What a cliche…summer really DID start on July 5th this year!
Now that it’s GORGY outside you probably don’t want to be indoors watching actors be all dramatic on area stages, but there’s so many potentially awesome shows opening up this month, that we insist dedicated theater nerds drag their asses away from their patio cocktails and sample at least a few local theater offerings.
There’s two lulu bells opening tonight…Strawberry Theatre Workshop is back at the Erickson Theatre Off Broadway for the start of their 2 show summer season. They’re kicking things off with a remount of a show they did back in 2005, their hugely well received production of Dario Fo’s “Accidental Death of an Anarchist” and once again it’s directed by Stranger Genius Award winner, Gabriel Baron. And, yeah, it’s about an “accidental” death of an anarchist which means it’s timely as hell in our local political climate….
Nobel Prize laureate Dario Fo probes the death of a railway worker in police custody in “Accidental Death of an Anarchist”, opening July 5 for a limited run at the Erickson Theatre Off Broadway in Seattle. Rooted in Italian traditions of farce and commedia dell’arte, “Anarchist” is a ballet of clowning, buffoonery, wit, and scathing satire set in a corrupt police headquarters and orchestrated by a heroic madman….Ryan Higgins takes a turn as The Maniac. The corrupt cops are MJ Sieber, Timothy Hyland, Galen Joseph Osier, and Jason Harber, with Rhonda J Soikowski playing the intrepid Reporter.
Recent events including the Occupy Movement and the federal investigation of the Seattle Police Department inspired this theatrical response.
Artistic Director Greg Carter says, “For seven years, activists have asked me why we don’t do more plays like ‘Anarchist’. It’s because there are no other plays like ‘Anarchist’. It is a Monty Python sketch interwoven with deep political satire, and a call to action.”
Gabriel Baron says, “I feel like there is a large percentage of the American population that needs an awakening slap in the face. Not only do they need–they want a slap in the face. As long as that slap is accompanied by a cheesecake. In the case of Dario Fo’s ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’, the slap in the face is a good hard look at a very tragic, very real event perpetrated by the same powers meant to protect us from harm and seek out justice for harm-doers, while the cheesecake is a madcap, roller-coaster of laughs and fun.”
“Anarchist” plays Thursdays through Sundays at 8pm, now through August 4th. Get tickets HERE!
If you’re an admirer of Tennessee Williams and/or the film adaptation of his play, “Suddenly Last Summer”, now is your chance to check out a local stage production of that play. Theatre 9/12 is presenting this seldom produced play starting tonight, at Trinity Parish Church Parish Hall, 609 8th Avenue (at James Street) on First Hill. If it’s been awhile since you’ve viewed the overwrought film version starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Katharine Hepburn, let’s refresh your memory about the plot. Catherine Holly has been locked up in the Booby Hatch after something nasty happened (last summer) while on vacation with her wealthy aunt Mrs. Venable and her cousin Sebastian. Catherine is under the care of the hunky Dr. “Sugar” Cukrowicz who doesn’t believe that Catherine is mentally ill and resists efforts by Mrs.Venable to have Catherine lobotomized. The evil Mrs. Venable is trying to cover up some unpleasant secrets about her son Sebastian and what exactly happened to him, “suddenly, last summer”.
Hint: my headline refers to Sebastian’s fate.
Charles Waxberg directs a terrific cast that includes Lisa Carswell as the nasty Mrs. Venable, Joey Fechtel as Dr. Sugar, Sarah Milici as Elizabeth Taylor/Catherine and Kate Szyperski as Catherine’s wishy washy mother. Sadly, we don’t see Sebastian onstage…or, his grotesque and highly improbable fate.
“Suddenly Last Summer” will be staged Fri/Sat at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm (except for July 15) through the end of the month. Get tickets HERE!
Don’t forget…the Intiman Festival opens next week, including the premiere of Dan Savage’s new play about drag queens and Helen Keller…it’s called “Miracle!” and it sounds like another lulu bell….