An Entertaining Adaptation for Everyone

​Review of Pride and Prejudice at Book-It Repertory Theatre by Emma Lee

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I have so many good things to say about Book-It Repertory Theatre’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen that there is absolutely no way I can cram them all into this review. The short version: Go see it!

This production has something for everyone. Bookworms will appreciate how adapter and director Marcus Goodwin’s script uses the original text to narrate transitions, introductions, and explanations. Art geeks will appreciate the fantastic stage, complete with calligraphic writing on the floor and set pieces, by scenic designer Greg Carter. Music-lovers can note the traditional dances – curated by sound designer Jen Raynak and usually played on an imaginary piano by one character or another – and history nerds will love the period costumes by Jocelyne Fowler. Oh, and for all you thespians, the acting is superb, from the wicked Wickham (Connor Toms) to the socially awkward Darcy (Richard Nguyen Sloniker), with the unfortunate manners of Mrs. Bennett (Kimberly King) and Mr. Collins (John Bianchi) adding to the comedy.

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My Playlist

​Music Picks From TeenTix Press Corps Writer Alden N.

About the DJ: Alden is a high school student at Garfield High School, in the 2017 graduating class. More interested in music than writing in his free time, he’s been writing his own material for a few years now, primarily electronic and orchestral or both. He hopes to study biotechnological genetics or music production/management for a career and to be honestly happy and self-loving for a lifetime.

1. CLPPNG by clipping We all know and love Sub Pop Records, and if you don’t, then you don’t exist. But I can see why you wouldn’t (at least immediately) like clipping. Not only is their funky grammar funky, but it’s also is a fusion of noisehop and straight-up gangster rap. Yet, isn’t this extreme eclecticism enough to make you want to listen to it? I find that the answer is not only yes, but that it’s especially great if you look at the lyrics as more of a poetic observation of poor, hood culture, not just an glamorization of gangsta culture. Look them up, and you'll find you either hate ‘em or love ‘em.

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A Wild Take on Wilde

​Review of The Picture of Dorian Gray at UW Undergraduate Theater Society by Mobird

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Oscar Wilde wrote some amazing stuff, from “Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world” from "The Critic as Artist" to “Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?” from The Picture of Dorian Gray.

There is nothing so real as words — they toy with one’s senses until the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred or dissolved altogether, as was my experience with the UW Undergraduate Theater Society’s production of The Picture of Dorian Gray, from Wilde's famous novel. The production was flawless, the acting impeccable, and the terror palpable. In such a small space as the Cabaret in Hutchinson Hall on the UW campus, one would expect something akin to a technically simple, classic rendition of Shakespeare. Instead, what I found was some of the best lighting, set design, acting, and directing I have seen in quite some time. Technically, this production rivaled the 5th Avenue Theatre, the Paramount, and ACT.

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History Comes to Life

​Review of All the Way at Seattle Repertory Theatre by Degraceful

Great Society 2 Jg 2014

The infamous LBJ, Lyndon Baines Johnson, is most renowned for his civil rights activism. But did you know that he used the word “bunghole” in a sentence to a tailor and asked that there be some extra room left in the lower front part of his trousers for his “nutsack” to have some breathing space? Such hilarious moments are now immortalized on stage, and in the brilliant script written by Robert Schenkkan, with All the Way at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

The play All the Way (with the title based on the slogan used in Johnson’s reelection campaign: “All the Way with LBJ”) is a testament to the civil rights movement, politics, the accidental administration of Johnson, the activism of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the sketchy underground dealings of the government. Put on by Seattle Repertory Theatre in partnership with the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the production had a good head start on securing great actors to fill big britches. It’s a difficult job to do justice to great American leaders like LBJ and Martin Luther King, Jr., as Jack Willis and Kenajuan Bentley, respectively, are on task to do.

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Thank you!!!

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You did it! Thanks to the your generous donations and the support of ArtsFund, the Raynier Foundation, and Power2Give, TeenTix raised $7190 to fund our move to our brand new headquarters! This is a huge moment in our transition from Seattle Center public program to independent organization, and it is so great to know that we have a community surrounding us that believes in our work. Thank you.

Yesterday, we heard from many of you who had planned to give but couldn't because we had already hit our goal. First of all, WHAT A GREAT PROBLEM TO HAVE. We love you guys. Second of all, don't worry--you can still help support TeenTix and arts accessibility for youth.

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My Playlist

​Fashion Tips and Reading Recommendations from TeenTix Press Corps Writer Hattie S.

About the DJ: I love architecture, painting, and interior design. When I’m bored, I redecorate my bedroom. Music is my savior, and I’m probably going to be deaf by the time I’m 30 due to the fact that I’m almost never seen without earbuds in. I read a lot, like math, and really enjoy fashion. Obsessions include but are not limited to: Harry Potter, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Death Cab for Cutie, Gossip Girl, Banksy, San Francisco, and Red Band Society.

1. Klad Apparel I found this independent designer while wasting time online, and I love what they have to offer! All neutral and earthy tones, they use these colors without letting it hold them back. I am in love with their Fall 2014 collection, especially the way their billowy ensembles are precariously held together with tight belts and ties.

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Lovers vs. Fighters

​Review of Dogfight at ArtsWest by Tigerlily Cooley

Dogfight

Dogfight is the quintessential story of lovers versus fighters.

Set in San Francisco in 1963, a group of macho marines decide to celebrate their last evening by holding a dogfight — a long-standing tradition in which men compete for money to recruit the ugliest date for a party. The plan is set off course, however, when one of the girls, an awkward waitress named Rose Fenny (Devon Busswood), discovers she’s been tricked into being part of the cruel tradition and gets revenge by teaching her date, Eddie Birdlace (Kody Bringman), a lesson in compassion. The intimate setting of the theater truly transports the audience seamlessly from scene to scene — from the 1960s dinner to the San Francisco Bay, down to the lush jungles of Vietnam. I’ll admit I jumped when the bombs began going off, and I caught myself tearing up when Rose did.

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A Gender-bending Comedy of Love

​Review of Twelfth Night at Seattle Shakespeare Company by Indigo Trigg-Hauger

12Th Night

For many people, the biggest hurdle faced when reading Shakespeare is the language. It can be impenetrable on the page, and consequently very boring. Many of the words he uses are unfamiliar, and so much of the humor, meaning, and plot gets lost behind that. If that is your biggest problem with Shakespeare, though, this production of Twelfth Night will be a huge relief. The acting is near-impeccable, making it easy to discern the plot (though if you need a little more context, the synopsis in the program helps). Even better than simply knowing what is going on, you will actually understand some of that archaic humor. Turns out people were making jokes back then about the same things we do now: love, drunkenness, and fools.

Twelfth Night tells the story of Viola and Sebastian, twins who have been shipwrecked in an unfamiliar kingdom. Most of the play focuses on Viola (Allie Pratt), who disguises herself as a boy, and immediately everything gets turned around, with various people falling in love, not realizing who the object of their affections really is.

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My Playlist

Tenacious Picks from TeenTix Press Corps Writer Jessica J.

About the DJ: Jessica is tiny but tenacious. She has a passion for social justice, with a particular interest in diverse media representation and art as resistance, but is also deeply invested in narratives about children falling in love and saving the world (in a strange turn of art-as-wish-fulfillment). She loves thunderstorms, public transportation, and petting other people’s dogs.

1. Italo Calvino Postmodern Italian author Italo Calvino’s novellas and short stories seem whimsical on the surface, but they are haunted with loss and ineffable yearning. My favorite is Invisible Cities, a dialogue between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan filled with brief and fantastic accounts of the cities of Khan’s empire -- cities where memories are traded in the dark, cities suspended spiderweblike over an abyss, cities modeled after the stars. Calvino’s clever use of language and framing devices makes for compelling stories and a reading experience that’s nothing short of stunning. Favorite quote: “The ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life, and the inevitability of death.”

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A Feast for the Senses

​Review of the common S E N S E at Henry Art Gallery by Indigo Trigg-Hauger

Hamilton

A fully immersive experience is rare when it comes to art. More often viewers are separated by glass and velvet ropes. When one gets the opportunity to leave a trace, it invokes a visceral response. With the common S E N S E, Ann Hamilton asks viewers to go beyond viewing and achieves a highly intimate relationship between the work and the viewer. Artist Ann Hamilton has been given the unusual chance to take over the entire Henry Art Gallery. The exhibition is site-specific, created for the space using the resources the gallery and surrounding area could offer. The resulting work weaves old and new, buoyed by her collaboration with the nearby Burke Museum. The scans of dead animals from their collections have an intensely eerie quality. The garments made of animal skin and fur, laid out reverently, are practically funereal. In the brightest room downstairs, where skylights have been opened for the first time since 2001, machines approximate animal-like flapping or calls. At times it feels like a mausoleum, at others a place of worship. The choral singers wandering through add to this ambience, as do the readers sitting here and there, transcribing from a book while muttering the words to themselves. It’s odd – but also oddly calming. There are so many layers to the common S E N S E, at first it may appear impenetrable, the pieces disparate or disconnected. Allow a little time though, wander through the successive rooms, and it will give up its secrets. The lighting lends it a dream-like, surreal atmosphere. What seems random or odd at first slowly becomes clear the more you explore. Hamilton facilitates a process of finding and discovery. Though everyone starts with the same “conditions,” as she put it, each visitor excavates individually. Different senses jump out in each room; touch, sight, sound. The signs of compression and human wear on a coat. The air vents gently disturbing stacks of paper on the walls. The act of drawing aside a curtain to view an artifact. To walk through the gallery is to meditate on your own mortality and the effect of humans on their environments. As the viewer moves through the exhibition, connections reveal themselves naturally. Papers line the walls in stacks, and you are invited to read these photos and snippets of text, taking ones you connect with. By the end of the visit, you have curated your experience. In doing so though, the visitor takes away from the exhibition in a tangible way: The photos on the wall of three of the rooms will never be replaced, and the texts will ebb away to be replaced by new ones. Knowing this, there is an urge to tread lightly, to consider carefully what matters enough to take. Be prepared: the common S E N S E requires a certain level of commitment that most exhibitions do not ask of us. For some, this might feel overwhelming. The choice to participate in the exhibition is not so much a choice as a prerequisite if you want to fully engage with it. Ultimately, what makes the common S E N S E stunning is how it drives the viewer to self-examination. What you find depends on you.

the common S E N S E Henry Art Gallery October 11, 2014 - April 26, 2015

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Two and a Half Hours of Irresistible, Tubular Fun

​Review of Kinky Boots at 5th Avenue Theatre by Vivian Lappenbusch

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According to Kinky Boots’ tagline, sometimes the best way to fit in is to stand out. In the case of the production at 5th Avenue Theatre, the musical just stands out — no fitting in required.

If you’re into the musical theater scene, you’ve probably already heard of Kinky Boots. The musical first came onto the scene in a big way in 2012, winning six Tonys — including Best Musical and Best Original Score — and nominated for seven more after that. It even won a Grammy for Cyndi Lauper’s incredible score.

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My Playlist

​Music, Television, Movies, and More from TeenTix Press Corps Writer Susana D.

About the DJ: Hi. My name is Susana. I am a freshman at Garfield High School. In my free time I like to play violin and soccer. I also spend hours attempting to flatten my fringe. (Harry Potter, I feel you.) I love musical theater and Studio Ghibli films, although I cannot speak Japanese to save my life — don't tell my teachers! Disclaimer: I love ranting, so watch out!

1. Frankie Cosmos I learned about Frankie Cosmos through one of my best friends. They are a very underrated band that is absolutely amazing. This is the band's description of themselves on their Facebook page: "Greta Kline/Frankie Cosmos on guitar & vocals. Aaron Maine/Ronnie Mystery on rockin drums & some vocals. David Maine/David Mystery on slapping the bass. Gabrielle Smith/Gabby Teardrop on harmonies and bangin da keys. Joejoe Kline." They have a very unique sound and beautiful lyrics. Listen to them, I dare you!

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How to Follow Your Heart

​Review of Sarah Prefers to Run at Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival by K. Gibbs

Running is the focus of Sarah’s life, as much a part of it as breathing or sleeping. She cannot imagine life without it and wants to continue running at college in Montreal. But standing in her way is a lack of money and opposition from her mother. As Sarah fights to keep running, Sarah Prefers to Run portrays the struggle of doing what you love, no matter the cost.

When asked why she does track and field, Sarah simply states that she loves to run. It’s that simple. Finding her way to college, though? Not so much. Since her parents don’t have the money to pay for college, Sarah has to come up with another plan. The solution presents itself in her coworker, Antoine, who is also heading to Montreal. In order to get money from the government to help pay for school, the two decide to get married despite the fact that they barely know each other.

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An Engaging Love Story

​Review of Mary's Wedding at New Century Theatre Company by Hattie Sanders

Marys Wedding

Mary’s Wedding by New Century Theatre Company is an engaging, fantastic love story.

With only two actors in the whole production, a phenomenal performance is created between them. There’s a young British girl, Mary (played by Maya Sugarman), who moved to Canada with her family and the Canadian soldier (played by Conner Neddersen) who she fell in love with during the time of World War I. The whole play is a combination of scenes from their time together and scenes from his time at war based on letters he sent, melded together seamlessly.

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Parallel Lives, Unparalleled Tension

​Review of Slip/Shot at Seattle Public Theater by Evelyn Seo

2 Spt Slipshot Hi Res Quinn Armstrong As Clem

BANG! With a single gunshot, many lives change. Seattle Public Theater’s Pacific Northwest premiere of Slip/Shot evokes serious thought about the truth behind racial tension both in the 1960s and now. Written by Jacqueline Goldfinger in 2012, the play takes place in the racially divided town of Tallahassee in 1963, where a white security guard accidentally kills an innocent young black man. The first part of the play emphasizes the ideals of the American Dream as the characters look optimistically forward to the future with their families. Clem, a white security guard (played by Quinn Armstrong), attempts to establish an independent household away from his depressive father with his new wife Kitty (played by Jocelyn Maher). Likewise, couple Monroe and Euphrasie (played by Treavor Boykin and Marquicia Dominguez) look forward to their own future together as Euphrasie plans to attend college in the coming year. Bright stage lighting and fast-paced music evoke a sense of joy and giddiness within the audience. But the atmosphere changes when Clem accidentally fatally shoots Monroe. Everything becomes dark and turns into a blur; it’s as if time physically stops as the characters are unable to move on from the accident. Faith Russell, who plays Miz Athey, Monroe’s mother, does an exceptional job of showing the pain and angst of a mother losing her child. Her performance brings the audience to tears, including myself. Russell’s lingering eyes resting upon the spot where her son used to be arouses a sense of emptiness that cannot be filled again. Clem and Kitty seem to be caught up in the accident as well, unable to move on from the incident due to the fear of repercussions from the black population. They are unable to do anything without having to make sure that no harm would come to them. Their eventual fall into paranoia emphasizes one of the messages that the play is attempting to get across to its audience: Everyone needs to walk away from the past and work toward the future. Goldfinger also uses parallelism between the two families to illustrate the need for change in racial relationships. She shows that there is no difference between the two races when it comes down to their everyday lives. The blatant hatred and fear that both races have toward each other seem to be superficial as the play goes on to show how similar the characters of different races actually are. This effectively shows that one must have the courage to make choices for a better future for everyone, of all races, without having to fear each other. Slip/Shot prompts the audience to ponder whether we are caught up in false perceptions of the society today and make assumptions without learning the truth. Racial tension have been allowed to go on until now maybe due to lack of attempts to understand one another. In conclusion, this play offers a fresh perspective on still very present on social problems.

Slip/Shot Seattle Public Theater September 26 - October 12

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My Playlist

​Freaking Awesome Music and Art Recommendations from TeenTix Press Corps Writer Alyssa T.

About the DJ: I’m a nerdy programmer who lives for art, music, and anything ridiculously awesome, especially the five things I’m going to tell you about. I graduated from the UW Informatics: Human-Computer Interaction program, and in my spare time, I sing, sketch, and play the viola and guitar. Over the summer, I went on an art splurge in Europe and became a cheese farmer in France for a couple weeks. It was freaking awesome. And so are these:

1. Phantogram I have so much respect for Phantogram, it’s ridiculous. This alternative band manages to fuse sick beats with beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics to create some wicked music. This lovechild of alternative, hip hop, and electronic music is a real stunner. Listen to "Fall in Love," "Mouthful of Diamonds," "When I’m Small," and just all of their songs. “Dig a hole, fireworks exploding in my hands. If I could paint the sky, would all the stars be shining bloody red?”

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Shining Bright

​Review of Jewels at Pacific Northwest Ballet by Megan R.

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The show starts off with a bang — or rather, with a timpani. With the glittering curtain still down, the sound of Tchaikovsky soars from the orchestra pit and fills the concert hall. Then the curtain lifts and more then a dozen dancers come into view. As they leap and twirl across the stage, the dancers, dressed in sparkly bodices and flowing green skirts, truly become jewels.

Jewels at Pacific Northwest Ballet doesn’t set out to tell a story. When it premiered in 1967, George Balanchine’s Jewels became the first full-length plotless ballet and its three parts — “Emeralds,” “Rubies,” and “Diamonds” — are linked only by their jewel-toned costumes.

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Like Watching a Musician Destroy His Guitar

​Reveiw of Germinal at On the Boards by Tigerlily Cooley

Germinal

From the beginning of Germinal, one can tell it's an unconventional production. The stage lights flash repeatedly into the audience, followed by a mysterious light display on stage, all narrated by bursts of nervous laughter from the audience. After the stage lights finally come fully on, one expects the actors to talk, but they can't. Rather their thoughts are projected onto the back wall of the stage, a concept which later morphs into the natural use of subtitles. Both English and French are used throughout the play, and the dialogue is sophisticated.

Watching Germinal unfold is like watching a musician destroy his guitar at the end of the show, as the actors take pickaxes to the stage and rip down the curtains. And yet, somehow in all the chaos the creators, Antoine Defoort and Halory Goerger, manage to slip in profound thoughts regarding the laws of physics, existentialism, and philosophy.

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Throwback Thursday

​Review of A Chorus Line at 5th Avenue Theatre by Bella A.

A Chorus Line

Two hours and 10 minutes of sitting in the gorgeous 5th Avenue Theatre with no intermission immerses you in the stories of each character encountered. A Chorus Line has the elaborate dance numbers of a Broadway showstopper, but also the intimate feel of underground theater as characters twist, twirl, yell, and even weep before you.

Winner of nine Tony Awards, this musical is regarded as a classic in the world of theater. With its age in mind — it first opened in 1975 — the storyline seems notably edgy as it wrestles with questions of sexuality and daddy issues, and presents a brand new look into the grueling showbiz audition procedure through the eyes of 17 young dancers auditioning for a coveted place in a Broadway chorus line. You’ll meet Mike, the youngest of 12 siblings, who learned to dance to prove himself; Richie, an almost kindergarten teacher turned dancer; and Cassie, the desperately ambitious fallen starlet. These and other young men and women bravely step up and share their life stories. The show ends up being more of a process than the unfolding of a gripping plot.

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The Reimagining of an American Hero

​Review of The Mountaintop at ArtsWest by Griffin Scott-Rifer

Mountaintop

As I took my seat in the ArtsWest’s beautiful theater I was immediately was entranced by the set of The Mountaintop. Rain falling down windows transported me to another time and place. If I was at all distracted before, as soon as the lights dimmed in the theater, my mind was nowhere but right there in the Lorraine Motel with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the angel who comes to visit him the night before he is to die.

The lights come up on the well-known American hero, played by Reginald Andre Jackson. The Mountaintop begins as a raucous period comedy, complete with clever repartee between the two characters. But then about halfway through, it switches to an entrancing drama about the meaning of being a hero.

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