Emily Chisholm, Sam Hagen, & Tyler Trerise in NCTC's "The Flick."
Photo by John Ulman
By Florangela Davila, Nicole Capozziello and Joseph Sutton-Holcomb
* Denotes events that are $15 or less
It’s been 10 days since I saw this production (yes, I’m counting) and thinking of it still makes me gush. For anyone who loves movies, for anyone who has ever worked a crappy low-wage job, for anyone who gravitates towards smart dialogue and nuanced performances that make you feel like you’re watching real people, not some forced imagined caricature, this is your show.
The Flick takes place in a Massachusetts movie theater, an independent, grungy, actually-has-a-film-projector venue, where three employees banter, debate, flirt and lash out about much in the world – and in their own unfulfilled lives.
Annie Baker won the 2014 Pulitzer for this drama; this is the Seattle premiere and in the hands of the New Century Theatre Company, it’s superb. From the movie theater set, to the dingy water in the mop bucket, to the soundtrack of movie trailers, to the Six Degrees of Separation film actor version of the game, to the poignancy of learning about Sam’s (Sam Hagen) family, to the poignant, embarrassing, uncomfortable moves of Rose (Emily Chisholm) on Avery (Tyler Trerise), to Avery’s empowerment speech, to the way Chisholm dances. I could go on.
It’s three hours and during intermission you start thinking, Hey, nothing’s really happening here but somehow, I’m really enjoying myself. And then it’s over and you start figuring out when you can go see this production again.
If you go:The Flick, 12th Avenue Arts, Now through April 4 ($30) – F.D.
The Vertiginous Thrill of Forsythe
For weeks, Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers have been posting photos on social media of rehearsal, being backstage and mugging with choreographer William Forsythe. Forsythe was in town for two weeks earlier this year, helping fine-tune the company’s all-Forsythe production – the first for any U.S. company.
Clearly, the choreographer has his dancer fans and that translates into some of the best dancing I’ve ever seen from the company. There is so much energy on stage and so much passion that pours forth in all three works and that has everything to do with the choreography. It’s not just the steps, it’s that the dancers come off as so utterly enjoying the complicated, athletic, unexpected dancing that Forsythe invites them to do.
Jonathan Porretta, Carrie Imler, Benjamin Griffiths, Seth Orza – each are dynamic marvels, but what I loved about opening night was the discovery of William Lin-Yee. He’s not new to the company but in the final piece, “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated,” it’s as if he’d been waiting all his life to dance Forsythe. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.
A white American businessman tries to make a business deal in China, with the help of a Chinese-speaking Brit, and they awkwardly, sometimes humorously, fumble. But what surprised me about this culture clash story, written by playwright David Henry Hwang (his M. Butterfly nabbed the Tony), is the character of Xi Yan (fully, terrifically embraced by Kathy Hsieh). Xi is the vice-minister of culture with a savvy, complicated