OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
THE 24 HOUR PLAYS
See Theater News. One night only. A festival of plays created in the span of a day. (Like 14/48, but imported from New York City.) Green Theatre Productions at Center House, Theatre 4, Seattle Center, 325-6500. $10-$12. Sat April 23 at 8 pm.
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
See review this issue. Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 441-3322. $14-$28. Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm. Through June 12.
BABA YAGA AND THE BAG OF GOLD
Children's puppet theater about the tricky Russian witch Baba Yaga. Thistle Theatre at Sand Point Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, 524-3388. $7-$9. Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 1 pm.
"At the center of the dumb story (neurotic Jewess hires male escort to pretend to be her Jewish boyfriend to please her parents, falls in love, despite the fact that--wait for it--he's a goy, oy!) stands the masterfully mannered Charity Parenzini, an actress whose throaty, three-octave voice and elastic energy evoke classic screwball heroines. She and equally deft costar Timothy Hornor gamely elevate the script's tiresome formula into something almost elemental." (Sean Nelson) Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $15-$29. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through April 30.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Opening. A musical adaptation of the Charles Perrault fairy tale. StoryBook Theater at Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave, 425-893-9900. $7.50. Opening Sat April 23 at 11 am. Sat at 1 and 3 pm, Sun at 1 and 3 pm. Through May 1.
Final week. "As the show progresses, and Biro's life is silhouetted against such larger-than-life figures as dictators Idi Amin, Milton Abote, and Fidel Castro, and such ur-narratives as the sweeping march of HIV/AIDS, Ntare Mwine's wry story is overpowered. His characters are backdrop--literally, images projected onto a huge, white cloth--and they don't truly participate in the history they're meant to represent. Though Mwine has a stunning facility with accents, his vocal characterizations can be grating. You'll learn a lot from Biro, but the experience will leave you unmoved. " (Annie Wagner) Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. $10-$40. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 7:30 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through April 23.
THE CONSTANT WIFE
"This W. Somerset Maugham comedy about the sexual double standard for adultery is a three-act joke that goes something like this: "Boys will be boys!" "No fair!" This exchange happens about 40 times, and each iteration gets a little broader and a little less funny. With such a dated script, the period details count disproportionately. At the Rep, the set (by Kate Edmunds) is disappointingly flat, and the costumes (by Anna R. Oliver) try to communicate too much about the stereotyped characters inside them. Despite a sympathetic performance by Ellen Karas as Constance and a number of cute dance interludes, The Constant Wife is forgettable entertainment. " (Annie Wagner) 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.
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
"It's no secret that Death of a Salesman feeds some of its most pivotal and quasi-poetic lines to a lazy approximation of a lead character. In CHAC's production, Arthur Miller's total disinterest in Willy Loman's wife, Linda, is matched by a correspondingly vague and reedy performance by Sherry Narens. With the help of an actress who doesn't, or can't, restore some semblance of a soul to this hollow character, we see her for exactly what she is: a convenient way to develop the personalities, ethnic background, and the debts of the people who surround her." (Annie Wagner) 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, 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.
Final week. "The conceit is fun: Pivoting on obtuse improv topics (Silly Putty, wild squirrels, ninjas, and Charles Dickens, for example), the actors attempt to find grist for their faux presidential election as they plow through debates, scandals, polls, focus groups, pundits, 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.
See review this issue. Book-It Repertory Theatre at Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 216-0833. $15-$30. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through May 1.
Opening. Television star Morgan Fairchild plays the sexy older woman Anne Bancroft made famous in this adaptation of the 1967 film. Peter Lawrence directs. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. $18-$54. Opening Tues April 26 at 7:30 pm. Wed at 7:30 pm. Through May 1.
LATE NIGHT CATECHISM
Ongoing. Long-running interactive Catholic-school comedy, in which a nun tells you everything you need to know about your everlasting soul. Cloud 9 Productions at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $24.50-$29.50. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm.
LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
Eugene O'Neill's semi-autobiographical play about the highly dysfunctional Tyrone family. Susan Bradford directs. Chalkdust Productions at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 1.
Opening. A new Matt Fontaine-Tamara Paris horror musical about a professor of abnormal psychology at the University of Wyoming and an escaped serial killer. Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. $12. Preview performance Thurs April 21 at 8 pm. Opening Fri April 22 at 8 pm. Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 4 pm. Through May 21.
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. Thurs-Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 1:30 and 7 pm, Tues-Wed 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 Theatre, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $15. Fri at 8 pm. Through June 2.
THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP
Opening. The Charles Ludlum spoof of Victorian melodrama, directed by California Shakespeare Festival's Jonathan Moscone. Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St, Seattle Center, 269-1900. $10-$46. Preview performances Fri-Sat April 22-23 at 8 pm, Sun April 24 at 7:30 pm, Tues April 26 at 7:30 pm. Opening Wed April 27 at 7:30 pm. Through May 22.
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
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. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm. Through May 7.
See review this issue. Seattle Shakespeare Company at Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, 733-8222. $18-$30. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 1.
Final week. 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. Fri-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. 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.
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. Fri-Sat at 8:15 pm, Sun at 2:15 pm. Through April 30.
THE WAITING FOR LEFTY PROJECT
Two nights only. A student production of the Clifford Odets play recently seen at Capitol Hill Arts Center, plus a modern "extrapolation" on its themes. Cornish College Theater Department at Raisbeck Performance Hall, 2015 Boren Ave. Free. Waiting for Lefty, Tues at 8 pm. Waiting for Lefty: The Plain Truth, Thurs at 8 pm. Through May 1.
Final week. 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 St, 723-2590. Donation. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 3 pm. Through April 24.
WHAT YOU WILL (OR TWELFTH NIGHT)
Opening. A student production of the Shakespeare play about cross-dressing and proxy wooing. Cornish College Theater Department at Seattle Center, outdoors near the Mural Amphitheatre. Free. Opening Fri April 22 at 3:30 pm. Sat-Sun at 3:30 pm. Through May 1.
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.
Final week. The premieres of two new works by PNB principal dancer Paul Gibson and Christopher Stowell (son of departing artistic directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell), plus José Limòn's The Moor's Pavane and Val Ciniparoli's Lambarena. Pacific Northwest Ballet at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 441-2424. $20-$137. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 1 pm. Through April 24.
This movement-theater work exploring "life's parallels through revolving doors" is by a new company comprising Jessica Jobaris, George Lewis, and John Paulsen. threeCompany at Freehold's East Hall Theatre, 1525 10th Ave, second floor, 322-6604. $12-$15. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. Through April 30.
One night only. The culmination of PNB's outreach and education project, Leaping Legends is a performance by over 400 area children. Pacific Northwest Ballet at McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 441-2424. $10. Sat April 23 at 2 pm.
RAPUNZEL: A RADICAL AERIAL RETELLING
Final week. "What's wonderful about this show is that the minute you've tired of the unimaginative action on the ground, the characters take to the ribbons of fabric and express their everyday joys and despairs midair. (A sequence involving a spurned lover is especially affecting.) The score that accompanies these acrobatics is inventive, varied, and evocative. Your mind may still wander--how much better might this production have been if the story were still cruel and familiar, rather than 'radical' and dull--but your eyes and ears will be beguiled." (Annie Wagner) UMO Ensemble at Velocity Dance Studio, 915 E Pine St, second floor, 463-2128. $10-$14. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 7 pm. Through April 24.
BRUNCH WITH DINA MARTINA
Extended. 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 May 15.
Opening. Miss Cheryl Serio (DAMES) and Marcus Wolland (Lounge Lizards) present a cabaret tour ranging from Cole Porter to the Rolling Stones. GirlFriday Productions and Straight-Edge Theatrics at Thumper's, 1500 E Madison St, 328-3800. $10. Fri-Sat at 8:30 pm. Through May 14.
Burlesque from the Atomic Bombshells. Mirabeau Room, 529 Queen Anne Ave N. $10 (21+ w/ID required). Wed at 10 pm. Through May 18.
IMPROV & COMEDY
COMEDY'S MOST ELIGIBLE BACHELORS at Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 628-0303. $6. Wed at 8:30 pm. HYPNOTIST GARY CONRAD at Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 628-0303. $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. SEATTLE GOGA (improv) at Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave, 720-0083. $8. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. THEATRESPORTS at Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $8-$10. Fri-Sat at 10:30 pm, Sun at 7 pm.
One night only. A fundraiser for Wade Madsen & Dancers Company, including performances by Pat Graney, ULTRA, Matt Smith, Wade Madsen, and more. Sylvia O'Stayformore emcees. Century Ballroom, 915 E Pine, second floor, 329-7368. $10-$20.
BEST OF BILL BIRTHDAY BASH!
One night only. A fundraiser for Seattle Shakespeare Company, with a cabaret featuring members of the Othello cast, plus an auction and a birthday cake. Seattle Shakespeare Company at Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, 733-8222. $60. Mon April 25 at 6:30 pm.
A CELEBRATION OF SHARON OTT
One night only. A multimedia presentation of work from Sharon Ott's eight seasons at the helm of the Seattle Rep, plus performances from surprise Rep artists. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, Seattle Center, 443-2222. Free. Mon April 25 at 7 pm.
OPEN BOX: A PLAYWRIGHT'S OPEN MIC
One night only. An open mic matinee especially for playwrights. Seattle Dramatists at Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave, 720-0083. $3. Sat April 23 at 4:30 pm.