OPENING THIS WEEK
AESOP'S FABLES · Thistle Theatre
LIVE GIRLS DO ELEKTRA · One World Theatre
NEVER THE SINNER · Driftwood Players
THE PROVOK'D WIFE · A Theatre Under the Influence
SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR · Broadway Performance Hall
SILVER WATER · Book-It Repertory Theatre
ONE WEEK ONLY
12 MINUTES MAX · On the Boards
ALMA BRASILEIRA · Grupo de Euritmia de Sao Paulo
BRUCE VILANCH: ALMOST FAMOUS! · Emerald City Arts
FUSEBALL · Fuse Foundation
SINBAD · Out to Laugh
CLOSING THIS WEEK
A MAP OF THE WORLD · Bridges International Repertory Theatre
AN UNEXPECTED EVENING · Cabaret de Paris
THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS · ArtsWest
NUTZ-N-BOLTS · Northwest Actors Studio
STRAIGHT · Northwest Asian American Theatre
THE TRAGEDY OF KING CHRISTOPHE · Seattle Public Theatre
2 WOMEN AVOIDING INVOLUNTARY HOSPITALIZATION · On the Boards
THE VALERIE OF NOW/IMAGINING BRAD · Bare Boards & Passion
THE WATER STATION · Pacific Performance Project
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
A DELICATE BALANCE
Upper middle-class family strife from Edward Albee. "Brilliant lighting, brilliant costumes, brilliant set--all ruined by some of the lamest professional acting this theatergoer has ever seen. Blame the director." (Dirk Lacroix) Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $29-$42, $10 for anyone under 25. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun at 2. Extended through Feb 25.
*A MAP OF THE WORLD
A new theater group launches itself with this David Hare comedy about a cynical novelist and an idealistic journalist. "The cast in this handsomely mounted play was nearly all excellent. [Jason] Cottle, though occasionally suffering from Hugh Grant-isms, is especially riveting and believable." (Tamara Paris) Bridges International Repertory Theatre at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 526-1888, www.bridgesrep.org. $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. "The portrayal of the central character, Baum, seems to perpetuate some of the same stereotypes [the play] 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.
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. "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.
A musical based on the works of the elegant, macabre Edward Gorey. See review this issue. 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. "I wondered if Williams' message is a conservative one: That in the end, it's best to stay where you come from. Decide for yourself while enjoying terrific performances; Williams' poetic soliloquies on the sounds and scents of the country are ably expressed, especially by [Selena] Paquiet." (Stacey Levine) 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.
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.
*LIVE GIRLS DO ELEKTRA
A smart, funny, and sometimes creepy fusion of Greek tragedy and white suburban squalor. See Stranger Suggests. One World Theatre at the Chamber Theatre, 910 E Pine St, Fourth Floor, 264-1735. $12. Thurs-Sat at 8. Through Feb 10.
MASK OF THE UNICORN WARRIOR
A medieval tale of fantasy and sibling rivalry, by former Seattle playwright Y. York. 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 March 10.
"Monster makes us at look at the most complicated, difficult parts of ourselves. This play may make you feel uncomfortable, but you'll learn something important about the extremes of being human." (Rebecca Brown) A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $15. Wed, Thurs, & Sun at 7:30, Fri-Sat at 8. Through Feb 11.
THE PROVOK'D WIFE
Scornful sex farce from the Restoration, written by one of the greatest British Baroque architects. See Bio Box. A Theatre Under the Influence at the Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. Pay-what-you-will Thurs, $12 Fri-Sat, $10 Sun. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Through Feb 25.
SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR
Theater chestnut about a 26-year affair, conducted one weekend a year, performed by deaf actors in American Sign Language. Maybe it's better in translation. (Some performance include voice interpretation; call for details.) Produced by the Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services at the Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 726-0093 (TTY only) or ticketwindowonline.com. Evenings $15, matinees $12. Thurs-Sat at 7:30, Sat-Sun at 2. Through Feb 11.
Three short stories by Amy Bloom, nominated for the National Book Award. Book-It Repertory Theatre at A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 325-6500. $18 general, $14 students/seniors. Wed-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Through Feb 25.
David Schmader's Dante-esque descent into the world of conversion therapy. 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. UW School of Drama at the Meany Studio Theatre, UW campus, 543-4880. $8 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--poet, playwright, political theorist, and mayor of Fort-de-France, Martinique. "Like Shakespeare's history plays, it's an exquisitely written epic drama. Unfortunately, the acting and singing talents of this earnest cast are not always up to the task." (Rebecca Brown) 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. "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. Extended through Feb 3.
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. 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.
Or, "The Soul of Brazil," from Brazil's premier eurythmy troupe, Grupo de Euritmia de Sao Paulo. What, exactly, is eurythmy? "The movement configures itself in the flow of speech and in the development of sounds, with all its shades of feelings, emphasizing the specific message expressed by the poet or composer." I have no idea what that means. Sound Circle Eurythmy at Intiman Theatre, Seattle Center, 361-5931. $16 general, $13 students & seniors. Sat Feb 3, 7:30 pm only.
FESTIVALS, CABARET, & COMEDY
*12 MINUTES MAX
Dance, experimental comedy, and much much more. Always worth checking out. On the Boards, 100 W Roy, 217-9888. $7. Sun-Mon Feb 4-5, 7 pm.
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.
BRUCE VILANCH: ALMOST FAMOUS!
An evening with the man who writes the jokes for the Oscars. Don't expect a lot of dish about Hollywood; after all, he still works there. See Stranger Suggests. Emerald City Arts at Meany Theater, UW Campus, 323-2992. $28-$32. Sat Feb 3, 8 pm only.
Big-ass party put on by the Fuse Foundation, who want to award big-ass grants to individual artists, which makes them deserving of your support. Plus, it sounds like a fun event, featuring a ton of bands, fire artists, drag queens, art installations, piñatas, and who knows what else. Wild attire is encouraged. Fuse Foundation at Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 654-4452. $30 advance, $35 at the door, if available. Sat Feb 3, 9 pm.
A wild performance piece that fuses dance, music, and theater into an inspirational oleo with some relationship to gang awareness. Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, 324-6328. $10 general, $8 students & seniors. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 7. Through Feb 3.
A night with the star of Houseguest. Paramount Theatre, Ninth and Pine, 628-0888, www.foolproof.org. $33.50-$53.50. Sat Feb 3, 8 pm.
*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.
SPIN THE BOTTLE
Annex's late night cornucopia makes its monthly appearance, featuring dance from KT Niehoff, a film from John Paulsen, an impossibly charming song from Sonya Walker, and more, including the usual assortment of shadow puppets and tawdry smut. Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933. $5. Fri Feb 2, 11 pm.
"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.
Puppet versions of classic Greek stories, featuring songs written by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart! Opens Sat Feb 3. Thistle Theatre at the Moore Theatre, 9450 NE 14th, Bellevue, 206-524-3388. $8 adults, $6 children/seniors. Sat-Sun at 2 & 4. Through Feb 11.
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.
NEVER THE SINNER
Yet another interpretation of the Leopold & Loeb murder, this time in musical form. Driftwood Players, 950 Main St, Edmonds, 425-774-9600. $18 general, $16 juniors/seniors. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Through Feb 25.
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.
ArtsWest holding auditions for The Marriage of Bette and Boo and Daddy's Dyin'--Who's Got the Will? Equity and non-equity considered. Call 938-0963 ext. 165.
Driftwood Players seeking two women, five men, and two "either" for Return to the Forbidden Planet, a '60s rock 'n' roll musical. Call 425-774-9600.