Photo by Jane Carmona on Unsplash.

This Week in Arts: Wednesday Roundup (8/21)

The upcoming week is so packed with great short-runs, we can’t even tell you which ones to choose. Here’s a look at the week and some top picks.

 

Openings

This week is a slow one for openings, but you’ve got a promising pick in Bulrusher by Eisa Davis, a play about racial tensions and secrets. Director Valerie Curtis-Newton is one of the best and brightest theatre-makers in town, and her artistry tends to stick with you. It’s the latest from Intiman Theatre, features a stand-out cast, and will again offer free tickets available to all on a walk-up basis. It runs through 9/14.

 

Closings

Closing this Saturday is Peeling from Sound Theatre Company, a thought-provoking look at disability politics, eugenics, and more — with a surprising amount (given the weighty topics) of humor dashed in. It’s a U.S. premiere done well, and you should see it. See NWT’s review here.

And closing Sunday are two plays from The Williams Project, both art in bars: Small Craft Warnings and The Time of Your Life. As usual, The Willams Project has put together some interesting site-specific theatre. Read NWT’s reviews here and here.

 

Short Runs & One-Offs 

Occupying the most spots on the list this week are numerous short runs and one-night-only events.

Topping the list are two nights of Kittens in a Cage, the heralded play-turned-movie by Kelleen Conway Blanchard. On Tuesday, most of the original cast returns to play sweet-girl inmate Junie, her shiv-toting religious mom, and all her cell block friends (and enemies). For anyone who missed the production — and for whom the poster over the Annex stairs serves as a nagging reminder — the reading should be about as close as it gets. And on Wednesday, the sequel is revealed with a reading of the work in progress, which Blanchard co-wrote. We can’t wait to see what the Kittens are up to now.

 

Other short runs this week:


Thursday

Seattle Playwrights Salon presents two short plays, Glitter Stellar Cluster by Lauren Fulton, and Some Come, Some Go by Norbert Sorg. The Salon occurs at the Palace Theatre & Art Bar in Georgetown every fourth Thursday, with different plays, writers, and actors each month. It’s currently accepting submissions for its 2020 season, through 9/15; see info here.


Friday

Also in Georgetown, Timothy White Eagle and Adrain Chesser close out their Oxbow Gallery residency with a festive party and fundraiser for the artists of White Eagle’s upcoming show, The Violet Symphony, at On the Boards. There will be artists, and there will be cake; info here. You can also donate from afar here.


Friday/Saturday

Somewhere around the region, playwrights will be up all night trying to put together a script, which actors, directors, and designers will have a few hours to learn the next day. And then they’ll do the whole process all over again the next night. It all sounds a little sado-masochistic. And it’s the flagship of the 14/48 Projects, dubbed The World’s Quickest Theatre Festival. It’ll happen next weekend, too, with completely different plays and artists. See NWT’s coverage here.

Recently, the 14/48 Projects also paired up this year with Village Theatre in their annual Village Originals Festival of New Works (see NWT’s coverage here and here), and it was a blast to watch the result. Dubbed “Quick Musicals,” it was modified to “3/12” format (three musicals by three separate teams of artists in 12 hours), and produced some of the most fun and adventurous work NWT has seen in 14/48 Projects. Any plans to expand it? Inquiring minds want to know …


All week/weekend

The Scratch festival continues its new works showings, with shows all weekend and into next week. However, they’re all mega short-runs (one or two shows each); and if you can’t catch them all, at least keep a close eye on the schedule. See NWT’s coverage on earlier shows in The Scratch series here and here.

The fantastical duo of Anya Knees and Butch Alice present the latest Pressure Cooker at Cafe Nordo: O Succulent, a very queer journey and live-action homage to role-playing games. Even with oddities like cactus and jackfruit on the menu, it’s been a brisk seller — so don’t snooze if you’re up for the adventure.


Monday

Sandbox Radio returns with its inventive and multi-form live podcast recording, now held at Town Hall. Along with being part of the “live studio audience” (read: applause factor, along with whatever other noises come up) surrounded by all your closest theatre friends, you can see the antics and cuts behind the recording, and how all the sound effects are made. This episode, called Gone Fishin’, features plays from Scot Augustson, Elizabeth Heffron, Maggie Lee, Brian “Winlar” Wennerlind, and Lisa Koch & (the late) Peggy Platt; with special guest singers Cayman Ilika and Lisa Koch, and perennial host Leslie Law.

 

What Else?

If you’ve managed to catch all that and still want more, you’ll delight in knowing other shows are continuing their runs, too.

For the pleasantly creepy and weird and witty, look to The Neverborn, the newest full-length play from Kelleen Conway Blanchard at Annex Theatre. (If the playwright sounds especially familiar this week, she’s also responsible for Kittens in a Cage mentioned above, and one of the seven playwrights creating two new works in 14/48 this weekend. We suggest seeing all of the above.) See NWT’s review of The Neverborn here.

A bit south, Theatre Battery announced an extension of its current family-friendly show, Kiki’s Delivery Service, from this weekend to 8/31 instead. Theatre Battery has been a leader in major theatre conversations — play selection, financial accessibility, racial equity in casting — primarily through its actions around them, and offers all of its tickets for free to all.

Want some whimsy and sass and dinner? You’ll find a special treat with either pick: Teatro ZinZanni’s Decadent Delights (which runs through 9/8) or the Can Can Culinary Cabaret’s The Legend of El Dorado (through 9/29). Those similarities aside, they’re two vastly different experiences. Teatro ZinZanni shows off international aerialists, illusionists, contortionists, a yodeling dominatrix, and more, with comedic drag artist/host Kevin Kent, all surrounded by an atmosphere of whimsy. The shows are held in a lavish traveling circus tent (the spiegeltent), out in the winery country of Woodinville. Its current show features comedic host vocalist Maiya Sykes (The Voice). The Can Can, meanwhile, is a seedier, non-kid-friendly romp by design, with high kicks, come-hither dances, and bare asses. But it, like ZinZanni, is an escape to another world: this one a packed-in underground nightclub, where men and women are objectified equally, on stage and with the audience’s hooting and hollering, and no one gets gross about it; all while the traffic of Pike Place travels by overhead.

(Incidentally, NWT suspects “whimsy and sass and dinner” will capably describe O Succulent too, since it neatly describes its creators.)

Bon appetit!


Wednesday Roundup is a weekly (ish) feature, with NWT’s picks for the upcoming week and recaps around town.  

Want to plan your show schedule further out? See what’s happening on NWT’s Calendar page, which aims to list just about every theatre show in town. And for news on all the openings each month see Miryam Gordon’s openings coverage here.