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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 29 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 48
Life is a (Russian) cabaret - New production swaps out the Germans for Russia's anti-Gay vigilantes
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Life is a (Russian) cabaret - New production swaps out the Germans for Russia's anti-Gay vigilantes

CABARET
ARTS ON THE WATERFRONT
November 28 - December 13


Wes Hurley, author of the viral Huffington Post essay 'Growing Up Gay in Russia,' is set to star as the emcee in a groundbreaking modern production of Cabaret. Arts on the Waterfront's revival is set in Russia instead of the usual Germany, combining theater, drag, and short clips of actual neo-Nazi vigilantes to comment on the recent events in that country. The production also features Zachary Simonson of Seattle Repertory Theater's American Buffalo, as well as members of the Seattle drag community.

The production is being directed by Mickey Rowe, Arts on the Waterfront's producing artistic director, and choreographed by Dylan Ward of Velocity Dance Center.

Cabaret will be performed in the lobby of Seattle Center's Cornish Playhouse, transforming it into a modern club with the audience sitting around café tables and on couches.

A 'PERFECT FIT'
'With the play's perfect fit for the situation in Russia, with songs like 'Married' and 'If You Could See Him Through My Eyes,' as well as the play's ability to pull an audience in with laughs, jokes, and very hummable tunes, the script allows us to open our audiences' minds to falling in love with characters they might not initially understand, and bring reality and recognition to situations miles away,' states Rowe.

'Realizing I was Gay in Russia felt like a terminal disease diagnosis. I couldn't believe it was happening to me. What did I do to deserve it? I was just a kid. Yet there I was, a secret pedik, one of the monsters I'd heard about so much yet knew so little about. Convinced that I was the only real Gay person in Russia, I felt completely alienated from the human race. I'd look in the mirror and imagine a reptilian creature lurking beneath my skin. If I was so unpopular already, for no apparent reason, what would happen to me if they knew?' stated Hurley in his HuffPo piece.

So far, in Arts on the Waterfront's two-year history, the company has gotten consistently good reviews from The Seattle Times, The Stranger, City Arts, Seattle Magazine, and other local press.

DUAL MISSION
'We have had an incredibly successful track record, not only raising thousands of dollars for charities around our community (Teen Feed, Sanctuary Arts, The Trevor Project) at the performances, but also allowing homeless and low-income families to see plays outside of the Shakespeare canon that they might not usually get the chance to see. During Waiting for Godot, we had one homeless gentleman who felt such a connection to the show that he saw every performance and many rehearsals over the month, stating at the end that he even had many of his favorite sections of the play memorized,' says Rowe. Performances are free (a charitable donation is suggested). For more information, visit www.artsonthewaterfront.com.

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