We’re WAAAAAAY behind on our theater reportage so today is dedicated to all things STAGE related, both local and national and since there’s a lot to talk about, let’s get this party started…
I‘ve been plugging the Solo Performance Festival for the past three weeks, and with good reason: it’s a great yearly theater event featuring solo works from both local and national artists and this year’s SPF featured a lot of LGBTQ material and artists including Troy Mink’s kookily named “mEnTaL”, Jerick Hoffer’s “Turning Parlor Tricks” and Gerald Alejandro Ford’s “Chicha (Or How To Love A Fashionista Chola Bulldyke)”. You can catch all three of these shows, in repertory, at some point Friday and Saturday (May 6 & 7) and/or you can also help out the festival by donating money to their Kickstarter campaign. They only need $600 more dollars to meet their goal, but only have until tomorrow night to meet it. Support founder Keira McDonald and her festival…it’s a vital part of Seattle’s theater scene and we want it to come back next year. Do IT!
We’re also very delighted to support the wonderful Ben DeLaCreme and Kitten LaRue and their new production company, “DeLaRue Presents”. Ms DeLaCreme, known for her dragalicious cabarets including her beloved Christmas spectacles, and Ms LaRue, known for her burlesque artistry as an “Atomic Bombshell” have teamed up for this new company and their first production is a doozy: “FREEDOM FANTASIA- a liberty encrusted, justice soaked, apple pie scented pageant of patriotism!” which will take place July 1-3, 2011 in West Hall of the Oddfellows Building on Capitol Hill. But, to get to the SHOW you need performers so DeLaRue is holding auditions this Sunday, May 8 from 6-9pm in West Hall and you need to email them at DeLaRuePresents@gmail.com to set up an audition. If you have some mad skillz as an entertainer and enjoy wearing the Red, White and Blue, give it a shot. More info on their Facebook invite. Performers, check it out!
Finally, for this post, some sadness…playwright, director, screen writer Arthur Laurents passed away yesterday at age 93. The book writer for the iconic musicals West Side Story and Gypsy, Laurents was also known for his screenplays for The Way We Were, The Turning Point and Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and his work as a theater director which he continued into his 90’s and included the last revival of Gypsy on Broadway with Patti LuPone in 2008 and the smash revival of West Side Story in 2009. Mr. Laurents was also very much an out gay man, frankly revealing in his memoir, Original Story By, his promiscuous youth in the military during WW II, his relationship with actor Farley Granger (who passed earlier this year) and his 52 year long partnership with Tom Hatcher which ended with Mr. Hatcher’s death in 2006. The writer was known for his humor and his tart tongue and did not suffer fools gladly; Mr. Laurents was highly protective of his work, frequently refusing his permission to stage his productions if he felt the artists involved weren’t appropriate for the material. (For a candid look at the man, check out this interview from Out magazine from last year.) His wit, candor and story telling skills will be missed, not only on Broadway but around the world for all lovers of great theater and film.
A toast to Arthur Laurents.