Theater in Lake City

Nancy Catone is a guest contributor to Lake City Live. 

Last night a friend and I attended a performance by Leon Seaman at the George Center for Community (2212 NE 125th St). Seaman’s performance was a real tour de force, at least for our neck of woods, which currently doesn’t have its own performing arts center. This wasn’t always true, in the 1970’s there was a troupe of actors calling themselves the St. Matthew Players who put on productions at the theater in the then Jane Addams School. After the St. Matthew Players disbanded, live theater was taken up by the Civil Light Opera which also performed at the school. In those days, theater was alive in Lake City and thriving thanks to the dedication of some very fine people. It would be nice to revive it.

Meanwhile, live theater can be found at the Seattle Musical Theater in Magnuson Park and just beginning at the George Center. Since this is the season of Lent, both venues presented productions with a religious theme.

“Altar Boyz” ran from February 15 to March 10, at the Seattle Musical Theater. Five young men sang, danced and acted, backed by a live band, and an off stage announcer who guided the audience through the sins and good deeds of the not so angelic former altar boys. It was good entertainment based on Kevin Del Agula’s book with a rock musical score circa 1990′s. The young actors were handsome and talented and I felt ever so grateful for having them perform in my neighborhood. With me were my husband and two granddaughters who all loved the show. Seattle Musical Theater’s next production will be “Gypsy” which will run April 26 to May 19, 2013.

“Mark’s Gospel in Performance” at the George Center for Community at 125th Street NE, was performed by Leon Seaman. Mr. Seaman has a charming British accent and delivers a very convincing story of the life and times of Jesus according to the gospel of Mark. This is no holier-than-thou or tent show “religiousness” performance. Leon tells the straight story which he had studied and translated for himself from the ancient Greek transcripts. It is a very powerful one-man performance of a very old story. It follows the oral tradition of storytelling and in this simple way, makes you enjoy the events, not like it is being preached to you, but as if you were hearing it for the first time. Mr. Seaman told me, “It is a fascinating story, and I do enjoy sharing it.” George Center is developing an actors studio and hopes to expand this venue.

It would be nice to have live theater back in Lake City.