Monday, August 24, 2015

September Theater: Ready, Set, OPEN!

Hannah Mootz and Tiffany Yvonne Cox star in Intiman Theatre's production of The Children's Hour
Photo by Hayley Young)
The theater community often goes a bit crazy in September, with a “new season” mentality, but this year it’s almost too much to bear! In fact, after a lazy Labor Day weekend, 13 (13?) productions open the next weekend!! The biggest companies and small ones and everything in between. Also, there may never have been as many world premieres in one month as September 2015. It’s a bounty of riches, folks!

The Children's Hour, Intiman (at Cornish), 9/9-27/15
This production, helmed by Sheila Daniels, will relocate this classic script about the ruination of gossip and crowd-fearmongering from the 1930s to the 1980s. This is the second production in Seattle this year. If you saw the other, this spring, it might be doubly interesting to compare.

Everybody Here Says Hello and Crime and Rockets (in repertory), Pacific Play Company (at Ballard Underground), 9/10-26/15
Everybody Here Says Hello! is a bittersweet exploration of the ups and downs inherent to modern relationships and sexuality. It’s a comedy about a man, his boyfriend, and his boyfriend's girlfriend.

Crime and Rockets, created by Scotto Moore with contributions from Keiko Green, Morgan Ludlow, Juliet Waller Pruzan, includes short pieces based in a future where human nature itself is evolving as rapidly as the technology that catapulted us into deep space. Also, wherever there’re humans, there’re bad humans, and somebody’s gotta crack the cases when they try to get away with murder.

Brechtfest, The Horse in Motion (at the Can Can), 9/12/15-10/4/15
Selections from Bertolt Brecht’s writings, Baal, The Good Person of Szechwan and The Threepenny Opera in a morning presentation, with 16 actors and covering political issues such as income inequality, gender, and surviving our rigged economy. You’ll eat breakfast and listen to music as this company-created staging unfolds. Sat and Sun morns at 11:00a.m. (and two Monday nights). Veggie and gluten-free breakfast available!

Suddenly Last Summer, Theater Schmeater, 9/11/15-10/10/15
Suddenly last summer, Mrs. Venable's son Sebastian died, and his poor cousin Catherine is the only person who knows the details of Sebastian's death. Mrs. Venable doesn’t want Catherine to remember those details, nor tell them to anyone else!

Green Day’s American Idiot, Artswest, 9/10/15-10/11/15
The Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album created by Green Day was transformed into an electric-rock-opera of youthful disillusion. Johnny, Tunny, and Will flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life. But their paths are quickly estranged in a post-9/11 world none of them could have imagined.

Bloomsday, ACT Theatre, 9/11/15-10/11/15 (World Premiere)
Steven Dietz’s newest play, presented for the first time at ACT Theatre. Set in Dublin, an American man searches for the Irish woman who captured his heart 30 years earlier. Weaving in and out of time, we witness the very separate paths their lives have taken.

Jesus Christ Superstar, Seattle Musical Theatre, 9/11/15-10/4/15
This new production of the musical classic jumps forward in time and explores the gospels from a bleak world where much has been forgotten and lost. In a time when children are no longer born and the last of the written word is literally crumbling away, carefully collected and preserved pieces of text pertain to one they called “Jesus.”

Knocking Bird, Umbrella Project (at West of Lenin), 9/11/15-10/13/15 (World Premiere)
A psychological thriller about a husband and wife who retreat to the woods after a car accident leaves her body and his mind wrecked. Between long walks to the 7-11 and a mounting, lingering obsession with birds, the couple grapples with a visit from the man who shaped their past and threatens their future. Emily Conbere is the local playwright gaining the support of this new company.

Snapshots, Village Theatre, Issaquah: 9/10/15-10/18/15, Everett: 10/23/15-11/15/15
A new musical collage of Stephen Schwartz, composer of such musicals as Wicked and Godspell, Snapshots is a romantic comedy that tells the story of one couple’s changing relationship through the years. The show features a score comprised of the work of Schwartz, with 26 songs from 12 shows throughout his career. Schwartz even got personally involved by retuning and adjusting his own songs to better fit the story.

Sound, Azeotrope (at ACTLab), 9/11/15-10/4/15 (World Premiere)
Sound, a sign language play by Don Nguyen, is co-directed by Desdemona Chiang and Howie Seago. A bilingual play (in American Sign Language and spoken English, with supertitles) the play strives to be equally accessible to both hearing and Deaf audiences simultaneously. An impassioned dispute between a fiercely protective deaf father and his hearing ex-wife is over the use of cochlear implants to restore their daughter's hearing. In a parallel story, 130 years earlier, Alexander Graham Bell is on a quest to invent the first hearing aid and cure deafness..

The Memorandum, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, 9/10/15-10/10/15
Josef Gross, in Vaclav Havel’s play, gets a memo in an artificial language Ptydepe. He needs it to be translated and this starts a chain of office politics imploding into satire. Havel also targets spying on the populace, among other governmental bureaucratic bungling.

Bohemia, Marxiano Prods. (at Café  Nordo), 9/10-27/15 (World Premiere)
Famous Czech composer Antonin Dvořák has hit a wall and prior to composing his magnum opus, he looks to the bottom of a bottle of absinthe for inspiration. In this macabre and mystical dream cabaret Dvořák is seduced by "The Green Fairy" and is visited by the ghost of late composer Frédéric Chopin.

Bootycandy, Intiman (at Cornish Blackbox), 9/16/15-10/3/15
Playwright Robert O’Hara’s satire about growing up gay and black. Sutter is on an outrageous odyssey through his childhood home, his church, dive bars, motel rooms and even nursing homes.

Green Whales and Still Life (in repertory), Forward Flux (at Gay City), 9/16/15-10/3/15 (one World Premiere)
Still Life: This world premiere offers a touching and humorous look at life and loss in the terrorist age. A series of subway bombings have shut down the city, and Lydia is stuck with her annoying son-in-law awaiting news from her daughter who was last seen getting on the train. To make matters worse, a celebrated photographer won't leave Lydia alone. Honorary mention on the Kilroy List 2015.

Green Whale, by Lia Romeo, is a dark comedy. Karen is a middle-aged woman with a chromosomal disorder that makes her appear to be in her early teens. As a result, she has trouble meeting men - until her alcoholic sister sets her up with a suspected pedophile.

The Comedy of Errors, Seattle Shakespeare Company (at Seattle Rep), 9/16/15-10/11/15
Antipholus and his servant, Dromio, find themselves in a peculiar city where strangers seem to recognize them. This comic knot of jealous wives, quack doctors, mysterious nuns, and double trouble untangles just in time with the nuttiest family reunion ever.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Book-It Repertory Theatre, 9/22/15-10/18/15
This Raymond Carver 1981 short-story collection was first adapted and toured by Book-It in the early 1990s. Carver’s portrait of romance can be tough and bittersweet. Selections include the title story, Cathedral, and others.

Dracula, Taproot Theatre, 9/23/15-10/24/15 (World Premiere)
The battle between light and dark erupts in a brand new adaptation of this classic thriller. Far from the romanticized vampires of recent years, Dracula lurks in the shadows, plotting to prey on the people of England. As night falls over London, intrepid heroes join forces to defeat the monster with the only weapon he fears — a heart willing to sacrifice everything.

99 Ways to Fuck a Swan, Washington Ensemble Theatre, 9/25/15-10/17/15
A long, long time ago, Leda made love to a swan. 3,000 years later, Michelangelo painted a picture. 350 years later, Rudolph bought it. 130 years later, Dave and Fiona stand in a museum, gazing at what remains. Explore the dark corners of desire and the eternal mysteries of love.

A View from the Bridge, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 9/25/15-10/18/15
An American Classic. A longshoreman by trade, Eddie Carbone is confident of his place in the working-class neighborhood he calls home. That life changes when he agrees to harbor his immigrant cousins. A love affair exposes a dark family secret, and suspicion, jealousy and betrayal soon follow in this passionate drama by one of America’s greatest playwrights. This American tragedy remains topical and thought-provoking 60 years after its 1955 Broadway premiere.

The Art of Bad Men, MAP Theatre (at INScape), 9/25/15-10/17/15 (World Premiere)
Playwright Vincent Delany interviewed former German prisoners of war, held in the States at POW camps which dotted the US during WWII. Some are ardent Nazis, some are barely old enough to hold a shovel.  Every one of them is scared. But for a few, a drag production of Moliere’s The Miser may give them a chance—either to escape or to transcend. (MAP shares the world premiere with Theater B in Fargo, ND, also in September)

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