A contemporary theater—The theater's new artistic director, Gordon Edelstein, continues his efforts to revitalize ACT with some impressive efforts, including its current offering, A Summer


Fall Arts Preview - Theater

A contemporary theater—The theater's new artistic director, Gordon Edelstein, continues his efforts to revitalize ACT with some impressive efforts, including its current offering, A Summer Moon by John Olive, a world-premiere play about a Japanese salesman given the unenviable task of trying to sell his country's first cars to the newly opened American market (ends 9/27). Then the theater gets down and dirty with Quills, Doug Wright's acerbic new play (with an Obie to recommend it) about the last days of everyone's favorite philosophical pervert, the Marquis de Sade (9/18-10/18). This is followed by Violet by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley, an unusual musical that tells the story of a disfigured mountain woman who seeks healing at the hands of a televangelist, and sets off on a journey to discover the Deep South (10/16-11/15). If all this is sounding a little radical for the theater's tried-and-true audience, never fear, there's always the annual production of A Christmas Carol in an adaptation by ACT founder Gregory Falls (dates TBA). 700 Union, 292-7676.

A Theater Under the Influence—Only two shows this fall from this smart group of fringe artists who specialize in revivals of little-known or rarely done texts. The first is a preview of Steve Tesich's comedy Square One, a two-hander bound for a tour of Germany at the Union Garage (10/2-4). Then, as a Halloween treat, the company presents a staged reading of the original War of the Worlds radio script, which was so effective it led to widespread panic when it was broadcast 50 years ago. Adapted by Howard Koch (10/29-31). Union Garage, 1418 10th, 720-1942.

Annex Theater—Seattle's flagship fringe theater has had a so-so season so far, but it will be finishing the year with some likely looking prospects. One undeniable pleasure is the theater's monthly late-night slot Spin the Bottle, curated by Bret Fetzer and hosted by the imperturbably suave Bruce Hall, a cabaret with a gloriously unpredictable edge to it. It plays the third Friday of every month at 11. On the mainstage, you can still catch the world premiere of Little Rootie Tootie, Erik Ehn's strange and poetic play about a mother and her magical baby who are pursued by a secret society of policemen (ends 9/12). Up next is Keri Healey's Penetralia, a domestic drama that's also a thriller about love and loss (9/9-11/7). Following hot on its heels is the holiday tradition of lewdness, silliness, and crazed show stallions, this time titled Lippizzaner? I Don't Even Know Her!, curated by Bret Fetzer (12/4-19). As a special late-night offering with Lippizzaner is Futz by Rochelle Owens, a play about a man who likes pigs. I mean really likes pigs. (12/5-19). Fri-Sat at 11. 1916 Fourth, 728-0933.

ArtsWest—The first season for this new (and still homeless, while waiting for money to renovate its Alaska Junction venue) theater company is a bevy of comedies and comedy-dramas, starting with local boy Steven Dietz's poetic two-hander about friendship during the AIDS crisis, Lonely Planet (9/24-10/17), followed by Terrance McNally's sweet comedy about midlife love between a waitress and a short-order cook, Frankie and Johnny at the Claire de Lune (10/29-11/21). 42nd SW and SW Alaska, 938-0339.

Bathhouse Theater—Finally putting all things Fulghum behind it, the Bathhouse gets bitter and Beckett-y with Endgame, the Irish playwright's nihilistic vision of old age and dementia at the end of our lives and the end of the world (9/8-10/11). Then as its annual tribute to the Bard, Bathhouse founder Arne Zaslove directs the pastoral comedy As You Like It, filled with a bunch of lovers knocking into trees and each other as they tra-la-la (dates TBA). 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 524-9108.

Belltown Theater Center—Artistic director Larry Silverberg directs the first fall offering of the company, David Rabe's In the Boom Boom Room, which charts the victimization of a go-go dancer (10/9-31). Then it's a visit from the Clay Martin Puppet Theater with its production of Faust, the timeless tale of a man who makes what is, when you think about it, a fairly shortsighted deal with the Devil (11/6-29). Finally the season wraps up with John Patrick Shanley's trenchant yet touching comedy Savage in Limbo (12/4-19). 115 Blanchard, 728-7609.

Book-It Repertory Theater—This fall features three selections from its theatrical bookshelves, starting with BOOO-kit's Scary Stories, featuring ghostly selections from Stephen King (shriek!), Shirley Jackson (shiver!), and R. Chetwynd-Hayes (who?) (10/2-31). Then there's a workshop of J.M. Coetzee's novel The Age of Iron with esteemed director Nikki Appino at the helm (11/20-22), and finally as a Christmas treat it's a revival of An Owen Meany Christmas, the tale of a Christmas pageant gone seriously wrong, written by John Irving, whose recent comments about trailer parks and public schools seem downright Ebenezerly (12/3-23). Book-It Repertory Theater, 1219 Westlake N, third floor, 216-0833.

Cabaret De Paris—The Cabaret continues its time-honored tradition of light musical fare to go with your elegant meal at its downtown locale. You can still catch the satirical revue Geoducks, Broken Domes & Billionaire Nerds through 9/26, the company's jokey send-up of all things Seattle. Next up is a celebration of the 100th birthday of a great American composer (no, he's not still around) with Music by Gershwin, a musical revue featuring more than 30 songs such as "Someone to Watch Over Me"and "I Got Rhythm" (10/1-11/21, see also Kirkland Performance Center). Finally it's the return of the cash cow with the kick, Forbidden Xmas '98, a collection of old and new seasonal parodies by Richard Gray including "Steve Pool the Weatherman" and "The Bon Star Blues" (11/27-12/27). Rainier Square, Fourth and Union, 623-4111.

Civic Light Opera—The longtime musical group opens its 21st season with How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, the Loesser/Burrows/Weinstock/Gilbert musical that follows the irresistible rise of window washer J. Pierpont Finch to the heights of corporate America via a paperback book and a good singing voice (9/24-10/17). Then it's the lesser-known but critically acclaimed musical Rags by Joseph Stein and Charles Strouse, which tells the story of a Russian immigrant who seeks a life for herself and her son in the New World via a sweatshop and then a union organizer (11/19-12/12). Jane Addams Theater, 11051 34th NE, 363-2809.

Core Theater—A new fringe theater group of four performers who met in Florida presents a small-scale adaptation of a (very) large-scale book, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, in a dramatic version translated from the French (9/30-10/17). Seattle Mime Theater, Odd Fellows Hall, 915 E Pine, fourth floor, 706-2875.

Cornish College of the Arts—Cornish students present a trio of plays this fall for the general public, which is a fine opportunity to catch enthusiastic young performers before they become cynical, jaded, and tainted with commercialism. First up is Lanford Wilson's The Rimers of Eldritch, which reveals the violence and sexuality hiding beneath, you guessed it, a sleepy rural American town (10/13-20). Then there's God's Country by Steven Dietz, his play inspired by the 1985 trial of white supremacists charged with the murder of Denver radio host Alan Berg (10/23-31). Children in Uniform rounds out the year, a new play by Christa Winsloe about the repressive nature of a girl's school in Germany before the rise of fascism. Various venues, 726-5066.

Empty Space—Artistic director Eddie Levi Lee continues to push, if not just tear open and occasionally swallow the contents, of the theatrical envelope. The theater's 29th season opens with Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw, his trousers-'round-the-ankles farce in which a psychiatrist transforms a lunatic asylum into a veritable madhouse, directed by Rod Cellabos (10/9-11/14). Then it's a revival of Lee's own Wuthering! Heights! The! Musical!, which improves on a minor work by Emily Bront렢y adding lots of goofy songs and an overarching plot involving the latest in Southern decadence (11/30-1/2). And advance warning: Come January, Lee teams up with the brilliant UMO ensemble for Expressions of the Spirit: Tales of the Brothers Grimm, a show meant for the whole family but undoubtedly with some of the group's dark vision in evidence (1/15-2/13). 3509 Fremont N, 547-7500.

5th Avenue Theater—Confused as to what's up this winter at the 5th? You aren't the only one. What with Julie Andrews pulling out of Victor/Victoria (and all the subsequent shuffling that resulted), Seattle Rep shows going up at the 5th and vice versa, the season has been unusual, to say the least. The Rep has its production of Bill Irwin's Fool Moon at the 5th Avenue 10/14-11/1, so at least we know that the theater's winter production of Irving Berlin's Easter Parade, starring Tommy Tune and Sandy Duncan, won't be going up then. As to when it will, that was information still unavailable at press time. There's no question that Tune is a distinctly class act, and this adaptation of the 1948 film not only features the songs from the original score, but other Berlin favorites such as "Blue Skies" and "Play a Simple Melody." 1326 Fifth, 292-ARTS.

Grex—Another new fringe theater group, this one with an ambitious season already in place, premieres this fall with up-and-coming London playwright Philip Ridley's The Pitchfork Disney, which follows the lives of two adult twins who are confirmed chocoholics and find their world forever altered by the mysterious nightclub entertainer Cosmo Disney (11/5-21). Chamber Theater, Odd Fellows Hall, 915 E Pine, fourth floor, 985-1019.

House of Dames—Nikki Appino, chief Dame in the House, rarely does anything in a small way. So while her next show, Beyond the Invasion of the Bee Girls, sounds like yer typical campy fringe musical (based as it is on a horror movie about bouffanted killer beewomen), there will probably be a lot more meeting your eye than you'd expect (10/13-11/7). Hugo House, 1634 11th, 720-5252.

Intiman Theater—The theater has had a slam-bang season so far, and have just premiered Chay Yew's Red, his new drama about the effects of Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution on the Beijing Opera and a family of artists (ends 9/27). This is followed by two revivals of American classics back-to-back, starting with The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams' exquisite memory play about a family trapped by dreams, desires, and the undying memory of a summer filled with gentlemen callers (10/7-31). Finally it's Lillian Hellman's dissection of the Great American Family, The Little Foxes, in which the struggle for ownership of a cotton mill ignites into a vicious battle in which all the dainty white gloves come off (11/6-12/6). Seattle Center, Intiman Playhouse, 269-1900.

New City Theater—What's up with New City? Planning, planning, planning. After a series of successful salon shows (a limited audience brought into artistic director John Kazanjian's own home for solo performances), the theater's taking stock of its financial and artistic resources and making tentative plans for the next two years. The next thing we may see from the crowd (which includes Mary Ewald, Ki Gottberg, and Kristen Kosmos) is The Girl Project sometime in January. 323-4683.

Northwest Actors Studio—There's a Naked Man in This Show is the title of Tony Curry's new script designed to highlight the Studio's graduating class, perhaps in more ways than you might expect (ends 9/26). Next up is another original play, At the Blue Wiener by Maureen Mershon, which tells the story of a Hoboken watering hole, one of its regulars, and his favorite bartender (10/2-24). Last show of the year is Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke, his tale of a passionate but destructive love affair in the Mississippi of the early 1900s (10/30-11/21). 1100 E Pike, 324-6328.

Northwest Asian American Theater—First up is an encore production of All One Tribe, a dance performance choreographed by Bengie Santos exploring the cultural, ritual, and spiritual rhythms common among a variety of world cultures (9/11-12). Then Flipzoids by Ralph Pe�s the Northwest premiere of a new comedy that looks at America through the eyes of three generations of Filipinos, and finds much cause for some thoughtful humor (10/1-11/1). And as a late-night addition to the run, it's the Pork-Filled Players and their newest edition of madcap (though not always zany) sketch comedy, All Wallows Eve: Tales from the Sty (10/9-31). Theater Off Jackson, 409 Seventh S, 340-1049.

Northwest Puppet Center—The company's 11th season begins with Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimey by New York puppeteer Preston Foerder, where a school janitor invents a series of stories using mops and brushes (10/2-25). Then it's Anasi the Spider, Oregon Shadow Theater's version of the West African trickster hero, which uses shadow puppets and live conga and mbira music (11/7-22). Finally, as a Yule tiding, is the return of Babar & Father Christmas by the Carter Family Marionettes, which sends everyone's favorite pachyderm on a globetrotting quest for the jolly old elf himself (11/27-12/20). 9123 15th NE, 523-2579.

On The Boards—A new home in Queen Anne (the old ACT space) helps the performance art venue celebrate its 20th anniversary, featuring both a complement of impressive touring shows as well as some homegrown pieces. It begins with Portuguese choreographer Clara Andermatt's Historia da Duvida, a piece for dancers to interact with architect Calos Gomes' kinetic set (10/8-11), followed by Robert Pinsky's Inferno of Dante, a multimedia re-imagining of the work by director Robert Scanlan and a host of musicians and visual artists (10/28-11/1). In November installation artist Ann Hamilton and choreographer Meg Stuart collaborate on Appetite (11/12-15), and in December Seattle performance duo 33 Fainting Spells introduces the world premiere of its new piece, Maria the Storm Cloud (12/3-6). 153 14th, 325-7901.

One Reel—Teatro ZiZanni: Love, Chaos & Dinner is a European-style cabaret that offers a combination of circus and theatrical performers underneath an antique, handcrafted Belgian wooden tent. Acts come from Barcelona, France, Russia, Canada, and our own fair city, with local performers Kevin Kent and Geoff Garza in the company. All this, and a full meal from Fuller's Restaurant chef Monique Barbeau. (10/29-1/17). Seattle Center, 628-0888.

Open Circle—Under artistic director Scott Bradley, Open Circle has generally moved away from the revivals of European classics it has featured in the past and done more original work, but this season begins with a bit of both. First there's a l'il preseason teaser, The Veggie Underground & Nicco, featuring comedy from playwright Nick Zagone and music from the new local band Player King (9/17-10/10). Then it's The Naked King by Soviet playwright Eugene Schwartz, whose charming mixture of fairy tale and political satire has become an Open Circle staple (11/13-12/5). 429 Boren N, 382-4250.

Paramount Theater—Cats sheds some fur (9/15-20). Rent continues to play (at the Moore, ends 11/8); it's a new musical based on La Boh譥. Apparently it captures the heart and soul of a generation. But in the middle of that there's a visit from the Capitol Steps, those tuneful comedians culled from the ranks of current and former congressional staffers who've had way too much material recently (10/9-10). And to see out the year comes the touring production of Ragtime: The Musical, based upon the book by E.L. Doctorow (with book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens) about three families, one rich and white, one African-American, and a family of Jewish immigrants, all at the dawn of the 20th century (12/2-1/9). Ninth and Pine, 292-ARTS.

Printer's Devil Theater—One show left in the theater's current season, Deron Bos' funny and only slightly annoying portrait of the artist as a young jerk, Konstantin. Under the direction of Kip Fagan, Bos' clever interplay between autobiography and the fictional character from Chekhov's The Seagull has undergone several workshop productions during the past year toward this showing (dates and venue TBA). 860-7163.

Repertory Actors Workshop—Shandell Sosna's adaptation of the classic film A Letter to Three Wives (in which three wives receive letters informing them that one of them is now missing a husband) is the multicultural theater's final production of the year, produced sometime this November. Theater Off Jackson, 409 Seventh S, 364-3283.

Seattle Children's Theater—SCT, which has expanded both its programs and its critical reputation mightily in the last few years, presents five new world premieres this year including its first show, Kenny's Window, adapted from the book by Maurice Sendak by Todd Jefferson Moore and the puppeteers of Speeltheater. A young boy must answer seven riddles posed by a four-footed rooster (9/25-10/31). Then it's an original adaptation of Edmond

Rostand's Cyrano, the fellow with the absurdly big nose and the even bigger heart, who's courageous in battle but a coward at love. Presented by Belgium's Blauw Vier theater company (10/16-12/20). In November George Selden's classic book for children A Cricket in Times Square comes along in a musical adaptation by Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin, the story of a friendship between a cat and a cricket that make beautiful music in a very unlikely setting (11/13-1/23). Charlotte Martin and Eve Alvord theaters, Seattle Center, 441-3322.

Seattle First Artists—Ring the bells, awake the townspeople, it's an original musical production of Hunchback, based upon the classic tale of a beauty and a particularly sensitive beast. With music by C. Rainey Lewis and a cast (and crew) from the local talent pool, the producers have high hopes for the show after its Seattle premiere. As to whether this rock/blues musical with an unlikely theme will scale the heights or plummet earthward, we'll just have to see (10/20-11/22). King Cat Theater, Sixth and Blanchard, 516-4125.

Seattle Repertory Theater—Sharon Ott's second year at the helm of the Rep still looks a mite more cautious than what we could have expected from her tenure in the Bay Area. Maybe she's still not convinced that Seattle audiences are quite as willing to take risks. This year opens with Play On!, a jazz musical by Sheldon Epps based upon Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, that transplants his comedy of mistaken identities and affections to Harlem in the 1940s (9/21-10/31). Then, while it's still playing at the Rep, the theater borrows the stage of the 5th Avenue for Fool Moon, a new play/revue/we-aren't-quite-sure-yet-what-to-expect by master clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner, with music provided by the Red Clay Ramblers (10/14-11/1). Nixon's Nixon by Russell Lees is a satire on the late president wandering the corridors of his own mind on the eve of his resignation, with Seattle actor David Pichette in a role he was born to play (10/26-12/6). Finally it's a revival (with Ott directing) of George Bernard Shaw's wonderful comedy on class distinctions, Pygmalion, about a coldly intellectual professor who transforms a flower girl into the toast of London (11/16-12/20). Hmmm. There's a musical in there somewhere. . . . Bagley Wright Theater, Seattle Center, 443-2222.

Seattle Shakespeare Festival—Stephanie Shine's first year as artistic director of the festival is dubbed the "Italian Season" for featuring plays set in the sunny and passionate country of Shakespeare's dreams. This fall's production is Julius Caesar, the Bard's masterful discourse on the politics of power, presented in a "no togas" production by one of the sharpest directors of such-like classics in town, Rita Giomi (9/25-10/25). University of Washington, Ethnic Cultural Theater, 3940 Brooklyn NE, 467-1382.

Sit & Spin—Peep is the word. October is the date. A bunch of local playwrights and filmmakers are involved. Watch this space. Sit & Spin, 2219 Fourth, 441-9484.

Stone Soup Theater—Stone Way's small but feisty performance space presents a Christmas Cabaret at Hell's Cafe, featuring such dysfunctional family members as Stephanie Miller (otherwise known as Gothic Star), Justin Case, "pure" Miss Millie, and your host with the heart of gold, Hosanna (12/10-19). 4035 Stone Wy N, 633-1883.

Taproot Theater—The theater's fall musical is Godspell, the popular Tebelak/Schwartz musical that retells the Gospel According to St. Matthew in a series of skits and song-and-dance numbers, including the hit "Day by Day" (9/16-10/17). Then, as a Christmas treat, the company presents a new musical by Sean Gaffney, Christmas on the Orpheum Circuit, which follows a vaudeville performer's fancy footwork when he tries to cover up that the revue show he's starring in doesn't actually exist (11/27-12/23). 204 N 85th, 781-9707.

Theater Babylon—The fringe company with an eye out for original work begins its season with Loose Canons, a new musical by Ellen Cooper and Phrin Prickett that focuses on the Iran-Contra scandal featuring that grand song-and-dance duo Ollie North and Fawn Hall (9/10-10/3). Then, in the holiday months of November and December, there's Ron Owen's Pig, an expanded one-act that's now big and squealing for its full-sized premiere. Union Garage, 1418 10th, 720-1942.

Theater Schmeater—More yuks are in store in the theater's All Comedy Season, including a double-bill of Self-Torture and Strenuous Exercise by Harry Kondoleon and For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls by Christopher Durang, along with late-night sketch delight with comic geniuses Bald Faced Lie (9/25-10/24). Halloween weekend features Two Guys in Search of a Banana, a humor potpourri featuring Seattle's finest and curated by funny guy John Moe (10/30-11/1). Then it's John Guare's absurdist assault on all things sacred (God, family, the Catholic Church, and romantic love included), The House of Blue Leaves (11/13-12/19). Finally there's a duet of Twilight Zone Live on Stage pieces on a holiday theme, like the one where Santa Claus is revealed to be an alien brainsucker. OK, maybe not that one (11/27-12/19). 1500 Summit, 324-5801.

Theater Simple—The producers of last year's bravura The Master and Margarita return with Miss Julie in Paris, an original script based upon the life and writings of the occasionally crazy August Strindberg. Seen in a workshop production this summer, the show was innovative, imaginative, and occasionally confusing as all get out, but following several weeks of touring, and with director M. Burke Walker by its side, it just might be another elegant gem from this very impressive fringe company (10/1-25). Town Hall, Eighth and Seneca, 784-8647.

Thistle Theater—The peripatetic puppet troupe presents two shows this fall beginning with The House on Pooh Corner, adapted from the stories of A.A. Milne and featuring bunraku-style puppets where the operators are seen but in black (9/26-10/18). Its Christmas show is Happy Holly Day, in which a young woman opens up holiday parcels from around the world that show her how different cultures celebrate the season (12/18-1/3). 524-3388. Moore Theater, 9459 NE 14th Bellevue, and Burien Little Theater, 425 SW 144th, Burien.

UMO Ensemble—UMO, the strange and wonderful geniuses of physical theater, are all over the place this fall and winter, playing shows from their repertory as well as developing their newest show, The Millennium Circus. You can catch the group at the Kirkland Performance Center as the Buffoons in El Dorado (10/16) as well as five other King County venues, and UMO touches down at the Broadway Performance Hall for a three-week run of its show Body Inheritance, an energetic exploration of how the body and the mind connect and occasionally disconnect (9/10-27). In January, check out the results when it collaborates with Eddie Levi Lee at the Empty Space on a new adaptation of fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm (1/15-2/13). 463-2128.

Unexpected Productions—The improv folks continue their occasional forays into scripted drama with Top Girls by Caryl Churchhill, her witty analysis of Women Who Work, which features a luncheon party including Pope Joan and Chaucer's Wife of Bath (9/24-10/31). For Christmas, it's The Bogey Hosen Family Christmas Spectacular, featuring America's favorite entertainer in a show that looks suspiciously like any number of television holiday specials (11/26-12/20). The Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273.

UW School of Drama—This fall quarter features three plays with guest directors and featuring the students of the university's drama program. First it's The Balcony, Genet's acidic look at revolution and unrest as seen from the interior of an exclusive bordello, directed by former ACT associate director Leslie Swackhamer (10/28-11/8). Then it's Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine, a journey from the reigns of Victoria to Elizabeth II, when genders and attitudes are shaped and twisted willy-nilly (11/18-29), directed by Jude Domski and Chazz Rose. Finally it's Valerie Curtis-Newton's direction of Balm in Gilead by Lanford Wilson, his 1965 comedy about a truly unlikely comedy between a forthright hooker and a handsome pusher who can't help the desire to do good. UW campus, 543-4880.


Chaspen Opera Theater—This new Redmond company concentrates on popular music and classical music made popular in its three shows this fall, which include "George Gershwin: A Centennial Celebration" (9/26); "Opera for Young Audiences," featuring world premieres of Christopher Lee Fraley's The Frog Prince and Allen Shawn's The Ant and the Grasshopper, with puppets by Glass Heart (10/31); and Menotti's Christmas favorite, Amahl and the Night Visitors. Various venues, 425-880-6035.

Kirkland Performance Center—The first season of the Eastside's newest performance venue is a mixture of local and national touring artists, which includes some fun surprises. First up is the Cabaret De Paris production of Music by Gershwin (9/17-27), followed by an original musical production of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh from Kirkland's own Storybook Theater (10/3-10). Amii LeGendre's Bathing the Blind is a multimedia piece that mixes up choreography with film work to explore the worlds of vision and blindness (10/9), while UMO's wonderful El Dorado sets the mischievous Buffoons loose upon the pages of history to tell the story of the Spanish explorers who looted their way through the Americas. (10/16). In November Storybook Theater returns with Sleeping Beauty, an original adaptation of the classic fairy tale (11/21-28), and the year winds up with a Village Theatre Holiday Special, featuring great musical performers from the region and songs from across the Northwest and the country (12/11-1/3). 350 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, 425-828-0422.

Renton Civic Theater—The Eastside theater presents community-theater fare but with a significant streak of professionalism. It opens the season with the Wasserman/Leigh/Darion musical Man of La Mancha (9/4-10/4). Then it's Rough Crossing by Tom Stoppard, a typically verbal farce about the misadventures of a group of Broadway performers rushing to finish rehearsing a play while crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner (10/23-11/22). For Christmas it's Inspecting Carol, Dan Sullivan's comedy in which an NEA supervisor is brought in to oversee a production of the company's Christmas Carol in which everything that can go wrong does (12/3-1/3). 507 S Third, Renton, 425-226-5529.

Youth Theater Northwest—Mercer Island's resident center for theater features two more shows in 1998, including high-seas hijinks, complete with eye patches and gold doubloons, in The Pirate Party (10/16-31), followed by the story of the humble cobbler who found a unique outsourcing outlet, The Shoemaker and the Elves (12/4-20) 8805 SE 40th, Mercer Island, 206-232-2202.

Village Theatre—For its 20th season the Village kicks off with Carnival by Michael Stewart and Bob Merrill, which follows a traveling French carnival and the bittersweet romance that runs its course under the twinkling lights (9/24-11/1). Then, as something of a complement to the Rep's production of Pygmalion, it's My Fair Lady by Lerner and Lowe. Lowly flower girl Eliza rises to the cream of society through proper use of her haitches and "r's" (11/19-1/3). 303 Front N, Issaquah, 425-392-2202.

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