OPENING THIS WEEK

2 WEEKS IN AUGUST • Northwest Asian American Theatre
FRIDA LAYY'S PSYCHO CIRCUS • 21st Century Foxxes
*HAPPY PANTIES SPECIAL EDITION • Red Card Productions
MARS IS A STAR WHO DEFIES OBSERVATION • Annex
SELF OBSESSION IN BLUE • Freehold
SGT. RIGSBY AND HIS AMAZING
SILHOUETTES • Annex
SHOPPING AND FUCKING • Hyperion Theater

ONE WEEK ONLY

AN EVENING OF BUTCH EROTICA • ARO.space
LOST IN LUST • Parlour Room
OFF THE CUFF • Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance & Improvisation

CLOSING THIS WEEK

*FIRES IN THE MIRROR • Intiman
FOOTLOOSE • 5th Ave
THE GIMMICK • ACT
*MILLENNIUM CIRCUS • UMO Ensemble
SUNSET BOULEVARD • Paramount

OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS

2 WEEKS IN AUGUST—Emerging Asian American artists share the spotlight in this series organized by the Northwest Asian American Theatre, including a staged reading of Andy Lew's family dinner comic tragedy Welcome to the Wongs, alongside dance/poetry by Veronica and Lester Lee: The Woman That Was Not There ask me. ask me. ask me, and Remember Me. Theater Off Jackson, 409 7th S, 340-1049. Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through Aug 22. $5-$10.

BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE—Northern Exposure veteran Peg Phillips started Woodinville Rep last year, and with a healthy budget the playhouse has mounted traditional theater to sold out houses. Phillips herself plays an absentminded aunt with bumbling skills of witchcraft, aided by special effects and a live cat, in this light romance directed by Hal Ryder. Woodinville Repertory Theater, 19301 168th Ave NE, Woodinville, 425-481-8502. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, through Aug 22. $12/$10.

COMEDY OF ERRORS—Twin mishap engenders a laff-riot in Shakespeare's most kidding of plays. Performed by Greenstage at various parks through-out the summer. Call for Location, 748-1551, www.greenstage.org. Fri & Sat at 8, through Sept 6. Donation.

*DERAILED DESIRES—"For many generations, the phrase 'funny lesbian' was an oxymoron on a par with 'compassionate conservatism.' But the ladies of Pulp Vixens have devoted themselves to demolishing that pigeonhole, wrangling together evenings of camp noir comedy that leave audiences wet with tears and shameful longings. The Vixens' newest creation, Derailed Desires, dishes up lesbian love triangles, hardened tramps, and deadly seductions, set entirely aboard a speeding train bound for trouble. Starring Jennifer Jasper, Mia Levine, and Shawn Yates, and directed by the formidable Kevin Kent." (David Schmader) Spintron, 916 E Pike, 442-2060. Fri & Sat at 8, open ended run. $10.

*FIRES IN THE MIRROR—Anna Deavere Smith's race-riot-inspired play is performed by four actors—two men and two women, two white and two black (Leslie DoQui, Joanne Klein, Dawson Nichols, and David Scully). From multiple points of view, urban ethnic violence is put under the microscope. "The Intiman production is as flawed as it is fierce, but anyone not privy to Smith's interpretation should rush out and see it." (Steve Wiecking) Intiman Playhouse, Seattle Center, 269-1900. Sun, Tues, Wed at 7; Thurs-Sat at 8, Sat & Sun at 2, through Aug 14. $10-$39.

FOOTLOOSE—If you're under 25, you might be more than six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon's dance-patriot movie, so here's the scoop: A small town, repressive religious parents, and the wild adolescent urge to dance turn a high school summer into the setting for such teeny-bop pop hits as "Let's Hear It For the Boy." Everybody cut! The 5th Avenue Theater, 1308 Fifth Avenue, 292-ARTS. Wed-Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2 & 7:30, through Aug 15. $19-$55.

*THE GIMMICK—Kids who emulate James Baldwin, Picasso, and Modigliani are sure to grow up to be quirky: playwright Dael Orlandersmith follows two friends who do just that, in a memory play described as poetic. Directed by Chris Coleman. ACT's Bullitt Cabaret, Kreielsheimer Place, 700 Union St, 292-7676. Thurs at 7:30, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2, through Aug 15. $10/$12.50.

*HAPPY PANTIES SPECIAL EDITION—Vaudeville meets romance in this comic romp, remounted after its first (short) run met with popular acclaim. Promises pratfalls and stuffed animals. "The most bare-assed naked fun I've had in a theater in a long time." (Tonia Steed) Fremont Palace (Empty Space Theater), 3509 Fremont Ave N, 425-640-5738. Thurs-Sun at 8, through Sept 5. $10.

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

LOST IN LUST—This staged reading of Chris Mathews' Unscrewing and Silent Letters promises exploration of the effects of chance on love. A discussion will follow. Parlour Room, Third Floor, 163 S Jackson St, 524-2126. Tues at 7, this week only. Free.

MARS IS A STAR WHO DEFIES OBSERVATION—The planets are aligned and maligned in this new play by starry-eyed Bret Fetzer. The story of a sun-centered theory of the universe veers into personal agendas, including that of the author himself (as played by actress Barbi Beckett), becoming a "crazed collage of sexual politics, medieval animal law, the history of torture, and lurid sex." Annex Theater, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through Sept 11. $10.

*MILLENNIUM CIRCUS—40,000 square feet of hangar space inspires the UMO Ensemble's newest (and largest ever) creation. "I am not going to be the critic to send an audience away from an evening featuring a choreographed bungee dance, with the cast members bouncing like notes in some spectacular stanza, high above what would be an extremely punishing concrete. The production sometimes too closely resembles the chaos it is trying to explore, but it feels miserly to gripe after witnessing some of this show's wondrous fantasies." (Steve Wiecking) Sand Point Naval Base, 463-2128. Thurs-Sun at 8, through Aug 15. $10-$15.

*POONA THE FUCKDOG—The fable returns. "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) Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. Fri & Sun at 8, through Aug 29. $12 (21 and over).

SELF OBSESSION IN BLUE—A broken-down Pinto in the desert brings Wanda and Zoe face to face with their existential angst, in this premiere Seattle staging of Kelleen Conway Greenfield's award-winning play, produced by "Seattle's newest feminist theater company, Live Girls!" With Meghan Arnette, Jessica Pregnolato, and Kady Douglass. Freehold Theater, 1525 10th Ave, 314-2471. Thurs-Sat at 8, through Aug 28. $8/$5.

SHOPPING AND FUCKING—Sure to shock, this hit play from the Brits swims to Seattle on a tide of critical acclaim, compared for brutality to Tarantino and Scorsese. An examination of love and morality in the lives of twenty-somethings seeking "cheap sex, fast food, and designer drugs," directed by Hyperion Artistic Director Joe Seabeck. Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 781-0022. Thurs & Sun at 8, Fri & Sat at 7 & 9:30, through Aug 29. $12.50/$10. See Calendar Box.

SUNSET BOULEVARD—Billy Wilder's "ready for my close-up" close-in on 1950s Hollywood comes to Seattle, with Petula Clark as Norma Desmond. Promises lavish sets, murder, lust, and greed—all for a pretty price. Paramount, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. Call for times and prices, through Aug 15.

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.

DANCE

*OFF THE CUFF—Two nights of three shows with 21 renowned artists add up to a very promising 6th annual "summer dance intensive" for the Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance & Improv. The program kicks off with dance artists Simone Forti, John Dixon, and Lionel Popkin accompanied by cellist Lori Goldston. Seattle Mime Theatre, Fourth Floor Odd Fellows Building, 1529 10th Ave, 328-3760. Fri & Sat at 8 & 10 (different line-ups), this week only. $10.

FESTIVALS, CABARETS & COMEDY

*DER FREISCHÜTZ — Der Freischütz, which translates into "The Devil's Bullet" (or is it "The Free Shoe"?), promises pre-Gothic extravagance, featuring Metropolitan Opera soprano Deborah Voigt. Seattle Opera House, Seattle Center, 389-7676. Call for dates, through Aug 21. $33-$99. See Review this Issue.

AN EVENING OF BUTCH EROTICA—Ms. Gay Washington Kahlœa Ice hosts a cabaret evening featuring sexy butch strippers, all-dyke boy dance band BoyGroove, and DJs MC Queen Lucky and Julie Herrera. Shake your boo thing and benefit Blackstockings, an organization that supports women in the sex industry. ARO.space, 925 E Pike St, 766-9368 (advance tickets at Toys in Babeland). Tues at 8, this week only. $8/$10 (21 and over).

IMPROSIA—Character-driven improv based on audience suggestions. Wit's End, 770 N 34th St, tickets at the door. Saturdays at 9:30. $7.

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.

LO BLO 2000: THE FUTURE BLOS—Chicken Little is finally recognized as a prophet, in this prime time insanity known as sketch comedy. Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 323-8390. Fri & Sat at 8, through Aug 28. $10.

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).

*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. Now featuring body-juggling brothers from France and the jaw-dropping Kevin Kent. 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.

*THREE DOLLAR BILL—Seattle's original gay/lesbian/bisexual stand-up comedy show is still standing in its second year. Comedy Underground, 222 S Min St, 324-8025. Tues at 9. $6.

TREES AND COWS AND SOMETIMES PEOPLE—Authentic turn-of-the-century marionettes from Prague string the audience along in this charming play by George Bombel. The Pearl Cafe, 4215 University Way NE. Sat & Sun at 1, through Aug 22. $1-$3.

TWILIGHT ZONE MARATHON VI—Theater Schmeater, connoisseurs of surreality, act out eerie episodes in which a doll, a camera, and a TV send their owners into… the Twilight Zone. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through Aug 21. $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.

FRIDA LAYY'S PSYCHO CIRCUS—Seattle's nationally known drag personality, Miss Frida Layy, hosts "a series of freak show performers," bringing sparkle to late night. 21st Century Foxxes, 1501 E Olive Way, 720-9963. Sat at 10:30. $6 (21 and over).

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.

*SGT. RIGSBY AND HIS AMAZING SILHOUETTES—Using the tricky effects made possible by today's modern science—namely, electricity—the talented mesmerist Scot Augustson manipulates shadows to create sinister and smart storylines. Voices are provided by guest Seattle talent. This special performance includes two pieces, "The Lost Bronte Novel" and "Ivey Higgins' Tales for the Stout of Heart." Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Fri & Sat at 11 pm, through Sept 10. $5.

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.

CALLS

CALL FOR SCORES—Jack Straw Productions, Musicians Accord, and the Washington Composers Forum announce a call-for-scores to be workshopped and recorded at Jack Straw on Sun Sept 26, as part of a VirtualConcert, a multi-faceted residency project with Musicians Accord, the New York-based new music collective, and Jovino Santos Neto, composer-in-residence. Call 634-0919 or e-mail joan@jackstraw.org for application and more information.

NORTHWEST ACTORS STUDIO—Now holding auditions for the two-year Conservatory Program Class of 2001. Interested students should bring one prepared monologue 1-3 minutes in length, any style, and be prepared for a half-hour interview. Auditions will be held through Sept 19. Call 324-6328 for an appointment.

THOUGHT IN THE DARK PRODUCTIONS—Seeking grips and production assistants for a short film. Must be available Aug 21, 22, 28, 29. 517-5136.

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