I am so excited to tell you all that I was cast in the six actor version of The Cat in the Hat at Seattle Children’s Theatre which has come to us straight from The National Theater of Great Britain. SCT is an amazing organization and this is going to be an incredibly fun production. You can get tickets at http://www.sct.org.
Romeo and Juliet at Arts on the Waterfront
by Anna Minard www.artsonthewaterfront.com/press
ROMEO AND JULIET Stripped-down, ridiculous, and wickedly entertaining.
Waterfront Park Fri-Sun at 7 pm. Through July
Down on the waterfront, right next to the aquarium, in the shadow of a Ferris wheel, you can see a two-person Romeo and Juliet for free. Mickey Rowe and Laurie Roberts, two young local actors, have adapted the play in a sweet and sometimes ingenious way—she plays Mercutio to his Romeo, he the Nurse to her Juliet. Some moments are ridiculous but wickedly entertaining, as when Roberts plays Tybalt and kills herself as Mercutio (it sounds confusing, but it works). The costume and prop and quick-change creativity is half the fun: They rig an umbrella to rain on itself with a water bottle on the tip and use an empty jacket and hat that stand in for Friar Laurence, each actor inserting one arm into each sleeve to animate it. The other props are water balloons and a pair of ladders, some milk crates, and a janky wig. Their website credits the lighting design to “the city of Seattle and sunset.”
Roberts’s Mercutio is guffawing and blustery and very funny, all limbs and leans and sneers. Rowe’s dorkily twitterpated Romeo makes just enough fun of the character’s schoolboy crush to turn down the play’s maudlin factor, which has overwhelmed other productions. It’s not perfect (the acoustics are poor, and the actors have to shout nearly every line), but it’s remarkably better than what you might expect when you approach the few rows of chairs lined up in Waterfront Park. The audience seems to be a combination of people there deliberately and people who stumbled over it. There’s an art show beforehand, live cello accompaniment by Brandon Smith, and more live music after every show. And Ivar’s down the street has a rewarding happy hour every day of the week that runs until closing time.
A bare-bones, energetic ‘Romeo and Juliet’ on Seattle’s waterfront
A review from the first weekend of Arts on the Waterfront’s free performances of “Romeo and Juliet.” The performances continue June 22-24, 30, and July 1, 2012, and include dancing to live bands after the show is over. www.artsonthewaterfront.com/press
By Misha Berson
Seattle Times theater critic
7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday; also June 30 and July 1, Waterfront Park, 1300 Alaskan Way, Seattle; free
You could say “Romeo and Juliet” is about a pair of crazy, fired-up kids in love. And you could say the new, free mini-production of the play at Seattle’s Waterfront Park is the work of a pair of crazy, mixed-up kids in love with theater.
This feisty first effort by the Arts on the Waterfront group is bare-bones. Actor-producers Mickey Rowe and Laurie Roberts perform Shakespeare’s tragedy in a corner of the boardwalk with an expansive Elliott Bay view. At each performance they set up a couple dozen chairs and an ad hoc art exhibit, and after the show they invite you to stay and dance to a live rock band.
With a little budget and a lot of moxie, they brave traffic noise, the whoosh of a nearby fountain and a constant flow of passers-by to put across their version of the classic.
And, yes, you can transmit the essence of a romantic tragedy with modest means but a lot of creative exuberance and some humble props. A pair of tall ladders serve as a balcony and more. Sword duels are fought with water balloons. A frowzy wig defines Juliet’s nurse. And the music of cellist Brandon Smith sets the scene nicely.
The two-member cast, quick-change style, plays all the major characters, switching genders and roles as they tear around the staging area and barely pause for breath.
Forget subtlety: The actors shout to be heard (Rowe more effectively than Roberts) and resort to elemental pantomime to get across a condensed, hourlong version of the Bard’s text.
But there’s a punky esprit here that carries the day, recalling the great Shakespeare director Peter Brook’s notion of a “rough” theater that may be rugged and no-frills but is unmistakably alive.
See if you can find a little Mickey shoe shine boy through out this video. The opera used the video from their past production in their publicity for this seasons production. Tiny Mickey in his first professional production.
“The Connection was first produced by the Living Theatre in 1959 as a collaboration between some of the great theatre artists of that time, including Living Theatre co-founders Judith Malina and Julian Beck. Blending live jazz with dialogue to create a live experience of chaotic sound and poetic frenzy, this play took home three Obies in 1960 including the award for Best New Play. This new production will give modern audiences an oppurtunity to experience the inventive structure and experimental techniques of the original off-off-Broadway hit. Featuring Mickey Rowe as Solly and Ray Larson, on trumpet, leading a four-peice jazz band.” -Marya Kaminski, City Arts Magazine August 2011 Issue
Mickey Rowe is attending the National Theater Institute at the 2010 Tony Award winner for best regional theater, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Update: Be sure to check out me and a few of my classmates on the back cover of the March 2011 American Theater Magazine.