by Miryam Gordon -
SGN A&E Writer
April in Seattle is blooming with Shakespearean iterations of musical and non-musical sorts and if you like science-fiction or fantasy, this seems to be your month of theater. World premieres continue to spring up in what is apparently very fertile ground around here!
Kiss Me, Kate, 5th Avenue Theatre, 4/6-29 (opens 4/13)
As generators of the citywide Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare festival, the 5th Avenue is presenting this multi-Tony Award®-winning Cole Porter musical. A play-within-a-play inspired by William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, this is a battle of the sexes. A charming leading man and his superstar ex-wife are starring in a production of the Bard's famous play. Both on stage and off, they revel in combat and romance. Who comes out on top? Perhaps it's time to 'brush up your Shakespeare...'
The Producers, Seattle Musical Theatre, 4/6-29
Mel Brooks' classic cult comedy film became a musical. The plot is simple: a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers (all 'little old ladies') out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes awry: the show is a smash hit!
I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Seattle Jewish Theater, 4/8-5/6 (at six Greater-Seattle locations)
Set in the New York City Garment District in 1937, during the Great Depression, this musical tells the story of an ambitious young businessman artfully clawing his way to the top of the garment industry. Written by Jerome Weidman, based on his 1937 novel of the same title, and with music and lyrics by Harold Rome, it was produced on Broadway in 1962 by David Merrick. The show marked the Broadway debut of 19-year-old Barbra Streisand.
The Last Class: A Jazzercize Play, ACTLab at ACT Theatre, 4/12-29
Jazzercize is out. Zumba is in. But instructor Kelsea Wiggan is not going down without a fight. Kelsea is determined to keep Jazzercize alive and well at the Chikatawnee Valley Community Center. The Last Class is a real aerobics class happening in real time. Along with standard audience seating, two tickets will be made available each performance for audience members wanting to take the class.
Hamlet, The Horse in Motion, 4/12-29 (at Stimson Green Mansion)
Kevin Lin and Jocelyn Maher both play Hamlet in The Horse in Motion's immersive multi-room staging using the environs of historic Stimson-Green Mansion. Stories diverge and intersect, and the consequences of our actions are laid terrifyingly bare. The audience will be split into two groups, each following a separate performance of the play, which intersect with each other in pivotal scenes, offering audiences an innovative and fresh take.
The Lamp is the Moon, Seattle Children's Theatre, 4/20-5/20 (world premiere)
Meet Shawn, a bright 5-year-old girl with a head so brimming with science and imagination that she has no patience for naptime, much to the exasperation of her parents. The world, and the cosmos in particular, is simply far too interesting to stop and rest. On this day, her friend Lamp, despite having no cord and no bulb, triggers a wide-awake adventure when it reveals its greatest dream is to learn to fly and become the moon. (For ages 3 and up.)
Taming of the Shrew, SecondStory Repertory, 4/13-29
Shakespeare's rowdy, screwball comedy follows the treacherous road to romance for a strong-willed pair of lovers who've met their ultimate match in one another. Until Kate has a husband, her sweet younger sister, Bianca, cannot marry. But feisty, fiery-tongued Kate rejects every suitor who tries to woo her. Along comes Petruchio, willing to take a chance...and her sizable dowry. His efforts to 'tame' her remain a controversial aspect of this tale, reminding us of the expected gender roles of 400 years past, and how far we have and haven't come since.
Year of the Rooster, MAP Theatre, 4/13-5/5 (at 18th & Union)
Olivia Dufault writes a dark and funny play about the underground culture of cockfighting. Gil is a loser. He works at McDonald's, lives with his ailing mother, and hasn't had a girlfriend since...ever. But that's all about to change. He's been secretly training (and drugging) a rooster to fight. And Odysseus Rex aka 'Odie' is the baddest barnyard bird there is. A play about cockfighting, connections, and clawing your way to the top.
The Grey Golem, Ghost Light Theatricals, 4/13-5/5 (world premiere)
Years ago, the world's greatest comic book superhero, the Grey Golem, went into retirement believing he had finally rid his city of crime, once and for all. But when his butler is mysteriously murdered, the Golem once again dons the cape and cowl only to discover that the job of a superhero is much more complicated than he remembers. From the mind of Asa Fager.
An Octoroon, ArtsWest, 4/19-5/13
In 1859, the handsome George arrives as heir apparent to Terrabonne, his late uncle's slave plantation. There he quickly falls in love with Zoe, a beautiful 'octoroon' (someone who is one-eighth black), but the evil overseer M'Closky has other plans for both Terrebonne and Zoe. Racial stereotypes, both past and present, are shattered in Branden Jacob-Jenkins' bold, imaginative re-envisioning of a 19th century antebellum drama as an urgent message for today.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Book-It Repertory Theatre w/Literature to Life, 4/19-5/6 (opens 4/21)
Oscar de Leon, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in Paterson, New Jersey, is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels, falling in love, and the curse that has plagued his family for generations. Elvis Nolasco of 'American Crime' fame plays Oscar and 30 other characters in this adaptation of Junot Díaz' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
The Wolves, ACT Theatre, 4/20-5/13 (opens 4/26)
Sarah DeLappe's Pulitzer-nominated play tells the story of a high school women's indoor soccer team that navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors.
Judgment at Nuremberg, Hit and Run Theatre, 4/20-21 (at Lake City Presbyterian)
Well known from Stanley Kramer's film and a 'Playhouse 90' version, the play explores the choices that confront those charged with responsibility for law and justice, when a country seized by fear turns for salvation to a 'leader' who cares nothing for human dignity, human rights, democracy or the rule of law.
ASL Midsummer Nights Dream, Sound Theatre Company and Deaf Spotlight, 4/21-5/12 (at 12th Avenue Arts)
Howie Seago, well known ASL performer, brings his vision and expertise in Deaf Theatre to this version of Shakespeare's classic comedy. The Bard's poetic text will be both spoken and signed in ASL for Deaf and hearing audiences. Young lovers criss-cross in love while fairies and sprites laugh at their plight. A band of simple tradesfolk try hard to put on a play for the nobility, and everything turns out fine in the end. Recommended for all audiences.
Silhouette, Annex Theatre, 4/27-5/19 (world premiere)
Silhouette is a science-fiction musical sung (a cappella) by ten voices, exploring the collision of magic and technology on a faraway world. An astronaut crash-lands on a seemingly backwards planet where the natives practice strange forms of magic. As the astronaut is nursed back to health by the natives, rescuers from her star fleet arrive and threaten to decimate the society in this world. Can the astronaut bridge the gap between the hard science & technology of her own people, and the inexplicable magic wielded on the planet? When the astronaut is forcibly taken back, the magic follows her and brings chaos and havoc to her tightly controlled home.
The Nether, Washington Ensemble Theatre, 4/27-5/14
Detective Morris must investigate and expose an interactive playground world where unforgivable sexual fantasies are enjoyed by men who feel they can't live without them. Jennifer Haley's unsettling play tackles both the seductive pull of the morally ambiguous virtual world and the science fiction future of intimacy!
Familiar, Seattle Repertory Theatre in co-production with The Guthrie, 4/27-5/27 (opens 5/2)
In wintry Minnesota, the Chinyaramwira family is getting ready for the marriage of their eldest daughter, but when the bride and groom want to observe a traditional Zimbabwean custom for their wedding, deep-seated tensions arise. Adding fuel to the flames, unexpected family guests turn up revealing uninvited secrets. Playwright Danai Gurira focuses a lens on the messy, hilarious, spirited dynamic of a modern first-generation Zimbabwean-American family and the search for a sense of belonging.
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