Gloria: A Life – Play – Strawberry Theatre Workshop

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Gloria: A Life #play w/ Strawberry Theatre Workshop reminded me of the Mrs. America TV miniseries & In the Time of the Butterflies Book-It Repertory Theatre play. Loved Ayo Tushinde’s portrayal of Flo Kennedy w/ her distinct accent & iconic hat. I wish I owned bras to burn in solidarity. Shake the patriarchy! A woman w/o a man is like a fish w/o a bicycle! #feminist #feminism #feminists #GloriaSteinem @GloriaSteinem

Synopsis from the Theatre: Five decades after Gloria Steinem began raising her voice for equality and championing the voices of others, she remains a leader of the American women’s movement. Emily Mann’s play traces the progress of Steinem’s extraordinary life, from her undercover Playboy Bunny exposé in the 1960s, through her founding of Ms. Magazine in the 1970s, to her speech at the 2017 Women’s March. Staged for Strawberry Theatre Workshop by Makaela Milburn in a living room set, Gloria: A Life puts the words of the famed journalist into action through an ensemble of six actors, played by Alanah Pascual, Kathy Hsieh, Marion Jacobs, Ayo Tushinde, Sarah Harlett, and Sharon Barto Gouran. Steinem’s journey to activism is traded between voices and distinct cultural origins, giving the movement less historical and more contemporary energy, and the early feminists’ accomplishments drawn as less individual and more collaborative. For Strawshop, Gloria is one of the most pertinent expressions of its mission to activate community conversation. Gloria expands the conversation in the second half of the evening to a discussion of local activism, bounded by four guidelines directly inspired by organizing principles of Black Lives Matter: “Lead with Love, Low Ego, High Impact, and Move at the Speed of Trust.”

Reviewed Performance: 1/26/23 Opening Performance – Original previous opening weekend delayed because of COVID-19. 🙁

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Defined Plot/Storyline: Like other biographical plays, there isn’t a strong plot. It’s a series of chronological scenes … like real life!

Recommendation: See it especially if you’re into women’s rights!

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now: Yes, if it was an Equity production

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
5 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: One but all were very good

Number of Actors: 6

Length (Including Any Intermission): 90 min performance + 20 min talkback

Intermission: No

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Favorite Line: Other than the classic “a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle,” I’ve never heard of “if women could sleep their way to the top, there’d be a lot more women at the top.” Apparently, this was a real quote from Gloria Steinem.

Rant(s)

  • Projections: Projections were a a little hard to see. However, I acknowledge it’s a fine line to balance shining enough light on actors vs reducing the light so projections are brighter.

Other Thought(s)

  • Mild Audience Participation: Actors paused occasionally so the audience could shout out answers to wall-projected questions or enter the answers on a website via smartphone. There was also a segment where audience volunteers were asked on-stage. Additionally, there was a talkback immediately after the show when actors actively requested the audience to stay for 20 mins.
  • Other Iconic Feminists: This play wasn’t just about Gloria Steinam. It also covered other major historical feminists during her time like Dorothy Pittman Hughes, Flo Kennedy, Wilma Mankiller (what an ironic name!), and Bella Abzug. However, I was surprised Betty Friedan wasn’t featured.
  • Historical Tidbits: A couple interesting historical facts were mentioned throughout the show:
    • Gloria Steinem’s (arguable) claim to fame was when she wrote an exposé as an undercover Playboy Bunny. Sex truly does sell!
    • Gloria ironically originally wanted to be a Rockette
    • The continental congress drew inspiration from the Iroquois Native Americans when designing the USA federal government

Theatre Company: Strawberry Theatre Workshop

Venue: 12th Avenue Arts

Venue Physical Address: 1620 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Price: Cheap to Medium

Dates: January 19 – February 18, 2023

Seating: General Admission

Parking: Paid lot or paid street parking. Street parking is extremely limited since it’s Capitol Hill. Your best luck would be East of Cal Anderson Park on 11th or 12th Ave. Cheapest paid lots are on 11th Ave across from the park. Sigh, “cheapest” was $16 dollars for me. :-/ I highly suggest parking far away or taking the bus.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See below

Cast and Production Team: See below video

@showsiveseen "#Gloria: A Life" #play w/ Strawberry #Theatre Workshop reminded me of the "Mrs. America" TV miniseries & "In the Time of the Butterflies" Book-It Theatre play. Loved @ayotushinde 's portrayal of Flo Kennedy w/ her distinct accent & iconic hat. I wish I owned bras to burn in solidarity. Down w/ the patriarchy! A woman w/o a man is like a fish w/o a bicycle! Review: showsiveseen.com/3605 #feminist #feminism #feminists #gloriasteinem ♬ Gloria (Glee Cast Version) – Glee Cast
RoleName
Gloria
(Reverse Alphabetical Order)
Sharon Barto Gouran
Sarah Harlett (AEA Member)
Marion Jacobs
Kathy Hsieh
Ayo Tushinde
Alanah Pascual
Projections Adam Zopfi Hulse
Artistic DirectorGreg Carter
SceneryBella Rivera
SoundKyle Thompson
LightingMaryalice Weed
CostumesLizz C Williams
Graphic Designer Melanie Wang
Playwright Emily Mann
Director Makaela Milburn assisted by Jasmine Lomax
Stage Manager Jasmine Lomax assisted by
Brandon Eller

Deathtrap – Play – Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Deathtrap play at Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts. Well-written & well-executed (no pun intended). Thrilling fight choreography. Definitely a promising candidate for my top shows of 2023. Thanks, Layton Gaskins, for making my day with the shoutout in your cast bio! #theatre

Synopsis from the Theatre: Comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a dry spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds. A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college—a thriller that Sidney recognizes immediately as a potential Broadway smash. Sidney’s plan, devised with his wife’s help, is to offer collaboration to the student for co-credit. Or is it? Deathtrap provides twists and turns of devilish cleverness, and offers hilariously sudden shocks in such abundance that audiences will be spellbound until the very last moment.

Reviewed Performance: 1/22/23 (Opening Weekend) – Sorry for the late review. I was busy with my dad was in town.

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Awards: Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Play in 1980

Film: Produced into a 1982 movie after the stage premier

Defined Plot/Storyline: While the number of scenes (not to mention the single setting) were probably too few to qualify for a full-fledged epic story, each act had a thrilling climax.

Recommendation: See it! This production is worth the long drive up to Marysville. My dad usually naps a couple minutes during each show I take him to, but he didn’t sleep a wink during this play.

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now: Yes, if it was an Equity production

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
5 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: None but they were very good

Number of Actors: 5

Length (Including Any Intermission): 2.5 hours

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Actors: Layton Gaskins seemlessly shifted his character from wide-eyed, nervous, awestruck innocence to cunning confidence. I was also already looking forward to seeing the talented Mary Leedy and Jag on-stage again. I previously saw Jag in 12 Angry Jurors at SecondStory Rep and Dashing Through the Snow at Phoenix Theatre. Mary was the female lead in Ghost-writer at Woodinville Repertory Theatre. Her shaken emotional freakouts contrasted well with Jag’s nonchalant sociopathy.
  • Shoutout: I typically don’t read playbill actor bios since there’s usually not enough time before the show. I’m so glad we that arrived early and that I didn’t miss the shoutout from Layton Gaskins. It made my day, and I sent a picture all my friends … and enemies 😛 . Now, I’m wondering if I missed any other mentions in other Puget Sound playbills from this past year!
  • Thrilling Twists: While the play started out a little slow/dry/stilted, it quickly progressed to shockingly thrilling with its crosses, double crosses, action, and climaxes. The play kept me wondering “Will they do it? Will they not do it?” several times throughout the show. At the end of the first act, the audience was left with a cliffhanger and I thought “Holy cow, did that just really happen?”
  • Fight Scenes: Fight choreography was well-executed and well-designed. The blood took me by surprise and could have landed on us in the audience front row! Side note, I saw some blood unintentionally on one of the actors’ pants in a subsequent scene that took place days later. Get another pair from the Goodwill behind the theatre!
  • Wall Art: The walls were decorated with a thoughtful collection of showbiz posters mentioned throughout the play. There was also a wide plethora of weaponry mentioned throughout the show. I wonder where they all came from.

Rant(s)

  • Typing: The typewriter typebars kept getting stuck together so it didn’t look like the typist was actually writing a play.

Other Thought(s)

  • Foreshadowing: Carol Richmond provided the comedic relief as an old mysterious Ukranian woman with ESP. If I learned anything in theatre, never doubt prophetic foreshadowing!
  • LGBT: There were gay themes in the play, but they were too subtle. I actually didn’t even initially recognize them. But I’ll give the play a pass since it was written in the 1970s, which was a different time. I mean, one of the male actors wore groovy bell bottoms.

Theatre Company: Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts

Venue: Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts

Venue Physical Address: 9315 State Ave #J, Marysville, WA 98270

Price: Cheap

Dates: January 20 – February 5, 2023

Seating: General Admission

Parking: Free lot parking in the strip mall where this theatre is located.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures under video and in video by Kenny Randall.

Cast and Production Team: See below pictures

@showsiveseen #Deathtrap #play at @redcurtainarts. Well-written & well-executed (no pun intended). Thrilling fight choreography. Definitely a promising candidate for my top shows of 2023. Thanks, Layton Gaskins, for making my day with the shoutout in your cast bio! Review + Photo Credit: showsiveseen.com/3539 #theatre ♬ Dangerous – The Red Collective
Sidney Bruhl (Jag) encourages his wife Myra (Mary Leedy) to read a student’s play manuscript in Ira Levin’s Deathtrap, running Jan. 20 through Feb. 5 at the Red Curtain Arts Center, 9315 State Ave. #J in Marysville.
Clifford (Layton Gaskins – standing) is anxious to hear the opinion of successful playwright Sidney Bruhl (Jag) in Ira Levin’s Deathtrap, running Jan. 20 through Feb. 5 at the Red Curtain Arts Center, 9315 State Ave. #J in Marysville.
Clifford (Layton Gaskins) and Sidney (Jag) struggle to gain control of a deadly ax in Ira Levin’s Deathtrap, running Jan. 20 through Feb. 5 at the Red Curtain Arts Center, 9315 State Ave. #J in Marysville.
NameRole
Jag Sidney Bruhl
Mary Leedy Myra Bruhl
Layton GaskinsClifford Anderson
Carol Richmond Helga ten Dorp
Dawn Cornell Porter Milgrim
Ira LevinPlaywright
Scott Dittman Director
Daniel Hanlon Assistant Director
Haylie ConchelosStage Manager
Lee Ann Hittenberger Fight Choreography
Courtney CalkinsProp and Set Dressing
Celeste Jackson-Moody Costumes
Scott B RandallSet Design
Werner “Randy” Randall Set Construction Lead
Scott Randall
Mike Pieckiel
Aiden Pieckiel
Spencer Greer
Set Construction
Scott Randall Lighting Design
Layton Gaskins Lighting Technician
Andi Leach Light Board Operator
Daniel Hanlon Sound Design
Mike Pieckiel Sound Board Operator
Aiden Pieckiel
Paula Van Dalen
Stage Crew
Kenny RandallPublicity Photos
Beckye Randall Marketing and Publicity
Michele Beito Bar Manager
Kim Shumway Concessions Manager

Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations – Musical – Paramount Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations jukebox musical w/ Broadway at the Paramount and Seattle Theatre Group. Imagine a mashup of the musicals Motown and Jersey Boys. Tight harmonies and smooth dance moves. Even the synchronized stage clapping sounded good! #theatre #retro

Synopsis from the Theatre: Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations is the electrifying, new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Nominated for 12 Tony® Awards and the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography, Ain’t Too Proud tells the thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal, as the group’s personal and political conflicts threatened to tear them apart during a decade of civil unrest in America. Written by three-time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), and featuring the Tony-winning choreography of Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!), the unforgettable story of this legendary quintet is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more.

Reviewed Performance: 1/24/23 – Opening Night

Type: Jukebox Musical

World Premiere: No

Awards: 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography

Defined Plot/Storyline: Plot was semi-defined but not strong. But this is typical in a jukebox musical. It is also expected from shows written in biographical form (like this one). There is no strong plot in real life!

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes

Recommendation: See it especially if you’re a fan of the Temptations group. You don’t need to be a fan of their music to enjoy the show. I only knew 1/4 of the songs and my dad only knew 2 of the songs.

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now: Maybe

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4.5 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: All of them

Number of Actors: 22

Length: 2.5 to 2.75 hours, which felt a little longer than what I’m used to

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Voices: Obviously, all the actors had amazing voices. But a special shoutout goes to Devin Price (Al Bryant) with his powerful tenor in “(You Make Me Want to) Shout.” Elijah Ahmad Lewis (David Ruffin) was a great replacement for Devin when the Temptations kicked Devin’s character out the group. The tenors don’t get all the glory in this show though. Harrell Holmes Jr showcased his incredible bass voice as Melvin Franklin. He “got bass lower than the devil!”
  • Lighting Design: The stage haze elegantly highlighted the simple clean lines of the bright spotlights dramatically shining directly downward on each of the Temptations. The marquees on the set reminded me of ritzy classic showbiz. The large lightbulbs that suddenly shined directly behind the Temptations were elegant and glamourous. The designers even included details like “hot lights” on TV set video recorders in the American Bandstand scenes.
  • Costumes: The costumes conveyed a vintage feel. I was strangely drawn to the funeral attire, which was very elegant, simple, and old money. The classic black umbrellas were also a nice addition to the funeral scene.
  • Supremes: I was pleasantly surprised that they included some numbers sung by the Supremes like “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Rant(s)

  • Views in the Paramount Theatre: Warning, soapbox ahead! Let me just start out saying that I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to review this show and my seat was well-placed. It was on the aisle at the center where I could theoretically see everything. It was also not too close or far from the stage. However, most patrons at the Paramount Theatre tend to significantly obstruct the view of the person directly behind them. I’ve been burned too many times by this. I’ve even sat in the third row of the center main floor orchestra and a head still annoyingly blocked my view, which was very disappointing especially after paying more than $100 on that ticket. Several regular Seattle theatre patrons have voiced the same concern with Paramount Theatre seats. It is ironic that the arguably most prestigious theatre in the city (which also hosts most touring Broadway shows) also has the highest possibility of an obstructed view. I’ve never experienced this at 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, or ACT Theatre. Unfortunately, at the Paramount Theatre, you’re only safe with a view in a section’s first row (whether orchestra or mezzanine) with a walkway buffer in front of you. You’d also be safe in the back row of a section propped up by two seat pillows. I wish the Paramount Theatre could change the elevation grade/slope to be steeper and I also wish they would stagger the seats better. Hopefully the “Save a Seat” program will prevent obstructed views that make it difficult to review/enjoy shows. First world problems, right? 😛

Other Thought(s)

  • Historical Anecdotes: A couple interesting historical facts were mentioned throughout the show. For example, apparently there have been more than 25 Temptations members since the group’s inception. Also, one of the past members was known for sneaking on-stage to perform after the group fired him!

Theatre Company: National Tour from Broadway Across America and Seattle Theatre Group

Venue: Paramount Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 911 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: Medium to Expensive

Ticket Affordability Options: Seattle Theatre Group might partner with an organization you’re affiliated with for discount tickets. For example, I believe UW employees and students are eligible for an organization discount.

Dates: January 24 – February 5, 2023

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Paid street parking and paid garage parking. The best parking garage is under the convention center w/ the entrance on Pike around the Pike and Terry intersection. Last I checked, this is one of the cheapest, least busy, and closest garages. Alternatively, you can probably find street parking as you move closer to the West Precinct (810 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101). Do NOT park where the Paramount subscribers park. Last I checked, they usually park in the garage attached to the Cheesecake Factory. It’ll take you at least 30 minutes to exit that garage after the show.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures under video

@showsiveseen “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life & Times of the #Temptations#jukebox #musical w/ @seattletheatregroup at Paramount #Theatre. Imagine a mashup of the musicals #Motown & Jersey Boys. Tight harmonies & smooth dance moves. Even the synchronized stage clapping sounded good! Review: showsiveseen.com/3482 @motownrecords #retro @officialtemptations ♬ My Girl (from “My Girl”) – Hollywood Session Singers
National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Original Broadway Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Harrell Holmes Jr., Jalen Harris, Harris Matthew, Marcus Paul James, James T. Lane from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Jalen Harris and the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Harrell Holmes Jr., Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Jalen Harris, Marcus Paul James, James T. Lane from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Traci Elaine Lee, Deri’Andra Tucker, Shayla Brielle G. from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Jalen Harris, Marcus Paul James, Harrell Holmes Jr., James T. Lane from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.
Marcus Paul James, Jalen Harris, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Harrell Holmes Jr., James T. Lane from the National Touring Company of Ain’t Too Proud. Credit: © 2021 Emilio Madrid.

Po Boy Tango – Play – Tacoma Little Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Po Boy Tango play at Tacoma Little Theatre. Poetic food descriptions made me so hungry that I bought concessions at intermission … & I never do that! #theatre

Synopsis from the Theatre: Po Boy Tango tells the story of Richie Po, a Taiwanese immigrant who turns to his estranged friend Gloria, an African-American Soul Food Chef, to help him recreate his mother’s ‘Great Banquet’. Despite the challenges of shark fin soup, duck po boy sandwiches, and underlying cultural tensions, they find common ground through their shared humor and the blending of traditional Chinese cuisine and African-American soul food. Helped by lessons from Po Mama’s television cooking show, the two discover a deeper understanding of food, culture, and the nature of friendship.

Reviewed Performance: 1/20/23 – Opening Night

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Awards: TCG Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award (2008)

Defined Plot/Storyline: There was no well-defined plot. It was more dialogue.

Live Band/Orchestra: N/A

Recommendation: See it if you like shows that are more dialogue than story

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4.25 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: None

Length: 2.5 hours, which felt a little longer than what I’m used to

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Stage Backgrounds: Some of the projected backgrounds realistically complemented well with the stage furniture. For example, when the lights turned on in the first scene, I was wondering how they changed stage furniture so quickly but then realized I was seeing a kitchen cabinetry projection on the background projection with a kitchen island furniture piece on the foreground.

Rant(s)

  • Stagehand: There were two instances where I could see the stagehand in the back and I was wondering if they were part of the scene. They were not.

Other Thought(s)

  • Conflicts: Maybe I’m an unfeeling dense robot but I didn’t grasp the 10-year conflict. I mean, people sometimes drift apart and that’s life, right? I also didn’t understand what caused the anger at the end of act one.

Theatre Company: Tacoma Little Theatre

Venue: Tacoma Little Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 210 N I St, Tacoma, WA 98403

Price: Cheap

Ticket Affordability Options: Try the PWYC (Pay What You Can) performance on February 2nd or GoldStar

Dates: January 20 – February 5, 2023

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Mostly street parking. I usually like to park one block away on North Yakima Ave. Season ticket holders and donors can access a free parking lot.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video by Dennis K Photography

Cast and Production Team: See below pictures

@showsiveseen “Po Boy Tango” #play at @tacomalittletheatre. #Poetic #food descriptions made me so hungry that I bought concessions at intermission … & I never do that! Review + Photo Credit: showsiveseen.com/3445 #Taiwanese #black #POC #BiPOC #soulFood #Chinese #theatre ♬ Tango – ABIR
Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon) & Richie Po (Sam Lai)
Po Mama (Aya Hashiguchi)
Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon) & Richie Po (Sam Lai)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
Po Mama (Aya Hashiguchi)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
Richie Po (Sam Lai) & Gloria B (Michelle Blackmon)
NameRole
Michelle Blackmon Gloria
Aya HashiguchiPo Mama
Sam Lai Richie Po
Kenneth Lin Playwright
David Hsieh Director
Thomas Robinson Stage Manager
Allen Melo Assistant Stage Manager
Blake R. YorkTechnical Director/Graphic Design
Burton K. Yuen Scenic Designer & Visuals
Michele Graves Costime Designer
Dylan Twiner Production Manager/Sound Designer
Niclas Olson Lighting Designer
Frank Roberts Lead Carpenter/Properties Designer
Jax Averna Assitant Properties Designer
Nate Lovitt Shop Assistant
Jennifer York Scenic Artist
Chandler Garry Sound Board Operator
Mauro Bozzo Hair and Wig Consultant
Dennis K Photography Photography

House of Hearts – Dinner Show – Can Can Culinary Cabaret

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): House of Hearts burlesque cabaret show at Can Can Culinary Cabaret. Very Moulin Rouge w/ all the luxurious red velvet trappings/tapestry. New larger (but still intimate) venue since the last time I saw a show here in 2019.

Synopsis from the Theatre: All peace is disrupted in the Land of Broken Hearts when Queen Astral’s daughter, Aurora (Shadou Mintrone), falls in love with the town fool, Puck (Jonathan Betchtel), at the Broken Hearts Ball, the fastidious annual gathering where speaking or feeling love is forever banned and punishable by death. Luna (Jasmine Jean Sim) tries to contain the peace and order by convincing the Queen to have mercy and a change of heart to reverse the archaic laws she once created that would subject her very own daughter to death. When the chaos unravels, will the love escape the grasp of the Queen’s tortured past and prevail to save her very own daughter? Your presence at the House of Hearts will reveal the answers to these curiosities and more.

Reviewed Performance: 1/19/23

Type: Dinner Cabaret Show

World Premiere: Likely – I think most of their shows are produced new in-house

Awards: None, which is expected for world premieres

Defined Plot/Storyline: Like most dinner shows, there was no well-defined plot. The story was more of a framework for each act.

Live Band/Orchestra: No

Recommendation: See it if you like burlesque, cabaret, Teatro ZinZanni, Triple Door (especially Verlaine & McCann), or dinner shows.

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: This is the first time I saw this production, but I previously saw Bon Bon at their previous location years ago.

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: Not tracked in shows like this

Length: Less than 90 minutes

Intermission: There were two 5-10 minute intermissions

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Energy: Kudos to Puck (Jonathan Betchtel) the jester for his energy emceeing the show … on a Thursday nonetheless!
  • Cabaret Musical Song: This show included singing and I was pleasantly surprised to hear them perform the classic song “Don’t Tell Mama” from the Cabaret musical. It was very fitting for a show like this.
  • Jester in Training: Puck picked a cute guy Noah from the audience to be his jester-in-training. Surprisingly, Noah was a really good sport about it and even had some moves.

Rant(s)

  • Bass: Call me an old fart, but the bass was too loud.
  • View: While their new venue ads more seats in the house, some seats now have a poorer view. I don’t recommend sitting far away from the center … no matter how inviting the cozy corner table looks! You’ll miss the view from the other side of the room. The show started at 7PM but they recommended you arrive at 6-6:30 PM for better seats. Don’t worry, you can order/eat food and drinks while you wait for the show to start.

Theatre Company: Can Can Culinary Cabaret

Venue: Can Can Culinary Cabaret

Venue Physical Address: 95 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: Medium Expensive

Ticket Affordability Options: I couldn’t find any but that’s expected for dinner shows since they’re usually for-profit unlike traditional play/musical theatres.

Dates: January 12 to March 26, 2023

Seating: General admission that is assigned by a host(ess) like in a restaurant. You can also purchase upgraded tickets to guarantee a better seat.

Parking: I usually walk or transit anywhere near Pike Place Market. Street parking is typically difficult around here. I think the cheapest evening garage lot is Pike Place garage (1531 Western Ave P, Seattle, WA 98101).

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video by Nate Watters

Cast and Production Team: See below pictures

@showsiveseen "House of Hearts" #burlesque #cabaret show at @cancanseattle. Very #MoulinRouge w/ all the luxurious red velvet trappings. New larger (but still intimate) venue since the last time I saw a show here in 2019. Review: showsiveseen.com/3406 #CanCan ♬ Cancan – As des As
NameRole
Jonathan Betchtel Puck
Shadou Mintrone Aurora
Jasmine Jean Sim Luna
Richard Peacock Queen Astral
Sasha Voyt Persia
Chris Pink Artistic Director and Founder
Fae PinkChoreographer
Jonathan Betchtel Co-Producer and Emcee
Shadou Mintrone Co-Producer and Costumes
Fae Pink & Dave Pezzner Soundtrack
Robert Matos Lighting and Sound Production
Jerena Layacan and Britta Baer-SimonLight and Sound Technician
Robert Aguilar Lighting Designer
Nate Watters Photography
Vicente T. Capala lll Videography, Graphic Design and Marketing