Photo by Truman Buffett
by MK Scott
Last year was the triumphant debut of ‘Bohemia’ at the Triple Door, a big splashy production of incredible dance numbers, glamorous costumes with an intriguing story and brought to you by Marxiano Productions, returned this past weekend.
Bohemia, a musical set in 1890s Prague that combines stories of historic artists like Sarah Bernhardt, Frédéric Chopin and George Sand interwoven with beautiful green fairies, aerial numbers, dance, burlesque, classical piano battles, comedy, and original songs by Siano, Peachey and Dayton Allemann.
The story centers around the famous Czech composer, Antonín Dvorák (Mark Siano), who has hit a wall prior to composing his magnum opus. In a move of desperation he turns to a bottle of absinthe for inspiration. In this macabre and mystical dream cabaret, Dvorák is visited by the ghost of late composer Frédéric Chopin (Opal Peachey) and a host of scantily clad green fairies. Chopin and many other famous Bohemians guide Dvorák as they search for the true source of inspiration and grasp at artistic immortality.
Bravo to the gender-bending performance of Peachey’s Chopin dancing with his lover George (Claire Marx). Bravo as well to the closeness of the dancing between the two male fairies as performed by Hisam Goueli and Bo Mellinger. This year, Siano got to cuddle up with both Goueli and Mellinger. I also appreciated the added humor that was absent from last year’s production.
From the staging to the classical music this production is pure art. While the sexiness of burlesque stars Goueli and Pamela Turpin (as Sarah Bernhardt) is appropriately chaste on the main stage, their dance behind the curtain allowed them to reveal themselves more explicitly and the audience was teased with erotic beauty.
Goueli also portrays Dvorák’s artistic rival, Alphonse Mucha, which clearly demonstrates Goueli is also a great actor as well as a dancer.
This classic production is everything that dinner theater is meant to be. I hope to see more shows like this at the The Triple Door.
Bohemia continues at The Triple Door (216 Union St.) through this Saturday, January 26 at 7pm and 10pm. Visit tripledoor.net for more information.
MK Scott is a Seattle-based arts writer. Check out his site at uniteseattlemag.com