Arts Let Us Now Praise Famous Geniuses
It’s always amusing to see how other critics around town respond to our newly endowed Geniuses. WET set designer Jennifer Zeyl usually gets and almost always deserves props for her work, but I don’t think Seattle Times critic Misha Berson has ever led with three paragraphs on her designs before:
First, let us go directly to the set. Washington Ensemble Theatre’s world-premiere mounting of “The Museum Play” has a really nifty one.
The company’s ace resident designer, Jennifer Zeyl, has tucked a solid-white bedroom on one end of WET’s small stage.
Taking up more space is a corner of an odd museum, boasting display cabinets chockablock with animal skeleton parts, a mounted stag head, pinned butterflies and a profusion of other familiar and unidentifiable miscellany from the natural world.
Joe Adcock also wants in on the action:
Adding significantly to the cleverness quotient of director Marya Sea Kaminski’s production is a setting by Jennifer Zeyl. The scenery includes several history and science exhibits behind glass and a bedroom that functions as a display case. Symbolism becomes a form of wit when butterflies that seem to be pinned for all eternity to exhibit panels start moving around.
Meanwhile, Richard Morin at the Seattle Weekly declines to cite Zeyl by name:
Beyond the bedroom, the majority of the stage is taken up by the titular museum, a sort of musty funhouse of dark corners and display cases full of pinned butterflies and creepy looking dioramas.
Weirdly, this is the first Zeyl set in some time that I didn’t totally love.
In other Genius news, our film winner, James Longley, was quoted in a recent Reuters article on upcoming movies about Iraq. Iraq in Fragments, filmed mostly in 2003 and 2004 but presciently organized around the three ethnic factions currently facing off in Iraq, will open in Seattle at the Varsity on November 10. It may only play for a week, so mark your calendars. You do not want to miss this movie.