Monday, December 2, 2019


The Bishop's Wife

A Live Radio Play

Taproot Theatre
Seattle, WA

William Hall Jr.,Rebecca M. Davis, Andrew Eric Davison, Jenny Cross, Chelsea LeValley,Calder Jameson Shilling, Claire Marx, Kevin Pitman and Richard Nguyen Sloniker in The Bishop’s Wife: A Live Radio Play at Taproot Theatre. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.


The holidays are here and for Eclectic Arts that means event after event after event. Event number two over the holiday weekend was, "The Bishop's Wife" at the Taproot Theatre. Performed as a live radio play, I was looking forward to the performance on Saturday night.

I had only seen one other play done as a live radio show so I was interested to see how director Karen Lund would make use of the format.

Featuring Richard Nguyen Sloniker as Dudley, Chelsea LeValley as Julia, and Calder Jameson Shilling as Henry, the show revolves around a married couple, their daughter, and an angel. I try not to give away the plot in my reviews.

This was the third time seeing Richard Nguyen Sloniker perform at the Taproot Theatre. He is a joy to watch perform. This format in particular really lent itself to his voice work and he carried the role of Henry with style and distinct confidence. He adds that extra something to any role he takes on.

Rebecca M. Davis and Richard Nguyen Sloniker in The Bishop’s Wife: A Live Radio Play at Taproot Theatre. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

Chelsea LeValley as the instantly likeable Julia was also a great casting choice. She brought the character back to yesteryear and was very believable in her role.

I loved Calder Jameson Shilling last year in, "Miss Bennet - Christmas at Pemberley" and he was just as good here as the preoccupied Henry - the bishop.

The entire cast made the show flow effortlessly - and the other cast members had to play multiple roles throughout the show. This cast handled every character with passion and ease.

Chelsea LeValley in The Bishop’s Wife: A Live Radio Play at Taproot Theatre. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

The story was easy to follow and would have been interesting to hear on the radio or as a podcast. The visual presentation with the microphone placements for the live theatre audience kept things interesting. The commercials using real life sponsors was a nice touch as well.

There really was nothing to pick at. Every aspect was done on a high level. The show was the quality I expect from the Taproot Theatre. But, the show didn't completely resonate with me. Again, it was done very well but when I left the theatre I didn't feel like I had seen a well-done holiday play. I felt like I had seen a well-done play, period. I suppose everyone goes into a theatre at this time of year expecting different things.

Personally I would love to see a future show with Richard Nguyen Sloniker and Calder Jameson Shilling facing off as adversaries. Think Michael Mann's, "Heat" when Pacino and DeNiro finally meet in the coffee shop. Fireworks.

"The Bishop's Wife" is well worth your time and investment. Will it give you the feeling of the holidays? After you see it, let me know. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.

Happy Holidays,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts
Eclecticartszine AT gmail DOT com

Special Thanks: Nikki - thank you so much for the opportunity!

"The Bishop's Wife" runs through December 28th. Buy tickets here:  TICKETS!

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