Thursday, September 12, 2019

What’s happening on Olympia stages

Photo – poster image for ‘The Women” courtesy Harlequin Productions

2019-2020 season preview
By Alec Clayton

Harlequin Productions starts its season with Clare Booth Luce’s classic comedy The Women with a huge all-women cast directed by Erin Murray. (It’s really the last of their 2018-2019 season as their season runs later than most theaters.)
“At first blush, I wanted to dismiss the story under the notion that women no longer live in a patriarchal world spending every moment thinking about pleasing a man and championing his home,” Murray said, “But those pressures are still very much alive. I don't want women to be consumed with getting married for stability and maintaining their physical appearance, I want women to be able to chart their own path and establish their own definition of joy, and part of self-actualizing is accepting the struggles. The women of The Women are smart, considerate, and capable of running the world. While the generation depicted in this story was not permitted that option, their insights and instincts live on in the smashing of the ceilings we are targeting today.”
The Women is a large production with 15 women in the cast, multiple locations and dozens of sumptuous outfits, wigs and millinery designed by Harlequin’s longtime costume designer Darren Mills and lavish set by Bruce Haasl.
In November and December, it’s Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol, and in January it’s the outrageous comedy Noises Off. Beginning Feb. 26, Harlequin offers Olympia audiences a very special treat, The Highest Tide, set in Olympia and based the bestselling novel by local author Jim Lynch.

Olympia Little Theatre begins its 80th season with The Consul, the Tramp & America's Sweetheart. To commemorate the 80th birthday, there will be a celebration at the theater on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Directed by Kendra Malm, The Consul, the Tramp & America's Sweetheart is a comedy about Charlie Chaplin, who is getting ready for his first talking picture, The Great Dictator. It’s a comedic look at art, politics, free speech, and anti-Semitism.
Next up at OLT is Vino Veritas in October, followed by Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pembery in December and Equivocation in February.

Olympia Family Theater opens its season with The Delicious revenge of Princess Rubyslippers, directed by Pug Bujeaud, Sept. 27 to Oct. 20. Join Ruby on her hilarious adventure as she dresses as a princess and magically disappears into a world of make-believe. Ruby’s adventures will be followed by the classic tale The Wind in the Willows, Nov. 29-Dec. 22 and Number the Stars, adapted from the Newbery Award-winning book in January and February.

Finally, there’s Olympia newest, Broadway Olympia, specializing in short-run, professional quality musicals. Broadway Olympia founder Kyle Murphy said, “The plans (for the season) are a little bit up in the air right now. What is official is that we are doing our first ‘Passion Project’ this November. Lexi Barnett will direct and choreograph Songs for a New World Nov. 1-3 and 7-10 at the State Theater. This show has been a dream of Lexi's for a while, so we decided to make it happen.”

Later in the season, Murphy will produce a one-woman show for Sara Geiger, which is a fully developed version of a performance she did at the Inteman. Details will be announced later.

Harlequin Productions, State Theater, 202 4th Ave East, Olympia,
Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Avenue NE, Olympia,
Olympia Family Theatre, 612 4th Ave. E, Olympia,

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