Friday, January 9, 2009

The 8:00pm show

The first thing I should admit is how few times I've attended 14/48 when I wasn't writing. Very few. In fact, to be honest, once. And it was before I'd ever participated. So tonight I'm reminded how fun it can be to just watch - to just enjoy - to not have any ownership of what's about to go up on stage. It's relaxing, it's exciting, it's fabulous. I'm basically loving it. How come I don't do this more often?

The band and Matthew Richter kick us off and then we see (and I realize this is a redundant recounting as Ben has already done one but this is what you get with two bloggers!)...

1. A play about neighbors fighting over a patio with Chuck Leggett rising from the band as a sage, scary dude.

2. A woman who doesn't leave her apartment is visited by a charming young neighbor (Aaron Washington) who invites her to rejoin the living.

3. A battle played in reverse between two men - the escalation instead working it's way backward from death to a simple challenge. (Kudos Celene Ramadan.)

4. An aggressive girl (Erin Stewart) and a sweet boy (Mark Boeker) are coached on playground bullying by two over-involved adults.

At intermission, there is a buzz. These were four funny plays - each successful in their own way - each with a little something to say. I admit to myself that the testosterone rush I was expecting from the theme and the abundance of men is more subtle than I'd predicted. It's sweeter and funnier. Post-intermission...

5. A play about a boisterous playwright (Paul Mullin, played by Troy Fischnaller) who recalls a wish he had to be with a pretty, successful woman. (I know, I know, that doesn't capture it - I'm trying to keep it short here!)

6. An opportunist tries to blackmail a potential political appointee , only to be reminded of his own indiscretions.

7. Women try to identify the enemy to their happiness and, while they don't ever discover it, they find the cure in drugs. (One gal's interpretation.)

And then it's over and the band plays us out the door! And what fun it was! The second half was less tight but I liked it for its roughness - its cockiness.

The new theme is - Liquor is Quicker.

Selfishly, I'm relishing the fact that I don't have to write a script tonight or even remember what the theme is. And I don't have to stay for the 10:30 show and find the strength inside myself to perform again. I don't have to clean up or lock up or get ready for the morning. I'm going to go home and have a glass of wine and go to bed. I'll sleep the sleep of a woman who has enjoyed an evening of strong, brave theater from some of Seattle's most talented artists. Life is good.

Becky Hellyer

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