Reinvigorate Yourself This Spring

Teen Editorial Staff April 2023 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Aamina Mughal and Audrey Gray

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Even though we’re on the tail ends of the UW cherry blossoms, the spirit of reinvigoration, renewal, and reinvention remains in the air in the Seattle arts scene. In April we traveled from Jet City Improv to the Henry Art Gallery quintessential spring atmospheres. We hope you’ve been taking advantage of the nice weather and visiting all of our amazing arts partners!

We first see this theme of reinvention at the Henry with Thick as Mud, an exhibit that explores how mud represents the relationship between humanity and geography. The multimedia showing explores the violence inflicted against the environment as well as the potential for preservation and reinvigoration. Similarly, Ikat at the Seattle Art Museum uses an immersive experience to remind us of the importance of the tangible in terms of fashion. SAM describes this as “A radical departure from today’s factory-made cloth, Ikat serves as a reminder of the power of slow fashion and the sacredness of clothing as art”.

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A Sober Look at "A Very Drunken Christmas Carol"

Review of A Very Drunken Christmas Carol at Seattle Opera

Written by Teen Writer Roy Callahan and edited by Yoon Lee

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Seattle Opera’s A Very Drunken Christmas Carol is a festive and chaotic journey through the world of opera. The audience follows the Drunken Tenor, a talented and recognized singer who’s fallen into the bad habit of arriving to shows unprepared, stressing out his duet partners, and drowning himself in alcohol. After yet another messy performance, the opera star is called on by a mysterious voice and thrust into the classic trials of the Christmas Carol. Though an appealing concept, the opera suffers greatly from poor plot development and mediocre comedy, leaving audiences with a heaving pile of disappointment.

The Christmas Carol archetypes of past, present, and future underpin a widely underwhelming story which does nothing to grip the audience. Jumping into the past we meet an innocent Tenor who enters the opera scene under questionable guidance from his mentor and partner, the Baritone. The Baritone passes on his dubious habits of carrying a flask at all times, offering sips before performances for extra confidence, and entering duets wholly unprepared. This easily predictable storyline carries no energy, simply serving as an unsatisfying and unoriginal plot point. The lack of chemistry and heavy-handed dialogue between the tenor and the Baritone further weakens the story. The Drunken Tenor (Robert McPherson) in A Very Drunken Christmas Carol. Photo courtesy of Seattle Opera.

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The Holidays Are a Time for Traditions, and Breaking Them

Teen Editorial Staff December 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Aamina Mughal and Kyle Gerstel

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As we enter the depths of winter and the holiday season, art in Seattle is picking up a familiar festive theme—with a twist, of course. Tradition connects us to our heritage and identity, but it can also feel limiting. The ability to evolve traditions and create something new and interesting for the present is and has always been integral to art. Rest assured, there will be plenty of opportunities to revisit and reconstruct our favorite holiday classics this December.

Seattle Public Theater is bringing a Christmas classic to the mix with a revival of their A Very Die Hard Christmas, running from December 3 — 30. Similarly, A Very Drunken Christmas Carol is coming back to the Seattle Opera after a sold-out run in the 2021 season.

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2021 in Stand-Up: A Retrospective on the Introspective

Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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The wonderful thing about pessimism is that even if something bad happens, at least you can say, “I was right!”. In 2021, many foolish optimists thought the pandemic was nearly over. Consequently, our shared desperation as we celebrated the first pandemic-aversary, shaped much of the art that was created, leading to some of the most vulnerable, unique stand-up specials of all time.

“What? Stand-up comedy? That’s not art,” says a beret-clad man after buying a canvas some paint fell on for 72 million dollars. I hate to break it to you, buddy, but one of the fundamentals of art is that we don’t get to decide what it is or isn’t. Like all other art, stand-up communicates fresh perspectives through abstract presentation, finding entertainment value in its thoughtfulness. With streaming services such as Netflix on the rise, the medium is currently more accessible than ever. However, since it was not initially intended to be experienced digitally, artists have new constraints and creative opportunities.

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The Future is 0 Keeps Satire Classy

Review of The Future is 0 at On the Boards

Written by Teen Writer Ruby Lee and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

Jas Keimig Shannon Perry and Tomo Nakayama in The Future is 0 Photo by West Smith

The Future is 0 is an exhilarating night of satirical, refreshing commentary on our current society in the form of a classic game show, hosted by Clay Buff (Claire Buss) and Kat O’Hara (as herself). The show is, in the words of the hosts, “a battle of mental, physical, & psychological challenges” in which three contestants play a variety of absurd games. The contestants spin a wheel to choose the games, which are previewed with hysterical, Adult Swim style animations designed by Nick Shively, who also runs the booth. Subtly, one of the best parts of the show is the retro synth-pop theme music that plays throughout (and I am currently petitioning for its release onto streaming platforms).

Before the games begin, the main host Clay Buff performs her three-minute opening monologue during which an audience member is picked from the crowd to sit in the “Chuckle Throne.” A camera monitors the person's face and will sound an aggressively loud alarm whenever the person isn’t actively smiling and laughing. Besides being a hilariously bizarre intro, this establishes a key part of Clay’s character. Through her need for constant validation and praise and by forcing this audience member to smile and laugh the whole time we see her dictatorial manner. Her take on the classic game show host was eerie and fantastical and had a hypersensitive performative progressiveness that, while a commentary on our “fauxgressive” society, made her character refreshingly new but simultaneously all too familiar.

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An Artful End of the Year

Teen Editorial Staff December 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Lucia McLaren

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It’s that time of year when you look back and wonder where all the months have gone. Just yesterday it seemed like everyone was cheering at 2020’s end, and here we are now, just a month away from 2022. There are many things to be thankful for this year, but there are also many ways to celebrate this new beginning. TeenTix hopes to offer a sampling of all types of nostalgia and anticipation this holiday season, so come and join us in seeing some truly magical art.

Has COVID and all-virtual gatherings been making you miss that spark of connection with others? Then you should come see The Future is 0, a live show at On the Boards that promises to keep the audience on their toes with satirical commentary and a unique twist on a game show format. It seems like improv is everywhere this month—we’ll also be covering Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas at Jet City Improv, a show where your favorite family memories will be retold, live, with a comedian’s twist.

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Come Home to Safety, Love, and Joy

Review of HOMECOMING Performing Arts Festival presented by Intiman Theatre
Written by Teen Writer Ava Carrel and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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Last weekend’s HOMECOMING Performing Arts Festival from Intiman Theatre was a true celebration of joy. Walking into the festival, the love and effort could be immediately recognized: the patterns on the wristbands were beautifully drawn and the staff had towels on hand, constantly wiping seats off to make the event more accessible for their disabled or older guests. The pride was clear and well deserved.

The media constantly bombards us with news and images of trauma, loss, and marginalization—with the immense suffering of marginalized people becoming a staple in news today. Desensitization to such topics is becoming increasingly, and worryingly, normal. While it's essential to recognize systemic challenges to be able to invoke change, it’s just as important to showcase the togetherness and joy of POC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

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