This Week in Arts: Weekly Roundup (2/17)

This week features a robust variety of openings, from well-known musicals to reinterpreted classics, and a touring show that’s completely different every night. Plus, plenty of continuing runs and others closing soon. You won’t be hurting for things to watch.  

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


Openings & Short Runs    

The 5th Avenue Theatre: Jersey Boys (touring) 
‘Jersey Boys’ (touring) performs at The 5th Avenue Theatre through Feb. 20. Photo by Joan Marcus.

A rockin’ good time full of pop-rock classics
Opened 2/15, closing 2/20. In Downtown Seattle.

This jukebox musical is written in a documentary style, in which each member of The Four Seasons gives his take on their rise to fame, rocky patches, disbanding and transformation, and ultimate reunion at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The touring production is full of big voices — particularly Jon Hacker as frontman Frankie Valli — and makes a quick stop at The 5th through February 20.

Jersey Boys deals with themes of loyalty, family, and fame. It’s a reminder of the extensive list of time-tested hits that Valli and his groups (both the original Four Seasons and later incarnations) put out. But mostly, this show is a rockin’ good time.

Tickets are $59-$159, here.


Seattle Shakespeare Company: Drum and Colors – Hamlet 

A Shakespeare for our times, with a nod to America’s past
Opens 2/18, closing 3/13. At the Seattle Center.

‘Drum and Colors – Hamlet’ opens 2/18. Photo by Michael B. Maine.

Seattle Shakes begins its season with a duo of shows collectively called Shakespeare: Drum and Colors. Set during the late-1930s and early ’40s — when the federal WPA funded theatre work, including the Negro Theatre Project, in Seattle and other cities throughout the country — the duo centers around a theatre troupe featuring artists of color, as they perform two Shakespeare plays.

The run begins with Hamlet (opening this Friday; directed by Juan A. Mas), then runs in repertory with As You Like It (opening next week; directed by Lamar Legend); both shows share an impressive cast and design team.

Legend also adapted both works. The two reflect two distinct moods of the era, and apt to speak to us now: Hamlet follows a troupe of down-on-their-luck actors struggling to stay afloat during the depths of the Great Depression; and As You Like It shows a brighter day for the troupe as the country’s hardships begin to turn around.

Tickets up to $60 (with discounted midweek matinees), here.


Tacoma Arts Live @ Theatre on the Square: Grounded
‘Grounded’ at Theater on the Square opens 2/18. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Arts Live.

A female Air Force pilot struggles to adjust to life on the ground
Preview 2/17, opens 2/18, closing 3/6. In Tacoma.

In the south end, Tacoma Arts Live’s regional theatre season takes flight with Grounded. It’s the first show in an exciting season that also includes Nilo Cruz’s not-produced-often-enough Anna in the Tropics and Ins Choi’s known-mostly-from-Netflix Kim’s Convenience. (See NWT’s review of a prior ‘Kim’s Convenience’ production here.)

In George Brant’s one-woman play, an ace fighter pilot returns from maternity leave only to find she’s been reassigned. Forced to trade the familiar skies for the Las Vegas desert, she now must control drones from the ground, cooped up in a windowless trailer. As the sky hunt for a terrorist heats up, the necessary separation between war intensity and home life begins to collapse, as she struggles to balance her roles of mother and warrior.

Chevi Chung, founder of the Tacoma-based empathos company, performs the solo role.

Tickets are $17-$44, here.

* * *

Seattle Rep: Freestyle Love Supreme  (runs 2/16-3/13).  At Seattle Center (Mercer St. side).

Renton Civic Theatre: Into the Woods  (runs 2/17-26). In Renton.

Valley Center Stage: Tiny Beautiful Things  (runs 2/18-3/5). In North Bend.


Closing Soon 

ACT Theatre: Hotter Than Egypt  (closing 2/20). In Downtown Seattle. See NWT’s review here.

ArtsWest: Monsters of the American Cinema  (closing 2/20). In West Seattle. See NWT’s Quick Takes review of ‘Monsters of the American Cinema’ here.

SecondStory Rep: Copenhagen  (closing 2/20). In Redmond.


Continuing Runs 

Intiman Theatre: The Mystery of Irma Vep  (closing 2/26). In Seattle (Capitol Hill). See NWT’s review here

Book-It Repertory Theatre: Beowulf  (closing 2/27).  Online viewing only.

Bremerton Community Theatre: Death of a Salesman  (closing 2/27). In Bremerton.

Macha Theatre Works: The Fifth Wave  (closing 2/27). In Seattle (Fremont). See NWT’s review here.

The Phoenix Theatre: 37 Postcards  (closing 2/27). In Edmonds. See NWT’s review here.

18th & Union: David & Goliath  (closing 2/28). Online viewing only.

Taproot Theatre: See How They Run  (closing 3/5). In Seattle (Greenwood). See NWT’s Quick Takes review of ‘See How They Run’ here.

Sara Porkalob @ Cafe Nordo: Dragon Lady  (closing 3/6).

Sara Porkalob @ Cafe Nordo: Dragon Mama  (closing 3/6). See NWT’s Quick Takes review of ‘Dragon Mama’ here.

Seattle Children’s Theatre: Red Riding Hood  (closing 3/6). At Seattle Center.

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

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.