Final week. How much Lycra can one building comfortably house? Cirque du Soleil at the Grand Chapiteau, Renton, 800-678-5440. $31.50-$165. Tues-Thurs at 8 pm, Fri-Sat at 4 and 8 pm, Sun at 1 and 5 pm. Through Sept 21.
Previewing. George Bernard Shaw examines questions of love by way of broken homes, love triangles, and that ever-bracing Shavian wit. Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $18-$26. Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Oct 25.
* DON'S PARTY
Opening. An updated reworking of Wade Madsen's work of last year. "Don's Party isn't really dance, although it is carefully choreographed--the characters speak in excerpts from Don Quixote, which here read as social platitudes, boastful rationalization, and cocktail chitchat. It's darker and more interesting than its kooky surface suggests. " (Emily Hall) Wade Madsen at On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. $7. Fri-Sun at 7:30 and 9 pm, Mon at 8 pm. Through Sept 28.
FUCKED: AN EVENING OF THEATRICAL ATROCITIES
Final week. "While inarguably nasty, the production's horror was relatively shallow. From war to fast-food joints to out-of-body-experiences, the playwrights ride roughshod over decency and good taste. " (Brendan Kiley) Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. $8. Fri-Sat at 11 pm, 18+. Through Sept 20.
"Adapted by Tom Ansart and directed by Dennis Kleinsmith, The Gamblers, which is based on Dostoyevsky's novel The Gambler, is a very light affair that manages to hold one's attention as it runs, but fails to leave an impression after it's done. " (Charles Mudede) Steeplechase Productions at Liberty Deli, 2722 Alki Ave SW, 935-8420. $14. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. Through Oct 4.
A bored English housewife, fascinated with the troubled history of Afghanistan, travels to the country and disappears. Completed by Pulitzer/Tony Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner just prior to the World Trade Center attacks. Intiman Playhouse, 201 Mercer St, 269-1900. $27-$42. Thurs-Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 1 and 7 pm, Tues-Wed at 7 pm. Through Oct 11.
KISS ME KATE
Opening. Civic Light Opera begins its 26th season in a new venue and an old-ass musical, Cole Porter's circular love-hate story about a backstage romance. Civic Light Opera at Shoreline Conference Center, 185th St and First Ave NE, 363-2809. $20-$30. Opening night Thurs Sept 18 at 8 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm Sun at 2:30 pm. Through Oct 4.
LEND ME A TENOR
See review this issue. The Cleveland Grand Opera has a problem on its hands--a big, dead, Italian problem--and the solution? MADCAP COMEDY! ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0963. $10-$24. Wed-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 3 pm. Through Sept 27.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE
Opening. One of Big Willie's early B-sides, Measure for Measure brings the bard to Vienna for a dark comedy of desires. Seattle Shakespeare Company at Seattle Center House Theater, Seattle Center, 733-8222. $12-$24. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through Oct 12.
A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN
See review this issue. The 1923 classic by four-time Pulitzer winner Eugene O'Neill about a Connecticut family fighting--and blackmailing--to save their farm. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $10-$45. Tues-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, with additional matinees Thurs, Sat, and Sun at 2 pm. Through Sept 28.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Based on the story that has made the case for the romance of stalking for nearly a century, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the man with the prosthetic face return to Seattle for another round of elaborately orchestrated schlock. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 628-1414. $29-$71.50. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm, Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Oct 5.
Opening. See Stranger Suggests. Bald Faced Lie at Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. $12. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, with additional performances Sept 21 and 28 at 8 pm. Through Oct 11.
ROCKY HORROR SHOW
Celebrate the old boy-meets-girl, boy-turns-into-girl love story. Featuring Nick Garrison, Peggy Platt, and John Curley! 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave, 625-1418. $15-$57. Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Sept 28.
See review this issue. Seattle Rep's season opens with last year's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama penned by Suzan-Lori Parks, about the complex and taught bond of two criminal siblings. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $10-$46. Tues-Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm. Through Sept 27.
THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE
On a ship bound for the United States in the 1800s, a lone British girl learns a series of invaluable life lessons, including such fun facts as "racism is bad," "squealing is bad," and "attacking the captain is bad." Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 441-3322. $12-$26. Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm. Through Oct 24.
THE WEDDING BANQUET
Based on the Ang Lee film of the same name, The Wedding Banquet is something of a Guess Who's Coming to Dinner reversal centered around a queer Taiwanese immigrant in New York who enters into a marriage of convenience in order to remain closeted to his conservative family back home. Village Theatre at Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St N, 425-329-2202. $30-$44. Thurs-Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Wed at 8 pm. Through Nov 16.
FESTIVALS, CABARET, & COMEDY
*13TH ANNUAL SEATTLE FRINGE FESTIVAL
Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 322-2018. For specific shows, venues, and performance times, see www.seattlefringe.org. Through Oct 1.
HILARITY ON THE HILL
One night only. A trio of comedians make your life worth living again. Featuring Geoff Lott, Dan Moore, and Marcus Absher. Thumper's Restaurant and Bar, 1500 E Madison St, 328-3800. $5. Thurs Sept 18 at 10 pm.
One night only. The Gun Street Girls pay tribute to the source of their namesake with an evening of smut performed to the garbage-disposal-voiced Tom Waits. Gun Street Girls at Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave, 441-5823. $8. Sat Sept 20 at 10:30 pm.
QUEEN BEES SPELL IT LIKE IT IS
One night only. Butchy burlesque and cabaret troupe the Queen Bees present an evening of grammatical gayness with a spelling-bee-themed performance mishmash. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. $8-$15. Wed Sept 24 at 8 pm.
* TRACE ELEMENTS
This week only. Locate performance group's co-artistic directors Pablo Cornejo and Paige Barnes present three new works by Cornejo: Piedra de Sol, The Mouse Project, and Living in a Safety Zone. Locate at Velocity MainSpace Theater, 915 E Pine St, second floor, 706-5422. $12-$14. Fri-Sun Sept 19-21 at 8 pm.
One night only. Seattle's own multimedia hiphop extravaganza TURF! makes its bid for coveted Stomp! status with a national tour and an appearance on It's Showtime at the Apollo--but shit don't pay for itself. This week they present a fundraising performance for their expenses. TURF! at Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 628-1414. $10-$50. Sat Sept 20 at 8 pm.
SHORT STORIES LIVE!
One day only. Short stories as read aloud by members of the local theater community--featuring actors David Quicksall, Jennifer Sue Johnson, and Lanise Shelley. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 624-6600. $13-$18. Sun Sept 21 at 4 pm.
Opening. Long-form improvisation, based on audience experiences with unexplained--i.e., spooooooky!--phenomena. Unexpected Productions at Market Theater, Post Alley, 781-9273. $5. Fri-Sat at 10:30 pm. Through Nov 1.
BROADVILLE CARNIVAL at Cafe Venus, 624-4516.
BUBBA AND BITCH at the Bar, 322-1788.
CABARET: THE ResERECTION at Coffee Messiah, 861-8233.
* THE HOKUM HALL VARIETY SHOW at Hokum Hall, 937-3613.
JET CITY IMPROV at Historic University Theater, 352-8291.
LATE NIGHT CATECHISM from Seattle Theatre Project at ACT, 292-7676.
QUEER AS A THREE-DOLLAR BILL at the Comedy Underground, 800-992-8499.
TEATRO ZINZANNI 2301 Sixth Ave, 802-0015.