Monday, April 01, 2019

Rain or Shine, April Theater Obliges

Miranda Troutt in The Diary of Anne Frank at Seattle Children's Theatre (Zach Rosing)

Theatrical productions this coming month touch on politics, history, multicultural and multimodal performances, and include musicals and Shakespeare and Shakespearian interpretations. There’s drama and humor and everything inbetween, it looks like. Got your calendar up? Let’s get shows planned!

Represent! A Multicultural Playwrights Festival, Hansberry Project, eSe Teatro, SIS Productions and Pratidhwani, 3/31/19-4/3/19 (at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute)
Local Playwrights Showcase, 3/31, 4:00 PM, In Braunau by Dipika Guha, 3/31, 7:30 PM, Two Big Black Bags by Julieta Vitullo, 4/1, 7:30 PM, We, Too! by local Asian American performing playwrights, 4/2, 7:30 PM, Riverwood by Andrew Lee Creech, 4/3, 7:30 PM.

The Diary of Anne Frank, Seattle Children’s Theatre, 4/4/19-5/19/19 (opens 4/5)
This sobering true story of two families hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland during World War II, is based on the real diary of young teen Anne Frank.  Anne’s words reach out to us over the generations, inspiring us to never forget, to never give up on the power and goodness of the human spirit, and to always “fill life with living.”

The Master and The Margarita, theater simple, 4/5-27/19 (at Theatre Off Jackson)
1932: The Devil comes to Moscow, demonic entourage in tow, to learn if Stalin's politics have actually changed human nature... This story is tangled up in interesting ways with a re-telling of a fateful meeting with Pontius Pilate. Five actors take on the challenge of 35+ characters, with on-stage musicians playing a brand-new musical score by Brent Arnold.

Queer, Mama. Crossroads, Annex Theatre, 4/5/19-5/4/19
Where do black women go when their souls have been taken too soon? At the crossroads, explore racism, sexism, homophobia, systemic silence, and spirit in this choreo-poem-performance piece. Dismantle the American cover of denial and secrecy regarding injustices committed against queer women of color who are mothers.

Urinetown, 5th Avenue Theatre and ACT Theatre, 4/6/19-6/9/19 (at ACT Theatre) (opens 4/11)
This outrageous social and political satire is set in a fictional future where a terrible 20-year drought has crippled the city’s water supplies. Citizens must now use the public pay-per-use amenities owned and operated by Urine Good Company. Those who try to circumvent the peeing-fee by relieving themselves in the bushes risk being taken away to “Urinetown,” a mysterious place where many have been sent but no one ever returns. With fee increases in the pipeline, the poor rise up to fight the tyrannical regime to make the public amenities free for all to use. With a storyline that’s uncomfortably close to home, Urinetown is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution.

Cherubin, Parley Productions, 4/11-13/19 (at West of Lenin) (world premiere)
Local playwright Rebecca Tourino Collinsworth debuts a play based on characters in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Two women caught in a tempestuous witch-hunt discover in each other the feral magic of the natural world and learn that interdependence is the key to survival.

Cora, a midwife and herbalist, is in the wrong place at the wrong time. In search of her long-lost son, Cora arrives in a Puritan settlement in 1652 during the most destructive storm in a century. When she's thrown in jail under suspicion of witchcraft, she demands to see her child--a man the settlers call the Monster of Connecticut. Instead, she meets Miranda, a Puritan on the verge of childbirth, sent in to extract a confession and save Cora's soul. But neither Cora nor Miranda is exactly what she seems.
Language Rooms, Pony World Theatre, 4/12/19-5/4/19 (at Slate Theater)
Local playwright Yussef El Guindi’s play follows Ahmed, a quintessential American worker trying to do his job right while navigating the workplace politics of water cooler gossip and Super Bowl parties. Only this office is a secret military compound where Ahmed translates the interrogations of terrorism suspects. Brilliantly shifting between comedy and suspense, Ahmed takes a strange and unsettling journey. As his work and even his loyalties are called into question, Ahmed realizes that more than his job might be at risk.

Devi, Pratidhwani, 4/16/19-5/11/19 (at ACT Theatre)
In the original 1884 Bengali novel Devi Chaudhurani, a young, illiterate, and impoverished Prafulya unexpectedly soars to great heights as Devi [/they-vee/], a woman who rises to power against the rule of the British. Despite being beloved by her people, Devi ultimately submits to cultural pressure and returns to her traditional duty as a wife.

Now, however, Prafulya will be allowed the power of choice — proving that a woman can be the protagonist in her own story, despite mens’ best efforts to make her invisible. Will Prafulya return to her love and traditional life? Will she remain Devi, the leader of a military movement? Or will she fully embrace the religious identity of her new name, and dedicate her life to God?

Small Mouth Sounds, Thalia’s Umbrella, 4/18/19-5/11/19 (at 12th Avenue Arts) (opens 4/19)
Bess Wohl’s (mostly) silent comedy has seven people meet in the seclusion of the woods to begin a silent retreat. In the quiet, they must come to terms with both their darkest fears and silliest foibles. They each leave changed...but not in the ways they expect. Using very few words, Small Mouth Sounds depicts the achingly human need to connect.

Boeing Boeing, SecondStory Repertory, 4/19/19-5/12/19
This 1960's French farce adapted for the English-speaking stage features self-styled lothario Bernard, who has Italian, German, and American fiancées, each a beautiful airline hostess with frequent "layovers." He keeps "one up, one down, and one pending" until unexpected schedule changes bring all three to Paris, and Bernard's apartment, at the same time.

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Theater Schmeater, 4/20/19-5/4/19 (at Bathhouse)
The average person will speak 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. But what if there were a limit? Oliver and Bernadette are about to find out. Lemons imagines a world where we're forced to say less. It's about what we say and how we say it; about the things we can only hear in the silence; about dead cats, activism, eye contact and lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons.

As You Like It, Seattle Shakespeare Company, 4/23/19-5/19/19
Rosalind and Orlando engage in a glorious game of love, lust, and mistaken identities in Shakespeare’s magical forest, as Shakespeare seems to be the oldest marriage counselor available.

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, 5th Avenue Theatre, 4/23-28/19 (tour)
This is an adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan. The Greek gods are real, and they're ruining Percy Jackson's life. As a son of Poseidon, Percy has newly discovered powers he can't control, monsters on his trail, and is on an epic quest to find Zeus's lightning bolt to prevent a war between the gods.

Singlet, Washington Ensemble Theatre, 4/25/19-5/5/19 (imported)
Erin Markey draws on their longstanding friendship and working relationship with actor Emily Davis to create a performance that maps the bonds and hysteria of earned intimacy. Combining Markey’s singular style with a host of influences—spanning Genet’s The Maids, celebrity psychotherapist couples counseling sessions, and Precious Moments® Collectible Dolls—this kaleidoscopic production grapples with the desire, rivalry, vulnerability, and subterfuge that bind two people together.

Nina Simone: Four Women, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 4/26/19-6/2/19
When "The High Priestess of Soul" Nina Simone heard about the tragic bombing deaths of four young girls in an Alabama church in 1963, the songstress turned to her music as a means of expressing the country's agony. "Four Women" and Simone's other evocative activist anthems sang a truth that the world needed to hear. And it is a truth that remains sung to this day. Through storytelling, debate, and music, Nina Simone: Four Women immerses us in the complex harmony of protest.

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