Grab It While You Can

I don’t usually do previews but I am going to make two exceptions this month because both of the productions listed below will be here for just a fleeting moment, and the work of both theatre groups has been so good in the past that you ought to be aware of their upcoming offerings.

Mirror Stage — “The Hampton Years” two performances only
If you’ve never heard of Mirror Stage and its “Feed Your Mind” series, this is a chance to get acquainted. Director Suzanne Cohen creates innovative staged readings of provocative literary works. It’s theatre that truly engages the intellect. In February they did Margaret Atwood’s “The Penelopiad,” a compelling retelling of the “Odyssey” from the perspective of Odysseus’ wife, Penelope.

This month they are presenting “The Hampton Years” by Jacqueline E. Lawton. Set in Virginia in the 1940s, it concerns the struggle of gifted African American artists to gain attention, to even have their work exhibited, at a time when racist views severely restricted their lives, no less their professional achievements.

April 16 and April 17, “The Hampton Years” will be playing at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 3940 Brooklyn Ave., NE, Seattle, (mirrorstage.org/hamptonyears)

 

Sandbox Radio — one performance only

Before TV was ubiquitous, among the most popular forms of home entertainment in the mid 20th C were the variety shows on radio. Today you can catch snatches of these oldies but goodies on U-Tube, shows like The Arthur Godfrey show, The Bing Crosby Show, the Texaco Star Theatre.

Thanks to the efforts of Seattle stage artists Leslie Law and Richard Ziman, Seattle has its own old time radio variety show, “Sandbox Radio,” and it’s gained quite a following. Perhaps you’ve heard bits and pieces of one of the shows on KUOW’s “Speakers Forum.”

The next full performance with take place at Town Hall on April 25 (8:00pm) bringing with it all the components that made the genre so popular in the past. It will be streamed live on KBFG 107.3, but attending in person is by far the best.

It’s a mix of music, poetry, short dramas, and comedy routines performed by Seattle professionals. And if you have any interest at all in sound effects, this is your opportunity to see the magic of how they are produced. The upcoming show is an ode to spring, and somewhere in the miscellany Nancy Pearl, Seattle’s most beloved librarian, will appear offering the patter and insights for which she’s so well known.

April 25, Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle (206 652-4255) www.sandboxradio.org

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