THE MOST SPECTACULARLY LAMENTABLE TRIAL OF MIZ MARTHA WASHINGTON
- Lighting Designer
Ally Theatre Company
Joe's Movement Emporium
Apr 22 - May 20, 2017
Asst. Director / Choreographer:
Alison Samantha Johnson
"In the midst of a fever dream, The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington flips the power dynamic of Mt. Vernon and leaves first First Lady Martha Danbridge Washington to answer for slavery, with her slaves as judge and jury."
"Hallmark pulls out all the stops for a game show hosted by King George III (Reginald Richard). Johnson gives the king and his Vanna White (Alexander as Queen Charlotte) suitably decadent costumes, but it’s lighting designer E-hui Woo wins the scene. Throughout the show, Woo paints the set with a full rainbow of colors, adding to the surreality but never stealing the spotlight. In the game show, Woo’s lighting gets more attention when it responds to King George III’s directions as the rounds go by. That plus Richard’s energy and Petkofsky’s baffled misery make the game show scene a high point."
"At least, as an inaugural show, it succeeds in making me interested in what Ally Theatre Company does next."
- Marshall Bradshaw
"At the beginning there’s a blue-lit haunting, with figures moving in slo-mo to the strained sounds of “Ring Around the Rosie.”"
"The show quickly picks up an enjoyable pace of vision scenes and stock comic setups subverted. There’s a cleverly breathless shotgun lesson in American history, a bizarre quiz show, a grotesque mock slave auction in which Miz Washington herself is on the block."
"Sound Designer Hope Villanueva and Lighting Designer E-hui Woo evoke excellently both the dream worlds and real worlds and shuttle us back and forth with ease. And kudos to Costume Designer Alison Samantha Johnson, whose impressive creations range from louche to lavish.
With a vision “to elevate, illuminate, and give rise to voices that have gone unheard, to peer inside and spend time in spaces unseen,” Ally Theatre is off to a stupendous start. Its inaugural staging of The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington is theatrical discovery of the best kind—a terrific script not to be missed, a production with pizzazz, and a bold new troupe to watch out for."
- John Stoltenberg
The music and sound bytes perfectly coordinate with the mood of the play and the blue and green lighting add to the mystical, evocative psyche of the show. While the show lulled sometime in the middle, the ending is the most punching part, and we are left with a taste of a different America from another lens --emphasizing why good storytelling is more essential than ever
- Isabella Basco
"Miz Martha Washington” marked the debut by the new Ally Theatre Company as a resident in Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, and it was a rude, frisky tone-setter.
The script by Philadelphia-based writer-actor James Ijames (pronounced I-ams) finds an aged, widowed Martha Washington panicking that her slaves are out to get her. The intuitively entertaining Ijames knows his history, and the lampoon scenes are packed with information as a fevered, hapless Martha finally starts asking questions about the system she’s been on top of all her life.
- Nelson Pressley