“Starball” at West of Lenin

Weird, wonderful, something for both adults and middle school aged children! This exploration of the night sky is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, and I was enchanted from the moment I walked into the theatre.

But it’s not like a usual theatrical. The production takes place in a gigantic dome with “beach chairs” set up along its perimeter. Lighting is low. Before you enter, you are offered a tiny cup of what must be a “magical potion” (probably canned fruit juice, but what follows is magical and maybe the idea of a potion adds to the magic of the performance).

Two guides (John Kaufman and Dan Dennis) assist you to your seats. These astronomical chaperons encourage you to lean back, settle in, and wait for the surprises about to unfold.

And surprises abound as the night sky with its stars begins to twinkle. Our guides encourage us to note the four quadrants and look carefully at the stars. They point out some of our constellations, then give each audience member a card and ask us all to write down a dream we’ve had. The collected cards are all placed in a box.

Call it a treasure box because as some of the cards are retrieved and read, our guide weaves them into a new mythology, points out the stars that create this new constellation. Funny? Yes wonderfully funny. Thought provoking? Indeed! Illuminating about how our prehistoric ancestors explained the heavens? Of course! Inventive, creative theatre? Absolutely!

Only two more shows left, so get over to West of Lenin Sun. Sept. 10 or Mon. Sept. 11.

West of Lenin, 203 N. 36th St. Seattle, 206 352-1777

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