Sweat Now. Process Afterwords. 

Two big productions on now, paint two American portraits, intimate and recognizable, in details both banal and destabilizing. Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama runs through 5/22 at ACT Theatre; and a world-premiere musical at The 5th runs through 5/21. 

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The Thrust: In This Week’s Shows, the Rules Are What You Make Them

In two shows this week, strong female leads see their safe, comfortable social orders challenged. ‘The Cake’ from As If Theatre Company runs through 3/20 in Kenmore; and Village Theatre’s ‘The Book Club Play’ runs through 4/3 (in Issaquah) and 5/1 (in Everett).

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Macha’s ‘Fifth Wave’ Is Ready for Battle – But Which One?

A world premiere play from two local playwrights has a somewhat muddled message. But its captivating production and ample discussion fodder make it worth your time. ‘The Fifth Wave’ runs through February 27 at Macha Theatre Works. 

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The Thrust: The Houses Hold Secrets in This Week’s Funny Shows

In two shows on now, creaking estates teem with family secrets, uncertain deaths, and bloodthirsty beasts. They’re also very funny. ‘The Mystery of Irma Vep’ (Intiman Theatre) and ’37 Postcards’ (The Phoenix Theatre, in Edmonds) both run for two more weekends.

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Village’s ‘Songs’ Attempts a Lot — Leaving Little Up to the Audience

Village Theatre’s latest production boasts strong performers, but its staging attempts too much. ‘Songs for a New World’ runs through February 13 in Issaquah, followed by a run in Everett through March 13. Plus: next month, check out a new musical from Village’s talented teenagers. 

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‘Lady Day’ Sings With Beauty and Heartbreak

In ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’, one evening’s concert captures the downward spiral of an American musical icon. Alexandria J. Henderson’s performance puts the singer’s highs and lows on display; it’s just as beautiful to watch as it is heartbreaking. ‘Lady Day’ runs through November 27 in downtown Olympia. 

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Old-Timey Rom-Com Heads to Village Theatre in Everett

Village Theatre gives a lovely production to ‘She Loves Me’, a rehashed musical based on the same 1930s story that inspired the ’90s film ‘You’ve Got Mail’. It runs in Everett through March 22. 

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Why Are All the White Administrators Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

‘Admissions’ looks at diversity in the wild world of top prep schools, but provokes tough questions of privilege in arenas far beyond that elite enclave. It runs at Seattle Public Theater through February 23.

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A Darker Play-Within-a-Play Takes Shape in ‘Our Country’s Good’

Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s latest is a dark look at criminology and injustice, set in an early British prison colony in Australia. It runs through February 22 at 12th Avenue Arts. 

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