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Showing posts from May, 2011

Gobsmacking Warner Shook

Author's note:  Just a little awkward to be talking about the local theater scene when one of the major artistic talents behind Intiman finds out that "his" theater is going bankrupt.  Happy ending: Intiman did manage to reorganize in a summer theater festival model. And this Prisoner deserved every ovation.

Warner Shook can’t believe the reception that Prisoner of Second Avenue receives nightly from the Seattle audiences at ACT. “After the final blackout, the audience reacts like it is a rock concert: they start yelling and clapping,” said the director of this Neil Simon black comedy. “I’m still a little gobsmacked by how enthusiastic they are.”

The Prisoner of Second Avenue premiered on Broadway in 1971, and the ACT production sticks its characters and their iconic apartment firmly in that period, but the hero’s angst over the slow unraveling of their lives in hard times proves the comedy still has bite beneath its bark.

“It’s powerful stuff,” said Shook, who previously…

Shifting rom straight roles to silly musicals with ease

Nick Garrison’s acting career Seattle shifts easily from drama to musical to comedy. Whether he’s cavorting in Rocky Horror Picture Show or spouting Shakespeare's poetry, Garrison delivers the type of performances that often steal the entire show, while completely serving the play and supporting the rest of the cast. He won critical acclaim in the titular role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch — which was called “Liberace-on-meth” when he repeated it in Chicago to award-winning results — as well as performances at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman, The 5th Avenue, The Empty Space, Strawberry Theatre Workshop and numerous appearances at the Re-Bar. In This, which plays  through May 15 at the Rep, he plays Alan, the proverbial third wheel in the complicated friendships of its angsty protagonists.

Like many in Seattle, I tend to think of you as a singer or a singing actor—but your non-singing list of roles is extensive too! What's harder to prepare? A straight dramatic rol…

Managing Mary Poppins' tour around the country

When the fourteen trucks rolled up to the Paramount Theatre today, they were just part of the enormous endeavor that is the tour of the Broadway hit musical Mary Poppins Besides gigantic set pieces like the 11,000 lb Banks house, costumes, lights, instruments, and all the equipment necessary to pull of the musical’s many magic tricks, seventy-seven people travel from city to city with the show.

It is, said company manager Steve Lukens, not unlike trying to move a small town. “We have four child actors, their parents, and a teacher. There’s ten dogs (who do not appear on stage) that are people’s pets. It’s a long tour and some cast members don’t want to be away from their pets for that long of a time.” As the company moves from city to city, Lukens’ job is to make sure that the business side of the tour runs smoothly. “That’s everything from the logistics of getting us from place to place to dealing with the labor unions in each city to making sure that we have all the nec…