This Week in Arts: Weekly Roundup (9/7)

September is an absurdly busy month in theatre, and this weekend marks the start of that cascade. Enjoy a wide variety of shows this week, including a festival of short-runs, biographical dramas, and a brand new musical. And don’t snooze on these openings; later, September will only get busier. 

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



Openings & Short Runs


A Celebrated Theatre Company’s Final Curtain 
Rehearsal photo courtesy of Theatre22.

Nonsense and Beauty @ Theatre22
Runs 9/8-10/2. In Seattle (Green Lake).

Theatre22, which throughout its history has presented a diverse array of productions — including locally-grown world premieres, contemporary envelope-pushers, and queer-themed modern classics — has announced its soon-to-open production will be its final one. (Read NWT contributor Dusty Somers’ report in The Seattle Times here.)

Nonsense and Beauty, an award-winning recent play by Scott C. Sickles, looks at the same-sex romance of British novelist E.M. Forester, and the lengths he went to in order to conceal his decades-long relationship.

Observes the company, the play, based on a true story, “captures the wit and wisdom of one of the last century’s great writers.” Directed by company founder and Producing Artistic Director Corey McDaniel.

Preview 9/8, opens 9/9. Tickets $10-$50 (sliding scale available for all), here.


Three Weeks, 20+ Shows, One Stage 
‘After Lightning’ (dance) and ‘He Hawai’i Au’ (film) perform on 9/10.

Portable Performance Festival @ 18th & Union
Runs 9/8-24. In Seattle (Central District).

What do a dance about lightning, a 15-character roadtrip, and a prescription refill have in common?

Literally nothing. But you can watch those and close to 20 other shows by local artists over the next three weeks, all part of 18th & Union’s first-ever Portable Performance Festival.

Emphasizing solo shows, readings, and other low-tech, story-rich productions, the festival brings together a wide array of artists and genres, in various feature-length and shorts formulations, with something to appeal to virtually every arts fan.

Tickets $10-$50 (sliding scale available for all); multi-show and festival passes also available.

View full schedule and tickets here.

* * *


Pratidhwani: Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal  (presented in Hindi) @ Bellevue Youth Theatre Amphitheater (performs 9/8-11). In Bellevue (Crossroads).

Mirror Stage: Contexpo – Income Inequality & the Wage Gap  @ Phinney Center (events run 9/9-10). In Seattle (Greenwood).

Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts: The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940  (opens 9/9, closing 9/25). In Marysville.

Seattle Rep: Where We Belong  (touring) (previews begin 9/9, opens 9/14, closing 10/9). At the Seattle Center (Mercer St. side). (Read NWT contributor Dusty Somers’ interview with the playwright-performer in The Seattle Times here.)

The 5th Avenue Theatre: The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation  (previews begin 9/10, opens 9/22, closing 10/2). In Downtown Seattle.

ACT Theatre & The 5th Avenue Theatre: Choir Boy  @ ACT (previews begin 9/11, opens 9/15, closing 10/23). In Downtown Seattle.



Closing Soon 


HEART Repertory Theatre: Almost, Maine
Photo by Sandro Menzel.

Under the Radar Pick 

Idioms and cliches on romance become reality in this tender, strange little show by John Cariani.

A dozen or so vignettes combine to create a slice of life in this fictional small town beneath the Northern Lights — an unincorporated stretch called Almost — as its characters fall in and out of love.

In HEART’s second production (following Chapter Two in the spring), intimate scenes are the centerpiece with minimalist staging, compact theatre-in-the-round closeness, and a small ensemble of actors who rise to the challenge of some physically-demanding scenes. Directed by Steve Cooper.

Runs through 9/11 at Kenmore Community Club. Tickets $25, here.

* * *

Centerstage Theatre: The Oregon Trail  (closing 9/11). An anxious and depressed teenager plays the ’90s hit computer game, while her 1800s analogue braves the actual journey. By Bekah Brunstetter; directed by Jeanette Sanchez. In Federal Way (Dash Point). See NWT’s review here.

Island Shakespeare Festival (closing 9/11). This long-running summer festival presents three productions in repertory: Cyrano de Bergerac: A Queeroic Comedy with Many Acts (based on the play by Edmond Rostand, adapted and directed by Erin Murray), Love’s Labors Lost (by William Shakespeare, directed by Jecamiah Ybañez), and Titus Andronicus (by Shakespeare, directed by Scott Kaiser). On Whidbey Island (Langley). See NWT’s mini-feature and more information here.

Seattle Theatre Group – Broadway at The Paramount: Hamilton  @ The Paramount Theatre (closing 9/11). If you’ve waited to catch Hamilton, there’s only one weekend left on its Seattle stop. In Downtown Seattle. See $10 lottery ticket (40 per show) info here. See NWT’s review here.



Continuing Runs


Harlequin Productions: This Flat Earth  (closing 9/17). Two middle schoolers, and the parents, try to make sense of a confounding world amid escalating gun violence. By Lindsey Ferrentino; directed by Aaron Lamb. In Olympia. See NWT’s review here.

Bremerton Community Theatre: Sylvia  (closing 9/25). A found poodle-mix drives a wedge between a long-married Manhattan couple. In Bremerton.

Can Can Culinary Cabaret: The Hitchcock Hotel  (closing 11/27). The spooky season officially kicks off with the Can Can’s fall show, served up with dinner and drinks in the cabaret’s new location. In Seattle (Pike Place Market).

The Roundup is a weekly (ish) feature. For this month’s shows by day, with ticketing info and links, see the Performance Calendar.

Want to plan your show schedule further out? See NWT’s seasonal show lists — Fall (September & October) and Holiday Season (November & December) — which aim to list just about every theatre show in town.

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