There are two productions on the PCS boards right now. The “sexually and intellectually provocative” Sex with Strangers, and the thrilling, sassy and sultry revue that celebrates the life of jazz legend Fats Waller, Ain’t Misbehavin’. We spoke with actors from each production. All three opened up the doors to their lives in theatre and in these productions and what it is, that makes live theatre so exciting. View the season calendar HERE.
If you think you don’t know this musical, prepare to be surprised that so many of the songs are in our everyday musical lexicon. Check out the playlist HERE.
Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, this sassy, sultry revue celebrates the remarkable life and talents of a legendary jazz great, Fats Waller. Director Chris Coleman has created “a bright and shining new production … he has knocked out the walls and opened the show to the streets, bringing in the heady Uptown of the Harlem Renaissance and the bleaker days of the Depression Thirties to give the songs a deeper visual and impressionistic context. He’s expanded the cast from five to eleven, and created a whole urban community: apartments, bedrooms, alleys, piano parlors and party rooms, the kitchen at the Waldorf. The transformation gives a texture to the place and times that’s very different from Ain’t Misbehavin’s usual setting, a hothouse nightclub with the band and singers all squeezed together, raising the roof … Ain’t Misbehavin’ delivers the goods with brash and happy verve. In short, the joint is jumpin’.” Bob Hicks, Oregon ArtsWatch
Recently Robert Parish and I went to PCS to speak with the vibrant Charity Angél Dawson. Enjoy a video close-up of the show and with Charity, and the entire conversation below the video.
SEX WITH STRANGERS
This is something of a triple-threat of a show. First of all, it’s a “two-hander” meaning there are only two characters. It is set in the intimate Ellen Bye Studio with the two actors and the some 200 hundred audience members. Then, the story is set in a cabin during a snowstorm, that has the two effectively trapped. And finally, the screenplay comes to us from the gifted Laura Eason of House of Cards fame.
“Sexually and intellectually provocative … A HELL OF A LOT OF FUN!” —The Hollywood Reporter
A raging snowstorm traps strangers Olivia, an unsuccessful yet gifted 39-year-old writer, and Ethan, a tech- addicted and wildly successful young blogger, in a secluded cabin. Opposites instantly attract, and undeniable chemistry ignites. As the dawn rises, however, what could have just been a one-night-stand transforms into something more complicated when online exploits interfere with their real-life connection.
Both Danielle Slavick and Chris Smith have wonderful insights into the challenges of maintaining focus in an intimate and focused production like this. And both agreed, Laura Eason’s writing is the kind that flows so naturally. We get transported right into their world, which for the nearly two hours of this show is ours to step into as well.
The full conversations are below. Don’t miss them. Both Danielle and Chris reveal much of their life in the theatre and what it is that makes live theatre such important and exciting work.