OPENING THIS WEEK

MY ROMANCE • On The Boards


ONE WEEK ONLY

14/48: THE WORLD'S SHORTEST THEATER FESTIVAL • One World Theater ARTSEDGE • Seattle Center GENTLEMEN PREFER BROADWAY • Seattle Men's Chorus


CLOSING THIS WEEK

BRAIDED TALES • Unexpected Productions COWBOYS ARE MY WEAKNESS • Book-It HALF & HALF • Market Theater JEFFREY • Gemini Productions THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST • Moonlight Theater Company MONTANA MOOSE, A FABLE OF THE MODERN AMERICAN WEST • Theater Schmeater ON THE OPEN ROAD • Theater Off Jackson THE PILLOW TALKS • Parlour Room ROBIN HOOD • New Savoy Opera TANGO DREAMS • Broadway Performance Hall TROUBLE IN THE CITY OF DESIRE • Hugo House THE TWILIGHT ZONE LIVE ON STAGE • Theater Schmeater


OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS

*14/48: THE WORLD'S SHORTEST THEATER FESTIVAL--See Calendar Box. Freehold's East Hall Theater, 1525 10th Ave, 749-3387. Fri-Sat at 8 and 10 pm, this week only. $10 at door.

ARTSEDGE--Music, dance, theater, spoken word, visual art (art cars!), and video comprise fringe madness at various venues around Seattle Center all weekend. The event opens with the acrobats and pantomime of Cirque de Flambe, a David Hasselfhoff tribute band, and non-permanent hair styling. Visit the website seattlecenter.com/artsedge, or call for more info. Seattle Center, 684-7200. Fri 6 pm-11 pm; Sat 2 pm-11 pm; Sun 2 pm-9 pm, this week only. Free.

THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA--"The Complete History of America is billed as a 'completely unhinged, completely skewed, and completely hilarious' chronology of American events, beginning with Columbus' voyage and leading up to the present state of the union. What this really amounts to is wacky sketch comedy. With such a wealth of information to draw upon, and such a powerfully talented cast--Burton Curtis, Jonathan Hochberg, and Jeffrey Treadwell--I expected more. Maybe in the end American history just isn't that funny, no matter how many dick jokes and drag queens you toss in." (Adrian Ryan) Empty Space Theater, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sat-Sun at 2, through July 3. $16-$25.

COWBOYS ARE MY WEAKNESS--Book-It Repertory gallops toward cowboy romance with its adaptation of Pam Houston's short stories "For Bo," "Selway," and "How to Talk to a Hunter." Seattle Repertory Theater's PONCHO Forum, 155 Mercer St, 216-0833. Thurs-Sat at 8; Sun at 2, through June 27. $10-$15.

*EVERYTHING IN THE GARDEN--"Living far above their means in a New York suburb in the late '60s, Jenny and Richard feel the pressure mount as they learn how expensive the American Dream can be. When a mysterious woman appears, offering a quick solution to their dilemma, they must decide just how far they'll go. This is my favorite kind of theater experience--it promises little and delivers a lot. The script--written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward Albee--is not merely well written, but is wickedly charming, and disturbing. The cast, led by Amy Fleetwood and James Venturini, breathes life into the script, creating sympathetic and recognizable characters." (Adrian Ryan) Union Garage Performance Space, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. Thurs-Sat at 8, through July 3. $10.

FOR LORNE--Playwright Ed Hawkins, "veteran of re-invention," serves up a pastiche of TV transcripts and original dialogue centered around Bewitched''s Marion "Aunt Clara" Lorne. A twitch of magic brings a modern youth into this fairy-tale world, and media morality results. Annex Theater, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through July 17. $10.

*GOBLIN MARKET--Two sisters relive their youth in this ghostly adaptation of a 19th-century poem by Christina Rossetti. "Goblin Market is a shamelessly indulgent feast for the senses, with strings and lush voices, curtains of saturated light, billowing fabric and burbling water, dances to the cadence of uneven meter, and the persistent, over-determined images of cherries strung around virginal throats and ripened fruit poised at hungry young lips. This production, further enriched by strong performances from Beth DeVries as Laura and Rachel Luttrell as Lizzie, is unabashedly theatrical, and a welcome response to the 'talking head' performance trend." (Tonia Steed) The Falls Theater at ACT, 700 Union St, 292-7676. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, some matinees, through July 4. $10-$40.

JEFFREY--"Gemini Productions' version of Paul Rudnick's award-winning Jeffrey makes for thin theatergoing indeed. Aside from a criminal lack of staging (there was literally no set) and amateurish directorial choices, the most disgruntling flamesaw in this production lies in its obvious miscasting. With the lead's decided lack of energy and comic timing, much of the script's rapid-fire repartee is lost, and Jeffrey's wrenching struggle between passion and fear is tepid at best." (Adrian Ryan) Chamber Theater, Oddfellows Hall, Fourth Flr. Fri-Sun at 8, through June 27. $12.50.

THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO--By the author of Driving Miss Daisy, another heart-warming commentary on social hierarchy, this time set in 1939 debutante Atlanta. Members of a wealthy Jewish family question their heritage as their country prepares for war. Intiman Theater, Seattle Center, 269-1900. Sun, Tues, Wed at 7, Thurs-Sat at 8, Sat-Sun at 2, through July 10. $10-$39. See review this issue.

LATE NIGHT CATECHISM--And the nun goes on. Somebody really likes cute Catholics. This is an evening of audience participation and interactive improv theater: think Sister Windy crossed with Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You. ACT, 700 Union St, 292-7676. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, extended for eternity. $24.50-$29.50.

THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST--Moonlight Theater Company presents Beth Henley's sparkly comedy, in which the orphan Carnelle (Natalie Symons) decides her only way out of a small town past is to win a beauty pageant. Book-It Repertory Theater, 1219 Westlake N, 3rd Floor, 367-2174. Thurs-Sat at 8 through June 26. $12.

MONTANA MOOSE, A FABLE OF THE MODERN AMERICAN WEST--Local playwright John Moe spars with nature in this comical tale of a small-town newspaper editor who is transformed by a camping trip. Directed by Andy Jensen (Zombie Temps from Outer Space). Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. Thurs- Sat at 8, some Sun matinees, through June 26. $12.

OF ME I SING, BABY!--Tom Orr is the clever-as-a-fox, nasty-as-a-porn-star lyricist behind last year's super-smash parody musical, Dirty Little Showtunes!. Now he goes it alone in this one-man musical revue that claims to take artistic self-absorption to new heights. Re-Bar, 1114 Howell (at Boren), 323-0388. Fri-Sun at 8, open-ended run. $12/$10.

ON THE OPEN ROAD--"Al and Angel, playwright Steve Tesich's apocalyptic mates, banter à la Tom Stoppard on a timeless landscape of Civil War, and cart around art masterpieces in pursuit of freedom, and, ultimately, Jesus. Tesich, however, is no Stoppard, and his reach far exceeds his grasp, though occasionally the reach is worth the ride." (Steve Wiecking) Theater Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave S, 364-3283. Thurs-Sat at 8, through June 27. $20.

THE PILLOW TALKS--Two relationship-oriented plays cap off a night of sex and farce at the Parlour Room. You Said It is Larry Coffin's exploration of what asses men can become; Dreamtrain is Chris Mathews' split-screen view of desire. The Parlour Room, 163 S Jackson St, Third Flr, 367-7705. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 4, Mon at 8, through June 28. $8.

*POONA THE FUCKDOG--"Poona reinvents every social cliché as if it were a naughty and very funny joke told by an intelligent kindergartner. It is smart, bold, and insightful, poignant without being preachy, and meaningful without being sappy. Written by Jeff Goode and directed by Basil Harris, Poona the Fuckdog is two hours of theater magic that will go down in infamy." (Adrian Ryan) Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. Thurs-Sat at 8, extended through Sat July 17. $10/$12.

TROUBLE IN THE CITY OF DESIRE--"Mary Ewald, playing a frazzled professor and mother named Lucy, is tempted and tormented by her licentious daughter Franci (Elizabeth Kenny), and an Annie Sprinkle-like spirit in a bustier named BB (Ki Gottberg). The pair want Lucy to be a modern superwoman, but she can barely balance her work and home. Clothes and accessories drop on lines from the ceiling, relating to various life choices Lucy could have made. Plates rattle on the walls. Franci shows up in a wedding dress covered with menstrual blood. Taken alone, many of these bits are wonderful to watch, but added together they sound and look like formula: off-the-rack components for DIY contemporary performance." (Eric Fredericksen) Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 328-4683. Thurs-Sat at 8, through June 26. $15.


FESTIVALS, CABARETS, & COMEDY

BRAIDED TALES--Hair and all its implications weave the tangled themes of improv experts Unexpected Productions' newest presentation. Market Theater, Post Alley (Pike Place Market), 781-9273. Fri-Sat at 8, through June 26. $10.

*THE DONK SISTERS--Travel from frills to feminism with three country gals. Karen Kay Cody, Bobbi Kotula, and Vickielee Wohlbach reprise their roles as the Donk Sisters, honky-tonking their way through favorites such as "Listen to a Country Song," and "Harper Valley PTA" in the Cabaret de Paris dinner show. Crepe de Paris Restaurant, 1333 Fifth Ave at Union (Rainier Square), 623-4111. Thurs at 8, Fri-Sat at 8:30, through June 26. $40/$16.

GENTLEMEN PREFER BROADWAY--200 of the lilting-est voices in Seattle join up with Tony winners Faith Prince and Harvey Fierstein for an evening of song, dance, and theater featuring favorites from Lion King, Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love, and A Chorus Line. Benaroya Hall, 3rd & Union, 323-2992. Thurs-Sat at 8, this week only. $9-$26.50.

HALF & HALF--Improv that really cuts up--presenting two mismatched halves of plays, shoved obstinately together. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. Wed at 8 through June 30. $5.

JULIE CASCIOPPO EXPERIENCE--Songs and characters you may grow to love. The Pink Door, Pike Place Market, 1919 Post Alley, 443-3241. Tues at 8:30 & 11. No cover.

MY ROMANCE--Classic love songs by artists such as Leonard Bernstein, Lorenz Hart, and Cole Porter are presented with a twist--as sung to the same sex!--in this cabaret-style revue featuring local musical talent. On The Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. Wed-Sun at 8, through July 18. $23-$26.

THE PROM REUNION--The folks at Richard (Dick) Ultimate High School have decided to restage their 1970s prom, and you can be a part of it. Interactive theater in the style of Tony & Tina's Wedding, food included. Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center, Community Hall, Lower Level, 6532 Phinney Ave N, 628-0888. Sat at 6:30, through the end of summer. $55/$45.

ROBIN HOOD--A comic operetta with dubious ethics but all-out romance, reprised by the New Savoy Opera. Bastyr University, St. Edward's State Park, 526-4969. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 3, through June 26. $10-$14.

*TEATRO ZINZANNI--Three hours of fancy food and thrilling spectacle from the world over, presented in an antique European dance hall imported from Belgium for the occasion. Worth the price just to watch local wonder Kevin Kent work his jaw-dropping magic on crowds who've never set foot in a fringe theater. Seattle Center, 222 Mercer St, 281-7788 ext 700 or 292-ARTS. Thurs-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 6:30, extended through July 18. $88.


DANCE

TANGO DREAMS--The Argentine tango in its political context is performed alongside adaptations set to jazz and rock. Dancers El Indio and Mariana from Buenos Aries are featured. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 522-6524. Wed-Sun June 23-27, at 8. $10/$12.


LATE NIGHT

THE A.M. CABARET--Amoral entertainment for insomniacs; promising naked poetry, music, strippers, and drag queens. You may think you're dreaming. Coffee Messiah, 1554 E Olive Way, 860-7377. Sat from 2-4 am. $5.

THE HABIT--Addictive sketch comedy that mainlines musical oddities and parodies of commercials, fresh from the Fringe Festival. Annex Theater, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Fri-Sat at 11, except July 2, through July 16. $5.

JET CITY IMPROV--Improv comedy and music based on audience suggestions. Ethnic Cultural Theater, 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE, 781-3879. Fri-Sat at 10:30.

SPIN THE BOTTLE--Annex's late-night performance is a slumgullion of juggling, dance, singing, and silhouettes, cultivated by the finely tuned Bret Fetzer. Annex Theater, 1916 Fourth Ave, 729-0933. First Friday of every month. No reservations. $5.

THEATER SPORTS--Improv comedy with a competitive edge, brought to you by Unexpected Productions. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. Fri-Sat at 10:30, $9. Sun at 7, $5.

THE TWILIGHT ZONE LIVE ON STAGE--Two classic episodes, "Twenty Two" and "Time Enough at Last," bring a little surreality to your late night. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave at Pike, 324-5801. Fri-Sat at 11, through June 26. $8.


CALLS

PIECE OF MEAT THEATER--Looking for an experienced videographer/filmmaker to collaborate on an upcoming video project this summer. Call 860-3152 for more information.

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