This Week in Arts: Weekly Roundup (1/27)

A whole load of openings happen this week, as theatre gets back into full swing. Here are some highlights worth your attention. 

Ticketing links for most shows can be found on the Performance Calendar page here.  


Grand Openings 

The 5th Avenue Theatre: Disney’s Beauty & the Beast

A classic work with a glorious cast 
Previews on now; opening 1/28, closing 2/6. In Downtown Seattle.

Porscha Shaw (Belle), Anne Allgood (Madame de la Grande Bouche), and Riley Brack (Beast). Photo by Mark Kitaoka.

If you’re pretty meh on Disney shows, hear me out: The cast for this show looks amazing (including a bunch of Seattle-based talent), many of whom are making their 5th Avenue debuts. And it’s directed by Jay Woods, a bold and keen director (including of Citizen: An American Lyric with Sound Theatre Company; see NWT’s review here), who in March begins her position as the 5th’s new Associate Artistic Director – Artist Engagement (see Seattle Times story here). Woods’s fresh eyes and artistic vision are evident from the cast list — its excellence, diversity, and wealth of debuts to the 5th.

A smattering of cast members I’ve raved about and look forward to seeing after a long quarantine pause: Anne Allgood (here & here), Rebecca Cort (here), Nicholas Japaul Bernard (here), Be Russell (here), and Porscha Shaw (here); and expect great moves from Alyza DelPan-Monley and UJ Mangune. See the full cast and creative team here.

Be advised: With a delayed rehearsal schedule and later opening, tickets are very limited for this shortened run.

Tickets are $69-$189, here.

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Sara Porkalob @ Cafe Nordo: Dragon Mama

The Dragon Cycle returns  
Opened 1/26, closing 3/6. In Seattle (Pioneer Square).

Sara Porkalob performs ‘Dragon Mama’ at American Repertory Theater. Photo by Gretjen Helene.

Many people who have never met her know the lore of Sara Porkalob’s grandma, the fabled Dragon Lady. Porkalob’s many iterations of the show that started it all have performed with theatres as varied as Annex Theatre, Cafe Nordo, Intiman Theatre, and American Repertory Theater (at Harvard). Now, Porkalob presents the Seattle premiere of Dragon Mama, a show about her mother’s journey to find herself, from locally in Bremerton, up north to a fishing boat and a gay bar in Alaska.

For me, a Dragon Cycle show has never disappointed; but I’m particularly excited to see what form this show, which I’ve seen read in an early form, has taken. Like her mother’s, Maria Porkalob, Jr.’s journey is quite a ride.

And so is her daughter’s. The youngest of the Dragons heads to Broadway soon after this run to perform as Edward Rutledge in 1776 at the Roundabout Theatre (opening scheduled for this fall; postponed from 2020). Porkalob will also perform Dragon Lady (2/11-27) at Cafe Nordo before heading east.

Read NWT’s 2019 interview with Sara Porkalob on her Dragon Cycle, numerous other works, and artist-activism here.

Tickets are $30-$55 (limited number of reduced price tickets available for every performance), here. Note: unlike most Nordo shows, dinner is not included in the show. A separate pre-show dinner option is available.

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Velocity Dance Center @ Base: The Bridge Project  (runs 1/27-30). A festival of new dance works from local artists; read NWT’s preview here. In Seattle (Georgetown).

ArtsWest: Monsters of the American Cinema  (opens 1/27, closing 2/20). In West Seattle.

Seattle Public Theatre: Mala  (preview 1/27, opens 1/28, closing 2/13). In Seattle (Green Lake).

Taproot Theatre: See How They Run  (in previews, opens 1/28, closing 3/5). In Seattle (Greenwood).

University of Washington Drama: Photograph 51  (opens 1/27, closing 2/6). In Seattle (U-District).

Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts: She Kills Monsters  (opens 1/28, closing 2/13). In Marysville.

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Of Note

Understudy Shaunyce Omar is scheduled to take the stage this Sunday, 1/30, at the 7:30 p.m. showing of Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer at Seattle Rep. Omar is a local favorite and phenomenal talent — so if you’ve been hoping to see her, or as a follow-up to the excellent E. Faye Butler, now’s your chance.

The Rep now offers pay-what-you-choose tickets to all performances, making tickets much more accessible; see info here.

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Continuing Runs & Closing Soon 

Seattle Rep, Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer  (closing 2/13). A compact, powerful show illuminates the life of a voting rights warrior, who found courage in her song. In Seattle (Seattle Center/Mercer St.).

Paramount Theatre: Anastasia  (touring) (closing 1/30). In Downtown Seattle.

Lakewood Playhouse: The Haunting of Hill House  (closing 2/6). In Lakewood.

Tacoma Little Theatre: Silent Sky  (closing 2/6). In Tacoma.

Tacoma Musical Playhouse: Disenchanted!  (closing 2/13). In Tacoma.

Village Theatre: Songs for a New World  (closing 2/13 in Issaquah; runs 2/18-3/13 in Everett). See NWT’s review here.  In Issaquah & Everett.

Can Can Culinary Cabaret: Ooh La La  (closing 5/1). In Seattle (Pike Place).

The Roundup is a weekly (ish) feature. Want to plan your show schedule further out? See NWT’s 2022 Shows list, which aims to list just about every theatre show in town. For shows by day and ticketing info, see the Performance Calendar.

Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.