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Intiman Theatre - Two Mile Hollow - A Review
We hadn't been to the Intiman for some time, but with everyone in our immediate family having the latest booster shots and a promising premise, we were treated to a wild evening of back biting, innuendo, and flat-out jealousy.
Two Mile Hollow is based on a family gathering with heirs ready to pick the possibilities clean as the family estate is finally being sold and divvied up.
Two Mile Hollow is the Hampton's Chi-Chi ultra-rich. Most of us have no idea what the Hamptons have to offer beside mansions and fantastic seaside views, but here in the Pacific Northwest we do know about the ultra-rich in Bellevue, Medina, and Yarrow Point with their views of gorgeous Lake Washington.
My cousin Lavinia, a stage director and university teacher of acting and directing, joined me on the Intiman Theatre on Capitol Hill to see and review Two Mile Hollow.
We walked into the beautifully spaciously laid out gathering room and were amazed at the beauty and even the historical reflections of Native Americans at Seattle Central College.
The actual theatre was even more amazing. We walked down the aisle and chose seats in the third row, which gave us a straight on view of the stage. We took our seats a good twenty minutes prior to show time, that gave us a great opportunity to take in the fantastic set created by Reiko Huffman. The stage is high, wide, handsome AND deep.
The set screamed money and attention to detail. I turned to Lavinia and asked, "What do you think it cost to build?" She guessed $8,000; my guess was $10,000; but then I've just been buying lumber to re-do my family deck. From the huge kitchen's gigantic refrigerator to the stairs that rose and turned and continued on up to the clouds of heaven, this was opulence. We have to admire the creativity that built the set and the experience earned by the actors, directors, and stage-hands on this wonderful set.
Set designer Reiko Huffman, playwright Leah Nanako Winkler and director Jesse Ju should be very proud of both the look and the final product. Our eyes tell a story that Pacific North Westerners and our ultra-rich neighbors can relate to. (Annie Yim, M. Keala Milles, Jr., Naho Shioya Blythe, Ray Tagavilla, MJ Daly - Photo by Joe Moore)
Naho Shioya Blythe (who plays the mother) has appeared internationally from Asia to Europe to the U.S. and Canada. She is a director and teaching artist and has worked with many local productions. (Naho Shioya Blythe - Photo by Joe Moore)
Annie Yim plays the younger sister. She has also appeared with many local theaters. We loved her performance under the table eating bread and speaking as a bird . . . not like a bird, but AS a bird. (Annie Yim - Photo by Joe Moore)
M. Keala Milles, Jr. plays the ner-do-well son who wants to inherit "the motorcycle" (and money too, of course). Previous stage credits include The Old Globe, San Diego Repertory and Diversionary Theatre. A big thanks to costume designer Katrina Hess for Milles' slippers (very eye-catching). (M. Keala Milles, Jr. - Photo by Joe Moore)
Ray Tagavilla plays the movie star son, Christopher, an accomplished award-winning actor (note the images of him on the dining room wall), who is quite full of himself (the character, not the actor). Tagavilla has many awards also and has worked with various local theaters, most notably at one of our favorite pre-COVID productions at Theatre Schmeator. (M. Keala Milles, Jr. and Ray Tagavilla - Photo by Joe Moore)
The famous actor/stepfather has died and the estate is being sold with the family claiming what they see as their own. Barbs and insults fly along with winking references from "August: Osage County" to "Downton Abby."
For the last family gathering as pompous son Christopher brings along his young, and upward bound assistant, Charlotte (MJ Daly). The two have spent much of their time performing in classical works. Charlotte works her magic and soon has the ner-do-well son panting after her as well. (Ray Tagavilla and MJ Daly - Photo by Joe Moore)
There is definitely a feeling of incestuous activities going around. I think we begin to see the audience following the leadership of Charlotte.
If you are a seeker of subtlety, you won't find it in Two Mile Hollow . . . nor in Medina. But those looking for family squabbles and blame throwing can certainly find it at this Intiman treasure. (MJ Daly and Annie Yim - Photo by Joe Moore)
Director Jesse Jou has delivered an ensemble of characters fighting for attention and acceptance. Isn't that we're all looking for in our life?
Award winning playwright Leah Nanako Winkler is a Japanese-American from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington, Kentucky. Her play, "God Says This" was recently performed at Dukesbay Theatre in Tacoma. Aya Clark who starred in the Tacoma production and her husband Randy Clark run Dukesbay, a very intimate performance location. Read the review at thesubtimes.com/2022/03/23/god-said-this-play-review-dukesbay-theater. It was nice to see the cross-over of ancestry and humor surface in both Seattle and Tacoma.
Photos by Joe Moore.
Two Mile Hollow runs through May 14th at Intiman Theatre, in the South Seattle Community College on Capitol Hill.
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For more information, visit Intiman Theatre