This Week in Performance: Weekend of February 6th, 2014

Photo courtesy of The Collision Project.
Photo courtesy of The Collision Project.

Bloody hell.

There is certainly a lot going on in town, so we’ll just get right to it.


Northwest hip hop, blah blah Macklemore Grammy blah blah. But before that guy, before Shabazz Palaces, even before Blue Scholars, there was Oldominion, the original PNW Hip Hop collective. Out of those guys came Grayskul, who are playing with a number of other acts (including one called The Chicharones — there better be some latin based funk beats here) at Nectar Lounge in Fremont this Friday.

For the more adventuresome, however, this weekend is the Seattle Improvised Music Festival at the Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford. To try to describe is nearly impossible, because there is no pigeonhole to place any of it in. It could be progfunkpunk, it could be jambeatdance, it could be arythmic, symphonic. There is simply a roomful of musicians who know their craft and trust each other to go wherever. Musicians from Berlin, Baltimore, and New Haven join a large number of Seattle improvisers. With a sliding scale cover charge, you’re not going to find a more daring time in Seattle.


This Week did a huge disservice to this category last week, simply because we were not paying attention. When we told you last week about Peter n’ Chris, we neglected to inform you that it was all part of a rather auspicious roll-out in the comedy scene. Pocket Theater
will soon be an intimate 30-seat venue that will be solely dedicated to comedy in all its permutations: sketch, improv, and stand up. Until that space opens (in the near future), Pocket Theatre will be taking up residencies in different Seattle neighborhoods. This month, they are inhabiting Fremont’s West of Lenin; this weekend in particular will bring us Iron Sketch ( like Iron Chef, but with sketch teams), and The Filling is Mutual, an evening of stand up. Check the website for further information.


We here at This Week have always had a crush on Jennifer Jasper. How could you not? Humorous, slightly daffy, and as a storyteller, never afraid to get a little dark. So, we’re pretty excited for her new solo piece, It Will Kill Them at the Gay City Arts headquarters. If tickets are available, do yourself the treat of catching this now. (This weekend only.)

Speaking of solo performances, it is time once again for the Solo Performance Festival at Theater Off Jackson. This festival truly is something that needs to catch on in Seattle, as both the medium and the artists involved have the potential to be revelatory. Of particular interest this festival is Yana Kesala’s I Think My Heart Needs Glasses, which promises to be both a revealing and wistful take of romantic discovery.

Over at On the Boards, a production from our Pacific neighbors Japan: Niwa Gekidan Penino’s The Room Nobody Knows. This has us excited primarily because it promises to be something New and Alien to our dulled Western sensibilities. Just remember the words of Le Frenchword’s Sachie Mikawa, “it’s not weird, it’s Japanese.” (Shows at 8pm and 10pm!)

Meanwhile, in Ballard, the folks at Ghost Light Theatricals bring us the Battle of the Bards VIII. This yearly contest pits brief adaptations of literary works (from original sources like Shakespeare to Hawthorne), has the audience vote for their favorite, and the overall winner gets to be produced during Ghost Light’s next season. If you’re looking for a grab bag of entertainment, this might be a way to go.

A brief reminder regarding the one night remount of Dawson Nichols’ Virtual Solitaire at North Seattle Community College this Friday evening. Nichols is taking this show on the Australian Fringe circuit, and is dusting it off for a rare Seattle showing in preparation.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the birth of a new theater company! Always an exciting time. Created by veteran Fringe actors Ben McFadden and Ryan Higgins, their Collision Project is presenting José Rivera’s Marisol at the Inscape Arts Center in the International District. A daring piece of theater, Rivera’s script is set in a doomsday scenario, and features magic realism in the truest sense. If this company continues programming fare like this, this could be a truly welcome company for the theater scene.


If our Facebook feed is any indication, there were a lot of unhappy patrons who attended the Drag Race Battle of the Seasons event earlier this week. Apparently, the show was plagued with technical problems along with some truly lackadaisical performances. As a palette cleanser, we recommend Bacon Strip’s Mizz Honey Goth’s Night at Theater Off Jackson this Saturday. A local fixture, and selected as Out! Magazine‘s Hottest Drag Queen in America in 2003, hostess Sylvia O’Stayformore takes pride in the quality of her show and the performances within. Go. Sylvia’s a classy, brassy broad, who’s more of a coquette than she is anything else. (Saturday only, 10pm)

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