Article from The Clyde Fitch Report: Drag Cabaret in Seattle: To Russia, With Love (Interview with Mickey Rowe)
Article from New Queer on the Block Magazine: Theater Reacts to President Putin’s Anti-Gay Laws in Russia
Article from Playbill.com: All-Male Production of Cabaret, Reset in Modern-Day Russia, Will Play Seattle
Wes Hurley, author of the Huffington Post’s article “Growing up Gay in Russia”, is set to star as the EmCee in a modern new production of Cabaret. Arts on the Waterfront’s new production will be set in Russia instead of the usual Germany, combining theatre, drag, and short clips of the actual vigilantes/neo-nazis to comment on the recent events in Russia. The production will also feature Zachary Simonson of Seattle Repertory Theater’s “American Buffalo” as well as members of the Seattle drag community.
The production is being directed by Arts on the Waterfront’s Producing Artistic Director Mickey Rowe and choreographed by Velocity Dance Center’s Dylan Ward.
Cabaret will perform in the Lobby of Intiman (Cornish Playhouse) transforming it into a modern club with the audience sitting around cafe tables and on couches.
“With the play’s perfect fit for the situation in Russia, with songs like ‘Married’ and ‘If You Could See Him Through My Eyes’, as well as the plays ability to pull an audience in with laughs, jokes, and very hummable tunes, the script allows us to open our audiences minds to falling in love with characters they might not initially understand, and bring reality and recognition to situations miles away.”, states Rowe.
“Realizing I was gay in Russia felt like a terminal disease diagnosis. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. What did I do to deserve it? I was just a kid. Yet there I was, a secret pedik, one of the monsters I’d heard about so much yet knew so little about. Convinced that I was the only real gay person in Russia, I felt completely alienated from the human race. I’d look in the mirror and imagine a reptilian creature lurking beneath my skin. If I was so unpopular already, for no apparent reason, what would happen to me if they knew?” stated Hurley.
The production will open before the Winter Olympics.
So far in Arts on the Waterfront’s two-year history the company has only received good reviews from The Seattle Times: “Inspired” “Recalling the great Shakespeare director Peter Brook. . . unmistakably alive.”, The Stranger: “Magical. . .”, “Wickedly Entertaining. . . Ingenious.”, City Arts Magazine, “A stellar intellectual play performed with quick wit, near-perfect timing, and smooth physicality. . . Within the first ten minutes of the play I was not only transfixed, but also incredibly impressed. . . Spectacular” and Seattle Magazine: “Perfect Summer Night in Seattle . . Pier Pleasure”.
“We have had an incredibly successful track record, not only raising thousands of dollars for charities around our community (Teen Feed, Sanctuary Arts, and The Trevor Project) at the performances, but also allowing homeless and low-income families to see plays outside of the Shakespeare canon that they might not usually get the chance to see. During Waiting for Godot, we had one homeless gentleman who felt such a connection to the show that he saw every performance and many rehearsals over the month, stating at the end that he even had many of his favorite sections of the play memorized”. States Artistic Director Mickey Rowe.
Performances are currently set to run November 28 Thurs (Preview), November 29 Fri (Opening), November 30 Sat, December 1 Sun, December 2 Mon, December 4 Wed, December 5 Thurs, December 6 Fri, December 7 Sat, December 8 Sun, December 9 Mon, December 11 Wed, December 12 Thurs, December 13 Fri (Closing) all at 8:00pm at the Cornish Playhouse (formerly Intiman) 201 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98109 at the Seattle Center.