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Showing posts from March, 2016

Presidential politics prove murderous at ACT

Presidential politics can be murderous, as shown in Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins." Starting with James Wilkes Booth, America’s first assassin of a sitting president, this chamber musical digs up both the infamous and the forgotten, men and women so enraged by being left out of the American dream that they turned to murder to solve their problems. Rich Gray plays Charles Guiteau in this latest co-production of ACT-A Contemporary Theatre and the 5th Avenue Theatre.
When he got the casting call, Gray’s first act was finding out more about Guiteau, who shot and killed President James Garfield in 1881. “I didn’t know anything about Guiteau but the minute that I was cast, I became obsessed with him. Actually all the actors felt the same,” he said. “We all did tons of research on our characters to learn the background” of John Wilkes Booth (played by Louis Hobson), Samuel Byck (Matt Wolfe), Leon Czolgosz (Brandon O’Neill), Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme (Laura Griffi…

Rep's Leahey nurtures the talk after the curtain goes down

As the Seattle Repertory Theatre's literary director, part of Kristin Leahey's job is to forge a link between the works on stage and the lives of the audience. Rebecca Gilman's "Luna Gale" deals with the issues of modern foster care. Ethics and politics, issues in the social work system, and addiction are touched upon in this new work, originally commissioned for the Goodman Theatre. In the drama directed by the Rep's artistic director Braden Abraham, veteran film, television, and stage actor Pamela Reed plays a social worker grappling with the decisions that will forever change the course of a foster child's life.

“It’s beautifully written and an edge-of-your-seat thriller as well,” Leahey said. “’Luna Gale’ has won every major award that it has been up for. It’s a really profound play and I’m exceedingly proud of the events that we’ve scheduled around it.” On March 12, a “Speak Up!” followed a matinee program and, with the help of the Sea…

PNB School dancers swashbuckle through 19th century ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s new production of “Le Corsaire: A Pirate’s Tale” turns a 19th century popular ballet into an 80-minute swashbuckler for younger fans. PNB’s education programs manager Doug Fullington reconstructed and staged “Le Corsaire” using dance notation from St. Petersburg, Russia, which represents Marius Petipa’s 1899 version of the ballet. Fullington also recently discovered the 1857 notation from Lyon, France, likely based on original version of the ballet danced in Paris that same year. "Based on Byron’s poem, very loosely, it had its initial run in Paris in 1856/57 and went to Russia right away, where it was hugely popular," he said.

“I first worked with “Corsaire” when I got asked to go to Munich and help revive dances for Bavarian State Ballet. We’d done a little bit of it here in 2004, “Le Jardin Animé” (the enchanted garden sequence) for a school performance. They had read about it and that’s how I got that call,” said Fullingt…