Stage Calendar

Dec. 20th - 26th, 2006

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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 6, through Sun. Dec. 24: Shawn Belyea. Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave. 8 p.m. each night. Week 7, Dec. 25-31: Josh Beerman. Various venues and times, see Free.

The Cicada Tree A staged reading of Tom Ansart's new tragedy, a tale of seduction, betrayal, incest, patricide, and entomology. Northwest Actors Studio at Gary Tucci Theatre, 1100 E. Pike St., 935-8261, Donation. 9:30 p.m. Fri. Dec. 22 only.

Dorothy the Dinosaur's Dance Party A Wiggles spinoff show, with favorite characters and songs—everything but the Wiggles themselves. The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 292-ARTS. $20. 11 a.m. Fri. Dec. 22, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Sat. Dec. 23.

Holiday Bizarre: A Jewish Christmas! SEE THE WIRE, WEDNESDAY.

The MeshugaNutcracker! Hanukkah in the legendary town of Chelm, set to Tchaikovsky's tunes. The Bagley Wright Theatre in Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222 or 877-900-9285, $36-$42. 7:30 p.m. Wed. Dec. 20-Thurs. Dec. 21 only.

The Show Troy Miszklevitz's one-man musical comedy: "An insane traveling "nature-activist" tells a story about a New York City street hustler who attempts to win the affections of a local club diva by becoming the new host of a late-night talk show with the help of a local hobo." Whew! Washington Ensemble Theatre at The Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave. E., 800-838-3006, $5-$15. Opens Fri. Dec. 22. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sun. Jan. 7.

Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of The Magi's Gold A holiday spinoff of Late-Night Catechism. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., 425-893-9900, $15-$28. 7:30 p.m. Wed. Dec. 20-Thurs. Dec. 21, 8 p.m. Fri. Dec. 22, 2 & 8 p.m. Sat. Dec. 23.

Last Chance

Ain't Misbehavin' The acclaimed musical brings back the jumpin' jazz romance of Harlem at its peak. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., $26.50. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thurs., 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

Antagonism It's an apt title for Eclectic Theater Company's double bill of Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter and writer/actor Beau Prichard's timely debut one-act, Interrogation, each play featuring the same two actors, Luke S. Walker and Prichard himself. In Pinter's 1957 absurdist drama about blindly following orders—however anonymous, irrational, or brutal they may be—two men tensely wait for their next shady assignment in their shared basement flat in industrial Birmingham, England. They are thrown for a bit of a loop when a different kind of order suddenly appears in the room's dumb-waiter hatch. A dark farce ensues. Walker infuses his hapless Gus with an everyman frumpiness and necessary empathy; Prichard's more ruthless and bossy Ben is less nuanced, with a touch of hysteria in his pronouncements. Both actors manage working-class British banter well, which becomes especially apparent when they switch to American in their reversed roles as manipulative interrogator and defiant prisoner in Prichard's post-9/11 drama, Interrogation. For his first produced effort, Prichard's got some nice tension and a bit of humor mixed in, but he'd do well to toss out the clichés—canned references to the "Founding Fathers" and to American idealism, straight-from-the-headlines descriptions of torture, horny comments about the prisoner's fiancée, etc. The play could also do with a clearer resolution. I was hoping for a twist and thought it might come at the end with a breakout or physical confrontation involving a pen, but instead, just the actor—not the character—escapes his shackles. Eclectic Theater Company at Odd Duck Studio, 1214 Tenth Ave., 800-838-3006,, $6-$10. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23. SUE PETERS

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever SEE THE WIRE, SUNDAY.


A Child's Christmas in Wales A stage adaptation of the Dylan Thomas story. Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stone Way N., $14. 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

A Christmas Carol SEE THE WIRE, SUNDAY.

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). 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

A Christmas Carol A liitle more Dickens. Unity Theater, Unity Masonic Lodge, 2nd floor, 119 North Bend Way, North Bend, 425-831-5667, $10-$15. 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

The Excursionists A wonderfully witty and slapstick riff on 19th-century Jules Verne–style adventures: The good professor and his lordly friend speed in their subaquatic train, the Neptunia, to find a new land to call England (which, you see, "has sunk!"). Lunacy leaps and bounds through running gags, great visual humor, and a tightly timed two-man show (all neatly divided into chapters, for the viewing public). As each continent in turn sinks beneath the sea, our intrepid adventurers persevere in their quest, overcoming not only giant squid but natives, penguins, and their own outrageously campy personalities. Faced with the harsh truth behind their voyage while trapped at the South Pole, they press ever forward, remaining stoically British until the end. Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S. $12. 7:30 p.m. Wed. Ends Wed. Dec. 20. NEIL CORCORAN

Fairystories Two kids in 1920s England have somehow been able to photograph fairies, attracting the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in a developmental production of a new musical by Paul Graham Brown. Village Theatre, 120 Front St. N., Issaquah, 425-392-2202, $20-$25. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

Greasy Demon Heat Balboa How to describe this latest project from the Villainaires Academy, co-chaired by two wildly creative, extremely conceptual individuals named Ryan Mitchell (founding member of experimental theater company Implied Violence) and Sam Mickens (formerly of Degenerate Art Ensemble)? Let's try the press release: "It will be an unstable property; altering in sometimes minute, sometimes dramatic ways over the course of its five-pronged tenure on the earth." This means the show will run for five evenings, altering its "psychic content" (which touches on the lives of Don King, Mike Tyson, and Michael Jackson) and methods of communications on each. Now from Mickens himself: "It's definitely not a play, but with lots of experimental theater . . . a lot of text, a lot of weird movement." Mitchell and Mickens continue to draw no delineations between living and working space at Villville. Their home and psyches are open, and what spills out might be any combination of words, music, gesture, even butoh dance. "An important characteristic of the shows we make is they are impulse-driven and immediate reflections of me and Ryan as people and in certain times," says Mickens. "All of the shows last year came from a superintense period where both of us were living chaotic and nihilistic lives and at the same time obsessively watching all five of the Rocky movies." Villville, 1534 First Ave. S. Suggested donation $5-$15. 8 p.m. Wed. Dec. 20-Fri. Dec. 22 only. RACHEL SHIMP

It's a Wonderful Life—The Musical Clarence earns his wings yet again. The Attic Theatre at Northshore Performing Arts Center, 18125 92nd Ave. N.E., Bothell, $12-$20. 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 21-Fri. Dec. 22, 3 & 7:30 p.m. Sat. Dec. 23. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

Martini Brothers' Holiday Showcase If you can't recollect the last time you put on a holiday skit in the family den, here is a cheap ticket to nostalgia. Playing up the universal theme of childhood mischief, three "brothers" act out a desperate montage of Christmas stories for attention, throwing each other offstage in fits of sibling rivalry. In the spirit of true improv, the Martini brothers make outrageous demands for theatre-wide participation, at one point goading hysterical audience members to perch on each other's laps and "play Santa". This show is definitely more homespun than its downtown counterparts. For those who prefer traditional holiday performances, the sight of a grown man in blue jeans and a spangled pink tutu pirouetting through The Nutcracker might be less than appetizing. But most will probably find the second act's rhyming of A Christmas Carol á la Dr. Seuss as yummy as green eggs and ham. Wing-It Productions at the Historic University Theater, 5510 University Ave. N.E., $10. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 2 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23. JENNA NAND

Merry F#@&'ng Christmas "A Christmas show for people who hate Christmas." That's all they told us. Eclectic Theater Company/No Direction Productions at Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave., 800-838-3006, $6.50-$7.50. 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

Miracle on 34th Street Is that department store Santa the real Santa? Or just some fat hairy delusional old guy? Auburn Avenue Theater, 10 Auburn Ave., Auburn, 253-833-5678, $35.50-$46.95 with dinner, $17.50-$28.95 without. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat. (dinner 90 min. before each performance). Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

An O'Henry Holiday A trilogy of adapted short stories, including that classic of crushing Christmas irony, "The Gift of the Magi" (what's the tragedy?—her hair will grow back), plus "The Last Leaf" and "The Ransom of Red Chief." SecondStory Repertory, 16587 N.E. 74th St., Redmond, 425-881-6777, $18-$24. 8:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

The Santaland Diaries Seattle Public Theater brings to life David Sedaris' infamous tale of Christmas misery, with satisfying results. Easily the most sardonic voice in American nonfiction writing, Sedaris riotously details the horrors and triumphs of working as an elf at Macy's during Christmas. As "Crumpet," Sedaris was at the mercy of voracious New York shoppers yet still found time to trick patrons into believing Cher was sitting in Santa's chair and flirt with cute male elves. "Crumpet" eventually changes his name to the less jolly-sounding "Blisters," but Sedaris manages to find a glimmer of Christmas spirit in his thankless job. Craig Doescher reprises his role as Sedaris and channels just the right amount of flippant, sarcastic attitude to pull off this memoir-style monologue. The transitions are nicely paced and give a sense of chronology to the narrative; scenes are punctuated by blackouts and an intercom voice announcing either the number of days until Christmas or break time for the elves. Admittedly, the idea of staring at one person for an hour and a half is not entirely appealing, but Sedaris' gift for writing and humor never fails to capture an audience's attention. Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Greenlake Dr. N., 524-1300, $14-$24. 9 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 24. TIFFANY WAN

Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes: A Terrible Price For Whimsy With fast-paced lunacy harking back to the Golden Age of radio theater, Scot Augustson's shadow puppets tell a tequila-soaked tale of mystery, history, and bawdy times. It is the story of young Roscoe, boy inventor, warned that his new Time-Cycle might actually destroy Christmas (something to do with a zebra, you see). After eating a few adulterated desserts, he throws caution to the wind; naturally, chaos ensues, history is irrevocably distorted, the Time-Cycle is stolen midrift, and Roscoe is left on the Boardwalk of Eternal Despair to ponder his fate with his multiple future selves. In the style of a 1940s radio play, complete with spoof ads and hilarious and naughty asides throughout, the good Sgt. Rigsby and his puppeteer spin the story line across three backlit screens, set into a trompe l'oeil vaudeville stage. The personalities are expertly voiced by four dapperly attired actors equipped with classic Unidyne microphones at stage left. Roscoe finally discovers the truth, trusty sidekick Penny strikes out on her own, pal Spex reveals his true intentions, and faithful pooch Scampers develops a curious interest in that zebra. Christmas 1957 may not be everything it seems, after all. Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S., 800-838-3006, $14 (pay-what-you-can each Thurs.) 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23. NEIL CORCORAN

Sleeping Beauty The princess, the curse, the prince, etc. Sprouts Children's Theatre at SecondStory Repertory, 16587 N.E. 74th St., Redmond, 425-881-6777, $8.75. 7 p.m. Fri., 1 & 3 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

Voices of Christmas SEE THE WIRE, SUNDAY. Songs, stories, and holiday memories.

White Christmas An adaptation of the film, with songs by Irving Berlin. Fifth Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., 625-1900, $20-$75. 1 & 7 p.m. Wed. Dec. 20. Ends Wed. Dec. 20.

The Wizard of Oz Maybe this time, at last, the Witch will score a well-deserved triumph? Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island, 842-8569, $10-$18. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23.

Continuing Runs

Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play If the words "audience participation" don't send you running for cover, get yourself to Black Nativity now. Written by the late Langston Hughes and directed by Jacqueline Moscou, the show is divided into two distinct parts. The first is the Christmas story (Joseph and pregnant Mary can't find a place to stay in Bethlehem, etc.), told from Hughes' perspective and beautifully re-enacted by lithe dancers/persons of color. There's comedy thrown in, which makes for light yet extremely spiritual scenes. The choir's first act songs include "Go Tell It on the Mountain," "This Little Light of Mine," "Joy to the World," and other gorgeously sung holiday favorites. You'll be enthralled. However, after the intermission, you'll probably be less blown away, unless you're a big fan of church: The stage turns into a worship area where the well-regarded Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney (formerly of the Mount Zion Baptist Church of Seattle) holds court. Gospel songs are performed and cast members call upon you to sing, clap, dance, and stomp your feet if you want to. Yes, the singers and dancers onstage are extremely talented—especially Joseph (Bojohn Diciple)—but the second act is somehow a less grand performance. In the end, though, you'll walk away more gospel-music savvy and no doubt be inspired by the colorful outfits, the vitality of the characters, and, ultimately, the generous spirit of the Christmas season, regardless of your faith or ethnicity. (P.S. You won't find that at any mall.) Intiman Playhouse, 201 Mercer St., Seattle Center, 269-1900, $10-$42. Various dates and times; ends Wed. Dec. 27. MOLLY LORI

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., 7:30 p.m. selected Tues., 2 p.m. matinees selected Sat. & Sun., 7 p.m. selected Sun. Ends Sun. Dec. 31.

The Dina Martina Christmas Show Like giving birth, or Burning Man, or giving birth at Burning Man, a Dina Martina show is an experience nearly impossible to describe to someone who hasn't lived it. In her quest to entertain, she'll pull out stops you didn't know an organ even had. Last year's show opened with a holiday-themed Pet Shop Boys cover ("North Pole Girls") and climaxed with a rectal cancer joke that left a roomful of people unable to breathe for laughing. Rejuvenated from triumphant East Coast gigs this past summer, she's ready to top herself with a new assault of song, dance, film (including clips from her movie career and home movies from her childhood), joyous fashion errors, even more bizarre gifts, and, as promised this year, memorable special guests. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., 325-6500, $20. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sun.; also Wed. Dec. 20, Tues. Dec. 26, & Wed. Dec. 27. Ends Sat. Dec. 30.

It's A Wonderful Life Joe Landry's adaptation, billed as a "live radio play" (the setting is a '40s-era Seattle studio, not Bedford Falls), strips the visuals—and most of the magic—from the 1946 Frank Capra classic. Unfortunately, Taproot's well-intentioned production can't redeem such a flawed concept. Most of the film's sparkling dialogue seems to have been "adapted" verbatim, yet almost every scene feels anemic. Picture George and Mary Bailey's wedding night in the ramshackle old house, or Harry Bailey's disastrous fall through the ice—then imagine having to be told what's happening in those scenes by an obtrusive narrator rather than seeing it for yourself. Grant Goodeve captures some of Jimmy Stewart's aw-shucks magnetism, and his early speech at the Building and Loan packs some punch, but he's still hemmed in by the concept's limitations. His climactic run through Bedford Falls comes off as silly rather than wonderful, since the movie's backdrop, as much as Stewart, is what made that scene so satisfying. Lisa Peretti seems miscast as Mary; she exudes little of Donna Reed's sweetness and warmth, which makes rooting for the young couple awfully difficult. True fans of Life—and neophytes, too, for that matter—would be much better off just watching it on DVD. Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., 781-9707, $15-$30. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., 7:30 p.m. Tues. Dec. 26. Ends Sat. Dec. 30. NEAL SCHINDLER

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., 292-7676, $24.50-$29.50. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Open run.

Menopause: The Musical Jeanie Linders' tuneful celebration of That Time of Life is back at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676, $45. This week, 7:30 p.m. Wed. Dec. 27 only; ends Jan. 31.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice Lost in an enchanted forest, young Charles is taken under the wing of Miss Marguerite, a powerful sorceress conversant in animal, vegetable, and mineral. But when Charles disobeys her orders and uses "the craft"—in the process nearly inundating her workshop—he's given his walking papers. In an effort to regain her trust and take back the coveted position, he must battle with demons, a giant, and the evil Big John King. On his side are a trio of pontificating plants and a wily groundhog with a special penchant for blueberry tarts. For this story, author OyamO has borrowed from far-ranging sources, from Lucian Samosata (a Greek satirist from AD 150) to Goethe and Disney. It magically comes together in a production that emphasizes harmony with nature and the ways in which what comes around goes around. Sets, especially those depicting Miss Marguerite's enchanted grounds, provide lots of hidden interest—from bebopping vegetation to all-seeing trees. Even the stars take flight. A four-piece live band accompanies the magic and madness with New Orleans-style swing and jazz that will have the young and not-so-young grooving in their seats. Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center, 441-3322, $16-$32. 11 a.m. Wed. Dec. 20, 2 & 7 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 21-Fri. Dec. 22, 2 & 5:30 p.m. Sat. Dec. 23 & Wed. Dec. 27. Ends Sat. Jan. 27. SUZANNE BEAL

Cabaret & Variety

The Bedroom Club A show harkening back to the heyday of burlesque, featuring live music, sketch comedy, and dessert—or "Dinner in Bed," too, if you want it. Burning Hearts Burlesque at the Last Supper Club, 124 S. Washington, 898-9067,, $10. 9 p.m. Wed. 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, 443-3241, $10. 10:30 p.m. Sat. Open run.

Columbia City Cabaret Tamara the Trapeze Lady and her titillating troupe are back. This week, "Babette La Fave is celebrating Christmas in her special twisted way, and Trixie Lane is writing a trashy little carol especially for us! Dyno the Aerialist is all tied up with rope in a very nice package! Fleur du Mal has a thought or two to share on the season. Drag King Charlie Horse has a one-track mind and somebody is wishing for a new Pet under the Tree! Can you take it?" Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 206-605-9920. $20. 8 p.m. Fri. Open run.

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., 802-0015, $114-$160. 6:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Ends Wed. Jan. 31.

Wicked Xmas Holiday traditions and favorite musicals spoofed together in this mashup/sendup. Crêpe de Paris, 623-4111. Call for prices. Dinner at 6:30 p.m. each night; show at 8 p.m. Wed., Thurs., & Sun., 8:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Dec. 26.

Sketches & Stand-Up

The Cody Rivers Show If you seek a contrast to the typical seasonal fare, this absurdist comic duo from Bellingham deserves a look. Seemingly determined to spoof every movie/sitcom archetype known to the Western world, these two highly trained physical humorists turn a satirical eye to everything from the self-important minutiae of "office" life to the hypocritical sycophancy of Oval Office politics in a lightning-fast series of original sketches. With references to equine sodomy, this exhibition definitely isn't "fun for the whole family." Though titled Tangle, the sequence's randomness felt, at points, too studied. Nonetheless, the Cody Rivers Show's abrupt jumble delivers all necessary snorts and giggles with a red satin bow on top. Jewel Box Theater at the Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave., 441-5823. $10. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 23. JENNA NAND

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. This weekend, Peggy Platt and Mark Davis take on Christmas in Holiday Nutcrackin'!222 S. Main St., 628-0303,, $6-$15. Nutcrackin': $12-$15. 8:30 Wed. Dec. 20-Sat. Dec. 23, also 10:30 Fri. Dec. 22-Sat. Dec. 23. See Web site for other shows and times.

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., 526-JOKE, See Web site for specific date, time, and price info Christmas weekend.

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., 352-8291, See Web site for Christmas weekend dates and times. Open run.

Laff-Hole! Comedy and music from the People's Republic of Komedy & Seattle Foundry, each Wednesday. Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave., $5. 9 p.m. Wed. Dec. 20 & 27.

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

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