March 9, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 10
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Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020



Fire On The Mountain: A rousing musical tribute to the salt of the earth folks
Fire On The Mountain: A rousing musical tribute to the salt of the earth folks
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Fire On The Mountain
Directed by Randal Myler
Starring Molly Andrews, 'Mississippi' Charles Bevel, Margaret Bowman
Tommy Fleming, Tony Marcus, Lee Morgan, Mike Regan, Ed Snodderly, Dan
Wheetman and Trevor Wheetman
Seattle Repertory Theatre
February 27th-March 24th

Sitting in the theater last week, watching the photos on the video screen behind the singers/actors in Seattle Rep's Fire On The Mountain, I couldn't help but flash back to some of the photos my ex has on his computer, which he got when he looked up his genealogy for my daughter. Being a great, great grandson of Appalachian mining folk himself, a lot of his ancestors looked a lot like the photos of mining families, and miners that the audience saw, though a lot of them seemed completely clueless about some of the deeper implications of the history being presented by the play. I guess it helps if you're as close to it as I am and was back when.

The play (which is more of a musical with words and video) is a moving and at times gritty and dark tribute to the history around the Kentucky mining industry, and gives those outside of this insular world a chance to view these people, more up close and personal. The music is at once lively and funny, and also disturbing, even saddening, as you realize these are the lyrics made up by those who toiled for 'chump change' (and even less than that) in the bowels of the earth so that richer people could have heat and live in much more luxurious surroundings than the average miner.

What I loved about this play/musical was the honesty and authenticity which is given voice by a group of talented musicians and actors, who fiddle, dance and sing with heartfelt warmth. I don't know if any of them are ancestors of miners, but I'm here to tell you, they look real in their simple overalls and plain dresses (yes, there are women in this story too, as there are in the real stories of miners and their sometimes tragic stories). And if you let it, Fire On The Mountain will get inside of you, move your soul, even as it keeps you wanting to tap your toes to the homey, bluegrass music.

For information on tickets and times, call 206-443-2222, or toll-free at 877-900-9285, or go online to

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