Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Hairy Baby - Seattle University

The Hairy Baby
Seattle University’s Lee Center
Tickets and Information
May 8-18, 2008

Ki Gottberg’s original production The Hairy Baby finally finds her land legs and gets rambling in Seattle University’s Lee Center for the Arts. A project that began in 1994 and is based on many true-life experiences of Ki, herself, the cast and crew of The Hairy Baby take the audience “through the looking glass” so to speak into an Alice-In-Wonderland-like world of endless possibilities.

Claire (Molly Tomhave) and Michael (Damian Peterson) open the show expressing their love and doubts about marriage only to eventually find born unto them a baby – a hairy baby – literally. This hairy baby unravels their marriage sending Claire running to an artist colony where she has to discover her own artistic passions and the true meaning of Michael’s and her love.

The show is incredibly precise, and must be in order to function well. There are rapid shifts in perspective, location, action and logic or a lack thereof. Gottberg’s writing, though very heightened beyond anything resembling average speech patterns of a typical American audience, comes though loud and clear through her direction of the performers.

The set design by Carol Wolfe Clay is magical to say the least. When the world of art is revealed to the audience, each member of said audience will undoubtedly be blown away. Similarly, Harmony J.K. Arnold’s costumes exceed anything known in the perceivable spectrum of color and quality. Standing out in this show is the live music and original compositions by Brendan Hogan. His performance of the entire score to the show as well as the creation of so many sound effects live adds the extra flare to the show that pushes it fully into the rabbit hole.

The cast of professionals (Charles Leggett and Elizabeth Kenny) and students comes together like a well-oiled machine. Their performances meld beautifully. Every character holds a specific key to understanding the show and every performer holds the audience’s attention magically. There is truly never a dull moment.

There is only one more weekend to see this world-premier show, so get tickets soon by calling the Lee Center box office at 206.296.2244!

Review by Nigel Andrews

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