OPENING THIS WEEK
BEATRICE · Annex Theatre
THE COUNTRY WIFE · UW Penthouse Theatre
"A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE..." · Stone Soup Theatre
HANGING LORD HAW-HAW · Empty Space Theatre
THE SOUND OF MUSIC · Paramount Theatre
ONE WEEK ONLY
FACULTY DANCE CONCERT 2000 · UW Meany Studio Theater
GARTH FAGAN DANCE · UW Meany Theater
33 FAINTING SPELLS AND PEGGY PIACENZA · Oddfellows Hall
CLOSING THIS WEEK
KING HEDLEY II · Seattle Repertory Theatre
LEAR · Consolidated Works
LeGENDRE: PERFORMANCE · On the Boards
THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE · Seattle Children's Theatre
THE SALT WOUND · ArtsWest Theatre
STANDARD TIME: SONGS OF WORLD WAR II · Crepe de Paris
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
APPLE TO GRANDMA
Holland's Speeltheater comes to Seattle along 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.
Former Annex artistic director Andrea Allen pairs up again with playwright Suzanne Maynard (they previously teamed on The Handwriting, the Soup, and the Hats) for this quirky feminist fable about a young woman's coming of age and longing to master her own romantic fate. A fine production team -- and a cast that includes capable players such as Josh List, Amy Washcke, and Paul Budraitis -- should make this something to see. Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through May 6. $7-$12.
Local performer Heidi Heimarck's full-length play (fleshed out from a one-act) has been in development for close to two years, and the Theatre Babylon folks are damn excited about it. It's the story of a young woman who experiences the serendipity of life for the first time when she joins the Big Top and meets the Bearded Lady, the Bird Girl, and other kooks who can't hold down day jobs. Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. Thurs-Sat at 8, through April 22. $12, Thurs is pay-what-you-will. Reviewed this issue, page 23.
THE COUNTRY WIFE
Wycherly's ribald classic, a Restoration comedy concerning -- what else? -- seduction and lies. The cast is comprised of students from UW's Third Year Professional Actor Training Program. UW Penthouse Theatre, near the UW entrance at 45th St and 17th Ave NE, 543-4880. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, April 12 through April 23. $7-$10.
"A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE..."
An evening of human flailings in two one-acts by masters of the form: Ionesco's divine absurdist classic The Bald Soprano, and another little-seen treatise on fading Southern belles, in Tennessee Williams' A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot. Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stone Way N, 633-1883. Thurs-Sat at 8, through April 29. $5-$10, Sat tickets are two for $15.
Those deli theatre people, RipTide, close their season of food and entertainment with a romantic comedy about New Year's Eve, a video clerk, and an ex-nun. The play is probably not the delicious porn it could be, but the gourmet buffet should satisfy your appetite. Liberty Deli, 2722 Alki Ave SW, 405-8433. Fri and Sat dinner at 6:30, show at 7:30 (one Sun show on April 16), through April 16. $22.
HANGING LORD HAW-HAW
Jeffrey Hatcher, who wrote the wonderful Shaw adaptation Smash, returns with a specially commissioned world premiere exploring the motives of William Joyce, a Nazi Germany propagandist in World War II who also happened to be a staunch patriot of the British Empire. Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. Previews Fri-Sat April 7-8 at 8, and Mon-Tues April 10-11 at 7:30, then opens Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, Sat-Sun matinees at 2, Wed April 12 through May 13. $18-$26. See also theater bio.
Mary Chase's sentimental bit of whimsy from the '40s -- about a man and his giant, invisible rabbit, in case you've been living in solitary confinement -- always seems to ache for Jimmy Stewart no matter how polished the production, but Taproot Theatre Co. is going to try anyway, with Artistic Director Scott Nolte as lead eccentric, Elwood P. Dowd. Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. Wed-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sat matinee at 2, through April 29. $16-$24.
Brendan Behan's brazen take on morality in Ireland receives a staging from Susanna Wilson. Raucous song, dance, and comedy combine with Behan's singular political commentary set in an Irish brothel. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit, 324-5801. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun matinees on Sun April 16 and 30 at 2, through May 6. $12. Reviewed this issue, page 23.
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.
Shakespeare's tragedy as acid trip. Derek Horton's production casts an 11-year-old as the doomed monarch, and three different actresses as his faithful Cordelia. "Colorful invention to spare (with scenic designer Kathryn Rathke's blazing ceremonial floats), but there isn't an ounce of gravity. The production stomps noisily from flourish to flourish, squashing any possible epiphanies underfoot." (Steve Wiecking) Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 860-5245. Thurs-Sun at 8, through April 9. $12-$14.
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 showtunes, 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, through April 23. $15-$67.50.
RETURN TO THE GARDEN OF ALLAH
A great cast (including Andrew Tasakos, Wade Madsen, and Jennifer Jasper) tackles Ian Bell's adaptation of the history of one of the first gay-owned clubs in the country. "The musical numbers carry the evening... there is a great deal of pleasure to be derived from watching the accomplished performers. The backstage drama, however, seems like another evocation of period performance and keeps a highly entertaining show from being a great one." (Tom Spurgeon) Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. Thurs-Sun at 8, through April 16. $15.
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.
SIGOURNEY SQUARE PARK
Fresh from a run in the latest Fringe Festival, Jeffrey Kagan-McCann's play unfolds over a dramatic Labor Day weekend and concerns the memories of four estranged brothers. Northwest Actor's Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through April 22. $8-$10.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
The hills are alive... so run! Run for your lives! Richard Chamberlain may be old, but that's not gonna stop him from seducing a singing ex-nun half his age. For the love of God, people, run! Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. Tues-Sat at 8, Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun matinees at 2, Tues April 11 through April 23. $21-$50.
The private, demoralized world of two Hollywood devils infiltrated by a deceptive Madonna/whore (or literally, Madonna, in its original Broadway incarnation). After Oleanna, it's perhaps the height of David Mamet's thinly veiled misogyny. This play has already hit Seattle in the last few months, but Smashing Views Productions is presenting their take on the material, featuring Mamet's excoriating and undeniably brilliant, bristling language. Book-It Theater, 1219 Westlake Ave, 227-5222. Thurs-Sat at 8, through April 15. $10.
STANDARD TIME: SONGS OF WORLD WAR II
Cabaret de Paris reprises the musical revue, highlighting timeless, haunting wartime melodies -- I'll Be Seeing You, I'll Get By, et al. -- performed by Valerie Piacenti and supplemented with reminiscences from Studs Terkel's The Good War. Crepe de Paris, Rainier Square, Fourth and Union, Second Level, 623-4111. Fri-Sat at 8 (patrons ordering dinner should arrive by 6:30), through April 8. $15.
FACULTY DANCE CONCERT 2000
Everything from Brahms to hiphop in this evening of works choreographed by UW Dance Program faculty members and performed by undergraduates, MFA candidates, and the faculty members (Rob Kitsos, Maria Simpson, and d-9's Kara O'Toole) themselves. UW Meany Studio Theatre, UW campus in Meany Hall at NE 41st St and 15th Ave NE, 543-4880. Thurs-Sat April 6-8 at 8, Sun April 9 at 2. $7-$9.
GARTH FAGAN DANCE
See Stranger Suggests, page 34. UW Meany Theater, UW campus at 15th Ave NE between 40th and 41st, 543-4880. Thurs-Sat April 6-8 only, at 8. $28.
The all-female company of athletic dancer/choreographer Amii LeGendre returns with two works riffing on the eternal yin and yang of the schoolyard psyche, Bully and Sissy -- The Pleasure of the Ordinary. Six guest dancers, some live music, and set design by installation artist Anat Pollack should put extra kick in an already lively evening. On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. Fri-Sat April 7-8 only, at 8. $16-$18.
33 FAINTING SPELLS AND PEGGY PIACENZA
The exhilarating imaginations of these highly touted dancers/choreographers will be on display in a free studio sampling of their works-in-progress, September September and Anybird. Oddfellows Hall, 10th and Pine, on the third floor in Velocity's Studio III. Sat April 8 only, at 4. Free.
FESTIVALS, CABARETS, & COMEDY
BALD FACED LIE
Seattle's longest-running sketch comedy troupe hits prime time on stage with a new show. Some of these performers -- including the hysterical Ian Bell -- are so talented that you can even forgive the fact that they're helping Almost Live's John Keister come back to TV. Open Circle Theatre, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through April 29. $12, pay-what-you-can performance on April 6.
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.
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.
JE M'APPELLE PABLO
The second late-night comic extravaganza from Disgruntled Bit Players, who claim that this will be "a treatise, if you will." They also promise hookers and smack. Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 729-4839. Fri-Sat at 11, through April 21. $6.
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. $7, $5 with student ID.
SPIN THE BOTTLE
Late night irreverence from Annex, in a Saturday spring edition featuring music, Dada, and of course, Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes. Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Sat April 8 at 11. $5.
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.
Announcing auditions for its upcoming summer season of Much Ado about Nothing and Henry IV, Part I. Auditions are April 15 and 16. Prepare 1-3 minute classical monologue. Call 748-1551 for an appointment.