This Week in Arts: Wednesday Roundup (9/11)

A wildly busy theatre month continues with several more openings. Here’s what to look for this week in theatre openings, short-runs, and other performance arts. 



After a long wait, the somewhat-ironically titled This Show Is About Progress opens on Friday at Base. It’s a show about changes like gentrification, and it was due to that progress that the show took so long to progress. Originally rehearsed and designed to for a house slated for demolition, its creator, Carol Louise Thompson, had to delay and reformulate the project when developers disallowed the project just before its scheduled premiere. We don’t know exactly how the giant open space at Base will be used, but we do know there’s supposed to be sand. Lots and lots of sand.

Also opening on Friday is Blood Water Paint from Macha Theatre Works at 12th Avenue Arts. The play centers on painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who interacts with her muses and her foes in her studio, and the production features two aerialists in the roles of Gentileschi’s inspirations. Flowing in red silk, the muses — the apocryphal Judith and Susanna, two of Gentileschi’s key subjects, appear on stage through her paint. Read NWT’s interview with playwright and novelist Joy McCullough here.  

There are at least five other shows opening this week.

Opening Thursday is the adults-as-kids musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, at Village Theatre in Issaquah. Walk-up (rush) tickets for Section B seating are available to all for $20. 

Also on the eastside, Teatro ZinZanni opens A Night Like This, its newest extravaganza of musicians, acrobats, dancers, and more, with fine dining woven throughout. (For an idea of what to expect, see NWT’s review of ZinZanni’s previous show here.)

After a week of previews, People of the Book opens this Friday at ACT. It’s the latest from the prolific and widely acclaimed local playwright Yussef El Guindi (Language Rooms, The Invisible Hand, Threesome, others). ACT offers pay-what-you-can admission for every Sunday night mainstage performance. 

Speaking of the book, Book-It Repertory Theatre opens Everything Is Illuminated, a stage adaptation of a book about unearthing a family’s secrets during the Nazi regime. The company offers $20 walk-up (rush) tickets for all.

And Showtunes opens a two-weekend run of the musical The Light in the Piazza. The company’s shows are done concert-style (the musical equivalent of a reading), and tend to feature excellent local talent. For the company’s 20th anniversary, all tickets are $20. 


Last Call

Closing this week is Intiman Theatre’s Bulrusher, a mystical play by Eisa Davis about a biracial girl (played by Ayo Tushinde) in the town of Boonville, California, who’s introduced to her Black identity by an out-of-town visitor. The cast features Allyson Brown, Adam Fontana, Reggie Jackson, Charles Leggett, and Christine Pilar. Valerie Curtis-Newton, recipient of this year’s Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award (just announced today!), directs. All tickets are free for walk-ups, or available in advance for $15.


Short-runs & more this week 


Fitting for a date that will long symbolize terror on American soil, tonight Copious holds the second of its Querida Familia fundraiser events for the victims and families of the El Paso shooting tragedy. The main event is a reading of Just Like Us by Karen Zacarias (Native Gardens, Mariela in the Desert), which follows the college dreams of two soon-to-be high school grads: two of them have papers, two of whom are undocumented. The remainder of the night asks audience members to think through what they might do to help immigrants facing persecution in the U.S. Info and RSVP here; donations encouraged at the event. 

If humor is your elixir, join the Joketellers Union Comedy Showcase, held every Wednesday night at the Clock-Out Lounge. Hosted by Emmett Montgomery and Brett Hamil, and featuring Seattle’s best pizza (Breezy Town); tonight’s featured artists include poet Sarah Galvin. Admission is $7 at the door; info here.



As part of a month-long opening celebration at Town Hall, artist-in-residence HATLO presents Sow Queer, a many-artist showcase of works-in-progress. The 50-or-so artists include Fox Whitney and Alyza DelPan-Monley, and attendees can drop in over a two-hour period. That’s about all we know; but we’ve never been disappointed by works from any of those three artists. Free to attend; info and RSVP here

Also on Thursday, Annex presents its long-running variety show, Spin the Bottle, which coincides with the Capitol Hill Art Walk. This one includes music, comedy, smut, burlesque; plus a night-cap fairy tale by Bret Fetzer, who has a style all his own. Tickets $10, available here



The mission of PRICEarts is to empower communities to find freedom through art — and its events generally do just that. In Meet Ava, Ava Gaines and PRICEarts founder Noelle Price take to the Pocket Theater to explore interactive theatre, and promise to leave attendees laughing and wondering why they did this to themselves. From any less an art-filled human than Price, this sounds like a dicey proposition. From her, it’s a good gamble. Tickets $10 ($14 at door), available here.



The Fuselage Dance Film Festival takes flight this weekend at Yaw Theater (adjacent to Base) in the Equinox Studios building. The festival, now in its second year, will showcase 19 films, selected from the 120 submitted. The festival is Saturday night, and is preceded by a gala with performances and a meet-and-greet the night before. Tickets $10 per night, available here



Dance and multi-genre artist (and Mayor’s Arts Award winner) Dani Tirrell returns this week with the latest installment of the Sunday Dinner series. The series celebrates Black artistry, and each features an up-close discussion with one of Seattle’s finest artists alongside a buffet-style meal from one of the area’s best chefs. Sunday’s featured artist is Ms. Briq House, a burlesque performer, activist for sexual liberation, and curator of Sunday Night Shuga Shaq (Seattle’s all people of color burlesque revue). It’s part of the Central District for Arts & Ideas season, and held in the grand room on the lower level of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Tickets $20 (including meal), available here.

And if you plan to be in Olympia on Sunday afternoon, Northwest Playwrights Alliance is putting on something cool and strange: a new play by Bryan Willis & Hannah Dulin called Seven Cars at Boston Harbor Marina, which takes place in actual cars that the audience rotates in and out of. Info here



Every third Monday, the Knife Room — the underground, classy-cave-like performance space of Cafe Nordo — comes alive with some of the area’s finest musical theatre artists (and friends) performing whatever they want. This month’s Sensible Cabaret features performers SJ Henley-Hicks and Anasofia Gallegos; hosted by Cassi Q Kohl with Elisa Money on the keys. It’s a load of fun. Tickets and info here.

Also on Monday is Sh*t Gold, the twice-monthly series at Velocity, in which choreographers, dancers, and other artists show off new short works (under five minutes), with a license to experiment. Info here



The Comedy Nest is a womxn-focused comedy show that takes place every Tuesday at the Rendezvous. This week, the featured comic is the very funny Andy Iwancio, “a transgender gal comedian from Seattle who waxes poetics on being transgender, growing boobs, and then, subsequently, shaking those boobs because of her epilepsy. So, all of that, plus puns.” Admission is $5; info here



Next Wednesday, Parley opens a three-day run at U-Heights of Death in the Digital Age, by local playwright drew david combs. In it, the central character finds himself on a raft ride with the physical manifestation of Death. Tickets are all pay-what-you-can, available here


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 here.