OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS

AN INSPECTOR CALLS
Previewing. The daughter of a wealthy British family dies unexpectedly and the investigating inspector makes everyone feel uncomfortable. Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $15–$30. Preview performance Wed Feb 1 at 7:30 pm. Through March 4.

AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN
See review this issue. ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave, 938-0339. $10–$24. Thurs–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through Feb 4.

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BOSTON MARRIAGE
Opening. David Mamet's play about 19th-century Boston lesbians and a valuable emerald. Directed by Daniel Wilson. Seattle Public Theater at Bathhouse Theater, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 524-1300. $12–$20. Opening Fri Jan 27 at 7:30 pm. Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through Feb 19.

CATCH 22
Concerning a WWII airman/walking existential crisis named Yossarian and his friends, enemies, and bureaucratic anabasis through the US Army. Directed by Josh Beerman. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 325-6500. $18, Thurs by donation. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm. Through Feb 25.

recommended THE COMPENDIUM OF NASTINESS
Extended. "A twisted Gothic romance in a velvet-lined garage called 'The Womb.' Writer/director Ki Gottberg invites the audience into her kitchen for champagne before leading them downstairs, where actor Elizabeth Kenny jumps between a dozen characters (with puppets!), including a sodomy-happy she-devil and a philandering junkie monk." (Brendan Kiley) The Womb, tickets and directions available at 800-838-3006. $20. Fri–Sat at 8:30 pm. Through March 4.

DATE OF BIRTH
Opening. In 1970, a girl made a tape of the day her brother was born. Thirty-five years later, bro visits sis and records the birth of her first child. John Kaufmann has built a performance from these original recordings. D.O.B. is OCT's 100th production! Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. $12. Opening Fri Jan 27 at 8 pm. Sat at 8 pm. Through Feb 25.

DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN
Ongoing. A mid-'90s relic about the supposed prehistoric propensities of the two sexes. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $39.50–$45. Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 3 pm. Tickets available through Feb 25.

DIE FLEDERMAUS
Final week. "A complicated revenge tale, Die Fledermaus ('the bat') concerns a Viennese gentleman—once tricked into walking drunkenly across town one Sunday morning while wearing his bat costume from the night before—who gets his at a party thrown by mad Prince Orlofsky. The comedy and music peak in the second of three acts, with famous waltzes, reversals of fortune, and paeans to champagne. Die Fledermaus, like the light wine it celebrates, won't penetrate your soul, but it goes down easy." (Brendan Kiley) Seattle Opera at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 389-7676. $48–$154, call for student prices. Fri–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through Jan 28.

DIE WANDLUNG
Final week. An experimental work of post-WWI theatrical expressionism by the German, radical, playwright, and suicide Ernst Toller. Featuring dk pan, members of the Dead Science, and others. Implied Violence at CoCA, 410 Dexter Ave N, 728-1980. $5–$15. Thurs–Sun at 8 pm. Through Jan 29.

DINNER & DREAMS
Ongoing. The dinner-theater extravaganza, with European-style cirque performances as garnish. Teatro ZinZanni, 2301 Sixth Ave, 802-0015. $99–$125. Wed–Sat at 6:30 pm. Sun at 5:30 pm.

GOD'S COUNTRY
Opening. Steven Dietz's 1988 play about a Whidbey Island group of white supremacists who called themselves The Order and the murder of an acerbic Jewish talk radio host in Denver. Directed by Sheila Daniels. Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 800-838-3006. $18–$35. Opening Fri Jan 27 at 7:30 pm. Sat (gala performance with address by playwright) at 6:30 pm. Through Feb 19.

IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA
One week only. Improv "movie" in the "Twisted Flicks" series. Wing-It at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 325-6500. $10. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm.

LATE NITE CATECHISM
Ongoing. "The real point is not the adult-catechism monologue, but the script's gaps, in which Sister Aubrey Manning dispenses tissues to cover salacious displays of flesh and kitschy prizes to reward the dumbstruck targets of her improvisations." (Annie Wagner) Cloud 9 Productions at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $24.50–$29.50. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Tickets available through April 30.

MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL™
Ongoing. "What makes this toweringly formulaic crap about dusty uteruses even moderately bearable? The consummate cast was ferocious and fast. Ninety tight minutes of an insane, colorful, and sometimes actually laugh-worthy little train wreck that stops just before it starts to hurt." (Adrian Ryan) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $45. Thurs–Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 4 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Tues–Wed at 8 pm. Tickets available through Feb 19.

THE ONION TWINS
Final week. See review this issue. Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 800-838-3006. $15–$20. Fri–Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 4 pm. Through Jan 29.

PETER AND THE WOLF
A kid-friendly adaptation of the Prokofiev symphony with "Buster Keaton–style clowning." Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 441-3322. $15–$22. Fri at 7 pm. Sat at 2 and 5:30 pm. Sun at 5:30 pm. Through March 18.

RADIO GOLF
The final installation of August Wilson's 10-play cycle about African Americana, set in Pittsburgh's Hill District in the 1990s. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $10–$46. Tues–Fri at 7:30 pm. Sat and Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm. Through Feb 18.

RICHARD III
Final week. "Acts one through four are rendered in a business idiom, complete with PowerPoint presentations and laser pointers, defining Richard (Todd Jefferson Moore) as a kind of Bill Gates on evil juice. Moore's performance is passable; it's just hard to find a nerdy capitalist fascinating. The best performance is Lori Larsen's Queen Margaret. Wild and witchy, her speeches knock the business conceit flat with their chilling oracular blast." (Annie Wagner) Seattle Shakespeare Company at Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, 733–8222. $18–$30. Thurs–Fri at 7:30 pm. Sat at 2 and 7:30 pm. Sun at 2 pm. Through Jan 29.

SLEEPING BEAUTY
"Sleeping Beauty's set is lovely, and the costumes, though fairly standard, are lush and charming. The giant, riddling spider king—a delightfully creepy bit of puppetry—drove the kids totally bonkers. Also, it's a musical, but the songs are unmemorable." (Lindy West) Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 441-3322. $15–$30. Fri at 7 pm, Sat–Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm. Through Feb 4.

recommended STONES IN HIS POCKETS
"This two-man show is like a well-made sandwich—warm, charming, and full of cheese. A self-consciously 'Irish' play performed in a bar, it also oozes pathos, fatalistic humor, and goes down well with a glass of beer. There's nothing challenging about its predictable clichés, but watching actors Tim Hyland and Darragh Kennan fall in and out of over a dozen characters—from a Hollywood diva to an old town drunk—is a pleasure." (Brendan Kiley) Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 388-0569. $15 adv/$18 DOS. Thurs–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through March 11.

WE [HEART] STICKS AND STONES
Final Week. Short operas by Gertrude Stein and Kenneth Koch, directed by Arne Zaslove. Black Box Opera Theater at Ethnic Cultural Center, 3940 Brooklyn Ave E, 838-3006, $20–$28. Fri–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through Jan 28.

THE WEDDING SINGER
Previewing. "Have a few drinks and drive home." 5th Ave Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave, 292-2787, $19–$63. Preview performances Tues–Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Feb 19.

DANCE

THE BRIDGE PROJECT
One weekend only. A "choreography intensive" featuring Heather Budd, Liz Erber, and Juliet Waller-Pruzan. Velocity Theater, 915 E Pine St, 325-8773. $10-$15. Thurs–Sun at 8 pm.

CABARET

BURLESQUE BEHIND THE PINK DOOR
Final week. A smorgasbord of vaudeville and burlesque entertainments. Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley, 443–3241. $10 (21+ w/ID required). Sat at 10 pm. Through Jan 28.

CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL
"You know when you like something soooo much that you want the whole world to know about it? And you think there's no better tribute than to reimagine your #1 favorite thing as gay cabaret dinner theater? We've all been there, but please. Don't do it." (Lindy West) G'A Team Players at Thumper's, 1500 E Madison St, 328-3800. $15 (21+ w/ID required). Fri–Sat at 8 pm. Through Feb 4.

COLUMBIA CITY CABARET
Final week. Aerialists, burlesquers, comedians, a pitchfork, and a duchess. Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave S, no reservations required. $10–$15. Fri at 9 pm. Through Jan 27.

FAIRY TAILS!
The Atomic Bombshells bump 'n' grind their way through the Grimm Brothers' playbook. Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333. $15 adv/$18 DOS. Wed at 7:30 pm (doors at 5:30 pm). Through Feb 22.

Support The Stranger

recommended LADY SINGS THE BREWS
Final week. "With her platinum hair and cat-eye glasses, Sylvia O'Stayformore has a great comic presence—a quiet, deadpan concoction of class and sass." (Lindy West) Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. $10. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm. Through Jan 29.

IMPROV & COMEDY

Bill Santiago at Comedy Underground, 222 Main St, 800-325-7328. $6–$15 (21+ w/ID required). Thurs at 8:30 pm, Fri–Sat at 8:30 and 10:30 pm. Funny stuff at Giggles Comedy Club, 5220 Roosevelt Way NE, 526-5653. $12. Fri at 8 and 10:15 pm, Sat at 6 and 10:15 pm. Jet City Improv at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 325–6500. $8–$10. Fri at 8 and 10:30 pm. Sat at 10:30 pm. Theatresports at Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $8–$12. Fri and Sat at 8 pm. Seattle Laff Off at Mirabeau Room, 529 Queen Anne Ave N. $5. Wed at 9 pm.

recommended EUGENE MIRMAN
One night only. Mirman's comedy does not struggle against the stupidity of the world, but resigns to it with a sigh that becomes a chuckle that becomes a whale named Paul who will tell you funny stories and taste your food for poison. Husky Union Building, UW Campus, www.ticketswest.com. $5 students/$10 general. Thurs Jan 26 at 8 pm.

LATE NIGHT

recommended BEDTIME STORIES: NEW FAIRY TALES
Bret Fetzer reads his original fairy tales. Not the cutesy, fractured kind, but imaginative stories that edify and entertain. Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, www.brownpapertickets.com. $7. Fri–Sat at 10:30 pm.

CRESCENDO FALLS, EPISODES ONE AND TWO
Opening. A dysfunctional family soap opera, with backstabbing and bed hopping. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324–5801. $12. Previewing Thurs Jan 26 at 11 pm, by donation. Opening Fri Jan 27 at 11 pm. Sat at 11 pm. Through Feb 25.

CRUSH ON YOU
One night only. A late night cabaret ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, 938–0339. $10. Sat Jan 28 at 10 pm.

CUPCAKE
Sexual references, mayhem, suggestive dancing, vaudevillian chicanery, and lascivious buffoonery. Allegedly. Wing-It Productions at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 325-6500. $5. Sat at midnight. Through Feb 25.