This Week in Seattle Shows: ‘Fleabag,’ ACT’s Solo Fest and More
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel less alone in your failure to adult
By Gemma Wilson
February 4, 2020
Few things are as artistically satisfying for me as watching people make their own way, use their own voice, tell their own story, fiction of non. Don’t get me wrong, I love a revival or a classic show too, but there’s something about watching a performer/creator that digs deeper into my psychic tissue. This week, Seattle showgoers can choose from an embarrassment of self-made riches, from ACT’s first-ever Solo Fest, featuring four wonderful local performers presenting original work, to a reprise of Lowbrow Opera Collective’s #adulting, which welcomes millennials into an artform that doesn’t often meet them on their own terms.
NT Live: Fleabag
Phoebe Waller-Bridge fans, rejoice! A repeat run of the one-woman show on which her mega-hit TV show Fleabag is based, recorded live at the National Theatre in London, is coming to SIFF. Those that love Waller-Bridge, also known for writing Killing Eve’s incredible first season, really love her. Those that don’t haven’t seen her yet, I’m guessing. So don’t miss your next chance to see “a rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life,” running a struggling guinea pig café and screwing up relationships with her self-obsession. 2/4 & 2/6, also runs 2/14–2/16, SIFF Film Center
Lowbrow Opera Collective: #adulting
Struggling young artists are a favorite opera trope (see: La boheme) but, for some reason, modern struggling youngsters rarely get the same artistic treatment. So Lowbrow Opera Collective, a cohort of recent grads from classical music degree programs, made their own story about four 21st century roommates figuring out how to deal with student debt, each other and the centerpiece of any 20-somethings’ shared apartment, the couch. Read Gavin Borchert’s full review, then check out the DIY opera this weekend.
2/6–2/9, 18th and Union
ACT has assembled one hell of a lineup for its first-ever festival of solo performance. Headlining the Fest is Susan Lieu’s Over 140 Lbs, an expansion of her show 140 Lbs, about beauty standards, intergenerational trauma, the death of her mother during routing plastic surgery and much more—including, in this update, Lieu’s own pregnancy. Sharon Nyree Williams’ Dare to Claim the Sky explores what is “a frank conversation about faith, family and the joy and pain of being Black in America;” Sherif Amin’s Left on Yellow Brick Road takes a young Egyptian boy to the Land of Oz; and in Jasmine Joshua’s Bread Crumbs, a parent of young twins realizes they’re nonbinary. 2/6–2/16, ACT
As someone without kids, children’s theater doesn’t often cross my radar, but this Snow White, opening this weekend at Seattle Children’s Theatre has a lot to recommend it. First, it’s a two-actor concept, with just a pair of actors playing everything from princess to queen to dwarves. Even more enticing, those actors are Claudine Mboglikpelani Nako and Conner Nedderson, both delightful local talents, and the director is the thoughtful and inventive Desdemona Chiang—when she’s directing something in town, check it out. The show is recommended for ages 5 and up. Anyone have a kid I can borrow? 2/6–3/15, Seattle Children’s Theatre