This Week in Performance: Week of March 27, 2014

Chuck Armstrong and Charlies Stockman, or the sketch team known as Charles, bring their MOBY ALPHA to the Ballard Underground. Courtesy of Charles.
Chuck Armstrong and Charlie Stockman, or the sketch team known as Charles, bring their MOBY ALPHA to the Ballard Underground. Courtesy of Charles.
Let’s just dive in.


Everyone’s talking about Mark Siano and Opal Peachey’s Seattle Vice opening at ACT (whose Central Heating Lab is co-producing), and with ample reason: The production team is combining Siano & Peachey’s winning track record with musical revues (Soft Rock, Modern Luv) with the lurid and lascivious tale of Frank Colacurcio and his ring of mob-run strip joints. Assuming the company maintains its customary level of excellence, and doesn’t shy away from its subject matter, it’s a can’t lose proposition.

Also opening this week, however, are some productions aiming to be a bit less prurient than Seattle Vice, while hoping to engender conversations about potentially prickly subjects. Take for example Taproot Theater’s regional premiere of In The Book Of — taking place in an American town where a military lieutenant (Allison Strickland) welcomes an Middle Eastern translator (Carolyn Marie Monroe, fresh off The Collision Project’s run ofMarisol) to her home, before tensions rise, accusations are tossed by the townies, while love and other complex emotions arise from other quarters.

Over by Green Lake, the Seattle Public Theater has the local premiere of Johnna Adams’ Gidion’s Knot, in which the distraught parent (Heather Hawkins) of a troublesome student comes into a Parent/Teacher conference with a specific narrative already in mind, only to have her beliefs about her son shaken upon talking with the teacher (Rebecca Olson). This description downplays what could be a potentially off-putting conversation about artistic expression in the young, how adults react to same, the threat of violence in the class room and how best to deal with these topics — the evening could be bracing, if handled properly.

On Capitol Hill, the Washington Ensemble Theatre has the regional premiere of The Edge of Our Bodies, a solo performance piece featuring the talents of Samie Detzer and directed by Devin Bannon. Poetically telling the story of a 16 year old traveling the NYC subway system in order to tell her boyfriend some fairly life changing news, Bodies gives Detzer a much deserved opportunity to convey a story on her own.

However, if you’re looking for a rare combination of disparate disciplines, this Tuesday evening, you’ll get to witness the mash up of science and theater. Leading up to this summer’s Thought Experiments series, Infinity Box presents Psychlotron XIII, and opportunity to participate in a conversation between a playwright, the celebrated Elizabeth Heffron, and a scientist, Chet Moritz, the Deputy Director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neuro Engineering, inside the U-District’s Lucid Lounge. Heffron is currently in the process of writing a short play based on Moritz’s work — for the aforementioned Thought Experiments — and the talk may help shape the work in question.


We generally try to avoid recommending anything too mainstream in the music realm here at This Week, simply because our tastes haven’t run that way for a long long time. However, this coming week, on Wednesday and Thursday, Showbox at the Market has an act that transcends such petty labels, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. This tour is something of a triumph for Jones, who had to step away from the life last year while she recovered from battling; while the Dap Kings themselves are looking to flex their muscles on the sound they’ve grown into on their latest album, Give the People What They Want. This has always been a great live show — give the showmen something to prove, though, and look out.


While the folks at Pocket Theater close out their month-long residency at the Seattle Creative Arts Center, around the corner and up the street, the internationally celebrated comedy team Charles comes to the Ballard Underground with a show they’ve molded on the comedy festival circuit, Moby Alpha. Described as a science fiction update of Moby Dick, Alpha has the duo utilizing a darkened set and a pair of self lighting helmets, while they tackle multiple partners. If ever there was a sketch show to be excited and curious about, this would be I’ve of them.


A couple of productions from Seattle’s fertile dance community are the things that has us giddy with anticipation, however. The first of these cones from Salt Horse, a local dance company, and their latest creation, Color Field. Presented in part by the Northwest Film Forum (as part of their Live at the Film Forum series), it would be simpler to describe the troupe’s aesthetic: strong, impressionistic movement in the service of indelibly striking visuals, with an emphasis on the alien and discomfitting. Taking place this weekend only, you should take a look at the group’s Flickr site for a further taste of what’s ahead.

Meanwhile, zoe|juniper finally had a chance to present the outcome of a year’s worth of workshops at On the Boards, where BeginAgain is being performed this weekend only. Scant few seats remain, so we recommend getting on the standby list time, which can be greatly successfuldepending in the number of people waiting. Regardless of whether you attend or not, it’s worth reading the series of thoughts written by our colleague Jeremy Barker regarding the impressions gained while collaborating with the company’s creative partners during this process.


Finally, let’s talk about local treasure Dina Martina, who instead of “honoring” the Xmas tradition, is now taking on another hoary entertainment mainstay, the clip show! Dina Martina’s Greatest Videos Ever!, being performed at Re-bar, as ever, features many of the more hilarious videos created for the annual holiday extravaganza, along with new interstitial material, this night be a great way to be introduced to the distinctive vocal stylings of our beloved Dina Martina.


ACT, which has been busy with collaborations lately, teams up with the mid-sized New Century Theater Company for Tails of Wasps, we’re going to guess it has little to do with stinging little flying creatures.

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