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A Dyke About Town:Stage, music and dance
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A Dyke About Town:Stage, music and dance

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Last Summer at Bluefish Cove
Mercy and Cuteness were very entertained by Last Summer at Bluefish Cove at Woman Seeking ... theatre West. This new theater company says their goal is to create an arena free of stereotypes for actors to hone their craft. How someone looks or her age should not control what parts she plays. Mercy finds this a laudable mission.

The only example she could find of this was in the casting of Laura Kenny, one of Mercy's favorite comic actors, in the role of Dr. Kitty Cochrane. Kenny is a short woman and the role of Dr. Kitty Cochrane might have been imagined to be tall, dark and handsome.

Kenny's acting and timing were magnificent. Kayti Branett also stood out, making us believe she was the manipulative bitch Donna whom she played.

Cuteness thought the play, set in the late '70s, was a bit dated. She noted that there were some jokes those who had lived through the era laughed at harder. She also found Dan Gomez's set ugly, though Mercy thought ugly was fitting for the beach cabin. Audrey Bales' direction had accurate details and moved the play well through its changes of mood.

Mercy remembers having seen the same play done by Front Room Theater decades ago. The fact that the actresses in that production were Lesbians gave it more authenticity and the relationships more sexual energy.

Suzanne Westenhoefer and Lisa Koch
Suzanne Westenhoefer's show at the Triple Door with a song about the Seattle heat wave made Mercy and Cuteness laugh: "The city is really tweaked/with pale, half-naked Seattleites walking in their sleep."

Cuteness' favorite joke of Suzanne Westenhoefer's was one about being puzzled by children. Westenhoefer talks about a 5-year-old girl saying to her, "Want to play paintball?" Suzanne says yes, then is shocked to be bruised by the girl's nunchuks. Later, she did not want to explain that the marks came from losing to a 5-year-old.

Mercy's favorite riff was about same-sex marriage. Suzanne said she doesn't understand why it is such a high priority. She herself would rather see legislation requiring everyone to wear name tags, so the fact that we can't remember each other's names would not be exposed.

Nevertheless, she and her partner did get married during the brief period that California law permitted it. The day of their ceremony, a crazy woman had created an altercation in front of their home. Westenhoefer had called the police, who came to take the woman away. Later, after the wedding, Suzanne and her guests were celebrating, when the police returned to let her know what had happened to the woman. This led one of the attendees to say, "Well, maybe it isn't legal, after all."

Mercy also liked Westenhoefer getting two of her audience members to re-enact with her an embarrassing moment when she upstaged one of the Indigo Girls. You can see that one at suzannew.com/category/news/.

Masters of Tap and Lindy Hop
Mercy is very excited about the fact that the fourth annual Masters of Tap and Lindy Hop is returning to the Century Ballroom. She has seen the show in the past, and been knocked out by the incredibly seasoned quality of these performers. This year's show is dedicated to Frankie Manning, one of the originators of the Lindy Hop, who had appeared at the previous shows. Manning died last year, just before he would have turned 95.

The remaining masters will perform Thursday, August 13, from noon-1:30 at City Hall Plaza as part of the Seattle Presents program. The free program will include a half-hour dance lesson, followed by dancing to Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators. Friday and Saturday nights, the masters will perform at the Century Ballroom.

One of Mercy's favorite performers is dancer and comedian Norma Miller, age 89. She began her career with the famed Whitey's Lindy Hoppers when she was just 14 years old. She appeared in the Marx Brothers' Day at the Races and Hellzapoppin'. Another favorite of Mercy's is Chester Whitmore, an amazingly unique and multi-faceted performer and stage personality - a highly renowned drummer, bandleader of his own big band, arranger/composer/songwriter, high-speed and tricky breaks tapper.

There will also be a variety of workshops available at all levels of dance. Find the details at www.centuryballroom.com.

Mercy is very impressed with Century Ballroom owner Hallie Kuperman's achievement in pulling together this incomparable event.

Ahmad Jamal
Mercy is very much looking forward to seeing Ahmad Jamal at Jazz Alley. Jamal is a legendary pianist and composer, a jazz icon. Jamal initially began playing piano at the age of 3, and hasn't stopped yet. Miles Davis cited Jamal as an important inspiration of his. Last year, the French government inducted Mr. Jamal, for his exceptional accomplishments in "American Classical Music," into its prestigious Order of the Arts and Letters.

His eagerly awaited release, It's Magic, is all about remembering the past while continuing to develop new territory. Dedicated to Jean-Fran├žois Deiber, his friend and producer who passed away just before After Fajr's release, It's Magic features six original tunes, two of which have never been recorded, and three standards.

He will play at Jazz Alley August 12-16 (www.jazzalley.com).

Puddletown Dancers
Mercy has been enjoying dancing with Puddletown Squares, though the group had to cancel last week's session because of the heat wave. The dancers always laugh their heads off and have a lot of fun.

She wants you to come check out the group at one or both of their Tastes of Square Dancing: August 20 and 27. These free of charge, public-participation events will take place from 7-9pm, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, at N.E. 80th St. and 1st Ave. N.E. You don't need a partner. These events will give you a chance to find out how fun square dancing is. They will also get you started in a class.

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