Thursday, January 14, 2010

Show #1 "Snowbound" at Breeders Theater

Imagine a cold warehouse full of wine barrels. Imagine about 10 or 12 rows of cold, hard metal folding chairs. Imagine yourself watching a theatrical production while bundled up in your fur-lined winter coat and long underwear, sitting on a cold chair in a freezing warehouse.

Torture? One might think so.

But wait! Imagine yourself also eating some yummy hors d'oeuvres and savoring a glass of wait, savoring SEVERAL glasses of wine over the course of the wet winter evening.

Now, complete this picture with most of the metal chairs filled with laughing audience members and a friendly wine-tasting hostess...and you've just described the best theatrical gig I have as the Highline Times/Des Moines News theater reviewer.

Breeders Theater, an enterprising troupe of actors (and one chief playwright), performs at the E.B. Foote Winery in Burien, WA twice a year. This January's offering is "Snowbound," a mystery/comedy about a group of stranded travelers taking refuge from a snowstorm in an old country inn. One of the guests may be a killer. The other guests complete the story with their soap opera lives and constant suspicions. It's all played for laughs...and judging from the preview audience's reactions, they sure do get the laughs.

But, that's not what's important. The real issue is that here is an ingenious group of artists, who have combined their affection for good wine with their love of theater. Host a wine-tasting event and perform silly theater and charge everyone $20. Voila! You've got an instant box office smash. Brilliant!

And here's the best part. Because I represent "the media" by reviewing these shows for the Highline Times, I get invited to the free preview, get to nosh on hors d'oeuvres and taste wine. And for good measure, I invited my son Tim along for the ride. He enjoyed the wine immensely.

Normally, I am a heat-seeking vacationer. Cold? Winter? Hard metal folding chairs? Oh, puh-leeze! But not this time. Gimme that cold every January. It's Breeders Theater time, and I'm loving it.

Want to know more about BT? Look them up at

They'll thank you for it. By the way, they've got a July show, too. Not as cold, but just as fun.

Photo courtesy of Breeders Theater

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