Melanya Helene (Mindfulness Based Improvisation) performs stories and music of Pema Chödrön, an American Buddhist nun. Presented by The Brooklyn Bay and the Seattle Shambhala Meditation Center. $20.
Jinkx Monsoon (winner of Ru Paul's Drag Race: Season 5) and Major Scales perform as Kitty Witless and Dr. Dan von Dandy. The two 1920s burlesque stars were trapped in Antarctica, and only thaw to discover their original songs have been misused and passed off by others. $10-$25.
The (mostly) true story of Fela Kuti, the Nigerian musician and activist who helped create Afrobeat, a blend of jazz, funk, and Yoruba music. His unusual living situation (he lived in an urban commune with 27 wives) and outspoken political critiques made him a target for the Nigerian military, which attacked and killed some of his family and bandmates. (During an attack on the commune, Kuti's mother was flung out of a window and killed.) Directed by Bill T. Jones, the musical mostly focuses on Kuti's sonic inventiveness and the generation of Africans he inspired. $20-$85.
"Directed by Kurt Beattie, Grey Gardens is a musical based on the fascinating real-life story of Edith and Little Edie, a mother and daughter from the wealthy Bouvier-Beale clan, once great socialites (and cousins of Jackie O) who became fallen, cat-food-snarfing shut-ins. Act one (the problem!) takes place in July 1941, when the Bouvier-Beales are living high on the gilded hog in their still-glorious Hampton estate. This part of the legend is necessary for context, to introduce the family, and to properly frame their fall. It needs to be, you know... there. But it is not worth fully one-half of this darn-nigh-three-hour show. And it is definitely not the most interesting or important part of the Grey Gardens story." (Adrian Ryan) $55-$77.
Washington State Jewish Historical Society and Book-It Repertory Theater present a theatrical adaptation of Family of Strangers, Building A Jewish Community In Washington State and other stories. $18-$36.
A puppet version of the classic fable about three goats who attempt to cross a bridge, guarded by a troll. Thistle Theater company uses Bunraku, full-body, and rod puppets, designed and built by Brian Kooser. Featuring two puppeteers and original music. $8-$10.
A dramatic work by Lee Blessing (A Walk in the Woods) about Lainie, who imagines negotiating conversations with the U.S. State Department and press about her husband, who is being held hostage in Lebanon. Produced by Confrontational Theater Project. $10.
Twin stories by Julia Cho about love and language, in which a linguist can't talk his way out of divorce and an indigenous tongue is threatened with extinction due to a lover's spat. Directed by Shana Bestock. $10-$29.
University of Washington graduate students Tina Polzin and Leah Adcock-Starr directed five one act plays by Tennessee Williams, featuring an ensemble cast of graduate and undergraduate students. $10-$20.
Upright Citizens Brigade comedian Kate Hess parodies the BBC's Downton Abbey entirely on her own and with period costumes. The Daily Beast calls it one of the "six best Downton Abbey spoofs." $10.
Rogue Theatrics presents Caryl Churchill's famous 1979 queer, feminist politics play. Its first act, a satire of a British colonial family, is full of tortured relationships: The governess is in love with the wife (played by a man); the wife is in love with an explorer; the explorer puts sexual pressure on the wife, her effeminate son (played by a woman), and the family's black servant (played by a white man); the father is having an affair with a nearby widow; and the servant is torn between repudiating his "bad people" ("my skin is black, but o, my soul is white") and loathing his colonial employers. Act two is set in a London park 100 years later, though the characters grafted in from act one have aged only 25 years. $15-$20.
Rod Serling's scripts are brought to life by director Tim Moore and an ensemble cast in a boozy, cheerful atmosphere. This round features the episodes "I Shot an Arrow into the Air," "It's a Good Life," and "The Night of the Meek." $18-$23.
Set in 18th-century Germany, Itamar Moses (Outrage, Celebrity Row, The Four of Us) composes a fictional story—structured like a fugue—about J.S. Bach vying against German organists who play dirty as they all reach for the position as prime organist and musical director. $20-$40.
"SMOKED! is marketed as an homage to the genre-defining spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, best known for the Man with No Name trilogy. Ray Tagavilla gamely invokes Clint Eastwood's stoic, irreverent stranger, riding into a troubled town in the grip of a big bad boss. Two of the dishes elicited actual pain. The spring vegetable 'spaghetti' (read: coleslaw) came with mozzarella 'meatballs' rolled in powdered olives, a combination so salty it hurt. The smoked alfalfa-hay popcorn was impressive only from a scientific standpoint, as each kernel carried such an intense cigarette-smoke sensation that it stung the lungs." (Kim Fu) Cafe Nordo at $60-$80.
Mary Ewald, directed by John Kazanjian, performs Tony Kushner's play, a selective history of Afghanistan mixed in with stories from the solo character's life. $15-$20.
Brandy is a birthday party clown whose day-to-day life is making it hard to do her job. Washington Ensemble Theater's presents a world-premiere drama that combines fantasy, clowning, and puppetry with brutal reality. Written by Caroline V. McGraw and directed by Jane Nichols. $15-$25.
A new production of the longest-running American musical on Broadway. Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly pursue fame and fortune by any means possible from inside the Cook County Jail. $27-$62.
Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America) performs with child acrobat Saffi Watson, child juggler Max Peterson, rope aerialist Terry Crane (Dinner at Wotan's), former Ringling Bros. Clown Peter Pitofsky, and others. $19-$24.
When Brooke Wyeth arrives at her parents’ Palm Springs mansion on Christmas Eve with a frighteningly revealing memoir in hand, she threatens to tear apart their powerful and prestigious Republican dynasty. In 2011, the New York Times called Jon Robin Baitz’s discomforting Tony and Pulitzer finalist the “best new play on Broadway.” Victor Pappas directs this Northwest premiere, featuring Pamela Reed (Parks and Recreation) as Polly Wyeth, Seattle performer Marya Sea Kaminski as her daughter Brooke, and Kevin Tighe (LOST) as the family patriarch. $35-$60.
A new circus and cabaret show set in a casino, rolling high with the talents of Les Petits Frères, contortionist Vita Radionova, chanteuse Francine Reed, trapeze artists Duo Madrona, juggler Sergiy Krutikov, and former Ringling Bros. clown Peter Pitofsky. $60-$108.