Saturday, May 30, 2015

What's opening in June?

Robert Bergin, Erik Gratton and Todd Jefferson Moore in Slaughterhouse-Five at Book-It Repertory Theatre
(John Ulman)

As we begin June, theatrical offerings that open this month have little in common. That’s great, since no two experiences will be alike! A couple of events are shorts fests, which proliferate as the weather gets warmer, making our attention spans that much shorter. Remember, if you don’t like one short, wait a few minutes and there will be another!

Sandbox One-Act Play Festival or SOAPfest, June 3-7, 2015, at West of Lenin.
Three interesting plays by three veteran local theater artists: Las Cruces, by Vincent Delaney, transports us to the New Mexico desert, not far from casinos and the spaceport, where Sheridan is camped out, hiding in a gutted trailer. Chosen Less, by Phillip Lienau, reveals a chance meeting on the street where two men learn the hard way that leaving is not the same as escaping. Why Do We Keep Broken Things, by Carl Sander, where five inhabitants of Seattle collide in a kinetic collage of civics, sex, and estranged friendship amidst Occupy Seattle.

Never the Sinner, LungFish Productions, June 4-20, 2015 at TPS 4.
John Logan’s play about the infamous wealthy Nathan Leopold, Jr. and Richard Loeb, who in 1924 killed a 14 year old boy for the thrill of it, has the most Gay content of the month. Their homosexual relationship and their guilty plea riveted the city of Chicago in the Trial of the Century. Clarence Darrow fought for their lives and won. The play has won accolades for its incisive dialogue.

Epic Proportions, Phoenix Theatre, June 5-28, 2015.
Set in the 1930s, two brothers, Benny and Phil, go to the Arizona desert to be film extras in the huge Biblical epic Exeunt Omnes. Things move very quickly in this riotous comedy and before you know it, Phil is directing the movie, and Benny is starring in it and they both fall in love with Louise, the assistant director. There are gladiator battles, the Ten Plagues and a cast of thousands portrayed by four other actors.

Taphouse, Copious Love Productions, at Ballard Underground, June 5-20, 2015.
Locally written by Kiki Penoyer, Taphouse examines the idea of “home” and the ways in which things can be a comfort for and a crutch for others, and is a modern adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Set in a dive watering hole in Bellingham, everyone has a reason to get up and leave, but they consistently find themselves unable to do so—but this year will be different, they swear.

Threesome, ACT Theatre, June 5-28, 2015.
In a world premiere co-production with Portland Center Stage, award-winning local playwright Yussef El Guindi (Steinberg Award 2013 for Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World) presents a new play that weaves issues ripped from world headlines into an intimate and personal story.  Leila and Rashid, Egyptian Americans with ties to Cairo, attempt to solve their relationship issues by inviting a relative stranger into their bedroom to engage in a threesome. Off-Broadway’s 59E59 Theater has announced that this production will travel to Manhattan with the same cast, directly after it closes here!

Quickies 16, Live Girls! Theater, June 6-20, 2015, at Annex Theatre.
The 16th year of presenting eight brand new short plays by some of the most innovative female voices in theater.  It is an always entertaining evening, with choreographed interludes and a repertory company of actors for the event.

Slaughterhouse-Five, Book-It Repertory Theatre, June 9-July 3, 2015, Armory Theatre.
Out of the very real horrors he experienced as a World War II POW in Dresden, Kurt Vonnegut crafted the powerful Slaughterhouse-Five. Protagonist Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time and travels between the war in Germany,  Illium, New York, and the alien planet Tralfamadore. This fractured tale of the personal fallout of war is laden with Vonnegut’s signature black humor and imagination. Adapted and directed by Josh Aaseng.

Dirty, Washington Ensemble Theatre and ACT Theatre at ACT, June 10-29, 2015.
Matt Barnes, an investment banker who struggles to stomach his job, is struck by a business idea that will net him millions while helping those in need. So why does everyone think this venture is even more vile than the last? Dirty explores whether there's any place for philanthropy in this cut-throat, capitalist country.

Are you There God, It's Me Karen Carpenter, STAGEright, at Hugo House, June 12-27, 2015.
An unexpected mashup inspired by the classic coming-of-age book Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret and the 1970s music of the Carpenters, locally devised. It’s the age before the internet where the only way we were exposed to celebrities was either with rabbit ears on our new color televisions or on the radio mom and dad finally gave us to listen to music in our own rooms! Will Margaret become a "Superstar"? Will she end up on "Top of the World"? Only time will tell for this diversely cast musical going up on "Rainy Days and Mondays"!

Noises Off, SecondStory Repertory, June 12-28, 2015.
Widely considered the funniest farce ever written, Noises Off reveals the hilarious backstage happenings during rehearsals and performances of a British play dubbed Nothing's On. Michael Frayn's comedy is a triumph of slamming doors, falling trousers and even flying sardines, and it remains a crowd pleaser more than 30 years after its 1982 debut.

1776, Seattle Musical Theatre and Twelfth Night Productions and Reboot Theatre Company, June 25-28, 2015.
For the first time, an all-female 1776, a musical celebrating the founding of the United States of America with what is widely considered one of the most intelligent librettos in musical history. See Thomas Jefferson, James Adams, and more famous men, only… not.

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