So a French maid walks in a bar...

We had our meet and greet for The Imaginary Invalid yesterday, and I just wanted to give you the inside scoop. This adaptation of Moliere's last comedy is going to be nuts. Lots of modern touches, a set with two giant turntables, a French maid, a "steaming sexpot," spontaneous music and a dance number in doctor scrubs (all of this, of course is subject to change, but it gives you an idea of what you're in for). The director David Schweizer said the theme of the production is expect the unexpected.

Also, the play—about a hypochondriac trying to get his daughter to marry a doctor so he won't have to pay medical bills—is packed full of both low and high brow humor (think witty double entendres and fart jokes). Keep an eye on the Rep web site for a bodily function joke contest and some wacky videos, possibly starring sock puppets.

John Aylward's broken toe

From the P-I:

John Aylward goes on despite a broken toe

Seattle actor John Aylward has every right to look glum. Earlier this week Aylward broke a toe on his right foot during a preview performance of "The Breach," which opened Wednesday at Seattle Rep.

The play -- really three plays in one -- centers on the lives of several people during and after Hurricane Katrina. Ironically, one of the characters Aylward portrays is a man with multiple sclerosis who doesn't have the use of his legs and must leave his wheelchair to swim to safety. Now, he says, life is at least partially imitating art. For another character who is ambulatory, Aylward now gets to use a cane.

From the playwrights...

Here's a short video of the three playwrights talking about the play and the politics of Katrina.

Keeping the light on

Happy New Year. Clearly one of my resolutions wasn't "blog more," but it's never too late to make that one, right? Sorry for the lag. The holidays happened and New Years happened and recovering from New Years happened...

But here we are. The Breach opens tomorrow night. If you haven't heard about it, it's a fascinating look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, pieced together by three different playwrights (Catherine Filloux, Tarrel McCraney and Joe Sutton). I saw the play last night, and was amazed at the world created on stage. There is a body of water stretching from one end to the other in which actors swim. There is a boat, there is rain.

But it's not a spectacle piece. Despite those elements, it feels simple. When there is a family stranded on a roof, your attention is on them, the horror and strangeness of the situation. David (Esbjonson, our artistic director) did a meticulous job directing. The play feels both monumental and very small and personal.

But more than that, The Breach has an even more important role. The playwrights have talked a lot about "keeping the light on" in New Orleans, and this play, no matter if you love it or hate it, does indeed keep our attention—here miles away in Seattle—focused on what's still happening in the south.

In the lobby we're selling art, music, jewelry, etc. with all of the proceeds going directly to New Orleans artists. It's pretty cool. On the cocktail front, we've got a Big Easy Collins made with an Absolut Vodka; the proceeds of that also go to rebuilding NOLA (and it's delicious).