Review Friday: Speech & Debate & More

Speech & Debate at The Seattle Rep

Lots of shows this week at The Seattle Rep, Balagan, Shadow & Light Theatre, Schmeater, Village, and more!

  • The youth-centric, local-cast Speech & Debate opened last week at The Seattle Repertory Theatre.  While some had issues with the light script tackling huge issues, most agreed the cast brought the needed energy to the play.  Misha Berson, Seattle Times: “As vividly and amusingly played by Erin Stewart..Diwata is utterly obnoxious — and touchingly clueless.”  Letitia Harmon: “All three turn in wonderful performances that simultaneously make their fatally flawed characters sympathetic and very likable.”
  • David Mamet’s distubring Edmond at Balagan is earning raves as well;  Michael Van Baker at SunBreak:  “It’s grotesque, violent, and profane…and, at Balagan, purely theatrical. It’s a beautifully formal achievement, an intricate villanelle on bigotry, lust, and madness.”
  • Shadow and Light Theatre‘s premiere show is Two By Pinter which is, well, two shows by Pinter.  It seems people are quite excited by this new company: Misha Berson calls the production “superb stagings of masterful work” and Jerry Kraft says “Shadow and Light is a theatrical gift to Seattle.”

So many others!  RENT at Tacoma Musical Playhouse (“the acting and the music are stunning, sad, uplifting and transformative”), Perô at the Seattle Children’s Theatre (“It’s sad—but sadly unsurprising—that the SCT gives kids more credit for being sentient than their own teachers and parents”), My Dear Lewis at Annex Theatre (“Young Seattle newcomer Kyle Loven just might be a burgeoning genius”), Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes at Theater Schmeater (“an okay play about a dilemma as old as professional art-making”), Lost In Yonkers at Village (“beautiful set, excellent costume design, visually interesting staging”), Sound Theatre Company‘s The Belle of Amherst (“a jewel, with every facet in perfect alignment”), The Crucible at Paradise Theatre (“A faithful, respectful and entertaining rendering”) and Wing-It ProductionsClues (“killing a little bit of your time will never feel so good.”)

Whew!  Are you as deep in show-seeing debt as I am?  So many amazing plays I have to catch!  Have you seen a play you want to talk about?  Add your own review on SeattlePerforms.com!

See the latest reviews here

simply flawed, a stressed-out explosion of misanthropy and rage that a youthful Mamet tried to repackage in context of life’s bigger questions. It’s grotesque, violent, and profane…and, at Balagan, purely theatrical. It’s a beautifully formal achievement, an intricate villanelle on bigotry, lust, and madness.“[Edmond is..] simply flawed, a stressed-out explosion of misanthropy and rage that a youthful Mamet tried to repackage in context of life’s bigger questions. It’s grotesque, violent, and profane…and, at Balagan, purely theatrical. It’s a beautifully formal achievement, an intricate villanelle on bigotry, lust, and madness.”
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