Various extrapolatations on melodrama.

On stage this week

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Openings & Previews

365 Days/365 Plays Suzan-Lori Parks' yearlong theater project, a cycle of 365 short plays, offers one- to 10-minute performances from a great variety of performers in venues across the city. Week 2: Akropolis Performance Lab at N.W. 45th Street and University Way, 4 p.m. Wed. Nov. 22; Volunteer Park Water Tower, noon Thurs. Nov. 23; Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave., 8:30 p.m. Fri. Nov. 24-Sun. Nov. 26. Week 3: Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 7 p.m. Mon. Nov. 27-Wed. Nov. 29. Free.

A Christmas Carol The 31st annual outing of their holiday favorite. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 206-292-7676, $15-$44. Previews 7 p.m. Fri. Nov 24-Sat. Nov. 25. Opens Sun. Nov. 26. Various times, two performances a day (except Mondays) through Sun. Dec. 24.

A Christmas Carol With Jim Winkler as Scrooge and music arranged by Dawn Clement. Centerstage Theatre at Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 S.W. Dash Point Rd., Federal Way, 253-661-1444, $8-$25 (kids $1 at Sat. matinees). Opens Sat. Nov. 25. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

The Dina Martina Christmas Show SEE THE WIRE. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., 206-325-6500, $20. Opens Fri. Nov. 24. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sun.; also Thursdays in Dec. and random Mon., Tues., & Wed. Ends Sat. Dec. 30.

It's A Wonderful Life The Frank Capra favorite, adapted for the stage in radio-play format by Joe Landry, starring Grant Goodeve as George Bailey. Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., 206-781-9707, $15-$30. Pay-what-you-can 7:30 p.m. Wed. Nov. 22. Opens Fri. Nov. 24. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., plus 7:30 p.m. Tues. Dec. 19 & 26. Ends Sat. Dec. 30.

Never Swim Alone Two childhood friends unearth secrets as adults in Daniel MacIvor's play. Washington Ensemble Theatre at the Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave. E., 800-838-3006, $10-$18. Opens Fri. Nov. 24. 8 p.m. Thurs-Mon. Ends Mon. Dec. 18.

Romeo and Juliet The murderously ambitious wife of a Scottish thane pushes him to—wait, no, that's not it . . . UW School of Drama at the Playhouse Theatre, 4045 University Way N.E., 206-543-4880, $10-$15. Previews ($8) 7:30 p.m. Mon. Nov. 27-Tues. Nov. 28. Opens Wed. Nov. 29. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 10.

A Tuna Christmas Spend the holidays in the third-smallest town in Texas in this two-actor comic sequel to Greater Tuna. Burien Little Theatre, Fourth Avenue S.W. and S.W. 146th Street, Burien, 206-242-5180, $15-$18. Opens Fri. Nov. 24. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 17.

The Twilight Zones Two episodes, adapted for the stage: "A Most Unusual Camera" and "What You Need." Imagine Rod Serling's voice: "You're looking at Mr. Fred Renard . . . a sour man, a friendless man, a lonely man, a grasping, compulsive, nervous man. This is a man who has lived 36 undistinguished, meaningless, pointless, failure-laden years and who at this moment looks for an escape—any escape, any way, anything, anybody—to get out of the rut. And this little old man is just what Mr. Renard is waiting for." Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave., 206-325-6500,, $12 (18 and under free). Free preview 11 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 23. Opens Fri. Nov. 24. 11 p.m. Fri-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 16.

White Christmas An adaptation of the film, with songs by Irving Berlin. Fifth Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., 206-625-1900, $20-$75. Opens Sat. Nov. 25. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Wed., 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat, 1:30 & 7 p.m. Sun.; also 7 p.m. Mon. Dec. 18, 1 & 7 p.m. Tues. Dec. 19-Wed. Dec. 20. Ends Wed. Dec. 20.

Last Chance

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. Fri.-Sat., 3:30 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Nov. 25. ADRIANA GRANT

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.

Love is Love Four actresses play 12 characters in musical vignettes inspired by essays in the New York Times' "Modern Love" column. Music and lyrics by Rich Gray and Martin Charnin. Village Theatre Village Originals at The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 425-392-2202, $20. 2 & 7:30 p.m. Wed. Nov. 22 only.

Continuing Runs

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.

Arsenic and Old Lace Joseph Kesselring's blithe comedy of murder. Valley Community Players at CARCO Theatre, 1717 Maple Valley Hwy., Renton, 425-226-5190. $13-$15. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; also 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 30, 2 p.m. Sun. Dec. 3.

The Book of Nathan SEE REVIEW, THE WIRE. In Joe Mitchell's play, winner of the 2005 Northwest Playwright Competition, an African-American Army chaplain in prison is offered a pardon at a high cost. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave., 206-325-6500,, $18 (18 and under free). 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. (including Thanksgiving). Ends Sat. Dec. 9.

Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play The ninth annual outing for this show, featuring Pastor Patrinell Wright, the Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, the Total Experience Gospel Choir, and the Black Nativity Choir. Intiman Playhouse, 201 Mercer St., Seattle Center, 206-269-1900, $10-$42. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 7:30 p.m. Sun and Tues.-Thurs.; also selected matinees the week before Christmas. Ends Wed. Dec. 27.

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. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat. (no performance Thanksgiving), 7:30 p.m. selected Tues., 2 p.m. matinees selected Sat. & Sun., 7 p.m. selected Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 31.

Children of Eden Stephen (Wicked) Schwartz's 1991 musical based on the book of Genesis. Civic Light Opera at Magnuson Community Center, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., 206-363-2809, $25-$35. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 3.

Compendium of Nastiness A revival, two more weekends only, of playwright/director Ki Gottberg's hour-long "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. Nov. 24-Sat. Nov. 25, Fri. Dec. 8-Sat. Dec. 9. RICHARD MORIN

A Dangerous Age A romance between a Marine and an actor—both played by Mark Pinkosh—in Godfrey Hamilton's one-man comedy/drama, receiving its U.S. premiere. Balagan Theatre at Capitol Hill Arts Center (CHAC), Lower Level, 1621 12th Ave., 800-838-3006,, $9-$15. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. (no performance Thanksgiving), 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sat. Dec. 2.

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 The story of millionaire Jay Gatsby's romantic rise and tragic fall, conceived in the clickety-clack cauldron of the Jazz Age, remains a perfect autopsy of the American dream. To capture on stage or screen even a glint of Gatsby's mystique, one must move beyond the straight architecture of the narrative and instead delve into the novel's mythic quality. Seattle Rep's production of The Great Gatsby fails by relying too heavily on a linear recounting, telling us nothing new about a book that everyone is familiar with. It opens with a scene of surprising power, a kind of still life that captures what is momentous and elemental and fleeting in Gatsby's character—but the rest of the play, adapted by Simon Levy and directed by David Esbjornson, doesn't live up to the excitement and promise of this opening; it can't. Esbjornson does the best he can with the script, keeping the pacing and rhythm swift and sure, and some of the casting is inspired. But the production, lacking the imaginative force of its prologue, is borne back ceaselessly into the mundane. Bagley Wright Theatre at Seattle Repertory Theater, 155 Mercer St., 206-443-2222, $10-$48. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Sun. (no performance Thanksgiving), 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun.; also 2 p.m. Wed. Nov. 22. Ends Sun. Dec. 10. RICHARD MORIN

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. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Open run.

Memory House In Kathleen Tolan's play, a divorced woman confronts her departing daughter on New Year's Eve. Allison Narver directs. Seattle Repertory Theatre at the Leo K. Theatre, Seattle Center, Second Avenue and Mercer Street, 206-443-2222, $10-$40. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat. (no performance Thanksgiving), 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 17.

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. (no performance Thanksgiving), 2 & 5:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Jan. 31.

Naughty! Not naughty as in risque, this original work rehashes Women's Lib 101 for the menopausal set while trying out a series of medium-funny jokes about work, retirement, men, Christmas, and hot flashes. Some audience interaction involved. Partners in Prime Entertainment at Northwest Actors Studio Cabaret, 1100 E. Pike St., 206-371-0107,, $10-$15. 7 p.m. Sun., also 4:30 p.m. matinees Sun. Nov. 19, Dec. 3, 10, 17. Ends Sun. Dec. 17. NEIL CORCORAN

Cabaret & Variety

The Bedroom Club A show harkening back to the heyday of burlesque, featuring live music, sketch comedy, and dessert. Burning Hearts Burlesque at the Last Supper Club, 124 S. Washington, 206-898-9067,, $10. 9 p.m. Wed. Nov. 29. Ends Wed. Dec. 20.

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.

Burlesque For Breast Cancer SEE THE WIRE. A fund-raiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 800-838-3006,, $12-$15. 8 p.m. Sun. Nov. 26. only.

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.

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-$160. 6:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat. (no performance Thanksgiving), 5:30 p.m. Sun. Ends Wed. Jan. 31.

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, with guests Rebecca Davis, Terri Weagant, and Morgan Peeler. Capitol Hill Arts Center, Lower Level, 1621 12th Ave. $8. 8 p.m. Tues. Nov. 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.

Seattle Comedy Competition After a month of elimination, it's time for the final round—only five comedians left. 21 and over. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 24; Comedy Underground, 222 S. Main St., 8:30 p.m. Sun. Nov. 26. $15. 800-838-3006,,

Unexpected Productions Various shows including TheatreSports, competitive improv since 1983, and Market Fresh Improv. Market Theatre, 1428 Post Alley, 206-587-2414, See Web site for dates, times, and prices. Open run.

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