Browsing All Posts published on »December, 2012«

Land of the Sweets – The Burlesque Nutcracker (the Triple Door)

December 19, 2012


"Land of the Sweets" at The Triple Door.
It is official. The holiday season in Seattle has begun and that can mean only one thing, the return of Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann’s annual installment of "Land of the Sweets – the Burlesque Nutcracker" at the renowned venue, The Triple Door. “Land of the Sweets” puts a unique twist on the traditional Nutcracker Suite, incorporating various styles of professionally choreographed dance routines, aerial acrobatics, vaudevillian comedy and of course, burlesque. Verlaine and McCann are joined by local stars Waxie Moon, Kitten LaRue, Miss Indigo Blue, Babette La Fave, Inga Ingénue and others on the 2013 show which runs for 21 performances from December 11 – 27.

Verlaine and McCann continue to refine the show which took Seattle by storm 6 years ago, keeping it fresh and new with innovative routines and costumes in this year’s performance not included in prior year shows. McCann continues his masterful role as ringmaster to this exotic collection of performers and successfully kicks off the show by working the audience and getting them into the festive mood of the show.

Land of the Sweets” is an intelligent, well-paced, assortment of entertaining impish vignettes catering to audience enjoyment. Chock full of talented performers, kudos to Verlaine and McCann on casting as the performers executed together like a well-oiled machine, seemingly amused and enjoying the experience of working together. Especially memorable was the overall cast playfulness, facial expressiveness and tongue-in-cheek humor exhibited in many of the scenes, but embodied in the performance of the naïvely playful Snowflakes, played by Inga Ingénue, Polly Wood and Holly Pop.

Fiddler on the Roof (Village Theatre)

December 12, 2012


Village Theatre tackles the challenging and beloved family favorite musical “Fiddler on the Roof” and succeeds in generating an embarrassment of entertainment riches for audiences. I admit I was skeptical upon arrival at the theater. The idea that a live show could convey the enduring charm and delight of Norman Jewison’s 1971 movie seemed highly unlikely but “miracle of miracles” I was more than pleasantly surprised at what I witnessed.

Fiddler on the Roof” tells the story of Russian-Jewish patriarch Teyve, a dairyman in Czarist Russia, struggling to maintain his balance while raising five daughters during difficult times. An incredibly likeable character, beloved for his unpretentious and authentic personal relationship with God, Teyve tells us that God’s law provides the balance required to keep him and other Jews from toppling over. Without it, their lives would be 'as shaky as a fiddler on the roof'. Ever-changing times and increasingly strong-willed children, put Teyve's faith as well as his ability to bend without breaking to the ultimate test.

From top to bottom the production shines, like a guiding light from Teyve’s beloved Torah. The cast and crew, set designs and scene transitions, choreography, songs, etc…all were off the chart amazing and masterfully executed. Many of the songs were so wonderfully recreated on stage that they gave me chills. There is so much to like about the show, that I am at a loss at where to begin, so let’s start at the top. Eric Polani Jensen as family patriarch Teyve had an almost insurmountable challenge in recreating the role defined by Chaim Topol. I have seen other performances of “Fiddler on the Roof” and struggled to erase the memory of Topol’s definitive performance in that role, but somehow Jensen pulls it off with ease. Jensen not only looks very similar to Topol’s Teyve, but channels the same lovable charisma of Topol and the results are astonishing. I was disappointed when Topol injured his back and was unable to perform “Fiddler” in Seattle recently, but Jensen’s performance satisfied my unfilled desire.