Friday, December 19, 2008

Intiman - Special Guests at Black Nativity

SEATTLE— The Total Experience Gospel Choir, soul vocalist Choklate, and gospel singers Jacquie Berg and Karma Johnson are among the guest performers who will join Intiman’s holiday production of Black Nativity during this season’s run.

In addition, a performance will be dedicated to the Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, who retired this year after presiding over the show for its first decade. He has been succeeded by actor G. To’mas Jones, who is delivering the traditional second-act sermon with words about the historic election of Barack Obama.

Black Nativity runs through December 27 at the Intiman Playhouse, 201 Mercer Street at Seattle Center . Tickets range in price from $15 to $45, with discounts available for groups of 15 or more. Tickets are available from or 206.269.1900. The Ticket Office will be open on Mondays from 12-5 pm during the run of the show to accommodate audience demand for tickets.


The schedule of special performances is as follows:

Friday, December 12 at 8 pm: Pastor Patrinell Wright’s Total Experience Gospel Choir, which is celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year, will join the Black Nativity Choir on stage in Act II.

Thursday, December 18 at 7:30 pm: Special performance honoring the Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney; please note that tickets for this performance are $20-$50.

Friday, December 19 at 8 pm: Total Experience alumna Karma Johnson, an American Idol contestant from the show’s first season, returns to Black Nativity as a guest soloist.

Saturday, December 20 at 2 pm and Tuesday, December 23 at 7:30 pm: Jacquie Berg, who performed in the show for three seasons, returns as a guest soloist.

Saturday, December 20 at 8 pm: Choklate, a rising new Seattle-based soul vocalist, joins the show as a guest soloist.

The production is sponsored in part by Safeco Insurance, with additional support from The Boeing Company, U.S. Bancorp Foundation and Starbucks Coffee Company. The participation of the guest artists is made possible by The Boeing Company.

Sound of Music Sing-Along!

5th Avenue
Tickets and Information
Friday, Jan 2, Evening 7:00 PM
Saturday, Jan 3, Matinee 1:00 PM

Boo at Nazis! Wave your edelweiss! Open your Von Trapp and sing!
Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is a 3 1/2 hour “movie event” that includes pre-show festivities, a costume contest, prizes, & non-stop silly film fun. Watch The Sound of Music, original in every way, except that all the song lyrics appear subtitled on the on The 5th Avenue ’s giant screen. Moviegoers receive an official “fun pack,” filled with interactive props. The celebrity guest emcee, John Curley of Evening Magazine, coordinates the vocal warm up and costume contest and gives lessons on participating in Sing-A-Long’s signature jeers and cheers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You Can't Take It With You - Seattle Repertory Theatre

You Can’t Take It With You
Seattle Repertory Theatre
November 28, 2008 – January 3, 2009
Tickets and Information

Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take It With You is a rumpus journey through the lives of two families as they intersect in the name of young love. When Alice Sycamore (Elise Karolina Hunt) wants to bring a potential suitor home from the office – the vice president of the walls street firm where she works – Anthony Kirby Jr (Ben Hollandsworth) she has to first deal with how her family will confront him. With the combination of her writer/painter mother who never finishes a work, her fireworks engineer father and his associate Mr. DePinna, her loafer Grandfather, her aspiring ballerina sister and her husband the printer, not to mention Rheba – the African-American hired help and her boyfriend, Donald, she has quite a handful. She does everything she can to make it work, but when the Kirby’s arrive only the play can tell what will happen from there.

Ben Hollandsworth and Annette Toutonghi. Photo by Chris Bennion.

Warner Shook’s direction is the very image of precision. With a show as tightly written as this, it takes a surgeon of a director with highly trained actors to make it read. As a cast and a production as a whole, they all nail it. The comedy is tight as metal work and the flow of the story is like the stock market itself – in and out of beauty and tragedy like there’s nothing to it. It helps, certainly, to have a cast of Seattle’s heavy-hitters: R. Hamilton Wright, Annette Toutonghi, Cecil Luellen, Anne Allgood and Michael Winters to name just a few. With an eighteen-actor cast the flow of the piece is critical and there is not a slip in sight with You Can’t Take It With You.

Michael Ganio’s set design wows the audience from the moment the curtain rises at the top of the first act. The lavish set that the Rep is so famous for in all their productions does not disappoint. While perhaps, as tends to happen, a bit over-indulgent, the set serves its purpose and certainly is a spectacle to behold. Michael Roth’s and Brendan Patrick Hogan’s music and sound design are impeccable. From the moment the first sound plays, the audience knows they are in for an audible treat for the evening.

Clocking in at about two and a half hours and including two intermissions, the Rep’s You Can’t Take It With You is a hefty investment for the evening but well worth it. It’s a wonderful romp through the ins and outs of inter-familial relations at their most bizarre and they are shown with the scalpel-sharp comedic precision that one hopes to see at a theater like Seattle’s Repertory Theatre.

Review by Nigel Andrews

Friday, December 05, 2008

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - 5th Avenue Theatre

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

5th Avenue Theatre

December 3 – 28, 2008

Tickets and Information

The story in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers dates back past the 1954 MGM film to the American poet Stephen Vincent Benét most famous for his poem about the Civil War, John Brown’s Body. As in the musical, the short story by Benét adapts the Plutarch story about Roman men who kidnap seven Sabine women to take as brides. The musical, however, is presented as only the heart of American Musical Theatre can offer.

Cast of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 5th Avenue. Photo by Chris Bennion

The story is emotional and heartfelt, yes, but it is primarily a rumpus of musical fun from start to finish. Adam Pontipee (Edward Watts) opens the show in search of a wife to take care of him and his six woodsmen brothers. He finds Milly Brandon (Laura Griffith) who, over the course of the show, shows Adam and his biblical brothers what’s what when it comes to women. Watts and Griffith are powerhouses in the proscenium supported by a cast of incredibly skilled dancers and performers. Each and every performer in the 5th Avenue’s production rocks the out-of-this-world choreography by Patti Colombo. Colombo’s style takes this show much beyond its cute, fun, family show to a fully-produced dance piece that will take the kids in the audience for a spectacular ride and awe even the most jaded thespians in the house.

Allison Narver’s direction of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is equally impressive. Her tried and true precision and attention to even the minutest detail makes this show even more hilarious than it seems possible. Her take on this show is a calculated one that shows the flaws in each and every character and, therefore, makes their triumphs even more spectacular. Similarly, Geoffery Alm’s combat direction is specific, technical and flawless. The massive fight sequences and the isolated hits and jabs are all beautifully choreographed and fly like honest blows.

Of course, the production would not be the same without the impeccable set and light design. Anna Louizos (set) and Tom Sturge (lights), both long-time veterans of their craft, take the show to a level of spectacle only reachable by the 5th Avenue. While the production on the whole may seem rather gaudy, all the elements fit like puzzle-pieces and function fabulously.

The 5th Avenue’s production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a definite family gathering show. While on the cutesy side of the American Musical Theatre world, this production takes the technical elements of the dance, the combat and the script and rocks them to a brilliant level.

Review by Nigel Andrews

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Weekly Update 12/3/2008

Seattle Shakespeare
The Servant of Two Masters >January 8 - February 1, 2009
The Turn of the Screw >January 13 - 28, 2009
The Merchant of Venice >March 12 - April 5, 2009
The Tempest >June 4 - 28, 2009

Taproot Theater Company
Gee's Bend >January 28 - February 28, 2009
Tuesdays With Morrie >March 25 - April 25, 2009
Around the World in 80 Days >March 20 - June 20, 2009
Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming >July 18 - August 15, 2009
Enchanted April >September 25 - October 24, 2009

Seattle Children's Theater
Bluenose >October 17 - December 14, 2008
The Wizard of Oz >November 21, 2008 - January 17, 2009
Tomas and the Library Lady >January 9 - March 1, 2009
Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire >January 30 - March 7, 2009
The Tale of Two Cities >March 20 - April 12, 2009
Goodnight Moon >April 10 - June 14, 2009
I Was a Rat! >May 1 - June 14, 2009

Intiman Theater
Black Nativity >November 29 - December 27, 2008
The Year of Magical Thinking
Crime and Punishment
A Thousand Clowns
American Cycle II

Seattle Repertory Theatre
Boom >November 13 - December 14, 2008
You Can't Take It With You >November 28, 2008 - January 3, 2009
The Road to Mecca >January 15 - February 14, 2009
Betrayal >February 19–March 22, 2009
The Seafarer >February 26 - March 28, 2009
Wishful Drinking >April 2, 2009 - May 3, 2009
Breaking Hearts and Taking Names >April 9-May 10, 2009

ACT Theater
A Christmas Carol >November 28 - December 27, 2008
Rock N Roll
The Break/s
Das Barbecu
Runt of the Litter
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Seattle Opera
Pearl Fishers >January 10 - 24, 2009
Bluebeard's Castle & Erwartung >February 21 - March 7, 2009
Marriage of Figaro >May 2 - 16, 2009

The Color Purple >December 16 - 28, 2008
The Lion King >February 11 - March 16, 2009
CATS >April 15 - 19, 2009
Frost Nixon >May 6 - 10, 2009
RENT >June 16 - 21, 2009
Wicked >September 2 - October 4, 2009
August: Osage County >October 27 - November 1, 2009
Fiddler on the Roof >November 27 - December 5, 2009

The 5th Avenue Theatre
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers >December 3 - 28, 2008 - on sale Sep. 19
Memphis >January 27 - February 15, 2008, 2009 - on sale Sep. 19
Hello, Dolly! >March 8 - 29, 2009 - on sale Jan. 9
Sunday in the Park With George >April 21 - May 10, 2009 - on sale Jan. 9
Grease >May 12 - 30, 2009 - on sale Feb. 6


Dimitrou's Jazz Alley
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