3 Picks For You This Weekend

There’s a lot of good stuff to sift through on the calendar this weekend. Here’s what I’d focus on if I ran your agenda.

For performances January 27-29. 



Ailey II (touring)

Ailey II performs Robert Battle’s The Hunt. Photo by Eduardo Patino.

Performs Saturday afternoon in Tacoma and Tuesday night in Olympia.  

This rising-star branch of the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a must-see.

You know those shows you hear about and then look forward to for months? That’s Ailey II, one of my most-anticipated shows of (all of) 2023. After seeing them in pre-pandemic times at Tacoma’s Pantages Theater, I’ve been hoping for their return ever since.

Where the main Ailey company is precise and polished, Ailey II is a bit more like a technically skilled firecracker. They’ll slated to perform Ailey’s signature Revelations, along with a selection of newer works: Robert Battle’s The Hunt (pictured) and the amusing and absurdly high-energy Takademe, and Francesca Harper’s Freedom Series. It’s an excellent and varied lineup that should be a real treat for any dance fan.

Presented by Tacoma Arts Live and Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Tacoma show info and tickets here (1/28 matinee); Olympia show info and tickets here (1/31 night). 



Cathy Croce: A Celebration of Music 

Seattle-area artists perform songs from Croce’s album at the Royal Room.

Performs Sunday evening only

An intimate concert honoring a longtime Seattle singer-songwriter is almost sold out. 

I didn’t know the music of Cathy Croce, but I’m learning that when certain local luminaries — musician and theatre artist Sarah Rudinoff among them — think it’s worth putting on a tribute concert for an artist, they’re generally right. This weekend, Rudinoff and others will perform songs from Croce’s album, Putting Words in My Mouth.

Reflecting on Croce’s legacy shortly after her death in 2022, producer Wayne Horvitz observed, “Cathy Croce is, artistically, the one that got away. Her songs are lovely, moving, and hilarious all at once.” The album is available on Spotify and elsewhere, if you’d like to get acquainted pre-show.

The Royal Room is a great spot to see an intimate concert, along with food and drinks. Need a dinner recommendation too? I’m partial to their fish and chips.

Note: As of this writing, only 10 tickets remain. Show info and tickets here



Ain’t Too Proud (touring)

The national tour of Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations. Photo by Emilio Madrid.

Performs throughout the weekend, and through February 5.  

Now at the Paramount, Broadway’s The Life and Times of The Temptations is a real musical thrill. 

Is January too early to make a call on touring show of the year? Maybe. But this one is a sure contender.

Dominique Morisseau wrote the book for this musical, and her mastery — both in crafting stories for the stage and on the city of Detroit (she’s famous for a cycle of Detroit-set plays) — flows throughout this story of Motown’s top hitmakers. The writing is tight, the songs sizzle, and the performers will rock you.

Read NWT’s review here

Presented by Broadway at the Paramount / Seattle Theatre Group. Show info and tickets here.  

Also: Broadway at the Paramount just yesterday announced its touring lineup for the 2023-24 season — and it’s hot! Featuring Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, the return of Hadestown, and more. Take a look here



More to Explore

Want more options? Try these 5.

A very queer Y2K?: An Incomplete List of All the Things I’m Going to Miss When the World is No Longer:​ (Dacha @ Theatre Off Jackson) — An end-of-the-world blowout party in musical form, opening this weekend. Pay-what-you-choose ticketing. Info and tickets here.  

Modern queer love story: This Bitter Earth (Seattle Public Theater) — An intimate two-hander on race, love, and political (dis)engagement, opening this weekend. Pay-what-you-choose ticketing. Info and tickets here.

Modern dance: Bridge Project 2023 (Velocity Dance Center @ Base) — A slate of new works from three local choreographers. Sliding-scale ticket pricing. Info and tickets here

Front-line feminism: Gloria: A Life (Strawberry Theatre Workshop) — A play tracing Gloria Steinem’s enduring activism. Limited $10 tickets. Info and tickets here.

Pandemic front-lines: An Endless Shift (ArtsWest) — World premiere devised work from nurses’ perspectives, opening this weekend. Sliding-scale ticket pricing. Info and tickets here.

For shows by date and other productions, see the Performance Calendar.

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