Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations – Musical – Paramount Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations jukebox musical w/ Broadway at the Paramount and Seattle Theatre Group. Imagine a mashup of the musicals Motown and Jersey Boys. Tight harmonies and smooth dance moves. Even the synchronized stage clapping sounded good! #theatre #retro

Synopsis from the Theatre: Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations is the electrifying, new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Nominated for 12 Tony® Awards and the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography, Ain’t Too Proud tells the thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal, as the group’s personal and political conflicts threatened to tear them apart during a decade of civil unrest in America. Written by three-time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), and featuring the Tony-winning choreography of Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!), the unforgettable story of this legendary quintet is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more.

Reviewed Performance: 1/24/23- Opening Night

Type: Jukebox Musical

World Premiere: No

Awards: 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography

Defined Plot/Storyline: Plot was semi-defined but not strong. But this is typical in a jukebox musical. It is also expected from shows written in biographical form (like this one). There is no strong plot in real life!

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes

Recommendation: See it especially if you’re a fan of the Temptations group. You don’t need to be a fan of their music to enjoy the show. I only knew 1/4 of the songs and my dad only knew 2 of the songs.

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 of them

Number of Actors: 22

Length: 2.5 to 2.75 hours, which felt a little longer than what I’m used to

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Voices: Obviously, all the actors had amazing voices. But a special shoutout goes to Devin Price (Al Bryant) with his powerful tenor in “(You Make Me Want to) Shout.” Elijah Ahmad Lewis (David Ruffin) was a great replacement for Devin when the Temptations kicked Devin’s character out the group. The tenors don’t get all the glory in this show though. Harrell Holmes Jr showcased his incredible bass voice as Melvin Franklin. He “got bass lower than the devil!”
  • Lighting Design: The stage haze elegantly highlighted the simple clean lines of the bright spotlights dramatically shining directly downward on each of the Temptations. The marquees on the set reminded me of ritzy classic showbiz. The large lightbulbs that suddenly shined directly behind the Temptations were elegant and glamourous. The designers even included details like “hot lights” on TV set video recorders in the American Bandstand scenes.
  • Costumes: The costumes conveyed a vintage feel. I was strangely drawn to the funeral attire, which was very elegant, simple, and old money. The classic black umbrellas were also a nice addition to the funeral scene.
  • Supremes: I was pleasantly surprised that they included some numbers sung by the Supremes like “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Rant(s)

  • Views in the Paramount Theatre: Warning, soapbox ahead! Let me just start out saying that I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to review this show and my seat was well-placed. It was on the aisle at the center where I could theoretically see everything. It was also not too close or far from the stage. However, most patrons at the Paramount Theatre tend to significantly obstruct the view of the person directly behind them. I’ve been burned too many times by this. I’ve even sat in the third row of the center main floor orchestra and a head still annoyingly blocked my view, which was very disappointing especially after paying more than $100 on that ticket. Several regular Seattle theatre patrons have voiced the same concern with Paramount Theatre seats. It is ironic that the arguably most prestigious theatre in the city (which also hosts most touring Broadway shows) also has the highest possibility of an obstructed view. I’ve never experienced this at 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, or ACT Theatre. Unfortunately, at the Paramount Theatre, you’re only safe with a view in a section’s first row (whether orchestra or mezzanine) with a walkway buffer in front of you. You’d also be safe in the back row of a section propped up by two seat pillows. I wish the Paramount Theatre could change the elevation grade/slope to be steeper and I also wish they would stagger the seats better. Hopefully the “Save a Seat” program will prevent obstructed views that make it difficult to review/enjoy shows. First world problems, right? 😛

Other Thought(s)

  • Historical Anecdotes: A couple interesting historical facts were mentioned throughout the show. For example, apparently there have been more than 25 Temptations members since the group’s inception. Also, one of the past members was known for sneaking on-stage to perform after the group fired him!

Theatre Company: National Tour from Broadway Across America and Seattle Theatre Group

Venue: Paramount Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 911 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: Medium to Expensive

Ticket Affordability Options: Seattle Theatre Group might partner with an organization you’re affiliated with for discount tickets. For example, I believe UW employees and students are eligible for an organization discount.

Dates: January 24 – February 5, 2023

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Paid street parking and paid garage parking. The best parking garage is under the convention center w/ the entrance on Pike around the Pike and Terry intersection. Last I checked, this is one of the cheapest, least busy, and closest garages. Alternatively, you can probably find street parking as you move closer to the West Precinct (810 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101). Do NOT park where the Paramount subscribers park. Last I checked, they usually park in the garage attached to the Cheesecake Factory. It’ll take you at least 30 minutes to exit that garage after the show.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures under video

@showsiveseen "Ain't Too Proud: The Life & Times of the #Temptations" #jukebox #musical w/ @seattletheatregroup at Paramount #Theatre. Imagine a mashup of the musicals #Motown & Jersey Boys. Tight harmonies & smooth dance moves. Even the synchronized stage clapping sounded good! Review: showsiveseen.com/3482 @motownrecords #retro @officialtemptations ♬ My Girl (from "My Girl") – Hollywood Session Singers
National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Original Broadway Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Harrell Holmes Jr., Jalen Harris, Harris Matthew, Marcus Paul James, James T. Lane from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Jalen Harris and the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Harrell Holmes Jr., Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Jalen Harris, Marcus Paul James, James T. Lane from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Traci Elaine Lee, Deri’Andra Tucker, Shayla Brielle G. from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Jalen Harris, Marcus Paul James, Harrell Holmes Jr., James T. Lane from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Marcus Paul James, Jalen Harris, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Harrell Holmes Jr., James T. Lane from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.

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

House of Hearts – Dinner Show – Can Can Culinary Cabaret

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): House of Hearts burlesque cabaret show at Can Can Culinary Cabaret. Very Moulin Rouge w/ all the luxurious red velvet trappings/tapestry. New larger (but still intimate) venue since the last time I saw a show here in 2019.

Synopsis from the Theatre: All peace is disrupted in the Land of Broken Hearts when Queen Astral’s daughter, Aurora (Shadou Mintrone), falls in love with the town fool, Puck (Jonathan Betchtel), at the Broken Hearts Ball, the fastidious annual gathering where speaking or feeling love is forever banned and punishable by death. Luna (Jasmine Jean Sim) tries to contain the peace and order by convincing the Queen to have mercy and a change of heart to reverse the archaic laws she once created that would subject her very own daughter to death. When the chaos unravels, will the love escape the grasp of the Queen’s tortured past and prevail to save her very own daughter? Your presence at the House of Hearts will reveal the answers to these curiosities and more.

Reviewed Performance: 1/19/23

Type: Dinner Cabaret Show

World Premiere: Likely – I think most of their shows are produced new in-house

Awards: None, which is expected for world premieres

Defined Plot/Storyline: Like most dinner shows, there was no well-defined plot. The story was more of a framework for each act.

Live Band/Orchestra: No

Recommendation: See it if you like burlesque, cabaret, Teatro ZinZanni, Triple Door (especially Verlaine & McCann), or dinner shows.

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: This is the first time I saw this production, but I previously saw Bon Bon at their previous location years ago.

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

Equity Actors: Not tracked in shows like this

Length: Less than 90 minutes

Intermission: There were two 5-10 minute intermissions

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Energy: Kudos to Puck (Jonathan Betchtel) the jester for his energy emceeing the show … on a Thursday nonetheless!
  • Cabaret Musical Song: This show included singing and I was pleasantly surprised to hear them perform the classic song “Don’t Tell Mama” from the Cabaret musical. It was very fitting for a show like this.
  • Jester in Training: Puck picked a cute guy Noah from the audience to be his jester-in-training. Surprisingly, Noah was a really good sport about it and even had some moves.

Rant(s)

  • Bass: Call me an old fart, but the bass was too loud.
  • View: While their new venue ads more seats in the house, some seats now have a poorer view. I don’t recommend sitting far away from the center … no matter how inviting the cozy corner table looks! You’ll miss the view from the other side of the room. The show started at 7PM but they recommended you arrive at 6-6:30 PM for better seats. Don’t worry, you can order/eat food and drinks while you wait for the show to start.

Theatre Company: Can Can Culinary Cabaret

Venue: Can Can Culinary Cabaret

Venue Physical Address: 95 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: Medium Expensive

Ticket Affordability Options: I couldn’t find any but that’s expected for dinner shows since they’re usually for-profit unlike traditional play/musical theatres.

Dates: January 12 to March 26, 2023

Seating: General admission that is assigned by a host(ess) like in a restaurant. You can also purchase upgraded tickets to guarantee a better seat.

Parking: I usually walk or transit anywhere near Pike Place Market. Street parking is typically difficult around here. I think the cheapest evening garage lot is Pike Place garage (1531 Western Ave P, Seattle, WA 98101).

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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 "House of Hearts" #burlesque #cabaret show at @cancanseattle. Very #MoulinRouge w/ all the luxurious red velvet trappings. New larger (but still intimate) venue since the last time I saw a show here in 2019. Review: showsiveseen.com/3406 #CanCan ♬ Cancan – As des As
NameRole
Jonathan Betchtel Puck
Shadou Mintrone Aurora
Jasmine Jean Sim Luna
Richard Peacock Queen Astral
Sasha Voyt Persia
Chris Pink Artistic Director and Founder
Fae PinkChoreographer
Jonathan Betchtel Co-Producer and Emcee
Shadou Mintrone Co-Producer and Costumes
Fae Pink & Dave Pezzner Soundtrack
Robert Matos Lighting and Sound Production
Jerena Layacan and Britta Baer-SimonLight and Sound Technician
Robert Aguilar Lighting Designer
Nate Watters Photography
Vicente T. Capala lll Videography, Graphic Design and Marketing

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