Last Weekend for Two Dreams
Dreams. We all have them – hedonists included. They are what drives us to get out of bed in the morning. What makes us work hard and strive to be the very best we can be.
This weekend is the last run for two great shows, each with its own great dream: Damn Yankees (April 21st to May 20th, 2012) and The Pitmen Painters (April 20th to My 20th). (Your Hedonista accepted invitations to attend both performances as media.)
First, Damn Yankees – based on the book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop (adapted by Wallop’s 1954 novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant), with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, this musical is currently playing at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Direct by Mark S. Hoebee and choreographed by Denis Michael Jones, this production is a joint effort between 5th Avenue and Paper Mills Playhouse.
You likely all know the story – an aging baseball fan swaps his soul with the Devil for a chance to regain his youth and help his beloved hometown baseball team beat the NY Yankees and win the pennant.
The Devil (a.k.a. “Mr. Applegate, performed by Hans Altwies) and his alluring demonic duchess Lola (Chryssie Whitehead) were by far tied for the best performances in my books (perhaps that’s just the hedonist in me). Mr. Applegate’s deadpan humor and Lola’s sultry … well, everything … really heated up the show. Familiar show tunes like “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets” will caress the inner workings of your mind for days afterward. (Although, I must confess I have no real grasp of what the number “Who’s Got the Pain?” has to do with the theme of the rest of the show. Regardless, it’s catchy.)
Not counting tonight, only four performances remain; tickets start at $19 and can be purchased online, by phone (206-625-1900), or at The 5th Avenue Box Office (1308 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle).
NOTE: Their upcoming 2012-2013 season is on the way, beginning in September 2012 and ending in August 2013. A total of seven shows are slated for the upcoming season: Memphis, The Addams Family, ELF – The Musical, The Music Man, Grey Gardens, Jersey Boys, and The Pirates of Penzance.
Next, there’s The Pitmen Painters by Billy Elliot author Lee Hall (and inspired by a book by William Feaver) playing over at the Allen Theatre of ACT – A Contemporary Theatre and put on by ACT Mainstage Production. This is the Northwest premier of this play, which tells a riveting tale of personal empowerment and transformation through art – specifically, painting. About a group of pitmen who dream of becoming artists. Directed by Kurt Beattie (ACT’s Artistic Director) and chocked full with an all-Seattle cast, this play tells the true story of a small group of miners in Ashington. Northumberland who in the late 1920s began to take painting lessons. The result: “The Ashington Group” known for their paintings through to the 1980s.
Loaded with hilarity, class struggle, and the never-ending pursuit of what exactly is art, The Pitmen Painters appeals to all, whether or not a brush has ever been found in the hand.
Once again, not counting tonight, only four performances remain. Tickets range in price from $37.50 to $55, with $15 tickets for students, $20 tickets for those young hedonists 25 years of age and younger, and 25% off of tickets for seniors.