Friday, January 23, 2015

12. On the Boards: The Holler Sessions

Twelve down. Forty three to go.

Frank Boyd is someone to watch. After seeing The Holler Sessions, his one-man show at On the Boards, I will certainly be watching his career and looking for another opportunity to see him perform. The show, written by Boyd, is funny, creative, and thought-provoking, depicting a DJ in a dingy Kansas City studio grappling with jazz as an American art form (and reflecting Boyd's own experience as a recent jazz convert.) Boyd himself is an intense, at times explosive, actor who moves well on stage and has no trouble holding the audience. (To learn more about The Holler Sessions and Frank Boyd, read Brendan Kiley's excellent review in The Stranger.

Friends tell me that a single visit just isn't enough to understand and appreciate On the Boards. I suppose the same could be said of most organizations ArtsFund supports, but perhaps it applies doubly here given the diversity of OTB's cutting-edge contemporary performances. Founded by artists in 1978, On the Boards presents innovative contemporary dance, theater and music in its two theaters at the Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance in Seattle's lower Queen Anne neighborhood. On the Boards presents more than 40 shows each year by innovative performance artists from this region and around the world. The organization also focuses on developing Northwest artists and showcasing their work.

My friends are correct: On the Boards needs a second visit at the very least. I am planning to return for one of their "Studio Suppers"at a dance performance later this year, events that feature a pre-show communal dinner at the theater prepared by a local chef. What an innovative idea, like everything else at On the Boards!

At The Holler Sessions the audience was treated to a live jazz
 performance on the set following the show.

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