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Intiman offers Anne Frankevents, PNB stages Laugh Out Loud!
by Milton Hamlin - SGN A&E Writer

It's another incredible weeks for Emerald City entertainment fans. Like fan arts enthusiasts, Bits&Bytes' calendar is full to the point of overflowing. PNB offers two separate programs in the Laugh Out Loud dance festival this weekend - and the drag ballerina from the legendary Trocks is sure to make a "memorable debut" with PNB's traditionally conservative subscribers.

Taproot, with its riveting Doubt: A Parable production and ReAct with its Prelude To A Kiss staging, offer two plays with strong GLBT appeal and themes. Intiman continues its outstanding production of The Diary Of Anne Frank with two major programs and events celebrating diversity. It's another great week. Read on:

Pacific Northwest Ballet promises "Eight Hysterical Hits" in its two-part mixed repertory Laugh Out Loud! spring dance festival that opened last night and continues through Sunday. While PNB subscribers are notoriously considered conservative and somewhat stuffy ("And," one friend noted, "what's wrong with that?"), this weekend's dancefest is sure to knock the socks off many in the PNB community ("And," one PNB staffer asked, "what's wrong with that?").

Eight new works - some world premieres, some Norhtwest debuts, some "new to PNB" pieces - mix and rotate through the weekend. Advice: Pick a night or afternoon you have free and just go.

Highlights for the GLBT community: Ballerinas Behaving Badly, "Katarina Bychkova" (say it out loud), the 6' 4" "ballerina" from the Les Ballets Tockadero de Monte Carolo in her feather-shedding send-up of "The Dying Swan" from Swan Lake, Lost Language of the Flight Attendant, the wonderfully campy Ordinary Festivals which PNB has subtitled "Far-Flung Fruit" in recognition of the use of 300 oranges in the production, and, of course, the highly-anticipated work from Broadway's Tony Award-winning director/choreographer, Susan Stroman, Take Five...More or Less, set to the legendary Dave Brubeck recording. Check with PNB at (206) 441-2424 for complete program details and ticket reservations.

Thursday's Dining Out For Life deserves a special spot on next week's calendar. The fundraiser for Lifelong AIDS Alliance is an easy way to treat yourself and do some good for AIDS-related research and AIDS support programs. Each restaurant - all around the Puget Sounds - contributes 30 percent of the tab to Lifelong AIDS Alliance. Naturally, the list of restaurants on Capitol Hill is the longest. Many offers lunch or dinner as fund raising events.

This scribe will probably lunch early at the Broadway Grill and hit Rosebud, the Gay-owned hotspot celebrating its 15th year serving "the Capitol Hill crowd," for a late dinner. So many choices....

The Diary of Anne Frank, one of the finest productions Intiman Theatre has mounted in recent years, continues at the Seattle Center theater through May 17, an incredibly long run for the opening play of the 2008 season.

In conjunction with the themes associated with the classic tale, Intiman is offering several free, diverse supplementary programs that expand the concepts and messages of the production. Five free dramatic readings make up the upcoming Front Porch series, which runs various days and dates at various venues between April 27 and May 7. A promising, powerful panel, Never Again, Again: The Darfur Crisis, is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, at 4:30 p.m. at Intiman. It, too, is a free event.

Complete program information is available at (206) 269-1900. Check on the various discounts Intiman offers for Anne Frank. With tickets starting at just $10, it's a show everyone who loves challenging theater should embrace.

Two plays with strong appeal to the GLBT theater fans deserve a second visit - or at least a first.

Doubt: A Parable continues at Taproot Theatre in the Greenwood neighborhood through the end of the month, ending on Saturday, May 26. With the plot revolving around "doubts" about a possible pedophile in the priesthood, the Pulitizer Prize-winning drama is a "must" for GLBT theater fans. (One "faithful reader" noted that this scribe's rave, rave review referred to the play simply as Doubt and omitted the subtitle, A Parable. As usual, Bits&Bytes is guilty as charged.)

Nestled in the Theatre Off Jackson, in Seattle's famous International District - aka Chinatown - ReAct's fine production of Craig Lucas' award-winning Prelude to a Kiss continues its well-received run with three more performances through Sunday when a rare 4 p.m. matinee ends the series.

Lucas is an openly Gay playwright who has strong ties to Seattle's Intiman Theatre where many of his plays, often with Gay-themed plots or characters, have had their world premieres. Prelude to a Kiss, his first big, big New York hit has a seemingly "straight" theme, but many see the character-switching tale to be a metaphor for AIDS. If your beautiful young bride mysteriously changed into a quarrelsome elderly man, would you still love the person? That's the question this provocative comedy/drama asks. Is love "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health," or a disposable issue? Check it out. Details at (206) 364-3283.

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