Saturday, February 28, 2015

Coming up: Theater in March 2015

Ryan Higgins in the 2011 production of Live! From the Last Night of My Life (Dave Hastings)
(as published in Seattle Gay News)

March theater is bringing some plays very very new (The Flick, New Century Theatre Company – 2014 Pulitzer Prize, and Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Lizard Boy – a world premiere musical) and some plays very very old (Tartuffe, Seattle Shakespeare Company). A 2011 play improbably comes back to life with almost the same cast and crew (Live! From the Last Year of My Life, Theatre22). And a lot in-between, as usual. Here is the list by date order.

NCTC opens its season at 12th Avenue Arts with The Flick by Annie Baker, 3/5/15-4/4/15. Avery, Rose, and Sam work at a rundown movie theater that still shows films reel to reel. They discuss life and movies in a journey of self-exploration through issues of race, sexual identity, and family.

ArtsWest and SiS Productions co-produce Chinglish, 3/5/15-3/29/15. This comedy by David Henry Hwang (his Yellowface was presented by ReAct in 2011), explores the challenges of doing business in a culture whose language—and ways of communicating—are worlds apart from our own. A na├»ve American business man goes to China to score a lucrative contract for his family's firm, only to encounter miscomprehensions and malapropisms galore. But business miscommunications with dignitaries are easy compared to sexual misunderstandings.

Goodnight Moon is back at Seattle Children’s Theatre, 3/5/15-4/19/15. In this intimate production, everyone will revel with Bunny in the fun of jumping cows, dancing bears and a room that springs to life. Goodnight Moon is a truly timeless theatre experience the whole family can enjoy.   

For several years now, ACT Theatre and the 5th Avenue Theatre have co-produced musicals to the delight of both sets of subscribers. Shown in the smaller theaters at ACT, the musicals are more intimate and accessible in some ways. This year, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well & Living in Paris is the musical, running from 3/7/15-5/17/15. Opened Off-Broadway in 1968, this revue of Brel’s songs, packed with wit, intelligence and raw human emotion, radiates stories of love and loss, hope and despair, humor and pathos.

A locally written play, Safe, will be presented by Riot [Productions], 3/12-22/15, at Gay City Health Project. Sean wants to purposefully contract Rob's HIV. Rob doesn't want to put Sean at risk, for fear of the stigma against them both. When they get in bed, will their connection be the most important? Or will it be undetectable? Safe looks to deconstruct what "safe sex" really means.

The next Pony World play has a very long title: We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German S├╝dwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915. It plays at New City Theater from 3/12/15-4/4/15. Framed as a rehearsal by a theater troupe telling a story about a little-known genocide in Africa, the ensemble finds it leads them close to home. Although about an event over 100 years ago, this unexpectedly funny and unsettlingly accurate play is the theatre we need in America right now.

Tartuffe is Seattle Shakespeare Company’s annual non-Shakespearian play, 3/17/15-4/12/15. Moliere’s story, translated into verse by Richard Wilbur, is a classic tweaking of the upper class. Orgon’s household is under the influence of a seductive swindler named Tartuffe, a con man masquerading as a holy man. He plans to dupe the gullible Orgon out of his fortune, his daughter, and his reputation. See how family members try to get Orgon to realize the sham in Tartuffe’s flim-flam.

No Way To Treat A Lady is the next musical at Village Theatre, playing in Issaquah from 3/19/15-4/26/15, and then Everett from 5/1-24/15. In a new musical comedy thriller, the lives of a charming detective, a glamorous socialite, and a pair of meddling mothers become unexpectedly entwined in the schemes of actor-turned-murderer Christopher “Kit” Gill. But Kit’s ultimate goal isn’t a victim headcount – it’s a headline, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it. Created by Douglas J. Cohen, it’s based on the best-selling novel by William Goldman, author of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Princess Bride.

CenterStage in Federal Way is presenting Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougement (As Told By Himself), 3/20/15-4/4/15. A man and his dog go to sea for adventures.
Exotic islanders, flying wombats, giant sea turtles and a monstrous man-eating octopus…all done with just three actors!

The Best of Enemies, presented by Taproot Theatre from 3/25/15-4/25/15 is written by Mark St. Germain based on a book by Osha Gray Davidson. This true story tells of racially segregated schools in Durham, North Carolina in 1971, until a Ku Klux Klan member and a Civil Rights activist were forced to work together to solve the problem.

Seattle Public Theater opens Slow Girl, 3/26/15-4/12/15. A troubled young woman visits her reclusive uncle in the jungles of Costa Rica. Each of them struggles to connect and confront a history of scandal and poor judgment.

Another keenly anticipated production is Lizard Boy, a world premiere musical and Seattle Repertory Theatre commission, by local actor/writer/musician Justin Huertas, from 3/27/15-4/26/15. Huertas and two best friends star in this improbable story of a comic book monster rising from Mt. St. Helens. 

The Most Deserving is Theater Schmeater’s next production, 3/27/15-4/25/15. In a backwater Kansas town, the art commission has $20,000 to give to a local artist. This comedy addresses questions like “Is it art?” and “Who gets to decide?”

In 2011, playwright Wayne Rawley and Theater Schmeater debuted Live! From the Last Night of My Life. It was one of the best productions of that year. In a rarely seen event, another local company, Theatre22, is presenting it again with almost every member of the original cast and even crew at 12th Avenue Arts, 3/28/15-4/18/15. This is a real treat and likely to again be a celebrated production.

Doug Sample is depressed. He works graveyard at a mini-mart, hasn’t gotten anywhere. He’s decided to shoot himself in the head right in front of the security cameras at the end of this shift. But before the night is over, Doug will be visited by his past, his present, his possible futures, and some particularly annoying customers.

What might one man and nine women have to do with Showtunes Theatre Company? They are performing Nine on March 28 and 29 at Benaroya Hall (Recital Hall). This concert version of the musical is about a fictional movie director and all the women (including wife, mistress, temptress, and muse) in his life.

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