by Miryam Gordon -
SGN A&E Writer
February includes an unexpectedly large number of world premieres! No one has ever seen them before and you can be their first audiences! If you like adventure, then world premieres must be your bag. There is music and politics and explorations of family and personal transition. This fine eclectic mix is sure to give you subjects to think and talk about.
American Hwangap, West of Lenin, 2/1-25 (ages 13+)
American Hwangap is a funny story about a weekend in the lives of the whimsically dysfunctional Chuns, a Korean American family living in West Texas in 2005. Min Suk wants to celebrate his hwangap - 60th birthday celebration, even after he abandoned his family and returned to his native South Korea. Lloyd Suh's deftly observant play drives at the heart of what it means to be a family.
You Are Right, If You Think, Theatre 9/12, 2/2-25 (world premiere)
This adaptation of Pirandello's 1917 Right You Are, If You Think You Are tells the story of a suspicious family that moves into a city 'some time ago, but not too long' and excites the whole neighborhood to investigate their peculiar lives.
Swallow, Theater Schmeater, 2/2-24
Three strangers are about to face their demons head on. There is no more Samantha, just Sam as he tries to feel out the world in his new skin. Rebecca reels from a divorce and the fallout as the facade of her life has finally crumbled. Anna is a recluse that hasn't left her apartment in over three years. She is turning her place into a living breathing art exhibit...complete with a broken pelican. Questions of identity, heartbreak and hope are explored.
Ibsen In Chicago, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 2/2-3/4 (open 2/7) (world premiere)
David Grimm's commissioned play for the Rep is set in 1882. An unlikely ensemble of scrappy Scandinavian immigrants converge to put on a play in Boomtown Chicago. As this ragtag group of new Americans rehearse a controversial new play written by Henrik Ibsen, their various enmities and misunderstandings take on vaudevillian proportions. Bricklayer turned impresario Henning Folden has a chance to fulfill a dream, but first he has to keep the real world at bay and get his cast to opening night.
Hamilton, Paramount Theatre, 2/6-3/18
Hamilton is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation's first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now.
Don't lose your personal financial system trying to get tickets to this sold out show! https://www.stgpresents.org/tickets/alphabetical/eventdetail/3492/-/Hamilton
Another option is to sign up for the 40 $10 ticket lottery for each show except the 2/15 evening and 3/8 and 3/14 matinees. Use the official app for Hamilton, now available for all iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store (http://hamiltonmusical.com/app). You can also visit http://hamiltonmusical.com/lottery to register. The lottery will open at 11am PT two days prior to the performance date and will close for entry at 9am PT the day prior to the performance.
Citizen 13559: The Journal of Ben Uchida, Seattle Children's Theatre, 2/8-3/4 (ages 9+)
'I was born here. I'm from here. I'm American.' Witness the story of 12-year-old Ben Uchida, a Japanese-American boy whose life is changed forever following the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor. When the U.S. government forces Japanese-American citizens into internment camps, Ben and his family must face difficult truths about the idea of home. One young person's struggle to understand a society allowing mass discrimination against its citizens poses questions as urgent today as they were in the past.
Mamma Mia, 5th Avenue Theatre, 2/9-3/4
On the Greek island of Kalokairi, Sophie is preparing to marry her fiancé, Sky. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle but doesn't know which of three men he is. So she invites them all to Greece. On the day before Sophie's wedding, her mother begins receiving guests at her taverna, including these unexpected blasts from her past. (You know this is all set to ABBA music, right?)
Row Yr Boat (Achievement Unlocked), Annex Theatre, 2/9-3/3 (world premiere)
Rose T. O'Brien, an eccentric late-20s gamer with massive confidence issues and a deep competitive streak, goes looking for employment in the virtual reality sector at a major industry conference in Vegas. Recruited as a sensor for Row Yr Boat LLC, the company demands that Rose must be married within the year or lose everything. The condition isn't unreasonable; it's for her mental health.
Ain't Misbehavin', Seattle Musical Theatre, 2/9-3/4
The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's and 1930's comes to life in Ain't Misbehavin', a musical revue. Join our performers on a journey through the timeless music of Thomas 'Fats' Waller and jump and jive to songs such as 'Honeysuckle Rose' and 'This Joint is Jumpin'.'
Safe Space, Annex Theatre, 2/13-28 (Tu/W)
'Safe Space' starts with Medicaid budget cuts prematurely ending group therapy sessions for a group of middle school girls. They celebrate but it quickly becomes evident the therapy is ending at pivotal moments in each of these girls' lives. They cannot stop the outside forces that shape who they are: opioids, eating disorders, slut shaming, and an inadequate foster system. These girls try to work together to shoulder the burden of living in a world where suddenly, there are no 'safe spaces.'
Bury Me Under I-5, Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes, 2/15-3/10 (at Theatre Off Jackson)
Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes presents a shadow puppet show about hard living in today's Seattle. Desperate times, hard choices, talking animals. The show follows the stories of Chicken Jenny and Minky, two souls who have stumbled on life's path and struggle to get up again.
Rapture, Blister, Burn, Burien Actors' Theatre, 2/16-3/11
Catherine wants what her friend Gwen has: a husband and children. Gwen wants to be what Catherine is: a famous academic and cultural pundit. Toss in Catherine's feisty mother, a young former stripper, Gwen's flawed husband, feminist theory, Dr. Phil and lots of martinis for a bumpy and hilarious ride.
Afterwords, Village Theatre, 2/16-25 (beta series)
Next in Village's 'Beta Series' of developmental musicals, a young war reporter's mentor is killed on assignment and his diaries are left to her care. She finds chronicles of a turbulent midlife love affair and determines to find two sisters mourning the loss of their volatile mother, thinking to give the diaries to them. As entanglements deepen and past collides with present, these young women relay three sides of one story.
Hershey Felder As Irving Berlin, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 2/23-3/18 (open 2/28)
Hershey Felder has crafted a night of celebrating the music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and Berlin's journey from Imperial Russia to the streets of the Lower East Side of New York City. Including songs like 'God Bless America' and 'White Christmas,' this musical portrait is an uplifting immigrant tale that reminds us of the promise of the American Dream.
You Can't Take It With You, Sound Theatre Company, 2/24-3/11 (at The Armory)
This story reveals a New York family of individualists, eccentrics and free-spirits coexisting together under one roof. Under the gentle radicalism of Grandpa, all are encouraged to remember that, 'Life is kind of beautiful if you let it come to you...' Tee Dennard stars as Grandpa, and Shermona Mitchell as his novelist daughter, Penny Sycamore. Appropriate for all audiences.
Imaginary Opus, Sound Theatre Company and eSe Teatro, 2/25-28 (at The Armory)
A multimedia musical about a young boy who has a hard time expressing himself in words and fitting in with the other children. Prone to sensory overload, he finds solace in his vivid imagination and drawing the beautiful world as he sees it.
Hir, ArtsWest and Intiman Theatre, 2/28-3/25 (open 3/2)
Somewhere in the suburbs, Isaac has returned from the wars to help take care of his ailing father, only to enter a different warzone: a household in revolt. His mother, liberated from an oppressive marriage - with Isaac's newly out transgender sibling as her ally - is on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. But in Taylor Mac's sly, subversive comedy, Hir, annihilating the past doesn't always free you from it.
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