THEATER

by Traci Vogel


OPENING THIS WEEK

ALIENS IN AMERICA - Sandra Tsing Loh

BLACK NATIVITY - Intiman

A CHRISTMAS CAROL - ACT

EARTH AND SKY/MURDER IN GREEN MEADOWS - Playhouse Theatre

THE NUTCRACKER PUPPET BALLET - Northwest Puppet Center

THREE DEATHS IN DENMARK - GREX

THE TWILIGHT ZONE LIVE - Theater Schmeater


CLOSING THIS WEEK

MACBETT - Penthouse Theater, UW

VIEUX CARRE - Hugo House


OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS


*ALIENS IN AMERICA

As a monologuist, Sandra Tsing Loh has the advantage of having found both an extremely funny and likeable persona and the kind of family-interaction material that is so poignantly hilarious that it nearly makes you cry. Much of this material, including the segment wherein her elderly father searches for a Chinese mail-order bride, has been performed on NPR. Seattle Rep's Leo K. Theater, Seattle Center, 443-2222. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat & Sun matinees at 2, through Jan 15. $29/$39.


BLACK NATIVITY

A gospel play that powers up Langston Hughes' poetry with narration and gospel songs. Back for a second season of popular acclaim, if Black Nativity doesn't get you in the holiday spirit, you might as well end it all now. Intiman Theater, 269-19000. Thurs-Sat at 8; Sat-Sun matinees at 2, Sun, Tues, Wed at 7, through Dec 26. $10-$38.


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.


A CHRISTMAS CAROL

ACT's yearly production of Charles Dickens' celebration of top-down management returns, with David Pichette and Peter Silbert alternating as Ebenezer Scrooge. A Contemporary Theater, 700 Union St, 292-7676. Times and days vary, through Dec 26. $12.50-$35.


EARTH AND SKY/MURDER IN GREEN MEADOWS

Two mystery/thriller one-acts, both by Douglas Post, twist things up at the UW. Playhouse Theatre, 4045 University Way NE, 543-4880. Wed-Thurs at 7:30; Fri-Sat at 8; Sun at 2, through Dec 12. $8-$10.


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.


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

"Director John Kazanjian's spare staging of King Lear sometimes illuminates the timelessness of Shakespeare's storytelling and sometimes seems as stiff as a board game. Kazanjian wrangles his players with fleet efficiency (though the show's second half wanes some until the bodies start piling up) and, for whatever doesn't work, he surges the evening forward with his clarity of action and respect for the sheer thrill of the tale." (Steve Wiecking) First Christian Church, 632 Broadway, 328-4683. Wed-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, through Dec 18. $15.


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.


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.


THE NUTCRACKER PUPPET BALLET

The tickets are cheaper than PNB--and the size of the performers is about the same, too, if you think about how far back you'd be sitting in the real Opera House. Carter Family Marionette stars present Christmas, puppet-style. Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave NE, 523-2579. Fri at 7:30, Sat-Sun at 1 & 3, through Dec 19.


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.


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. Mon 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-allÉ. 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.


SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS

The sentimental Sanders family (Smoke on the Mountain) returns to Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Christmas Eve, 1941, to send son Dennis off to 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.


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.


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.


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. $10-$14.


FESTIVALS, CABARETS, & COMEDY


IMPROSIA: COMEDY OF THE GODS

Performing character-driven scenes based on audience suggestions. Wit's End, 770 N 34th St, 547-2330. Sat 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.


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.


COMEDY IN THE KEY OF SKETCH

Sketch comedy full of evil geniuses--including Andrew Lloyd Webber--presented by so-talented-they're-addictive the Habit. Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 819-6006. Fri-Sat at 11, through Dec 17. $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

Late night holiday fun that promises cabaret acts and improv games. Features a full bar, hosted by the inimitable Michael Leonard. Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike, 324-6328. Sat at 11, through Dec 25. $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.


THE TWILIGHT ZONE LIVE

Theater Schmeater twists The Twilight Zone to further dimensions, as it takes on two new episodes: "Night of the Meek," and "Nightmare as a Child." Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. Fri-Sat at 11, through Dec 18. $8.


CALLS


BUMBERSHOOT

The Bumbershoot Arts Festival is seeking performers, artists, and vendors for its Labor Day weekend 2000 event. Categories include Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Literary Arts, 16mm and 35mm short films, and hand-made crafts. Applications are available at www. bumbershoot.org, or by calling the One Reel hotline at 281-8111.


PLAYBACK THEATER NW

Seeking male improv actors and musicians. Auditions Tues Nov 30 from 1:30-4 pm. Call 726-1415.


PRINTER'S DEVIL THEATER

Now accepting submissions for 2000 Bonanza workshops (March-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.


WING & A PRAYER PRODUCTIONS

Now casting for the film Moment of Discretion. Needed: 1 male approx. 23-27 y.o., 1 female approx. 37-42. Auditions Dec 11 & 12. Call Michael Sebastian at 226-2530.

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