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    Media Reviews

    Welcome to our Media Reviews section: news and review links to local and regional media sources covering events and organizations listed on this website.

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    Event Name: Brilliant Traces
    Article: Review by Islands Sounder
    Islands Sounder Newspaper - Oct 09, 2010
    By Tom Welch

    As submitted to The Islands Sounder:

    Brilliant Traces

    An obviously distraught woman in a wedding dress pounds her way into a remote cabin during a blizzard in the wilds of Alaska, launches into a disjointed soliloquy aimed a… Expand

    As submitted to The Islands Sounder:

    Brilliant Traces

    An obviously distraught woman in a wedding dress pounds her way into a remote cabin during a blizzard in the wilds of Alaska, launches into a disjointed soliloquy aimed alternately at a motionless figure wrapped in a grey blanket, and at a bottle of whiskey, then collapses onto a bed. If this opening wasn’t enough to tell the audience that something serious was up at the Grange last evening, at the opening of Doug Bechtel and the Actors Theatre of Orcas Island’s latest offering, “Brilliant Traces”, by Cindy Lou Johnson, we all got the idea that we were watching something rare and beautiful as an incredible performance by two marvelous local actors held us captive for ninety solid minutes.

    The scars left by the wounds of love and loss make up the ‘brilliant traces’ that entranced the audience as we watched the amazing Melinda Milligan, in the role of Rosannah DeLuce, animate the stage in counterpoint to Norman Stamper’s tightly-wound Henry Harry. Raging between the confusion brought on by a 3,000 mile drive in a wedding dress and the confidence of a beautiful woman confined in a tight space with a solitary man, Milligan masterfully exposes more painful nerve endings than most of us have, while Stamper artfully unwinds.

    Henry Harry couldn’t be more confined than we find him, a solitary, blanket-clad figure standing motionless in a remote cabin caught in a blizzard in Alaska, suddenly besieged by a raging woman in a wedding dress. Although life and loss has cornered him like a battered prize fighter, watching Stamper fight his way out of his emotional straightjacket in the throes of his wild swings of attraction for, and rejection of, Milligan was really something to behold.

    “Brilliant Traces” presents a number of challenges that seem to be effortlessly overcome by Bechtel’s smart staging and brilliant directing. We had no trouble believing we were all in a cabin, caught in a blizzard, with two nearly-certifiable loons who slowly became fragile, loving humans. The art, and artistry, of two remarkable performances brought us through a difficult journey over life’s insurmountable peaks of love and loss, and the audience was richer for the experience. Don’t miss this play.
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    Event Name: God of Carnage
    Article: Seattle Rep Opens with a Bang (and a Woof)
    City Arts Magazine - Oct 08, 2010
    By Tim Appelo

    Why wait for Roman Polanski's film of Yasmina Reza's play God of Carnage with Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Chrisoph Waltz and Matt Dillon (shooting in Paris in February)? They can't be any better than Denis Arndt, Bhama Roget, Hans Altwies and Amy Tho… Expand

    Why wait for Roman Polanski's film of Yasmina Reza's play God of Carnage with Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Chrisoph Waltz and Matt Dillon (shooting in Paris in February)? They can't be any better than Denis Arndt, Bhama Roget, Hans Altwies and Amy Thone in the Rep's season opener. Collapse

    Event Name: In the Heights
    Article: "In the Heights" Makes Up for Shortfalls With Pure Broadway Spectacle
    The SunBreak - Oct 08, 2010
    By Scott Garrepy

    In the Heights is light on narrative, particularly at the end. The finale seems to come a bit gracelessly, as if our meter ran out. But when the multi-layered ensemble numbers wash over you--or a father pulls you into his fear of inadequacy--you take… Expand

    In the Heights is light on narrative, particularly at the end. The finale seems to come a bit gracelessly, as if our meter ran out. But when the multi-layered ensemble numbers wash over you--or a father pulls you into his fear of inadequacy--you take it for what it is: (as the late Seattle Opera Director of Education Perry Lorenzo used to say) "one swell night at the theatre." Collapse

    Event Name: In the Heights
    Article: In the Heights mixes the modern with the traditional
    Seattle Gay News - Oct 08, 2010
    By Eric Andrews-Katz

    While the music keeps the audience wanting to move, it is the story line that they will take away with them. There is definitely something everyone can identify with in the Nuevo-classic style of the Broadway musical. Expand

    While the music keeps the audience wanting to move, it is the story line that they will take away with them. There is definitely something everyone can identify with in the Nuevo-classic style of the Broadway musical. Collapse

    Event Name: Mauritius
    Article: Stamps worth millions at stake in Mauritius
    Seattle Gay News - Oct 08, 2010
    By Miryam Gordon

    The production is tightly directed by Russ Banham with five strong performers. Expand

    The production is tightly directed by Russ Banham with five strong performers. Collapse

    Event Name: God of Carnage
    Article: Lots of Laughs, Not Much Carnage
    Seattle P-I - Oct 07, 2010
    By Alice Kaderlan

    Although the actors do a fine job with externalizing the action they never truly convey the internal conflicts and issues that propel them into some very unattractive behavior. To a certain extent, this isn't their fault. Although the script is clear… Expand

    Although the actors do a fine job with externalizing the action they never truly convey the internal conflicts and issues that propel them into some very unattractive behavior. To a certain extent, this isn't their fault. Although the script is clearly intended to provoke a plethora of belly laughs, and did at the Rep's opening night, it runs out of dramatic steam well before its 90 minutes are up. As a result, the actors are left to continue their one-note ranting and raving beyond our patience to endure it. Collapse

    Event Name: Mauritius
    Article: 'Mauritius' at Seattle Public Theater is a taut, twisty thriller
    Seattle Times - Oct 07, 2010
    By Misha Berson

    If someone told you they'd seen an engrossing play about stamp collecting, would you believe them?

    If not, you might want to reconsider, given the solid entertainment value of "Mauritius," the taut, twisty little thriller by Th… Expand

    If someone told you they'd seen an engrossing play about stamp collecting, would you believe them?

    If not, you might want to reconsider, given the solid entertainment value of "Mauritius," the taut, twisty little thriller by Theresa Rebeck, which opens Seattle Public Theater's 2010-11 season. Collapse

    Event Name: God of Carnage
    Article: God of Carnage
    Broadway World Seattle - Oct 07, 2010
    By Jay Irwin

    I for one was worried to see if the Rep could continue their unreal winning streak from last season and I have to say, they're off to one hell of a start.
    Expand

    I for one was worried to see if the Rep could continue their unreal winning streak from last season and I have to say, they're off to one hell of a start.
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    Event Name: In the Heights
    Article: 'In the Heights' sizzles
    Queen Anne News - Oct 06, 2010
    By Miya Cohen-Sieg

    In spite of some incomprehensible lyrics due to the aforementioned overly amplified instrumental accompaniment, "In the Heights" energetic young cast and superb dance numbers deliver all the joys of live performance. Expand

    In spite of some incomprehensible lyrics due to the aforementioned overly amplified instrumental accompaniment, "In the Heights" energetic young cast and superb dance numbers deliver all the joys of live performance. Collapse

    Event Name: A Year With Frog and Toad
    Article: An OFT Bromance
    Weekly Volcano - Oct 06, 2010
    By Christian Carvajal

    (Olympia Family Theatre) is fighting the good fight, introducing kids to live entertainment that reaches their level while almost never talking down. It aspires to be the Pixar of Olympia theater. A Year with Frog and Toad is just more of the same… Expand

    (Olympia Family Theatre) is fighting the good fight, introducing kids to live entertainment that reaches their level while almost never talking down. It aspires to be the Pixar of Olympia theater. A Year with Frog and Toad is just more of the same from OFT, and for once that's a good thing. Collapse

    Event Name: The Borrowers
    Article: The Borrowers
    TeenTix Blog - Oct 06, 2010
    By Samantha V.

    Recommended for ages 8 and up, it is a great play. I heartily encourage you to attend a performance, and bring a sibling or a friend to share this theatrical experience with. May you never look at the floor beneath your feet the same way. Expand

    Recommended for ages 8 and up, it is a great play. I heartily encourage you to attend a performance, and bring a sibling or a friend to share this theatrical experience with. May you never look at the floor beneath your feet the same way. Collapse

    Event Name: The Belle of Amherst
    Article: The Belle of Amherst: A Simple Visit with Emily Dickinson
    The Seattle Gay News - Oct 05, 2010
    By Miryam Gordon

    Poet Emily Dickinson lived as a recluse in her family home in Amherst, Massachusetts. This is but one of the things you learn about her from this production of The Belle of Amherst, by William Luce. Sound Theatre Company is performing the play at Sto… Expand

    Poet Emily Dickinson lived as a recluse in her family home in Amherst, Massachusetts. This is but one of the things you learn about her from this production of The Belle of Amherst, by William Luce. Sound Theatre Company is performing the play at Stone Soup Theatre.

    Teresa Thuman directs Maria Glanz in this lovely one-woman show. Glanz perfectly inhabits Emily Dickinson, as she invites you into her parlor for tea. She makes you cozily at home, offering her recipe for cake. She tells you of her nosy neighbors and her family, sharing portraits and history and many poems.

    Glanz delivers the poetry with great affection and precision. Her love of language is palpable. She looks the part in a lovely white gown by Deborah Sorenson and proper white boots. She sews a little, mends a little, gardens a little, and tells stories.

    The set, designed by Ray Bunnage with prop support from Kirsten McCory, creates just the right shabby-chic parlor design, with tapestry furniture covers and an antique feel. Delicate lighting changes by Chris Schofield help us delineate between the past and the present as Glanz slips backward in time to her teen years, showing what her life was like. Another excellent addition is the presence of Brad Hawkins and his cello, where he becomes the voice of non-present family members and provides original compositions throughout the production.

    The effect is enchanting and winning. It deserves to be seen, so get this on your calendar and go. If you love Dickinson, language, historical plays or glimpses of what life might have been like in the late 1800s, you'll have a great time.

    This is a full-length production, as opposed to what seems to be the trend toward long one-acts, so you'll need to bring your patience. There's not much controversy or great dramatic revelation to shake you up. It's a simple visit with an extraordinary woman, who is owed respectful attention and appreciation for her talent.

    For more information, go to www.soundtheatrecompany.org or www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006.

    Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com. Collapse

    Event Name: In the Heights
    Article: Broadway show takes 5th Ave to the Heights
    Seattle P-I Blog - Oct 05, 2010
    By PSessum

    No matter who you are, you have a reason to see this. If you like musicals, this will show that the genre isn't getting stagnant. If you think you won't like musicals, or want to introduce someone to theatre, this is a good one to cut your teeth on.… Expand

    No matter who you are, you have a reason to see this. If you like musicals, this will show that the genre isn't getting stagnant. If you think you won't like musicals, or want to introduce someone to theatre, this is a good one to cut your teeth on. Of course, for the first timer, this will set a high bar. Collapse

    Event Name: Mauritius
    Article: Seattle Public Theater raises the stakes with "Mauritius"
    Seattle Theater Examiner - Oct 05, 2010
    By Letitia Harmon

    The play certainly rings with a Mamet-esque dialogue and absence of any sympathetic hero. The characters are mostly unlikable, and no clear statement on the morality of any of them is to be found in the script. Strong performances keep the stakes of… Expand

    The play certainly rings with a Mamet-esque dialogue and absence of any sympathetic hero. The characters are mostly unlikable, and no clear statement on the morality of any of them is to be found in the script. Strong performances keep the stakes of selling stamps surprisingly high, and the tension never sags. Collapse

    Event Name: In the Heights
    Article: A Sinking "In the Heights"
    Seattle P-I Blog - Oct 02, 2010
    By Alice Kaderlan

    The national touring version that opened at the Fifth Avenue Theatre this week deserves praise for staging – set, lighting and overall production value – but little more. Expand

    The national touring version that opened at the Fifth Avenue Theatre this week deserves praise for staging – set, lighting and overall production value – but little more. Collapse

    Event Name: The Belle of Amherst
    Article: Dickinson's Multifaceted Life at Knutzen Family Theatre
    The News Tribune - Oct 01, 2010
    By Alec Clayton

    When Maria Glanz’s Emily Dickinson welcomes the Centerstage audience into her Amherst, Mass., home, there is a deep feeling of welcome in this most intimate of plays, “The Belle of Amherst,” co-produced by Centerstage and Seattle’s Sound Theatre Co.… Expand

    When Maria Glanz’s Emily Dickinson welcomes the Centerstage audience into her Amherst, Mass., home, there is a deep feeling of welcome in this most intimate of plays, “The Belle of Amherst,” co-produced by Centerstage and Seattle’s Sound Theatre Co.

    “The Belle of Amherst” is a one-woman play with only one person other than Glanz on the stage: cellist Brad Hawkins performing the music he wrote for this production.

    Dressed all in white, as she always was, Dickinson steps into her living room (a stunning set by Craig Wollam, co-founder of Seattle Scenic Studios) and offers her guests (the audience) a taste of her black cake. She proudly shares the recipe – which, with 8 pounds of raisins and currents, sounds like it could make enough to feed an army. Then she begins to act out the stories of her life.

    Fifty years old and not yet recognized as a great poet, she lives an almost reclusive life. At this point, she has published only a handful of poems, and those anonymously; she finds it difficult to connect with other people. For example, she befriends an editor of the Atlantic Monthly via mail, sends him her poems, and carries on an eight-year correspondence – only to have him brutally reject her writing and her, when they finally meet.

    Her life is filled with disappointment and unrequited love, and yet she remains almost always upbeat, hopeful and witty. Seamlessly gliding between Dickinson as narrator and acting out scenes from the poet’s life, Glanz conveys all of this with such skill and so naturally that you feel she is, indeed, Emily Dickinson and you are a much-loved guest in her home.

    Hawkins’ cello complements the story in all its parts, setting the mood and in places sounding like another actor conversing with Glanz. Only in brief moments did the cello overpower the actor’s voice.

    Glanz has won international acclaim as a solo performer, including such awards as “Best of Fest” in Edmonton and Winnipeg Fringe festivals and “Artistic Pick” in the 1999 and 2001 Seattle Fringe Festivals. Her performance in this play shows why she has won such awards.

    The play written by William Luce provides entertaining insights into Dickinson’s life and makes extensive use of her poetry. Not only does she read many of her poems during the course of the play, but she drops lines from them into her conversation in a very natural manner.

    This play is dramatic, romantic and sad; but most of all witty.

    Wollam’s set is as warm and welcoming as the character in the play. Doors, windows, a short staircase and furniture stand on a midnight blue floor and hang in front of a midnight blue backdrop, creating the feeling that they are floating in air. It is not only beautiful, it is simultaneously otherworldly and homey. ‘The Belle of Amherst’


    When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 10, plus one Saturday matinee on Oct. 9

    Where: Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 S.W. Dash Point Road, Federal Way

    Tickets: $10 to $25 depending on age, group discounts available

    More information: 253-661-1444, www. centerstagetheatre.com



    Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/10/01/1363863/dickinsons-multifaceted-life.html#ixzz11WqwQjEY Collapse

    Event Name: In the Heights
    Article: In The Heights brings its American dreams to Seattle
    Seattle Theater Examiner - Oct 01, 2010
    By Rosemary Jones

    Finally, somebody has written a musical about functional American families. Oh, they may grumble, slang each other, even call each other dysfunctional. But, at the end of the day, in a burst of rapping pride, they pull together to pursue their own ve… Expand

    Finally, somebody has written a musical about functional American families. Oh, they may grumble, slang each other, even call each other dysfunctional. But, at the end of the day, in a burst of rapping pride, they pull together to pursue their own versions of happiness. Collapse

    Event Name: In the Heights
    Article: In The Heights
    Broadway Hour Seattle - Oct 01, 2010
    By Kacey Shiflet

    The perfect way to start off a stellar season—the exuberant “paciencia y fe” reflecting these hopeful and forward-looking times. It is the catharsis that we all need from time to time to connect us to what is truly important: family, friends and embr… Expand

    The perfect way to start off a stellar season—the exuberant “paciencia y fe” reflecting these hopeful and forward-looking times. It is the catharsis that we all need from time to time to connect us to what is truly important: family, friends and embracing who you are. No wonder it won the Tony for Best Musical. Collapse

    Event Name: Wedding Belles
    Article: Karen Lund's directing keeps pedal to the metal but under control. ... This one's lots of fun
    The Enterprise - Sep 29, 2010
    By Dale Burrows

    Karen Lund's directing keeps pedal to the metal but under control. ... This one's lots of fun Expand

    Karen Lund's directing keeps pedal to the metal but under control. ... This one's lots of fun Collapse

    Event Name: Wedding Belles
    Article: Taproot brings big time talent to a small stage. ... They also bring a touch of authenticity. ... they have the southern hospitality down perfectly.
    Seattle P-I Reader Blog - Sep 28, 2010
    By Peter Sessum

    Taproot brings big time talent to a small stage. ... They also bring a touch of authenticity. ... they have the southern hospitality down perfectly. Expand

    Taproot brings big time talent to a small stage. ... They also bring a touch of authenticity. ... they have the southern hospitality down perfectly. Collapse

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