June 1, 1998
Glide down memory lane with 'Silver Lining'
by Deborah Stone
Pacific Northwest Ballet's season finale, "Silver Lining" is a full-length, Broadway-style production choreographed by PNB Artistic Director Kent Stowell. The program is a tribute to American composer Jerome Kern, creator of the music for the classic hit "Show Boat," as well as many other popular songs including "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "Look for the Silver Lining."
The show is elegant, full of style and grace, with David Murin's vintage costumes and Ming Cho Lee's lavish sets, both reminiscent of the 1920s and 30s. Stowell incorporates a variety of social dances of the era - Charleston, tango, jitterbug and swing - into his choreography, and the result is pure fun, resembling a lively revue.
"Silver Lining" features guest soloists baritone Erich Parce and soprano Valerie Piancenti whose powerful voices do justice to Kern's work. PNB dancers, for the first time in the company's history, actually sing on stage in choral groups and the result is delightful.
There is an upbeat, high energy quality to the production with an infectious joy that the audience feels from the start. Dances run the range from tender, lyrical duets and sultry solos to full company crowd scenes. The look is total Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers sophistication one moment, and then humorous vaudeville the next.
"Silver Lining" lets audiences effortlessly glide down memory lane, leaving them with a sweet sense of nostalgia and a feeling of deep appreciation for the talents of this gifted company. "Silver Lining" runs through June 6th. For ticket information call 206-292-ARTS.