Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptations of books have alternately charmed me (the bright comic Smash, from Shaw’s An Unsocial Socialist), raised my eyebrow (a heavy-breathing The Turn of the Screw, recently at Seattle Shakespeare Company) and put me into a temporary coma (Tuesdays with Morrie—but I’ll bet he had a bill to pay so let’s cut him some slack. It must have been like trying to stage a greeting card). Putting that last reaction aside, I’d expect he’s found the theatricality in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at ACT. He’s off to a good start: The Mystery Writers of America nominated it for their Edgar Award as Best Play. Four different actors portray the horny Mr. Hyde. Look for a review here after opening.
If you haven’t yet heard of Mates of State you can catch up on them before their gig at Neumos by reading assistant editor Christopher Werner’s interview with Jason Hammel, the drum-playing half of the married duo. As for co-headliners Black Kids, let’s just call them shamelessly dumb fun—and I mean that in the best way. Lyrically, so do they: “I say ‘baby.’ You say ‘bump it.’ All you wanna hear is Gabriel’s trumpet.” You know what? I do say bump it, dammit.
You’ll witness the city at its best and worst during the Friends of the Seattle Public Library Book Sale. Sure, it’s fantastic that we’re such a literary town. I just don’t think that friends let friends loose in a warehouse full of cheap books, records, movies and competitive consumption. Fun is fun until someone loses a find.
The world’s most recorded harpist is Yolanda Kondonassis. I’m not sure how competitive harpists are but if I were a harpist I’d at least want to say I was the most recorded one. Anyway, she’s playing four dates at different spots around town with Simple Measures, the disarmingly relaxed classical music troupe—low-key venues, high quality concerts, casual discussions. Put on your jeans, lose the attitude, and check them out.
The African American Film Festival promises to be better than ever this year, beginning with the opening night selection, American Violet, based on those terrifyingly unjust “drug busts” that happened in Texas. The rest of the week’s movies feature hip-hop, GLBT issues, and closing night documentary about the fabulous Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa.
“A man… is not defined by his possessions but by the company he keeps,” Dinaw Mengetsu wrote in The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, which Book-It has adapted for the stage. I’ll be keeping them company and posting the review here next week.
And, now that I look over this list again, I’d say any one of these suggestions will keep you in good company.
But watch it at the book sale. I will cut you.
In the meantime, here’s the compelling trailer for American Violet: