Spectrum moves 'Mandarin' to a storefront in free performances
Seattle's Spectrum Dance Theater offers free shows of "The Miraculous Mandarin," with audience members becoming voyeuristic witnesses to a lurid storefront-window drama in Chinatown/International District.
After presenting a roaming indoor/outdoor "Petruchska" last month, Donald Byrd and Spectrum Dance Theater do some more unusual staging with a revival of Byrd's 2006 work "The Miraculous Mandarin." Based on Bela Bartók and Menyhért Lengyel's 1926 pantomime, it's a tale of three drug addicts and a hooker that takes a supernatural twist. Given a "pulp fiction" touch by Byrd, the action unfolds in the windows of the old Hanil Garden Restaurant overlooking Hing Hay Park, where the audience, voyeurlike, will be sitting or standing (seats can be reserved by going to www.spectrumdance.org).
Performances, co-sponsored by Storefronts Seattle, are free. The show is, emphatically, not for children. 8:30 p.m. (time has changed to account for sunset time) Thursdays-Saturdays, May 17-26, Hing Hay Park, S. King St. and Maynard Ave S.; free (206-325-4161 or www.spectrumdance.org).
In a related event, Spectrum and the Wing Luke Museum are sponsoring the "Miraculous Mandarin: Behind the Scenes Historic Tour" through the Freeman Hotel. 6 p.m. May 19, Wing Luke Museum/Freeman Hotel, 710 S. King St., Seattle; $12.95 (register at www.spectrumdance.org).
Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer