Saturday, October 08, 2022

October Theater Openings and some November, too

Bianca Raso in La Tofana's Poison Emporium (Joe Iano)

I start this month’s compilation with regrets that it’s not posting until closer to the middle of the month. Life has changed a great deal for many, and that includes me, and my ability to prioritize theater and supporting it has taken a hit from changing focuses during “covid” when there was no theater to cover. To help make sure that November openings are reported more promptly, I’ve included a few of the early November productions here, as well. Get out yer calendars!
My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy!, Kirkland Performance Center, 10/1-23/22
You don’t have to be Jewish or Italian to appreciate this show. All you need to know is what it feels like to leave a family dinner with heartburn and a headache! You’ll meet Uncle Willie, Stuttering Cousin Bob, Demented Cousin Kenny, Steve's new therapist Cousin Sal (and Sal's parole officer) and a myriad of astounding characters we know, love and tolerate from our own families; each one brought to life by Peter J. Fogel. Written by Steve Solomon, this solo comedy is based on Solomon’s life growing up in a wacky family noted for its bi–ethnic diversity. Solomon’s mother is from Palermo, and his father is from Russia. His extended family had an aptitude for dysfunctional behavior and their sole purpose seemed to be to drive him into therapy…and they succeeded!
Misanthropy: A New Dark Werewolf Comedy, Wayward Works, 10/5-15/22 (at Theatre4, Seattle Center) (world premiere)
A new work by playwright Hannah A. Nielsen tells the story of Lyla, a young woman adrift in life until an animal bite spurs a change in her. She lands the job of her dreams, replaces her depression naps with power naps, and improves her diet... Well, perhaps “improves” isn’t precisely the right word. As Lyla scrambles to adapt, her friends and family flounder as they find their own ways of coping with this bloody new reality.
The Foreigner, As If Theatre Company, 10/6-23/22
Englishman Charlie Baker wants to escape his boring life and marital strife by disappearing to a fishing lodge in rural Georgia. Painfully shy, he begrudgingly adopts the persona of a foreigner who doesn't understand English. Convinced he’s unable to understand them, the guests begin to speak freely around him. Charlie not only becomes privy to dangerous secrets, he also discovers an adventurous extrovert within himself.
A White Haunting, MAP Theatre, 10/7-22/22 (at 18th & Union) (world premiere)
Local playwright Brian Dang introduces Darren, who has invited Tchai over to his home for the first time. They’re flirting, dancing, and discussing the morality of pineapple pizza when things start to go sour: the pizza person acts really weird; the power goes out; Tchai lets his nerves get to him; and last but not least, a masked intruder wielding an axe accidentally gets invited in.
Clue, Phoenix Theatre, 10/7-30-22
Six guests are invited to a dinner party thrown by an anonymous host. They are given aliases--Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, and Miss Scarlet. Though discouraged from revealing personal information, it is soon discovered that all of them have fallen victim to the same blackmailer, their host of the evening. Each is presented with a weapon and an option: pay their extortionist double, or kill the innocent butler. What follows is a madcap, slapstick evening full of murder, mystery, and laughs as they seek to puzzle out the culprit amongst criminals.
The Ghost Train, Centerstage Theatre, 10/7-30/22
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? How about one set in a remote railway station in Maine with stranded passengers, superstitious villagers, and a phantom locomotive rumored to bring death in its wake? A long-running comedy thriller, The Ghost Train was written in 1923 and first produced on Broadway in 1926. It’s delighted audiences for almost 100 years with creepy thrills, eerie chills, and a sublime sense of humor.
The Boy Who Kissed The Sky, Seattle Childrens Theater, 10/11/22-11/6/22 (world premiere)
Written by new Artistic Director Idris Goodwin with music by Divinity Roxx and Eugene H. Russell IV and set in the heart of Seattle’s Central District, the play with music is inspired by Seattle native and musical icon Jimi Hendrix. The early era of rock ‘n roll music sets the stage as a young Black boy conjures his creativity as a budding guitarist.  Told with vibrant music and daring imagination, this play inspires us to dream big when it matters most.
Approx. 60 minutes. Recommended for ages 8+
BKXKids! Asks Why, Seattle Childrens Theater, 10/13-23/22
BKXKids! and Broken Box Mime Theater ask, “Why are black people being hurt, here in America?” In the first installment of BKBXKids! “Asks Why” series, this question transforms into a wide space for exploration using embodied poetry, American Sign Language, hands-as-puppets, and a dance party to process feelings. The series lays the groundwork for conversations that can continue between kids and their loved ones everywhere, creating an accessible entry point of imaginative play, full body engagement, and joyful curiosity.
60 minutes/Grade 4 and up
La Tofana’s Poison Emporium, Macha Theatre Works, 10/14/22-10/29/22 (at West of Lenin) (world premiere)
In 17th century Rome, La Tofana’s Apothecary dutifully serves those who have nowhere else to turn. Three generations of women earn their keep by mixing potions to treat every ailment, from itchy rashes to tempestuous husbands. But when a deadly scandal threatens their very existence, each must decide her own fate as the authorities close in around them. Local playwright Joy McCullough’s bold new play reveals how in times of darkness, perhaps love, trust, and solidarity—mixed with a dash of lawbreaking—is just what the apothecary ordered.
Macbeth, Seattle Shakespeare Company, 10/25/22-11/20/22
After three mysterious witches prophesy a loyal military general will become King of Scotland, he sets down a path of destruction and devastation from which there is no return.
Starmites Pro, SecondStory Repertory, 10/28/22-11/13/22
Shy teenager Eleanor has built a fantasy world around the sci-fi comic books she collects. To the distress of her mother, she has learned to avoid the pains of growing up by escaping into fantasy, imagining herself to be an unrecognized superhero. When she is mysteriously thrust into the Website World of her favorite comic book, Eleanor is drawn into the conflict between Shak Graa, Arch-Creep of Chaos, and the Starmites, guardian angels of Innerspace. She turns out to be the legendary Milady, teen superhero who must lead the Mites on their Quest to save the Galaxy.
The Amen Corner, The Williams Project, 10/29/22-11/20/22 (at Langston)
"What does it profit a man to gain piety and lose love?" For years, Sister Margaret Alexander has led the congregation of her storefront church in Harlem and raised her son, a gifted musician, on the path of righteousness. When her estranged husband shows up without warning, Margaret is caught between her faith, her flock, and her family – and she might lose all three. From one of America’s greatest writers and deepest thinkers, James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner tackles our most profoundly human questions, about our relationships with God, with love, and with freedom.
Not / Our Town, Pony World Theatre, 11/4/22-12/3/22 (at 12th Avenue Arts)
With Not / Our Town, Pony World Theatre tackles the most iconic American classic: Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Both the 1938 original and this new play examine family, community, and those journeys in life common to us all. But how much this production feels like Our Town or not is up to audience members who will take a survey with options for several different scenes, staging styles, and even story elements. The winning votes determine that night's performance. This is not improvised theatre, but instead numerous possible variations of the script.
Jesus Christ Superstar, Reboot Theatre, 11/4-19/22 (at Theatre Off Jackson)
This now-classic musical focuses on the personal relationships between Jesus, Mary, and Judas, and examines the highs and lows of stardom, fanaticism, and mob justice. So, how will applying Reboot’s “style” highlight this musical in a new way?
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