This Week in Performance: Week of July 18, 2014

Wayne Rawley's ATTACK OF THE KILLER MURDER...OF DEATH opens this weekend at Theater Schmeater. Image courtesy of Theater Schmeater.

Wayne Rawley’s ATTACK OF THE KILLER MURDER…OF DEATH opens this weekend at Theater Schmeater. Image courtesy of Theater Schmeater.

One of the unexpected fringe benefits of Summer-time programming is a certain willingness to experiment with expectations — sure, everything is a little lighter in tone, but how that fluffiness is prepared and delivered could fluctuate from project to project.

COMEDY

Take for example, The Magic Hat, Emmett Montgomery’s new comedy venture at the Rendezvous. Unlike Montgomery’s Weird and Awesome, the focus here is simply to explore comedy’s boundaries, and Hat‘s guest performers are encouraged to bring their nebulous materials to share. It could be a new stand up set, a sketch idea, a comedic poem, or a whimsical script for a short film. The only requirements the performers have are that whatever they bring could be shared on an intimate setting without amplification. So if the idea of witnessing the spark of creation intrigues, or if you want to try something out yourself in a friendly supportive environment, get to the Rendezvous on Wednesday nights.

The Pocket Theater has finally found a home in Greenwood, and this is its last weekend as a roaming company! The weekend includes this month’s 7 Minutes in Heaven, along with Lance Life, a mixing of a comedy show with an inspirational seminar. But since Pocket’s mission also includes more theatrical productions, we also have…

THEATER

Go Granny D, a touring solo show about Doris Haddock, the ninety year old political activist who gained some notoriety a couple of years ago for her advocacy tour promoting the McCain-Feingold act.

Let’s take a second to herald the return of Theater Schmeater as a performance venue after a couple of silent years spent searching and then building their new home. For their inaugural production in the new space, they are premiering the work of their favored son, Wayne Rawley and his Attack of the Killer Murder…of Death!. This farce (see the picture above for an indication of how silly it promises to be) fits with the Schmee’s mandate for frivolous Summer fare, and marks a return to meta-textual tomfoolery for Rawley, who cut his playwriting teeth on a spoof of 80s TV at the Schmee.

Next we have ACT’s An Evening of One Acts, an unusual offering of shorter length theater from the company, featuring plays by Sam Shephard, Woody Allen and Steve Martin. The production — which is directed by R. Hamilton Wright, and includes Chris Ensweiler, Hannah Lass and E. Ray Anderson in the cast — promises to be as tonally diverse as those three playwrights suggest, which can be as rewarding as a traditional production in and of itself.

Speaking of traditional companies doing something unexpected, the Bathhouse at Greenlake has created an ensemble company consisting of artists who regularly work there and gives them a chance to perform riskier material on their stage. This weekend, their Ensemble presents Edgar & Annabel, a play by Sam Holcroft about a young couple who seem to be living a safe, eco-friendly, bourgeoisie existence which is only a facade for their violent anti-government resistance agenda. Directed by Charlotte Peters, whose taste as a designer make this an intriguing proposition.

MUSIC

Tonight, bid farewell to The Redwood Plan at Barboza, Neumo’s early showtime venue, for their last show as a band. The Plan is/was the latest in a long line of musical projects that reflected frontwoman Lesli Wood’s taste in punk rock with a power-pop edge. We hope she’ll return to front some other musical project, we would miss her electric stage presence if it went missing for too long.

Also tonight, Cafe Nordo releases its Music for Dining CD, with music by their resident musician Annastasia Workman. If you’re not familiar, Nordo is a performance company dedicated to combining food with genre-hopping, atmospheric productions. Their shows have been based on Americana, film noir, 60s jet set and European bohemian cultures. This should be a fairly varied night of song-smithing.

OTHER

We return to the Rendezvous for Campfire Tales: A Modern Vaudeville, an evening of music, burlesque and comedy structured around the idea of sharing those spooky stories we tell late at night while camping. We’d be so pleased to hear if more than one artist decided to combine their performance with gore. Fingers crossed.

Finally, there’s the monthly return of Shuga Shaq this Sunday night at the Can Can. Look, it’s pretty simple, what better way to prove this city’s not as racially bland as it is famed to be than with some equal opportunity cheesecake?

NEXT WEEK

Scotto Moore’s latest frivolity at Annex.