We had a lovely 4 ½ days in Seattle: Mildred’s BandB, dinners and lunches with a client, two granddaughters and one’s fiancée, long-time friends, and then a play, exhibits at SAM, the Wing Luke Asian Museum and our favorite sculpture, Monk at the Moment of Enlightenment, and Fry Museum, Dick Blick Art Supply, and the highlight, Theater Schmeater’ of Welcome to My Secret Lair a worthy successor to last year’s Attack of the Killer Murder … of Death!.
Theater Schmeater (I just love to say the name) presents workshop productions among other classical and modern works.
Courtney Kessler’s Welcome to My Secret Lair is a take-off of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, but set in contemporary time. This monster production is greater than the sum of its parts. The mad scientist Victor (Tom Stewart) is isolated in his mountain top lair-lab and he wants a girlfriend. His Igor stand in, Scarface (Parker Matthews), is his online guru, searching all the dating sites for Victor’s perfect woman.
In preparation for the first candidate, Lily (Natalie Anne Moe), Victor prepares a present based on her preferences as stated on the site. Scarface brings out a trunk, Lily opens it, and she runs screaming into the dark. Victor is bewildered. He wanted to please her with his sensitivity to her likes, with a hybrid pony and monkey. As she leaves, Victor tells Scarface to let the wolves loose. That’s just the kind guy he is.
Zoe (Asha Stichter) is overtly interested in sex. This terrifies Victor, but Scarface is definitely interested. Karen (Jenn Ruzumna) brings her baby with her; however she did not mention that on her profile. Victor is thrilled; he wants to use the child in experiments. She runs out shocked to her core, but she does take her infant. Even Tracy (Adam St. John)answers the calls. Victor is suprised but sends him away. Stella (Caitlin McCown), Robin (Annelih GH Hamilton) also leave, repulsed by Victor’s sleazy charm and his intentions.
The only woman he really likes and does not find Victor repugnant, is Jeanine (Britt Hobson) who’s a medical examiner and is fascinated by Victor and his lab.
The costumes were spot on. The women’s clothing expressed the various styles and colors for young women. Scarface’s Igor-ish hood was fitting for a toady minion. Victor’s blood spattered lab coat and his crisp jackets, ties and hair were all perfectly appropriate. Victor’s hair was reminiscent of ‘40s and ‘50s movies, or early Hugh Grant: longish with wings of hair that he keeps sliding his fingers through to establish his heightened anticipation and disappointment.
Director Grant Scott keeps the script and cast moving; after all, crisp timing is a necessity for farce. There were some pauses that I thought were a little too long, but overall, the production is fun from start to finish.
…Lair runs through October 31st. Tickets are available the Schmee’s website, or through Brown Bag Tickets, phone 800-838-3006 or through their www.brownpapertickets.com/event/218172.
If you like to laugh . . . a whole bunch, then you need to visit the Schmee. We've enjoyed every play we've seen there and most of them have been over the top . . . and that's a good thing. Call the box office at 206-324-5801 for tickets or visit online at Theater Schmeater to the rest of their season.