Thursday, February 25, 2016

March stands for Musicals in Seattle (theater openings)

Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako in My Heart is the Drum (Village Theatre - Mark Kitaoka)
There is Seattle Fringe Festival going on that started at the end of February and continues in March. Multiple solo and small shows, often new material that people are developing, and usually about an hour in length, so you can see more than one in a night. Here’s the link:

March seems to “stand for” Musicals, this year! Openings include Assassins at ACT Theatre (co-pro’d with 5th Avenue), Parade by Sound Theatre Company, EVITA at SecondStory Repertory, My Heart is the Drum at Village Theatre, Violet at ArtsWest, Cotton Patch Gospel at Taproot, and at the end of the month, My Night with Janis Joplin at 5th Avenue! We surely have turned into a musical theater town when no one was paying attention! Openings below.

Assassins, 5th Ave Theatre and ACT Theatre (at ACT Theatre), 3/3/16-5/15/16
A Stephen Sondheim musical about some of the most notorious figures in American history—the assassins who tried (and in some cases succeeded) to kill the President.

Violet, ArtsWest, 3/3/16-4/4/15
A disfigured young woman dreams of becoming beautiful. After seeing a faith-healing minister on TV, she embarks on a bus trip across the American south in hopes of finding the minister and healing her face. Along the way, she learns the true meaning of beauty, courage and love. Written by Jeanine Tesori, the 2015 Tony award winning composer of Fun Home

The Reckoning, Pecora For The PublicThe Repertory Collective, 3/3-19/16 (at Cornish blackbox)
This one man show immortalizes Italian-American Ferdinand Pecora’s valiant effort to expose the malignant and deceptive practices of Wall Street’s most elite financiers and bankers including JP Morgan Jr., based on actual transcripts from the 1933 United States Senate Banking Committee hearings to determine the root causes of the 1929 stock market crash. 

Luna Gale, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 3/4-27/16
A veteran social worker takes on the custody battle over a baby girl named Luna, but as she learns more about the family's past, she begins to uncover long-buried memories of her own. Pamela Reed stars.

From Kings to Controllers, Ghostlight Theatricals, 3/4-19/16
Based on Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece, local playwright Stacy Flood dives into current issues of discrimination against women in video games, technology, and the arts. As one woman struggles to build a game that empowers, she is met with trials throughout each aspect of her endeavor – from within the gaming world and her own navigation of it.

EVITA, SecondStory Repertory, 3/4/16-4/3/16
The hit musical based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan PerĂ³n, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.

Death on the Supermarket Shelf, Centerstage Theatre, 3/4-26/16
A new play about the Tylenol poisonings that happened in 1982, when medicine did not come in safety-sealed containers!

Parade, Sound Theatre Company, 3/10-26/16, (at 12th Avenue Arts)
Tony Award-winning musical. Based on the true story of the trial of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jewish man living in Atlanta who was tried and convicted of the murder of his thirteen-year-old employee, Mary Phagan, in 1913. Frank's hanging by a lynch mob was pivotal to the founding of the Anti-Defamation League as well as the revival of the Ku Klux Klan in the South.

Marching in Gucci: Memoirs of a Well-Dressed Activist, Gay City Arts, 3/10-13 and 3/17-20/16
A multimedia solo performance by Chad Goller-Sojourner that chronicles his coming-of-age as a black gay AIDS activist in the ‘90s in New York City. This veteran solo performer explores the his paradoxical relationship of fighting to save lives of the unknown with simultaneously engaging in multiple self-harming behaviors.

My Heart Is the Drum, Village Theatre, Issaquah: 3/17/16-4/24/16; Everett: 4/29/16-5/22/16
World premiere. In the small village of Kafrona in Ghana, one spirited young woman is determined to attend university, against all odds. She defies her parents and risks everything to set off for the big city. But what awaits her there is more dangerous than she dared imagine, and she finds that more than just her dreams are at stake.

Mariela in the Desert, Latino Theatre Projects, 3/17/16-4/9/16 (at Theatre Off Jackson)
A story of a noted Mexican artistic family during the rise of the artistic movement known as Mexican Expressionism. It connects in its atmosphere to relevant figures such as Orozco, Tina Modotti, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo.

Eulogy, K. Kent Co. Performance 3/18/16-4/16/16 (at West of Lenin)
Eleanor Mae (Kevin Kent) is  “a petit medium” and her power to connect "with the energies that flow from the living” mystify and amaze everyone that come to mourn at Bolten’s Memorials where she is a professional mourner, and leads services . . . The audience is encouraged to bring in their favorite family photos, from tintype to Polaroid, where they are randomly chosen.

Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Seattle Shakespeare Company, 3/15/16-4/10/16
Vivie Warren benefited from opportunities not available to her mother, Kitty Warren, who pulled herself out of the slums of London with grit and guile. When they meet after many years apart, the long-kept secret of Mrs. Warren’s financial success comes to the surface. As Vivie comes to grips with the truth about her mother, she faces hard choices of her own.

Finian's Rainbow, Showtunes, 3/19,20/16 (at Benaroya Hall)
This old-fashioned musical and its message of racial harmony, justice and social equality remains relevant today. “Look To The Rainbow,” “Old Devil Moon,” and “How Are Things n Glocca Morra?” are classic tunes in this tale of Finian McLonergan, his daughter Sharon, the golden crock stolen from Leprechaun Og, as well as a racist Senator… but all is resolved and love, wealth and happiness descend on Rainbow Valley.

Cotton Patch Gospel, Taproot, 3/23/16-4/23/16
A revamped bluegrass musical, based on the story of Jesus’ birth.

Worse Than Tigers, Red Stage (ACTLab), 3/24/16-4/16/16
A world premiere brought to you by Red Stage, Seattle's newest theatre company. In a last ditch effort to save his floundering marriage, Humphry has invited an old friend over for dinner, who turns out to have been eaten by a tiger. When his wife’s ex-lover shows up instead, and the man-eating tiger trails behind him, waiting at the door, that might be exactly what they all really want.

The Other Place, Seattle Public Theater, 3/24/16-4/17/16
Sharr White’s other play, after last month’s opening of Annapurna. Juliana Smithton (Seattle well known actor, Amy Thone) is a successful neuroscientist on the brink of a breakthrough in her field, but the rest of her life is unraveling. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped, and her health is in danger, as she unravels a personal, 10-year-old mystery. Nominated for a Tony Award, an Obie Award, and two Outer Circle Critic Awards including Outstanding New Play of 2011.

brownsville song (b-side for tray), Seattle Repertory Theatre, 3/25/16-4/24/16
Playwright Kimber Lee brings her new play “home” to Seattle. A senseless act of gang violence alters a high school senior’s dreams, leaving his family to pick up the pieces and find hope and resilience within their tight-knit Brooklyn borough

Belleville, MAP Theatre, 3/24/16-4/16/16 (at 12th Ave Arts)
Zack and Abby seem to have the perfect ex-pat life in Paris: a funky bohemian apartment in up-and-coming Belleville; a stable marriage; and Zack's noble mission to fight pediatric AIDS. But when Abby comes home unexpectedly one afternoon, the small secrets and larger lies that have become woven into the fabric of their lives are uncovered and shake their foundation. A simmering romantic thriller that evokes strains of classic Hitchcock.

A Night with Janis Joplin, 5th Ave Theatre, 3/25/16-4/17/16
Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the queen of rock & roll. Share an evening with the woman fueled by such unforgettable songs as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart,”  “Mercedes Benz,” “Cry Baby” and “Summertime.”

The Tempest, New City Theater, 3/29/16-4/30/16
This production will likely be in the smallest space you can fit a play. Shakespeare’s popular story of supernatural creatures will alternate Mary Ewald and Peter Crook in the roles of Prospero and Caliban.

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