by Miryam Gordon -
SGN A&E Writer
July means the start of the Outdoor Theater productions in various parks (see information below). Some big musicals amp the summer fun as Taproot does Godspell and The 5th Avenue does Grease! Also, there are several ethnicities heard from with SiS Productions, ACT Theatre and Pratidhwani presenting work, and more diversity as Sound Theatre Company partners with Brownbox Theatre.
Godspell, Taproot, July 8-August 15.
The popular Stephen Schwartz musical that uses a playground and a troupe of loving hippy types to recreate the story of Jesus. Whether you are a Christian or not, the songs in this musical will move you and fill your spirit. Taproot sets this in Seattle's Public Market.
Wicked, The Paramount Theatre, July 8-August 2.
Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the Land of Oz. One - born with emerald green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good is the story of this acclaimed musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
Grease, The 5th Ave Theatre, July 9-August 2.
This iconic musical will send audiences cruisin' through the days of '50s sock hops and drive-ins with an exuberant cast of Seattle's favorite performers at The 5th Avenue Theatre this summer. Hand-jive through unforgettable songs like 'Beauty School Dropout,' 'Hopelessly Devoted,' 'Greased Lightnin',' and 'You're the One That I Want.'
Peanutty Goodness, Theater Schmeater (workshop production), July 9-27.
Scott Warrender presents his new musical, as he develops it further, and plays the piano for the performances. A collection of seven unlikely characters, including a photocopy boy with a peanut allergy, a loveable CEO douchebag, and a failed actress beleaguered by seagulls face their existential crises by ______ and _________. Come help fill in their blanks as you mad-lib with them to make a musical.
The Two-Character Play, Civic Rep at New City Theater, July 10-August 1.
Tennessee Williams set this darkly comic play in a theatre, following the journey of Clare and Felice, sibling actors with a questionable grasp on reality. On the day of a performance, they find themselves abandoned by their theatre troupe and forced to perform in front of a hostile audience. As they get lost in the performance, they begin to rewrite the script in an attempt to face their demons and make sense of their lives.
Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival, ALL DAY on both July 10 and 11 at Volunteer Park.
As You Like It and Henry IV, Part 1, Seattle Shakespeare Company/Wooden O (July 9-August 9)
Hamlet (abridged) and The Tempest (abridged), Last Leaf Productions
Much Ado About Nothing and The Two Noble Kinsmen (thought to be written by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher), Greenstage (July 10-August 15)
The Lost Folio, Jet City Improv
To Be or Not TV, Shakespeare NW
The Epic of Gilgamesh, Theater Schmeater
The Journey of the Bell: Tales of Wonder & Adventure from Hans Christian Andersen, 14/48 Projects
www.greenstage.org/sotf for a full schedule of events and links to companies.
Smitty and Miles, West of Lenin, July 10-11.
Matt Smith and Pattie Miles are a sketch duo improvising the day-to-day journey of a married couple and their guests (audience volunteers). After their strong, sold out debut in April, West of Lenin is extremely excited to have them return (in July and August).
Wizzer Pizzer: Getting Over the Rainbow, Theatre22, July 10-August 1 (at 12th Ave Arts).
Somewhere over the rainbow Gays are checking themselves into Dr. Nora's Reparative Therapy Clinic, where an ex-Gay, ex-Lesbian couple teach them to be born again straight. When Frankie finds love at the clinic with the poster girl for cured Lesbians, all Oz breaks loose. Wizzer Pizzer is a wild, outrageous, modern ride back out the Yellow Brick Road.
Orpheus Descending, Intiman - The Williams Project, July 10-August 2 (at 12th Ave Arts).
A 1957 play by Tennessee Williams is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek Orpheus legend and deals, in the most elemental fashion, with the power of passion, art, and imagination to redeem and revitalize life, giving it new meaning. The story is set in a dry goods store in a small Southern town marked, in the play, by conformity, sexual frustration, narrowness, and racism. Into this scene steps Val, a young man with a guitar, a snakeskin jacket, a questionable past, and undeniable animal-erotic energy and appeal.
The Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert and Sullivan Society, July 7-25.
The Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society's annual operetta tells the story of a kind-hearted band of pirates, naïve maidens, a gullible young man with a slavish devotion to duty, and a 'properly-educated' major general!
...and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, Sound Theatre Company in co-production with Brownbox Theatre, July 16-August 2 (at Seattle Center Armory).
Here is a poetic retelling of the myth of Demeter and Persephone set during the Civil War and narrated by the Mississippi River. Having run away from a plantation, a father searching for his daughter is murdered and resurrected in the fertile, war-torn landscape of Louisiana. Combines traditional storytelling, gospel music, and a wicked sense of humor to allow trees to preach, rivers to waltz, and Jesus to moonwalk.
Sidewinders, Fantastic.Z Theatre Company, July 16-August 1 (at Richard Hugo House).
In this existential Transgender wild western, Dakota and Bailey find themselves stranded in a strange barren land. While Dakota worries about how the two get home, Bailey is more concerned with the matter of their sexual identity. The two discover that true love does not come from your genitalia, but from your heart.
A Maze, Theater Battery, July 16-August 1.
Presenting a kaleidoscope of interlocking stories of art, addiction, and celebrity, A Maze is a new mystery. It's fragmented at first, allowing things not to make sense and trust that all will be revealed. Two rock stars struggle to regain their art after rehab, a young kidnapping victim finds her voice on a reality talk show, and the King and Queen of a distant fairy tale protect their unborn heir.
Hold These Truths, ACT Theatre, July 17-August 16.
This is a powerful, tightly scripted play by Jeanne Sakata, and a must-see event about local hero, Japanese internment refuser George Hirobayashi. Gordon agonizes over U.S. Government orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast during WWII and refuses, politely, to comply.
Short Shorts (an evening of comedy with SPC), Seattle Playwrights Circle with Phoenix Theatre, July 17-26.
Seven short plays in an evening of comedy by six local playwrights.
Dance Like a Man, Pratidhwani, July 24-August 9 (at ACT Theatre).
Aging Bharatnatyam dancers are focused on their daughter's upcoming performance at a high-profile dance festival. Daughter nervously awaits the meeting between her parents and the man she wishes to marry. Is the older generation always right? Is the younger generation always rebellious? Do we all become our parents?
Is She Dead Yet?, Annex Theatre, July 31-August 22.
A brand new savage satire updates Euripides' tragicomedy Alcestis - about a young wife who sacrifices herself to save her husband from death - into an absurd exploration of American whiteness. The young wife turns out to be the last black person on earth, and her sacrifice will render the planet entirely white! What? Written and directed by (local talent) Brandon J. Simmons.
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