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April 20, 2007
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Volume 35
Issue 16
 
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Bits & Bytes
Light In Piazza returns in triumph, Edward Scissorhands opens at 5th Avenue, Mirror Stage offers new Odin's Horse, New York Times covers PNB's Festival
by Milton W. Hamlin - SGN A&E Writer

It's another great week for Emerald City entertainment fans. Bits&Bytes says, read on:

LIGHT IN PIAZZA RETURNS TO SEATTLE WITH TOP HONORS
Intiman Theatre and the Paramount Theatre's Broadway Across America series joined together for the first time to welcome the Tony Award-winning The Light In The Piazza back to Seattle Tuesday night.

The musical started its Broadway hit journey at Seattle's Intiman in 2003 in a very different version-and a seriously miscast leading role. With a change in cast, a change in directors, a new set and a much bigger budget, Light arrived in New York at Lincoln Center and won six major Tony Awards. It ran for nearly two years and was broadcast by PBS.

Intiman and Broadway Across America hosted a Meet The Masters workshop at Intiman last week. The panel-with a very informal, often campy, approach-detailed the show's journey and its many revisions.

One technical addition, a $100,000 set piece, opens the show with a colonnade stretched across the stage, blocking the view of the piazza up stage. As the overture swells and the light comes up on the plaza behind the columns, stage magic takes over as the two-unit colonnade glides across the stage, crisscrossing each element, to reveal the piazza in all its glory.

Watch for a full review in SGN next week-with more behind the scenes stories of The Light In The Piazza's journey from Seattle and back. The national touring company plays the Paramount for two weeks, through April 29. Tickets start at $25. Budget minded theater and musical fans should remember that tickets bought in person at the Paramount box office have no added service fees.

(Theatre trivia fans will remember that composer Adam Guettel is the son of Mary Rodgers, of Once Upon A Mattress fame, and the grandson of Richard Rodgers-as in Rodgers & Hart and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Geuttel was so taken with Seattle during the original Intiman stay that he bought a house here and splits his time between the East Coast and the Emerald City.)

5TH AVENUE READIES EDWARD SCISSORHANDS FOR TUESDAY OPENING
The 5th Avenue Musical Theatre is readying next week's previews and opening performances of Matthew Bourne's dance/drama based on the hit Tim Burton film, Edward Scissorhands.

The three-week run of the touring stage production-watch SGN next week for complete details-is a big gamble for the 5th Avenue Theatre and its wonderfully loyal, but ultra-conservative subscription audience. Matthew Bourne, the London choreographer who shot to world-wide fame with his all-male, Gay-themed interpretation of Swan Lake several seasons back, bring his 30-member London cast of Edward to Seattle for the Emerald City stop on the national tour. It will be the final U.S. engagement before an overseas tour.

The openly-Gay Bourne met with Bits&Bytes during a two-day Seattle stay for an exclusive SGN interview-watch this space next week for that very special interview.

Edward Scissorhands-with the original London cast-plays April 25-May 13. Tickets and complete information is available at 625-1900.

PNB'S FESTIVAL HOSTS NEW YORK TIMES DANCE COLUMNIST
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Celebrate Seattle Festival is in full swing with its final performances at McCaw Hall this weekend. Week three of the Festival opened Tuesday with one of the trios of mixed repertory programs that continues with final performances tonight through Sunday evening. All three programs---not-so-cleverly titled A, B and C-repeat this weekend.

The big news at PNB this week is that the New York Times is sending its major dance reviewer to cover all three programs this weekend. It's the first time the NYTimes has attended a Seattle performance of PNB is more than a decade. It's also the first time that the NYTimes has covered any Seattle art event since Seattle Opera's Ring revival several years ago. All of which means that PNB's Festival is a very big deal. Be sure to check it out.

Tickets for the Festival start at just $20 which breaks down to just $5 for each of the four works each evening. Tickets--$20, $40, $60, $80-are offered at scaled down prices for the Festival-top prices soar to $145 for the regular season. In addition, PNB offers a student/senior half-price "rush" ticket for unsold seats just before curtain time.. Such a deal

MIRROR STAGE HOSTS KOON'S ODIN'S HORSE
The play reading series at Mirror Stage Company, officially tagged Feed Your Mind, ends this weekend with a free reading of Robert Koon's intriguing Odin's Horse, a contemporary relationship drama that uses Norse mythology for its title allusion and structure.

In Nordic myth, Odin hung from the Tree Of Life--suspended between Heaven and Earth-to learn the secret of the Runes, the mystic writings that guided all life. In Koon's new play, Arman, a writer at odds with his life, meets a charming tree-sitter. Her commitment to the forest forces him to reexamine the trade-offs he has made for his success.

Two free readings are set for this weekend-Sunday at 2 p.m. and Monday evening at 7 p.m. Both are at Pigott Auditorium on the Seattle University campus. Complete information at 686-3729. While the readings are offered free, Mirror Stage gently encourages a modest free-will donation.

Bits&Bytes has never been disappointed at the Feed Your Mind readings-a mix of classic scripts that are infrequently revived and new works. Check it out.

ARNALDO! PREPARES TO WOW PALM SPRINGS WITH WEEKEND SHOWS
Seattle's favorite "drag chanteuse," the one and only Arnaldo!, hopes to add Palm Springs to his list or recent conquests as he offers two shows this weekend in Palm Springs. The successful "gender illusionist," a hard working member of the Seattle Men's Chorus where his female persona first emerged, has had recent success with his New York cabaret debut and appearances up and down the West coast-from Seattle to Mexican resorts.

The glamorous singer offers A Palm Springs Evening with Arnaldo! tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at Dale's Lost Highway. Joel Baker accompanies at the keyboard, and Larry Lazzaro makes a special guest appearance each evening.

Arnaldo's new publicity line-"The Voice Is Real, The Piano Is Real, But The Rest Is An Illusion"-sums up the charm of the talented singer. Seattle fans of the talented performer should be sure to contact friends in Palm Springs about the two special shows this weekend. Reservations at (760) 327-2005.

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