OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
Opening. Or, A Masked Ball. A Verdi opera. Three hours, 15 minutes long. Seattle Opera at Mercer Arts Arena, Seattle Center, 389-7676. $35-$107. May 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, and 18. All performances at 7:30 pm (except Sun May 5 at 2 pm).
Opening. Eat, and watch Neil Simon. There is a circle in hell just like this. RipTide Dinner Theatre at ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-9793. $26 (includes dinner and dessert). Fri-Sat at 8 pm (dinner at 7 pm) and Sun at 8 pm on May 19 & 26. Through June 1.
THE FOOD CHAIN
Another Nicky Silver play. I guess someone out there really thinks Nicky Silver is great. Straight-Edge Theatrics & TMCWorks at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 632-9800. $12 general, $10 student/seniors. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. Through May 11.
Solo show about an unemployed actor taking reservations for an ultra-chic restaurant. Now with David Scully. "Though there are some laughs, the script is bland and mechanical--the theatrical equivalent of a bag of potato chips." (Bret Fetzer) 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.
GUYS AND DOLLS
Opening. The gangster musical, starring Maurice Hines, whose bio doesn't mention his more famous brother by name. The Paramount Theatre, Ninth & Pine St, 292-2787. $20-$56. Opens Tues May 7. Tues-Sat at 8 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm, Sun at 7:30 pm. Through May 12.
Young boy unjustly sentenced to hard labor; sneaky warden has a secret agenda. Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, Seattle Center, 442-3322. $21.50-$24.50 adults, $14.50-$17.50 for kids/seniors. Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 & 5:30 pm. Through June 23.
Closing. Staged readings of new plays. Thurs May 2 at 7:30 pm: The Séance by Philip and Belinda Haas. Fri May 3 at 7:30 pm: Beowulf, book by Robert O'Hara, music by Eric Schwartz. Sat May 4 at 1 pm: Malediction by Bruce Hurlbut. Sat May 4 at 7:30 pm: Inventing Van Gogh by Steven Dietz. Sun May 5 at 1 pm: Eurydice by Sarah Dart Ruhl. Sun May 5 at 7:30 pm: The Home Life of Polar Bears by Hilly Hicks Jr. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222. $10 per reading, $30 for a pass to all. Through May 5.
I (HEART) KANT
Opening. Not quite as pretentious as it sounds. The lives of four New Jersey women intertwine. Back Pocket Theatre at the Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 709-2369. $12 (Thurs pay-what-you-can). Thurs-Sat at 8 pm. Through May 25.
This week only. Two traditional comic plays from Japan--Bo Shibari (Tied to a Staff) and Kagyu (The Snail)--performed by a man designated by the Japanese government as an "Intangible Cultural Asset." Now that's a title to aspire to. Stimson Auditorium, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Volunteer Park, 903-5296. Free, but pre-registration required. Thurs May 2 at 6:30 pm.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Opening. The musical about a carnivorous plant. Civic Light Opera at the Jane Adams Auditorium, 11051 34th Ave NE, 363-2809. $17-$25. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2:30 pm. Through May 18.
LOVERS & MADMEN
Sort of a Shakespeare love-scene casserole. Seattle Shakespeare Company at the Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, 325-6500. $10-$24. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 5.
Opening. Apocalyptic magical realism about a young woman who's lost her guardian angel. UW Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE, 543-4635. $12 Fri-Sat, $8 Thurs/Sun. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 12.
MARX IN SOHO
This week only. Karl Marx returns from the afterlife to clear his name. Written by Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States. Seattle Asian Art Museum Auditorium, 1400 E Prospect (in Volunteer Park), 325-6500. $12. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 6 pm.
MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA
Eugene O'Neill's interpretation of the Oresteia. Ezra! Stay out of the bath! ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $32.50-$44 ($10 for anyone 21 and under). Tues-Thurs & Sun at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, assorted matinees at 2 pm (call for details). Through May 19.
OBON: TALES OF RAIN AND MOONLIGHT
Ping Chong's mélange of puppets, music, and live actors, based on Japanese ghost stories. "As a delicate puppet dragonfly wafted to and fro, I was delighted.... Unfortunately, the storytelling is not as capable [as the puppetry]." (Bret Fetzer) Seattle Repertory Theatre, Second & Mercer, 443-2222. $15-$44. Tues-Sun at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through May 15.
ROMEO & JULIET
Opening. Shakespeare's moony teens are cast with age-appropriate actors, which could be great... or not. Seattle Public Theatre at the Bathhouse Theatre, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 325-6500. $12 general, $8 students/seniors. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 26.
This weekend only. An original musical for "very young audiences." StoryBook Theater at the Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 425-827-3123. $7. Sat at 11 am and 1 pm; Sun at 1 pm and 3 pm.
Reviewed this issue. Something to do with doughnut-eating cops and glam-metal rockers. Bald Faced Lie at Re-bar, 1114 Howell St (at Boren), 323-0388. $12-$15. Fri-Sun at 8 pm. Through May 25.
SONG OF SONGS
Opening. The Biblical story of Solomon, mixed with a little Dante and a little Pablo Neruda. Akropolis Performance Lab at Theatre 4, fourth floor, Seattle Center House, Seattle Center. $10 general, $8 students. Fri-Sat at 7 & 9 pm, Sun at 2 pm (only at 7 pm on Fri May 3; no show Sun May 5). Through May 19.
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. 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.
TEXTS FOR NOTHING
Bill Irwin returns with a staging of Samuel Beckett's prose. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Second and Mercer, 443-2222. $15-$44. Tues-Sun at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through May 26.
Reviewed this issue. The creative team of Chris Jeffries and Allison Narver (responsible for The Fatty Arbuckle Spookhouse Revue and I See London, I See France) tackles Oscar Wilde and Russian political activist Vera Zasulich. The Empty Space, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. $20-$30. Tues-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm, Sun at 7 pm. Through May 18.
Opening. A documentary theater piece about working in Seattle. Annex Theatre at Northwest Asian American Theatre (formerly Theater Off Jackson), 409 Seventh Ave S, 728-0933. $12 general, $7 students. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 4 pm. Through May 19.
Reviewed this issue. An epic comedy about Genghis Khan. The Shunpike Arts Collective at Sand Point Naval Base, bldg. 67, room 110, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, 795-4388. $10. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sat at 2 pm. Through May 11.
DANCES OF ENCHANTMENT
This week only. Middle Eastern dance, featuring Amir Thaleb, a Middle Eastern dancer from Argentina. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 325-6500. $22 in advance, $25 at the door. Fri-Sat at 8 pm.
LOVING IN THE DARK
This week only. A dance piece by Dena Lee about love and food. Lela Studios, 701 34th Ave E, 368-9446. $15 without potluck, $9 with; reservations required. Sat May 4 at 7 pm.
* MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP
This week only. The guy who left Seattle to become one of the most acclaimed choreographers in the world returns. UW World Series, Meany Hall, UW campus, 543-4880. $40. Thurs-Sat May 2-4 at 8 pm.
Reviewed this issue; closing. Two movement/theater pieces, one about deranged chefs, one about tiny beings on a scientific quest. On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. $12. Thurs-Sun at 9 pm. Through May 4.
FESTIVALS, CABARET, & COMEDY
* 12 MINUTES MAX
This week only. An always interesting mix of music, dance, theater, and what-have-you. On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. $7. Sun-Mon at 7 pm.
51 AND COUNTING/MABO'S SPEAKEASY CABARET
Closing. Mary Ann Boyd describes her 51 jobs, followed by a mix of belly dancing, comedy, and music. Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stone Way N, 325-6500. $10 Fri-Sat, pay-what-you-can Sun. Fri-Sat at 8:30 pm, Sun at 7:30 pm. Through May 5.
* BELLES BLOOM, A SPRING BALLET
Closing. The glorious Rollvulvas, a five-headed all-women vaudevillian troupe--accurately described as "Ziegfeld on acid"--return, accompanied by raconteur Richard LeFebvre and Shining Moment Films. The Jewel Box Theater at the Rendezvous Tavern, 2320 Second Ave, 441-5823. $13 day of show, $11 in advance. Fri-Sat at 9 pm. Through May 4. See Stranger Suggests.
Opening. Burning clowns. Cirque de Flambé at COHO/NOMS School, North Playground, 1818 NW 65th, no reservations. $15 general (includes parking), $10 students, children under 12 free. Fri-Sat at 9 pm. Through May 18.
Like Shakespeare, but made up. The new trend in improv; see also The Lost Folio. Unexpected Productions at Market Theatre, Post Alley (you know, down below the pig), 781-9273. $10. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. Open run.
NIGHT OF SHITTY THEATRE
This week only. Once again, staged readings of plays supposedly written by bad playwrights from around the world. Naugahyde Productions & Disgruntled Bit Players at Open Circle Theatre, 429 Boren Ave N, no reservations. $12 suggested donation. Fri-Sat at 8 pm.
Opening. Drag chanteuse Arnaldo sings songs from the Judy Garland songbook. You can't get more gay. Thumper's, 15th & Madison, 328-3800. $12. Fri-Sat at 10 pm. Through June 1.
Opening. Improv in a legal setting. Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave, 442-2044. $10 general, $7 students. Sat at 10:30 pm. Through May 25.
A sick king bickers with his jester. "A very relaxing and intimate night of good theater.... If you go for deeper, darker, more cerebral fare, Escurial is exactly what you're looking for." (Adrian Ryan) Hoi Polloi Productions at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, third floor, 324-6328. $10. Thurs-Sat at 10 pm. Through May 11.
THE LOST FOLIO
Like Shakespeare, but made up. The new trend in improv; see also Improvised Shakespeare. Jet City Improv at the Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, 325-6500. $8. Fri-Sat at 10 pm, Sun at 4:30 pm. Through May 4.
SPIN THE BOTTLE
This week only. Annex's monthly melange, featuring Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes, the marimba stylings of Erin Jorgensen, and more. Annex Theatre at Velocity MainSpace, 915 E Pine St, 2nd floor, 728-0933. $7. Fri at 11 pm.
CABARET: THE ResERECTION at Coffee Messiah, 861-8233.
JET CITY IMPROV at ArtsWest, 938-0339; at the Ethnic Cultural Theater, 781-3879.
LATE NIGHT CATECHISM from Seattle Theatre Project at ACT Theatre, 292-7676.
MYSTERIAN at Illusionz Magical Entertainment Center, Issaquah, 425-427-2444.
QUEER AS A THREE-DOLLAR BILL at the Comedy Underground, 800-992-8499.
THEATERSPORTS at the Market Theater, 781-9273.
BILL & PEGGY HUNT 2ND STAGE NEW WORKS FESTIVAL
Opening. Three new plays, winners of BLT's annual play contest, plus a cabaret performance. Burien Live Theatre, Fourth Ave SW & S 146th St, 242-5180. $5 per play, $15 for all four. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. May 3-5: Frank Kohel cabaret; May 10-12: My Lady's Hand by Tess Thompson Hardwick; May 17-19: Frank (A Comedy About Love & Lattes) by Charlie Birdsell; May 15-27: The Fringe by H. E. Turner.
This week only. Life-affirming improv, based on stories from the audience. Threshold Ensemble at Third Place Commons, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, 781-3994. Free. Sun May 5 at 3 pm.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE
Absurdist comedy by Kurt Vonnegut. Edge of the World Theatre, 9673 Firdale Ave, Edmonds, 206-542-7529. $19-$22. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 7:30 pm. Through May 18.
ROMEO & JULIET
Opening. A complete rip-off of West Side Story, by some hack. The Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave, Everett, 425-258-6766. $7-$13. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 19.
Closing. The transvestite musical, without Julie Andrews. SecondStory Repertory, Redmond Town Center, next to Borders Books, 425-881-6777. $22 general, $18 students/seniors/educators. Fri-Sat at 8:15 pm; Sun April 28 at 2:15 pm. Through May 4.