Hugh Panaro
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Hugh Panaro
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Chart some new theatrical territory this month as Seattle joins 11 other cities across the country in celebration of Live Theatre Week (October 16-22). There will be free performances, tours, and behind-the-scenes escapades at ACT Theatre, the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and many others.

Later this month, the 5th Avenue Theatre showcases Stephen Sondheim's Company (October 17-November 5), the master's musical look at five marriages as seen through the eyes of a perpetual bachelor. He's Robert, who will played by Hugh Panaro, recently seen on Broadway in the title role of Lestat. The supporting cast includes Broadway and television favorite Shelly Burch and former Wicked leading lady Kendra Kassebaum.

Elsewhere around town, the musically-minded can also catch Molly Ringwald in the national tour of Sweet Charity at the Paramount (October 24-29), and West Seattle's ArtsWest Playhouse has Rent author Jonathan Larson's unsettling Tick, Tick...Boom! (October 4-November 4).

For something a little lighter, ACT Theatre serves up Steve Martin's The Underpants (October 13-November 12), a farce about a housewife who achieves overnight celebrity when she accidentally loses her underpants in public. Back on the Seattle Center campus, Intiman Theatre presents a stage adaptation of Richard Wright's 1940 groundbreaking novel Native Son (October 20-November 18) as part of its ongoing American Cycle.

Seattle Repertory has Will Eno's award-winning solo piece Thom Pain (based on nothing), an exploration of love, childhood and the oddities of life (October 5-November 5). Seattle Shakespeare Company opens its season in the Center House Theatre with the Bard's stormy Winter's Tale (October 26-November 19). Up in the Greenwood neighborhood, Taproot Theatre takes up Shaw's Arms and the Man (through October 21).

Annex Theatre's Line One (September 29-October 21) sends actors on stage at the Capital Hill Arts Center with cell phones but no script. Real-time adventures begin when the phones start to ring. Don't be fooled by the title of SIS Productions' Cowboy Versus Samurai (October 20-November 18), an edgy new romantic comedy playing at Hugo House. The darker side of love gets its turn with Seattle Public Theater's Betrayal, lurking in the Bathhouse Theatre (October 5-29). And just in time for Halloween, Live Girls premieres W(h)acked (10/20-11/18), a farcical initiation into the world of the followers of serial killer Sister Lottie Limerick.

Finally, for those seeking family fare, Children's Theatre charts the turbulent adventures of Jason and the Golden Fleece (October 13-November 26).