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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 25 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 43
Creak ... scratch ... BOO! SWC celebrates the scary season at St. Mark's
Arts & Entertainment
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Creak ... scratch ... BOO! SWC celebrates the scary season at St. Mark's

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

SEATTLE WOMEN'S CHORUS
ST. MARK'S CATHEDRAL
Through October 26


Spooky music, spooky costumes, and way spooky makeup are on hand at St. Mark's Cathedral this weekend with Seattle Women's Chorus. You have only this weekend left to hear a collection of eerie music with some fun numbers thrown in, and tickets are going fast. So fast, thankfully, that an extra show was added to the originally scheduled four.

The SWC has long been working to come out from under the shadow of its big brother, the Seattle Men's Chorus. Now 10 years old and with a new performance schedule, it appears to be succeeding. The caliber of the SWC's singing is widely considered among the best in the country.

The current concert, titled 'Hallows in the Cathedral,' is focused on the magnificent echoes within St. Mark's, and some music takes advantage of the room beautifully. In particular, the songs at both the start of the first act and the start of the second, 'Invocation: Peace' and 'Aglepta,' are sung by women on opposite sides of the room. Each side is led to echo and compete with the other as the sound blends and soars over the entire audience.

MONSTER MASHUP
There were sonorous songs, melodic ballads, a couple of humorous numbers, and a mashup of 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered' with the theme song from the television show The Addams Family. Captain Smartypants (a men's comedy group affiliated with SMC) also performed, along with Sensible Shoes, a women's jazz-pop vocal ensemble featuring SWC members.

The first weekend of performances included a special guest appearance by Georgia Ragsdale, who was billed as 'The Undead Comic.' In a silly zombie costume, she gave a five-minute stand-up routine that was very funny but way too short.

Ragsdale has a solo piece, Follow You Everywhere - A Memoir, Growing Up and Coming Out in Texas, which will be remounted in 2014. She's a talented comic, so watch for announcements as to where and when you'll get a chance to see her perform.

A masterful organist, Alan DePuy, occasionally plays a robust church-organ riff that fills the room and shakes the walls. A small band augmented accompanist Nancy Otness Bent, and included a harp with the more usual instruments of bass, drums, and cello.

An ongoing skit where a newfangled witch is being tested to see if she fits in with the older-style witches, kept the production light. Some of the pieces included dancers, though it really depended on where you sat as to whether you actually were able to notice and appreciate them.

One song, 'Tango to Evora,' had a duo dancing through the aisles, but the most beautiful part of that song was the incredible singing of soloist Virginia Daugherty, who had no need of a microphone to send her soprano up to the rafters and back.

If you miss this concert (and you really shouldn't), the next SWC performances will be February 6-9, 2014, at the Cornish Playhouse. More information is available at www.flyinghouse.org.

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