Boling's recommendations among shows seen the week of 14 February 2005
Wednesday 16 February 2005: An Enemy of the People at Taproot Theatre Company
This is Arthur Miller's adaptation of a timeless Ibsen work, doubly relevant today with the recent attention to Miller's career achievements. Terry Edward Moore is the doctor who discovers that the water supply for a new spa is contaminated. Marquam Krantz is his brother, the mayor and chairman of the board of the spa. Fifteen others represent family, media, and townspeople, each of whom has an ox that will be gored by the doctor's findings. Where does one stand - on the side of truth, or on the side of economic security? Does an individual have an absolute right to publish information that will damage others (especially when those others are not responsible for the situation that is going to be publicized)? Interesting issues, thoughtfully presented. Checkmarks to Moore and Nikki Visel (a reporter); double checks to Krantz (the man we all love to hate); and honorable mentions to Pam Nolte and Sarah Lamb (the doctor's wife and daughter) and to Victoria Ritchey (publisher). Scott Nolte directed.
Saturday 19 February 2005: Rumors, Centerstage at the Knutzen Family Theater (Federal Way)
Cynthia White directed this Neil Simon chestnut selected by Centerstage to get audiences back to their shows - and the advance bookings justify their choice. By and large, the performance will not hurt them, either (though I was surprised at the amount of strong language in this piece - I don't recall hearing those words in ArtsWest's 2002 production of this script). Simon gets repetitive in places, but the ten players keep the action moving along. Checkmarks to Eva Doak and Dean Wilson, double checks to Heidi Weinrich, and an honorable mention to Jason Rose. If you have never seen this piece, the Centerstage production is a better-than-serviceable place to try it out.
Saturday 19 February 2005: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, GreenStage at Sand Point (building 30)
This is GreenStage's annual winter (indoor) show, in their "American Classics" series. Don't look for them in the brig this year - they are across the street from the brig, performing "in the round" in one of the converted hangars. Peter Burford directed Edward Albee's interminable exploration of middle-aged fantasies. The piece is in three long acts, and at times one just wishes that some of the braying would go away, but act three is so powerful that the torture leading to it is forgiven. With only four players, they each get numerous places to shine. Checkmarks to all (Ken Holmes, David J Dodge, and Amelia Meckler), and double checks to Erin Day as Martha. As always, admission is by donation - you will want to reach deeply into your pocket when you exit from this raucous living room.
Sunday 20 February 2005: 12 Minutes Max at On the Boards
This month's program has seven segments, ranging from monologue to dance to balloon sculpture. Two of these pieces are snippets of work that will appear in the Northwest New Works Festival in April (and they entice one to put those dates on the calendar). Checkmarks to: Montana von Fliss for a monologue developed from an interview of a woman describing her youth; Zoe Schofield (choreographer and dancer) and four other dancers; and James Burchfield (AudioPoet) for a piece of amazing vocalizations. Honorable mentions to: Jonah Von Spreecken for a monologue from a schoolmaster; and Jody Kuehner for a dance piece that brings geekiness to life.