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Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Post-Play Discussion that Actually Sounds Interesting

Posted by on September 28 at 12:15 PM

I haven’t had the chance to see it yet, but Jen Graves truly dug Louis Slotin Sonata (about the scientist who accidentally radiated himself to death while working on the Manhattan Project in 1946) at the Empty Space, even if not unreservedly. From her review:

Despite multilayered performances from each actor (Kate Czajkowski also deserves mention for her roles as Slotin’s distraught nurse and a Mother Nature forced to waltz with Mengele) and rich, warm moments in the script, the sole musical number makes the greatest impression. How could it not? It is performed against the backdrop of a floor-to-ceiling Nazi flag and stars Mengele bragging about his continuing presence in the world, from Ground Zero to Baghdad. I loved the feeling that the play was exploding into something outrageous—it was like Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, and KISS rolled together—but grimaced at the way the song-and-dance lazily simplified evil through this monstrous character and his white-coated servants doing a frantic Charleston. Authors are notorious for being symbolically unaccountable in dream sequences, and this sequence has run away with itself: Equating the Manhattan Project scientists with Mengele is more provocative than evocative.

Playwright Paul Mullin has been hosting a series of post-play discussions about science, nuclear proliferation, and ethics and he’s particularly excited about tonight’s guest: Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. (the “Ambassador” is part of his name), an arms control specialist that Mullin says “has been part of every major arms talk and nonproliferation treaty for the past 30 years.”

Check here for tickets.

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everyone might find this email I received this morning about this interesting

If you’ve been holding out on seeing Louis Slotin Sonata at the Empty Space Theatre, your procrastination has paid off. Three of the play’s final shows will be followed by discussions led by nationally and internationally known guests with expertise related to the subject matter of the play .

Ambassador Thomas Graham will be the featured guest following tonight’s performance (7:30 p.m.). Ambassador Graham is an internationally recognized expert and senior diplomat who has been involved in the negotiation of every major arms control and nonproliferation treaty of the past 30 years.

Following the 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, October 1, Empty Space Artistic Director Allison Narver and playwright Paul Mullin will be joined by Tom Carpenter, director of the Nuclear Oversight Program at the Government Accountability Project, a 29-year-old nonprofit public interest group that promotes government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers and empowering citizen activists.

And following the 7:30 p.m. performance on Wednesday, October 4, Narver and Mullin will be joined by Susan Gordon, director of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. Founded in 1987, the alliance is a network of more than 30 local, regional and national peace and environmental groups that represent the concerns of communities living near nuclear weapons sites and radioactive waste dumps in the U.S.

Louis Slotin Sonata has been inspiring rave reviews from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Seattle Times and the Stranger, among others. The final performance is October 7. Get your tickets now. For more information, visit

I once saw this great musical called Schrodinger's Girlfriend. It was an amazing combination of theoretical physics and bedroom farce. It hasn't, alas, made its way into the canon.

Saw "Slotin" last night. Great show, provocative-yet-accessible, great cast (Paul Stetler totally nails the zoned-out philosophical musings of Slotin's morphine-induced hallucinations) and light on the math. Definitely worth seeing.

Dr. Strangelove is the last comic word on the nuclear nightmare. Can you honestly tell me this play offers up anything more that Kubric?

Theatre is for pretentious rich people. If you want to laugh and cringe about nuclear weapons save your money and rent Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Must be the Equinox that's brought all the trolls out from beneath their bridges.

You mean "Kubrick", don't you?

So much for your cineastic credibility.

Yeah, I happen to own a copy, and "Slotin" isn't trying to be another "Strangelove", it's its own beast.

Oh, and I don't consider something that only cost me $15 to get into the exclusive realm of "pretentious rich people", not when I can blow more than that on popcorn & soda at your local "prole movie theatre."


Anyone who won't spend $50 to go see a Play every now and then simply doesn't know how to live. I have season tickets to all the local theatres. It keeps me urbane and informed.

Kibrick's is a children's film for mall idiots in the Midwest. This play is for the educated who can understand real art.

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