OPENING THIS WEEK
A-FEST 2000 · Northwest Asian American Theatre
LIGHT SHINING IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE · A Theatre Under the Influence
THE REAL THING · Intiman Theatre
ONE WEEK ONLY
ONE WEEK ONLY
14/48 · Consolidated Works
DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN · Paramount Theatre
GLORY BOX · Open Circle Theater
THE UNBELIEVABLE BEAUTY OF BEING HUMAN · WING IT! Performance Ensemble
CLOSING THIS WEEK
CLOSING THIS WEEK
BEATRICE · Annex Theatre
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS · Seattle Shakespeare Festival
GOD OF VENGEANCE · A Contemporary Theatre
THE HOSTAGE · Theater Schmeater
SPRING AWAKENING · UW Playhouse Theatre
TWILIGHT ZONE · Theater Schmeater
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
AS YOU LIKE IT
Shakespeare tackles gender dysphoria. Kind of like Boys Don't Cry, but with a happy ending. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun matinees at 2, through May 25. $10-$42.
Former Annex artistic director Andrea Allen pairs up with playwright Suzanne Maynard for this quirky feminist rethinking of Middleton and Rowley's brooding 17th-century farce, The Changeling. "You can sense Maynard's moving concerns and clever contrivances looping around each other beneath Matthew Smucker's terrific garden set, but Allen oversimplifies the humor in the script, as if the only way to get a laugh is to point out how the actors would really be talking if they weren't saddled with Maynard's damned highfalutin dialogue." (Steve Wiecking) Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through May 6. $7-$12.
*BIG BOSS OR THE INNER LIFE OF EVERYTHING
Billed as "a play with music," writer/director Ki Gottberg's new work concerns the tangled lives of two sisters, one an obsessive, the other a cynic -- accompanied by live percussion. "An embrace of poetic language and energetic performances over naturalistic acting and narrative...[but] unlike many stylized plays, Big Boss has an easily discernible story." (Tom Spurgeon) First Christian Church, 1632 Broadway, 328-4683. Thurs-Sat at 8, through May 20 (no show on May 6). $10-$12.
Any press release that starts, "In one zany mix-up after another..." sends chills down my spine. "An ordinary insulation company is mistaken for a weapons supplier..." doesn't bolster my confidence. And "...cockamamie collision of characters will cause giggles and guffaws..." confirms my worst fears. ArtsWest Theatre Company, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. Thurs-Sun at 8, through May 20, matinees at 3 on May 6, 14, and 20. $19, $16 students/seniors.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
Bay Area director Danny Scheie hit big back home with this lively production of Shakespeare's farce, and his staging here -- complete with live music and a game cast in overdrive -- should be just as pleasing. Two sets of twins, mistaken identity, and big bawdy laughs. Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE, 286-0728. Thurs-Sat at 7:30, Sun matinees at 2, through May 7. $10-$20.
DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN
According to Variety, "Couples who were arguing before the performance stroll out into the night holding hands. You know there's going to be some serious snuggling going on when they get home." Proceed at your own risk. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. Through May 7, Tues-Sat at 8, Sun at 3 and 7. $27.50-$39.50.
A bit of a phenomenon in some circles (it's in the sixth year of its run in Chicago), writer/choreographer/director Stuart Ross' Plaid is a lighthearted celebration of those four-part-harmony boy groups from the late '50s and early '60s. Squeaky-clean renditions of "Three Coins in the Fountain" and other freshly scrubbed pop fare sung by "teen angels." Much gayer than it knows. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222. Tues-Fri at 8, Sat at 8:30, Sun at 2, Sat matinees at 5, Sun matinees at 2, through June 25. $37-$42.
The title comes from the Australian term for hope chest, but I'm sure it has some filthy, smutty alternative meaning, since Tim Miller is one of the four performance artists whose NEA grants were rescinded in 1990 for indecency. See Stranger Suggests, page 44. Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. Fri-Sun at 8, May 5-7 only. $15.
GOD OF VENGEANCE
ACT hosts a world premiere of recent Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald (Dinner with Friends) Margulies' latest work, an adaptation of Sholom Asch's turn-of-the-century Yiddish drama updated to New York in the roaring '20s. "Based on the evidence of its world premiere, Margulies has thus far failed to do justice to his new play's historical legacy or his own considerable reputation." (Tom Spurgeon) A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. Sun-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, select matinees at 2, through May 7. $10-$42.
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. "[Hatcher] has a tendency to be a trifle cavalier, resulting in lines like, 'Darling, I do hope you become dictator soon.'" (Steve Wiecking) Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, Sat-Sun matinees at 2, through May 13. $18-$26.
Brendan Behan's brazen take on morality in Ireland (set in a Dublin brothel) receives a staging from Susanna Wilson. "Very little of Behan's genius survives the production. Both sets of leads are fine, but it's missing any consistent directorial sense of tone. The show's relentlessly shrill, frantic pace sabotages narrative momentum." (Tom Spurgeon) Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit, 324-5801. Thurs-Sat at 8, through May 6. $12.
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.
LIGHT SHINING IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
If there's anyone who can condense the religious and political awakening in medieval England into an engaging play, it's Caryl Churchill, one of the finest playwrights alive. A Theatre Under the Influence, at the Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave between Pike and Union, 720-1942. Thurs-Sat at 8, through June 3. $12; Thurs is pay-what-you-will.
PIECES OF THE FIRST
A "provocative deconstruction of U.S. Supreme Court cases" may sound a bit dry, but the press release promises nudity and adult content (lots of free speech fights are about smut, after all), and the cast is an impressively talented crew. Directed by K. Brian Neel, whose solo work gathers raves on the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit. Seattle Mime Theatre, 915 E Pine St, Fourth Floor (in the Oddfellows Hall), 324-8788. Thurs-Sun at 8, through May 14. $15; Thurs is pay-what-you-can. Reviewed this issue, page 25.
THE REAL THING
This Tom Stoppard play got hailed to the heavens when it opened on Broadway, but now it looks like a modest trifle. Still, Stoppard's always smart and witty. Have someone under 25 buy your ticket so you can see it for $10. Intiman Theatre, Seattle Center, 269-1900. Previews Fri-Sat May 5-6 at 8, Sun & Tues May 7 & 9 at 7, opening Wed May 10 at 7, pay-what-you-can performance on Thurs at 8. Through June 3. $10-$42.
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, extended through May 14. $15.
In this once-banned 19th-century play, three teens, some masks, and puppetry combine to form, according to press info, a "sexual phantasmagoria." Well, then. UW Playhouse Theatre, 4045 University Way NE, 543-4880. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, through May 7. $7-$10.
THE UNBELIEVABLE BEAUTY OF BEING HUMAN
A variety of stuff from WING IT! Performance Ensemble about art, spirit, and transformation. "So simple. So daring. So life changing. Fun triumphs, and cynicism takes a break." I'm taking a break. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 522-7799. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, May 5-7 only. $15 general, $12 students/seniors.
UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT
A solo play about a man and his autistic son, written and performed by the father himself, Anthony Curry. It's promised that Curry has found humor in this difficult situation. Let's hope so, 'cause otherwise this could be a real wrist-slasher. Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through May 20. $10 ($8 students/seniors). Reviewed this issue, page 25.
WHEN I GROW UP I'M GONNA GET SOME BIG WORDS
Seattle Children's Theatre closes out its season with a world premiere exploring the inspirational give-and-take between activists in the Civil Rights Movement and their courageous leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. An ambitious work culled from letters, essays, speeches, and diary entries. Charlotte Martin Theatre, Seattle Center, 441-3322. Fri at 7, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30, through June 11. $13.50-$20.50.
FESTIVALS, CABARETS, & COMEDY
The world's shortest theater festival returns. Fourteen 10-minute plays are conceived, written, rehearsed, and performed over 48 hours. Most of them suck, but the performers (including some of the best actors in town) have a stress-induced euphoria that's contagious, and the few plays that really click make the whole thing worthwhile. Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 381-3218. Fri-Sat, 8 and 10:30 sharp, May 5-6 only (a different line-up each night). $10, no reservations.
A wide-ranging mix of Asian/Pacific Islander theatre, dance, music, and performance art. See Stranger Suggests, page 44. Northwest Asian American Theatre, A-Fest 2000 runs through May 28. $9-$15.
Julie Cascioppo Experience
Songs and characters you may grow to love. Or not. The Pink Door, Pike Place Market, 1919 Post Alley, 443-3241. Tues at 8:30 & 11. No cover.
PRINTER'S DEVIL 2000 BONANZA
The workshop/reading series continues with The Elephant Play by Dmitry Lipkin. A great opportunity to see plays as they grow. Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 328-2690. Mon-Tues May 8-9 at 7:30. No reservation needed, pay what you will.
*THREE DOLLAR BILL
Seattle's original gay/lesbian/bisexual stand-up comedy night is still standing in its third 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.
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
Annex's monthly smorgasbord rears its head once again with clown nonsense from Stephanie Roberts, drug-addled nonsense from Richard LeFebvre, nonsense nonsense from Paul Budraitis, and the usual mix of smut and shadow puppets. Not to be missed. Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Fri May 5 only, at 11. No reservations required. $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.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE
Theater Schmeater presents its popular live versions of the cult TV series. Escape Clause pulls the rug out from under a hypochondriac who buys immortality from the Devil; a homeless man pilfering from a slain gangster makes the mistake of wearing a Dead Man's Shoes. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. Fri-Sat at 11, through May 6. $8 (under 18 gets in free).
UP IN YOUR GRILL
This fresh, four-person comedy troupe is supposed to be pretty damn funny, so, as with other talented folks, we must overlook its current association with the painfully unfunny John Keister (they're all appearing on KIRO TV's The John Report with Bob). The Grill folks are tearing it up weekly with fast and furious comic sketches. Speakeasy, 2304 Second Ave, 444-4336. Sat at 11 (opening acts at 10:30). $7.
PORTLAND CENTER STAGE
Equity and non-equity auditions on May 5, 8, and 9 for PCS' 2000-2001 season. Call Kelsey Tyler at 503-274-6584 or 503-248-6309.