The Schmee (Theater Schmeater, Seattle) had another hit in “Attack of the Killer Murder . . . of Death!” We came on the last day, unfortunately, because we’d like to have seen it again. I hope the Schmee reprises the play because the cast was excellent, the dialogue was witty and silly, the direction was crisp, the costumes were great, and the space was so more open than the last site.
The new 49 seat auditorium is on a slant, unlike the former theater site on Capitol Hill, which was a long narrow rectangle, with the audience in two rows along one long side and the stage along the other. The bathrooms are much better, too, a great increase in comfort!
The frothy farce AKMOD is a whimsical construction by Wayne Rawley (he also masterfully directed this production); he originally wrote it for a graduation production for a youth theater ensemble. I imagine the kids had a great time. It’s a spoof on every corny ‘40s and ‘50s (think Roger Corman) film noir movie ever made. The Schmee cast numbered 11, a little bit over a fourth of the audience, and every member was memorable.
“It was a dark and stormy night”, on an isolated island where a famous movie star down on her luck, Desdemona Sunset (Lisa Branham) has agreed to be in the schlock movie in an effort to revive her fading career. The just-get-it-done director Sydney Candle has a mess on his hands and has to get this product on tomorrow’s ferry. The playwright is endlessly rewriting as something goes wrong or doesn’t work. The director’s dogsbody, the very ambitious ingénue, the PA (seemingly timid but very good at deductive reasoning), the lighting guy (a big time artist in major studios who’s mysteriously agreed to do this schlock), the prop master and the detective (following in his police detective father’s footsteps; therefore he’s Benjamin By-the-Book Booke, Jr.) are very, very good. Each actor stays completely in each (clichéd) character.
Director Wayne Rawley keeps everything going in crisp, snappy time; besides funny dialogue, timing is the hallmark of an effective farce. This was very effective.
The next Schmee productions are Edward Albee’s Seascape (September 12 to October 11) and Vincent Delaney’s The Art of Bad Men October 23 to November 8). Check their website for more information and tickets. You can also contact them by phone at 206-324-5801. Go to the Schmee; you’ll see good work.