It's in the Cards

You can proclaim Jayne Muirhead a great Seattle character actress, but you might just as well call her a great Seattle character. Thirty years in the business means she's outlasted many of the local theaters that played home to some of her musical turns—The Group Theatre had her fine performance in Falsettos; Pioneer Square Theatre housed her in the long-running Angry Housewives—while continuing to do a bang-up job of being herself in cabaret collaborations with composer husband John Engerman. (They began in 1990 with Jayne a la Carte.) Muirhead is usually front-and-center, yet now she and the hubby she calls “that groovy long-haired guy on the piano” have created It’s in the Cards, their first duet show. A “throw” of the Tarot cards on stage each night is, the lady says, “a way for us to talk about what we believe in life and just a way to string songs together without saying, ‘In 1927, Richard Rodgers wrote…’” Engerman provides original ditties, and they’ve tweaked some familiar tunes as well. “We don’t do parody lyrics,” Muirhead explains. “But we do parody arrangements.” So the whimsical pair will, for instance, paint an extended pop portrait of a female stalker using hits from, among others, the Supremes, Jackie DeShannon, and Vikki Carr. This is, we presume, where the Death card comes in. STEVE WIECKING

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: June 3. Continues through June 11, 2011

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