January 12, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 02
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Sunday, May 31, 2020



Where It's At
Fringe theater is alive and well on Capitol Hill
by Lorelei Quenzer - SGN A & E Writer

Friday-Saturday, January 12-13 - 8pm, 10:30pm
Capitol Hill Arts Center, $15

The cover story on last week's Stranger suggested, with its not-so-subtle illustration of Hamlet orating to Yorick, that Seattle's theater scene is dead. Well, at lunch last Saturday, in the throes of staging "the world's quickest theater festival," the folks at 14/48 had a pretty strong reaction: "Fuck The Stranger!" (Allegedly. Sheesh. Some people don't like the idea of going on record.)

But back to 14/48, wrap your head around this timeline: on Thursday night, seven Seattle authors go home to write a scene based on a random theme (drawn from a hat), for a vague cast (3 men, 2 women, e.g.). At 9:00 the next morning they show up with a 10-minute play and hand their masterpieces over to seven Seattle directors, also randomly selected, who then draw their casts. At random. They have until 8:00 pm to get their, er, acts together. At 9:30 it starts all over again: a new theme, a new day - fourteen plays in 48 hours.

These shows are designed, rehearsed, scored and performed in less time than it takes me to watch everything I Tivo in one week! And they don't take a nap. Last Saturday's theme was "Jump start," and of the 7 scenes I'd say one was exceptional, three were great, two were "just" good, and one was, well, less than good. That's a pretty good average for any Fringe festival experience, and here you won't get wet trudging from venue to venue. Too bad you'll never see these performances again, because 14/48 is on to the next theme this weekend.

Tickets are at such a premium that if you purchase them on-line you still have to show up 20 minutes before show time to claim them. On the other hand, if the tix are gone from the online service (, they're being held at the door for walk-up sales. (Pity the poor dope who pre-purchased but couldn't get there until 7:45 - you have his ticket!) It's a small venue and is sure to sell out, so get there early. Doors open one half hour before show time. L. Quenzer

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