THEATER

by Traci Vogel


OPENING THIS WEEK

THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE · Civic Light Opera

THE LOVER & THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND · Seattle University

A PICNIC AT THE EARTH'S MOLTEN CORE · Re-bar

SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS · Taproot Theatre


ONE WEEK ONLY

CAPITOL STEPS · Paramount

FIRST ACT · A Contemporary Theatre

*[OR] · Dumb Type

THE PASSING OF THE ELDAR · Washington Park Arboretum

TANGO! A JOURNEY INTO FEAR · Up In Your Grill

TAP DANCE CONCERTO & OTHER WORKS · Broadway Performance Hall

TRINITY IRISH DANCE COMPANY · Meany Theater


CLOSING THIS WEEK

THE CARPENTERS: UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE TO YOU

· Cabaret de Paris

COMMUNICATING DOORS · ACT

DEAR LIAR · Intiman

*DEFLOWERED IN THE ATTIC · Re-bar

THE ENCHANTED CASTLE · NW Puppet Center

GOES DOWN EASY · Theater Off Jackson

PIANOMANIA EIGHT · Hokum Hall

S.A.M. I AM · Langston Hughes Center

THE SEA HORSE · Odd Duck

TIMES THREE · NW Actors Studio

A TRILOGY OF FANTASIES · Stone Soup Theatre

VOLPONE · Nippon Kan Theatre

*WIT · Seattle Repertory Theatre


OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS


THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

Adapted from Shakespeare's A Comedy of Errors, musical farce and comedic misunderstandings abound. Add your own hilarity -- bring a banana peel! Jane Addams Theatre, 11051 34th NE, 363-2809. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 2:30, through Dec 11. $16-$20.


CAPITOL STEPS

Painfully punny political satire in the form of showtunes such as "Thank God I'm a Contra Boy," "We Arm the World," and "Unzippin' My Doodah." Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 628-0888. Sat Nov 20 at 8 pm only. $15-$35.


COMMUNICATING DOORS

"Communicating Doors is really just frothy British cheek, made even less substantial because Jeff Steitzer's direction doesn't fly with the breathless, free-for-all confidence of a farce. Ayckbourn's comic logic unwinds compellingly but his conceits inspire Steitzer to throw darts at several different bulls' eyes. When the play starts gushing sentiments or slashing at us, Psycho-style, Steitzer over-reacts and pulls the plug on the comedy; streams of punchlines rush by without so much as getting our feet wet. He does negotiate several very funny physical bits; I just wish it didn't all come in fits and starts." (Steve Wiecking) A Contemporary Theatre (ACT), Seventh Ave & Union St, 292-7676. Tues-Thurs at 7:30; Fri-Sat at 8; Sun at 2 & 7, through Nov 21. $10-$40.


DEAR LIAR

Sally Smythe and the fabulous Laurence Ballard star in Jerome Kilty's play documenting the saucy correspondence and hot romance between George Bernard Shaw and some lady. Intiman Playhouse, Seattle Center, 269-1900. Tues-Sun through Nov 20. $10-$39. Call for showtimes.


*DEFLOWERED IN THE ATTIC

Those perverts at Re-bar molest V. C. Andrews in this world premiere parody of everyone's favorite incestuous adolescent fiction. "This winning spoof directed by Ed Hawkins begins in High Camp gear and goes gamboling over the top again and again for the rest of the night. Some foreknowledge of the Flowers in the Attic series is ideal, but there is plenty here to cause your spleen bodily harm even without it." (Steve Wiecking) Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. Fri-Sun at 8, through Nov 21. $12.


THE ENCHANTED CASTLE

Puppets inhabit a magical castle, complete with ogres and sorcerers, jousting knights, flying imps, and mythic animals. The warrior maiden Bradamante (you go, girl!) must fight to free her beloved Ruggiero. Performed by Seattle's Carter Family Marionettes. Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave NE, 523-2579. Fri at 7:30, Sat-Sun at 1 & 3, through Nov 21. $6.50-$8.50.


FIRST ACT

Local playwrights commissioned to create new works unveil their projects in this "sneak peek" event. On Thurs Nov 18, Ki Gottberg's The Hairy Baby is featured; Fri Nov 19 shows Allison Gregory's Point Deception; Sat Nov 20, Dawson Nichols' Fetch; Sun Nov 21, Vincent Delaney's The Robeson Tape. A Contemporary Theatre, Seventh Ave & Union St, 292-7676. Thurs-Sun Nov 18-21 only, call for show times. $5.


THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHANCE

This "delectable comedy of mistaken identities and true love" is based on the play by 18th-century French writer Marivaux (translated by director Stephen Wadsworth), and features a cast of tender misunderstandings and disguises. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun 2 pm matinees, through Dec 11. $10-$42.


GOES DOWN EASY

The Pork Filled Players stuff pop culture references from Ace Ventura to Imelda Marcos into Goes Down Easy, promising digestible humor of all forms. Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave S, 365-0282. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 4:30, through Nov 21. $10/$7.


HAPPY?

Seattle's finest experimental performance troupe, the Compound, presents their latest work, written and directed by Kristin Newbom and John Holyoke, commissioned by and performed at Consolidated Works. "Rich as it is in sensory possibilities, Happy? chooses to overwhelm quiet narrative moments by crowding the production with coy non-sequiturs and clever props. As much as co-writer and co-director Kristin Newbom says she enjoys things "you can feel in your gut," the production doesn't travel far enough below the head to get there." (Tonia Steed) Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 860-5245. Thurs-Sun at 8, through Nov 28. $16.


KING LEAR

Shakespeare's dark, historical dramas benefit from the deep, booming voices of older actors, and director John Kazanjian has found a lovely vehicle in veteran actor Clayton Corzatte. First Christian Church, 632 Broadway, 328-4683. Wed-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, through Dec 18. $15. See review this issue.


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.


THE LOVER & THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND

Two somewhat contemporary and very British plays, by Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard respectively, promise an entertaining evening of clever wordplay, directed by Rob Deballos. Fine Arts Building Vachon Room, Seattle University Campus, 296-5360. Nov 15-20 at 7:30, Nov 21 at 2:30. $5/$8.


MACBETT

Ionesco's playful retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth promises 1,370 beheadings! Performed by UW Drama students. Penthouse Theater, 45th & 17th Ave NE, 543-4880, Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 3, Sun at 2, through Nov 28. $7-$10.


ONCE UPON A MATTRESS

A fairy tale bewitched by postmodernism, Once Upon A Mattress tells the story of Princess Fred Winnefred, who is determined to marry the desirable Prince Dauntless, and will attempt to pass any test the Queen may devise. ArtsWest Playhouse, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. Through Dec 3. $12-$25.


*[OR]

Performed to dumbfounded audiences in France, Japanese performance group Dumb Type's [OR] combines choreography with lighting and video effects, set to a fast-paced original techno/acid jazz soundtrack. Young, innovative, provocative, Dumb Type explores subconscious connections in this piece of experimental theater. On the Boards, 100 W Roy, 217-9888. Thurs-Sun at 8, through Nov 21. $18/$20.


THE PASSING OF THE ELDAR

A performance of J.R.R. Tolkien's text of the myth of the Eldars, who chose banishment over power, set to music by Susan Strick and Don McKenzie of Labyrinth and Paul Beck of Johnny Astro and Motherland. The reading will incorporate choral recital and unusual instruments. Graham Visitors Center, Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Drive E, 524-8723. Sat Nov 20 at 8 pm only. $5.


A PICNIC AT THE EARTH'S MOLTEN CORE

Tamara Paris is Pamela, "a big girl from a small town," who discovers that her artistic self is made up of a number of selves, after she slides down a rabbit hole into the dirty worlds of Philly, San Diego, Ohio, and beyond. This humorous one-person show is written by Paris and Burton Curtis. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. Mondays at 8, open ended run. $10.


THE PSYCHIC LIFE OF SAVAGES

A parody of poets of the mid-20th century (aww, what an easy target!) -- Sylvia, Ted, Anne, and Robert -- written by Amy Freed. "Wonderful performances abound in this layered, intelligent free-for-all.... Amy Freed's view of art and language succeeds in that rare accomplishment of illustrating the collision of brazen comedy with rich suffering." (Steve Wiecking) Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont N, 547-7500. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 2 & 7, through Dec 5. $18-$26.


S.A.M. I AM

A young Asian American writer is caught between ambition and race, fame and dating, in this Northwest premiere of Garrett Omata's "hip, urban, romantic comedy." The Langston Hughes Theatre, 104 17th Ave S, 364-3283. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, through Nov 21. $6-$12. See review this issue.


SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS

The sentimental Sanders family (Smoke on the Mountain) returns to Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Christmas Eve in 1941 to send son Dennis off to the war, armed with a round of festive bluegrass gospel music. Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. Wed-Sat at 8, Sat matinee at 2, through Dec 23. $16-$24.


THE SEA HORSE

"The problem with Moore's play is that few of the protagonist's secrets are interesting and none are surprising. When Gertrude reveals she's not only been made barren, sexually assaulted, and physically abused, but was also involved in the circumstances surrounding the death of her ineffectual but well-meaning father, one begins to fear the creation of a black hole caused by dense, overlapping clichés. Further, the second act's dramatic tension suffers egregiously from supporting character Harry's lack of even hackneyed complexity, and gives Gertrude little of substance to push against." (Tom Spurgeon) Odd Duck Studios, 1214 10th Ave, 364-1421. Thurs-Sat at 8, through Nov 20. $10.


THREE DEATHS IN DENMARK

Methods of revenge riddle GREX's adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, as the play's main characters explore their own motivations through speeches pulled from the original text, backed by a live Foley orchestra. The Chamber Theater, 915 E Pine St, Fourth Floor, 985-1019. Thurs-Sat at 8, through Dec 11. $12.


TIMES THREE

Three middle-age singers find their tickets to fame becoming more and more wrinkled as the seasons pass, in this original musical comedy featuring Carolyn Maia, Barbara Coffin, and Karen Oleson. Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through Nov 20. $10/$8.


THE TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK

A dangerous pact in a small town leads two teenagers to the heart of drama, poverty, and friendship. Theater Schmeater presents this Northwest premiere of Naomi Wallace's play. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun matinees Nov 28 & Dec 12 at 2, through Dec 18. $15.


A TRILOGY OF FANTASIES

Stone Soup Theatre presents three short one-acts that explore the terrain of urban fantasy, including The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year, by John Guare, The Ugly Duckling, by A.A. Milne, and Home Free! by Lanford Wilson. Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stone Way N, 633-1883. Thur-Sat at 8, through Nov 20. $5-$10.


VIEUX CARRE

It's New Orleans in the late 1930s, and melancholy is the word of the day. Enter a "ranting Southern landlord," her muttering maid, and a host of other eccentric characters (including the author as young observer), and you've got Tennessee Williams' jazzy jazz play, as interpreted by Krying Sky Productions. Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 628-0888. Thurs-Sun at 8, through Nov 27, matinee Sat Nov 20 at 2. $10-$14.


VOLPONE

An early mob sensibility pervades Ben Jonson's Volpone; the hits and the jokes fly fast when Volpone and his partner Mosca try to scam the citizens of Venice. Nippon Kan Theatre, 628 S Washington, 748-1551. Fri- Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through Nov 21. Pay-what-you-can.


*WIT

A Donne scholar who has spent her life dissecting poetry suddenly finds herself on the other end of the 'scope when she is diagnosed with cancer. "The great triumph of Wit, Margaret Edson's gorgeous, Pulitzer Prize-winning play now on imperfect but wrenching display at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, is the way in which it almost tangibly sinks through the layers of intellectual defense and arrives with shining immediacy at the language of a fearful human heart. In a heady, often vividly funny work that bemoans our prideful use of language as surely as it celebrates the beauty of every word, Edson provides deliverance with a heartbreaking definition of what it means to be free." (Steve Wiecking) Seattle Repertory Theatre, Second St & Mercer, 443-2222. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun matinees at 2, through Nov 20. $29-$42.


DANCE


TAP DANCE CONCERTO & OTHER WORKS

Straight-edged tap to jazz to classical, featuring the rarely-performed Tap Dance Concerto, in which a soloist (Cherly Johnson) creates music through four movements of tap. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 729-7620. Sun Nov 21 at 3 pm only. $17/$13.


TRINITY IRISH DANCE COMPANY

Twelve-time world champions Trinity Irish Dance promise to bring you back to the roots of Irish dance. With live music accompaniment. Meany Hall, UW Campus, 543-4880. Thurs-Sun Nov 18-21 at 8 pm only. $28.


FESTIVALS, CABARETS, & COMEDY


THE CARPENTERS: UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE TO YOU

Real-life brother and sister comedy team David and Lisa Koch take on everyone's favorite bulimic drummer in this "uncomfortably close" parody, complete with note- perfect songs. Cabaret de Paris, 1333 Fifth Ave, 623-4111. Thurs at 8, Fri-Sat at 8:30, through Nov 20. $16. Dinner is also available; call for times and prices.


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.


PIANOMANIA EIGHT

A tickling good time: Professor Hokum W. Jeebs, Louis Magor, and more offer an old-fashioned night of piano. Hokum Hall, 7904 35th Ave, 937-3613. Fri-Sat at 8, through Nov 20. $12/$10.


TEATRO ZINZANNI

Five months ago, this show was a true delight, boasting an array of highly accomplished and charming performers and surprisingly decent food. Now, it's a grating mess, with several key performers replaced by charmless, baby-talking howler monkeys and a little less decent food. However, the show still features the utterly amazing Kevin Kent, as well as Ann Wilson and that cute Russian juggler. Seattle Center, 222 Mercer St, 281-7788 ext 700 or 292-ARTS. Thurs-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 6:30, extended through Dec 30. $95.


*THREE DOLLAR BILL

Seattle's original gay/lesbian/bisexual stand-up comedy night is still standing in its second year. Comedy Under-ground, 222 S Main St, 324-8025. Tues at 8. $6.


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.


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.


SOAPBOX

Directed by Scott Morrison, creator of Carlotta's Late Night Wing Ding, this newest night of sketch and cabaret promises to involve the audience in debauchery. North-west Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike, 324-6328, 11 pm, $5.


SPIN THE BOTTLE

A rotating cabaret curated by the finely-tuned Bret Fetzer. Annex Theater, 1916 Fourth Ave, 729-0933. First Fri of every month. No reservations. $5.


TANGO! A JOURNEY INTO FEAR

Featuring extensive choreography, tight pants, and a baby dinosaur in a prominent role, Seattle's comedy group Up In Your Grill dances at the edges of sketch. Union Garage Theatre, 1418 10th Ave, 444-4336. Fri & Sat at 11, Sat at midnight, Sun at 8, one week only. Pay-what-you-can.


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


PRINTER'S DEVIL THEATER

Now accepting submissions for 2000 Bonanza workshops (Mar-May). Deadline is 12/15/99. Send one copy of script (not previously produced) or a detailed plot summary to Bonanza/Printer's Devil Theater, P.O.Box 20536, Seattle WA 98102.

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