BAT season thoughts

BAT’s tickets for the season are here! This was enough reason for me to take another look at BAT’s 2017-18 season, and what a season it is! This is better live theater at its best.

Opening the box of tickets and seeing all the stacks, all the dates, all the color made the season real.

Selecting a season is a marvelous thing. In the beginning, there is a wonderful world of plays. The season can be anything. There is simply no limit. With each choice that universe gets a little smaller.

Some seasons there are shows BAT has been waiting to do. For one reason or another, they were not available when BAT first wanted to do them. As of now, there are few plays left in the queue, but none of those were available for this season. This entire season consists of plays BAT selected just this season. Two of the plays just became available this season.

The first show of the season, and the first show BAT selected is Ben Butler. I had heard of Ben Butler but had trouble finding the script. Eventually, I talked to the author, he was in the middle of a rewrite, but sent me a copy to read anyway.

When I read the draft, I fell in love with the show. Once BAT decided to do the show it started negotiating for the rights to produce the show from the author’s agent, but before that was done, a publishing house got involved. Everything was put on hold. Then, there was a pitch to take the show to Broadway. When a show goes to Broadway, the rest of us wait. BAT was told to wait.

But then, tough for the author, but good for BAT, the money to mount the show for Broadway fell apart. (It may go to Broadway next season.) Because a publishing house was involved, BAT had to wait until all the contracts with the author and the publishing house were settled before it could get the rights to produce Ben Butler. But, it all came together, and you will enjoy one of the very best plays I have read in a long time.

Next up is The Christmas Carol Rag. BAT has never tried a musical for the Holidays. BAT’s Holiday show typically gets the same amount of audience from year-to-year. So, BAT thought we would see about shaking things up a bit, just to see what happens with audience numbers. The Christmas Carol Rag is a very funny take on a Christmas classic.

The Christmas Carol Rag is also a good show for our times. Scrooge is a woman and the owner of a sweatshop in 1910. It will make you smile and laugh. But, as always with BAT’s Holiday shows, not something you will see anywhere else this season. Well worth your time during the busy Holiday season.

In Winter, it is Rapture Blister, Burn. This is the only show this season that is not a Puget Sound premiere. We have all wondered, what it would have been like if we made the “other” choice. Rapture, Blister, Burn takes a hard, but funny, look at just that question. From a script choice perspective, every character is layered and very interesting. None are stereotypical. Which is hard to find in a play of this nature. If it were not for every other show this season, this would be my top choice. As is, all four shows are amazing and worth many times the ticket price.

In the spring, it is Church & State. The author calls the show a dramedy, which may be the best description of this terrific script. It is so topical, every single day. It is a comedic look at a very compelling and overwhelming set of subjects: Politics, religion and gun control. No matter where your views fall on these topics, this show is for you. The script is simply amazing.

I am not a big fan of talkbacks after many shows, but Church & State is a show where people just may want to talk things through before they head off for late night food and drink. Church & State will make you laugh and think. Two very good things for theater to do.

BAT has to pay for the rights to these shows very early on, some are due next month. To make this happen BAT needs you to help raise the rights! Please donate today. DONATE HERE When faced with these huge bills, every dollar helps!


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