by Mahroo Keshavarz
The play “These Streets” is an original piece of theatre that is based on over 40 interviews with the people who were active in the grunge era of Seattle. It is based on of the inspiration of women musicians in Seattle and sheds light on what the era was about before the influence of the music industry played a part. It is a powerful fictional story where the characters present their past and their present lives during the play by playing live music of cover songs by : 66 Saints, 7 Year Bitch, Bell, Capping Day, Danger Gens, Faster Tiger, Flood, The Gits, Hammerbox, Incredible Force of Junior, Kristen Barry, Maxi Badd, and more.
Personally, this era was a very epic moment in my own life. At the time of the grunge scene, I was barely 14 years old and was lucky enough to have an extremely cool older sister who booked most of the shows in the local scene. Of course, she was older than me but wasn’t afraid to take me to all the 21+ shows where I watched my favorite bands, and I mean favorite, bands rock the stage from the stage. As an adolescent, this of course was a dream come true. What else do you see except your favorite band, playing your favorite song?
Watching “These Streets” helped me fill in all the gaps of that era. What did I know about the music scene changing in Seattle? All I knew was that the people who hung out with my sister and played on stage were getting “famous” and their videos being shown in Mtv and 120 minutes. I didn’t think about how it affected the musicians’ lives or how it affected their music until I saw the play.
“These Streets” got detailed with the music scene by showing the struggle of women proving that their musicianship is just as good as the men, the excitement in “making it” and the disappointment when you see that your friendships change as your success grows. All the actors were playing very strong roles and sang their heart outs during their songs. The audience members couldn’t help but sing along with the songs that struck a chord with them and couldn’t help but clap their hands and shout out how awesome the music was, bringing them back to the same place that I felt during that time.
This play is definitely a milestone in Seattle music history.
Created by Stranger Genius Award winner, theatre maker and actress Sarah Rudinoff; rock musician, teacher and composer Gretta Harley; and playwright and performer Elizabeth Kenny (Sick). Directed by Amy Poisson (Annex Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Public).