OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
Closing. Since when did foreigners in funny clothes hell-bent on "death-defying" nosedives cease to be called "threats to national security"? I'm ASKING?!?! Cirque du Soleil at Grand Chapiteau, 900 Garden Ave N, next to Renton Boeing Plant, 800-450-1480. $31.50-$65. Thurs-Fri at 5 and 9 pm, Sat at 4 and 8 pm, Sun at 1 and 5 pm. Through Sept 8.
Solo show about an unemployed actor taking reservations for an ultra-chic restaurant. Now with Daniel J. Chercover. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $24.50-$29.50. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Open run.
OIL CITY SYMPHONY
Opening. Inside the gymnasium of Oil City High, four former high-school bandmates and their classmates (the audience) come together for a reunion show of less-than-epic proportions. Clive Barnes called the New York production "a gusher! Better than John Philip Sousa played on massed kazoos with free ice cream and bubble gum." Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $18-$26. Wed-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, with additional Sat matinee at 2 pm. Through Oct 5.
Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning absurdist comedy about a set of couples, one human and one reptilian, questioning their relationships at midlife. Steeplechase at Liberty Deli, 2722 Alki Avenue SW, 935-8420. $29 with meal, $15 show only. Fri-Sat at 6:30 pm, with Thurs shows at 7:30 pm beginning Sept 5. Through Sept 28.
SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD
Opening. Jason Robert Brown's "musical journey" of loosely related songs and scenes evaporates into one another in what appears to be an aimless flood. Raggedy Z productions at Crêpe de Paris, 1333 Fifth Ave, second floor, 623-4111. $21-$48. Wed-Thurs at 8 pm, Fri-Sat at 8:30 pm. Through Oct 12.
TEATRO ZINZANNI: DINNER & DREAMS
The most expensive dinner theater of all time--three hours of gluttony, lust, and eye candy. Featuring the effervescent yet earthy Kevin Kent. "Dinner & Dreams isn't a disaster. The food is great, and a handful of the performers are dazzling. But for every bit that dazzles, a half-dozen fall flat." (David Schmader) Teatro ZinZanni, Sixth & Battery, 805-0015. $89 Wed-Fri & Sun, $99 Sat (includes dinner, but not beverages or gratuity). Wed-Sat at 6:30 pm, Sun at 5:30 pm. Open run.
THREE WEEKS AFTER PARADISE & SPEAKING WELL OF THE DEAD
One night only. If you thought that the artistic response to the September 11 attacks was unbearable, wait'll you see the dramatic. With the scurrying and the ducking and the monologues! Two one-act plays by Israel Horovitz. The Driftwood Players at Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St, Edmonds, 425-774-9600. $5. Wed Sept 11 at 8 pm.
TOMATO PLANT GIRL
Closing. The tumultuous relationship between Bossy Best Friend and Little Girl comes to a dramatic head when the former is accused of vegetable abuse. Theatre Babylon at Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. $6-$10. Sat-Sun at 2 pm, with evening performances Fri-Sat at 7 pm. Through Sept 8.
The newest play by Charles Mee, author of last year's ACT smash, Big Love. "The show has amusing moments, and there are some laughs, but wacky underwear, funny accents, and big wet dykes just get laughs. That's no testament to great theater." (Adrian Ryan) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $10-$44. Sun, Tues-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm. Matinee performances at 2 pm Sept 7, 8, 14, and 15. Through Sept 15.
FESTIVALS, CABARET, & COMEDY
Opening. Long-form improvisation, based on audience experiences with unexplained--i.e., spooooooky!--phenomena. Unexpected Productions at Market Theater, Post Alley, 781-9273. $10. Fri-Sat at 8 pm.
A charmingly ramshackle kitsch cabaret with It's Mark Mitchell, Kurt B. Reighley, Paula!, and guests. "A nice-enough dose of free entertainment." (Josh Feit) Swedish Housewife at ING, 1530 Bellevue Ave, 329-5388. Free. Sun at 9 pm. Ongoing.
SPOLIN PLAYERS NORTHWEST
One night only. Theater games the way they were meant to be seen: in a cloud of alcohol-fueled belligerence. Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave, 441-5823. $5. Tues Sept 10 at 8 pm.
STROMBOLLI'S ISLAND OF DONKEYS AND DOLLS
See Stranger Suggests. One night only. Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S Alaska Way. $7. Sun Sept 8 at 8 pm.
One night only. Rain City Projects, a playwrights' service organization, celebrates its second annual Ukelooza fundraiser with an abundance of ukelele players, including hostess Stephanie Roberts, the Na Hilahila Boys, Kevin Kent, and Ben Laurance. Also featuring Heidi Schreck, Bhama Roget, Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes, K. Brian Neel, and more. Re-Bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. $12. Mon Sept 9 at 7 pm.
DON'S PARTY & IN SEARCH OF DULCINEA
This week only. Two Don Quixote-inspired works by Wade Madsen. Wade Madsen & Dancers at Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 325-6500. $12-$17. Thurs-Sun Sept 5-8 at 8 pm, with additional matinee Sat Sept 7 at 2 pm.
Improv comedy... in a courtroom setting! HA! Comedy Court at Odd Duck Studios, 1214 10th Ave, 442-2044. $10. Sat at 10:30 pm, with additional performances on Sept 7 and 14 at 8 pm. Through Sept 14.