Seattle Repetory Theatre's Hot Type series is going to be hot — or at least funky. The new works readings promise a "funkified" musical of Beowulf, Steven Dietz's latest Inventing Van Gogh and Sandra Tsing Loh's Sugar Plum Fairy among the series' seven offerings. The Hot Type festival lasts five days, May 1-5.
Beowulf may seem a stodgy Old English masterpiece, but composer Eric Schwartz and lyricist-librettist Robert O'Hara (Insurrection: Holding History) saw something fresh and new in it. In the anonymous epic poem, Beowulf is a great hero who rids his land of the evil monsters, Grendel and Grendel's Mother, only to be killed by a dragon on his return trip home.
Inventing Van Gogh received its world premiere with Arizona Theatre Company in April, 2001. The drama explores the great Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh's relationship to two men — Paul Gachet, an art collector and the doctor who treated Van Gogh in his last years, and Jonas Miller, an art historian obsessed with finding Van Gogh's last self portrait, a painting which may not even exist.
Tsing Loh, known for her NPR stints and the solo shows, Bad Sex With Bud Kemp and Aliens in America, returns to the Rep with Sugar Plum Fairy. Billed as a coming-of-age tale from hell, Sugar Plum is the story of a young 12-year old who dreams of dancing Clara in The Nutcracker, despite the fact that she's 50 pounds too heavy for the role and can't really dance, anyway.
The Rep will also read Philip and Belinda Haas' The Seance, based on A.S. Byatt's novel "The Conjugal Angel," Bruce Hurlbut's comedy Malediction about a pair of eldery people who can't keep a servant, Sarah Rhul's updated Eurydice and Hilly Hicks' The Home Life of Polar Bears about a young slacker from a family of geniuses who seeks acceptance with the Arctic's ursic denizens. Single tickets are $10 or are available as a $30 pass. Seattle Repertory Theatre is located at 155 Mercer Street. For reservations, call (206) 443 2210.
— By Christine Ehren