Review Friday: Much Ado About “Two Gentlemen”

Many options for you this weekend:

  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Seattle Shakespeare Company‘s modernized version of Shakespeare’s B-side was met with raves this week.  “The cast did an exceptional job at uniting the extreme modernity of their new ‘world’ and the 500-year-old words of Shakespeare,” Paulina Przystupa writes on the TeenTix blog, “So much so that I swear Shakespeare dreamed of text messages when he wrote lines like ‘my father calls'”  Broadway Hour Seattle says “The performance was magnificent; it is a show that must be bragged about to the entire theater scene of Seattle.”

    Two Gentlemen of Verona

    Seattle Shakespeare Company's "The Two Gentlemen of Verona"

  • The Jammer: Balagan‘s ode to roller derby has been equally praised for the actors and derided for the script.  “Rolin Jones’ script is, quite honestly, only a two-star story. It is bizarre, unfocused, and doesn’t quite manage to resolve convincingly,” Letitia Jones writes, “The dedication and skill of the cast, however, bumps the full experience up to four stars.”
  • Brooklyn Boy: Seattle MetBlogs enjoyed it, saying “Taproot gets maximum impact from a minimalist set; sound and light make for rich, genuine environments. Brooklyn Boy is both serious and funny, often within the same scene, and the cast does an excellent job of balancing both drama and comedy without slighting either.”  Seattle Weekly disagreed; “Brooklyn Boy is as earnestly on-the-nose as its title. Worse still, it’s lazy playmaking that takes a list of ideas (many of them quite interesting, like the two-sided coin of basking in reflected glory and living in someone else’s shadow) and injects them into a mostly single-file parade of characters who trundle out for their pleasantries and perfunctory sparring matches, then disappear.”
  • Sunlight: ArtsWest‘s play about shady government practices after 9/11.  Seattle Gay News writes “(Sunlight is) an incredibly smart, thoroughly well-written play focusing on our modern ethics.” while the Seattle Times calls it “articulate and probing.”
  • The Gypsy King: a new musical over at Village Theatre.  Seattle Gay Scene says “the action is fast physical comedy with a classic vaudeville feel.”  Misha Berson at the Seattle Times was less enthused, writing “a terrific cast and swell sets make The Gypsy King sparkle, but you’ll need patience for all the farce and tired fairy-tale shtick in Act 1.”
  • Winky: The Stranger thoroughly enjoyed what The Satori Group brought to this adaptation of a short story by George Saunders.  “Winky may not be the fullest flowering of Satori’s potential, but it’s a rewarding (and often ruefully funny) experiment in blowing down old walls and building up new ones. Let the Satori Group be an example to the rest of us.”

Also reviewed this week is Open Circle Theatre‘s The Private Lives of Eskimos (Or 16 Words For Snow), Dying City (Seattle Public Theatre), Getting Near to Baby (Seattle Children’s Theatre), The Grapes of Wrath (Bainbridge Performing Arts) and Recent Tragic Events (Unbalancing Act).  Check it all out at Seattle Performs!

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