This short month has already shot out the gate and is galloping along! Quick, start booking your shows before they’re gone!
Compiled by Miryam Gordon from press releases:
Born With Teeth, ArtsWest, 2/1-25/24
With an aging authoritarian British ruler, a violent police state, and a restless, polarized people seething with paranoia, it’s a dangerous time for poets. Two of them — the great Christopher Marlowe and the up-and-comer William Shakespeare — meet in the back room of a pub to collaborate on a history play cycle, navigate the perils of art under a totalitarian regime, and flirt like young men with everything to lose. One of them may well be the death of the other in this biting comedy about ambition, ego, and history.
Living IncogNegro, Key City Public Theatre, 2/1-11/24
Talented solo performer Gin Hammond writes about her personal journey. When your cultural identity is one thing, but your physical identity is another, how do you navigate self-expression? Both a humorous love-letter, and an academic discourse, dedicated to those who find themselves in the middle of a cultural battle they never asked for.
Once More, Just for You, Seattle Public Theater, 2/2-25/24 (world premiere)
Local playwright Maggie Lee pens a new sci-fi based play. The only foolproof way to truly fix past mistakes is time travel, right? Rae has a time machine and she’s gonna try. But just because you already know which path NOT to take doesn’t always guarantee things will end up where you planned. A curious, heartfelt new play about finding connection, unspoken sacrifice, and the infinite metaphysical paradox of loving and letting go.
A Case for the Existence of God, ACT Theatre, 2/2-18/24
“Whale” writer Samuel D. Hunter won the 2022 New York Drama Critics’ award for this play. Inside a small loan brokerage in Idaho, two men struggle to make a place for their family in the American dream, navigating the tensions of parenthood, financial security, desire, and empathy. Intrigue, revelation, and surprises link the lives of two fathers intertwine reflecting on what it means to be human.
The Lady Demands Satisfaction, The Phoenix Theatre, 2/2-25/24
When a young maiden who has never touched a sword learns she must defend her inheritance in a duel, she struggles with a milksop suitor, a servant girl posing as a Prussian fencing master, the actual Prussian fencing master who believes he is there to marry her, a stodgy lord, and her domineering aunt – the finest blade anywhere – to save her house and lands.
Sunset Boulevard, Showtunes Theatre Company, 2/3-11/24 (at Cornish Playhouse)
We get a local view of the whole musical – going to Broadway in 2024 – chronicling Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent screen era, living in the past in her decaying mansion on that fabled, famous Los Angeles street. Billy Wildrick, local musical powerhouse star, takes stage as Norma. When young screenwriter Joe Gillis accidentally crosses her path, she sees in him an opportunity to make her return to the big screen, with romance and tragedy to follow. Joining the large cast of favorite musical theater actors will be a 25 person, on-stage orchestra. (Trust me, this is special!)
The Lower Depths, Intiman Theatre with The Seagull Project, 2/6-24/24 (at Erickson Theatre)
Maxim Gorky’s masterpiece is brought to life in a new adaptation created by The Seagull Project. Neglected, seeking refuge and hope, fourteen lost souls battle for love and humanity while pushing at the limits of the human spirit and a society at the breaking point. The Lower Depths is a classic piece of actor-driven drama, produced in an exciting new way by Seattle’s premiere acting ensemble. The action focuses on an ensemble of characters living in a shelter, brought there by a variety of causes, and seeking their escape amongst the brutal weight of the world. The arrival of the nomadic philosopher, Luka, brings an injection of hope, but when the owner of the shelter is murdered, reality strikes again, and the group must find their own way forward.
Tenderness, Annex Theatre, 2/9-17/24 (world premiere)
Playwright Nelle Tankus introduces Lemon Lymes, a retired pop star and aspiring fascist looking to collaborate on a secret project with an adoring fan, 1t the dawn of a new swine flu pandemic. Meanwhile, three Queerdos are planning for their uncertain futures as artificial intelligence renders their jobs obsolete. When a parasocial Lymes fan takes things too far and billionaire industries begin to collapse, the queerdos have to outsmart the state and keep their loved ones cared for.
Blood Countess, MAP Theatre, 2/9-24/24 (at 18th & Union)
Based on a historical true-crime horror-comedy, playwright Kelleen Conway Blanchard pens a fictionalized account of Countess Elizabeth Bathory’s life. A brilliant woman of Hungarian nobility, she holds the Guinness World Record of Most Prolific Female Murderer, “[practicing] vampirism on girls and young women. She is alleged to have killed more than 600 virgins in order to drink their blood and bathe in it, ostensibly to preserve her youth.” We know she was tried and convicted of her gruesome crimes. The rest we must suppose.
Trouble in Mind, BAT Theatre, 2/9/24-3/3/24 (at Kennedy Catholic High School theater, 140 S 140th St, Burien, WA 98168)
A talented and experienced Black actress has been cast in Chaos in Belleville, an anti-lynching play written by a White playwright and set to open on Broadway. She had paid her dues throughout the years, cast in stereotypical supporting roles in second-rate shows, and is ready for her star turn. A cast of multigenerational Black actors rehearse under the purview of a White director and stage manager, and as the rehearsal process unfolds, theater conventions and racial politics collide.
The Last Romance, Olympic Theatre Arts Center, 2/9-25/24
A crush can make anyone feel young again – even a widower named Ralph. On an ordinary day in a routine life, Ralph decides to take a different path on his daily walk – one that leads him to an unexpected second chance at love. Relying on a renewed boyish charm, Ralph attempts to woo the elegant, but distant, Carol. Defying Carol’s reticence – and his lonely sister’s jealousy – Ralph embarks on the trip of a lifetime, and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost.
Plaza Suite, Renton Civic Theatre, 2/16/24-3/2/24
Hilarity abounds in this portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at The Plaza. A suburban couple take the suite while their house is being painted and it turns out to be the one in which they honeymooned 23 (or was it 24?) years before and was yesterday the anniversary, or is it today? This wry tale of marriage in tatters is followed by the exploits of a Hollywood producer who, after three marriages, is looking for fresh fields. He calls a childhood sweetheart, now a suburban housewife, for a little sexual diversion. Over the years she has idolized him from afar and is now more than the match he bargained for. The last couple is a mother and father fighting about the best way to get their daughter out of the bathroom and down to the ballroom where guests await her or as Mother yells, “I want you to come out of that bathroom and get married!”
Love Beyond Borders, Seattle Mens’ Chorus, 2/18/24 (at Benaroya Hall/livestream)
Celebrating the power of love around the world, SMC brings inspirational stories of international refugees escaping persecution of LGBTQ+ people. (Postponed from 2020!)
Luchadora, Seattle Children’s Theatre, 2/22/24-3/10/24
Transport yourself to the world of lucha libre, Mexican wrestling, an adaptation of the Chinese legend Hua Mulan. We follow Lupita’s journey, witnessing her life as a daring teen tomboy; bike riding with her friends, working at her father’s flower stand, and lucha libre. When a World Championship match is announced, Lupita’s excitement explodes, until she discovers her ailing father is one of the wrestlers. With the help of a magical mask maker, Lupita secretly trains to take her father’s place. She soon finds it difficult keeping her secret from her friends and her father. (Ages 8+)
Memoirs Of A Forgotten Man, Thalia’s Umbrella, 2/22/24-3/9/24 (at 12th Avenue Arts)
A man in Stalin’s Russia has a perfect memory. When the State tells him to forget someone, he can’t… then he disappears. A Soviet official searches for him and tries to enlist the help of the psychologist who studied him. But are the official’s reasons political or personal? or both? Here’s an examination of the connections between memory and identity. What costs dowe pay when the State decides what the truth is?
Lip Service, Theatre33, 2/23-25/24 (at 13243 NE 20th St, Bellevue)
A historic look at self-made cosmetics tycoon, Helena Rubinstein, and her rivals Elizabeth Arden and Revlon. When Helena hires a battle-hardened war-veteran as a personal assistant, her life is turned upside down. As her professional and family conflicts reach fever pitch, will the ghosts of her past topple the world’s richest businesswomen? Or will war-veteran, Patrick, save her from herself? Inspired by real events, Lip Service is a bright new comedy where the nails are painted and the gloves are off. Yet when the lipstick bleeds and the makeup fades, what is there left to hide behind?