OPENING THIS WEEK
ESCHER'S HANDS • Theater Simple THE GRAND DUKE • Bagley Wright Theater IN SEATED COMFORT • ExiTheater TIMON OF ATHENS • Shakespeare in the Park UNCLE VANYA • Freehold WOMAN IN MIND • Northwest Actors Studio
ONE WEEK ONLY
AN ANGEL CRIED A TEAR LAST NIGHT • Amy Marschak DAVID CROSS & GREG BEHRENDT • Showbox STEVE HARVEY • Paramount TRIPLE ESPRESSO • Performance Studio at Children's Museum
CLOSING THIS WEEK
THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO • Intiman
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
AN ANGEL CRIED A TEAR LAST NIGHT--Amy Marschak visits from Colorado to perform an excerpt from her play, in celebration of its second printing. Angel, well received at 1997's Edmonton International Fringe Theater Festival, tells of one girl's experience with incest. Market St Bookstore, 2215 NW Market St, 368-4226. Sat at 8 only. Free.
BULLSHOT CRUMMOND--A "zany comedy" with a title that's almost a swear word, Bullshot parodies a 1930s detective serial--in the opening scene alone, an airplane crash, parachute escape, and kidnapping ensue. Taproot Theater, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. Wed-Thurs at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, through Aug 7. $16-$22.
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, extended through Aug 8. $16-$25.
ESCHER'S HANDS--Two writing students discover how a story can really get away from you when they collaborate on an assignment that goes awry. Sandy wants the story to be a romance; Gary wants it to be hard-boiled. Such a conflamesict can only lead to a dramatic denouement, and Theater Simple is sure to play it edgy. Town Hall, West Room, 721 Seneca, 784-8647. Wed-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, through July 18. $7-$10.
ESCOBAR--A dying Vietnam vet haunted by memories is visited by a young soldier who claims to be his long-lost son in this romantic "magic realist" play by Steven Barron. Escobar marks a reunited collaboration between Barron and director Victor Janusz. With Ben Di Gregorio, Diedre Kilgore, Jason Phillips, and Carter Roy. Theater Off Jackson, 409 7th Ave S, 405-2388. Wed-Sun at 8, through July 17. $14.
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. "I barely remember Lorne as the muddled Aunt Clara in Bewitched, but neither does Ben Stevens, our modern-guy link through the sometimes surreal but always well-threaded story of Lorne's life. Sappy, but with a humorous flamesair." (Brendan Kiley) Annex Theater, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through July 17. $10.
THE GRAND DUKE--The Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society and their 26-piece orchestra ham it up to parodies of Strauss and the Can-Can, in this "surprisingly modern" musical. Bagley Wright Theater, Seattle Center, 341-9612. Thurs-Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, through July 24. $12-$24.
IN SEATED COMFORT--What will waiting room etiquette be like in the future? ExiTheater attempts an answer in this futuristic farce directed by Michael Lindgren and featuring a giant chicken. University Heights Community Center, 50th Ave NE & University Way, 325-7152. Thurs-Sat at 7:30, through July 31. $8.
THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO--By the author of Driving Miss Daisy, another heart-warming commentary on social hierarchy, this time set among prosperous Jews in 1939 debutante Atlanta. "The Last Night of Ballyhoo is basically a Southern-fried, politically aware Brighton Beach Memoirs, which is to say it's funny, warmly familial, and wears its intentions brightly on its sleeve (where a play with more depth might have woven darker colors into the fabric). It's mass-market social consciousness, which bothers some people but is just fine by me; if large, moneyed groups of people are enticed to spend an evening considering the difficulties of being different, then a theater is doing its job." (Steve Wiecking) Intiman Theater, Seattle Center, 269-1900. Sun, Tues, Wed at 7, Thurs-Sat at 8, Sat-Sun at 2, through July 10. $10-$39.
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.
*MILLENNIUM CIRCUS--40,000 square feet of hangar space inspires the UMO Ensemble's newest (and largest ever) creation, promising elements such as bungee jumping, a suspended aerial ballet, and flamesaming angels, surrounding the audience on all sides. Bring on the next century! Sand Point Naval Base, 463-2128. Thurs-Sun at 8, through Aug 15. $10-$15. See Calendar Lead.
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. "For all of its homoerotic sexploitation and perhaps misplaced bravado, Of Me I Sing, Baby, is one heck of a fun show. With a blend of overwhelming confidence, lighthearted (and often lewd) anecdotes, and sheer force of will, Orr makes his life story entertaining enough to keep audience members firmly ensconced in their seats." (Adrian Ryan) Re-bar, 1114 Howell (at Boren), 323-0388. Fri-Sun at 8, open-ended run. $12/$10.
*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.
TARTUFFE 2000: T2K--Moliere's tale of obsession and swindling is reset for the millennium in Hyperion Theater's update, which casts TV evangelists, high-tech yuppies, and California movie producers in the traditional parts, and promises "pungent and satirical comedy." Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 781-0022. Tues-Thurs & Sun at 7:30; Fri-Sat at 8, through July 18. $12.50. See Calendar Box.
TIMON OF ATHENS--Timon has to learn his lesson: money might buy you a good pair of shoes but it can't buy you happiness. One of Greenstage's Shakespeare in the Park offerings. Call for Location, 748-1551, www.greenstage.org. Fri & Sat at 8, through Sept 5. Donation.
TRIPLE ESPRESSO--In this enervating showbiz spoof, the comedy team of "Maxwell, Butternut & Bean" relives their attempts to make it big-time. A touring production with Bill Arnold, Michael Pearce Donley, and Bob Stromberg. Performance Studio at The Children's Museum, Seattle Center, 374-9490. Wed-Thurs at 7:30; Fri at 8; Sat at 1, 5, 8; Sun at 3 & 7, through Sept 2. $26.50-$29.50.
UNCLE VANYA--Claustrophobic Chekov directed by Russian artist Leonid Anisimov, this joint production of Uncle Vanya has been hashed out in private homes before going public, and promises to be provocative. Freehold Theater, 1525 10th Ave, 568-5893. Thurs-Sat at 6:30; Sun at 4, through July 18 (venue will change). $18-$22.
WOMAN IN MIND--The dispiriting disappointment of middle class life urges a wife and mother toward escapism: when her fantasy family begins to intrude on her real life she has to make some decisions that lead to a surprise ending. Directed by Scott Morrison (Carlotta's Late Night Wing Ding). Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 8; Sun at 7, through July 31. $8/$10.
FESTIVALS, CABARETS, & COMEDY
DAVID CROSS & GREG BEHRENDT--A writer for The Ben Stiller Show, Cross takes a break from TV appearances to perform his stand-up show titled The Pride is Back, with guest Behrendt. Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-0221. Sat-Sun at 8, this week only. $10.
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. $45/$35 (group rates available).
STEVE HARVEY--The stand-up host of the show that goes by his own name, as well as of the television series Showtime at the Apollo, Harvey shows his schtick in Seattle for one night only. Paramount Theater, 911 Pine St, 682-1414. Sat, July 10 at 8 pm. $30.50.
*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 Sept 8. $88.
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.
BELLEVUE OPERA--Auditions for Gilbert & Sullivan's comic operetta The Mikado will be held August 8 & 9, 7-10 pm. Please call 425-454-1906 for information and appointment.