Tuesday, July 03, 2018

July Theater Openings mean park Shakespeare, musicals, and world premieres

Disenchanted (Erin Ewing)

The weekend of July 14 and 15 is the annual Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival! (http://greenstage.org/sotf/) with free Shakespeare and kid plays for an entire weekend! It is the official launch of the summer park plays all over the area. In addition, there are two big musicals, Lauren Weedman coming back to town with a solo show, and a few world premieres to check out. No one is sitting out this summer seaon doing nothing – so get out yer calendars!

Family Matters, ReACT Theatre, 7/6-28/18 (at 12th Avenue Arts) (world premiere)
Local playwright Rachel Atkins has crafted a new play, set in the backyard of the Horowitz-Yamasaki-Bloom family home. This multi-generational Jewish-American-transracial family gathers for their traditional Mother’s Day celebration with bagels and lox and Korean potato salad. Everyone arrives with secrets, and as the afternoon progresses, their revelations bring out their complicated hidden truths, while examining the myriad expectations, responsibilities and roles that women face in every modern family. An insightful, humorous and affecting new look at the ties and traditions that bind.

The League of Youth, Theatre9/12, 7/6-29/18
A Henrik Ibsen play, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher in 2017, focuses on a young liberal, frustrated by the cronyism of politics. He creates a “League of Youth” to lobby against the establishment. Ibsen’s only comedy caused rioting in the streets: conservatives claimed it was an attack on their party, and liberals claimed it was an attack on theirs!

Sweet Land. Taproot Theatre, 7/11/18-8/18/18 (opens 7/13)
Taproot’s summer musical! From the film by Ali Selim and the short story “A Gravestone Made of Wheat” by Will Weaver, a young German woman crosses the sea to marry a man she’s never met. What should be their happy ending is met with suspicion and prejudice as friends and neighbors abandon them. But when hardship befalls the community, Inge and Olaf sacrifice everything to save their friends.

King Lear, Wooden O, 7/12/18-8/12/18 (various parks)
After ruling for many years, King Lear decides to divide his lands and wealth between his daughters.  Overestimating their love and loyalty, Lear finds everything that defined him as a king ripped from his hands. Only after wandering purposeless and tossed about in a storm of pain and madness, the once mighty ruler begins to discover his own humanity.

The Merry Wives of Windsor, Wooden O, 7/12/18-8/12/18 (various parks)
On the make in the sleepy suburb of Windsor, the fat knight John Falstaff hopes to score a pretty penny by seducing two of the town’s wealthy wives, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford. But it’s the women who know how to play the game better. They soon orchestrate a scheme to scam the scammer.  A warm-hearted and antic romp with some of Shakespeare’s most clever and comic characters.

Disenchanted, Mamches Presents, 7/13/18-8/18/18 (at 12AA) (open 7/19)
Poisoned apples. Glass slippers. Who needs ‘em?! Not Snow White and her posse of disenchanted princesses in the hilarious hit musical that’s anything but Grimm. Forget the princesses you think you know – the original storybook heroines have come to life to set the record straight. These royal renegades have tossed off their tiaras to bring their hilariously subversive, not-for-the-kiddies musical to Seattle for the first time - and the Emerald City will never be the same!
The Winter’s Tale, Freehold Engaged Theatre Program, 7/18-24/18 (at Raisbeck Hall)
This is a cautionary tale of jealousy and its consequences. Leontes, King of Sicilia, suspects that his pregnant wife has been having an affair and that the child is not his. Throwing her in prison, he sends to the Oracle at Delphos for confirmation of his suspicions. Even when the baby is presented to the king, he orders the child to be abandoned in a desolate place. The Oracle states categorically that she is innocent, and that Leontes will have no heir until his lost daughter is found. It’s a complicated story that ends happily, making it weirdly one of Shakespeare’s “comedies”.

Lauren Weedman Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, ACT Theatre, 7/20/18-8/12/18 (opens 7/26)
Lauren Weedman returns to Seattle. Grappling with heartbreak, betrayal, and preschool moms, Lauren turns to her fast-talking, 70's Variety Show host alter-ego, Tammy Lisa, to find some clarity. As the world comes crashing down around her sky-high hairdo, Tammy Lisa fights back, one rockin' song at a time. Weedman weaves the story as a “Jungian fever dream” of a comedy with a small band to back her up. Weedman is no stranger to difficult topics, yet always weaves her odd comic spin into her solo shows.

She Kills Monsters, Theater Schmeater, 7/27/18-8/18/18
Average Agnes is leaving her childhood home following the death of her totally weird sister, Tilly. When she stumbles upon Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, Agnes plays the action-packed adventure to discover more about her sister than she previously cared to know. A high-octane comedy fraught with hostile fairies, randy ogres, and ‘90s pop culture.

The Great Inconvenience, Annex Theatre, 7/27/18-8/18/18 (world premiere)
Playwright Holly Arsenault writes a true story you’ve never heard about the catastrophic cruelty of deportation and the supernatural awesomeness of love. In 1755, a pregnant young woman and her family evade deportation by hiding in the deep woods of a remote island, where they survive for nine years. 250 years later, a pair of lovers, separated by war, attempts to reunite against the backdrop of a second deportation. Part historical drama, part futuristic dystopiana, and part romantic comedy, The Great Inconvenience is a mostly-imagined-but-partly-true love story about enemies and secrets and power and faith and survival.

Rovers, Annex Theatre. 7/31/18-8/15/18 (Tue/Wed) (world premiere)
Natalie J. Copeland (with a musical assist by Aaron Joshua Shay) welcomes you to Camp Dusty Tread, the friendliest place on Mars! You're a Mars rover, and you've just landed on the red planet! You'll learn what it takes to live and work on Mars from your head counselors, Spirit and Opportunity. These interplanetary geologists will warm you with tall tales, camp songs, and cautionary tips for the novice Mars explorer. Rovers and landers of all ages and scientific payloads are welcome to this interactive orientation!

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