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Thursday, December 1, 2005

Seattle Rep’s Second Switcheroo

Posted by on December 1 at 11:20 AM

First they switched out the Neil Simon world premiere of Rewrites for August Wilson’s latest play, Radio Golf. That I can understand.

But now they’ve gone and replaced Temple (the play I was most looking forward to in their season) with Private Lives, the 1930 divorce comedy by Noel Coward. Why?

“We need more time to work on Temple,” said Rep p.r. manager Ilana Balint. “It’s a bigger scope that we originally thought. We want to get it right.” I asked what aspect of the production needs more timethe script, the music, the technical side? “Everything,” Ms. Balint replied. “It all needs work.”

Temple is a world premiere musical about Dr. Temple Grandin, the autistic animal rights activist who almost singlehandedly overhauled the beef slaughter industry to make it more humane (if you can make a slaughterhouse more humane), using techniques that help calm the anxiety sometimes produced by her autism. She talks about having an empathetic connection with the animals and writes about animals as property with rights. She’s a fascinating person and I was really looking forward to the musical.

But now it’s Noel Coward. Sigh.