OPENING THIS WEEK
BALLYHOO · Open Circle Theatre
HENRY IV, PART ONE · Greenstage
MASS APPEAL · Taproot Theatre Company
THIS VICIOUS CABARET · A Theater Near You
VIA DOLOROSA · A Contemporary Theatre
THE YEOMAN OF THE GUARD · Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society
SALTIMBANCO · Cirque du Soleil
ONE WEEK ONLY
JORDAN FINDS A NICKEL · BALOOMF! Theatre Company
JULIUS CAESAR · Next Step Theater Group
QUICKIES · Live Girls!
DANCE THIS · The Moore Theatre
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW · Wooden O
CLOSING THIS WEEK
BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY · Seattle Theatre Project
THE SEAGULL · Printer's Devil Theatre
INTELLIGENCE · Annex Theatre
CLAUSTROPHILIA · Annex Theatre
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
2.5 MINUTE RIDE
Lisa Kron's acclaimed monologue about amusement parks, Auschwitz, and Internet romance. A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. Sun-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, matinees at 2 (call for dates); $23-$42, $10 for 25 and under. Through July 30. Reviewed this issue.
*ALL ABOUT MEDEA
An original comedy about backstage hijinks at a drag production of Medea. "The play is light, charming, smart, sexy, and always in the twilight of saying something profound or falling apart into laughter." (Charles Mudede) Re-bar, 1114 E Howell, 323-0388. Fri-Sun at 8; $12. Through Aug 6.
This hard-to-describe show (calling it a science-fiction satire of commercial culture doesn't seem to capture it) was a Fringe Fest hit, and is now being remounted for a three-week run. See Stranger Suggests. Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 325-6500. Preview Thurs July 13. Thurs-Sat, 8 pm; $12. Through Aug 5.
BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY
Third-string catcher gets fatal disease, star pitcher helps him cover it up so he can stay with the team. "The adaptation lacks the accumulation of detail that makes for an evocative period piece, and lacks the balance necessary for effective melodrama." (Tom Spurgeon) Seattle Theatre Project at the Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 382-4250. Thurs-Sat at 8; $15. Through July 15.
Big wigs, pop songs. Cabaret de Paris, second level of Rainier Square, 1333 Fifth Ave, 623-4111. Thurs at 8, Fri-Sat at 8:30; $16 for just the show, $42 for dinner too. Through Sept 30.
Radha Bharadwaj's play about an anonymous woman tortured by an anonymous interrogator. Sensitive viewers are warned that the production contains graphic simulated torture. AJ Epstein Presents at Sand Point Naval Base, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, 325-6500. Thurs-Sun at 8; $15, $9 students/seniors. Through July 30. Reviewed this issue.
HENRY IV, PART ONE
Punk royal must choose between the crown and his fat, sloppy friends. Performed in the parks. Greenstage at Discovery Park on Sat-Sun July 15-16; Woodland Park on Sat-Sun July 29-30; Lincoln Park on Sat-Sun Aug 5-13; Volunteer Park on Sat Aug 19 & 26, and Sat-Mon Sept 2-4. All performances at 3 pm. Free.
The latest play by Scot "Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes" Augustson, about a gay man blackmailed by the State Department into getting information out of a visiting Russian physicist. "A solid and tight piece, peppered with enough clever plot twists and dimensions to satisfy and surprise the most seasoned (read: jaded) audience member." (Adrian Ryan) Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Wed-Sat at 8; $12 regular, $7 students. Through July 15.
ISO... (IN SEARCH OF)
This Fringe Festival favorite is all about sex, though I find it hard to believe they'll live up to their lurid press photos. Burnt Studio Productions at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 8; $10, $8 students/seniors. Through July 29. Reviewed this issue.
JORDAN FINDS A NICKEL
A new short play by Andrew Neel about a "peculiarly endearing prepubescent pariah." Seems to be a one-man show. BALOOMF! Theatre Company at the Union Garage, 1418 10th St, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 8; donation requested. Through July 15.
In this production of Shakespeare's play, women play the conspirators (Brutus, Cassius, et al.). The press release doesn't say if this is a deliberate feminist subtext--women revolting against the patriarchy, only to have it cruelly reasserted by the end--or if that's just an accident of casting. Next Step Theater Group at the UW Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 3931 Brooklyn Ave NE, 425-746-6604. Thurs-Sat July 13-15, 7 pm, with 2 pm matinee on Sat; $10 suggested donation.
A young priest and an old priest rub each other the wrong way. Hmm, that might not be the best way to put that.... Comedy improv follows Sat performances (except closing night). Taproot Theatre Company, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. Preview on Thurs July 13. Opens July 14. Wed-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sat matinee at 2; $16-$24. No show on July 26. Through Aug 12.
*MEDEA, THE MUSICAL
The Greek tragedy Medea presented as a gay musical, also featuring backstage shenanigans. A big hit in San Francisco and L.A. "A comedy with lots of laughs, music, and flamboyant acting, but it wants to do much more than simply entertain us--it also wants to address feminist concerns within the context of contemporary queer theater." (Charles Mudede) ArtsWest Theatre Company, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. Thurs-Sat at 8; $18-$22. Runs for as long as they can milk it.
Four short plays in a variety of styles by four women, specifically Kelleen Conway Greenfield, Meg Rook, Jessica Chisum, and Jessica Pregnaloto. Live Girls! at Studio Four, on the fourth floor of the Seattle Center Building, 568-1985. Preview Thurs July 13, 8 pm. Performances on Fri-Sat July 14-15, 8 pm; $10 suggested donation.
All-girl production of a woman-written, 17th-century swashbuckler, performed in the parks. Theater Schmeater in Volunteer Park, near the Conservatory, 324-5801. Fri at 7, Sat-Sun at 2; FREE. Through Aug 5.
"Printer's Devil's The Seagull sails a safe and staid course, crewed by the company's highly satisfactory actors--its destination a fine evening of deck-top theater, with no real view of the stars." (Traci Vogel) Printer's Devil Theatre at New City Theatre, First Christian Church, 1632 Broadway, 328-2690. Wed-Sun at 8; $10-$15 suggested donation. Through July 15.
THE SMELL OF THE KILL
Three women discover their husbands are trapped in a meat locker, can't decide whether or not to leave them there. See Bio Box. Intiman Theatre, Seattle Center, 269-1900. Wed-Sun, call for times; $23.50-$42. Through Aug 5.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
Bitchy girl submits to backhanding smartass. Misogynist parable? Feminist subversion? Decide for yourself. Wooden O Theatre at the Mural Amphitheater in Seattle Center, 931-3516. Sun July 16, 5 pm; FREE.
THIS VICIOUS CABARET
Tawdry, lurid variety show featuring "Texas-style" standup comedy, a musical tribute from Jesus & Satan, and the farewell performance of TransElvistite. Sex and squalor are promised. A Theater Near You at the Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave, 726-9814. Thurs-Sat at 9; $7. Through July 22.
David Hare took a vacation, got in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and wrote a big monologue about it. Performed by David Pichette. A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. Pay-what-you-can preview on Thurs July 13, 7:30 pm. Opens Fri July 14. Wed, Thurs, Sun at 7:30; Fri-Sat at 8; 2 pm matinee on Sun July 30; $15. Through July 30.
THE YEOMAN OF THE GUARD
Snippy rhymes and sprightly music from Gilbert & Sullivan. Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society at the Bagley Wright Theater at Seattle Center, 341-9612. Opens Fri July 14. Thurs-Sat at 8 (Sat matinee at 2); $24 general, $15 seniors. Through July 29.
A crazy-quilt of styles performed by youth dance groups, including HengDa Dance Academy, Adefua African Music & Dance Copmany, Perlas Tapatias, and Tap Squad. Seattle Theatre Group at the Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 292-ARTS. Sat July 15, 7 pm ONLY; $10 adults, $7 students.
FESTIVALS, CABARETS, & COMEDY
HOKUM'S RAGTIME NICKELODEON REVUE
Professor Hokum W. Jeebs returns with an evening of ragtime, silent cinema, classic vaudeville, and the big sounds of the mighty 1929 WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ. "I felt somehow like we were fireflies raising our tiny lights into a shimmering chorus, sharing our voices before descending into the inevitable darkness." (Tamara Paris) Hokum Hall, 7904 35th Ave SW, 937-3613. Fri-Sat at 8; $12 general, $10 student/senior, discounts available. Open-ended engagement.
JULIE CASCIOPPO EXPERIENCE
"Cascioppo has confidently tossed schmaltz, a Casio keyboard, a couple of exhausted-looking wigs, naughty banter and... songs you thought you hated into a furiously agitating blender. The cocktail concocted goes down shockingly smooth." (Tamara Paris) Pink Door, Pike Place Market, 1919 Post Alley, 443-3241. Tues at 8:30 & 11. No cover.
This actually started last week, but they failed to let us know in time. I guess they don't need much publicity, seeing as this is one of the most acclaimed circus troupes in the world, and their tickets range from $22.50 (children's rate for the crappy seats) to $160 (for the super-duper "VIP" treatment, including a private entrance and gift merchandise). Plus, for some inexplicable reason, the entire tour is sponsored by the Lincoln LS (the "featured vehicle"--what, do a million clowns come crawling out of the trunk of one?) The show itself is no doubt great--I've heard nothing but amazing things about Cirque du Soleil shows--but the circus used to be aimed at all classes, and this is increasingly a rich folk's amusement. Their Big, White Tent is next to the Renton Boeing plant, off exit 5 on I-405. Call 800-678-5440 for tickets.
THREE DOLLAR BILL
"Like most disreputable arts, standup now offers a more compelling product for its lack of adoration. Billed as a gay- and lesbian-oriented show, Three Dollar Bill also works as a low-cost current comedy primer." (Tom Spurgeon) Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 628-0303. Tues at 8; $6.
Morbid play about Edgar Allen Poe and his child bride, by S.F. playwright Amy Freed, whose The Psychic Life of Savages was a recent hit at the Empty Space. "Director Anderson thankfully embraces the meditation on art, terror, and intimacy as comedy, building from Freed's delightfully loopy take on Poe's circular use of language." (Tom Spurgeon) Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. Only one show left: Fri July 14, 11 pm; $5, free if you see the prime-time show, Intelligence.
JET CITY IMPROV
Improv comedy and music based on audience suggestions. "The show goes down really smoothly. One only wishes for better direction." (Tom Spurgeon) Ethnic Cultural Theater, 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE, 781-3879. Fri-Sat at 10:30; $7, $5 with student ID. ALSO: Through August, Jet City performs live with Fremont Friday Night Outdoor Movies, improvising dialogue and sound effects for B movies shown without sound.
"The only improvisational show I've ever seen where the women performers were clearly better than the men--a welcome change from the over-aggressive 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.
Bellevue Opera holds auditions for Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe on July 16, 17, 24, & 31. Call 425-545-1906 for information and appointments.
Queercore, a program of Gay City Health Project, is looking for writers for an original play about gay and bi men under 30, entitled If These Queers Could Talk. Call Robert at 860-6969 for more information.
Village Theatre Evolving Artistic Masters (VTEAM) seeks young actors/singers/dancers under 20 for a production of The Boyfriend. Call 425-392-1942 for an audition appointment. They're also looking for a choreographer, lighting designer, and costume designer, also under 20.