This Week in Performance: Weekend of January 10th, 2014

Larissa Tokmakova with Kristen Kosmas in THERE THERE at On the Boards. Image by Paul Willis.
Larissa Tokmakova with Kristen Kosmas in THERE THERE at On the Boards. Image by Paul Willis.

As we reintroduce this weekly series (formerly known as This Week in Theater) to the Star’s roster, you’ll notice a couple of changes; namely that of scope and breadth. On the matter of scope, it’s likely that the simple matter of the single word’s change will indicate what’s happening there, but perhaps a bit of exposition is needed on the matter of breadth. Simply put, the goal of Theater was to be an exhaustive representation of the theater that was happening in town. This had a few side effects: First, it gave the impression that we cared only about the traditional meaning of theater and neglected the other performing arts; second, it took attention away from our calendar, a function we would like to revitalize on our page.

(There is a third side effect, unexplored here. Perhaps at a later date, in a different column.)

And so, This Week in Performance. It will still feature a number of theatrical entries, but the spotlight may shine on Dance, Comedy, Music or the unclassifiable. The format is still being tinkered with, and will likely be different from what you see below. As ever, we welcome your feedback.

Of great interest in the next few days — in a weekend filled with interesting options — is There There at On the Boards, and not just because it’s taking place there. Collaborators Kristen Kosmas and Paul Willis (along with light/set designer Peter Ksander) are both Seattle artists of considerable impact and repute. Willis’ legacy still stands, as he was one of the founding members of the Printer’s Devil theater company, which today is the home of numerous notable artists (Stephen Hando, Keri Healey and Scot Augustson among them). Kosmas, who first made an impact with blah blah fucking blah at Rm. 608 back in 1992, split time between Seattle and NYC and co-founded the influential Little Theater and continued to create greatly acclaimed solo shows (like the recent Hello Failure created with local playwright Heidi Schreck). Kosmas is now an assistant professor of Theater at Whitman College.

There There is a language-drenched absurdly humorous (both Kosmas characteristics) exploration of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. If you care about words, stimulating work or want something a off the beaten path, On the Boards is once again the place where you should head.

The latter qualities could also be found at ACT this weekend and next, but it is just as likely that you’ll run into goofy, dramatic, dark and outré material — as it is time once again for the 14/48: World’s Quickest Theater Festival, (Winter 2014 edition). We’ve written a lot about this haven for laissez faire theater over the years and given that the fest has received unanimous support from the press this weekend, there isn’t a scarcity of information to be found, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out this venerable Seattle institution.

Also opening this weekend: 14/48 co-founder Shawn Belyea collaborates with Balagan Theater once again to mount the Northwest premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera playing at the Moore Theater. It is easy to find the notion that title inspires as spurious and doubtful until one takes the reviews of previous productions into account; add Harvey Danger’s Sean Nelson as Satan plus improv luminary Brendan Felker as Springer into the mix, and this starts to become begrudgingly appealing. Over in Ballard, the creative heads behind Ghost Light Theatricals and the Blood Ensemble have joined to create Northwest Orca Cannery Presents: Dr. Thaddeus Q. Ballard’s Musical Follies & Comedy Revue, a mouthful of a title, but self-explanatory, we believe.

The only scene in Seattle that’s busier than Theater is the Music scene, of course, and as always, there’s something to choose from, but our attention is grabbed by the Krautrock Tribute night happening Friday night at the Lo-Fi Performance Gallery, because Krautrock, come on. Then on Sunday night, it’s the next installment of the ongoing Racer Sessions series, one of the most diverse and relaxed evenings of music in town.

Oh, we wish we could there was something from the impressive Dance community we could point you to this weekend, but it just so happens that things are dormant in that quadrant of the city. However, that changes next weekend, which will include the latest work from Whim W’Him, and it is never too early to consider buying tickets to that.

Have an event you’d like to have included in the Star calendar? Send an email to

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