Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 / 7:30pmRed Tiger Tales
Assigned at Box Office
How was your experience?
I'm an avid theater goer -- usually taking in 2 or 3 productions per month, not only in Seattle, but also NYC, and London. And every time I attend the theater, I go with optimism and a readiness to be entertained. Better yet, in the past couple of years I've seen some of the BEST theater in Seattle. Alas, having noted all of that, I found RedTiger Tales the most simplistic and tedious stage production of many years. My date agreed completely. We attended a performance that included a 15-minute cast-discussion afterwards. Not surprisingly, I wasn't the only patron disappointed by the production. One of the other audience members asked if the cast could give a 1 sentence summary of what they each thought the evening's presentation (neither he nor I could use the phrase "play"...for this is really just a collection of random folk tales) was about. Unbelievably, the cast member handling the discussion demurred, explaining "Oh, we'd much rather hear what YOU think it was about -- after all, we're actually "in it" and so can't see it as you do." Ummm...excuse me, dear -- but the whole POINT of an audience sticking around for such a discussion is to learn more from YOU, the actors, NOT to simply express what we thought about it; we each already KNOW what we thought about it. I was hugely disappointed by most of the evening. I've seen better improvisational theater by college drama students than this (purportedly) written-and-rehearsed production. For those of you who were long-ago Seattle residents, it reminded me of Wunda-Wunda's daily kids' show on TV, in which she would often don a funny cap and exaggerated make-up, and then engage in some 5-minute sketch about some fantastical/magical "story." Yes, fine for 5-to7-year-olds viewing an old b/w TV screen. But as adult entertainment? Alas, the quality and depth of this production wasn't a whit better than Wunda-Wunda's. I'm amazed that ACT's executive director (or producer) thought this production worthy of offering compared to the other strong productions ACT has presented this year. Red Tiger Tales isn't even weak beer -- it's watered-down tea. One exception: I don't know anyone involved with this presentation, but the music played by a single female musician, on stage throughout the production, offered everything the actors and the script did not: nuance...variety.... charm .... clarity ... and artistic appeal. If only the overly-mugging actors, and "where's-the-beef" script could have provided just half that quality, it would've been a far more enjoyable evening. As it was, the 70-minutes of this production gave new meaning to the definition of "interminable."