by Miryam Gordon -
SGN A&E Writer
June is bustin' out with musicals in our fair town. Classics and world premieres seem to demand that we sing all month long!
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The 5th Avenue Theatre, 6/1-24 (opens 6/8)
Joshua Castille stars as Quasimodo in this local edition of this remarkable work, complete with a 30-person choir. A reimagining of Victor Hugo's epic masterpiece, this powerful tale of love, faith and prejudice provides a lush, beautiful score. Songs are included from the Disney animated feature along with new music from legendary composer Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. This 5th Avenue staging is directed by Glenn Casale, who staged the acclaimed production of Disney's The Little Mermaid at The 5th Avenue Theatre last winter.
Journey West! The Legend of Lewis and Clark, Copious Love Productions, 6/1-23 (at Theatre Off Jackson) (world premiere)
Andrew Lee Creech (book and lyrics and music) and Evan Barrett (music) have created a new musical skewering the story of the westward journey of Lewis and Clark that we're taught in history class in school. In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson enlisted Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's Corps of Discovery to explore the uncharted West and find an all-water route across North America to unite sea with shining sea. This whimsical and irreverent send-up re-blazes the historic trail to the Pacific through song, dance, and Sasquatch. If history is written by the victors, then what does it look like through the lens of the disenfranchised? Who gets to tell their story vs. who gets their story told for them? & and who becomes a footnote? Our diverse, genderqueer cast and crew bring this adventure to the stage.
Le Grand Fromage, Nicole Aloni, 6/1-15 (at West of Lenin)
From studying at La Varenne in Paris to catering the Academy Awards and mixing drinks for Queen Elizabeth, chef Nicole Aloni's adventures in life and in the kitchen will stimulate all your senses. Her life story bubbles to the surface during a cooking class. Aromas permeate the theater as Nicole climbs out of one disaster after another and survives, delicious food in hand.
ZM, Village Theatre, 6/1-10 (beta series)
A developmental full-staging of a new musical by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, the creators of Urinetown. In a remote American town, a fast-food franchise is test-marketing a new sandwich that, apparently, turns people into zombies. The Walking Dead meets The Book of Mormon as we follow two teenage fast-food workers who set off to penetrate the corporate behemoth behind this franchise fiasco and learn the terrible truth about the source of the plague and the outcome it was designed to create& all while navigating teenage love. Can the two young lovers save their relationship? And their brains? And the world?
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Book-It Repertory Theatre, 6/6-7/1 (opens 6/9)
When the irresistible Dorian Gray sees the magnificent portrait his friend Basil Hallward has painted of him, he laments that he will grow old while the picture will always remain young. Dorian strikes a Faustian bargain and is granted eternal youth while the portrait ages and records his sins. As his pursuit of pleasure devolves into a life of sin and corruption, Dorian's bargain brings devastating consequences. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890, Oscar Wilde's only novel scandalized Victorian England with its open examination of sex, drugs, and even murder, and its ultimate declaration that hiding from one's true self is the real sin.
How I Learned to Drive, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, 6/7-7/7
Li'l Bit is a survivor of teenage sexual abuse whose story is disarmingly comic, sweet, and seductive. Her memories are scrambled and ridden with guilt - making it difficult for the listener to form conventional judgments. Paula Vogel's landmark play contains topics that often cause 'trigger warnings' but is considered an important play on the subject.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, ArtsWest, 6/7-7/8 (staggered dates)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
The off-Broadway smash-hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the electrifying story of Hedwig, a German emigrant who suffered a botched sex-change operation (her penis remains an inch long), as she travels the country in hopeless romantic pursuit of her former lover. First a hit on stage and again on screen, John Cameron Mitchell's hard-rock tale of transformation has earned critical acclaim and a legion of fans across the world.
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
Felicia Loud again performs as Billie Holiday as she paints a stirring portrait of the jazz legend performing one of her last solo concerts, four months before her death. Packed with the music that made her both a legend - 'What a Little Moonlight Can Do,' 'God Bless the Child' - and a cultural flashpoint - 'Strange Fruit' - Lady Day tells an intimate story of a complex woman through reminisces, confessions, and unforgettable music. If you missed Loud's amazing performance a few years ago at Langston Hughes, you should absolutely make sure to see this edition.
Until the Flood, ACT Theatre, 6/8-7/8 (opens 6/14)
The latest work by award-winning playwright, performer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith focuses on the social unrest following the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This one-act, one-woman drama surrounds eight composite characters from the St. Louis region, examining the issues of race and social unrest from a variety of perspectives.
Bat-Hamlet, Fern Shakespeare Company 6/8-7/1 (at Slate Theater)
What if Shakespeare had conceived the melancholy Dane as a costumed crime fighter? Bat-Hamlet tells the tale of a Dark Knight that emerges from betwixt the pages of Shakespeare to exact revenge on his murderous uncle, King Jester. Resolved to avenge beloved King Police Commissioner Gordrick's death, Hamlet dons the persona of Bat-Hamlet, a flashier and much cooler version of his brooding youth. The world of comic books and the Bard of Avon come together in this hilarious mash-up.
Pageant, A Sensible Theatre Company 6/13-7/8 (at ACT Theatre)
Pageant, written by two-time Tony nominee Bill Russell, Frank Kelly, and Seattle's very own Albert Evans, debuted Off-Broadway in 1991 in New York. It's a high-heeled drag-spin on the competitive pageant scene. Go on a fabulous adventure into the timeless world of the Miss Glamouresse Beauty Pageant. Cheer for favorites that include Miss West Coast, Miss Great Plains, Miss Industrial Northeast, Miss Bible Belt, Miss Texas, and Miss Deep South. Your vote will count each night, with a different possible winner!
https://www.sensibletheatre.co/ and www.acttheatre.org
The Last Starfighter, SecondStory Repertory, 6/15-7/1
Based on the screenplay of the hit 1980's sci-fi movie, this high-flying show follows the adventures of 18-year-old Alex Rogan, a teenager with a gift for playing video games. When Alex breaks the record on his favorite intergalactic video game, he finds himself pulled into a reality where the fate of the galaxy is placed in his hands. Aided by an alien con-man named Centauri, and stalked by alien bounty hunters called Zan-Do-Zans, Alex sets off on an exciting quest that will change the course of his life forever.
The Color Purple, Paramount Theatre 6/27-7/1
The Color Purple is the 2016 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival, with a Grammy®-winning score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues. This Pulitzer Prize-winning story (also an award-winning movie) tells the tale of Celie, a young woman who starts out life with all the wrong kinds of attention, pregnant with a second child at fourteen by her own father. The trials and tribulations she goes through could stop many another from trying to stay alive, but Celie gets unexpected support to grow stronger and eventually survives long enough to love herself and thrive.
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