Thursday, April 28, 2016

Massive shows opening in May, 2016! (and lots of others, too)

Part of the cast of Bernie's Apt. (Maryssa Lagervall)
There are some “big” shows opening this month. A sprawling adaptation of a sprawling The Brothers K  at Book-It, and a huge effort for Billy Elliot at VillageIntiman’s  festival kicks off…  and plenty more. May is coming for ya!

The Brothers K, Part One: Strike Zones and Part Two: The Left Stuff, Book-It Repertory Theatre, 5/3/16-6/26/16 (in repertory)
This two-part adaptation (similar to Book-It’s work last year on Kavalier and Clay) encapsulates the sprawling tale of four brothers, influenced by a strong father, that spans the middle decades of the 20th century. The Chance family in Camas, Washington is baseball-immersed, but the story includes the interplay of faith and spirituality, war and politics, family, and love. The title also refers to notifying a ball thrown as a strike, with either a forward or backward “K”. A cast of 26 actors play 83 roles in two full-length parts. (Options for seeing both parts in one day are available.)

Romeo and Juliet, Seattle Shakespeare Company, 5/4-22/16 (at Cornish Playhouse)
You know Shakespeare’s doomed lovers. For a new take, Seattle Shakespeare Company will construct a playing space on the stage with audience members on both sides watching the game/play unfold. Director Vanessa Miller has added two characters to the production: Fate and Dream who operate outside the “game,” manipulating the action on the stage and serving as game masters.

Bernie’s Apt., eSe Teatro, 5/6-28/16 (at ACTlab)
Rose Cano's world premiere play, directed by Julie Beckman, is a modern-day Latin-American exploration of Lorca's classic tale The House of Bernarda Alba. Instead of being confined by the strict codes of conduct of the early 1900s, the women in Bernie's Apt. find themselves isolated by cultural oppression, house arrest, physical ailments, and failed foster care. Bernie, the matriarch of the family is responsible for a biological daughter, foster daughters and an aging mother. At once tragic and darkly comedic, Bernie's Apt. offers a unique perspective into social factors that cause some contemporary women to feel trapped.

The Realization of Emily Linder, Taproot Theatre Company, 5/11/16-6/11/16
Emily Linder believes she knows the time of her death. Summoning her daughters to share her news, she has a list for them to accomplish within the week. A new caregiver calls Emily’s bluff and teaches her a lesson or two. A quirky comedy.

Billy Elliot the Musical, Village Theatre, Issaquah: 5/12/16-7/3/16, Everett: 7/8-31/16
Based on the film, this Elton John musical won 10 Tony Awards. Set amidst the chaos of the 1984 miners’ strike in northern England, the story revolves around the motherless Billy Elliot, who stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and community—while changing his life forever. The role of Billy requires singing, dancing, emoting, and a great deal of skill and stamina, as well as the maturity to work in a high-intensity professional production. Village has cast four local boys to play Billy and trained them for the last six months.

Caligula, Arouet, 5/13-28/16 (at Ballard Underground)
Caligula is a French absurdist play based on the tyrannical Roman emperor. Arouet will place the story in a modern, hyper-nationalistic fictional Roman Empire. Inspired by Kanye West, memes, Game of Thrones, cat photos, Arouet will be taking this classic play on a culty blood-stained pop art joyride.

Caught, Seattle Public Theater, 5/19/16-6/5/16
Layers are peeled in this play. A reverie on China and its relationship to art… First layer begins with an onstage art exhibition, a gallery to walk through before being seated. Second layer: an autobiographical lecture by the artist of these works, Lin Bo. Third layer: an editor of the New Yorker and a naïve journalist try to find out what's true and what's not in Lin Bo's prison story they have just published. But Playwright Chen isn't finished with us, not by a long shot.

Stick Fly, Intiman Theatre, 5/24/16-6/19/16 (at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute)
A play about secrets, family tensions, race and privilege, the play invites you to peer into the vacation home and life of an affluent African-American family as two brothers introduce their girlfriends to their parents for the first time. The LeVays’ relaxing weekend takes a turn as family members clash during conversations about class and secrets unravel. (single tickets on sale May 4)

Psycho Beach Party, Fantastic.Z, 5/26/16-6/11/16 (at Eclectic Theater)
A spoof of the teenage beach and surfing movies of the 1960's. Chicklet wants to learn to surf like one of the guys. But unbeknownst to her friends, Chicklet has a split personality. Think Beach Blanket Bingo meets All About Eve meets Gidget.... on acid.

Creature, Theater Schmeater, 5/27/16-6/25/16
By former Seattleite (and Obie winner) Heidi Schreck, the play is set in 1400 and Margery Kempe, new mother, mayor’s daughter, and successful brewery proprietor has a vision. But can anyone tell if it’s a visit from Jesus, or a deception of Satan? Schreck’s script, offered in surprisingly modern terms, draws a portrait of a woman trapped between irreconcilable worlds: secular and profane, or spiritual and sacred. Either could get her burnt at the stake.

The Mystery of Love & Sex, ACT Theatre, 5/27/16-6/26/16
A coming-of-age story that challenges the heart of a modern family, as childhood friends Charlotte and Jonny begin a romance when they go off to college. Written by Bathsheba Doran (Boardwalk Empire, Smash, and Masters of Sex contributor.

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