Tuesday, March 03, 2020

March Brings Fresh Theater – even if it showers

Lisa Estridge in Sister Act (Mark Kitaoka)
At least five world premieres are opening this month. That’s an impressive number! Look for puppetry and programming for the youngest audience member to the oldest. Find a company you’ve never been to before and take a chance on their work! Broaden your artistic horizon. Get outcher calendars!

Last Days of the Tsars, Witness, 3/1/20-3/22/20 (at Stimson-Green Mansion) (world premiere)

A fully immersive experience, Last Days of the Tsars will plunge the audience into Imperial Russia circa 1917. Surrounded by figures such as Tsar Nicholas II, Princess Anastasia, and Grigori Rasputin, audience members will be free to roam throughout Stimson-Green Mansion and follow whichever characters they please. Watch the unraveling of the Romanov household from an intimate vantage point, and explore the dark and mystical final days of the Russian Empire.

The Highest Tide, Harlequin Productions, 3/1-21/20

The beach talks to Miles O’Malley. Obsessed with all things aquatic, 13-year-old, stature-challenged Miles loves combing the tidal beaches near his Puget Sound home in the middle of the night. When one of his discoveries lands him unexpectedly in the news, he is launched into involuntary celebrity, shaking his world in a way that is only topped by the Nisqually earthquake.

Ugly (Black Queer Zoo), Washington Ensemble Theatre, 3/5-16/20

GUSH is WET’s series that presents contemporary theatrical works from artists outside of Seattle, curated by the Ensemble. Written, directed, and performed by the internationally recognized choreographer Raja Feather Kelly, this event is part dance theater and part pop culture collage about black queer subjectivity in the mainstream.

Funny Woman Who Lost Her Dumpling, Thistle Theatre, 3/7-22/20 (various locations)

Based on a Japanese story, a funny woman jumps after a rice dumpling that bounced down into a crack in the earth. She drops into another world made of Origami (folded paper). Following the road, she meets three statues of Jizo, who each warn her of danger. Unfortunately, an Oni (horned ogre) finds her and takes her to cook rice for them. The funny woman uses humor and her wile to adapt to changing situations. The show features puppetry and the arts of Japan and transformations of scale. (ages 3+)

Hansel & Gretl & Heidi & Günter, Village Theatre, Issaquah: 3/12/20-4/29/20, Everett: 4/24/20-5/17/20 (world premiere)

Gretl – yes, that Gretl – is now a single mom living in modern day Chicago, still suffering from the trauma of her fairytale childhood. Her exceedingly modern kids are fed up with stuffing their pockets full of pebbles, and dream of the impossible: a normal childhood. But when long-lost Uncle Hansel shows up at their doorstep, they are plunged into an unexpected adventure that brings the family together. This smart and sassy new musical is a riotous tumble of past and present that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.

Saint Joan, ArtsWest, 3/12/20-4/5/20

George Bernard Shaw’s play about Joan of Arc from the siege of Orleans, through her trial and recantation, and culminating with the tragedy that transformed her into a legend. Shining a fierce light, Shaw shows the limits of an individual in a society dominated by political and religious forces. A new, stripped-back staging by director Mathew Wright.

Europe, Thalia’s Umbrella, 3/12/20-4/4/20 (at 12th Avenue Arts)

The best play about BREXIT was written in Scotland in 1994. (It's also about a few other places.) In a time when words and ideas are divisive, David Greig writes a powerful play about two refugees who change a small town. The town is already reeling from layoffs at the local factory, and the fact that all the trains that link to Europe no longer stop in the town’s station. Everyone in town, old and new, must decide where home is and what they will do to find, make, or keep it.

Sister Act, 5th Avenue Theatre, 3/13/20-4/5/20 (opens 3/20)

Lisa Estridge stars in the feel-good musical comedy movie-turned-musical.  Set in the 1970s in Philadelphia, when disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won't be a found: a convent! Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community. The show was nominated for five Tony Awards® including Best Musical.

The Fifth Wave, Macha Theatre Works, 3/13-29/20 (at West of Lenin) (world premiere)

Twenty-five years after a life-changing event forged her role as a feminist icon, Maxx is now ensconced comfortably as a beloved professor at a private university.  After news of an alleged sexual assault rocks the campus, fear is ignited, loyalties are tested, and Maxx must decide what she is willing to risk as her long-suppressed rage begins to rise again. (85 minutes, ages 14 & up, Advisory: adult language and violent situations, discussion of sexual assault)

The Fantasticks, SecondStory Repertory, 3/13/20-4/5/20

This classic musical is a funny and romantic story about a boy, a girl, and their two fathers who try to keep them apart. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow them into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo's words that, "without a hurt, the heart is hollow."

Troilus and Cressida, Seattle Shakespeare Company, 3/17/20-4/12/20

It all began when Helen of Troy was fiercely abducted, and now for seven long years the Greeks and Trojans have been at war. Warriors cynically debate over the fate of their nations with little resolution. Ensnared in the madness are the young Greek prince, Troilus, and a Trojan traitor’s daughter, Cressida. Their love is tested and exposed to the savage and corrupting influence of wartime politics.

Babette’s Feast, Taproot Theatre, 3/18/20-4/25/20

Crossing thousands of miles in search of asylum, Babette finds safety across the fjords in a tiny mountain village. But petty squabbles and personal slights render the pious villagers as frigid and unforgiving as their surroundings. In one radical act of generosity, Babette prepares a feast so lavish it awakens grace to transform brittle hearts.

Pipeline, Seattle Public Theater, 3/19/20-4/12/20

Dominque Morisseau’s play about Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, who is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son Omari opportunities they’ll never have. When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. But will she be able to reach him before a world beyond her control pulls him away?

The Best Summer Ever!, Seattle Children’s Theatre, 3/19/20-4/19/20

Playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling writes and performs, alongside a lively musician. In this charming tale, the audience is immersed in childhood summers at their purest. For nine-year-old Maurice Abernathy Anderson, a significant loss and one little lie means his summer just got more complicated. Featuring rousing sing-alongs, The Best Summer Ever! joyfully explores the way in which childhood is measured by sights, sounds, feelings, and love. (ages 8+)

Sweat, ACT Theatre, 3/20/20-4/12/20

Lynn Nottage’s play, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor in Reading, PA. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a fight to stay afloat.

Raisins in a Glass of Milk, ACT Theatre, 3/20-23/20

This will be a new play in the Raisins series based on 20–30 interviews with artists of color answering the question: “What does it mean to be an artist of color and how does white supremacy affect the way you make art?”

Changer and the Star People: Origin Myths of the Coast Salish and Dakota, Sound Theatre Company and Snag Productions, 3/26/20-4/13/20 (at Taproot Theatre) (world premiere)

What if we could imagine a future in which citizens of Native American Tribes reclaim power and spark a cultural revolution? Fern Renville (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) and Roger Fernandes' (Lower Elwha Klallam) share their respective Coast Salish and Dakota origin stories, by envisioning a Tribally Sovereign future through myth, multi-media, storytelling, puppetry, music, and dance.

When a Tree Falls, Trial and Error Prods. and Ten Auras, 3/26/20-4/11/20 (at 18th & Union) (world premiere)

1991 Mill Falls, a fictional Washington logging town on the Olympic Peninsula. The remote town is facing an economic decline in part because of recent legislation that restricts logging in Old Growth forests to protect the threatened Spotted Owl. The story revolves around African American twins, Rocky and Brianna, adopted by a white couple and raised in this fading town. But the family faces its own threats—mountains of bills, a looming eviction and a mother in denial. In this clear-eyed drama about unforgiving consequences, local playwright Amontaine Aurore invites us to look carefully at even our forced choices.

3rd Annual “Intersections Festival”, at Theatre Off Jackson, 3/26-29/20

Intersections showcases performers in improv, sketch, stand-up, burlesque, storytelling, music, theatre, dance; focusing on equity in terms of race, gender, LGBTQIA+, and disability. Pay-what-you-will ticket option, ASL interpretation upon request, and the location is ADA accessible. Last year’s festival had 450+ audience members, experiencing 60 performers, over the span of four days.

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