copious love suggests

copious love suggests

#CLPsuggests “Downstairs”

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by Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Julie Beckman
June 16th ~ July 9th
Presented In The Bullitt Cabaret at ACT
700 Union Street

Downstairs by prolific author Theresa Rebeck is a world premier, thought-provoking family drama presented by Theater 22 in conjunction with ACT’s new play festival Construction Zone.

Downstairs follows the relationship of estranged siblings Irene and Teddy. Teddy has recently taken up temporary lodging in Irene’s basement and is unwelcome by her oppressive husband Gerry.

Attempting to patch over the open wounds of Irene’s marriage, the siblings search for common experiences in their pasts- memories of their mother, favorite foods and the love they shared as children. These attempts to connect produce some of the most endearing moments in the show.

Brandon Ryan is unerringly genuine and heart-stoppingly engaging as Teddy, the wayward younger sibling living in his sister’s basement. He seems to be constantly ready to bolt and the amount of energy he exudes on stage is electric in the audience. We didn’t know whether to be afraid, sympathetic or to egg him on. He effectively held us emotionally hostage throughout the entire show and never once did he falter.

Christine Marie Brown portrays abused wife Irene with a quiet dignity at times and at others, she wheedles, goes above and beyond, mollycoddles and leans in just to hear one positive affirmation from her brother. She has long since learned that it will not come from her marriage. Brown is earnest and honest and her presence on stage was both reassuring and heartbreaking.

John Q. Smith is brutal in his attack on this role. Gerry’s first moment on stage is quiet and dangerous. I felt my panic rise as he stood on the stairs, simply watching and waiting for Teddy to notice him. It was like watching a predator stalk his prey. Simply by standing there, on the stairs, overlooking his domain, I was filled with terror. It is rare for an actor to enthrall and terrorize just by quietly standing, and he clasps this precious position of power steadily throughout the show. Gerry is an overbearing, abusive control freak intent on keeping the status quo- where he is the only one making any decisions – ie withholding job opportunities from Irene under the guise of being “traditional.” Teddy’s presence in Gerry’s house (which actually belongs to Irene) upsets the power balance and that is simply unacceptable.

Director Julie Beckman brilliantly culls together terror and humor and makes the best of a script that can be dark and overwhelming. She relies heavily on Rebeck’s excellent script and the integrity of her actors to keep the dark emotional show watchable and engaging. Her interpretation of the arcs and beats streamed smoothly together.

And shout out to stage designer Robin Macartney for one of the most excellent sets I have seen in a while. The half unfinished basement full of old odds and ends, blankets, a forgotten floral couch, shop sink, electrical conduits and a shop bathroom squeezed gingerly into such a small space is the perfect blend of realistic utilitarian and metaphorical oppression. Lacy and I had to see it up close after the show and took our time pointing out the details like total fan girls.

In a world that can rely heavily on flash and sparkle, T22 is unafraid of tackling complex material and presenting humanizing stories. We are truly lucky to have them amongst our artistic community.

*Be advised that some material in Theresa Rebeck’s Downstairs can be triggering and may potentially distress audience members.

by Jennifer Nöel Klouse

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#CLPsuggests “Into the Deeps”

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DangerSwitch gives clownfish a whole new meaning in their newest production “Into the Deeps”.

This production has it all; comedy, heart, beauty, and bravery. It leads with some stunning imagery which makes you excited for what’s in store and the remaining 90 minutes do not disappoint. “Into the Deeps” is gracefully directed by Alyza DelPan-Monley an Eddie DeHais. The ensemble play amazingly off of each other and portray such awesome emotion with only sound and movement. The Sound Design by D.R Amromin is incredible, it is a much part of the story as the performers onstage. Every piece of this show came together to make a thing of beauty.

“Into the Deeps” has a short run so buy your tickets now!! Please support DangerSwitch so they can continue making their art which is so integral to the Seattle artistic community. I love them so much.

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#CLPsuggests: “Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine”

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15994593_10154955279289324_4895924044924992481_oScary Mary and the Nightmares Nine
Presented by Annex Theatre
Written by Amy Escobar
Directed by Eddie DeHais
Annex Theatre
February 10th-March 4th

One night, Mary (Corinne Magin), vouches out of a jazz aerobics class, accidentally drops a needle through cracks in the floor and awakens The Slither. She has two choices, be devoured by the Slither to terminate its hunger or complete 9 nightmarish tasks to silence the beast.

Through dangers untold meeting creatures akin to that of your creepiest dreams, Mary journeys through nightmare after nightmare. With the help of her best friend Nell, (Kiki Abba), her cat Alabaster (Carter Rodriquez), and Simper (Kai Curtis) the cutest demon you will ever meet, Mary trudges onward to conquer her own darkness and defeat The Slither.


Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine is written by the phenomenal Amy Escobar, and put to
life by the incredible Eddie DeHais. DeHais also designed a set that you will want to live in, provided you have an admiration toward the strange and unusual, or libraries.

Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine is one of those rare instances in theatre where a stellar cast coupled with a wonderful design team brings Mary’s nightmare world not only to life but also into reality.

Scary Mary runs February 10th through March 4th, 7:30 p.m. at Annex Theater.

by R.H. Tyrrel


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#CLPsuggests: “The Pride”

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661801-250The Pride
Presented by Theatre 22
Written by Alexi Kaye Campbell
Directed by Corey D. McDaniel
October 28th – November 19th, 2016
12th Avenue Arts

The Pride
, taking place in 1958 and 2008 shows us how the attitudes toward homosexuality in Britain is dealt with. Suppression verses encouragement. In both era’s, it takes courage and strength to be proud of who you are. The set is grand, the English accents excellent, and the actors spectacular-making us laugh and really driving the feels in the more emotional scenes. This show is a well-loved roller coaster ride start to finish.

The Pride shows us that we, as a society can change. We can fight for our right to love whomever we choose, even if the whole of society seems against us.

Humanity has come a long way in terms of the LGBTQA community, but still has a long way to go. The Pride is relevant now more than ever because of the current state of our country. To quote Lin Manuel Miranda, “Love is love is love…..”

Nothing will ever change that.

By R. H. Tyrrel

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#CLPsuggests “Big Bad”

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big bad

shadowsBig Bad
Conceived and created by DangerSwitch!
Presented by Ghost Light Theatricals
Directed by Eddie DeHais
Nov 4th through Nov 19th
at the Ballard Underground

I was hooked from the beginning. I mean with DangerSwitch!, their concept, the method, the kind of art they create, and the people. It might just be my tastes but their cacophony of movement, storytelling, and visceral interaction feels like a vibrant new generation in live performance. I’m on the clown train.

lock-shock-and-barrel-lock-shock-and-barrel-18160774-1280-960My first impression was that Lock, Shock and Barrel had rounded up their friends and started a theatre troupe. Writhing from all sides of the theatre, haunting and scratching, the ensemble slowly assembled into the center of the space. It’s dark. And creepy. But of course these friends aren’t here to terrify you – they break and speak to the audience.  They circle the whole audience around for story time in their original history of Little Red Riding Hood. From there, we’re volleyed between hilarity, despair, and grim horror asking the questions “what makes a woman?”, and “what makes a beast?”

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-54-50-pmBig Bad is an example of a really good idea executed brilliantly. With momentum off of the success of it’s first iteration at Ghost Light’s Battle of the Bards, this production has found a firm footing within the strange and eerie DangerSwitch! universe. The onstage storytellers elaborate a tragic story of several generations of women trying to survive through mixed media, performance art, dance segments, and shadow projection woven all together with keen poetic verse. I can say a lot of things I like about this show, but I really believe that it’s the people who you need to go and see. I heard their director Eddie DeHais one time talking about the basis of clowning, and let me tell you — these clowns run DEEP. With a dedication to their personal story, these artists are performing challenging and provoking material in a way that makes any audience curious for more. In my opinion, I think they’ve invented a perfect set of characters within a wonderfully nightmarish world. I would listen to these guys tell me just about any story. I know they’d do it justice.

By Tony Gavilanes 

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#CLPsuggests: “Hooded Or Being Black For Dummies”

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theatrebatteryhoodedposterHooded Or Being Black For Dummies
Presented by Theatre Battery
Written by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
Directed by Logan Ellis
August 25th through September 10th

Hooded Or Being Black For Dummies is a must see for everyone living in this century.

This play will make you uncomfortable. Good. Hooded Or Being Black For Dummies is a terrific platform for conversations that need to happen in all of our communities.

Hooded follows suburbanite 14-year-old prep school attendee Marquis (Anthony Simmons) and his encounters with street savvy Tru (Mic Montgomery), from Baltimore’s inner city. Tru insists that Marquis has no idea who he is as a black man and endlessly pursues Marquis to enlighten him on his blackness by writing a ‘How To’ guide. (Being Black for Dummies.)

This marvelous story written by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, and directed by Logan Ellis, is paced so naturally, the dialogue doesn’t seem scripted. Nothing in this play is artificial or false. All rings true to the harsh reality that is America.

Simmons and Montgomery have flawless chemistry with each together and energy that never fades. This show was perfectly cast and hosts a variety of supporting characters ranging from selfie obsessed teen girls, to sleazy teenage boys, to prejudiced cops, and Marquis’ inadvertently raciest mother.

Real Talk.

The conversations and situations in Hooded are truthful. They are real. They are hard to watch. They hurt. These are conversations that we all need to have to raise awareness and better our society.

Hooded Or Being Black For Dummies presented by Theater Battery is running from August 25 to September 10 at 8 p.m. GO. NOW.

***THIS IS A FREE SHOW*** (Donations accepted!) at Kent Station 438 Ramsay Way Suite 103, Kent, Washington, and there is plenty of free parking.

By R.H. Tyrrel

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#CLPsuggests: “The Fantastic Misadventures of Twisty Shakes”

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The Fantastic Misadventures of Twisty Shakes
Presented by The Libertinis
Written by Marcus Gorman
August 5th through August 20th
8:00pm at the Ballard Underground

Wow. Just wow.

This play is set in a cartoonish fantasy world that through sheer artistic commitment and thronging the fullest depths of this cast and crew’s imaginations, the audience will have no problem at all buying into from the get go. There’s tons of Led Zeppelin, high-energy dancing and some of the most eclectic collection of costumes and props I have ever seen.

The characters involved range from a flamboyant disco diva to a skitterish hedgehog. From a mermaid goddess to a proud, sooth-saying, Don Quixote-esque Scottish knight with an invisible steed. Watching Twisty Shakes is like watching the best of Saturday morning cartoons with a late night twist and did I mention very well-choreographed dancing?!

13938253_1104872766261909_2926559890374086542_oTootsie Spangles, Woody Shticks and Hattie Hellkat, along with the talented STAGEright artistic co-
director, and previous Copious Love collaborator, Kiki Penoyer, have pulled together this unbelievably talented cast that focuses on women and genderqueer artists with a full collaborative effort. This cast also noticeably features Seattle’s premier female sketch comedy power trio, Day Job. Caitie Auld, Kara O’Conner and (Copious Love alumni) Molly Tellers consist only in part of this powerhouse cast. Jackie Miedema and Marcus Gorman, recently seen in the popular Fringe Fest fan favorite, Mad Scientist Cabaret also lend their artistic contributions to this high-energy high kick fest. Natalie Copeland also plays a dynamic and conniving harpy, but just about every actor plays multiple parts beautifully. Tootsie Spangles and Fantasia Rose put together some of the most creative, flashy and fun costumes that would make even the drag artist Haus of Glitterbeast gasp for air with joy.

If you have any ability at all to go to the Ballard Underground to see the latest Libertinis comedy powder keg, then you had better seize your opportunity quickly. I was in stitches and I have no problem whatsoever suggesting that you not only see this show, but help the Libertinis sell out the reminder of their run! The show runs this Friday and Saturday (Aug 12th & 13th) and next week Friday and Saturday (Aug 19th & 20th).

By Geoff Finney
Copious Love Staff Member

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#CLPsuggests: “10 Minutes in the Forest “

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08e20729389c6db33436f4abe31d2993_original10 Minutes in the Forest 
Presented by Casework Productions & Casey Middaugh
Music by composer David Ibbett
Performances by Lauren Bond, Katrina Hamilton, Sarah McKinley, Emily Rychlick, & Hosanna Tolman
At The Slate,  located inside the Inscape Arts Building
Through June 11th!

10 Minutes in the Forest produced by Casework Productions & Casey Middaugh is a immersive theater piece that should be experienced by everyone who loves theater, folktales, video games or anyone who is courageous of heart and yearning for adventure.

In the forest you will be met by the Firebird and if you are very unlucky (or lucky depending on how you perceive folklore), Baba Yaga.

Without ruining the piece, the set is brilliant, the actors are fantastic & each experience is different depending on the one variable in the show, you.

THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE to see 10 Minutes in the Forest at the Slate Theater located inside the Inscape Arts Building.

Hurry, it closed June 11th!

By R.H. Tyrrel

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#CLPsuggests: “Caligula”

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Presented by Arouet
Written by Albert Camus
World Premiere Translation by Christopher Williams
Directed by Joshua Jon
May 13th through May 28th
7pm, Ballard Underground

Minutes before 7pm, when Caligula was set to begin, I was sitting in my car in typical Seattle traffic, cursing my city and the people who drive in it. It had been a very trying day, to be honest I had one of those, crying in your car because life sometimes just doesn’t happen moments. All I wanted was to be in the theatre with my friends and watch a radical play about chaos and destruction go down. I just wanted to watch the world burn from my safe place in the bowels of Ballard, from the safety of the theatre seats at the Underground. “That will really cheer me up,” I thought, and boy was I right.

13266116_1053933421353510_8320863160049567448_nTruthfully, the text of Caligula is not generally one that people smile at. It is heavy, destructive, and at times, hard to watch. Joshua Jon and the team at Arouet however, make this show easier to process and take in as a modern audience. They bring these seemingly unbelievable circumstances into our contemporary world and show us how very, very close we are to this reality. And then, as soon as you have grimaced, they offer up laughs and incredibly beautiful moments that I have found myself replaying in my mind in the days following. These are actors reaching into the depths of insanity here and they do so with aplomb. Luke Sayler reigns supreme as the title role of Caligula, bellowing orders, brainstorming new madness at every turn and right when you think you couldn’t hate him more, he flashes you these unbelievable puppy dog eyes and…maybe we should hear him out? Danielle Daggerty as Caesonia is unstoppable, she begins as a calm, wise voice of reason and by the end of the show, she is almost unrecognizable. There were several times where I just wanted to reach out and hug her. Richard Sean Glen as Helicon is menacinly delightful. Helicon himself has nothing to loose so he indulges Caligula at every request, maybe as a way of surviving but we also get the feeling that he also finds joy in this madness as well. Some of my favorite moments of the show were the two of them scheming, Caligula and Helicon, matching wits back and forth and in a more tender beat later in the show, painting each others nails.

13177172_1053939741352878_6875887289536228618_nThere are many moments of this show that almost, if you aren’t paying attention, come from out of left field. Fights break out, an impromptu interpretive dance piece, a poetry slam- but then also madness, cruelty, chaos, from out of nowhere. But therein lies the beauty of it all. There is order within chaos. We, the survived, the living, have to find it and bring it to the surface. Director (and Arouet Artistic Director) Joshua Jon is doing just that. He has choreographed this unthinkable cruelty, this total destruction of a country, to dance around the most tender moments in this show in order to find a brilliant balance. I was awestruck by the whole production.

Later I found myself describing the experience as, “Both thought provoking and subtly sultry. Borderline seductive at times and also thoroughly disturbing.” So basically, my favorite kind of theatre. This production of Caligula has been handled with care, love and just the right amount of insane urgency that only fringe theatre can truly bring to the stage.  Bravo, Arouet.

GO. NOW. This production deserves your presence.

By Chelsea Madsen 

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#CLPsuggests: “A Hand of Talons”

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13133180_1032600930166112_1021642831358479984_nA Hand of Talons 
Presented by Pork Filled Productions
Written by Maggie Lee
Directed by Amy Poisson
Theatre Off Jackson
April 29th-May 21st

I was excited to see A Hand of Talons ever since I sat down in April to interview playwright Maggie Lee ( Her enthusiasm for creating new worlds in which women had power was nothing short of infectious. Throughout the interview, her hands gesticulated wildly as she explained the intricacies of her Steampunk alternate universe.

And great galloping thunderturtles, the production of A Hand of Talons, running through May 21 at Theatre of Jackson does NOT disappoint! The show opened with a period appropriate curtain speech given by the delightfully deadpan Jenn Ruzumna, who plays Bernie Martillo. The lights went down on Brandon Estrella’s meticulous set, which uses every inch of the TOJ space. And then the lights came up on one of the best-produced shows I’ve seen in Seattle.

talons3There’s a post that my friends have been sharing on Facebook, called “Reverse Spy Flick.” The premise is simple: take the template of a traditional James Bond spy movie and make a woman the lead character. With A Hand of Talons, Maggie Lee has reversed, transformed and heightened the traditional action genre. The story focuses on Wilhemina Yao, portrayed deftly by Stephanie Kim-Bryan. Wilhemina starts off with a comedic intensity that is beguiling to watch. Kim-Bryan’s face is incredibly elastic, punctuating Lee’s acrobatic lines with an acerbic wit and playfulness. Even more incredible is her transformation in Act II, where she takes on all the bad-assery of any Bond villain.

The infinitely likable Sean Schroeder, brings both light-heartedness and pathos to the role of talons2Wilhemina’s brother, Anders Yao. Ben Burris shines and adds comedic relief as Lawrence Howell, a friend of Anders who is also besotted with Wilhemina. The elegant Mariko Kita breathes life into the complex character of Delphine Yao and Kenna Kettrick serves as Delphine’s attendant Lin Curtis. Kita battles expertly with Delphine’s struggle to remain poised and powerful while at the same time seeking what is best for her family. Kettrick embodies an unparalleled integrity to her character’s sense of service.

talons1Tim Gagne is Kenzo Yao, the man you love to hate because he’s just so terribly handsome and charming. (Think Tom Hiddleston meets Johnny Depp.) Abhijeet Rane rounds out the cast as the amusing and self-deprecating Preston Hodge, a man with an insatiable taste for gambling, who finds himself in a plot of intrigue.

Shout outs to Jocelyne Fowler’s gorgeous costumes and May Nguyen’s breathtaking fight choreography, which had me wanting to jump out of my seat at points to make sure actors weren’t actually injured.

I cannot speak highly enough of the ingenious direction of Amy Poisson. Every moment onstage was crafted to be in service of the story. The stakes were high for all characters. The audience was rapt throughout the performance. A good director entertains: a great director elevates the art form of storytelling.

This show is not to be missed, folks! Run, don’t walk, to get your tickets to this fast-paced action thriller that will leave you yearning for more of the Yao clan.

By Katie Woodzick