“Eulogy” at West of Lenin

Seattle’s favorite improv artist, Kevin Kent is currently displaying his charms at West of Lenin in the guise of the medium Eleanor Mae. You will probably hear her before you see her. Kent, beautifully dressed, but perhaps more than a bit over the top for a funeral mourner, quietly enters the space from the back and takes her seat.

She’s not quiet for long. As a professional mourner, she has a job to do, and do it she does. In loud and sorrowful tones she sobs; she wails; she keens. A black veil covers her face as she riffles through a large box of photographs, remembering and lamenting the loss of the departed ones who are depicted there. Eventually she rises, walks solemnly (on the highest heels you can imagine) to the stage. There she invites audience members to give her the photos they have brought so that she can properly honor their dearly beloved.

She peruses her cache, selects some, and gives her selections to the appropriately somber funeral director (Joe Kerry) who places one after another picture beneath the overhead projector. As the enlarged images appear, Eleanor “honors” them all with tales that they might well not recognize. Kent is amazingly quick with his improvisations—funny, poignant, just plain silly, and I do emphasize funny.

Those who have enjoyed Kent at Teatro ZinZanni, will find much to like here. And if you don’t know this Seattle improv master, “Eulogy,” directed by Jennifer Jasper offers a good introduction.

Through April 16, West of Lenin, 203 N. 36th St. Seattle, (http://westoflenin.com/index.php).

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