Showing posts from August, 2005

Hooked on Teutonics: The End (I Hope) of Silence

Apologies for my abject silence for the last three weeks. Yipes. Short story long: For those of you who don't know, I work in the ticket office at Seattle Opera , an internationally-renowned company hailed for its dazzling stagings of the works of legendary composer Richard Wagner. I love my job, and the company I work for, so please take it in the best possible light when I say that for all of August, I've been Richard Wagner's bitch. Seattle Opera has staged the composer's complete Ring cycle thrice in the last three weeks; the final run-through of Wagner's 18-hour epic wound down last night, and patrons from 49 of 50 states, and over 15 different countries, attended. If you're unfamiliar with this mammoth work, think Lord of the Rings , only with all of the dwarves, maidens, dragons, warriors, and deities singing, and with all of the special effects being created live, onstage. Yes, it's that big. And as you can imagine, working in any capacity in serv

Two Nights of the Iguana

Even amongst abject theater rubes like me, the name of Tennessee Williams looms large in reputation and influence. The late playwright's distinctive southern-fried meditations on spirituality, sex, and dysfunctionality spawned scores of imitators on stage, on screen, and in print. But Williams' works still provoke, inspire, and draw new generations. ACT theater in Seattle is currently mounting a new staging of the southern bard's Night of the Iguana (it runs until August 28), and to paraphrase one of its characters, the production is pretty fantastic--to these unjaded eyes, at least. It's a character study involving T. Lawrence Shannon, a disgraced minister now working as a tour operator. He squires a ladies' school tour group through Mexico, when, besieged by his own neuroses, he swipes the tour bus key and hides in a Mexican hotel run by an old friend, Maxine. Along the way other colorful characters drift to Maxine's hacienda while Shannon gradually unra

Character Actor Heaven: Hollywood Collectors Show, Feb 2005

Hollywood Collectors' Show, February 18/19, 2005 Character actors are the building blocks of cinematic life. And like a lot of important foundations (architectural or otherwise), they get little credit from the outside world for their contributions. Fortunately, there's the bi-monthly Hollywood Collectors' Show , where fans of all stripes can show these hard-working but underappreciated fixtures of film and TV some serious love, and even get some love back. Expect to make a bit of an investment for that love. Daily admission is $15 ($25 for a two-day pass), and all of the celebrities in attendance charge for their autographs (more on that later). But for a real film (or TV) nut, a Hollywood Collector's Show is absolute manna from heaven, and totally worth the extra change. Imagine a Star Trek convention stripped to its absolute essentials--ample celebrity guests and heaps of cool merchandise--and you get the idea. My wife and I saved our pennies for several months an