Written by Kelleen Conway Blanchard
Directed by Bret Fetzer
Thu-Sat at 8 pm, July 27th-August 25th (Thu PWYC)
$15 general / $10 TPS, senior, military / $5 student
Kittens in a Cage tells Junie’s story, a good girl gone bad, sent to the pen by a buncha rats. From the knife fights in the showers to riots in the prison mess hall, Junie has to toughen up fast. Lucky for Junie, she’s got Vickie. A tough love story about bad broads that can’t get no breaks.
Junie, a juvenile delinquent with a heart of gold, gets thrown into a prison cell with hardened arsonist Vickie. But as they team up against the predations of prison queen bee Jeanine and her cannibalistic sidekick Barbara, not to mention the deranged scientific schemes of the Prison Matron, Junie finds her heart swelling up over Vickie. Does Vickie feel the same? Will Jeanine take vengeance in the shower? What’s up with those rumors of strange furry babies in the Matron’s secret laboratory?
Kittens in a Cage features an all female cast of Annex favorites, original songs by Rick Miller performed on the ukulele by Francesca Mondelli, and Kelleen Conway Blanchard’s unique voice. Kittens in a Cage is a love story, a story of breaks both good and bad, a story of survival, and an agonizingly funny portrayal of women behind bars.
Kittens in a Cage is directed by Bret Fetzer. Blanchard and Fetzer previously teamed up on Small Town (produced by Annex Theatre in 2007) and Hearts are Monsters (produced by Macha Monkey Productions in 2010).
“‘Kittens in a Cage’ is a f***ing riot. ‘Kittens’ takes on women’s-prison B movies and pulp novels with biting wit—no worries about offending anyone—and a gorgeous splatter of comically short prison uniforms (top buttons undone), smeared red lipstick, bright blue eye shadow, bouffant hairdos, and crazy accents…. This wicked, uproarious show features an all-female cast—not impossibly rare, but not common enough. Bosoms heave, brains leak out of heads, and women make out. Blanchard seems fully aware and in control while she wades into the muck of exploitation entertainment, with a wink and a nod (and a shiv) to its complicated history of empowerment.” –The Stranger
“In a nutshell: Kittens in a Cage is a funny, witty, naughty romp through chicks in prison films, with a spicy dash of horror and all overlaid with a delicious lesbionic sauce of camp and heaving bosoms.” –Seattle Gay Scene
“So what’s not to love about a play starring 7 local powerhouse actresses and written by an equally strong local, female playwright?! Given the dearth of substantive roles for women in theatre and film, it is great to see a show like ‘Kittens in a Cage’ infused with so much estrogen and feminine prowess…. The entire cast does a great job, and it is obvious that they are having a lot of fun in their respective roles; and when I saw the show on opening night, it was obvious that the audience had just as much fun watching them.” — Drama in the Hood
Reviews of past Bret Fetzer / Kelleen Conway Blanchard collaborations:
Hearts are Monsters
“Hearts Are Monsters, a loose riff on Hamlet, fills the small stage at
Rendezvous with the gallows humor and elegant garishness of a 1970s
exploitation film…Monsters has a style that hovers somewhere between
John Waters, Daniel Waters (Heathers), and Jack Hill (Switchblade
Sisters, Foxy Brown), but Kelleen Conway Blanchard’s world-premiere
script bristles with dense, dirty intelligence, and the jokes come
thick and fast…The cast, directed by Bret Fetzer, never plays the
script for camp, but delivers the craziest lines with a dead-ahead
seriousness that makes the comedy that much sharper.” – The Stranger
“[Small Town] is snappy and quick-paced; Fetzer, who has an obvious
knack for comedy, keeps things flowing nicely, and he seems to work
well with actors, drawing from each a solid performance. The staging
is exceptional, especially considering the tight space of CHAC’s
downstairs venue; for instance, by virtue of a ratty couch that flips
back on hinges, Stu Lionel’s underground abattoir is revealed. It’s a
nice touch, as is the split-second conversion of that same couch into
a mammoth dining table. Also noteworthy are the wonderful musical
interludes that punctuate the action: Bud’s uproariously heartfelt
crooning of the Scorpions’ “No One Like You,” or the final number, an
astonishing bluegrass version of Outkast’s hit “Hey Now,” with the
whole cast chanting the chorus in a flat-footed monotone. These
moments stand out not only for their expert execution but also for
their refreshing sense of levity—of good-hearted fun and comic warmth,
for lack of better terms.” –The Seattle Weekly
Tue-Wed at 8 pm, May 1-16
Preview: Mon, Apr 30, 8pm
$10 general / $5 student
Inspired by the tradition of the old-fashioned circus sideshow, this original dance-theater work by Jenna Bean Veatch features characters whose physical abnormalities bestow them with special powers. Rather than disabilities, they have super-abilities. Supported by a chorus of sideshow performers singing haunting Appalachian ballads, the work highlights the peculiar beauty that can be found only in the unusual and draws on the excitement that comes from catching a glimpse of otherworldliness. With displays that are at times odd and outrageously funny and at other times breathtakingly beautiful, Sideshow falls into the category of children’s art made for adults.
It’s whimsical yet somber, with a tingling strangeness. Blending dance, theater, music, and elements of puppetry, it toes the line between being magical and haunting, simple and fantastical.
“Sideshow is simple, charming, sweet, and completely devoid of power ballads and schmaltz…. [Naomi] Russell’s…innocence and transparency cannot be resisted…[Wyllin] Daigle is a great stage presence….[Jenna Bean] Veatch’s own composition is a highlight of the show as are the folk songs wonderfully rendered by Francesca Mondelli and Jillian Vashro as the Conjoined Twins.” –The Sunbreak
“A tender and modest piece of work [for] people who enjoy Circus Contraption and other neo-vaudeville expressions of that soft spot between innocence and irony.” –The Stranger
“Sideshow is the kind of theatrical experience that reminds you why it’s worth it to live in a cool city. It’s willfully expressive, and silly, and full of joy…. Don’t miss this one. It’s really beautiful.” –Culturemob