Now through April 2nd

By: Mar. 24, 2023
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.


Whidbey Island Center for the Arts Debuts Chamber Music on the Rock Series Photo
Whidbey Island Center for the Arts Debuts Chamber Music on the Rock Series

A new partnership between Trio RASA and Whidbey Island Center for the Arts will make its debut on WICA’s Main Stage over two weekends this summer, June 24-25 and July 1-2, 2023. 

Seattle Operas Summer Lineup Features Youth Programs, Free Outdoor Performances Photo
Seattle Opera's Summer Lineup Features Youth Programs, Free Outdoor Performances

The end of the season doesn't mean audiences have to wait until the fall to experience opera! Soak in the summer with Seattle Opera's exciting range of programming, including free public performances, youth opera camps, and a season-opening bash at the National Nordic Museum.

GreenStage Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Free Shakespeare in the Park Photo
GreenStage Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Free Shakespeare in the Park

GreenStage is celebrating 35 years of free Shakespeare in the Park this summer. GreenStage will be presenting two mainstage plays: 'Romeo & Juliet' directed by Luke Sayler and, continuing the history cycle, 'Henry VI - Part One' directed by Zanne Gerrard.

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH Returns to Seattle This Month Photo
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH Returns to Seattle This Month

ArtsWest will present the final show in its 2022-23 Season: BEGIN IT – Hedwig & the Angry Inch (by John Cameron Mitchell with music and lyrics by Stephen Trask). This groundbreaking rock musical will return to the ArtsWest stage after five years with its original star, Nicholas Japaul Bernard in the iconic role of Hedwig.

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)


#repshow# in[i]# Solaris
Book-It Repertory Theatre (6/14-7/09)PHOTOS CAST
#repshow# in[i]# Briar/Rose
Theatre Off Jackson (6/23-6/25)
Tacoma Little Theatre (6/02-6/18)
#repshow# in[i]# 12th Annual Festival of Shorts
Wade James Theatre (6/29-7/02)
#repshow# in[i]# The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts (5/26-6/11)
#repshow# in[i]# Hello, Dolly!
Village Theatre (5/26-7/02)PHOTOS
#repshow# in[i]# Falsettos
Harlequin Productions (6/30-7/22)
#repshow# in[i]# Juneteenth Celebration: Past Present and Future
Unexpected Productions Market Theater (6/18-6/18)
#repshow# in[i]# Crimson and Clover
Can Can Culinary Cabaret (6/29-9/17)
#repshow# in[i]# Noir
Can Can Culinary Cabaret (3/30-6/25)VIDEOS

Recommended For You