Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theatre has only a few more shows before the end of the run of “The Financial Lives of the Poets,” a fantastic stage adaptation of Spokane author Jess Walter’s novel. The last show is the Sunday matinee on Sunday, June 30 at 2:00. If you are in Seattle and can, buy tickets now! If you’re a Jess Walter fan, you’ll be very glad you did.
I had the pleasure of attending a sold-out matinee performance last weekend. At least ten people waited eagerly for stand-by tickets just before curtain. The buzz during intermission and the hearty applause led me to believe others enjoyed it as much as I did.
The show, adapted and directed by Myra Platt, is loyal to the book. I read the novel when it came out in hardcover in 2009, so it’s been a while, but all my favorite scenes were there. The humor, the despair, the poetry, and the characters all sing in this funny and moving adaptation. Book-It adapts books literally, even having actors speak narration. Walter’s saucy narration, poetic interludes, and absurdist views of American capitalist culture all lend themselves well to this technique, and Platt’s adaptation brilliantly incorporates everything from beat-box rap, frustrating phone calls with mortgage servicers, and trippy snack runs to the 7-11, to intimate family moments.