Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What can I see on stage in May?

The Tall Girls is being presented by Washington Ensemble Theatre (Cassandra Bell)

It’s May, it’s May, the lovely month of May, and nary a Camelot production do we see. Here’s what is coming in May:

If unique experiences are what you want in theater, then productions from Seattle Immersive Theatre might fit the bill. Their latest offering is DUMP SITE (5/1/15-6/7/15), an interactive murder investigation set in a decrepit warehouse in SoDo that incorporates live performance, film, audience participation and a sprawling art installation spread over almost seven thousand square feet of space. Dress in layers; they'll provide the flashlights.

Tilt Angel  is theater simple’s next offering (at West of Lenin 5/1-17/15). Family secrets pitch the world off-axis and a ghost transubstantiates into the garden. How else can you describe a play with music about a ghost-mom, an agoraphobic son, and a heavenly messenger with unfinished business? It opens with a plane crash.

Centerstage of Federal Way is hoping to make a big splash with their world premiere musical, For All That (5/1-24/15). Locally written by artistic director Alan Bryce and John Forster, it focuses on a specific date: July 1, 1916. That summer day is the bloodiest British battle in history. A regiment of Scots participated in an attack on Germans and by noon that day, half of the 800 Scots had fallen. It’s an unusual subject matter for a musical.

The Tall Girls, by Meg Mirosnick, is Washington Ensemble Theatre’s next production (5/1-18/15 at 12AA). It’s a grim Dust Bowl era tale of a struggling high school women’s basketball team in the small town of Poor Prairie. Follow this group of young women as they strive for escape from their isolating and vast “grave town” through any means necessary.

The Ghosts of Tonkin comes to ACT Theatre (5/2-10/15). Bellingham Theatre Works brings this original political war drama to Seattle. A behind-the-scenes story of how seemingly well–intentioned public officials brought about the Vietnam War, and how Oregon Senator Wayne Morse battled to stop the war before it began. A forgotten story is brought to life on stage.

A new production from Macha Monkey (at Cornish Playhouse “black box”),  And, And, And Isabella Bootlegs (5/8-22/15) is locally written by Samantha Cooper. Brooklyn turns 17 and her mother asks that Brooklyn and her father stay locked in the house with her for one year. As Brooklyn investigates the murky past behind her mother’s strange paranoia, she uncovers more family mysteries than she ever could have imagined.

The bouncy, fun, widely performed musical, Legally Blonde, holds court at SecondStory Repertory (5/8-31/15). Elle Woods loves pink, her sorority, shoes, shopping and her manicure. When her boyfriend dumps her for Harvard, Elle decides to follow to get him back. This unlikely academic ends up teaching the intellectual elite a thing or two, and finding true love along the way.

Taproot Theatre presents Jeeves Intervenes (5/13/15-6/13/15). A follow-along to their Jeeves in Bloom, characters happily return for some fun. Gertrude is eager to marry Bertie; Eustace is eager to marry Gertrude; and Aunt Agatha and Uncle Rupert are eager to see their nephews at the altar. Quick-witted Jeeves must devise their rescue. Based on P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and the Hardboiled Egg.

Cabaret comes to Village Theatre (Issaquah: 5/14/15-7/3/15, Everett: 7/10/15-8/2/15). It’s 1931 Berlin—Nazis begin to threaten to engulf all of Europe. Welcome to the seedy happenings of the Kit Kat Klub and its regulars. With music and lyrics by the award-winning team behind Chicago, this sizzling musical reminds us that “life is a cabaret, old chum.”

Seattle Public Theater mounts Tally’s Folly (5/14-31/15), Lanford Wilson’s highly acclaimed romantic comedy. Set against the bigotry, racism and wartime disillusion of rural Missouri, can a Jewish lawyer and a Protestant spinster find a way to waltz together?

In the first of two Seattle productions (later this year will be at Intiman Theatre), Arouet presents The Children’s Hour at Ballard Underground (5/14-31/15). A single piece of gossip started by a schoolchild turns to scandal and tragedy. Words can hurt you, is the lesson in this classic play.

The Glas Nocturne is a special event from Akropolis Performance Lab (5/15-31/15 or later - open run). A noir-style drama of psycho-sexual fixation, moral questioning, and murder -- instigated by the story of a reverend, his wife, their doctor, her lover, and a little potassium cyanide. For audiences of only 10 people, but by Invitation Only, requested at:

New City Theater presents MUD by Maria Irene Fornes (5/21/15-6/8/15). It’s a delicate play about passion and yearning; a distillation of lives mired in poverty; a balance of domestic and erotic conflict, cruelty and wit; imbued with a feminism of the most subtle order.

14/48: MixTape - Bringing back favorite plays from festivals past (May 22,23,29,30 at 12AA). Four curated evenings of some of the best shorts from past 14/48 festivals, where playwrights wrote overnight and actors and directors rehearsed during the day and the show was performed that evening.

Four Dogs and A Bone, Theater Schmeater, 5/29/15-6/27/15

In this biting satire of Hollywood, playwright John Patrick Shanley exposes the dark underbelly of movies. Intrigue, blackmail, sexual persuasion and, when all else fails, honesty. https://www.schmeater.org/season/2015/fourdogsandabone