This Week in Arts: Wednesday Roundup (9/4)
The whole month of September is a surge of openings, and plenty more happening too. Highlights this week include a community production of epic proportions, a pair of poignant and timely fundraiser-readings, new works fests, a Town Hall takeover and, yes, all sorts of show openings to choose from.
We’re aware of 13 openings (and counting) over the next two weeks — enough to clobber even the most exuberant (or hardy) theatre attendees. Here’s a rundown of the shows this week — and a bit of help navigating them.
But first, here are a few picks you’ll only be able to catch this week.
If you’re looking for a special night out, Teatro ZinZanni has you covered — but you’d better act fast, as they close out their summer-long run of Decadent Delights this weekend. Shows run Wednesday through Sunday. Read NWT’s review here.
A free performance, by scores of new-to-acting community members, is easily the hottest ticket in town this weekend. Public Works Seattle presents a musical adaptation of As You Like It at Seattle Repertory Theatre, featuring a few professional actors in key roles and serving as mentors for the numerous community performers. Tickets flew quickly, being nabbed up apparently within hours of release to the public; but there’s a good chance for no-shows (reservations were free, and people are non-committal, after all). Show up at the box office an hour or so before the show, and hope for the best; or contact the box office for current availability. See a great feature in the Seattle Times by NWT Dusty Somers here.
This Saturday, Town Hall offers a unique, all-day community event that’s free: a “Town Hall Takeover” by celebrated playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, featuring the participatory (a write-in), the educational (a lecture), and the rockin’ (an evening concert). All events are free; be sure to RSVP here.
Also on Saturday, the Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds presents a frantic (14/48-style) one-night festival of new work. This year’s Sleepless Play Festival has a promising theme: Bad Dog: Tricks, Pranks and One-Ups. It runs one night only, with tickets reportedly selling briskly. The public is also invited to the selection show the previous night, which is free; see info here.
Pony World Theatre is celebrating its 10th birthday — and inviting all its friends to party with them. Drop by in the afternoon for birthday cake, a taco bar, lawn games, raffle prizes, and a 2020 season preview. Admission is free, though donations are welcome. Info and RSVP here.
We love that Copious is presenting timely fundraiser shows AND that they’ve brought back readings to Solo Bar (under the series title, Plays on Tap). Here, you’ll have a chance to indulge in both. In a fundraiser for families of the El Paso mass shooting victims, Copious will present two readings of the play Just Like Us by Karen Zacarias (Native Gardens, Mariela in the Desert, more), which asks, What makes us American? It’s a timely coming-of-age story that centers on four Mexican girls living in the United States — two have papers, and two don’t — that humanizes the headlines and faceless policies. They’ll present it twice, directed by Ana Maria Campoy, each time with a different cast and a different location: Monday at Solo Bar (Lower Queen Anne) (info here), and Wednesday at Copious (Ballard) (info here).
There are enough shows opening this week, you’d be hard-pressed to fit them all in two weeks, let alone one. Here’s some help navigating them.
Opening on Thursday is The Party Mix at Copious (produced with By the Seat of Our Theatre Company), which is a showcase of new plays written and directed by Black, Latinx, and Asian American artists. Each show features three new plays: Hitchhiker by Kendall Uyeji (directed by Kiefer Harrionton) (about an Asian woman who picks up a series of hitchhikers); Hypotheticals, by Teague M. Parker (directed by Aviona Rodriguez Brown) (about two African American men working at a Montessori Preschool, with one trying to leave the place and the other trying to change it); and The Spokesman by José Amador (directed by Marisol Soledad) (about a mayor trying to convince a Latino to be the police spokesperson). It runs through 9/15.
Friday has at least seven shows opening:
The West Coast premiere of Is God Is, a co-production of Washington Ensemble Theatre and the Hansberry Project, promises an interesting genre mashup. It’s described as a “quasi-fable … inspired by Spaghetti Westerns and Afro-punk,” and follows twin sisters out for revenge against their creator. It runs through September 23.
SIS Productions and Pratidhwani join forces to co-produce Washer/Dryer at Theatre Off Jackson. It’s a romantic comedy and “farce of a fairytale” in which an Indian American woman elopes with a Chinese American man; the couple then tries to make it on an actor’s salary, surrounded by nosy neighbors, a disapproving mother-in-law, and more. It runs through September 22.
The Fern opens Twelfth Night, directed by acclaimed Shakespeare enthusiast Wiley Basho Gorn. It runs through September 22 at the Slate Theater inside INScape Arts, just south of the International District.
Kairos Theatre Company presents Waiting for the Paint to Dry, which centers on two siblings who have isolated themselves in a care/caretaker relationship. It runs at 18th & Union through September 15.
Newcomer Blue Hour Theatre Group opens Two Degrees, in which a scientist is called up to testify on climate change before Congress. It runs through September 22 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in Delridge.
Further south, The Changing Scene Theatre Northwest presents its annual Summerplay, a festival of locally grown new works held at the Dukesbay Theater in Tacoma. This year’s is a little different: it’s the 30th anniversary of the festival, and the company is bringing back eight plays that it’s featured over past festivals, including writers from Colorado (its original locale), the Northwest, and more. It runs through September 21.
And on the eastside, Kirkland Performance Center opens My Son The Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy by actor/comedian Brad Zimmerman, about what it takes to “make it” as an actor — and his 29 years of “temporarily” waiting tables in New York while pursuing his dreams. It runs through September 29.
Also on Friday, the world premiere of People of the Book — by prolific local playwright Yussef El Guindi (Language Rooms, The Invisible Hand, Threesome, numerous others) — enters previews at ACT; it opens next week.
There’s something to be had for everyone — and make sure to see what you can this week, as there’s a fresh wave of shows opening next week. Stay tuned, and have fun!
Wednesday Roundup is a weekly (ish) feature, with NWT’s picks for the upcoming week and recaps around town.
Want to plan your show schedule further out? See what’s happening on NWT’s Calendar page, which aims to list just about every theatre show in town. And for news on all the openings each month, see Miryam Gordon’s openings coverage; info this month’s openings can be found here.