Hacki Ginda from Berlin,
Germany, is just one of many talented performers
The Seattle Moisture Festival: It’s wacktastic!
Erika Wilson, contributing writer
March 22, 2007
Do you have an
e-mail inbox bursting at the seams? A precarious tower of dinner
dishes piling up in the kitchen sink? A fresh crop of weeds in
your garden after yet another week of rain? Don’t despair! You
can forget about all those tedious tasks at Seattle’s Fourth
Annual Moisture Festival, a bang-up variety show of comedy,
music, and acrobatics that raises inspired lunacy to an art form.
The festival’s name was inspired by springtime in Seattle, and
it’s a wonderful way to break out of your winter rut and enjoy
some good old-fashioned fun.
It may be dreary
outside, but entering the Palladium Theater at Hale’s Brewery in
Fremont feels a bit like stepping under the big top. There’s the
brightly colored stage, and a concrete floor with rows of seats.
Buy a bag of fresh popcorn (and a Hale’s brew, if you’re so
inclined), and soak up the carnival atmosphere. The show itself
is a loving homage to vaudeville, music halls, circuses, and
cabaret—complete with jugglers, comedy duos, ukulele numbers,
unicyclists, aerialists, and a chanteuse or two. The variety
acts, which run from five to fifteen minutes each, are performed
by artists hailing from the Northwest and across the United
States, as well as from Germany and France. Each performance of
the three-week festival is different, as the artists take turns
performing—so every night is a newly minted extravaganza of
comedy and varieté. Not only that, but the Festival also
features burlesque shows at the ACT Theater
in downtown Seattle.
The March 22 show
at the Palladium opened with an introduction by emcee Simon
Neale, who appeared on stage wearing plaid pants, a patched
jacket, and a hat that looked like a gold-plated hedgehog glued
to a sci-fi B movie space helmet. He promised the crowd a
“wacktastic” evening, and the show didn’t disappoint. A
cappella quartet The Bobs opened the show with the oldie
“There Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” and closed it with a
fantastically improbable rendition of Cream’s “White Room,”
complete with a vocal version of Clapton’s guitar solo—which
gives some idea of the evening’s range from corny old laff
routines to wacky takes on rock and protest songs. There was a
cabaret number by drag diva Arnaldo, who sang a lovely torch
song in a sparkling blue dress—while memories of her lost love
welled up from within her bosom in a rather unique way. If all
of this sounds a bit silly, well, it is. Gloriously, crazily,
over-the-top silly. That’s why it’s so much fun.
But there’s even
more to the show than music and jokes; in fact, the silent acts
were among the most compelling of the night. Godfrey Daniels, a
very tall clown (who looks like a cross between Beaker of
the Muppet Show and Bert of Sesame Street) does a seemingly
simple routine with big red ball, but his act is a marvel of
subtlety. As the man sitting in front of me said, “He hasn’t
said a damn thing all night, and he’s the funniest guy up
there.” Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey performed an
acrobatically intense (but G-rated) aerial routine inspired by
the Kama Sutra. (Kids are welcome at the Palladium’s
early shows, but late shows and burlesque performances are 21
and over.) My favorite act of the evening was the incredibly
talented Iman Lizarazu, a French Basque artist whose hair is
more charismatic than most people’s whole personalities.
Lizarazu combines pantomime, juggling, dance (and a gorgeously
radiant smile) into a silent yet utterly captivating performance
that sparkles with a graceful intelligence.
The wacky, offbeat
spirit of the Artist’s Republic of Fremont is alive and well at
the Moisture Festival. Don’t miss it!
Moisture Festival runs through April 1. For more information and
a performance schedule, go to
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