & #abstract. #Intriguing scenic/lighting design. #Dystopian #orwellian #postapocalyptic feel in an #asylum-like #prison. Peer into the disturbed mind! Review: showsiveseen.com/3222 #theatre ♬ We Appreciate Power – Grimes
NameRole
Kiki AbbaIsla
Ricky Spaulding Young Man
Amber Tanaka Young Woman
Corinne Park-Buffelen Supervisor
Andreya Pro Maureen
Van Lang Pham Michael
Antony Leroy Fuller The Usual Man
Elda WalshPlaywright
Maggie L. RogersDirector & Sound Design
Andy WalkerAssistant Director & Dramaturg
Symone SanzChoreographer
Kimberly LeStage Manager
Tristan Roberson
(Member of United Scenic Artist, IATSE local 829)
Scenic Director
Nabilah S. AhmedProjections Designer
Hannah GibbsLighting Director
Saira BarbaricCostume Designer
Castor Rosencrantz KentSound Designer
Elliott HartmanProperties Designer
Ryan DunnAssociate Technical Director
Justin DuffianceShop Supervisor
Annie DuffianceResident Scenic Artist
Robert MitchellMaster Electrician
Jeanette SanchesIntimacy Coach
Kayla WalkerDialect Coach
Monty RozemaAssistant Stage Manager

Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – Moore Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Potted Potter show w/ Seattle Theatre Group at Moore Theatre. Left the muggle world for a spell to see a British slapstick comedy retelling of all 7 Harry Potter books. Energetic actors & lots of pop culture references. Slytherin house FTW! #silly #corny

Synopsis from the Theatre: Playing to sold out houses all over the world, the Olivier Award nominated Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books into seventy hilarious minutes. Even if you don’t know the difference between a horcrux and a Hufflepuff, Potted Potter will make you roar with laughter. Created by two-time Olivier Award-nominated actors Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, Potted Potter is perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).

Reviewed Performance: 12/28/22 Opening Night – The real opener 12/27/22 was delayed because of the weather.

Type: Play-ish Comedy Show

World Premiere: No

Awards: Nominated for an Olivier Award

Recommendation: See it if you’re into Harry Potter and British slapstick comedy

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Length: 70 mins

Intermission: No

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Energy: Brendan Murphy was the jester half of the duo. He played opposite Scott Hoatson, who portrayed the sensible Harry Potter. Kudos to Brendan for maintaining his child-like energy throughout the show while portraying around 25 characters.
  • Pop Culture: I was surprised with how many pop culture references they included like when Brendan picked up a copy of 50 Shades of Grey instead of Harry Potter. Fun fact, Christian Grey’s condo in 50 Shades of Grey was at the Escala building, which is two blocks away from the Moore Theatre where this show is performing.
  • Favorite Lines:
    • Something like “Dumbledore was the greatest wizard who ever lived … so he went into teaching?”
    • When mentioning that that the original British title was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone while the American release was re-titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, one of the actors said in a stereotypical uneducated American hick accent, “I’m an American and I don’t know what a philosopher is.”

Rant(s)

  • Video: As usual, I’m not a fan when live theatre includes a segment for the audience to watch a video. I’m here for live theatre, not something I can watch on YouTube! Fortunately, the segment was not that long.

Theatre Company: National Tour (in conjunction with Seattle Theatre Group)

Venue: Moore Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 1932 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: Medium to Expensive

Dates: Only December 28, 2022 to January 1, 2023 – This is a limited Seattle run so buy your ticket today if you want to see this show. The good news there are 2-4 performances on each of the remaining days. Whew!

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: I usually walk or transit here. Street parking is typically difficult around here. There’s obviously paid garage parking since this venue is in downtown. I think the cheapest garage lot is the old Bed Bath and Beyond garage (1930 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101) or the car rental garage (255 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA, 98101). Again, this is 3rd Ave area and it often feels dodgy on certain blocks. Stay safe!

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See additional pictures under video

@showsiveseen #PottedPotter w/ @seattletheatregroup at Moore Theatre. Left the muggle world for a spell to see a #British #slapstick #comedy retelling of all 7 #HarryPotter books. #Energetic actors & lots of pop culture references. Slytherin house FTW! Review: showsiveseen.com/3095 #silly #corny #theatre ♬ Magic (feat. Rivers Cuomo) – B.o.B

Humbug – Play – Renton Civic Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Humbug play at Renton Civic Theatre. Modern take of A Christmas Carol where Scrooge is a cutthroat career-obsessed woman. Terminator was the ghost of #Christmas future! #theatre #CharlesDickens #xmas

Synopsis from the Theatre: As A Christmas Carol with a modern-day twist, Humbug follows the story of Eleanor Scrooge, a ruthlessly ambitious Wall Street executive who has an aversion to Christmas and an insatiable appetite for power. Locked in her office on a snowy Christmas Eve, Eleanor is determined to finish a corporate-takeover proposal until three “advisors” provide her with an eye-opening new appreciation for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. An upbeat and moving adaptation of Dickens’ holiday classic, Humbug is one for the ages. With a contemporary flair, it is a tale the whole family will enjoy!

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Recommendation: See it if you like A Christmas Carol and you like supporting community theatre

Equity Actors: 0

Length: 75 minutes

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Favorite Line: When asked to help a man who collapsed, the ghost of Christmas present said “Back in my day we just bled em!”

Rant(s)

  • Scenic Design: I have a hard time believing the set depicted a 16th floor high rise office. It looked more like the first story of a building in historic downtown.

Theatre Company : Renton Civic Theatre

Venue: Renton Civic Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 507 S 3rd St, Renton, WA 98057

Price: Cheap

Dates: December 2 to December 17, 2022

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Free street parking – I usually park West of the theatre on Morris Ave.

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@showsiveseen#Humbug#play @ Renton Civic Theatre. Modern take on #AChristmasCarol where #Scrooge was a cutthroat career-obsessed woman. Terminator was the ghost of #Christmas future! Read More: showsiveseen.com/2776 #theatre #CharlesDickens #xmas ♬ Please Come Home For Christmas – Charles Brown