"The first half of the doubleheader—there are two one-act operas—is La Voix Humaine, which has 'contemporary' written all over its central prop: a telephone. Nuccia Focile delivers a distraught solo performance as Elle, a woman in the throes of a breakup. As if saying good-bye on the phone isn’t already awkward, Elle is stuck on a party line plagued by dropped connections and eavesdroppers. As the audience hears only her end of the conversations, Focile conveys an invisible, silent cast: She haggles with the operator, scolds neighbors tying up the line, and, speaking to her lying lover, slips in details of her failed attempt to overdose on sleeping pills. Debuting in Paris in 1959, Francis Poulenc’s violent score sounds like a Hitchcock movie, and Jean Cocteau’s libretto moves with the jumpy pace of an early-20th-century, avant-garde French play (it was based on one)." (Dominic Holden) $25-$175.
This all-male dance company performs gender-queering ballet and modern dance, poking fun at ballet's stiff, traditional hierarchy and "achieving high comedy by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance." $20-$51.
"It’s put up or shut up time for Saint Genet, their detractors, and their defenders. For years, company member Ryan Mitchell has said he wants to make a work not in a theater, but on a city. Now is that time. The company has been working for years on Paradisiacal Rites, an 'opera' in three long acts which just had its trial run in Austria, and promises, Dante-like, to descend into seriously ugly shit in an attempt to find paradise. Their dramaturgy has included ballet, cults, gold leaf, hysteria, leeches, shooting each other with bb guns, nitrous oxide, and an investigation of criminal-artist Jean Genet and his hagiographer Jean-Paul Sartre." (Brendan Kiley) $12-$25.
The Grammy-winning cabaret superstar and chanteuse has performed worldwide. Seattle last saw her at On the Boards, naked and hilarious in Young Jean Lee's Untitled Feminist Show. Now she's back with her regular show. $15.
Actor, writer, comedian, and This American Life regular Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk With Me) tell tales from "a lifetime of romantic blunders and miscues." The show has been popular during its New York and Chicago runs. $35.
"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.
The Heavenly Spies burlesque company celebrates its ten-year anniversary with a new weekly show. Paul Constant, a longtime Spies fan, wrote earlier this year: “Fae Phalen’s choreography sets the Spies apart from other, more amateurish burlesque you could see around town on any given night, where dancers waste time between a few simple steps and discard clothing whenever a number gets boring. A Spies striptease is all about control. Every movement—from the tilt of a hand while pulling off a glove to the arc of a swinging ponytail—is planned and practiced to perfection. Corrie Befort, a local modern dancer and choreographer, most recently of Salt Horse, explained that Phalen's choreography provides a ‘sense of form and an aesthetic’ that you don't usually find in burlesque—‘like white cake made with real cream,’ Befort wrote in an e-mail. ‘I was totally lured by the sugar, but hooked by the quality.’” $15.