THEATER


OPENING THIS WEEK

THE FANTASTICKS 路 Northwest Asian American Theatre

HENRY IV, PART ONE 路 Greenstage

LINGER 路 Speakeasy Back Room

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 路 Greenstage

ORPHEUS 路 Rainier Valley Youth Theatre

A SKULL IN CONNEMARA 路 A Contemporary Theatre

SUMMER SEASON 路 Seattle Children's Theatre


ONE WEEK ONLY

MAE WEST FEST IV 路 Union Garage

STRICTLY SEATTLE 2000 路 Broadway Performance Hall

ROMEO & JULIET: A MUSICAL 路 Tedious Brief Theater Company


CLOSING THIS WEEK

2.5 MINUTE RIDE 路 A Contemporary Theatre

CLOSET LAND 路 AJ Epstein Presents

HAMLET 路 UW School of Drama

ISO... (IN SEARCH OF) 路 Northwest Actors Studio

MEDEA THE MUSICAL 路 ArtsWest Theatre Company

VIA DOLOROSA 路 A Contemporary Theatre

THE YEOMAN OF THE GUARD 路 Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society


OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS


2.5 MINUTE RIDE

Lisa Kron's acclaimed monologue about amusement parks, Auschwitz, and Internet romance. "Kron is smart and charming, full of self-deprecating humor and a certain bewildered curiosity about her parents' experiences and foibles.... [Unfortunately], though I wanted to be affected... all I could do was admire her skill." (Bret Fetzer) 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 under 25. Through July 30.


3 GUYS NAKED FROM THE WAIST DOWN

The most pandering title of all time, except that it's about standup comedy, not homoeroticism. A rock musical. Fuzzy Bunnies, Ink at Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave S, 292-ARTS. Wed-Sat at 8, Sun at 7; $16.50, $13.50 students/seniors ($18, $15 Fri-Sat). Through Aug 13.


*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.


*BALLYHOO

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. "Ballyhoo... panders to its audience in such an exquisite fashion that one not only doesn't mind, but actually stops and seriously questions whether or not that is part of the point." (Tom Spurgeon) Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 325-6500. Thurs-Sat at 8; $12. Through Aug 5.


THE BOUFFANTS

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 the show, $42 for dinner too. Through Sept 30. Reviewed this issue.


CLOSET LAND

Radha Bharadwaj's play about an anonymous woman tortured by an anonymous interrogator. Sensitive viewers are warned that the production contains graphic simulated torture. "An exploration of the various facets of oppression... this production has admirable points, though the 90-minute one-act is exceedingly grim." (Stacey Levine) 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.


THE FANTASTICKS

This inexplicably popular musical is staged in the Arboretum's Japanese Garden. Sure to be extremely pretty. Northwest Asian American Theatre at the Arboretum, Washington Park, 2300 E Arboretum Dr, 340-1049. Opens Fri July 28. Wed-Sun at 7; $27.50, $22.50 students/seniors, pay-what-you-can on Wed Aug 2. No performance on Sat Aug 12. Through Aug 20.


HAMLET

A "movement-based production" of Shakespeare's play about a snotty student with a thing for his mom. Sounds extremely arty, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Directed by Susan Finque. UW School of Drama at the Playhouse Theatre, 4045 University Way NE, 685-4848. Tues-Sun July 25-30, 7:30 pm, (Sun at 7, Sat late show at 10:30); $12, $8 students/seniors.


HENRY IV, PART ONE

English politics filtered through a young king's relationship with this big fat drunk. Greenstage, 748-1551. At 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.


ISO... (IN SEARCH OF)

"A one-hour show that attempts, through movement and music, to sum up the state of sexuality in modern life--a rather tall order for four actors in stretch pants.... The cast playfully uses plenty of tricks to keep the audience engaged and even amused, but doesn't really offer us anything about sex we don't already know." (Tamara Paris) Burnt Studio Productions at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 8; $10, $8 students/seniors. Through July 29.


LINGER

John Kaufmann turns his life into a constellation; also featuring songs and audience interaction. Kaufmann's a unique performer exploring what it means to be "in the moment"; his shows seem to ramble aimlessly, then accumulate into something surprisingly sweet and funny. Speakeasy Back Room, 2304 Second Ave, 322-3277. Opens Fri July 28. Fri-Sun at 9; $7-$10 (depending on whether or not you sign an "audience/performer contract"). Through Aug 12.


MASS APPEAL

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. Taproot Theatre Company, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. Wed-Thurs at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8, Sat matinee at 2; $16-$24. 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. Through July 29.


MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Two smarty-pantses fall in love while a good friend of theirs almost dies from public humiliation. Greenstage, 748-1551. At Woodland Park on Fri-Sat July 28-29; Lincoln Park on Fri-Sat Aug 4-12; Volunteer Park on Fri-Sat Aug 18-19 and Sat Aug 26, and Fri-Sun Sept 1-3; all performances at 8 pm. Free.


ORPHEUS

A new musical about the classic Greek myth of the musician who tries to rescue his beloved from the underworld. Rainier Valley Youth Theatre at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S Alaska St, 725-7169. Opens Thurs July 27. Thurs-Sat at 7:30; $5 adults, $3 children under 12. Through Aug 5.


ROMEO & JULIET: A MUSICAL

The producers are called the Tedious Brief Theater Company; let's hope they live up to only part of their name. The cast features students from local schools. SAAS Arts Satellite, 1515 12th Ave, 935-9150. Fri-Sun July 28-30, Fri at 7, Sat at 2 and 7, Sun at 4; $8, $6 students.


THE ROVER

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.


A SKULL IN CONNEMARA

See Bio Box. A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7660. Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sun at 7:30; Fri-Sat at 8; 2 pm matinees on July 30, Aug 2, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20; $27-$42, $10 for persons 25 and under. Through Aug 20.


*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. "They bicker and agonize over the proper course of action, painfully peeling away the facade of lies that disguise that dissatisfaction--and in the process, stripping off their oh-so-proper attire, revealing lingerie so frivolous and optimistic you can't help but cheer for the ladies." (Tamara Paris) Intiman Theatre, Seattle Center, 269-1900. Wed-Sun, call for times; $23.50-$42. Through Aug 5.


SUMMER SEASON

A whole buncha stuff at Seattle Childrens Theatre, ranging from Dr. Dolittle in the Moon to Macbeth (?!), featuring students from the SCT Drama School. Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center, 441-3322. Opens Thurs July 27, call for specific show times; $4 single tickets, $6 double features, $20 for all eight shows. Through Aug 18.


THE TWILIGHT ZONE MARATHON VII

Theater Schmeater pulls at the teat of their cash cow one more time, which is not to say that these episodes won't be perfectly entertaining. Also featuring the insidiously popular Miss Intermission. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 325-6500. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7; $12, under 18 free. Through Aug 26.


VIA DOLOROSA

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. Wed, Thurs, & Sun at 7:30; Fri-Sat at 8; 2 pm matinee on Sun July 30 & Aug 6 (this second matinee is followed by a free symposium: "Stones or Ideas? The Middle East Conflict in Context"). $15, $10 for anyone 25 or under. Through July 30. Reviewed this issue.


THE YEOMAN OF THE GUARD

Snippy rhymes and sprightly music from Gilbert & Sullivan. "To a G&S novice who doesn't share the nostalgia or ready-made love for musical theater's diaphanous duo, it was a painful introduction." (Brendan Kiley) Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society at the Bagley Wright Theater at Seattle Center, 341-9612. Thurs-Sat at 8 (Sat matinee at 2); $24, $15 seniors. Through July 29.


DANCE


FOSSE

See Stranger Suggests. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 682-1414. Tues-Sat at 8, Sun at 7:30 (Sat-Sun matinees at 2); $21-$52. Through Aug 6.


STRICTLY SEATTLE

See Stranger Suggests. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 325-6500. Fri-Sat July 28-29, 8 pm; $12 in advance, $14 at the door.


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, $10 students/seniors, 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.


MAE WEST FEST IV

See Stranger Suggests. Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. Thurs-Sun July 27-30, call for times of specific events. Full festival passes are $40; individual events vary.


*SALTIMBANCO

"Stuff like this defies criticism. It's just fun." (Bret Fetzer) Their Big White Tent is next to the Renton Boeing plant, off Exit 5 on I-405. Call 800-675-5440 for tickets. They're pricy ($22.50 to $160), and I'm a little appalled by the VIP treatment with a private entrance, but you probably won't regret it. Through Aug 13.


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.


LATE NIGHT


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 Aug, Jet City performs live with Fremont Friday Night Outdoor Movies, improvising dialogue and sound effects for B movies shown without sound. See Movie Times for details.


THEATER SPORTS

"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.


CALLS

Annex Theatre is holding auditions for a workshop of a new musical theater piece on Aug 5 & 6. Call 728-0933, ext. 3 for information and appointments.

Bellevue Opera holds auditions for Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe on Mon July 24 & 31. Call 425-545-1906 for information and appointments.

Riptide Deli Theatre on Alki is holding auditions for its 2000-'01 season on Sun Aug 13, 1-4:30 pm. Short comic monologue preferred. Call 405-8433 for appointment.

Snoqualmie Forest Theater is looking for 2-3 male voices and 1 boy to join the cast of Oliver. Contact Roger Westberg at 365-8475.