Now through April 2nd

Review: LES MISERABLES at The 5th Avenue Theatre
Review: LES MISERABLES at The 5th Avenue Theatre
Theatre. Photo Credit: Truman Buffett

EVERY BRILLIANT THING is a show about awareness - awareness of yourself, of others, of obstacles and challenges, of feelings and emotions, and the beauty of life right down to the smallest detail. While framed within the story of darkest depression, the show illuminates how much joy there still is even among the shadows. Outlook and perspective can change everything, and EVERY BRILLIANT THING is bound to change yours.

The show follows one man recounting the story of his life from childhood to middle age and how his mother's depression and suicide attempts shaped his world view. As a child he began a list of "brilliant things" hoping it would help make his mother happy and find joy in her life. The list became a practice and tool that he used to remind himself of all the good things there were to enjoy. The more he looked for "brilliant things" the more he found. From simple objects to furry critters, to satisfying experiences, the list grew and grew. The why of the list became as important as the items on it.

EVERY BRILLIANT THING is a one-man show with a good-sized dose of improv and audience participation. The show doesn't just break the fourth wall, it has no walls. There is only one character, but they don't even have a name. They are just a person talking about life, their life, and how making a list of "brilliant things" became a "brilliant thing" in and of itself. Ian Bell is the storyteller, and it's hard to imagine that this isn't his real story. He is so attuned to the story that he becomes inseparable from it. The highs and lows grace his countenance with equal authenticity. His management of the improv and audience participation combined complete command of what needed to happen with great flexibility on how to get there. His ability to use whatever was happening and weave it into the story provided a foundation of trust that allowed audience members to lean into the invitations to participate.

Lighting design by Lily McLeod, sound design by Maggie L. Rogers, and scenic design by Parmida Ziaei were simple and unencumbered yet enhanced the show at all the right moments. Director John Langs doesn't get in the way of this show as a living, breathing piece of art, but rather allows it and Bell to work together naturally. The framework that Langs provides is just enough to keep it on track while allowing it to move organically. The timing and cues (tip of the hat to stage manager Jeffrey K. Hanson) are amazingly solid and beautifully executed for a show with the possibility for such variation. When people say theater is magic, this is definitely one of the lesser mentioned parts that can seem like a bit of wizardry.

Life is full of hard things, terribly sad things, and amazingly brilliant things. Sometimes they are even all mixed up together in one thing. Listening to people's stories reminds us that no matter how different our lives are, the core principles are the same - we all want to find connection with others. How we choose to walk through life, to see the world can determine how much connection we find with others. There are so many brilliant things in the world, and this show is undoubtedly going on my list of brilliant things.


ArtsWest to Welcome New Managing Director Inji Kamel

The Board of Directors at ArtsWest has announced that Inji Kamel is joining the team as ArtsWest's new Managing Director effective May 22, 2023.  Her ties within the arts community, broad experience in theater management and production, and deep commitment to the same values ArtsWest holds made her a fabulous candidate for this position. The addition of Inji as Managing Director completes the ArtsWest team, and the company is planning for the future with vision and enthusiasm.

Review: HELLO, DOLLY! at Village Theatre

In the musical theater world, there are classics and then there are Classics (with the big “C”). Jerry Herman’s “Hello, Dolly!” is certainly a big “C” Classic and I’m here to fight anyone who says different. It’s a delicious throwback to the Golden Age of musicals and certainly a star vehicle for the right star. And speaking of the right star, the current production of “Dolly”, currently playing at Village Theatre, shows just how good this Classic can be with the incredible Bobbi Kotula in the title role who proves that she’s not a star, but a Star!

Review: UNNECESSARY FARCE at Driftwood Theater

UNNECESSARY FARCE at the Driftwood Theatre is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled, high-octane laugh-fest. If your funny bone is out of practice, this show will whip you into shape in no time. From slapstick, innuendo, deadpan, comedy of errors, and wordplay, UNNECESSARY FARCE finds a million different ways to make you laugh.What did our critic think of UNNECESSARY FARCE at Driftwood Theater?

Seattle Shakespeare to Present THE TEMPEST as 30th Anniversary Wooden O Production This Summer

This year's free Wooden O production will be The Tempest, directed by Leah Adcock-Starr. This summer marks the 30th anniversary of free, professional Shakespeare in the Parks from Wooden O! Performances begin July 6 and run through August 6 at parks around the Puget Sound area.

From This Author - Kelly Rogers Flynt

Born and educated in the South, Kelly Rogers Flynt has happily transitioned to life in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys more rain and fewer mosquitos. She works as a director, choreographer,&nbs... (read more about this author)


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