Here are the things NWT loved (or didn’t) this week, and a few (or more) things to look forward to this weekend.
Highlights this week included a cabaret, a drag show, and two family epics; plus, upcoming shows over Seattle’s Pride weekend, and the (free) Arts in Nature Festival.
For details (like times & ticket info) on these shows and more, view them by date on the Calendar page.
The openings have quieted down considerably from a busy June, with more shows closing than opening. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty to look forward to this summer.
Pride Weekend Arts
Tied into the Pride festivities this weekend is the show Melted Riot by performance art duo Gender Tender. The show runs Friday and Saturday nights at Velocity, with Friday’s show linked with Trans Pride earlier in the evening (a parade ending in the festival at Cal Anderson Park), and Saturday’s show preceded by on-site installations.
This weekend is also the last week to catch longer runs of two queer-centric shows, both of which close on Saturday: They/Them the Festival, a solo show by Sam I’Am featuring opening acts from other trans and non-binary artists at Annex Theatre; and Mae West’s The Drag, “a homosexual comedy in three acts,” put on by Play Your Part Theatre at Gay City Arts, with the show benefiting the Gender Justice League.
Several more short-run shows & events are on this week especially to liven up your Pride. (Unlike theatre runs and one-offs, most of these events aren’t on NWT’s Calendar page, so we’ve included links to more below.)
Running now through Friday is Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay & Lesbian Community at NW Film Forum; featuring a special introduction by a real live witness to gay history on Friday (info here)
Thursday is a one-night-only stand-up comedy show called Gender Is a Joke 3, held at Annex Theatre in connection with the They/Them festival, and benefiting Gender Alliance of the South Sound (show info here)
Also Thursday, the Clock-Out Lounge, one of NWT’s very favorite venues, hosts the pride edition of Tush!, its monthly drag takeover on Beacon Hill (info here)
Thursday and Friday, BeautyBoiz, the still-active arm of the on-hiatus theatre company Forward Flux, hosts a pair of parties: Iconz and Queer AF (info here)
Thursday through Saturday, a gathering at Copious called Introvert Pride sounds like a great escape from the masses (info here)
And Friday is Them Fatales, an all non-binary burlesque revue, at Re-Bar (info here)
Note: NWT’s roundup picks a few arts-centered highlights, but doesn’t try to list everything going on for Pride weekend. For a much more robust listing, check out Seattle Gay Scene’s calendar page here, and pride weekend guide here.
Other Events This Week
This weekend is the annual Arts in Nature Festival, in which many many artists take over Camp Long, a real outdoorsy cabins-and-everything campground in West Seattle, and put on shows in virtually every crevice of the grounds, from performances in the fields to workshops in the cabins. The lineup includes plenty of artists across all genres, along with workshops and family-friendly events. And, like last year, there’s even a beer garden. This year, admission is free. Hosted by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. Info here.
Closing this Sunday are the short-play duo The War in Heaven and The Waste Land, a coproduction of New City Theatre and ACTLab at ACT (see NWT’s interview with New City’s Mary Ewald and John Kazanjian here); and The Agitators, a new play about Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, at West of Lenin (see NWT’s interview with director Valerie Curtis-Newton here). And closing its extension on Saturday at Seattle Rep is Tiny Beautiful Things, about memoirist Cheryl Strayed’s time as an anonymous advice columnist named “Sugar”; the play has been immensely popular and features a great cast, but a fairly forgettable script.
On Thursday (6/28), Seattle Playwrights Salon holds its monthly reading at the Conservatory in Georgetown, this one a showcase of four short plays by four different playwrights: Pamela Carter, Lauren Fulton, Barbara Lindsay, and David Summers.
This weekend only, Theatre Off Jackson hosts Booger Red, a solo show by Jim Loucks about a hellfire and brimstone Southern Baptist preacher and his son (Update: this show has been cancelled due to illness.)
For fans of Game of Thrones who are disgruntled at its ending, storyteller/fablist Bret Fetzer will rewrite it for you on Saturday (6/29) in Cafe Nordo’s Knife Room, in the succinctly titled What Went Wrong in Westeros (and Why).
On Sunday (6/30) is a one-night reading of The Kid Who Could Fly, a play by Shana Bestock & Wayne Rawley about the adventures of a group of kids in a mobile home park. It’s held at the U-Heights auditorium (in the U-District), with all tickets on a pay-what-you-can basis.
Tuesday there’s usually not too much going on in theatre — but you can choose between a night at Alchemy Poetry featuring Carlynn Newhouse (three-time Youth Speaks Grand Slam champion — she’s really damn good) at Wa Na Wari (info here); or a throwdown of ‘90s trivia with MAP Theatre at the Clock-Out Lounge (info here).
Champagne Widow, originally slated to close this weekend, will instead have an extra weekend, through July 7. The show, the latest at Cafe Nordo, is Opal Peachy’s tale of strong women in wine, set in the caves of France over two centuries. Tickets are going quickly, so plan ahead if you’d like to have dinner with the brilliant business women responsible for storied champagnes. Carol Louise Thompson, who plays the Veuve Clicquot, is eerily convincing in the role. (Update: this run is now totally sold out, but rush/wait list tickets may be available.)
Also in musical dinner-theatre, The Legend of El Dorado continues its run through much of the summer at the Can Can. It’s about an “infamous girl gang,” and features great singing talent.
Week In Review
This week was a varied week which started off with On the Boards’ season closer. More cabaret-concert than theatrical moment but not lacking in those either, Mx. Justin Vivian Bond regaled with lots of songs I don’t know, backed by a terrific band (including Matt Ray, pianist/musical director of Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History). Mx. Bond puts on quite a show, wrapping up musicianship, witticism, sex and legend into one compelling package.
Not too far off from those descriptors (though decidedly more family-friendly) was the new musical by Justin Huertas at ArtsWest, the epically-titled The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion. Huertas has done it again, weaving a winning tale of family and queer love through sweet songs. But what really sing here are the characters, all of whom are tailor-made for their actors. They combine to tell a Seattle- and Tacoma-based story that feels very Northwest, and brings together unearthed family secret with heroic epic in a seamless way.
Speaking of family secrets and epics, Eugene O’Neill’s four-act Long Day’s Journey Into Night is heavy on both, and Akropolis Performance Lab’s brave tackling of it made for a memorable evening — a performance they’ll stage again on July 7. The reading, which was held outside at a private residence in Lake Forest Park, didn’t feel like a reading: with the actors familiar and invested in their roles, and the staging streamlined though minimal. Nor did it feel like its five-hour run-time — or more, counting the socializing time on either end, which is core to the salon experience. Unlike the usual Akropolis salons, which begin with a potluck, this one wove planned courses into the show’s two intermissions — which obviously contribute to the show’s length, but also make a very long script much more, er, digestible. Akropolis as a company consistently puts on work that does something different, in a saturated field where little feels truly different these days, and does so with an emphasis on homegrown artistic community.
Another spot that focuses on artistic community like few others is Copious, the relatively new home to Copious Love Productions — centered on queer arts & drag, of which their Rainbow Trash Bag show this weekend was a fun and sassy specimen. Host Butch Alice salvaged approximately 9 million plastic six-pack rings from their fate around the fishes, constructing an impressive blue hoop dress and an outfit reminiscent of Ursula; drag matriarch She brought many opinions; Duck Hunt was radiant in yellow plastic; and Miss Boozy Cheeks heated things up with burlesque in orange construction cones. But the knock-out dazzler of the night was Lavish Leone, whose trash-made looks in red could head right out to the runway. An inspired night of glamorous crafts and divas — and, we hope, not just a one-time affair.
Looking further out into the summer, here are some more shows to get into.
July 6 – Ah Yes, The Two Genders, hosted by Anya Knees (Copious)
July 11-13 – Bearing Witness: The impact of HIV/AIDS on Black LGBTQ People, curated by Chad Goller-Sojourner (Gay City Arts)
July 11-14 – Kitten N’ Lou Present: Camptacular! (Triple Door)
July 12 – The Kinsey Sicks: Things You Shouldn’t Say, part of Tacoma Pride weekend (Tacoma Arts Live/Rialto Theatre)
July 15 – A Sensible Cabaret, featuring Alexandria Henderson & Nik Hagen (A Sensible Theatre Co./The Knife Room)
August 10 – Trailer Park Drag Strip, hosted by Sylvia O’Stayformore & Miss Honey Bucket (Bacon Strip/Georgetown Trailer Park Mall)
July 7 – Long Day’s Journey Into Night, a free salon with staged reading and dinner (Akropolis Performance Lab) (see NWT’s mini review above)
July 11-28 – Citizen: An American Lyric (Sound Theatre Co./Center Theatre)
July 14 – Sh*t Gold: The Deep End (Velocity)
July 18-21 – 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother, an encore presentation of Susan Lieu’s solo show following its sold-out debut (Susan Lieu/Theatre Off Jackson)
July 18-August 10 – The Events, with free tickets available to all (Intiman Theatre Co./Erickson Theatre)
July 19-August 11 – 7th & Jackson, Sara Porkalob’s new dinner-and-theatre event (Cafe Nordo)
July 20 – Couture & Cars, a runway show of one-of-a-kind clothing & accessories, surrounded by one-of-a-kind classic & high-end cars (Fashion District NW/LeMay: America’s Car Museum) (see NWT’s coverage of a previous Fashion District NW show here)
August 2-3 – festival:festival, a free two-day festival of performing and visual artists off Broadway on Capitol Hill
August 9-11 – Festival of New Musicals, a three-day event of musicals in-development open to paid members of Village Originals (Village Theatre Issaquah)
Wednesday Roundup is a weekly feature, with NWT’s picks for the upcoming week and recaps around town.
Want to plan your show schedule further out? See what’s happening on NWT’s Calendar page. And for news on all the openings next month, see Miryam Gordon’s July coverage, which will be posted soon here.