Posts

Heaven, or something like it

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Earlier in June, I saw I and You , a play by Lauren Gunderson at Strawberry Theater Workshop ’s (ongoing until July 9) Strawberry Jam at the 12th Avenue Arts space on Capitol Hill. Near the end, there is a transformative moment where I realized the world I thought I was in, was not really the world at all. Afterwards, talking with friends, it hit me how what I viewed as the conventions of theater tricked me into staying in the old world.  I had been unable to think of a good way to introduce this concept. This week, though, I found the perfect example in the movie The Sixth Sense. It’s the scene where Malcom (Bruce Willis) arrives late for dinner with his wife Anna (Olivia Williams). She is at a table for two but there is only one place-setting. Malcolm apologizes for being late. He thought dinner was going to be at a different Italian restaurant. Then he talks and talks. Anna never says a word. The check comes and Anna appears to snatch it away from Malcolm just as he is reaching for

Hot in the city

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Seattle, June 26, 2022 -- Having procrastinated on renewing my “tabs,” I needed to pick them up in-person today. Last night, the DOL web site asked me, are you sure you want to have them mailed to you? You have only two days left until your tabs expire (dummy.)  So, I go down to the licensing agency in Ballard today.  I regret it immediately. The line is out the door and it’s pretty hot in that old building up on the second floor. The line moves slowly. I’m glad I paid for 45 minutes on the parking meter.  Finally, a third window opens up. Someone says, “If you’re just picking up tabs you can go to window three.”  I race over there but pretty soon someone else rushes into the place and says, “That’s my dog!” I’m thinking, what, do they sell dog licenses here? Maybe, right? Who knows?  But soon it becomes clear that this person left their dog in their car – remember it’s a really hot day, and somehow the staff had rescued the dog and were holding it behind the counter. At this point the

Cabaret by Reboot Theatre Company

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I hear the first few notes of Wilkommen , so iconic and thrilling. I know I’m in for a treat. Reboot Theatre Company’s Cabaret pulls it off. The score is loaded with can’t-miss songs. The cast comes through on one after another. Heather Refvem as Sally Bowles delivers on the big numbers, Maybe This Time and Cabaret . June Apollo Johns as the Emcee is delightfully silly, particularly on Two Ladies and If You Could See Her . But two other songs featuring Fraulein Schneider (Michelle Blackmon) and Herr Schultz (Ellen Dessler-Smith) bring the show home, with their mixture of beauty and sadness. It Couldn't Please Me More is the one where the humble fruit vendor, Herr Schultz woos equally humble boarding house manager Fraulein Schneider by giving her a gift of a pineapple. It’s rare, exotic and represents pure delight. They never enjoy it, though. Schneider sings, Then we shall leave it here Not to eat, but see On Married , Blackmon and Dessler-Smith are joined by Alexei C

On this day ...

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This popped up on Facebook because I posted it two years ago today. I think it's worth re-posting here as a little slice of what they call "actor life."  April 19, 2020 Amazingly alive, creative day today! It started off with an online, group audition for a new show by Dacha called Funfair. I really wasn't sure how it would work on Zoom but it did. The first energizing, magic part is when you break into small groups and create a scene from nothing. You get a few prompts and a few minutes and then they say "go!" Our little group was on fire. We created a whole world in six minutes and presented it to the other dozen or so actors and the creative team. I was so proud of our cohesion and our artistry. The other groups were just as good. Then we moved on to the one-on-one part. I got to create a character, again from basically nothing and have her go interact with one of the members of the creative team. I was this whole other person, Daisy Lansing, on a Disne

The trip to bountiful

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This is the second house I lived in as seen on Google Maps. In 1975 there was a Pin Oak tree in the front yard. You can tell where it used to be. At that time, I could almost touch my thumb to my forefinger around the trunk. Over the years it got really big and beautiful. It had to be at least 30 feet tall or more.   I moved away in 1989. My parents sold the place maybe four or five years ago. The tree was still there. I could only ever see it on the internet. For some reason, I checked again yesterday and it was gone. The branches used to intrude on the house and the leaves practically paved the yard and were a chore to get rid of. That’s probably why they cut it down. It’s sad for some reason.

The Thin Place, at ACT

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I’m often the first to clap. Most of the time, it is really easy to know when a play has ended. Sometimes, it’s a little less clear. Many of those times, it’s me who starts the applause as I sense the end. This happened just recently at Hotter than Egypt at ACT. It ends, as I recall, with one character peering out across the Nile into a hopeful future. I knew that was it.  Not so tonight. Again at ACT, I saw The Thin Place. It was obvious when it was nearing the end. Then there’s a blackout. Then one of the characters walks back on stage. It seemed like the end. It would be a good place to put the end, I thought. But in the context of the play, there maybe could have been a final monologue from that character, maybe even a whole scene. Then a second character comes out. Again, I wondered if there would be more story. Then the final two actors appear and it’s clear to everyone that this is the curtain call. Show’s over. We all clapped.  Thinking about it, this fit the theme of the show:

Movie Moment for Sunday, March 6, 2022

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Just tuned into this movie on regular, over-the-airwaves TV channel 44-2, called Somewhere in the Night and it happened to be right at the beginning of this restaurant scene. The YouTube video should start at the top of the scene: restaurant scene  At first I was fascinated by the shot tracking the waiter to the table. It's a (much) shorter version of the kind of scenes people rave about in Goodfellas, the new West Side Story and so forth where the camera takes you all the way down the high school hallway, or all the way from the street through the restaurant and to the table.  In this movie, when they get to the table, the four actors at the table eat dinner (or maybe lunch?) as the scene goes on. This also was fascinating. I loved watching them all eat the noodle dishes and then the crunchy fried chow mein noodles, all while the high-stakes dialogue churns along.  I once acted in a play, How the Other Half Loves that has a long dinner scene in which I ate meatloaf and slices of a