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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 7, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 19
Flying House brings Smartypants and Sensible Shoes to Town Hall
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Flying House brings Smartypants and Sensible Shoes to Town Hall

by Scott Rice - SGN Contributing Writer

100 Years of Captain Smartypants
May 7, 8, 21, and 22
Unlaced and Unleashed
May 8 and 22
Town Hall


Couldn't we all use a bit of entertainment, a dash of enlightenment, a touch of unity, and a whole lot of healing? I know I could, and I know just where to get it.

Captain Smartypants is marking their 10th anniversary by celebrating 100 years instead. Captain Smartypants, a small ensemble from Seattle Men's Chorus, will perform a series of four utterly ridiculous Town Hall performances titled 100 Years of Captain Smartypants on May 7, 8, 21 and 22. The group is known throughout the Northwest for its highly creative presentations of original music with a comedic emphasis.

The success of Captain Smartypants lead to the formation of Sensible Shoes in 2004, a like-minded small ensemble made up of Seattle Women's Chorus members. On May 8 and 22 at 7 p.m. (just prior to Captain Smartypants' 9 p.m. shows), Sensible Shoes performs Unlaced and Unleashed, singing, dancing, and acting like never before. They'll strut their silly, sexy, saucy stuff onstage in a brand-new show with selections ranging from Queen and The Beach Boys to Nelly Furtado.

Under the direction of Eric Lane Barnes, 100 Years of Captain Smartypants plays downstairs at Town Hall, 1119 8th Avenue, on May 7 and 21 at 8 p.m. and May 8 and 22 at 9 p.m. with performances of Unlaced and Unleashed on May 8 and 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now with prices ranging from $20-$35. Visit the website at www.flyinghouse.org for more information.

Below is a Q&A with artistic director Eric Lane Barnes.

Scott Rice: What are Captain Smartypants and Sensible Shoes?

Eric Lane Barnes: Captain Smartypants was formed in 2000 to be a small ensemble of Seattle Men's Chorus. They define themselves as a "homosexual vocal comedy group" and have proved this definition correct by the way they sing funny and Gay songs every chance they get. Sensible Shoes was formed in 2004 as a small ensemble of Seattle Women's Chorus. They sing repertoire that includes comedy, pop, political satire, and women's music.

Rice: Tell me about the show. What should we expect to see?

Barnes: "The First 100 Years" is a best of the best of the best of the past 10 years of Captain Smartypants' existence. We start the show with the very first song we ever did (a Queer-themed military cadence) and end with one of the newest songs in our repertoire, a final encore that tells the audience that yes, the show is finally over and they need to leave (or we'll call the police).

Rice: What do you mean by calling the show 100 Years of Captain Smartypants? We all know homosexuals have only existed since 1887, and we weren't allowed to sing until June 28, 1969.

Barnes: Although Captain Smartypants has officially been singing for 10 years, those are Gay years, which translates rather neatly into 100 straight years. While homosexuals were only allowed to sing legally on June 28, 1969, there is a mounting body of evidence that shows musical theater songs were packed with Queer code words. Indeed, the entire score to Showboat, when properly translated, boils down to, "We're all meeting at Rick's house at 8 tonight. Bring something to dance in. Light snacks will be served."

Rice: What would you say to someone who has never seen a Flying House show to convince them to go?

Barnes: There may be an impression that Seattle Men's Chorus or Seattle Women's Chorus present staid, stuffy choral programs. However, each concert by each chorus incorporates a lot of theater and "wow factor" to elevate the choral concert into a truly exciting experience.

Rice: Why should the Queer community support the organization?

Barnes: The Queer community - should it ever be able to organize an evening out - should support Seattle Men's Chorus and Seattle Women's Chorus for several reasons. One, the concerts are exceedingly entertaining. Two, the concerts work toward the common goal of achieving a world that accepts and values its Gay and Lesbian citizens. Three, the concerts are a great chance to mingle with other Queer folk. Four, supporting Flying House Productions allows the organization to take shows to less enlightened environs than the Seattle area. Each year, each chorus travels far and wide to take concerts to communities where Queer people are much less visible and valued than they are in Seattle. Plus, you can have beer and/or wine during the show for a very reasonable price.

Rice: Why should the straight community support the organization?

Barnes: Any time anyone goes outside of her or his own comfort zone, humanity is enlarged. Half of the Flying House audience identifies as straight. They recognize that Gay and Lesbian people generally have a lot more fun than straight people do. We seriously hear this all the time, in letters and e-mails we get at the office. "I'm straight, but I sometimes wish I were Gay. You have SO MUCH FUN onstage!"

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