OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS

9 PARTS OF DESIRE
Extended. "There's no arguing that the tales of Iraqi women aren't edifying, but the moral force of the stories does not, cannot, make up for the dramatic weakness of the play." (Brendan Kiley) Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $10–$46. Thurs–Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 2 and 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Tues–Wed at 7:30 pm. Through April 23.

LA BÊTE
A fictional account of what happened to Molière's troupe when its patron decided to start making artistic decisions—nonfictional donors, take notes. ArtsWest Playhouse, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339, $10-$22. Thurs--–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through April 29.

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recommended THE COMPENDIUM OF NASTINESS
Extended. "A twisted Gothic romance with Freudian undertones performed in a velvet-lined garage, including a junkie monk, a sodomy-happy she-devil, and terrorist servants." (Brendan Kiley) The Womb, tickets and directions available at 800-838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com. $20. Fri–Sat at 8:15 pm. Through April 29.

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 May 28.

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.

FOOLS
Russians, love, and a "Curse of Stupidity." SecondStory Repertory, 16587 NE 74th Street, Redmond, 425-881-6777. $18–$24. Fri–Sat at 8:15 pm, Sun at 2:15 pm. Through April 22.

THE GOSPEL OF THE RED-HOT STARS
One week only. An opera/oratorio based on a Margaret Atwood poem called "Half-Hanged Mary" and sermons by Cotton Mather. Seattle EXperimental Opera at Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, www.brownpapertickets.com. $7.50–$15. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm.

HONUS AND ME
A tale of self-confidence and baseball, featuring Stranger Genius Award–winner Gabriel Baron. Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 441-3322. $16–$31. Fri at 7 pm, Sat–Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm. Through June 11.

IN THE WABE
Final week. "This 'absurdist reimagining of Alice in Wonderland' is an exercise in redundancy. It out-Carrolls Carroll and it doesn't work." (Brendan Kiley) Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. $12. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 3. Through April 15.

JUNIE B. JONES AND A LITTLE MONKEY BUSINESS
Opening. It sounds like a Belle and Sebastian song, but it's a comic musical about a feisty kindergartner. Seattle Children's Theater, 201 Thomas St, 441–3322. $16–$31. Opening Fri April 14 at 7 pm. Sat–Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm. Through June 18.

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 August 27.

recommended LOBBY HERO
See review this issue. Seattle Public Theater at Bathhouse Theater, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 524-1300. $12–$20. Thurs–Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. 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." (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 May 28.

MISS AMERICA: A FUGUE BORN IN 1969
Opening. Set in Seattle during a "WTO-style action." With 14 actors! Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 325-6500. $18, under 18 free. Preview Thurs April 13 at 8, by donation. Opening Fri April 14 at 8. Sat at 8. Through May 20.

recommended THE PILLOWMAN
Final week. "Not that Martin McDonagh hasn't written another fantastic, harrowing, and queasily hilarious story—he has. But this one, for all its severed toes, sadistic cops, even-more-sadistic parents, and top-shelf gallows humor, is more cerebral (but not necessarily smarter) than his others." (Brendan Kiley) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $10–$54. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm. Through April 16.

ROUNDING THIRD
Opening. A comedy about parenthood and little league. Intiman, 201 Mercer St, 269-1900. $10–$46. Previews Fri–Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 7:30 pm, Tues at 7:30 pm. Opening Wed April 19 at 7:30 pm. Through May 14.

STOMP
Opening. A variation of "stamp," which comes to English from Proto-Germanic "stampojanan" or "pound in a mortar." The French "estamper" also comes from German. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. $27.50–$37.50. Opening Tues April 18 at 7:30 pm. Wed–Thurs at 7:30. Through April 23.

recommended STONES IN HIS POCKETS
Final week. "This two-man show about Irish extras in a Hollywood movie is like a well-made sandwich—warm, charming, and full of cheese." (Brendan Kiley) Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 388-0569. $18–$20. Thurs–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through April 15.

THE SWAN
A swan crashes through a woman's window and turns into a charming man. She doesn't press charges. Atlas Theatre at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 800-838-3006. $10–$12. Fri–Sat at 8 pm, Mon at 8 pm. Through April 29.

TOLD YOU ONCE (TOLD YOU A HUNDRED TIMES)
"Set in a magical-realist world where the wealthy hire personal narrators... and the government subsidizes imaginary friends for poor children." By Juliet Waller Pruzan. Poisonous Toy Theater Chamber Theater, 915 E Pine St, www.brownpapertickets.com. $12–$15. Fri–Sat at 8. Through May 6.

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE
One man spends Tuesdays watching his mentor die of Lou Gehrig's disease and learns important lessons. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $10–$46. Thurs–Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 2 and 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Tues–Wed at 7:30 pm. Through May 7.

recommended THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE
"Voice of the Prairie, set in the early days of radio, is so sweet that it flirts with predictability and hokiness. But its dark Faulknerian undertones are neither dim nor dangerous, and Taproot Theatre mines its strengths thanks to some solid acting, sound direction by Scott Nolte, and an imaginative set that brings it all together." (Jen Graves) Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $15–$30. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through April 22.

recommended WHAT YOU SING MIGHT SAVE YOU
See review this issue. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. $12–$18. Preview Thurs April 6 at 8 pm. Fri–Sat at 8 pm, Mon at 8 pm. Through April 30.

WRECK THE AIRLINE BARRIER
See review this issue. Brownbox Theatre at Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S Alaska St, 325-6500. $12–$15. Fri–Sat at 9 pm. Through April 29.

DANCE

recommended BUTTROCK SUITES III: SWEETEST
See Stranger Suggests. Velocity, 915 E Pine St, 722-0963. $12 adv/$15 DOS Fri–Sun at 8 pm. Through April 23.

CORNISH DANCE THEATER SPRING 2006 CONCERT
One weekend only. With work by Wade Madsen and Mary Sheldon Scott. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway Ave, 325-6500. $4–$8. Fri April 14 at 8 pm, Sat April 15 at 2 and 8 pm.

NATALIE MACMASTER
Described by some as a "one-woman Riverdance," she prefers to be known as "the architecht of the war in Iraq." Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, 425-893-0422. $10–$35. Tues–Wed at 7:30 pm.

Support The Stranger

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
Opening. Ronald Hynd's version of the fairy tale, first published in Charles Perrault's 1697 The Tales of Mother Goose. Pacific Northwest Ballet at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 441-2424. $20–$134. Opening Thurs April 13 at 7:30 pm. Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 1 and 7:30 pm, Sun at 1 pm. Through April 23.

CABARET

BURLESQUE BEHIND THE PINK DOOR
With Paula the Swedish Housewife. Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley. No reservations required. $10. (21+ w/ID.) Sat at 10:30 pm. Through April 29.

DYSTOPIA 2006
One night only. A variety show featuring Irish drinking songs, erotic mime, and "wrasslin'." Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1612 12th Ave, www.brownpapertickets.com. $12. Sat at 8 pm.

SONDHEIM, NEWMAN, AND WEILL
That's Randy Newman, one of the greatest songwriters ever. Steve and Kurt were pretty okay, too. Black Box Opera at Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave S, 800-838-3006. $15 adv/$20 DOS. Fri at 7:30 pm. Through April 21.

IMPROV & COMEDY

Heneghen w/ Andy Peters 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. Brad Upton, Owen Straw at Giggles Comedy Club, 5220 Roosevelt Way NE, 526-5653. $12. Fri–Sat at 8 and 10 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. Theatresports at Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $8–$12. Fri–Sat at 10:30 pm, Sun at 7 pm. Comedy Night at Mirabeau Room, 529 Queen Anne Ave N, www.prokomedy.com. $5. Wed at 8 pm.

86'D
Improv actors from Jet City, Seattle goga, Live Girls, et al., in an improv "jam session." Jerk Alert Productions at Northwest Actor's Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. $3. Sun at 8:30 pm. Through May 21.

BENEFEST
One night only. A benefit for SketchFest Seattle, featuring the Cody Rivers Show, Peggy Platt, and others. Comedy Underground, 222 Main St, 628-0303. $10. Wed at 8:30 pm.

CUT!
"Cut! is good improv—it's funny, it's smart, it's quick. But even good improv is still, you know, improv." (Lindy West) Wing-It Productions at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 352-8291. $8–$10. Thurs–Fri at 8 pm. Through April 21.

SEATTLE NEUTRINO PROJECT
One weekend only. "You have to applaud the audacity of screening an improvised, practically live movie in front of a paying audience. The project is bound to fail in all sorts of ways, so the fact that Seattle Neutrino Project strings scenes together at all is impressive." (Annie Wagner) Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, www.brownpapertickets.com. $10. Fri–Sat at 8 pm.

STIMULUS
Opening. An improv show that "elicits a physiological or psychological response." Jerk Alert Productions at Northwest Actor's Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. $8. Opening Sat April 15 at 10:30 pm. Through May 20.

LATE NIGHT

CUPCAKE
Extended. Dirty, drinky improv. Wing-It Productions at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, www.wingitpresents.com. $5. Sun 12:30 am. Through May 28.

VERBATIM VERBOTEN
Word-for-word readings of celebrities' illicitly recorded conversations and correspondence. Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 624-4455. $10. Fri at midnight. Through April 28.