Northwest NEWS

April 5, 1999


Veil of blandness blankets 'Titanic'

   by Deborah Stone

   Titanic: A New Musical, Broadway's Tony Award-winning show of 1997, has sailed into Seattle and is currently running at The 5th Avenue Theatre.

   This ambitious musical details the dreams and aspirations of the crew, staff, and passengers of the Titanic against a backdrop of facts about the ship and the history it made one fateful night in 1912. The pride and joy of nautical engineering and the largest moving object in the world at the time, the "unsinkable" Titanic went down in just two and a half hours after hitting an iceberg at full speed.

   With luscious period costumes, imaginative sets, a lavish score, and a solid ensemble cast, Titanic is performed with elegance and style. It is a grand production of an epic story about class distinctions, a way of life, and the courage of those who went down with the ship.

   All the ingredients are present for an evening of quality entertainment, yet somehow, the show stops short of providing excitement and dramatic flair. The music is quite pleasant with a few lovely songs, but after awhile, it all just starts to sound alike. In addition, the staging creates a sense of monotony, with actors in continuous lines, marching from one scene to the next.

   There is a lack of vitality in Titanic and the element of surprise is missing. The show seems blanketed by a veil of blandness, leaving few memories behind.

   Titanic runs through April 18. For ticket information, call 206-292-ARTS.