Archive for the ‘Plays and Such with Jorj Savage’ Category

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

March 16, 2011

“You’ve heard versions and different scenes of the play at least a dozen times.  Man, 73, meets woman in her 20’s outside the Key Arena, where she has just been bounced from a concert for disorderly behavior—and without her coat!  Well, folks, that “man” turns 75 this week!  That’s right.  Jorj Savage, who created this story loosely based on his brief encounter with a young woman at the Seattle Center, will be three-quarters of a century old, in a little over a week.  Time to celebrate!” – Donna Van Norman

Rita Andreeva Painted This Portrait of Jorj (as the Tragedy Mask) for His Birthday Present From Her
Editor’s Note:  It was quite a Tuesday at WARP evening, full of limericks, testimonial  (Donna Van Norman), hip-hop (courtesy of Dan Green – a big crowd pleaser), musical numbers (courtesy of Scot Bastain), artwork, and finally a nice speech by Jorj himself.  Jorj’s life has collected people into the theater like a fine garment which seems to attract lint like crazy.  And all the lint showed up last night to honor him, (yours truely, included). 

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

February 19, 2011
Editor’s Note:  I can’t help saying that I think The Three Penny Opera is just a lovley name for a piece of theater.


The Three Penny Opera

Jorj Preparing to Attend the Theater

The Seattle Shakespeare Company is staging the Brecht/Weill “Three Penny Opera” using the Intiman Theater.  I saw this musicial off-Broaday in the early 1960’s with Lotte Lenya as Pirate Jenny.  It was dark and haunting and created a Germanic mood and Mac the Knife was as bad dude.  When he appeared and they said bodies found cement graves you believed it.  New York City and its teeming streets added to the ambience.

The Three Penny Opera” is allegedly about beggars and thieves and I don’t think the show takes their world seriously.  It’s like “Lets enjoy the music and let the women rip.” The male roles are played by lovable guys.  Russell Hodgkinson is an amazing performer, a clown of the highest order, but hardly the man to play the leader of the thieves.  And John Bogar has a pleasant middle class nice guy manner that is anything but a dangerous chick magnet and killer.  Both actors play the lines and give incredible performances but where is the dark side?

On the women’s side Jerek Hoffer and Julie Briskman and Jayne Muirhead especially are tough chicks who rage against Macheath with such power that you think you’re back in “Macbeth.”  I loved it.  All the women were strong! strong! strong! which made the male leads look all the weaker.

So that’s the show.  It’s well done and fun and a modern interpertation.  Women directed BABS AND THE DODO, THE BROTHERS SIZE and THE MISANTHROPE and in two of those shows the women were strong. There are no women in BROTHER’S SIZE but a female director brought two guys out of prison to life.

The Three Penny Opera runs three full hours and has two intermissions and Brecht’s messages like “First feed and face and then teach right and wrong!” get in your face with full force.


Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

February 8, 2011

The Brothers Size at the Seattle Rep


Jorj Often Finds Time to Think About the Plays He’s Seen While Digging in the Backyard.

 “Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play THE BROTHERS SIZE has it’s offical opening Wednesday February 9th and runs at The Seattle Rep. mainstage through February 27th.  In the cast are three Black males from the world of the Black street.  The main character, Oshoosi is just out of prison.  I’ve always felt the world of the Black folk play could rival the Irish plays for theatricality, poetry and existentialist joy and pain. There should be ten plays being produced from this world.  This one just re-opens the door that August Wilson opened.  Had we heard it read at SPS we could have said its too talky in places, needed more plot and maybe the homosexual theme wasn’t necessary or else needed more development but that’s just quibbling.  There is a rendition of the Otis Redding song “She Gets Weary” that is better than Otis Redding himself.  Don’t not go.” –  Jorj

Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

February 4, 2011

Babs the Dodo at the Washington Ensemble Theatre

A Good Critic Will Focus and Not Miss a Thing

BABS THE DODO by  Michael Mitnick is playing at the 60 seat Washington Ensemble Theatre on 19th a couple blocks South of Aloha in the middle of nowhere.   Babs starts off the show by giving a bad sales pitch for an angel pendant.  It’s suppose to be bad.  She’s 50 and not selling and her boss, Jocelyn, a tall svelt husky voiced wisecraking cynic wants to fire her.  She dates a guy named Raymond who is into birds.  Jocelyn goes on a date with Raymond also.  Many whacky things happen like Babs peeling the skin off her arm with a peeler and growing feathers. There are some very funny lines and bits and though absurdist the 4 actors create real chacaters.  One line I remember is: “I thought a comet killed all he dodos.”  The director, Elise Hunt, has been cast in Jerry Mannings upcoming OF MICE AND MEN this spring.  For more info go to  BABS THE DODO just opened and runs through March 14th.” –  Jorj

Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such With Jorj Savage

February 1, 2011

Jason & Medea

Jorj Also Saw the Play and Reports

“A group of us from SPS saw Theatre 9/12’s production of Babs Lindsey’s ‘Jason and Medea’ at Trinity Parish Church on 8th between Cherry and James.  This equity waver (pay what you can) show runs weekends through February 12th.  Boy meets scorceress, scoresses saves boy by cutting up her brother, boy gets scorceress pregant and they have 2 children together then he leaves her for a princess, sorcersss kills children all in 90 minutes.  It’s a play within a play and a story within a story and lots of laughs, angst and a good all around telling of the mythical tale. It’s the one with a golden fleece, remember?”   – Jorj

Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

January 27, 2011

Editor’s Note:  Jorj is back on the beat with these two selections you might enjoy:

Jorj Has Two Great Ideas for You

Rik Deskin’s Eclectic Theater Company is currently presenting Moliere’s THE MISANTHROPE Friday thru Sunday at The Odd Duck.  A talented cast of youngish actors are busting their chops for director Kate Huisentruit.  We have been hearing their rehearsal shouts and screams at our Tuesday WARP meetings at the Duck.  The space now has two rehearsal rooms in addition to the theater.  The show has pace and energy.  Bryan Bender is morose in the lead and Adria Morticella is a knockout as Philinte and two other roles.  She reacts, mugs, plays men’s parts, has her mustach fall off and reminds me of a young Carol Burnette.  The message that it is better to be truthful in polite society is perhaps timeless.  It gets you nowwhere.  They need audience and deserve support. The play runs Friday Thru Sunday through February 12th. ”  – Jorj

John Kazanjian has staged a little known David Mamet farce titled NOVEMBER at the new New City Theater (The Shoebox Theater) at 1404 18th Ave. (near Union). The show runs weekends through February 12th.  Where else but Seattle can you see this play and CYMBELINE an equally obscure Shakepeare play.  What a city.  The plot of NOVEMBER has to do with the President of the United States pardoing two turkeys at Thanksgaiving and authorizing a lesbian marriage.  There is a Native American thrown into the mix.” –  Jorj
Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

October 29, 2010

Editor’s Note:  MacBeth in 3 hours.  “Dear Carl – Roi Martin and I saw it this evening.” 

Greenstage is doing MacBeth at their space at Fifth and Lenore and tonight, (Thursday 10/28/10), I got in although 40 people were turned away.  It’s a fun MacBeth.  The witches are blonde in gold dresses.  There’s a barbershbop quartette with Mok Moser singing bass.  Ryan Spickford plays MacBeth with great althleticism.  A cast of 17, some playing multiple roles is full of promising actors.  It’s done fast paced and rips along skimming the surface of the story.

Erin Day appears at McDuff in a silly Amelia Erhart pilot’s outfit.  You see her a few times and then in the second act suddenly she is there, she is McDuff, told that his wife has been killed and his children.  You see her eyes.  Are you sure she asks.  Yes and the dog.  She stares into space.  She is a man who has lost his family. I was moved to tears.  And then she kisses her sword and you know MacBeth doesn’t have a chance.

A few scenes later she is much abusing him.  Kicking him saying that’s for my wife, that’s for my children.  She kicks him ten feet.  For my dog.  She cuts off his head and holds it high and the audience cheers.  And it becomes a play about McDuff not MacBeth.  You see what real theater is, what Shakespeare can be when played by a real actor. “Tis enough.  Twil serve.”

– Jorj

Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

October 29, 2010

Actual Measurements May Vary

THREE TALL WOMEN by Edward Albee

“Albee Play at Leo K.  Allison Narver has mounted THREE TALL WOMEN and I saw opening night last night (10/27/10).  The play within a play became even more so when Megan Cole playing the oldest version of the woman, in her dotage, started calling for lines.  In the first act an over 90 woman rants and recalls her youth while a caregiver and women representing her lawyer listen and deal with her.  At the end of Act I she has a stroke and dies.

A dummy of her dead body remains in her bed for act two.  Megan Cole comes back as a more vigorous version of her elder self to talk with a middle age version and a twenty something version of herself played by the actors from act one.  Nick Garrison appears in a non speaking role.

The play first done in 1991 is autobiographical and Nick Garrison is Albee, adopted to a wealthy family that he didn’t fit into very well.

Hopefully the Rep. will keep doing Albee having done LADY FROM DUBUQUE a few years ago. Some people think he is America’s greatest living playwright. He does bleak well and with humor.”  – Jorj

Drawing by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

October 27, 2010

Ghosts Love Hamlet

HAMLET at the Center House

“Last night 10/26/10 I saw the first prevue of HAMLET at Center House free because of Art’s Crush free week.  Directed by John Langs and starring Darragh Kennan it runs nearly 3 1/2 hours with one intermission.  A subdued Charles Leggit has multiple roles including the ghost of Hamlet’s father.  The production has a Scandinavian quality which is good because the play is set in Denmark.  The bare walls set, with a interesting walls to look it, is vaguely reminicent of the time of kings.  There is much use of a knife and sword and a climactic sword fight between Hamelt and Laertes but various modern elements get into the show, some suitcases on a cart, high heels, a colt 45.  The suggestion is that the story is timeless.

The show stalls a little in the second act when Hamlet is off stage but I liked that all the lines were delivered so I could hear them.  So many phrases and book titles and comparing Denmark to rotten fruit are there to revisit.

Darragh Kennan is centered and kind of a Holden Caufield Hamlet.  He sees corruption and so rejects the whole society he’s part of.  He plays at being  mad, then when he kills David Plichette (Polonius) things spin out of control.  There are 15 actors, many in multiple roles.  Seattle Shakespere Company has gone all out.

There were many teachers in attendance who planned to study the play in their classes and then bring them to the show.

My college friend Jim Missey was fond of quoting an old professor as saying: “We do not like to see our author produced, least of all Hamlet.”  The text alone is more than any production but I love seeing it.  I saw Stacy Keach do it once.   –  Jorj  10/27/10″

Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

October 25, 2010

Jorj Likes to Hang Around for the Post Play Discussions

Celebrity AlertFormer Seattle Police Chief  Norm Stamper stars in this transplant from Orcas Island. 

Brilliant Traces

“”BRILLIANT TRACES at Richard Hugo House remaining performaces October 29 and 30 and Novemberf 5,6 and 7 8:00 pm.  This is a Dramatists Play Service Catalogue play by Cindy Lou Johnson that was produced on Orcus Island and the production has been moved for a three weekend run at Richard Hugo House.  The two character play, with former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper as a old Alaska recluse who is visted by a runaway bride from Arizona is good community theater.  Very different from the usual Capitol Hill edgy fare.  It’s an actors vehicle and Chief Stamper and Melinda Milligan have it down.  She’s freaked out and he’s trying to get away from all people but they are forced into a romantic situation in his remote cabin.  He looks fit and lean and she is blonde and wild and the set up makes for engaging interplay. Since I’m trying to write my first two character play it was a good one for me to see.”  –   Jorj 10/25/10

Photo by Carl Nelson

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