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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
kirstenanderberg Carlotta's Wing Ding (3) Carlotta's Wing Ding 11 Aug 05

We cannot all be everywhere at the same time, so I like to write reviews of inspiring shows I have seen and to share them with other performers so we can learn from one is a review of a show I saw in Seattle a while ago, it was quite a hoot and perhaps will inspire more cruises of this sort in other cities!

Carlotta's Wing Ding
By Kirsten Anderberg (

I boarded the S.S. WingDing, at the Northwest Actors Studio, in Seattle, Wa. Billed as "Carlotta's Late Night Wing Ding," this interactive comedy/variety show, which changes themes and guests weekly, was held in a brick loft, with overstuffed chairs and couches for the "passengers."

Passengers were greeted by the crew as we crossed the gangplank onto the deck. Carlotta, our eccentric "Entertainment Commander" wore a flowery dress with a lei. Another crew member wearing a life jacket, asked passengers if they could swim as they came aboard. The doctor circulated the deck, explaining he had come to fix a hole in the boat, but now stayed on as the doctor/bartender. He took orders and returned with drinks, in between checking up on the passengers' health. Carlotta picked up a megaphone and announced, "Attention passengers and crew, in about 10 minutes we will be shoving off."

A call for "All Aboard" was finally made and the cruise shoved off. The crew stood on board and all leaned one direction and made a creeking noise! Then waved and drank toasts. One crew member had to jump for the ship at the last minute, and he almost drowned! As we sailed off into the sea, crew member Randy, our ship's devoted Led Zeppelin fan, with bangs over his eyes and a cigarette hanging on his lip, blared Zeppelin's "The Ocean."

The crew consisted of Carlotta and her son Slaw (named after her favorite salad), Rockin' Randy, an effeminate (fatphobic) cruise director, the doctor/bartender, and a kid with black Goth face paint who never smiled and insisted on being called "Hyperion." The cruise began with a splendid musical number (done in actual harmony, these people can sing too), with lyrics such as "Consider yourself at sea, consider yourself one of the passengers..." Carlotta explained that she could spend her time doing many things, but chose cruises because of the people she meets, and for the feeling of royalty she gets eating at "boo-ffets" with them. Mrs. Happy Day's daughter's maid and Neil Diamond's mother were on her last cruise!

The cruise director shared his story of inheritance of this cruise ship, due to Gavin McCleod losing at a poker game of actors in New York. Chaos ensued as the ship was temporarily accosted by a great white squid. Carlotta tried to obey the directions to grab it by the tentacles, but there was confusion over the words tentacle and testicle. Carlotta later had problems with nautical and naughty, gangbang and gangplank...

First Mate Randy reclaimed some of his seafaring heritage for us, strapping a piece of animal fur to his chest and holding a traditional Viking whaling pole, as he opened a Led Zeppelin songbook and read from "The Immigrant Song." He was a wealth of culture. He played Moby Dick as he fished with his whale pole later. Randy would also share poetry, inspired by a guy he saw at a Bavarian pretzel shop in the Mall on the ship's 21st floor..."Want gooey cheese, she gave him more, must be delirious, washed it down with an Orange Julius..."

Guests for the evening were Ronnie Pierce, one f*cking good clarinet player, and Monty Banks, a local pianist. Beth Amsbary did a funny piece about architecture in the Midwest. Which began with a large picture of the house she grew up in during the 1950's. It quickly degraded into displays of stick figures of the family that lived in the house and a commentary on life and time in general. It was quite amusing.

Carlotta announced into the megaphone we were almost at Kokimo! I was sad to see the cruise end. The cast for this production was Ian Duncan, Patrick Giblin, Tom Ledcke, Eric Mayer, Troy Mink and David Nixon. This production was brought to us by the Ursa Major Theater Company ( and the Northwest Actors Studio. They promise more to come!

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