King Kirby Reigns in Ballard

Sharing Stories

Ariele M. Huff | Jan 10, 2016, 7:41 p.m.
A delightful theater experience

King Kirby Reigns in Ballard

If you loved the comics as a kid (and yes, probably after that too), you’ll be swept back in time by King Kirby, a new play that rules at the Ballard Underground from January 8th to the 23rd.

Jack Kirby was the hardworking talent behind many of the classic heroes and saucy heroines that made Stan Lee and Marvel Comics so popular. (He was particularly known for his extra muscular and scantily clad characters, aimed at the adult fans that he drew particularly well.)

The play, written by Fred Van Lente and Crystal Skillman, is filled with humor but also powerfully conveys the struggles faced by many who pursue creative careers. The use of ensemble strategy (actors playing multiple roles and sometimes switching roles) is silk smooth in this production, thanks, certainly to director, Rob Raas-Bergquist as well as the actors of Ghost Light Theatricals.

The title character is poignantly delivered by stage and screen veteran Rick Espaillat whose previous credits include several plays Equus and Superior Doughnuts, for example, movies—Dallas Buyers Club, Temple Grandin, and television’s Dallas, Grimm, The Librarians, Lone Star, and Chase.

The energetic scene-stealing ensemble member who brings Stan Lee to life on stage is Jason Huff. Reluctantly, I admit he is my nephew, which doesn’t change my opinion as a long time reviewer of plays and movies—the kid has sizzle and presence.

Whether you have a relative in the cast or not, you’re going to enjoy this well written, well produced, and well acted play. Do make a point of going. King Kirby is a nostalgic and memorable perspective on the hefty allure of comics. Find more at www.ghostlighttheatricals.org

Ariele Huff hosts the Sharing Stories segment and teaches writing classes at Cascadia CC, Everett CC, Edmonds Parks Department, Edmonds Senior Center, and Greenwood Senior Center.

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