From Live Charlie Brown to Improvised Film.

On Stage This Week

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Openings & Previews

An Evening of Thornton Wilder One-ActsThe Long Christmas Dinner, Pullman Car Hiawatha, and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, directed by John Abramson. Community Theatre at East Hall Theatre, Oddfellows Building, 1525 10th Ave., 2nd floor,, $12-$15. Opens Thurs. Nov. 9. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.; also 8 p.m. Wed. Nov. 29; no shows Thanksgiving weekend. Ends Fri. Dec. 1.

Dishin' on Theatre Sneak-preview highlights (gospel music, poetry, dance) from Intiman's upcoming production of Black Nativity (Nov. 29–Dec. 27), in dinner-theater format. The Georgian, 411 University St., 206-621-7889. $65. 6 p.m. Mon. Nov. 13.

Echoes of Another Man Mia McCullough's play posits the first-ever brain transplant and ponders the questions raised. Mirror Stage Company at Pigott Auditorium, Seattle University, 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12, and Schafer Auditorium, Lemieux Library, Seattle University, 7 p.m. Mon. Nov. 13. 206-686-3729, $5 suggested donation.

I Thought I Heard Elliott Bay Jack Cook and his Blues band, the Phantoms of Soul, tell the story of Seattle's early blues scene in the 1950s through song and narration in this "bluesical" based on the journal of Northwest blues scholar Raymond Barrow. Unity Theater, Unity Masonic Lodge, 2nd floor, 119 North Bend Way, North Bend, $10-$12.50. Opens Fri. Nov. 10. 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 18.

The Miser Moliere's timeless (unfortunately) satire. Seattle Public Theater Youth Ensemble, 7312 W. Greenlake Dr. N., 206-524-1300, Donation. 7 p.m. Fri. Nov. 10-Sat. Nov. 11, 2 p.m. Sat. Nov. 11-Sun. Nov. 12 only.

Naughty! Mrs. Claus and the Sugarplum Fairy revolt against niceness in Toni Douglass' and Ellen Lippmann Finn's comedy musical. Partners in Prime Entertainment at Northwest Actors Studio Cabaret, 1100 E. Pike St., 206-371-0107,, $10-$15. Opens Sun. Nov. 12. 7 p.m. Sun., also 4:30 p.m. matinees Sun. Nov. 19, Dec. 3, 10, 17. Ends Sun. Dec. 17.

Seattle Neutrino Project Improvised film—three teams, each containing actors, a camera person, and a runner, solicit ideas from the audience, then dash off to make a movie and dash back to show it. 3940 Brooklyn Ave N.E.,, $12. 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 10-Sat. Nov. 11 only.

The Secret Ruths of Island House A special fund-raising performance of this play (an original play built around real-life interviews with seven women named Ruth who live in a retirement home in Mercer Island) that won honors and accolades at fringe festivals in San Francisco, Boulder, and New York City. Nebunele Theatre at the Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S., 800-838-3006, $15-$18. 7:30 p.m. Wed. Nov. 15.

You're a Good Man, Charlie BrownPeanuts live! SPU Theatre at E.E. Bach Theatre, McKinley Hall, Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Ave. W., 206-281-2959. $8-$10. Opens Thurs. Nov. 9. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 2 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 18.

Last Chance

Alice in Wonderland An original musical adaptation, written and directed by Bob Gribas with original music and choreography by Angela Rinaldi-Gribas. Variety Plus at McEachern Auditorium, Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E, 206-368-8386. $10. 1 & 4 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12 only.

Alien Ian Bell's "Brown Derby" series of staged re-enactments of cult-movie screenplays continues with Alien, starring Nick Garrison as Ripley (and if those last four words don't inspire you to immediately buy a ticket . . . ) 21 and over. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St. $12. 8 p.m. Wed. Nov. 8-Thurs. Nov. 9 only.

Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls Characters both human and animal, in New York, Hawaii, and Alaska, in Naomi Iizuka's fantasia. Cornish College of the Arts Theater Department at Raisbeck Performance Hall, 2015 Boren Ave., 206-325-6500, $5-$8. 8 p.m. Wed.-Thurs. & Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. Nov. 12.

Amateurs A backstage comedy about a community theater production, its madcap cast, and the death of a theater critic. (We do not approve.) Next Step Theater at Theatre Four, Center House, Seattle Center. 800-838-3006,, $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 11.

Anton in Show Business Jane Martin's backstage comedy, set amid a production of Chekhov's Three Sisters. UW School of Drama at Meany Studio Theatre, UW campus, 206-543-4880, $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. Nov. 12.

Carlotta's Reunion Night Wing Ding The cast of Carlotta and the Curse of Wolf Manor reunites for this episode of the ebullient Carlotta Sue Philpott's variety show.Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S., 800-838-3006, $10. 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 10-Sat. Nov. 11 only.

The Cemetery Club Three widows and a widower tangle during monthly visits to their spouses' graves. Curtain Call Theatre at Northshore Senior Center, 10201 E. Riverside Dr., Bothell, 425-487-2441. $8-$10. 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 10, 5:30 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12.

The Colour Out Of Space Three cleverly interlocking stories based on the tales and elaborate invented mythos of H.P. Lovecraft: A meteorite disrupts (and destroys) a farm couple's lives; a young student is driven by his succubus-esque fiancée to research mysterious woodland rites (and is destroyed); a hambone vaudeville magician stumbles on some true and hideous magical power (and is destroyed). Like the original short stories, these adaptations by Maggie Lee and Ron Sandahl build . . . suspense . . . very . . . slowly . . . but be patient, the payoffs are worth it. Theater on a shoestring doesn't get any shoestringier than this; the show's a triumph of imagination and skill over a tiny budget—or as Lovecraft would have put it, a budget infinitesimal, unspeakable, and unholy, which no sane creature could endure!!!Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave. N., 206-382-4250, $13. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 11.

Harriet's Halloween Candy A talented cast gets as much mileage as possible out of a rather thin plot about a girl who hoards her Halloween candy, eventually to discover that friendship trumps selfishness. The best part of the play is its toe-tapping tunes, sung with especial verve by Liz McCarthy's Harriet. The actors know how to ham it up to make the little ones laugh, as in a well-played scene when Harriet and her friends hit upon the home of a dentist. The set is magically spooky. While the plot may not be riveting, it does the job. Your kids may leave the theater, as mine did, saying, "You know, I feel like Harriet sometimes." Recommended for ages 5 and up. Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center, 206-441-4488, $16-$32. 7 p.m. Fri., 2 & 5:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sun. Nov. 12. NINA SHAPIRO

Singin' in the Rain A stage adaptation of one of the great all-time film musicals, about the changeover in Hollywood from silent to talking motion pictures ("I caaan't staaand 'im!"). Dinner available 90 minutes before the show. Auburn Avenue Theater, 10 Auburn Ave., Auburn, 253-833-5678, $17.50-$46.95. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 11.

The Underpants Delightfully crude and yet complex, Steve Martin's adaptation of Carl Sternheim's 1910 play sticks close to the subject matter at hand: panties. After demure housefrau Louise (Julie Briskman) accidentally drops her drawers in public, her world turns upside down. Though she reassures her admonishing prude of a husband Theo (Richard Ziman), Louise finds herself a temporary celebrity when several would-be suitors come calling. Posing as renters, they pursue her beneath Theo's nose, hoping for a closer look at the elusive underpants. Louise's balloonlike pantaloons are absurdly unarousing by today's standards but their effect is timeless—when "flesh speaks to men" all self-control goes out the window. Darkly comedic, The Underpants contrasts the liberating glee of Louise's furtive sexual awakening with her sadly disempowered and mundane existence. Acting as an accomplice, upstairs neighbor Gertrude (Marianne Owen) drops enough beautifully executed raunchy one-liners to make even Louise realize there's more to life than cooking up her husband's wiener. It's much lighter fare than director Kurt Beattie's other recent undertaking at ACT, Mitzi's Abortion, and undoubtedly their most comedic mainstage production this season. ACT's cast enjoys running away with Martin's bawdy, subversive script, so it's impossible for audiences not to. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 206-292-7676, $10-$54. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun.; special grand finale performance 7 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12. KAT ORTLAND

Waiting for Godot Beckett's existential classic, staged by a troupe from his hometown. Gate Theatre, Dublin, at The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 206-628-0888,, $38.50-$43.50. 7:30 p.m. Wed. Nov. 8-Thurs. Nov. 9, 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 10, 2 & 8 p.m. Sat. Nov. 11, 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12 only.

Continuing Runs

The Air is Peopled With Cruel and Fearsome Birds Implied Violence's stated mission is "to barrel past mediocrity and stagnation, and to shove conformist theatre into a deathly [sic] abyss." Their latest creation, The Air Is Peopled With Cruel and Fearsome Birds, forgoes a linear structure, or anything resembling a plot, and orbits around a dejected woman named Hester played by actors Mandie O'Connell and drcm. It's the first and last piece to make an appearance at Vill-ville, a makeshift theatre space that combines dorm-room disorganization with bozo chic. Thrown into the mix are more props than you can shake a stick at, including frilly red panties, fruit, and cap guns. Channeling Artaud's Theater of Cruelty, Implied Violence uses choreography and strident, often repetitive sound to convey emotion, but cream pies tossed into pie-holes nip any sentimentality in the bud, ironically resulting in a fat-free pathos. Vill-ville, 1534 First Ave. S., 206-340-2703, $5-$15. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 18. SUZANNE BEAL

Anything Goes Love and hijinks on a transatlantic ocean liner in this Cole Porter classic. SecondStory Repertory at Redmond Town Center, 16587 N.E. 74th St., Redmond, 425-881-6777, $20-$26. 8:15 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and Thurs. Nov. 30, 2:15 p.m. matinees Sun. Nov. 19 & 26. Ends Sat. Dec. 2.

Bedroom Farce Studies say the more sex a couple has, the happier they are. Or is it the happier the couple, the more sex they have? Either way, the adage seems to hold true for young and old alike, as we peek into their lives on the tiny Stone Soup stage. Aside from the false British accents, the acting was right on, the scenarios plausible, and the mood fun, spiraling into manic. Tracking how one couple's neuroses spill into the lives of the more- and less-happy couples around them, Bedroom Farce lives up to its name. In this intimate theater, you'll feel like a bit of a voyeur, especially during the onstage costume changes. If you sit in the front row, make sure you don't get your toes stepped on. Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stone Way N., 206-325-6500, $10-$22. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 3:30 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 25. ADRIANA GRANT

Bye Bye Birdie Teen idol Conrad Birdie (think Elvis-but-not-quite) is about to join the army, but not before he turns Sweet Apple, Ohio upside down with a PR stunt in this favorite musical. Village Theatre, 303 Front St. N., Issaquah, 425-392-2202, $25-$49. Opens Wed. Nov. 8. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 7:30 p.m. selected Tues., 2 p.m. matinees selected Sat. & Sun., 7 p.m. selected Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 31.

Compendium of Nastiness A revival, evey other weekend through Dec. 9, of playwright/director Ki Gottberg's hourlong "extrapolation" on 19th-century gothic melodrama. Actress Elizabeth Kenny plays all the roles, including virtuous Angela and evil Uncle Osmund. A meditation on desire and sexual discovery, among other things, the production both celebrates and satirizes the classic elements of narrative. The Womb, 15-seat private residence in Madrona, 800-838-3006, $25. No tickets available at the door; arrive between 8 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Nov. 10-11, 24-25, Dec. 8-9. RICHARD MORIN

Cowboy Versus Samurai A Korean-American woman moves to Breakneck, Wyo., and shakes it up in Michael Golamco's politically provocative romantic comedy. SIS Productions at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 206-323-9443, $8-$12. 8 p.m. Fri., 3 & 8 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 18.

Fuh-Geddaboudit Dinner theater with various audience-participation "survival" games that give comic instruction on life in the mafia, including how to perform a proper hit and how to survive FBI surveillance. Includes a four-course Italian dinner. Julia's on Broadway, 300 Broadway E. 800-838-3006,; 206-860-1818, $39.90. 6:30 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 17.

The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jazz-Age dissection of the leisure class, love, materialism, and the American dream, in Simon Levy's stage adaptation. Bagley Wright Theatre at Seattle Repertory Theater, 155 Mercer St., 206-443-2222, $10-$48. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Sun., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun.; also 2 p.m. Wed. Nov. 22. Ends Sun. Dec. 10.

Hogwash An improvised tale in which kids guide the "choose your own story" format. Jerk Alert Productions at the Historic University Theater, Historic University Theater, 5510 University Ave. N.E., 206-297-1767. $10. 2 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 18.

The House of Yes Wendy MacLeod's black comedy about an incestuous, obssessed family. Absurd Reality Theatre at Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave., 800-838-3006,, $12-$15. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Nov. 10-11 & 17-18; also Dec. 1-2. Ends Sat. Dec. 2.

Jason & the Golden Fleece John Olive's adaptation of the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, directed by Rita Giomi. Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center, 206-441-4488, $16-$32. 7 p.m. Fri., 2 & 5:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sun. Nov. 26.

Late Nite Catechism Maripat Donovan's one-woman show explains everything you wanted to know about the Catholic faith, but were too scared you'd get rapped across the knuckles to ask. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 206-292-7676, $24.50-$29.50. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Open run.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe This dramatization by students aged 6 to 18 is not a professional production, but that doesn't stop kids from enjoying it. In fact, children get a kick out of seeing actors their age. The performance is a valiant effort at C.S. Lewis' classic story of children lost in a bewitched land, complete with sword fights, English accents, and snow falling upon a well-crafted set. Youth Theatre Northwest, 8805 S.E. 40th St., Mercer Island, 206-232-4145 ext. 109, $11-$15. 7 p.m. Fri., 2 & 7 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. Nov. 19. NINA SHAPIRO

Menopause: The Musical Jeanie Linders' tuneful celebration of That Time of Life is back at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 206-292-7676, $45. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 2 & 5:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Jan. 31.

Native Son Intiman's production of Native Son (adapted from Richard Wright's novel by Wright and Paul Green, directed by Kent Gash) opens with a breathtaking image: out of the darkness emerges actor Ato Essandoh in the lead role, his bare body bathed in an eerie, shimmering light. Frozen in a Jesus pose, he stares brazenly into the ether, defying the audience to behold his complete exposure. As Bigger Thomas, one of the great antiheroes of 20th-century literature, Essandoh is a revelation, embodying the character in all his hellish complexity: the haughty swagger that walks a faultline of fear, the maniac rage, the absurd hilarity of Bigger's fate. It is an awesome performance, as riveting as can be and utterly in tune with the mad, jazzy march of Wright's narrative. Bigger's story—centered on his accidental murder of the debauched, idealistic daughter of a piously liberal couple who hire him as their driver—is stripped to its bare elements; where Wright's novel was gritty, insular, and deliberate, the play is heavily symbolic and at times laden with a kind of postmodern artifice, devices such as mock-newsreel narration and characters who directly address the audience. The language is sharp, melodic, and occasionally shockingly harsh. Gash does a keen job orchestrating these elements, giving the production a consistent atmosphere of brooding dread, eased at moments by bursts of streetwise humor and by the fine musical accompaniment of guitarist/composer Chic Street Man. Intiman Theater, 201 Mercer St., Seattle Center, 206-269-1900, 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Thurs. & Sun.; also 2 p.m. matinees most Sat. & Sun., and Wed. Nov. 8. Ends Sun. Nov. 19. Also, Chic Street Man will perform a solo concert. $12. 7:30 p.m. Mon. Nov. 13. RICHARD MORIN

The Phaedra Project Passion and order clash in this retelling of the Greek myth, freely adapted from both Racine and Euripides. Ghost Light Theatricals at The Chamber Theater, Oddfellows Building, 915 E. Pine St., 4th floor, 800-838-3006,, $10-$12. 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., also 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12 & 19. Ends Sun. Nov. 19.

W(h)acked Seattle playwright Stephanie Timm's "immorality play" about five murderous women. Live Girls! Theater, 2220 N.W. Market St., 800-838-8006, $10-$15. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 4 & 8 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 18.

The Winter's Tale Shakespeare's story of jealousy and forgiveness is pushed into the realm fantastic with director Mark Harrison's masterful reimagining. Stark, evocative sets and skilled use of color set the Bard's story free on an open but rich stage, and deliver a beautiful fairytale with real heartwarming power. Strong performances by Paul Stetler and Jayne Muirhead, with the comic genius of Troy Fischnaller and a fine supporting cast, are powerfully enhanced by the minimal design, nuanced costumery, and delicate lighting. They suggest an unplaceable pan-asian aesthetic that lends a timeless quality, while the use of paper cranes, puppetry, and sailing ships conjures an air of fantasy. The bear alone should not be missed. The strong production team very effectively maximized the Center House Theatre's intimate setting with original work, and propelled this lesser-known comedy into a wonderfully memorable tale. Center House Theatre at Seattle Center, 206-733-8222, $18-$32. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sun. Nov. 19. NEIL CORCORAN

Cabaret & Variety

All 4 Limbs UMO's Kevin Joyce hosts this vaudeville cavalcade of comedy, magic, acrobatics, music, shadow puppetry, and champion jump-roping. Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., 206-325-6500, $8-$10. 7 p.m. Sat. Nov. 11 only.

The Bedroom Club A show harkening back to the heyday of burlesque, featuring live music, sketch comedy, and dessert. Burning Hearts Burlesque at the Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E. Pike St., 206-898-9067,, $10-$15. 10 p.m. Thurs. Open run.

Burlesque Behind the Pink Door Upcoming performers include Babette La Fave and Miss Indigo Blue. 21 and over. The Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley, 206-443-3241, $10. 10:30 p.m. Sat. Open run.

Capitol Steps Political satire and song from this long-running troupe. Part of the "American Voices" series. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., $25-$75. 7:30 p.m. Wed. Nov. 8.

Le Faux Julia's newest drag show, starring Seattle's finest female impersonators. Julia's on Broadway, 300 Broadway E., 206-334-0513, $10. 10:30 p.m. Sat. Ends Nov. 25.

Sinner Saint Burlesque Weekly revue hosted by Mr. Dane Ballard. SSB at Noc Noc, 1516 Second Ave., $5. 10 p.m. Thurs. Open run.

The Stay Up Late Show A monthly live talk show, hosted by Rebecca M. Davis, featuring a variety of local acts and celebrities. This month, comedy, trivia, music, and the results of their "Worst Family Holiday EVER!" Story Contest. Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave.,, $12. 10 p.m. Sat. Nov. 11 only.

Teatro ZinZanni: The Trickster's Trunk The latest installment of the big-top dinner theater stars actor/singer/dancer Melanie Stace and opera singer Rachel DeShon. Teatro ZinZanni, 2301 Sixth Ave., 206-802-0015, $104-$155. 6:30 Thurs.-Sun. Ends Jan. 21.

12 Minutes Max Lots of dance in this recurring performance showcase, but also burlesque, a dramatic monologue, and an audio-visual interactive lobby installation by cellist Paul Rucker. Studio Theater, On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., $7. 7 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12-Mon. Nov. 13 only.

Sketches & Stand-Up

Comedy Underground The long-running humor hangout spotlights seasoned pros as well as up-and-comers. Tuesday at 8:30 is Non-Profit Comedy ($10), benefiting a revolving list of causes and institutions. 222 S. Main St., 206-628-0303,, $6-$15. See Web site for dates and times.

The Cory and Doug Show Three Tuesdays of sketch comedy, hosted by Cory Nealy and Doug Willott. This week, Quiet Monkey Fight and Haiku Trout. Capitol Hill Arts Center, Lower Level, 1621 12th Ave. $8. 10 p.m. Tues. Nov. 14, 8 p.m. Tues. Nov. 21 & 28.

Giggles Comedy Club Stand-up comedians and other entertainers. Thurs. at 9 p.m. is a free open-mike night; Sun. at 9 p.m. is a free "Comedy Showcase"; Fri. and Sat. at 8 & 10 p.m. feature headliners. 5220 Roosevelt Way N.E., 206-526-JOKE, See Web site for specific date, time, and price info.

Jet City Improv Funny, fast-paced theater based on audience suggestions, including Cupcake, Fridays at midnight:30, and "Twisted Flicks," bad movies with improvised dialogue. Historic University Theater, 5510 University Ave. N.E., 206-352-8291, See Web site for dates and times. Open run.

Pork Filled PlayersGo East, Young Ham! is this Asian-American sketch comedy troupe's latest show. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 206-325-6500,, $6-$9. 10:30 pm. Fri.-Sat. Ends Fri. Nov. 17.

Seattle Comedy Competition Round 2 (only 16 comedians left) in this monthlong event at 17 different venues throughout the state. 21 and over. Washington Athletic Club, 1325 Sixth Ave., 800-838-3006,, $15. 7 p.m. Fri. Nov. 10.

Best of Train of Thought The greatest hits from four years of shows by this comedy trio. Northwest Actor's Studio, Cabaret Theater, 1100 E. Pike St., 3rd floor, $8-$10. 10:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 18.

Unexpected Productions Various shows including TheatreSports, competitive improv since 1983, and Market Fresh Improv. This week, featuring Joey M. Robinson, 5-8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 10. Market Theatre, 1428 Post Alley, 206-587-2414, See website for dates, times, and prices. Open run.

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