OPENING THIS WEEK
THE CAPITOL STEPS · Paramount Theatre
MASK OF THE UNICORN WARRIOR · Seattle Children's Theatre
STRAIGHT · Northwest Asian American Theatre
TOO MUCH WATER · UW School of Drama
THE VALERIE OF NOW/IMAGINING BRAD · Bare Boards & Passion
THE WATER STATION (MIZU NO EKI) · Pacific Performance Project
ONE WEEK ONLY
COMPOSER/CHOREOGRAPHER 5 · Velocity Theatre
JAGUAR HOTEL · Seattle Public Theatre
JAZZ DANCED: FOUR BY FOUR · Spectrum Dance Theater
SANDI SHORE'S WINTER COMEDY FEST · Kirkland Performance Center
CLOSING THIS WEEK
AGNOSTIC'S WAY · Chamber Theatre
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT · Theatre Babylon
MARK TWAIN'S FINAL TOUR · SecondStory Repertory
STUDIO SERIES 2001 · Freehold
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
A DELICATE BALANCE
Nobody tears apart upper middle-class family life like Edward Albee. Directed by M. Burke Walker. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $29-$42, $10 for anyone under 25. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun at 2. Through Feb 17.
A MAP OF THE WORLD
A new theater group launches themselves with this David Hare comedy about a cynical novelist and an idealistic journalist. The director says it's very sexy, but can't explain how. Bridges International Repertory Theatre at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 526-1888. $25. Wed-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 2 & 7. Through Feb 4.
ADAM BAUM AND THE JEW MOVIE
A movie mogul and a left-wing screenwriter wrestle over a potential blockbuster at a boy's bar mitzvah. "This play explores important issues about assimilation and identity. Unfortunately, the portrayal of the central character, Baum, seems to perpetuate some of the same stereotypes as it purports to dissect." (Rebecca Brown) Empty Space, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. $20-$28 (1/2 price day-of-show tickets for students & seniors). Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sat-Sun at 2, Sun at 7. Through Feb 10.
A new play and performance from Vincent Balestri, whose Kerouac: The Essence of Jack ran for years at the late, lamented Velvet Elvis Arts Lounge. "This show will please lots of folks because everyone has questions about death and wonders what the experience is like; Balestri is upon the issues immediately, directly, and with gentle inquisitiveness. His audience discussion and lulling guitar compositions, were, for me, the best aspects of the piece." (Stacey Levine) Remember Theatre at the Chamber Theatre, 915 E Pine, Fourth Floor, 800-965-4827. $15 general, $12 students & seniors. Thurs-Sat at 8. Through Jan 27.
THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS
Paul Zindel's oddball but affecting exploration of a divorced mom with two daughters. "Everything technical about this production was good, even very good.... The actors are left with the almost impossible task of creating sympathetic characters from a bunch of carping, abrasive, irrational lunatics." (Adrian Ryan) ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. $22 adults, $18 students. Thurs-Sat at 8, call about Sat-Sun matinees. Through Feb 3.
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT
An evening of short plays on the theme of noble lost causes. "A pair of admirable efforts isn't enough to recommend a night of stomping around and smug overacting in shows not worth struggling through." (Tom Spurgeon) Theatre Babylon, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. $12 (all Thurs are pay-what-you-will). Thurs-Sat at 8. Through Jan 27.
A musical based on the works of the elegant, macabre Edward Gorey. Open Circle Theatre, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. $15. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7. Through Feb 24.
*HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
The world's greatest botched-sex-change rock musical. "I seriously question the intelligence of anyone who doesn't see this show. Twice." (Adrian Ryan) Re-bar, 1114 Howell (at Boren), 323-0388 or 325-6500. $16. Thurs-Sun at 8. Through Feb 11.
Tolkien's fantasy brought to life, with hand, rod, and shadow puppets. Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave NE, 523-2579. $6.50 children, $7 seniors, $8.50 adults. Fri at 7:30, Sat-Sun at 1 & 3. Through Feb 11.
A tale of a young black man coming of age, originally performed in 1979 by the Negro Ensemble Company before transferring to Broadway. See review this issue. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. $12 (under 18 free). Thurs-Sat at 8. (Additional 2 pm matinee Sun Feb 4.) Through Feb 10.
A staged reading of a play about the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico, by Juan Felipe Herrera. Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W Greenlake Dr N, 328-4848. By donation. Mon Jan 29, 8 pm only.
LATE NIGHT CATECHISM
Those ever-popular Catholic hijinks. Seattle Theatre Project at A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $24.50-$29.50. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Running into eternity, or at least February.
MASK OF THE UNICORN WARRIOR
A medieval tale of fantasy and sibling rivalry, by former Seattle playwright Y. York--who now lives in Hawaii, where it is warm and sunny all year round. Sigh. Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center, 441-3322, www.sct.org. $14.50-$22. Fri at 7, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30. Through Mar 10.
Everyone has been begging me to review this solo show, so Dael Orlandersmith must be pretty hot. See review this issue. A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $15. Wed, Thurs, & Sun at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8. Through Feb 11.
David Schmader's Dante-esque descent into the world of conversion therapy. See Stranger Suggests. Northwest Asian American Theatre, 409 Seventh Ave S, 340-1049. $12. Fri-Sun at 8 (additional performance on Thurs Feb 1, 8 pm). Through Feb 4.
TOO MUCH WATER
A none-too-subtly titled new play about the life of Ophelia, from Hamlet. Opens Wed Jan 31. UW School of Drama, Meany Studio Theatre, UW campus, 543-4880. $8 on Sun-Thurs, $10 Fri-Sat, $7 students. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Through Feb 11.
THE TRAGEDY OF KING CHRISTOPHE
The epic tale of a Haitian war hero, written by Aimé Césaire, a poet, playwright, political theorist, and the mayor of Fort-de-France, Martinique. Seattle Public Theatre at the Green Lake Bathhouse, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 524-1300. $16-$19 adults, $14-$16 seniors, $10 under 25. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Through Feb 4.
2 WOMEN AVOIDING INVOLUNTARY HOSPITALIZATION
A satire of New Age thinking, set at the "Third Annual Celebration of the Perimenopausal Woman." "The only thing feel-good about the contrived musical finale is that by the time it finally lurches around it brings this two-hour long concoction of cheap schtick and earnest talk about breast lumps to a merciful close." (Tamara Paris) On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. $12 Thurs/Sun, $14 Fri-Sat. Thurs-Sun at 8. Through Jan 28.
THE WATER STATION (MIZU NO EKI)
A "highly physical" play about time and silence, by noted Japanese playwright Shogo Ohta. Pacific Performance Project at On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, $12 Thurs/Sun, $14 Fri-Sat, $2 discount for students. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2 (additional performance on Sun Jan 28, 7 pm). Through Feb 3.
One of the most godawful plays ever written, beloved by acting students the world over for its ludicrous emoting opportunities. RipTide Deli Theatre Company at the Liberty Deli, 2722 Alki Ave SW, 405-8433. $22 in advance, $25 at the door (includes dinner). Sat-Sun, dinner at 6:30, show at 7:30. Through Feb 18.
Some of Seattle's finest composers and choreographers collaborate on short work. See Stranger Suggests. Velocity Theatre, 915 E Pine St, Second Floor, 545-8848. $10. Fri-Sun at 8. One weekend only.
JAZZ DANCED: FOUR BY FOUR
Three popular previous works and one new work based on scat singing--a wild variety of jazz dance. Spectrum Dance Theater at Meany Hall, UW campus, 325-4161. $12-$24 general, $10 children/seniors. Fri-Sat at 8, Sat at 2. One weekend only.
FESTIVALS, CABARET, & COMEDY
AN UNEXPECTED EVENING
A revue of songs and segments from the musicals of local composer David Austin. Crepe de Paris, 1333 Fifth Ave (Rainier Square), 623-4111. $16 for show only, $42 for dinner/show. Thurs at 8, Fri-Sat at 8:30. Through Feb 3.
THE CAPITOL STEPS
A troupe of former congressional staffers turned musical political satirists. They've been around since 1981, but they must be pissing themselves with joy about our recent fiasco of an election--or dumbfounded by the impossibility of satirizing the absurdity of what actually happened. Paramount Theatre, Ninth and Pine, 628-0888, www.foolproof.org. $18.50-$38.50. Sat Jan 27, 8 pm only.
Some wild-ass performance piece that fuses dance, music, and theater into an inspirational oleo with some relationship to gang awareness, if I'm reading the vague press release correctly. Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. $10 general, $8 students & seniors. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7. Through Feb 3.
STUDIO SERIES 2001
A smorgasbord of scene studies and original work by Freehold students and related artists. Each weekend is different. This weekend: A modern Irish marriage; "a murderous, hilarious romp through the Hundred-Acre Wood of love"; stage combat inspired by The Taming of the Shrew; and the sordid musings of Richard Lefebvre. Freehold, 1525 10th Ave, 323-7499. Donation. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2. (Late night performance on Sat at 10: a solo reading of Vivienne Glance's new play, Creatrix). Through Jan 28.
*JET CITY IMPROV
Improv comedy and music. "The show goes down really smoothly. One only wishes for better direction." (Tom Spurgeon) University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, 781-3879. $7, $5 with student ID. Fri-Sat at 10:30.
"The only improvisational show I've seen where the women performers were clearly better than the men--a welcome change from the overaggressive scene-stealing of many male-driven troupes." (Tom Spurgeon) Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. Fri-Sat at 10:30, $9; Sun at 7, $5.
AFTER THE FAIR
A new musical about romantic intrigue in Victorian London. Village Theatre, 303 Front St N, 425-392-2202. $22-$40. Wed-Sat at 8, Sun (and selected Sat) at 2, selected Sun at 7 (call for details). Through Feb 25.
MARK TWAIN'S FINAL TOUR
A solo show about, of all people, Mark Twain. Enough already! SecondStory Repertory at the Redmond Town Center, Redmond, 425-881-677. $16-$18 ($4 discount for students & seniors), pay-what-you-can performance on Thurs Jan 25, 8:15 pm. Fri-Sat at 8:15. Through Jan 27.
"After the enormously enjoyable [magic] show, we wolfed down gigantically proportioned Caesar salads in the Magicafe and then scooted into the close-up magic theater where [magician Steffan] Soule's art continued to confound us." (Tamara Paris) Illusionz Magical Entertainment Center at 1025 NW Gilman Blvd, Issaquah, 425-427-2444. $10-$15. Fri-Sat at 8, Sat-Sun at 3. No end in sight.
PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE
Steve Martin's comedy, featuring assorted historical personae. Edge of the World Theatre, 9673 Firdale Ave, Edmonds, 542-7529. $17-$20. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7:30. Through Feb 3.
SANDI SHORE'S WINTER COMEDY FEST
Wacky stand-up with Taylor Negron, Vicki Barbolak, and Bob Wheeler. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave, 425-893-9900. $17.50. Sat Jan 27, 7:30 pm only.
THE VALERIE OF NOW/IMAGINING BRAD
Two short plays by Peter Hedges, who wrote What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Bare Boards & Passion at Sightlines Theater, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Port Townsend, 360-385-0802. $6. Thurs-Sun at 7:30 (except Sun Feb 4, at 2:30). Through Feb 4.
Improvisational Comedy Troupe seeking actors. Call 442-2044 for audition times and information.
Seattle Film Institute seeks people to take part in live promotional events. Send headshot and resume with optional cover letter to: Seattle Film Institute, 1709 23rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, ATTN: Communications Director. Deadline is Feb 1. No phone calls or personal deliveries.