by Miryam Gordon -
SGN A&E Writer
So eclectic a month of offerings that there can't be a single person who wouldn't love some production on this list! On your mark, get set, go get tickets!
Pilgrims, Forward Flux Productions, 5/1-5/19 (at West of Lenin)
On a ship to colonize a newly discovered planet, a soldier and a teenage girl find themselves quarantined together in a cabin and are forced to explore their own traumatic pasts and roles in a dying society.
Crewmates, Annex Theatre, 5/1-5/16 (Tue/Wed nights) (world premiere)
A sensitive American-Muslim man from a conservative family starts a romance with an inspiring atheist Asian-American woman who was adopted by liberal white parents. Their relationship grows lovingly, but the invasive supernatural world just cannot handle all this fluffy saccharine goodness. Agendas play out against each other as djinn and angel alike struggle to accept the ever-changing narrative of human sexuality and morality. Even the Heavens are not immune to the power of the human condition.
Shakespeare in Love, Seattle Shakespeare Company, 5/2-6/3 (at Cornish Playhouse)
Young Will Shakespeare is in dire need of inspiration. His next play is on deadline and the only thing he's come up with is the title: Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. Then he meets Viola, a smart and beautiful woman who desperately wants to perform on the stage, even though it's forbidden. Will is smitten and gets inspired to write the greatest love story the world has known. (Based on the movie.)
Broken Bone Bathtub, Christine Longe and Minion Productions 5/3-5/24 (various private locations)
North areas: Queen Anne, Montlake, Phinney/Greenwood, Ballard, Fremont/Wallingford, Ravenna
South areas: Mount Baker, Parkland/Tacoma, Delridge/West Seattle, Capitol Hill
Siobhan O'Loughlin brings her intimate solo theatrical event. The award-winning immersive one-person play takes place in a bathtub - in an actual (local) home. After a serious bike accident, a young woman musters up the courage to ask for help, and shares her story, exploring themes of trauma, suffering, human generosity and connection. The audience (4 to 8 people at a time) takes on the role of Siobhan's close friends assisting the cast-clad artist in her very real ritual of taking a bath.
Little Shop of Horrors, Reboot Theatre Company 5/4-5/19 (at Slate Theater)
A genderqueer cast plays with this Broadway sci-fi smash musical, the story following a hapless floral assistant, Seymour Krelborn, who pines for his coworker Audrey, a Skid Row girl who's always wanted more. A strange seedling that Seymour nurses to life grows into a foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivorous plant with some devilish intents.
Auntie Lena's African Stories, Thistle Theatre, 5/5-5/27 (various locations)
Auntie Lena and her friend Possum tell three stories of friendship from Africa. Jackal loves to trick his friend Hare in 'Jackal's Favorite Game.' 'The Monkey's Heart' is a trickster story of a friendship betrayed, and a new friendship is explored in 'Frog and Snake.' Bunraku puppetry for children.
Love Never Dies, Paramount Theatre, 5/8-5/13 (national tour)
The year is 1907. The Phantom disappeared from the Paris Opera House 10 years ago. Now in New York, he lives amongst the rides and freak shows of Coney Island. He has finally found a place for his music to soar, but he has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé. Now one of the world's finest sopranos, Christine accepts an invitation to travel from Paris to New York to perform at a renowned opera house. Christine's marriage to Raoul is suffering from his drinking and gambling and they desperately need money. In a final bid to win back Christine's love, the Phantom lures her, Raoul, and their young son Gustave, from Manhattan to Coney Island - not knowing what is in store for them. This is Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.
Hairspray, Village Theatre, Issaquah: 5/10-7/1; Everett: 7/6-7/29
Director Steve Tomkins' swan song as artistic director. Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair and an even bigger dream: to dance her way onto national TV, dethrone the reigning teen queen, win the affections of the local heartthrob, and integrate a TV network& all without denting her 'do! The Tony and Drama Desk-winning Best Musical teaches us to look past skin color and size in the fight for equal rights. Complete with favorite songs like, 'You Can't Stop the Beat,' 'Welcome to the '60s,' and 'Without Love.'
Don't Call it a Riot!, Ten Auras Productions, 5/10-5/20 (at 18th & Union)
Local playwright Amontaine Aurore writes about 1968 and Reed, a member of Seattle's Black Panther Party, who must juggle the demands of a new marriage and pregnancy, yet still find time to fight for liberation and dream of creating a better world. When her best friend Marti moves in, there is yet one more thing on Reed's plate. Reed is unaware of the forces that will eventually destroy the Party, as well as the ones that threaten her happy home. It will take 31 years before she finally discovers the betrayal that was at the root of a dream deferred.
Bent, The Changing Scene Theatre Northwest, 5/11-5/26 (at Dukesbay Theater, Tacoma)
Bent revolves around the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany, and takes place during and after the Night of the Long Knives. The title of the play refers to the slang word 'bent' used in some European countries to refer to Gay men.
Hand to God, Seattle Public Theater, 5/11-6/3
Puppeteer Ben Burris stars in this celebrated Broadway hit. After the death of his father, meek Jason finds an outlet for his anxiety at the Christian Puppet Ministry, in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. Jason's complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door, and - most especially - his mother are thrown into upheaval when Jason's puppet, Tyrone, takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. Hand to God explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind us.
Welcome to Arroyo's, Theater Schmeater, 5/11-6/2
This play follows two siblings grieving the loss of their mother, and how community heals trauma. Supported by a soundscape from the birth of hip-hop, Afro-Latina director Jay O'Leary punctuates the vital need to truly understand those who are parched for visibility and love.
Lady Windermere's Fan, Taproot Theatre, 5/16-6/16
It's the party of the social season, but instead of celebrating, Lady Windermere suspects her husband is having an affair with a mysterious and beautiful stranger. As rumors swirl and secrets are revealed, the Windermere's lives are upended and threatened to end in disgrace. This comedy classic from Oscar Wilde will charm you with its cleverness and wit.
Blanket of Fear, ACT Theatre and Tribes Project, 5/17-6/3
A Caucasian woman is arrested at the airport, imprisoned by the Federal Government and accused of aiding a terrorist conspiracy. The incarceration ensnares the woman, her Iranian mother-in-law, and her Afro-Cuban American public defense attorney into a triangle of personal, cultural, and national identity crises. This production is a diverse group of women's explorations into the dire consequences of fear. The audience is left with the questions the characters must face: what is truth and justice within the cloaked world of counterterrorism?
Proof, SecondStory Repertory, 5/18-6/3
On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions, the arrival of her estranged sister Claire, and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father's madness, or genius, will she inherit?
5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche, Fantastic.Z Productions, 5/18-6/2 (at Ballard Underground)
Its 1956 and the all-women, all widow Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are having their annual quiche breakfast. Will they be able to keep their cool when the Russians attack, turning their community center into a bomb shelter? This silly, sapphic story of pastry and forbidden love will leave you in stitches!
Mac Beth, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 5/18-6/17 (opens 5/23)
In playwright/director Erica Schmidt's innovative adaptation, seven young women gather after school to re-tell the story of Macbeth, Shakespeare's epic tragedy about the corrosive effects of ambition. Witches, ghosts, and prophecies drive this dark tale of a Scottish general who believes he is destined to be King of Scotland. And as the girls immerse themselves further and further in this infamous tragedy, the line between real life and bloody fantasy becomes increasingly blurred.
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Seattle Musical Theatre, 5/25-6/17
Charlie Brown contemplates what makes someone a 'good' person in this musical that originally was produced in 1967 and focuses on all the characters from the 'Peanuts' comic strip. Now the musical is a favorite of small, local theater companies. This production's special focus will be actors who are all over the age of 55 years.
Wild Horses, Intiman Theatre, 5/31-6/24 (at 12th Avenue Arts)
Sometimes-local playwright Allison Gregory's savagely funny play about a threshold summer that forever alters an adolescent girl, as portrayed by her grownup self. Complex and timeless, it is a comingofage story for all generations. She struggles with the pathos and hubris of her teenage years, an uncertain identity, independence and authenticity, and the desire to find her place in a complicated world.
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