David Esbjornson 
(© Michael Portantiere)
David Esbjornson
(© Michael Portantiere)
Who's afraid of Edward Albee? Not his frequent collaborator, director David Esbjornson, who's helming a new production of the Pulitzer Prize-winner's little-seen play The Lady from Dubuque at Seattle Repertory Theatre (January 11-February 10). The legendary Myra Carter, who dazzled New York audiences in Albee's Three Tall Women and All Over, heads the cast.

Other productions of note this month include a version of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus set in America's Old West (Balagan Theatre, January 18-February 3), the Bard's hilarious The Comedy of Errors (Seattle Shakespeare Company, January 4-28), Macchiavelli's The Mandrake at Theater Schmeater (January 18-February 17), Henrik Ibsen's classic drama, An Enemy of the People (Strawberry Theatre Workshop, January 18-February 17), and Sir Tom Stoppard's Travesties (Seattle Public Theatre, January 18-February 11), which features an impossibly boring British consul meeting up with James Joyce with hilarious results.

On the musical front, Twelfth Night Productions presents the tenth annual performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors (January 5-7), the short opera by Gian Carlo Menotti about a poor young shepherd and his mother who receive a visit from three kings on their way to Bethlehem. SecondStory Repertory serves up Side By Side By Sondheim, (January 19-February 10); Tacoma Musical Theatre offers Neil Simon's They're Playing Our Song (January 19-February 11). Jerry Herman's Dear World will be produced by the Showtunes! Theatre Company at the Kirkland Performance Center (January 21-22); while William Finn's A New Brain (Contemporary Classics, January 25-February 4) focuses on a composer who suffers a brain aneurism.

Intriguing offerings from smaller theaters include In DisDress at WET (January 11-20) where "a modern-day damsel attempts to find sense under the rubble of her love life and the folds of her hoopskirt." How I Got That Story (ArtsWest, January 17-February 10) is a funny, fierce story of a naïve journalist in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. Gone with the Wine (Breeders Theater, January 19-February 4) not only gives you a play to watch, but you get to drink wine afterward. Black Eyed Blonde (Unexpected Productions, January 5-February 3) is an improvised mystery in the style of 1940s noir. Mark St. Germain's provocative The God Committee, (Taproot Theatre Company, January 31-March 3) questions how a group of doctors decide which of their patients should receive a donated heart.

14/48-The World's Quickest Theater Festival (CHAC, January 5-13) features collaborations with hundreds of Seattle artists. During this four-day affair, 14 plays are conceived, written, designed, scored, rehearsed, and performed in 48 hours to fit a new theme chosen at random for each night.

Eastsiders can visit Village Theatre where Shelly Burch headlines a revival of William Nicholson's hit play Shadowlands, (January 17-March 18) about famed author C.S. Lewis' love affair with Joy Gresham. Meanwhile, local television personality Kent Phillips has written a thriller, Play Murder, that will be performed at Renton Civic Theatre (January 11-14) and then presented at the Bellevue Civic Theater (January 27-February 3) where Phillips is the artistic director.

Theatergoers looking to take their kids to a show can head to Seattle Children's Theatre, which unveils the world premiere of their new musical, Goodnight Moon (January 12-March 10), based on the beloved children's book. Another worthwhile children's offering is the classic fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk, presented by Storybook Theater/Studio East (January 24-March 1).