'Das Barbecu' at Seattle's ACT
So, are you ready for some fun? Well, ACT has the answer. Their current production of "Das Barbecu" is a delirious, goofy ride from beginning to end filled with toe tappin' songs, high kickin' dances and enough laughs to keep you goin' til the cows come home.
This comic adaptation of Wagner's "Ring Cycle" was originally commissioned by the Seattle Opera in 1991. Since then it resurfaces each time the "Ring" comes back into town. We follow the quest to control the magic ring of power from one family to the next or as they say "from fool to thief and back again". I would try to explain more but I wouldn't want to confuse you with all of the twists and turns of these folks through their affairs, weddings feasts, rope tricks and of course, synchronized swimming. But do not expect the "fat lady" to belt out an aria or even Elmer Fudd to sing "kill the wabbit!" This story has been transplanted to the great state of Texas and infused with a very country and western twang.
And the cast is completely up to the challenge of relaying the tale of this mythic hoedown. With only five actors portraying all of the characters in our saga, there are a lot of quick changes and switching from one persona to another and it is handled with talent and grace. Seattle favorite Anne Allgood is spectacular as usual. I'm always happy to see her on a cast list and she never fails to please. You might remember her from ACT's production of "The Women" a few years back if you were lucky enough t see it. A production that still lingers in my memory as one of the best shows I've seen. She manages to weave in and out of her characters with ease.
I have to also mention stand out performances from Jennifer Sue Johnson as the manically obsessed wanna be bride and Carter J. Davis as her crooning cowboy love interest. And then there was also Davis' turn as one-third of a trio of sisters singing about how to "Hog Tie Your Man" that had us all rocking with laughter. Along with the fabulous Billie Wildrick and charming Richard Ziman, this ensemble cast shines like no other.
The show is just one great big ball of hilarity and should not be missed, especially since it doesn't get produced all that often. Don't wait until the "Ring" cycles back through town to catch it. Just mosey on down to ACT and sit a spell.
"Das Barbecu" plays at Seattle's ACT through September 6th. For more information or tickets contact the ACT box office at 206-292-7676 or visit them online at www.acttheatre.org.