There’s no mistaking the stark difference between “The Music Man,” currently playing at 5th Avenue Theatre, and “The Streets” which recently made its debut at ACT Theatre. Depending on your age you may be more familiar with the symphonic march of “Seventy Six Trombones” than the raw guitar sounds of “The Gits” or “Hammerbox.”
But regardless of your age, you should find plenty to like in these productions. And you have through this weekend to catch both.
The Music Man
The 5th Avenue Theatre mounts Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” with the appropriate fanfare that seems to follow "Professor" Harold Hill wherever he goes. Theater goers that ventured out on opening night to the 5th Ave got a special treat as they were greeted by the Chief Sealth High School marching band – teasing the crowd lining the street with not only the classics from the Broadway show but also some current chart busting numbers topping Billboard’s Hot 100.
One of the strongest numbers of the evening’s production happened to be the opening number “Rock Island” which features Darragh Kennan as Charlie Cowell, along with an ensemble of traveling salesmen as they chugged along on the rails to their next stop.
Another high point in the evening that clearly won the audience over was the endearing lisp-ridden take on “Gary, IN” by Joshua Feinsilber in the role of young Winthrop Paroo.
“The Music Man” runs through March 10 at 5th Avenue Theater. Check out www.5thavenue.org for additional information.
If you happened to be listening to the radio, or hanging out in clubs in the late 80s/early 90s there was no escaping the grunge scene coming out of Seattle. And as history attests there were a handful of bands that scored major recording contracts and sold millions of records as they became household names (not to mention extremely wealthy).
This is not their story.
“These Streets” was inspired by over 40 interviews of women rockers whose names and stories may not be as familiar as say, Nirvana or Soundgarden, but they arguably played a role in helping shape the grunge scene.
Earplugs are passed out before you enter the show that includes a live band providing plenty of ear crunching grunge as the story unfolds. But if you want the full effect, take a pass on the earplugs and soak up every decibel of the retro rock chords that were the mainstay sounds of groups like “The Gits,” “7 Year Bitch,” and “Maxi Badd.”
Gretta Harley and Sarah Rudinoff, who conceived and co-wrote “The Streets” have also thrown in a few original numbers to round out this look at the women who rocked Seattle.