OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS

ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S ROPE
Opening. A play based on the screenplay. In The Vicinity Players at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 696-0938. $8–$10. Opening Fri Aug 19 at 8 pm. Sat at 8 pm. Through Aug 27.

ANNIE
Opening. Seattle actor Harry Turpin plays a wee role or two in this touring production. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. $20–$65. Opening Sun Aug 21 at 1 and 6:30 pm. Tues–Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Aug 27.

THE BEAUTY PAGEANT
An improvised beauty contest, for girls and boys in dresses alike. Wing-It Productions at the Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, www.thebeautypageant.com. $8–$10. Thurs–Fri at 8 pm. Through Sept 23.

CONCLAVE
Opening. A one-man show by David Dragoman. Theatre 4, Seattle Center House, www.daviddragoman.com. $12–$15. Opening Fri Aug 19 at 8 pm. Sat at 8 pm. Through Dec 17.

THE CRUCIBLE
Opening. Jennessa Richert directs Arthur Miller's play about witch-hunts and/or McCarthyism. Bad Monkey Productions at Chamber Theatre, 915 E Pine St, fourth floor, 325-6500. $12–$15. Opening Thurs Aug 18 at 7:30 pm. Fri–Sat at 7:30 pm. Through Sept 4.

DAMN HOT SUMMER SHOW
Opening. Eight short plays about "the peculiar behaviors humans exhibit when the heat is on." Dramatists & Actors Meeting Now at Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave, 325-6500. $10-–$12. Opening Thurs Aug 18 at 8 pm. Fri–Sun at 8 pm. Through Aug 27.

DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN
Ongoing. This mid-'90s relic by comedian Rob Becker is 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 8pm, Sun at 3 pm. Tickets available through Sept 4.

DINNER & DREAMS
Ongoing. "Frank Ferrante is the cra-a-a-a-azy Chef Caesar, and his TV-style shenanigans are audience-provocation lite. The revamped plot revolves around the sarcophagus of Cleopatra, played by Debbie de Coudreaux, and she sings nicely, but looks cowed and humiliated when she's forced to act. For the record, the circus acts are indeed awesome: The hands-down stars are the Steben Sisters, whose mirror-image trapeze act contains its own miniature drama." (Annie Wagner) Teatro ZinZanni, 2301 Sixth Ave, 802-0015. $99. Thurs–Sat at 6:30 pm, Sun at 5:30 pm (some additional Wed shows, call for details).

THE ELSINORE DIARIES
Opening. A revised version of the Hamlet "mockumentary." Center House Theater, Seattle Center, www.brownpapertickets.com. $12–$14. Opening Thurs Aug 18 at 8 pm. Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun–Wed at 8 pm. Through Aug 28.

THE FANTASTICKS
Extended. "While the original musical had the integrity to call a rape a rape, the later version's declawed 'abduction' song is all fun and games, and we're expected to chuckle right along. Questionable gender politics aside, though, Kelly Balch is particularly charming, and Jeff Berryman's baritone (velvety!) is simultaneously comforting and sinister." (Lindy West) 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. Through Aug 27.

recommendedTHE FRENCH PROJECT
One weekend only. See Theater News and Stranger Suggests, page 31. Vodvil Theater, 1408 18th Ave. Tickets sold at the door only, $10–$20. Opening Sat Aug 20 at 9 pm. Sun at 9 pm. Through Aug 21.

HENRY V
Prince Hal gains the crown and promptly invades a foreign country. GreenStage at Seward Park, 5898 Lake Washington Blvd S. Sat at 8 pm. Discovery Park, 3801 W Government Way. Sun at 3 pm. At various locations through Aug 27.

INTIMATE APPAREL
Opening. Lynn Nottage's play about an African-American seamstress in early 20th-century Manhattan and her epistolary courtship with a laborer working on the construction of the Panama Canal. Jacqueline Moscou (Crowns) directs. Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St, Seattle Center, 269-1900. $10-–$46. Preview performances Fri–Sat Aug 19–20 at 8 pm, Sun Aug 21 at 7:30 pm, Tues Aug 23 at 7:30 pm. Opening Wed Aug 24 at 7:30 pm. Through Sept 24.

JOE BEAN: A ROCK FABLE
Final week. "A self-described 'rock fable' based on the Book of Job, Joe Bean was churned out in a frantic few weeks by Bainbridge Island High School theater kingpin Bob McAllister and local musician Mark Nichols. And it shows." (Lindy West) Lola Productions at UW Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE. www.brownpapertickets.com. $20. Sun at 2 pm. Through Aug 21.

LATE NIGHT CATECHISM
Ongoing. "What distinguishes Late Nite from the walking cartoons at Disneyland is that your name, your background, and your behavior become the crux of the performance: Late Nite takes your identity and reflects it back to you." (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.

MY BOAT TO BAINBRIDGE
Final week. "This one-man show by Matt Smith is an extremely low-key tribute to a middle-aged crisis of heterosexual masculinity. Mainly this tired theme takes the form of a creepy obsession about his pet dog's severed testicles, but there's also a good deal of lame nostalgia for the Seattle of yore, and frequent mimicking of birdcalls." (Annie Wagner) Market Theatre, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $15. Fri at 8 pm. Through Aug 19.

recommendedTHE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
"This production of Tennessee Williams's Mexico drama, which is about God and sex and alcohol and sanity, isn't exactly what you'd expect from the overheated playwright. It lacks atmosphere. When passion leaks through, it's thanks to the actors and not the way the show has been designed." (Annie Wagner) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $10–$54. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri–Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm, Tues–Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Aug 28.

recommendedPRINCESSES
A Broadway warm-up for the new musical. 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave, 292-2787. $16–$58. Thurs–Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 1:30 and 7 pm. Through Aug 28.

recommendedTHE RING CYCLE
See review this issue. Seattle Opera at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, Seattle Center, 389-7676. Cycle 2: Siegfried, Thurs Aug 18 at 6 pm, Götterdämmerung, Sat Aug 20 at 6 pm. Cycle 3: Das Rheingold, Tues Aug 23 at 7 pm, Die Walküre, Wed Aug 24 at 6 pm. Through Aug 28.

RIVER BED
One weekend only. A workshop production of a new play by Laurel Ann White about the victims of the Green River murders. Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. $10 suggested donation. Opening Fri Aug 19 at 8 pm. Sat at 5 and 8 pm. Through Aug 21.

SALTWATER
One weekend only. A play about conjoined twins. International Theatre Collective at Freehold's East Hall Theatre, 1525 10th Ave, 650-5799. $12–$15. Opening Fri Aug 19 at 8 pm. Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through Aug 21.

SEX*BUT
Andrew Tasakos directs the play inspired by Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask. Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave S, www.brownpapertickets.com. $12. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm. Through Aug 27.

THE TEMPEST
"Richard Clairmont made a hoarse and less than commanding Prospero; and Regan deVictoria's Miranda was all isolated sweetness, with barely a hint of feral passion. Brandon Simmons isn't bad as Ariel, though, and Heather Persinger positively tears up the park with her broad, swaggering Trinculo." (Annie Wagner) GreenStage at Seward Park, 5898 Lake Washington Blvd S. Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 3 pm. At various locations through Aug 28.

TRUE WEST
"I was inclined to be gentle and indulgent toward this earnest but mediocre production of True West, but my date—who hadn't seen a play in seven years—cut to the bone: 'The press release called it a 'comic masterpiece,' but I kept wondering when it was going to be over.'" (Brendan Kiley) Theatre Unlocked at 1541 NW 49th St, 285-0714. $10. Thurs–Sat at 8 pm. Through Aug 27.

DANCE

BEKOO
Opening. New works by Carla Barragan. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 325-6500. $5–$15. Opening Sat Aug 20 at 8 pm. Sun at 2 pm. Through Aug 27.

CABARET

BRUNCH-O-RAMA
Peggy Platt and Michael Oaks give you presents and tell lots of jokes. Thumper's, 1500 E Madison St, 328-3800. $10 show, brunch extra. Sun at 11 am and 2 pm. Through Aug 28.

IMPROV & COMEDY

TY BARNETT at Comedy Underground, 222 Main St, 800-325-7328. $6–$12 (21+ w/ID required). Thurs at 8:30 pm, Fri–Sat at 8:30 and 10:30 pm.

Support The Stranger

HAROLD (that's an improv game, not a person) at Market Theatre, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $10. Sat at 8 pm.

JET CITY IMPROV at Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 325-6500. $8–$10. Fri at 10:30 pm, Sat at 8, 10:30 pm, and 12:30 am.

SCOTT MYERS & ANDY PETERS at Giggles, 5520 Roosevelt Way NE, 526-5653. $12 (21+ w/ID required). Tues–Wed at 8:30 and 10:30 pm.

SCARECROW & MR. VOGT at Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave, 441-5823. $5 (21+ w/ID required). Sat Aug 20 at 8 pm.

THEATRESPORTS at Market Theatre, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $8–$12. Fri–Sat at 10:30 pm, Sun at 7 pm.

SPECIAL EVENTS

SCHMEATEROKE SUICIDE!
One night only. Another karaoke fundraiser, this edition featuring Carlotta of Wing Ding fame. (Pay $5 to force someone to sing, pony up $10 to escape your fate.) Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. Free (21+ w/ID only). Mon Aug 22 at 10 pm.