Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 6 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 49
Le Club Noel a charming piece with a weak plot line
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Le Club Noel a charming piece with a weak plot line

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

LE CLUB NOEL
TAPROOT THEATRE
Through December 28


Taproot Theatre is debuting a new work by a couple that could almost be called a part of their 'repertory company.' Candace and Sam Vance have written the story of Le Club Noel about a special club evening held at the Parisian Purple Door only on Christmas Eve. Sam Vance wrote original music and lyrics. (The Vances have performed for many years with Taproot, and have been an integral part of the effort to support Taproot's expansion as they finally open their new building.)

The Purple Door is a performing restaurant giving comfort and respite from the turmoil in 1930s Europe on the eve of World War II. Run with a strong but warm hand by Valerie (Faith Russell), she tries to keep cooks and employees as food runs short and entertainment dollars are scarce.

Her little family of Ancil (Edd Key), Bellamy (Mark Tyler Miller), and Chantrice (Candace Vance) struggles to hang on with her and support each other in their troubles. Ancil has a tiny niece who needs to escape Germany; Chantrice has a child, Lionel (Max Vance on opening night), who does not speak.

When a stranger shows up who knows how to cook, Valerie gathers him into her restaurant family. But turmoil in French politics begins to intrude. The cook, Barry (Sam Vance), has a secret and is recognized by a Commandant (Jay Cross), who tries to enlist Barry in an effort to return a monarchy to France. A general, also a monarchist, Reule (Ryan Childers), tries to rekindle an old romance with Chantrice. It all comes to a head on Christmas Eve. An artist and free-thinking society woman who romances the commandant (Nikki Visel) completes the cast.

The cast does a lovely job of creating a work-family we can care about. The music, mostly performed live by the cast, is well done and apropos of the era. The Vance family is adorable (the role of Lionel is shared with Sage Mazurek alternating).

The actual story line is, unfortunately, not very convincing or compelling. That's rather easy to ignore, though, in favor of enjoying the atmosphere created by director Karen Lund and set and sound designer Mark Lund, period appropriate costuming by Sarah Burch Gordon and lighting by Kent Cubbage. Since much of the evening is filled with song, it's pleasurable to watch and listen.

The story's only real connection to Christmas is that Le Club Noel is a special Christmas Eve event and the climax to the historic event happens that night. There are strong bones here, even including the mystery of Lionel's parentage, but the story's focus on a rather obscure episode in French history and a somewhat trumped up sense of danger from French youth doesn't work that well.

There could certainly be suggestions for having the exact same basic configuration and using that to address something of more import to an American audience. Maybe by moving the date from 1933 to later in the 1930s, as the Nazis threaten to overrun France? Or even just abandoning politics and making the story just about the mystery of the parent's identity and a broken love story, if lighter fare is desired. Any way you slice it, a rewrite seems called for.

However, it's a credit to the Vances that the evening is basically successful and is something new and different rather than one more Christmas Carol ripoff, er adaptation. For more information, go to www.taproottheatre.org or call 206-781-9707.

Discuss your opinions with sgncritic@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Review of SMC's Play It Again, Santa a perfect entrée to the season
------------------------------
Lynn Shelton gets Touchy Feely - Local filmaker talks about her recent drama-comedy hybrid
------------------------------
Lyrical ladies - Little Women an engaging and heartwarming production
------------------------------
Thankskilling the Musical is pretty goddamn funny!
------------------------------
Le Club Noel a charming piece with a weak plot line
------------------------------
Pearl Jam Pop-up Shop features rare memorabilia
------------------------------
Pearl Jam Pop-up Shop features rare memorabilia
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient - Tam O'Shaugnessy on Behalf of Sally Ride - VIDEO
------------------------------

------------------------------
Darkly tragic Furnace burns with emotional authenticity
------------------------------
Million Dollar Man - Heartfelt Nebraska is a striking father-son drama
------------------------------
Southern-fried noir, Homefront wallows in genre clichés - and therein lies its greasy charm
------------------------------
Wintry wonderland - Disney's enchanting Frozen is overflowing in magic
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
More live concerts fill Seattle's spring calendar
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2013

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News