Monday, March 28, 2016

New Plays Bloom in April - Theater Openings

Marissa Ryder in South Pacific at Seattle Musical Theatre (Nataworry Photos)
There are an astonishing amount of world premieres this month (seven), all locally written! Seattle seems to be in love with new plays as the buds bloom. April openings are listed below in date order.

The Hat, Bitter Single Guy Productions and Gay City Arts, 4/1-9/16
World Premiere. The romantic comedy, by local playwright Greg Brisendine, is about a group of gay men as they navigate dating and love in the world of Grindr, open relationships, and the intersection of relationship and friendship.

To Savor Tomorrow, Cafe Nordo, 4/7/16-6/5/16
CafĂ© Nordo takes flight with To Savor Tomorrow, an immersive comedy that parodies the 007 spy genre, set in the airplane lounge of a swank 1960’s Boeing Stratocruiser with craft-cocktails and retro-modernist cuisine woven into the experience. Food scientist Peter Proudhurst is transporting laboratory secrets. Professor Proudhurst's briefcase contains the revolutionary and potentially devastating secrets of modern convenience food and the controversial "Green Revolution." (Meal included)
South Pacific, Seattle Musical Theatre, 4/7/16-5/1/16
Premiering in 1949 on Broadway, South Pacific was an immediate hit. Rodgers and Hammerstein wanted to write a musical that would send a strong progressive message on racism. The plot centers on an American nurse stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II, who falls in love with a middle-aged expatriate French plantation owner but struggles to accept his mixed-race children. A secondary romance, between a U.S. lieutenant and a young Tonkinese woman, explores his fears of the social consequences should he marry his Asian sweetheart.

Stupid Fucking Bird, ACT Theatre, 4/8/16-5/8/16
Aaron Posner rewrites Chekhov’s story of love, art, and a hapless bird (The Seagull) for a remarkable contemporary face lift. On the grounds of a country estate, two generations worth of Russians mope and love and hate. Winner of the 2014 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play.

BRASS: Fatal Footlights, Theater Schmeater, 4/8-30/16
World Premiere. The two grown children of the Brass family, Gwendolyn and Cyril, are brought into a mystery involving the premiere of Oscar Wilde 's first play Vera, or the Nihilists, while a villainous trio scheme to steal the jewels of a legendary actress. A mystery, a thriller, and a love letter to theater, written by locals Louis Broome and John Longenbaugh.

Becky’s New Car, Phoenix Theatre, 4/8/16-5/1/16
Becky's life is straightforward and painfully ordinary. She lives with her roofer husband, Joe, and college-student son, Chris, and works far too many hours at a car dealership. Hyper-wealthy Walter arrives one evening just as Becky is about to leave work, wanting to buy nine expensive new cars as gifts for his employees. He's newly widowed, forlorn and a little adrift, and he promptly falls for Becky — who he assumes is widowed, too. After trying once or twice to disabuse him of the notion, she gives in to his fantasy. And so begins her attempt to live two lives.

The Letters, Burien Actors Theatre, 4/8/16-5/1/16
Written by John W. Lowell and first staged in Los Angeles in 2009, The Letters is a two-character play set in a nondescript office in the 1930s Soviet Union. Anna, a demur, fortyish functionary in a nameless government agency, has been called into the office of her superior, known here only as The Director.. What is the hidden agenda? Gradually, the details begins to emerge. The letters of a famous composer are missing. A colleague has been arrested. Suspicions are being directed at Anna. What follows is a tense verbal and psychological cat-and-mouse game between the two. With twists.

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in The Hat, Seattle Children’s Theatre, 4/14/16-5/22/16
Back by popular demand, the favorite Dr. Seuss character introduces his eclectic entertainment with mischievous humor and madcap style. The Cat in The Hat busts the boredom of a rainy afternoon with all sorts of zaniness – including the iconic and acrobatic Thing One and Thing Two. Rhyming his way through the house while balancing cups and tools, Cat brings a cozy home to chaos where Sally, her brother and their outspokenly cautious pet Fish, are simultaneously amused, astounded and concerned, with good reason.

Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 4/22/16-5/22/16
World Premiere. The American Wild West and Victorian England collide in this original adventure tale. The year is 1887, the occasion is the Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, and the coincidences are suspiciously piling up. The local creative team behind 2013’s hit The Hound of the Baskervilles is at it again with more thrills, more laughs and more unbelievable deductions.

My Name is Asher Lev, New Century Theatre Company, 4/22/16-5/21/16 (at 12th Ave Arts)
A young Jewish painter, torn between his Hasidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise, threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents and community. Asher realizes he must make a difficult choice between art and faith. This stirring adaptation of a modern classic presents a heartbreaking and triumphant vision of what it means to be an artist.

Puny Humans, Annex Theatre, 4/22/16-5/14/16
World Premiere. The Queen City Comicon throbs and bustles with fans in cosplay, celebrities on the rise (or on the way down), disgruntled vendors hoping to make a buck, and desperate staff members trying to hold the whole damn thing together. A young fangirl finds out she’s pregnant, an actor promoting his new movie tries unconventional means to get laid, and Sailor Moon and Darth Vader fall in love. Passion, comedy, and geekdom collide as thirteen characters’ lives intertwine over the course of one epic day. Written by locals Bret Fetzer and Keiko Green.

Chorestia, Ghostlight Theatricals, 4/23/16-5/7/16
World Premiere. In a coffee shop, a nail salon, at camp, at school, and more, women of various ages attempt to live their lives as the events of the Trojan War, played out by one all-powerful man, take place in the background and everyone runs the risk of invoking the petty wrath of the gods. Chorestia explores what it means to be an ordinary woman in a society that is or has been at war. Written by local Beth Raas-Bergquist.

Eat Cake, Annex Theatre, 4/26/16-5/11/16 (Tue/Wed)
World Premiere. Chaos, comedy, and cake collide in Eat Cake, the Queer wedding of the century. Ariel and Addison are throwing their dream wedding, a DIY extravaganza, but the clock is ticking and everything is a disaster. The guests won’t stop screaming at each other or running into backrooms to make out, the cake is a catastrophe of colossal proportions, and an un-invited guest shows up stoned. Written by local Seth Tankus.

Kinky Boots, The 5th Avenue Theatre, 4/28/16-5/8/16
It’s a return tour. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous burlesque performer in need of some sturdy new size 13 stilettos.

A Hand of Talons, Pork Filled Productions, 4/29/16-5/21/16 (Theatre Off Jackson)
World Premiere. Written by local Maggie Lee, this is her third steampunk play. The dark underworld of organized crime lurks beneath the surface of the fair city of New Providence. Lee’s first two plays in this genre were fun and punk-filled (and even Pork-Filled).

Barefoot in the Park, Secondstory Repertory, 4/29/16-5/22/16
Newlyweds Paul and Corie are just starting their life together in a tiny fifth-floor Manhattan apartment. He's a straight-laced lawyer and she's a free spirit who's always looking for the latest adventure. Paul doesn't understand Corie's relaxed ways, and she wants him to be just a little more spontaneous. Something as simple as running "barefoot in the park" would be a start.

Death of a Salesman, Artswest, 4/28/16-5/29/16
The 1949 play, Death of a Salesman, written by American playwright Arthur Miller was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Businessman Willy Loman struggles with the differences between the Loman family's dreams and the reality of their lives. The play is a scathing critique of the American Dream and of the competitive, materialistic American society of the late 1940s. The storyline features Willy Loman, an average guy who attempts to hide his averageness and failures behind increasingly delusional hallucinations as he strives to be a "success."

The Things Are Against Us, Washington Ensemble Theatre, 4/29/16-5/16/16 (at 12th Ave Arts)
In this dark and twisted comedy, two lovelorn sisters, an ax wielding hunk, and the poet and lover Federico Garcia Lorca uncover their destiny when their past comes back to haunt them. They wrestle through time only to discover the real horror is in their bones.

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