OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
Opening. An adaptation of the children's story about an unlucky schoolboy, directed by Susan Finque ((L)imitations of Life). Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 441-3322. $14-28. Opening Fri April 8 at 7 pm. Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm. Through June 12.
Extended. Final week. "Helen Edmundson's script, which is propelled by meta-commentary from alternating protagonists Anna (Samara Lerman) and Levin (Chris Mayse), gets a little episodic at the end. The fault is exaggerated in an uneven production like this one, in which one strand of narration is far more compelling than the other. " (Annie Wagner) Atlas Theatre at Open Circle Theatre, 429 Boren Ave N, 679-1565. $8-$10. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm. Through April 9.
BABA YAGA AND THE BAG OF GOLD
Children's puppet theater about the tricky Russian witch Baba Yaga. Thistle Theatre at Burien Community Center, 425 SW 144th St, 524-3388. $7-$9. Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 1 and 3 pm.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
One weekend only. A staging of the Charles Perrault fairy tale for children. Storybook Theater at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center, 400 S Second St, Renton, 325-6500. Sat April 9 at 11 am and 1 pm, Sun April 10 at 1 pm.
See review this issue. Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $19-$29. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through April 30.
BIG BAD WOLF! (VS. LORD UNDERWEARFACE VON SCHTINKER)
One day only. I can say nothing about this production that is not spelled out in this press-release endorsement, courtesy of the Chicago Reader: "Success is guaranteed when kids are asked to stick on a set of whiskers and join in a mustache dance with a villain sporting tighty whities on his head." Second City Children's Theatre at Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave, 425-893-9900. $10-$16. Sat April 9 at 2 pm.
Empty Space re-opens with the West Coast premiere of a new play written and performed by Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine. Biro addresses, among other topics, immigration and the AIDS crisis in Africa. Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. $10-$40. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 7:30 pm, Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm. Through April 23.
THE CONSTANT WIFE
Kyle Donnelly directs W. Somerset Maugham's 1920s comedy about a woman named Constance (Ellen Karas) whose husband is having an affair with her best friend (local hottie Bhama Roget). Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $10-$46. Thurs-Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm, Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm. Through May 1.
One weekend only. A "poetic and mysterious performance event for grownups" that explores the Kabbalistic notion of failed worlds. NAKeD PUPPeTS at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, www.brownpapertickets.com. $12-$18. Fri-Sat April 8-9 at 8 pm.
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
See review this issue. Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 325-6500. $15-$18. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm. Through April 30.
DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN
This mid-'90s relic by comedian Rob Becker is about the supposed prehistoric propensities of the two sexes, and is performed by former Portlander Isaac Lamb. There was no excuse for this show then; there's none now. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $35-$39.50. Thurs-Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 5 and 8 pm, Sun at 3 pm. Tickets available through May 8.
DINNER & DREAMS
Ongoing. A new musical version of the rabidly successful dinner-theater/circus hybrid opens this week, with Martha Davis of the Motels as Madame ZinZanni. Ukrainian contortionist Vita Radionova and aerialists Duo Artemiev are still onboard--or in-tent, or whatever. Teatro ZinZanni, 2301 Sixth Ave, 802-0015. $89-$109. Thurs-Sat at 6:30 pm, Sun at 5:30 pm.
"The conceit is fun: Pivoting on obtuse improv topics (Silly Putty and Charles Dickens, for example), the actors attempt to find grist for their faux presidential election as they plow through debates, focus groups, attack ads, and of course, a vote (cast by the audience). This setup would pack a punch if the cast's radar were tuned to hot topical shit, but instead, we get a mildly funny take on the election process in general. " (Josh Feit) Wing-It Productions at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 325-6500. $10. Sun at 7 pm. Through April 24.
Opening. An adaptation of Edna Ferber's 1952 tale of a wealthy Texas ranching family, told through the point of view of a young Virginia intellectual who marries into the clan. Book-It Artistic Director Myra Platt directs. Book-It Repertory Theatre at Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 216-0833. $15-$30. Preview performance Thurs April 7 at 7:30 pm. Opening Fri April 8 at 7:30 pm. Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through May 1.
HELLHOUND ON MY TRAIL
"Director Rob West runs slipshod over the script's tense moments, feverishly anticipating the laughs before they arrive. When Kate Czajkowski throws her head back and gulps down pills in a waiting room, she's clownish instead of furtive. And Roy Stanton bounds out of bed with such buoyancy, it's more than a little difficult to believe he's recovering from a week-long, amnesia-inducing bender. But when the lunacy of Denis Johnson's dialogue finally kicks in, Hellhound is truly delightful. The first act's high-decibel climax alone is worth the price of admission." Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. $15. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm. Through April 16.
HONK! (THE MUSICAL)
Final week. A musical for kids based on the Hans Christian Andersen story of the Ugly Duckling. Studio East, 402 Sixth St S, Kirkland, 425-827-3123. $9-$11. Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 2:30 and 7:30 pm, Sun at 2:30 pm. Through April 10.
LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
Opening. Eugene O'Neill's semi-autobiographical play about the highly dysfunctional Tyrone family. Chalkdust Productions at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. Opening Sat April 8 at 7:30 pm. Sun at 2 pm. Through May 1.
MATTERS OF THE HEART
Opening. Broadway star Patti LuPone (Evita) sets her vocal cords upon the work of such composers as Rogers & Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. $47.50-$51.50. Opening Tues April 12 at 7:30 pm. Wed at 7:30 pm. Through April 17.
Previewing. The musical based loosely on Madame Butterfly gets a revival. The producers want you to know that show will incorporate more than 70 individual percussion instruments. Clang! 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave, 292-2787. $18-$70. Preview performances Sun April 10 at 1:30 pm, Tues-Wed April 12-13 at 7:30 pm. Through April 30.
MY BOAT TO BAINBRIDGE
Extended. "This one-man show by Matt Smith is an extremely low-key tribute to a middle-aged crisis of heterosexual masculinity. Mainly this tired theme takes the form of a creepy obsession about his pet dog's severed testicles, but there's also a good deal of lame nostalgia for the Seattle of yore, and frequent mimicking of birdcalls. " (Annie Wagner) Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $15. Fri at 8 pm. Through June 2.
NORTHWEST NEW WORKS FESTIVAL
See review this issue. Final week. This new works showcase comprises four shows, plus two installations. This weekend, you get two more shows and a halftime installation (the Saturday and Sunday programming is identical). At 5 pm, catch a one-man show by Joe von Appen, a dance theater piece by Kristen Tsiatsios/Glassbones, and a theater performance by beloved troupe Macha Monkey. The evening show features a number of interdisciplinary dance works by Paige Barnes, SOM Performance, Zoe Scofield with Juniper Shuey and Morgan Henderson, and wilkes.barber. On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. $14 (single show)-$20 (both). Sat-Sun April 9-10 at 5 pm (studio) and 8 pm (main stage). Through April 10.
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
Opening. A family musical based on the Rosa Guy novel Love, My Love. Directed by Arts West Artistic Director Christopher Zinovitch and Deanna Shaffer. ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave NW, 938-0339. $12-$24. Opening Wed April 13 at 7:30 pm. Through May 7.
Opening. A "chamber" series adaptation that dispenses with the subplots. William Hall Jr. and Hans Altweiss star as Othello and Iago, respectively. Seattle Shakespeare Company at Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, 733-8222. $18-$30. Opening Thurs April 7 at 7:30 pm. Fri-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 1.
Opening. A workshop performance of a new musical tragedy by Tim Sanders (Delaware), set in the accounting firm of Irving and Irving. Annex Theatre at Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave S, 728-0933. $7-$10. Opening Fri April 8 at 8 pm. Sat at 8 pm. Through April 23.
SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON SHOW
Get your Scooby Snacks in the evening hours thanks to this improv show. Jet City Improv at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 781-3879. $8-$10. Thurs-Fri at 8 pm. Sun at 2 pm. Through May 20.
SAUCY JACK AND THE SPACE VIXENS
"Despite moments of realizing its campy, innuendo-ridden nature (see especially the number "Glitter Boots Saved My Life"), Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens fails to establish any coherent identity. The middle of the play focuses on developing a formulaic murder-mystery plot. When the Space Vixens report to Saucy Jack's Cabaret to help catch a serial killer, love affairs entangle just about everyone. The characters' motivations become unclear as they make their way to a disappointing climax. Redeeming moments, such as the singing and dancing in the final musical number, are outweighed by the slow and predictable exposition." (Weston Clay) BS Productions at Timberline Spirits, 1828 Yale Ave, 325-6500. $24. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 21.
Opening. The A. R. Gurney play about a Manhattan couple who adopt a stray dog. SecondStory Repertory, 16587 NE 74th St, Redmond Town Center, 425-881-6777. $16-$20. Preview performance Thurs April 7 at 8:15 pm. Opening Sat April 8 at 8:15 pm. Sun at 8:15 pm. Through April 30.
Opening. This new play by Elena Hartwell is not an adaptation of the Sartre short story, but instead addresses the legacy of the Vietnam war. Rainier Valley Ensemble Theatre at Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S Alaska, 723-2590. Donation. Opening Thurs April 7 at 8 pm. Fri-Sun at 8 pm, Wed at 8 pm. Through April 24.
A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD
The Tony Award-nominated musical is based on the children's books by Arnold Lobel, with music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by Willie Reale. Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, Seattle Center, 441-3322. $14-$28. Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm. Through June 5.
GARTH FAGAN DANCE COMPANY
One night only. Modern dance works by Garth Fagan, ranging from 1983's Prelude to 2004's ----ING. No excerpts from The Lion King are on the menu. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 292-2787. $22-$45. Sat April 9 at 8 pm.
AN EVENING OF KATHAKALI
One night only. A performance of the style of South Indian dance theater known for its elaborate makeup and colorful costumes. Museum of History & Industry, 2700 24th Ave E, 525-7728. $20-$22. Sun April 10 at 6:30 pm.
RAPUNZEL: A RADICAL AERIAL RETELLING
Maria Glanz directs this tissu-acrobatics adaptation of the classic fairy tale. UMO Ensemble at Velocity Dance Studio, 915 E Pine St, second floor, 463-2128. $10-$14. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 9 pm. Through April 24.
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY NOTEBOOK
One weekend only. An loose adaptation of the classic fairy tale featuring choreography by Donald Byrd. Spectrum Dance Theatre at Intiman Playhouse, Seattle Center, 269-1900. $15-$30. Thurs-Fri April 7-8 at 8 pm, Sat April 9 at 2 and 8 pm, Sun April 10 at 2 pm.
BRUNCH WITH DINA MARTINA
Final week. A cabaret pick-me-up from Seattle's own demented diva, Dina Martina (also known, sans makeup and garish dresses, as Grady West). Thumper's, 1500 E Madison St, 328-3800. $10. Sun at noon and 3 pm. Through April 10.
See review this issue. Final week. A comedy/variety festival that ranges from burlesque to family-oriented panto performances. For details, see www.moisturefestival.com. Hale's Palladium, 4301 Leary Way NW, www.brownpapertickets.com. $5-$20. Thurs at 8 pm, Fri at 7 and 10 pm, Sat at 3, 8, and 11 pm, Sun at 3 and 8 pm. Through April 10.
WHEN PIGS FLY
Final week. A grab bag of songs, dances, and running gags, directed by Rick Anderson (best known for the excruciating Party). Gaydar Productions at Thumper's, 1500 E Madison St, 328-3800. $15. Fri-Sat at 8:30 pm. Through April 9.
Burlesque from the Atomic Bombshells. Mirabeau Room, 529 Queen Anne Ave N. $10 (21+ w/ID required). Wed at 10 pm. Through May 18.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE: LIVE!
"The second episode, about an alien who blends in with the customers at a diner, is exactly what you'd expect: ridiculous plot, slightly wooden ensemble acting, cheesy twist ending. The first episode, entitled "The Invaders," is where things get authentically, comically unnerving. The slapstick battles against puppet aliens help distract from the fact that the main character hasn't uttered a single word of English, instead favoring a steady stream of fearful, feral grunts. When the trademark ironic ending clears up that little discrepancy, it's amusing--but I couldn't help but feel embarrassed at how easily my urban condescension led me astray." (Annie Wagner) Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 325-1600. $10. Thurs-Sat at 11 pm. Through April 16.
IMPROV & COMEDY
BOOK 'EM at Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 800-325-7328. $12. Wed at 8:30 pm. DEAD GENTLEMEN IMPROV at Tacoma Little Theater, 210 North I St, 253-272-3972. $5-$7. Sun April 10 at 7 pm. HIGH CONTRAST COMEDY at Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 800-325-7328. $6. Tues at 8:30 pm. JET CITY IMPROV at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 325-6500. $8-$10. Fri at 10:30 pm, Sat at 8 and 10:30 pm. RON OSBORNE at Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 800-325-7328. $6-$12. Thurs at 8:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8:30 and 10:30 pm. SECOND CITY at Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave, 425-893-9900. $10-$24. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. SEATTLE ALLSTAR COMEDY BRIGADE at Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333. $20. Thurs at 8 pm. SISTERS OF SAL (improv) at ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. $5-$7. Sat at 10:30 pm. THEATRESPORTS at Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $8-$10. Fri-Sat at 10:30 pm, Sun at 7 pm.
SHORT STORIES LIVE!
One night only. Short stories read by local actors, including Larry Paulsen, Jeanne Paulsen, and Lillo Way. Town Hall,1119 Eighth Ave, www.ticketweb.com. $13-$18. Sun April 10 at 4 pm.
WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Opening. Readings of plays by women playwrights. This week, catch Sirius Rising, by Gwendolyn Schwinke, a free-verse adaptation of the myth of Isis and Osiris. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $10 (single ticket)-$30 (festival pass). Opening Wed April 13 at 7:30 pm. Through April 16.