OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS

APPLES ON THE FLOOD
Opening. A new play about gays, newlyweds, and flooding from—where else?—New Orleans. Northwest Playwright's Alliance at Theatre 4, Seattle Center House, no reservations required. $8–$10. Opening Thurs July 6 at 7:30 pm. Fri–Sun at 7:30 pm. Through July 15.

AS YOU LIKE IT
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." Wooden O at Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater, no reservations required. Free. Thurs and Sun at 7 pm. Mercerdale Park, Mercer Island, Sat at 7 pm. Through July 30.

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THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Final week. "As time passes, Harold Pinter seems more memorable as a theorist than a dramatist. He held a shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new kind of theater, but his youngers and betters have actually done the building. His is an achievement more deserving of prizes than productions. And yet they come. Two men, in suits, come to a boardinghouse to vaguely threaten an occupant, Stanley. They could be from the church or the government or a paramilitary organization—all we know is that their every gesture is swollen with implied violence. The cast is confident and specific, even through their characters' most excruciatingly nonsensical behavior, shouting, and word play. Shellie Shulkin nails the batty old landlady and Karl Keff's Goldberg fills the stage with intimidating authority. Still, we don't know what everybody's going on about. There's no 'there' there which, I guess, is the point." (Brendan Kiley)

Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 800-838-3006. $10–$35. Thurs–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through July 8.

recommended BUST
See review this issue. Empty Space Theatre, 901 12th Ave, 547-7500. $25–$30. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri–Sat at 8 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Aug 5.

DESTINATION: COUNTRY VILLAGE
Final week. Performance artist Amy-Ellen Flatchestedmama Trefsger will live in a boat in a shopping center for nine days. 4Culture at Country Village, 23718 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell. Free. Daily 10 am–9 pm. Through July 9.

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.

recommended FÊTES DE LA NUIT
"This production—38 short skits by Charles L. Mee of characters stumbling around in Paris—is the equivalent of the Lascivious French Laugh that is almost impossible to copy on paper: a horny, over-the-top attention getter. I'll admit, I swooned; I simply can't imagine a more perfect summer-evening theater date than this play. Everything works together to duplicate the giddy, irrational sense of falling in love. Ten characters fumble around Paris—you can tell that it's Paris because half the cast is speaking in unreal, now-you-hear-them, now-you-don't FRAWN-say accents—flirting with the audience and each other, looking like they're having the time of their lives. Someone sings 'All of Me' to his broom. In one well-acted bit, a woman wordlessly greets different people—lovers, friends, unrequited crushes. There's a baguette fight. A couple flirts on either side of a stranger on a park bench, hilariously including him in their sexual healing. Everybody does the cancan. An especially funny bit involves the theme song to Mr. Belvedere, which is not Gallic but weirdly exciting anyway." (Paul Constant) Strike Anywhere Productions and the Shunpike at Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 800-838-3006. $10. Fri–Sun at 8 pm. Through July 16.

HELLO, DOLLY!
Goin' bonkers in Yonkers. Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave, Everett, 425-257-8600. $20–$44. Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7 pm, Wed at 8 pm. Through July 16.

JULIUS CAESER
Final week. "Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights: Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much; Such men are dangerous." Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 524-1300. $10–$15. Thurs–Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through July 9.

KUWAIT
"This facile play by Vincent Delaney is about the distortions perpetrated by embedded reporters and their military keepers during times of war (Gulf War I, to be precise). Kelsey (David S. Hogan), alias Joe, is a soldier assigned to supervise Rachel Cayman (Kelly Kitchens), a New York Times reporter forcibly detained because she strayed out of bounds. The script doesn't allow them much range—Rachel is self-important ('Do you know who I am? Do you know how much money I make?') and wields her sexuality like a blunt instrument, while 'Joe' is young and likes beer—but they do attain brief flares of chemistry. Downstage from the sandbox are two more characters: Martha (Terri Weagant), a military spokeswoman, and Catherine (Rebecca Olson), a reporter so ditzy it's hard to believe the playwright graduated from high school. At one point, Catherine burbles excitedly into her satellite phone, 'The war is totally awesome, we're winning, bye!' We get it, we get it: Soldiers are dumb. Reporters are stupid. The offstage citizenry must be fucking idiots. The Gulf War was a stage-managed farce, behind which the U.S. military was probably murdering children indiscriminately (orphans, even!). Thank god it's a one-act." (Annie Wagner) Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 325-6500. $18, Thurs by donation. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm. Through July 22.

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 Aug 27.

MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL™
Final week. "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 July 16.

QUICKIES VOLUME 7
Seven new short plays by the likes of Stephanie Timm, Kelly DuMar, and Erin Stewart. Live Girls! Theater, 2220 NW Market St, 800-838-3006. $10–$15. Thurs–Fri at 8 pm. Sat at 4 pm. Through July 22.

recommended RICHARD III
"The play, and the production, come alive in Richard and his intimate relationship to the audience. Richard is a hunchbacked butcher (whose victims include his wife, his child nephews, and his brother, who is stabbed and drowned in a barrel of wine), but he is weirdly charismatic, especially in the hands of actor Stephen Pelinski, who gives a no-bullshit, no-histrionics performance that emphasizes Richard's magnetic will to power and grim sense of humor. His frequent soliloquies—delivered front and center—turn the audience into his confessor and co-conspirator, and Sher heightens the effect by turning up the house lights for the speeches, launching Richard off the stage and into our laps." (Brendan Kiley) Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St, 269-1900. $10–$46. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through July 15.

SAVING HARRY
Final week. Carl Nelson's new play about copier salesmen. Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, 800-838-3006. $15.75. Fri at 7 pm, Sat at 2 and 7 pm. Through July 8.

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION
Opening. Based on the true story of a con man who convinced several people in the 1980s that he was the son of Sidney Poitier. ReAct Theatre at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 325-6500. $9–$15. Opening Thurs July 6 at 7:30 pm. Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm. Through July 30.

STEM CELL NATION
One weekend only. From the press materials: "Performance artists Bianca Maggio (B'dork) and Jeppa Hall (Queen Shmooquan, Goatgirl) interweave the stories of several absurd and androgynous dynamic duos." Your guess is as good as mine. Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave, 441-5823. $8. Fri–Sat 8 pm. Through July 8.

recommended STONES IN HIS POCKETS
Extended. "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, 800-838-3006. $18–$20. Thurs–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through July 29.

recommended TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET
One week only. See Stranger Suggests, page 25. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. $10. Tues–Wed at 8 pm.

TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
"That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man, if with his tongue he cannot win a woman." Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater, 36800 SE David Powell R, Fall City, 425-736-7252. $6–$16, optional dinner an additional $16. Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 3 and 8 pm, Sun at 3 pm. Through July 16.

recommended WINE IN THE WILDERNESS
Final week. "Alice Childress's script—about a Harlem painter named Bill and his model arguing in the aftermath of a race riot—was written in 1969 and nails a peculiar Marxist-artist contempt for the masses, thinly veiled as a desire to uplift and better them. Bill parrots platitudes about the people, but when he tells his model Tommy-Marie "the best thing you can do for your people is sit there and let me put you on canvas," we realize he loves himself above all else. She realizes it, too. "Black is beautiful," he coos to her. "Then how come I don't feel beautiful when you talk to me?" she asks. Shanga Parker plays a reserved Bill, full of opinions but not passion, leaving April Yvette Thompson plenty of room to take over the play as Tommy-Marie. Thompson is a fantastic actor and hits all her notes: brassy at the outset, privately insecure and anxious, regally incensed when she feels slighted." (Brendan Kiley) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $10–$54, Thurs at 2 pm by donation. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm, Tues–Wed at 7:30 pm. Through July 9.

DANCE

DANCE THIS
One night only. Young hoofers cutting loose with ballroom, Latin, hiphop, modern, African, and Samoan dance. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. $12–$23 (not including Ticketmaster fees). Sat July 8 at 7:30 pm.

JEROBA DANCE
One weekend only. Shorts by local choreographers in an evening entitled Dissonant Harmony. Jeroba Dance at Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, www.ticketwindowonline.com. $15 adv/$18 DOS. Fri–Sat at 8 pm.

recommended UN-DRESSING PARTY
One night only. See preview. Consolidated Works, 500 Boren Ave N, reservations at www.brownpapertickets.com. By donation. Fri July 7 at 8 pm.

CABARET

BURLESQUE BEHIND THE PINK DOOR
Ongoing. Novelty acts, puppets, crooners, and old-fashioned burlesque. With Paula the Swedish Housewife. Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley. No reservations required. $10. (21+ w/ID.) Sat at 10:30 pm.

COLUMBIA CITY CABARET
Ongoing. A "saucy cabaret," hosted by Tamara the Trapeze lady. Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave S, no reservations required. $15 (21+ w/ID). Fri at 9 pm.

LIVE BURLESQUE
Ongoing. Tassels, teats, and a dirty blues band. SeaMonster Lounge, 2202 N 45th St, 633-1824. Free, no reservations required. Tues at 11 pm.

Support The Stranger

IMPROV & COMEDY

Jan Barrett 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. 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.

REALITY WORLD: SEASON 2
A reality show that's actually improvised. Wing-It Productions at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, www.wingitpresents.com. $10. Thurs–Fri at 8 pm. Through July 28.

LATE NIGHT

CRESCENDO FALLS
"The story involves the sex-and-violence machinations of a wealthy family—a mother held hostage in a wine cellar, brothers killing brothers, inadvertent incest ('she's your long-lost sister!'), and gay jokes galore. For instance: Husband to angry wife: 'I'm in prison. Do you know what that means?' Angry wife to husband: 'Yes! For the first time in your life, you don't have to pay for gay sex!' (Groan.) Crescendo Falls proudly wears the stripes of late-night theater: gleeful sloppiness, confusing and mostly irrelevant plots, over-over-over-over-the-top performances, filthy jokes, and a bar." (Brendan Kiley) Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 325-6500. $12. Fri–Sat at 11 pm. Through July 22.

LATE NIGHT WITH SATAN
Opening. "The late-night show 10,000,000 years in the making." Wing-It Productions at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, www.wingitpresents.com. $5. Opening Sat July 8 at midnight. Through August 28.

SPIN THE BOTTLE
One night only. The monthly late-night cabaret that has been running for over four years, with music (Chris Jeffries), comedy (Bob Smith), dance (Amy O'Neal), and more! Hosted by the performance art comedians Gude/Laurance. Annex Theatre at Freehold's East Hall Theater, 915 E Pine St, 728-0933. Free, no reservations required. $7. Fri July 7 at 11 pm.

SPECIAL EVENTS

recommended AUTHENTIC MAGIC LANTERN SHOW
One night only. An authentic re-creation of the Victorian era's pre-cinematic entertainment—a magic lantern show, complete with hand-painted glass slides, a live pianist, and the pattern of a guy in muttonchops and vintage dress. American Magic Lantern Theater at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $5–$10. Sat July 8 at 8 pm.

DORIS TO DARLENE: A CAUTIONARY VALENTINE
One night only. A reading of a new play by Jordan Harrison about a schoolgirl pop star in the 1960s, Richard Wagner, a contemporary teenager, and the endurance of a single melody through the ages. Empty Space Theatre, 901 12th Ave, no reservations required. Free. Thurs July 6 at 4 pm.

recommended SEATTLE SPELLING BEE
One night only. See Stranger Suggests, page 25. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. $5. Thurs July 6 at 8 pm.

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