This Week in Arts: Weekly Roundup (9/29)

It’s another happening week on Seattle-area stages, with fun musicals, intriguing dance works, and theatre both contemplative and spectacle. Here’s where to find it. 

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



Talk of the Town 

So much is happening, it’s hard to keep up. If you’ve only got a few minutes, here’s where to start this week.


PNB’s Exceptional Show Has Pay-What-You-Choose Tickets Tonight 

The triple-bill Carmina Burana, which (naturally) features Pacific Northwest Ballet’s transcendent spectacle Carmina Burana, is a ballet-lover’s must-see. What’s great about the show is it’s a “ballet-curious” must-see, too. The show runs through this Sunday (10/2), but you can get PWYC tickets (and discounted beer, too) at tonight’s show only. Read NWT’s review here.


This Music-Fueled & Heart-Filled Co-Production Is a Must-See  

Choir Boy, a co-production at ACT Theatre with The 5th Avenue Theatre, crackles with energy and musicality, feeling much shorter than its two-hour (one-act) runtime. Set in an elite prep school for Black high school boys, this coming-of-age story explores sexuality, pressures, and legacies in a fast-paced but thoughtful show that’s beautifully acted, directed, and choreographed. It runs through 10/23. ACT offers pay-what-you-choose and $20 rush tickets for every performance; see info here.


Hadestown‘s Creator Is Coming to Town

The multi-Tony Award-winning Hadestown‘s lush, layered storytelling is indispensable to the musical, which might be the most beautiful production seen on Seattle stages this year. But Hadestown creator Anaïs Mitchell (who wrote, composed, and originally performed the show) more often trades in folk music than musical theatre. The Vermont-based singer/songwriter’s new-ish band, called Bonny Light Horseman (after a classic folk tune), releases its second album next week. And just ahead of the record release, they’ll visit the The Neptune next Wednesday (10/5) to play it for us. Tickets are cheaper than you’d think; get them now before they’re gone, here.


Much Talked-About Musical Comedy Closes This Weekend 

The 5th Avenue Theatre’s world premiere of The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation closes this Sunday (10/2). I didn’t much like it, but that doesn’t mean you won’t. Read NWT’s review here.


A Beloved Theatre’s Final Curtain 

Theatre22, the long-running Seattle theatre company performing challenging and often queer-focused plays, will take its final bow this Sunday (10/2). The company recently announced its imminent closure following its current production, Nonsense and Beauty. The theatre offers sliding-scale tickets for all performances. Read the company’s announcement here.



Openings & Short Runs


Renton Civic Theatre: Avenue Q (opens tonight, closing 10/8). In Renton.

ArtsWest: Swimming While Drowning (opens tonight, closing 10/23). In West Seattle.

Meany Center for the Arts: Robyn Orlin: And so you see … @ Meany Studio Theatre (performs 9/30-10/1). In Seattle (UW main campus).

Olympia Family Theater: The Secret Garden  (opens 9/30, closing 10/16). In Olympia.

Seattle Rep: What the Constitution Means to Me  (touring) (previews 9/30-10/4, opens 10/5, closing 10/23). At the Seattle Center (Mercer St. side).

On the Boards: zoe | juniper: The Other Shore – Always Now (performs 10/5-9). In Seattle (Lower Queen Anne).



Closing Soon 


Pacific Northwest Ballet: Carmina Burana  (closing 10/2). This triple-bill features classic and new works by George Balanchine, Alexei Ratmansky, and Kent Stowell. At the Seattle Center (Mercer St. side). See NWT’s review here.

The 5th Avenue Theatre: The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation  (closing 10/2). The traveling family of film heads to NY in this brand new musical comedy. In Downtown Seattle. See NWT’s review here.

Edmonds Driftwood Players: The Mousetrap  (closing 10/2). This Agatha Christie mystery has run continuously in London for decades. In Edmonds.

Jewel Box Theatre: Drop Dead!  (closing 10/2). Backstage turns murder mystery in this physical comedy. In Poulsbo.

Theatre22: Nonsense and Beauty  (closing 10/2). The long-running theatre company’s final show looks at the decades-long same-sex romance of British novelist E.M. Forester and the lengths he went to in order to conceal it. In Seattle (Green Lake).

Western Washington Center for the Arts: Jekyll and Hyde  (closing 10/2). A gothic musical loosely based on the classic novella. In Port Orchard.



Continuing Runs


Seattle Rep: Where We Belong  (touring) (closing 10/9). In this solo touring piece, a Shakespeare scholar seeks to reconcile her Native identity with the language of colonizers. At the Seattle Center (Mercer St. side). (Read NWT contributor Dusty Somers’ interview with the playwright-performer in The Seattle Times here.)

SecondStory Repertory Theatre: The Half-Life of Marie Curie (closing 10/9). Lauren Gunderson’s play looks at the accomplished chemist who was scandalized by the press. In Redmond.

Tacoma Musical Playhouse: Singin’ in the Rain  (closing 10/9). The stage adaptation of the movie-musical classic. In Tacoma.

Sound Theatre & Earthseed: Cloud Tectonics  @ 12th Avenue Arts (closing 10/15). Time stands still in this intimate portrait, with José Rivera’s signature magical realism. In Seattle (Capitol Hill).

Book-It Rep: In the Time of Butterflies (closing 10/16). Based on the novel by Julia Alvarez, the last sister remaining after a repressive regime looks to keep all four of their legacies alive. At the Seattle Center.

Taproot Theatre: A Night With the Russells – The Legacy of Us  (on hiatus this week; closing 10/22). A trio of the area’s foremost theatre artists performs, in storytelling and song. In Seattle (Greenwood).

ACT Theatre & The 5th Avenue Theatre: Choir Boy  @ ACT (closing 10/23). This recent Broadway hit follows a young Black, queer identity, and an elite prep school gospel choir. In Downtown Seattle.

Village Theatre: Little Shop of Horrors  (closing 10/23, then runs 10/28-11/20 at Everett). An insatiable human-eating plant stars in this classic musical. In Issaquah. See NWT’s review here.

Cafe Nordo: Down the Rabbit Hole  (closing 11/19). Deep under the cobblestones, Alice finds cabaret and culinary delight in Wonderland. In Seattle (Pioneer Square). See NWT’s review here.

Café Nordo: Spirit Parlour  (closing 11/20). A haunting new production; dinner served at Sunday night performances only. In Seattle (Pioneer Square).

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). See NWT’s review here.


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.