THEATER


OPENING THIS WEEK

BACH AND BEYOND · Pacific Northwest Ballet

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA · 5th Avenue Theatre

THE SALT WOUND · ArtsWest Theatre

THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL · The Paramount Theatre


ONE WEEK ONLY

THE MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON? · The Moore Theatre

RAQUEL BITTON SINGS EDITH PIAF -- HER STORY... HER SONGS · Benaroya Hall


CLOSING THIS WEEK

SEATTLE FRINGE THEATRE FESTIVAL · Various venues


OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS


*AMSTERDAM

Lauren Weedman, one of Seattle's most gorgeously deranged solo artists, is back in a music-filled piece that has her playing a naive American, her mother, and several odd Dutch folk (including a cabaret performer named Beppi). "In her most expansive piece yet, Weedman gets down to the cringing, kitschy business of being human. She's tossing things off here that are funnier than the supposed big jokes of most mainstream comedies." (Steve Wiecking) Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, select matinees at 2, through March 25. $18-$26.


APPLE TO GRANDMA

Holland's Speeltheater comes to Seattle with some trippy puppets in a tale of moons, caterpillars, and a big, tasty apple. Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center, 441-3322. Fri at 7, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30, through April 16. $8.25-$20.50.


KING HEDLEY II

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson continues his long-standing allegiance to a lucky Seattle Rep with this world premiere production, a sequel of sorts to his celebrated Seven Guitars. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun matinees at 2, through April 8. $10-$42.


Late Night Catechism

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 MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON?

Playwright/actor Robert Dubac has received some positive notices for this solo show, but suspicions understandably arise when smart-ass guys claim concern over dated, inane questions like, "What do women want?" If you believe the grinning couples in the television ads, Dubac's show could actually save your marriage with the gift of laughter. The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 292-ARTS. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, Sat-Sun matinees at 2. Tues-Sun March 21-26 only. $18-$35.


*METAMORPHOSES

Writer/director Mary Zimmerman's dreamy, sensual exploration of love and change, using the work of Ovid, Rilke, and others as foundation. "With transcendent reverence for the human element of myths, the show is rapture without suffocating pretense; its unencumbered generosity can bring you to tears." (Steve Wiecking) Intiman Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun matinees at 2, through March 26. $10-$42.


THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE

Constance Congdon (Dog Opera, Tales of the Lost Formicans) adapts Karen Cushman's award-winning book about the adventures and longings of a medieval orphan girl. "Capable players, and you couldn't ask for a better physical production, but Congdon has not actively opened up the story for the stage. The heroine's victories are page-bound." (Steve Wiecking) Charlotte Martin Theatre, Seattle Center, 441-3322. Fri at 7, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30, through April 8. $13.50-$20.50.


THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

In which a man with a pizza-face regales a goosey soprano with pop show tunes, and hopes that smoke machines and a falling chandelier will distract audiences from the inherent disposability of the entire production. Based on attendance records, the freak was right. The 5th Avenue Theatre, 1326 Fifth Ave, 292-ARTS. Tues-Sat at 8, Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun matinees at 2. Runs Wed March 22 through April 23. $15-$67.50.


RAQUEL BITTON SINGS EDITH PIAF -- HER STORY... HER SONGS

"For me, singing is a way of escaping," said Edith Piaf, whose tormented life made Judy Garland sound like a complainer. "It's another world. I'm no longer on earth." The tragic chanteuse really is no longer on earth, but advance praise would have us believe she's thrillingly haunting us in the form of Bitton, who sold out Carnegie Hall with this tribute to France's "Little Sparrow." Benaroya Hall, Third and Union, 292-2787. Sat March 18 only, at 8. $35-$85.


PRINTER'S DEVIL PLAY BONANZA

Continuing its commitment to presenting new works, the accomplished fringe company (fresh from their successful remount of Free Will and Wanton Lust) brings us their fifth annual workshop stagings of 12 plays in 12 weeks. An ambitious, innovative, and -- most likely -- worthwhile event. Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 860-7163. Mon-Tues at 7:30, through May 23. Pay-as-you-leave donation.


THE SALT WOUND

ArtsWest presents an American premiere of Scottish playwright Stephen Greehorn's Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit, the story of the bleak choices facing one woman in a tiny fishing village. ArtsWest Theatre, 4711 California Ave SW in the West Seattle Junction, 938-0339. Thurs-Sat at 8, select matinees at 3, through April 8. $16-$19.


THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL

Accompanied by the charismatic lead performance of creamy-voiced Douglas Sills, this never-say-die swashbuckling musical has done Broadway twice: in its original incarnation, and the reworked version that will be seen here. The composer, Frank Wildhorn, is also responsible for the Mother of All Bafflingly Resilient Mishaps, Jekyll & Hyde, and has such a complete lack of common sense that he's said to be musicalizing Blade Runner. Feel free to have your doubts. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-ARTS. Tues-Sat at 8, Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun matinees at 2. Runs Tues March 21 through April 2. $21-$50.


SEATTLE FRINGE THEATRE FESTIVAL

It can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but there's usually a couple of gems hidden somewhere in this annual fest. This year's event is spread out over nine venues in Capitol Hill's Broadway/Pike/Pine areas, and represents 81 theatre companies. Capitol Hill area, 322-2018. Runs through Sun March 19, with various plays and showtimes. Single tickets are $12, or after a one-time purchase of a $2 fringe button, $10; four show passes are $40; and, for the strong of stomach only, All-Fest passes are $150. Reviewed this issue.


VICKI GADGET SAVES THE WORLD

Sometimes a press release says it all: "Giddy, glittery, guerrilla-style musical theatre for the comic-book reading, eyebrow-piercing, extreme sports-playing, gender-fuck fringe." Well, alright, then. Re-bar, 1114 Howell, 323-0388. Fri-Sun at 8. Open-ended run. $10.


DANCE


BACH AND BEYOND

Pacific Northwest Ballet presents a program featuring the music of Bach and others, including one piece, Concerto Barocco, choreographed by the beloved Mr. Balanchine. Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Center, 441-2424. Thurs-Sat at 7:30, Sat matinees at 2, through March 25. $16.50-$100.


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.


*THREE DOLLAR BILL

Seattle's original gay/lesbian/bisexual stand-up comedy night is still standing in its second year. Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 628-0303. 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.


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


OPEN DOOR THEATRE

Season auditions for 2000-2001 for the company whose goal it is to eliminate sexual abuse and violence. Bring two contrasting monologues, photo, and resume for 10 minute slot. Equity, paid positions. Minority actors encouraged. School tours starting in mid September. Call 800-809-0633 for March 18 appointment at Theatre Puget Sound Rehearsal Room, Center House, Seattle Center.

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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.