February, part three: Lewis & Clark, I Am My Own Wife, and Scenes from an Execution

The Thrilling Adventures of the Famous Lewis and Clark! at Annex

Lewis and Clark was historical inaccuracy for fun. However, there were only two female characters in the entire show, one of which did not speak, and the other was flatly written. Considering there were at least nine or ten male characters who had substantial stage-time this was a little annoying, especially since the female who did speak was essentially just a sex-symbol. For future re-writes I would encourage them to flesh out these two female roles considering two non-interesting female characters balanced against ten speaking and fully formed male characters sends a disconcerting message. Beautifully choreographed stage combat and smart humor mixed with typical “BOOBZ” humor made for a fun evening of theatre. It was tasty cotton candy with Zorro for flare.

I Am My Own Wife at Seattle Rep

One man shows are tricky beasts even under the best circumstances. More often than not, they seem to be the territory of self-indulgent, heterosexual, white men, which is tedious to listen to for an hour and a half, if for no other reason than we’ve heard that perspective before, and it’s already inescapable. For those reasons, I’m happy that Seattle Rep decided to put on I Am My Own Wife. Even though it also depicts a white, male-ish perspective, the show is more about a queer and questionable experience. Queer voices on stage (especially of women, trans, or non-white persons) are hard to come by. The story was compelling and Nick Garrison performed wonderfully across all roles. Additionally, the sound, lighting, and set added breath-taking moments to the experience. This is never surprising of Seattle Rep. If there’s one thing they know how to do, it’s design. On the whole, I’m happy the Rep is branching out into queer stories that don’t hand the audience a conclusion. However, I’d love to see more female stories on their stage period. So, if they’re going to continue to have one-man shows, why not make them one-woman? Or, better yet, a one-queer-black-woman show? Know anyone who could write that?

Scenes from an Execution with New Century Theatre’s Pipeline Series at Solo 

Scenes from an Execution started out as a radio play, and then the author developed it into a staged version. Had I not been told this, I feel I still would have come to the same conclusion, which is that I’m not sure what’s added to the piece by performing it in a fully staged production. Though the characterization and artistic rants were compelling, there was no action that could truly make it viable staged. Not that philosophical arguments about aesthetics aren’t interesting; they are. But they are something I’d rather read or listen to than watch. There was very little conflict in the piece mostly because the artist’s imprisonment is late in the play, relatively short, and leads nowhere. She’s not even close to execution. Thematically, the play was well-structured, and the arguments/comparisons of art and war inspired many “mms” from the audience. Ultimately, the play was enjoyable as a reading, but I don’t feel it would stand up well as a fully staged production.

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