Mime’s the word: Port Angeles Symphony’s zany concert tonight is speechless

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Spotlight

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PORT ANGELES — Tonight’s Port Angeles Symphony concert is not about to go smoothly.

A couple of playful people from out of town plan to show up. They will want to first perform a little music, then dance a lot — and add a whole new dimension to the concert experience.

This is the opening concert of the Port Angeles Symphony’s 80th season, and it is a doozy for all ages.

The Magic Circle Mime Co., one part Seattle and one part San Francisco, is bursting in to join the orchestra for its the 7 p.m. performance in the Port Angeles High School auditorium, 304 E. Park Ave.

The Magic Circle is known around the globe for theater performances such as “The Listener,” the one to unfold here tonight.

The troupe is composed of two mimes, Douglas MacIntyre and Maggie Petersen, who have entertained audiences across Asia and North America — and who will next go to Bogota, Colombia, for a concert.

When asked for a crash course in “The Listener,” MacIntyre, the Seattle-based half of the Magic Circle, jumped straight in.

“You’d be going to a play,” he said, “and what happens is there’s a certain member of the audience who shows up for this concert.

“Right from the get-go he gets in trouble, through his use of a camera. He starts interacting with the orchestra,” something like a conductor would.

“Then the real conductor shows up, and that sets off a whole thing.”

MacIntyre plays this camera-wielding guy while Petersen, his sidekick from San Francisco, arrives.

“Both Maggie and I have just enough musical background to get into trouble,” he quipped.

In the course of the symphony concert, they decide they want to become ballet dancers, and “then we try to turn ballet into tap dance.

The conductor is trying to be accommodating,” added MacIntyre.

Port Angeles Symphony conductor Adam Stern plays himself — and adores doing so.

He’s worked with the Magic Circle many times, and marvels at how, even as they frolic, the pair entices the audience to do at least three things: explore and enjoy the music, and learn the fine art of listening.

“Their presentations are entertaining and educational in equal measure,” Stern said, “and they never talk down to the audience. . . . They may have fun with the music, but they never make fun of it.”

The Magic Circle mimes picked out the music for tonight’s program, the maestro added.

The evening will range from Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” and Mozart’s 39th Symphony to Bernstein’s “Candide” overture, Bizet’s “Carmen” and selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.”

The symphony’s season opener is unusual in other ways:

There will be but one concert today, with no dress rehearsal held in the morning. And tickets are family-friendly: $5 for youth 16 and younger for all seating sections.

For those 17 and older, reserved seats are $15 and $20, while general admission is $10.

Outlets for general seating tickets include Port Book and News, 104 E. First St. in Port Angeles; Sequim Village Glass at 761 Carlsborg Road and The Good Book/Joyful Noise Music Center at 108 W. Washington St. in Sequim.

The Port Angeles Symphony office at 216-C N. Laurel St. sells both reserved and general admission tickets.

For information, phone the office at 360-457-5579.

To those who might think a pairing of mime and classical music isn’t quite for them, Stern has advice.

“Put any and all of your preconceptions aside,” the maestro said, “and be prepared for a rollicking good time.”

Last modified: September 20. 2012 6:12PM
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