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Team of Heroes: Behind Closed Doors

17 Apr


Team of Heroes

Photo via Annex Theatre

You bet it is, Shockwave! Can I call you that? Maybe Mr. Shockwave might be more appropriate. You’ll have to excuse me, I’ve never blogged about a superhero before. Totally popping my literary superhero-cherry right now. And things just got awkward…

So yeah. This Friday, April 20th the Annex Theatre is debuting a new play titled Team of Heroes: Behind Closed Doors, which takes a look at the dark past and less-than-perfect present of the world’s best super heroes. According to the Annex Theater website, the show promises to be a “spandex-clad tale of media manipulation and super-heroics.” Sounds fabulous to me!

I plan to attend opening night, but if you can’t make Friday, performances will be at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday until May 19th. Plenty of time to get your superhero fix!

For tickets and additional information, visit the Team of Heroes: Behind Closed Doors webpage.


Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker

22 Dec

Here’s a Nutcracker you don’t want to miss!

In it’s sixth annual year, the Verlaine+McCann production, Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker is selling out shows all season. The production has been hailed as the “perfect mix of singing, acrobatics, glamour and smutty jokes” (ProstAmerika), that features an all-star cast from Seattle’s Burlesque A-list.

This isn’t you’re average Nutcracker, so maybe leave the kiddos at home but if you’re game for a little mash-up of classical dance and vintage bump, this ones for you. It’s not too late to get in on the action. Two additional shows were just added to the schedule, Tuesday, December 27 at 7pm and 10 pm and one of the Christmas Eve performances still has tickets for sale (standing room only for sold out shows may still be available. Call: 206.838.4333. All performances are all the Triple Door.

All photos courtesy of Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker

Teatro ZinZanni: Dinner vs. Late Night

22 Jan


So, if you’ve been reading us here at Belles of the Sound for a while you may have seen this topic covered some time ago by both Tracy (Love, Chaos and Dinner) and Melissa (Love, Chaos and Dinner Part Deux) and you may be thinking that it’s been done.  Then again, you may have never read this blog before and hove no idea who or what I’m talking about.  To both groups I hope I have some new things to offer.

Les Petits Frères (Photo Courtesy http://dreams.zinzanni.org)

First, Teatro ZinZanni has different shows running at different times of year.  It isn’t just the same thing over and over again.  So if you have seen one you haven’t seen them all.  I recently checked out two very different ZinZanni offerings.  First my boyfriend and I and partook in the full-fledged dinner extravaganza of their most recent show Hearts on Fire (Still running until  January 23!) which was a celebration of love in many forms (some more ridiculous than others).  There were great musical contributions from disco performer Thelma

Houston and opera singer Rachel DeShon.  Also comedienne Christine Deaver was hysterical especially when choosing members of the audience (mostly male) to publicly humiliate.   The most impressive display of seemingly impossible physical feats came from Les Petits Frères and their amazing tumbling skills.  I can barely walk down the stairs without tripping over my own feet so I’m always all the more impressed by people who really have control over their bodies.  I’m pretty sure if I fell off a ladder from great heights it would only end in a trip to the emergency room, not gasps of wonderment and furious applause.  That’s why I’m not the acrobat.  Well, that’s one reason.  Anyway, it was funny and fun and all and all a great evening.

On a separate evening we visited Teatro ZinZanni’s late night offering Mezzo Lunatico.  This show only runs 2 hours and costs $25 (with a two drink minimum mind you).  While there were some great performances and an interesting mix it certainly lacks the production value and overall epic feel of the dinner show.  It’s a little display of some of the raunchier bits of dance and song and other (In our show this was provided mostly by male burlesque artist Waxie Moon.  We definitely saw the full Moon (sorry, I couldn’t resist))  It was fun but felt pretty thrown together and some performers were definitely better than others.

All in all I’d say if you have to choose one definitely go big.  The whole dinner and show is really worth the price of admission.  Otherwise, the Mezzo Lunatico was fun and that show also changes every month (The next one is Feb. 19) so you never know what you’re going to get.  Either way you go under their 100 year old Speigeltent you are sure to have a unique and entertaining experience.

Recapture the Majesty of the Past

2 May

In the heart of Ballard, there exists a wondrous family-run, three-screen movie theater that delivers the audience back to a time when a night at the movies was an affair to remember.

The trip begins as you stand under the traditionally styled marquee at the Majestic Bay Theatre. After you purchase a ticket to your cinematic adventure, be sure to check out the handcrafted fused-glass fixtures (created by a local artist) in the lower lobby.

As you continue to your plush chair, you may notice a nautical theme that is prevalent throughout the building. This is a nod to the customs of older movie palaces in the Northwest, which all paid homage to the difficult lifestyle of the fisherman.

After taking your seat, a waterfall curtain rises at the start of the presentation – the largest waterfall curtain made in Seattle since the early 1970s. You won’t be bombarded with ads, as in most other cinemas around the world, you’ll only be treated to coming attractions. Upon the completion of the previews, the curtain falls and rises again to signal the start of the film.

In keeping with the legacy-style, before the film is a signature (a short identity film that plays before the movie). It is simple, a replaying of series of pictures taken by Eadweard Muybridge to prove that a horse’s feet don’t all leave the ground when they gallop (he was wrong).

The signature works perfectly for the theater, as owner Ken Aldadeff used to love helping out at his grandfather’s successful Thoroughbred stable – Eltteas Farms. Ken even named his company Eltteas Theatres in honor of the farm (Eltteas is Seattle spelled backwards).

The family vibe is apparent in every nook and cranny, especially at the beginning of certain shows. A few summers ago, I was there on opening day to see a big summer movie that was completely sold out. Before the previews began, Ken himself went to the front of the theater and handed out prizes to people who could answer movie questions, or those who were sitting in specific seats.

After the film has ended, be sure to check out other curiosities around the building. The restroom doors have likenesses of Ken’s parents, and the hallway on the third floor showcases annual top-grossing films and community events. One of the 100 pigs created to celebrate Pike’s Market’s centennial resided out front for a time, but now lives upstairs. The pig is dressed as a traditional movie usher on the front half, with popcorn painted on the other. Lastly, don’t miss one of the steerage benches used on the set of “Titanic.”

Whether you’re interested in the tradition of the place, or simply want to catch a movie at a convenient time, you shouldn’t ignore the chance to take in the wonders of this Ballard gem.

From Seattle to Chicago to New York…

13 Mar

First let me say, this may devolve into a bit of a rant.

When it comes to going to the theater, I can be kind of an old lady about it.  For example, I really hate it when people show up late to a show.  I would be perfectly alright with locking the door once the curtain goes up and not letting anyone in until intermission.  I know, it’s harsh, but at least let me explain why I hate it.  For me, part of the magic of live theater is how I can just get totally wrapped up in it and forget about the real world around me.   I just want to be immersed.  When somebody shows up late and the girls whacks me with her overfilled purse and the guy stomps on my foot I am yanked from my fantasy world.

This brings me to last weekend.  As a lovely birthday gift, my boyfriend took me out to see Chicago at the Paramount.  The show itself was great.  The actors and voices were excellent.  The costumes were appropriately scant.  (It’s funny trying to take someone seriously playing a judge while he’s wearing a mesh shirt.)  All in all it was a lot of fun.

However, I was unfortunately distracted.  The women in front of us were apparently under the false impression that the show was being put on solely for their enjoyment.  After almost everything said on stage one of the women felt the need to add their own commentary with an “Mmm hmm,” “that’s right,” or “Yeah, you  tell him.”  Yes, we’ve all seen the movie, please stop singing along.  I know there are live people on the stage so maybe it seems interactive but we were in the balcony.  They shouldn’t be able to hear you…from the balcony.  I only wished that I had worn some type of high heel that could have been driven into one or more of their skulls.   By the second half, everyone within a five seat radius (in all directions), including us, had moved away.  Ladies, that, and being shushed by an usher, are signs you’re being too loud.

Seattle is becoming a pretty decent theater town.  It has been the launching ground for multiple productions that have premiered  and gone on to Broadway.  This includes Jekyll and Hyde, Shrek, The Wedding Singer, and Hairspray all at the 5th Avenue.  There have also been a number of shows launched at the Seattle Rep which have moved on to New York .  Seattle has the kind of creative atmosphere where new things can be given a fair shot.  The audiences just need to catch up a little.  People pay quite a bit for theater tickets (It’s like 4 showings of  Avatar!) and come to hear  and see the actors.  So please, just sit down, shut up, and I really mean this last part, enjoy the show.