When I posted about the discount on tickets to tonight’s performance of Edward Scissorhands, I left out one small detail of the “very kind offer” — namely, that Prairie and I were offered (and accepted) tickets to see the show last night!
I’m still at a loss as to just how I ended up on the promotional radar for this show, but however it came about, I’m incredibly glad it did. After wrapping up at school yesterday evening, Prairie and I headed downtown and found our way to the 5th Avenue Theatre. We’d been told our tickets would be waiting at the Will Call window, so we walked up and I gave my name to the ticket girl. She flipped through her box…nothing. Could it have been misfiled under my first name? Nope. “Well,” she said, “maybe they’ve got them over at the VIP/Press table.”
Apparently, Prairie and I were VIPs (perhaps press, but since I didn’t get one of the fancy press packets, we decided we must be VIPs — something that we’ve been convinced of for quite some time now, but it’s always nice to get some acknowledgment)! We were handed our tickets (quite nice seats, too: orchestra level, row W, seats 3 and 4), the doors opened just a few moments later, and we wandered our way in. After spending a few moments in the lobby waiting for the auditorium doors to open, they did, we found our seats, ogled the theater (which neither of us has been to before, and is absolutely gorgeous) and settled in to enjoy the show.
The show itself was wonderful. I don’t really know what mental processes it took to watch the film and turn it into a…well, my first impulse is still to call it modern ballet, though the production seems to prefer terming it a “musical play without words”. Whatever you call it, and whatever it took to put it together, it works. It works quite well, in fact.
With very few changes, the story is essentially the same as the film: Edward is created, but left unfinished when his creator dies, leaving him with hands constructed of razor-sharp shears. When a chance encounter brings him and the townspeople together, he is taken in by the community…until his differences begin to overshadow their acceptance. Told entirely through music and dance, the show does a remarkable job of conveying all the emotion of Edward’s struggle to belong (heartbreak and hilarity both, as the story progresses — one of my personal favorite moments was the sudden appearance of a beanbag).
We got a real kick out of the sets, which are obviously strongly inspired by Tim Burton’s design aesthetic for the original film, from the gothic lines of the mansion and graveyard to the off-kilter architecture and bright pastels of the suburban town. They were all very simplistic, too, another nod to the starkness of Burton’s sketching (which always struck me as somewhere between Edward Gorey and Jhonen Vasquez…though, given the chronology, I suppose it would be best to classify Vasquez as somewhere between Gorey and Burton, but now I’m going completely off the subject), and a nice contrast to the admittedly impressive, but often overblown and bombastic sets of productions like Les Miserables or any of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s shows.
Prairie and I both had a blast last night, and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Finding favorite moments was difficult, but in the end, Prairie’s favorite scene was the Act I closer, “Topiary Garden,” while I ended up deciding that “The Annual Christmas Ball,” towards the end of Act II, was my personal favorite.
I’m very glad that I got this opportunity to see the show. It will be playing here in Seattle though May 13th, and it’s got the official Eclecticism seal of approval (which I’m sure will be appearing on their website, just as soon as I figure out what an ‘Eclecticism seal of approval’ might be or look like…)! Set aside an evening, have a ‘date night,’ and head out to the theater. It’s worth it.