Goblin Market Produced by Sound Theatre Company

Just as Eve, spurred on by the serpent, couldn’t resist the apple, so too Laura, the inquisitive sister in this theatrical, can’t resist the fruit offered by the mysterious goblin men. This is a musical about two sisters losing innocence. Played out on a gorgeous set suffused with ethereal music, we watch these two sisters face temptation to step beyond 19th C. standards for women.

Photo by Ken Holmes

Written by Polly Pen and Peggy Harmon, the production is based on Christina Rossetti’s 19th C. poem. Rossetti lived in a time when female sexuality was little understood and even less talked about. We’ve come a long way since then, though certainly not far enough, given the fact that some men still think they have the right to maul and manhandle women. But at least women today can recognize and revel in their sexual appetites.

This production, so creatively directed by Theresa Thuman, opens onto the long unused playroom of Laura and Lizzie. As the now grown women gradually remove the sheets covering all their goods from so long ago, their memories are vivid, especially memories of the goblin men who sang, cavorted and tempted in the nearby woods when they were young.

It was Laura, who couldn’t resist their songs, who followed them into the woods, who innocently brought back the fruit that could unleash their sexuality. Sister Lizzie is the less bold sister, the one who is frightened, wants to take no chances. Laura, the seeker of the true fruits of life, wants to know if they are really available to women. In the end Lizzie must risk her life to save Laura.

Four actors rotate in the roles of the two sisters and their spiritual guides (Miranda Troutt, and Kelly Mak as Laura and Justine Davis and Claire Marx as Lizzie.) On the night I was there all the acting was outstanding as was their singing. Nathan Young directs the music.

Thuman’s crew, especially Production Designer Montana Tippett, Lighting Designer Richard Schaefer, and Sound Designer Lisa Finkral have created an eerie yet magical environment for these spooky psychologically complex goings on. They’ve created a beautiful production, one you’ll be thinking about long after you leave the theatre.

Through August 27 at Center Theatre in the Armory at Seattle Center, 206 856-5520 or www.soundtheatrecompany.org.

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