OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS



12 MINUTES MAX

Two nights only. A night of eight new works by local dance, theater, and music artists. Allen Johnson and Joe von Appen curated the May showcase, which includes performances by Jeremy Catterton (nihilistic tap dancing), Marty Truck & the Car Dealers (Troy Mink in rockabilly disguise), and Mark Boeker (a solo performance entitled Sensitive Zombie). On the Boards, 100 W Roy St. Tickets available at the door only, $7. Sun-Mon May 8-9 at 7 pm.

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY

"The set is cool and a little dizzying, with a terrific trick of perspective--and if you're stoned there are moments of high, weird comedy, like when Sarah Rudinoff, as a cupcake-scarfing schoolgirl, strides across the stage holding two cupcakes and screams wildly, "I LOVE THESE CUPCAKES!" The rest of the cast is equally strong, and so are all the stereotypes their characters reinforce: Mom's in an apron and Dad's in a suit, the teacher is a woman and the dentist is a man. In other words, the whole thing is retrograde and sexist when you think about it. You see this show stoned and all sorts of injustices occur to you. But the googley-eyed kids loved it." (Christopher Frizzelle) 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.

BACH AT LEIPZIG

Opening. ACT's 41st round of theater opens with the first of two genius-oriented plays on the slate this season (the similarly titled Vincent in Brixton is the other). This Itamar Moses play is a speculative comedy about what might have happened when an organist slot opened up at Leipzig's most prestigious church in the early 18th century. ACT Artistic Director Kurt Beattie directs; the heavy-hitter cast includes Laurence Ballard, David Pichette, R. Hamilton Wright, and John Procaccino. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $10-$54. Opening Thurs May 5 at 7:30 pm. Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm. Through May 29.

DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Final week. "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. Sun at 2 pm. Through May 8.

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 29.

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.

HANDCUFF GIRL SAVES THE WORLD

Opening. The final entry in WET's inaugural season is an original pop-culture comedy about heroes, created by KJ Sanchez (Panophobia) and the WET ensemble. Kurt Cobain, Martin Luther King Jr., and Wonder Woman feature prominently. Washington Ensemble Theatre at Little Theater, 608 19th Ave E, 325-5105. $10-$15. Opening Fri May 6 at 8 pm. Sat at 8 pm, Sun-Mon at 7 pm. Through May 30.

HYPNAGOGIA!

Opening. Josh Knisely wrote this sketch-comedy show inspired by semi-wakefulness. Kirk Anderson and Josh Knisely direct. Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave, www.brownpapertickets.com. $10. Opening Fri May 6 at 8 pm. Sat at 8 pm. Through May 28.

KIMBERLY AKIMBO

Opening. The rarely performed David Lindsay-Abaire play about a young woman with progeria (a genetic condition that causes its sufferers to age exponentially faster than normal). David Hsieh directs; Diane Felty stars as Kimberly. ReAct Theatre at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Ave S, 364-3283. $9-$12. Opening Thurs May 5 at 7:30 pm. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 29.

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.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN BEAN

One night only. Dinner theater set at the International Coffee Convention. NorthWest Murder Mysteries at French Creek Manor, 9931 167th Ave SE, Snohomish, 783-4702. $60 (includes show and buffet dinner). Sun May 8 at 7 pm.

MEATHOOK: A MELODRAMA

"Meathook: A Melodrama, a collaboration between Matt Fontaine (lyrics and direction), Tamara Paris (book and direction), and Tom Prince (music), isn't all brilliant genre pastiche. The first act starts slowly, as one after another artlessly painted bed sheet skids by in a rather sad substitute for scenic design. Puzzling plot digressions, such as an abortion-rights protest at a faculty tennis club, distract from the hokey horror riffs that go so well in the second act. The performances range from winning and boisterous (Sam Read, Lisa SanPhillippo) to excessively quiet and a little lost (Rachel Hynes). But once the blood starts spurting, and such breathless lines as 'Debbie, do the biodynamic feedback!' get rolling, you couldn't ask for a more entertaining evening. The gross-out action and clumsy end-rhymes twist together into a predictably thrilling climax, and the untidy first act is all but banished. " (Annie Wagner) Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. $12. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 4 pm. Through May 21.

THE MUSIC MAN

Opening. Meredith Willson's musical about a scam man and a very clever librarian. Village Theatre at Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St N, Issaquah. 425-392-2202. $26-$42. Opening Wed May 11 at 8 pm. Through June 26 at this location.

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

See review this issue. Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St, Seattle Center, 269-1900. $10-$46. Thurs at 10:30 am and 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm. Through May 22.

NIGHTSTORIES: SPORT

Opening. Short stories read aloud by local actors. SecondStory Repertory, Redmond Town Center, 16587 NE 74th St, 425-881-6777. $8. Opening Fri May 6 at 8:30 pm. Sat at 8:30 pm. Through May 14.

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Final week. 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-Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 3 and 7:30 pm. Through May 7.

OUR TOWN

Opening. The Thornton Wilder play about young love and young death gets another local staging. Attic Theatre Company at Cadle Theatre, 12033 NE 80th St, Kirkland, 425-985-8608. $10-$15. Opening Fri May 6 at 7:30 pm. Sat at 2:30 and 7:30 pm, Sun at 6 pm. Through May 15.

PLAY IT BY HEART

The new country musical from Village Theatre. Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave, Everett, 425-257-8600. $26-$42. Thurs-Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7 pm. Through May 15.

RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL

Opening. A musical based on E.L. Doctorow's novel of the same name. Civic Light Opera at Magnuson Recreation Center, 7400 Sand Point Wy, Building #47, 363-2809. $20-$30. Opening Fri May 6 at 8 pm. Sun at 2 pm. Through May 22.

THE RITE OF LUNA

One week only. A rock opera by Aleister Crowley, about Greek gods and goddesses and features "Kabbalistic and esoteric themes." Mmmm, esoteric themes. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, www.riteofluna.com. $10-$15. Thurs-Sat May 5-7 at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm.

SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON SHOW

Get your Scooby Snacks in the evening, thanks to this cartoon-themed improv show. Jet City Improv at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 325-6500. $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.

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL

Opening. A smorgasbord of matinees--both theater and otherwise--appropriate for children, plus Seattle International Nights, in which Children's Festival artists perform for adult audiences. Highlights include Tiny Ninja Theater's Hamlet, local company Run/Remain's Let X = Why Me? (which was commissioned for the festival), and the "physical music" troupe Lelavision. Various locations at Seattle Center, 684-7346. This week, Let X = Why Me? is scheduled at 11:30 am, Mon-Wed May 9-11. Labyrinth Circle's Vivace is scheduled at 10 am, Mon-Wed. Lelavision will play at 1 pm, Mon-Wed. Tiny Ninja Theater's Hamlet is on at 10 am, Wed May 11. Festivals continue through May 22. See www.seattleinternational.org for details.

THREE TALL WOMEN

"This show has several things to recommend it, most especially a tour-de-force Act I performance by Betty Campbell in the role of an imperious, self-pitying old woman. I also admired every actress' interpretation of the phrase 'Thank you,' which plays a strange and fascinating role in the Edward Albee dialogue. These two factors are almost enough to lead me to endorse the show. But there's also incredibly inept costuming in the second act, when Campbell's character splits into a young (Tracy Repep), middle-aged (Erin Day), and disembodied (Campbell again) version of her bedridden self. The dresses bear no trace of the era each woman belongs to (the Jazz Age naif is clothed in an ill-fitting off-the-shoulder getup reminiscent of an '80s bridesmaid), making the initial minutes of the act incredibly confusing. Plus, the costumes are all the same shiny, nauseating periwinkle. Then there's Shana Bestock's blocking, which plants a mute Repep center stage, her eyes trained wistfully on the spot where the wall meets the ceiling, for minutes on end. All kinds of little flaws detract from what should have been a stunning finale. " (Annie Wagner) Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 524-1300. $10-$20. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through May 22.

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.

DANCE



CARMONA FLAMENCO

One night only. Flamenco dance at Porta Greek Taverna, 2243 Eastlake Ave E, 860-0284. $10. Sat May 7 at 8 and 9:30 pm.

THE DANCE OF AN-PING

One night only. Liao Mo-hsi Dance Theater at Kane Hall, Room 130, UW campus, 425-576-5652. $10-$20. Sun May 8 at 7 pm.

DANCE GATHERING FROM SOUTH ISLAND

One night only. Taiwan Aborigines at Calvary Christian Assembly, 6801 Roosevelt Way NE, 365-8807. $10. Sat May 7 at 7:30 pm.

FROM RIO TO HAVANA

Final week. Jose Carrion of the Cuban company Ballet Folklorico Cutumba and the Brazilian company Gira Sol perform traditional dances including rumba, son, and samba. Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S Alaska St, 547-0953. $12-$15. Sat May 7 at 7:30 pm.

UNHEARD, UNSPOKEN, A COLLECTION OF STORIES

One weekend only. The Bainbridge dance company presents a six-work performance, with choreography by Karena Hatfield-Grytting, Kristen Legg, Jason Ohlberg, Rain Ross, Stephanie Saland, and Hannah Wiley. Lehua Dance Theatre at Velocity MainSpace Theater, 915 E Pine St, Second Floor, 898-1320. $13-$15. Fri-Sat May 6-7 at 8 pm, Sun May 8 at 7 pm.

WITH OR WITHOUT

Opening. A dance performed on wheels, plus a performance by Philadelphia's 7 Dance Company. 6th Day Dance at Freehold's East Hall Theater, 915 E Pine St. Tickets available at the door only, $15. Opening Thurs-Sat May 5-7 at 8 pm. Through May 14.

CABARET



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.

RISQUE BIZNESS!

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.

LATE NIGHT



EXOTICA

Burlesque from the Atomic Bombshells. Mirabeau Room, 529 Queen Anne Ave N. $10 (21+ w/ID required). Wed at 10 pm. Through May 18.

SPIN THE BOTTLE

One night only. The monthly performance showcase, this edition featuring downcast comedy from Jonah von Spreecken, Catholic schoolgirl rap from Rachel Hynes and Kate Jaeger, country music from Troy Mink, and "big hair madness" from Chris Bange and Ian Fraser. Annex Theatre at Freehold's East Hall Theater, 915 E Pine St, second floor, 728-0933. $7. Fri May 6 at 11 pm.

IMPROV & COMEDY

ROB BRACKENRIDGE at Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 628-0303. $12. Fri-Sat at 8:30 and 10:30 pm. HIGH CONTRAST COMEDY 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. LIPSCHTICK at ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. $5-$7. Sat at 10:30 pm. RON OSBORNE at Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 628-0303. $6. Thurs at 8:30 pm. SISTERS OF SAL (improv) at Bathhouse Theater, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 524-1300. $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.

SPECIAL EVENTS



SHORT STORIES LIVE!

One night only. Short stories read by actors. Timothy Piggee tackles Charles Johnson's "Dr. King's Refrigerator," Matt Smith reads Wallace Stegner's "Going to Town," and Jane Jones takes on Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing." Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, www.ticketweb.com. $13-$18. Sun May 8 at 4 pm.

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