This Week in Performance: Week of July 25, 2014

Seattle's Pollens, which plays at this weekend's Capitol Hill Block Party. Courtesy of CapitolHillBlockParty.com

Seattle’s Pollens, which plays at this weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party. Courtesy of CapitolHillBlockParty.com

It is entirely curious that the usually tame summer season has produced so much controversy and discussion this year. With luck, the conversation has just begun, for the current brouhaha is not just symptomatic of our city’s Arts movement, but also the nation’s. We can only comment on our city, however, and need to do so before we become distracted and forget what the protest is about.

In the meantime, the productions will not stop coming, and the Dance scene is coming on strong after a seemingly quiet couple of weeks.

DANCE

Strictly Seattle 2014, this weekend at Velocity Dance Center on Capitol Hill, is an opportunity for the talent in Seattle’s dance scene to collaborate, learn and inspire one another. Dancers of varying levels of expertise get together with established choreographers (among them: Zoe Scofield, Pat Graney, Bennyroyce Royon, KT Niehoff, Jody Kuehner to name just a few) and create entirely new works in the process. The results are simply bound to be revelatory.

THEATER

We get something of a small breather from the Theater realm this week, as well as a refreshing and promising amount of chutzpah from the Young Americans’ Theatre Company, a group of local performing teens who present fairly diverse programming at the Eclectic Theater space on Capitol Hill. This weekend brings Speech and Debate, a story about three competitive and socially-diverse high school students who team up to expose a predatory teacher. The play — which was produced recently by the Seattle Rep — is more richly entertaining than that description allows and it remains to be seen if the company will be able to fully present the mature themes, but they should be commended for aiming this high.

Theatre 9/12 opens their production of Seminar by Theresa Rebeck, who has been frequently produced in the last few years. The story is about a number of writing hopefuls who have put themselves at the mercy of a well known author, and the frustrations encountered by all of the parties involved. Reviews of previous productions of this fairly new play describe it as a comically caustic exploration of stymied ambitions, and 9/12 certainly has the talent to bring it to fruition.

COMEDY

Nothing new under the comedic sun this week, but the likes of Emmett Montgomery’s The Magic Hat, returns to the Rendezvous, while Jet City Improv and Unexpected Productions continue their respective runs.

MUSIC

Of course, the big event this weekend is the Capitol Hill Block Party. If TWIP weren’t crowd averse, we would attend to catch acts like Chromeo, or Man or Astroman — although we would also make a point to remember the Party’s roots as a small music festival meant to highlight local acts, a mantle since taken over by a couple of other festivals. There are still many local bands being showcased this weekend, however, of them we’d encourage you to attend Prom Queen’s post-Block Party Midnight Show Saturday at midnight as well as checking out Pollens, an act comprised of recent Cornish grads, specializing in poly-rythmic, harmony based psychedelia.

NEXT WEEK

The return of Pocket Theater, Scotto Moore’s Balconies.