by Miryam Gordon
SGN A&E Writer
What is it about November? We’ve got four big musicals and a musical sketch review, all opening this month! Musical lovers, you’re going to be in hog heaven, as they say! My Fair Lady, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, (world premiere) Come From Away, and The Sound of Music all get major productions. Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales return with a holiday skewering. There is a new subversive puppet extravaganza from Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes. And Theater Schmeater gives us another installment of Twilight Zone – Live!
My Fair Lady, Village Theatre, Issaquah: 11/5-1/3, Everett: 1/8-31
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, the story explores societal prejudices towards class and gender through the tale of lowly Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Allison Standley) and her unlikely run-in with linguistics teacher Henry Higgins (Mark Anders), who embarks on an experiment to transform Eliza into a proper lady.
The Ballad of Karla Fox, Printer's Devil Theater (at Theatre Off Jackson), 11/5-21
A new Scot Augustson and Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes puppet world premiere, performed with radio show-style voices supplied by live actors, original live music, and a menagerie of two-dimensional puppets, the story follows the adventures of orphan Karla Fox, inspired by classic thrillers such as Gaslight and Rebecca. After her parents die in a suspicious accident (involving a drunken bulldog driving a moving van full of pianos), Karla Fox goes to live with her strange, stern Aunt Sadie. But soon Aunt Sadie’s particular brand of crazy gets too real and Karla is forced to flee in the night for her very life. (Not For Children)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Seattle Children’s Theatre, 11/5-12/27
Based on the classic MGM motion picture starring Dick Van Dyke, this sparkling musical is filled with the catchy tunes and quirky characters depicted in the original work. Directed by retiring artistic director Linda Hartzell, the story follows Eccentric Inventor Caratacus Potts, Jeremy and Jemima Potts, Truly Scrumptious and, of course, Chitty the car on an adventure to save the children of Vulgaria. Hartzell says, “As you might expect, the largest challenge is creating a full-size, fully-detailed period car that appears to move around the stage, float on water, and sprout wings and fly!”
Fireface, Splinter Group (at undisclosed location, only 20 audience members per show), 11/6-22
Kurt is so terrified by the prospect of living the unfulfilling life of his parents that he begins setting fires around town. Olga, his older sister, feels her sexuality and begins exploring with her brother, and later with a kind young man. Kurt and Olga's parents can't seem to come to terms with the changes they've been seeing in their children. (Ticketed audience will meet at a location and will be taken to the performance. They will return to the pick-up point.)
As You Like It, Ghostlight Theatricals, Ballard Underground, 11/6-21
Love, sex and philosophy haunt the Forest of Arden where best friends Rosalind and Celia have been banished. After Rosalind meets Orlando in the forest, however, she is caught between a feeling of skepticism and crazy stupid love. Shakespeare’s famous phrase – “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players” – comes from this play.
Shoggoths on the Veldt: a CTHULHU adventure comedy, The Rogues Gallery (at INScape) 11/13/15-12/5/15
When famed Victorian explorer Melford Pumbleshire is torn to pieces by something horrible and unseen while on safari in Deepest, Darkest Africa, his redoubtable fiance Euphonia Riggstone must lead an expedition to put his unquiet spirit to rest.
Come from Away, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 11/13-12/13
World-premiere musical Come From Away is a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse. Featuring book, music and lyrics by the Canadian husband-and-wife team of Irene Sankoff and David Hein (My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding), the production is directed by La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.
Based on the inspiring true story, September 11, 2001 was an ordinary day in isolated Gander, Newfoundland – until it wasn’t. Thirty-eight planes were diverted to its doorstep on that fateful day, making this small town unexpected hosts to an international community. The camaraderie that followed reminds us of the power that comes from opening up your heart and your home.
In Suspense, Eclectic Theater, 11/13-28
Marie, a young African-American girl, is suspended by the strict school principal for a minor infraction. Tensions rise when her parents become involved. With assistance from the lawyer who created the historic suspension law, they gradually unearth the principal’s increasingly suspect motivations for the punishment.
This Christmas, Taproot Theatre, 11/20-12/26
Leah plans the perfect Christmas, but her husband is preoccupied, an inept waitress could spoil everything and Christmas Eve rapidly spins out of control as uninvited guests show up. Will this be the worst Christmas ever, or will Leah open her heart to new ways of celebrating the moments that make life beautiful?
Twilight Zone – Live, Theater Schmeater, 11/20-12/19
Three episodes from the classic TV show presented live. “The Midnight Sun” (November 1961) follows a young artist sweltering in her apartment as the earth slowly spirals into the sun. Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? (May 1961) shows bus passengers stranded by a storm at a roadside diner while rumors of UFOs fly on the radio and it seems there are more passengers than there should be. The Night of the Meek (December 1960) features a drunken dime store Santa discovering the true meaning of Christmas.
The Sound of Music, The 5th Avenue Theatre, 11/24-01/03
Boasting such beloved songs as “Do Re Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” this production of Austria on the brink of World War II will bring the iconic musical to life. An all-star local cast enlivens the proceedings, with young talent Kirsten deLohr Helland as Maria.
Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Unwrapped, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 11/25-12/13
You saw them as Vaudevillians! Drag performers Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales return with more tunes, more laughs, mistletoe and menorahs.
A Christmas Twist, Burien Actors Theatre, 11/27-12/20
Mash-up Charles Dickens' tales: A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist – and add an absurd cast of characters including Little Orphan Annie. The result is a humorous parody of Christmas stories about the poor versus the rich that still manages to spread the spirit of the season.