copious love suggests

Copious Love Suggests: “The Comparables”


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The Comparables
By Laura Schellhardt
At Seattle Repertory Theatre
TICKETS through March 29

As we walked into the Seattle Rep to see The Comparables we were walking into a high end real estate office in New York. The Scenic Design by Carey Wong was absolutely mind blowing. Every inch of the stage, including the ceiling and the wings, were transformed to leave the audience feeling like they were engulfed in the high stakes office which the characters worked. The lighting design by L.B. Morse was beautiful as each scene change seemed to up the stakes. The three actors held the show together nicely but I was especially blown away by the confidence and talent of Keiko Green as Iris. Especially because she was the only actor who wasn’t inherently involved in the writing process. For her to come into rehearsals and totally nail the character must have been one hell of a hallelujah moment for everyone involved. Having seen Keiko around the Seattle Fringe scene, I knew she was extremely talented, but seeing her act the crap out of one of the bigger stages in the city was absolutely incredible. She was able to make one of the more obnoxious characters seem enviable. The way Iris was able to persuade people without ever trying too hard was part of a deeper aspiration which I think Keiko played perfectly. We all know that Copious Love loves us some Braden Abraham – he can very rarely do wrong and has been responsible for some of our very favorite shows. But I would have loved to see this show directed by a woman possibly, with an all female crew even! Although I guess that is probably just asking for an equality lawsuit…

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Keiko Green and Cheyenne Casebier in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s The Comparables (2015). Photo: Alabastro Photography.

The Comparables is a story we know all too well, the struggle of being a business minded woman in a male minded occupation. How do we as women balance work, life and equality? And why don’t we ever ask men the same question? I think the part in Schellhardt’s story that stood out the most to me was the vastly different way the three female characters, Bette, Monica and Iris, answer those very questions. Each character is a representative of a different generation and therefore each have unique goals and ideas of what it means to be a business woman. Where Bette wants to crush men, Monica just ignores them and Iris uses them. Each plan has genuine merit. My favorite scene was when Monica and Iris where discussing their outlooks and Iris was saying if women punish men by treating them the same way women are tired of being treated then we are still no closer to being equals. This sparked a genuinely interesting conversation about men, women and equality that kept Chelsea, Tony and I drinking until 11:00pm. In this way the play was an absolute success, it spurred conversation and insight, which to me is the most important part about a night at the theatre. Go see theatre and have meaningful conversations with men and women about equality and how we can get there. Hopefully, before you know it, we will all be there together.

By Lacy Gavilanes

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