Dee Hoty in Mame
(© Chris Bennion)
Dee Hoty in Mame
(© Chris Bennion)
The highly anticipated local production of Mame (February 9-March 2) graces the stage at The 5th Avenue Theatre, starring Dee Hoty (recently seen here in Lone Star Love) and Richard White. Music lovers can also check out the Tony-award-winning Gershwin musical, My One & Only, at Tacoma Musical Playhouse (February 22-March 16).

Romantic choices for Valentine lovers are Relentless Heartache - Love Plays of 14/48, a collection of ten years of short plays for one night only (February 14) at the Capitol Hill Arts Center, Persuasion by Jane Austen (February 7-March 2) at Book-It Repertory and another Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility at Attic Theatre (February 15-24). And on a tragic note, Romeo & Juliet love and die at Balagan (February 28-March 22).

Classic repertoire is available as Seattle Repertory Theatre heals The Imaginary Invalid by Molière (February 21-March 22), or you can spend An Evening With Mark Twain at Centerstage Theatre for two performances only February 16 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm. Critically acclaimed New York actor Michael Mauldin brings this theatrical tour-de-force to the stage.

For quirkier fare, Annex Theatre presents Keep the Light On (February 8-March 8), a world premiere set in a post apocalyptic world in which people-power is the only way to light the theater. Reefer Madness, The Musical (Live Girls! Theater, February 22-March 22) is the Seattle premiere of the highly stylized and satirical political commentary. Seattle director/designer Jennifer Zeyl directs the world premiere of Joanna Horowitz's one-woman country musical 100 Heartbreaks (February 15-March 1) at Capitol Hill Arts Center, combining storytelling with live country music inspired by the likes of Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash. The quirkiest description of all is for Performance Memoirs at the Hotel Max (February 28-March 8), in which 10 people join three actresses in an intimate, interactive performance experience in a hotel room, where they are encouraged to snoop in dresser drawers or lounge on the bed.

Politically relevant shows include The God of Hell by Sam Shepard at The New Space Theatre (February 1-23), which the playwright wrote to influence the outcome of the 2004 Presidential election. Outsider's Inn Collective presents a night of provocative plays: Dan Aibel's The Third Rule and Motel by Jean-Claude Van Itallie, plus a late show of Shepard's Cowboy Mouth. Eric Bogosian's subUrbia (February 15-March 8) moves into Eclectic Theater Company, featuring all-new material from the 2005 Broadway revival, never before seen in Seattle. Born Yesterday (SecondStory Repertory, February 8-March 1) may have been written in the 1940s, but it still has lots to say about romance and dirty politics.

Family relationships and self-image are explored in BFE, by award-winning Korean American playwright Julia Cho (February 22-March 16) at SiS Productions' new home at Richard Hugo House. Edward Albee's depictions of relationships are always interesting as Stone Soup Theatre presents All About Albee: Finding the Sun & The Zoo Story (February 13-March 9) as an homage to Albee's 80th birthday. Matt (Damon) and Ben (Affleck's) friendship is fictionally explored in Matt and Ben (Balagan Theatre, February 1-16) by Two Hours' Traffic as they stumble toward writing their movie, Good Will Hunting. Also, Open Circle Theater explores our relationship to robots in RUR (Rossum's Universal Robots), February 22-March 22.

The Sweetest Swing in Baseball by Rebecca Gilman is up at ArtsWest (in association with Seattle Public Theater, February 20-March 15) about a successful artist in crisis who gets admitted to a psychiatric hospital and takes on the identity of Darryl Strawberry. Mr. Marmalade appears at WET (February 22-March 17), a darkly comic regional premiere by Noah Haidle about a four-year-old girl with an imaginary friend who doesn't have much time for her.

Children learn valuable lessons about teasing and fitting in with The Hundred Dresses (February 22-April 12) at Seattle Children's Theatre. Wanda Petronski, new to this country, wears the same dress every day and suddenly exclaims, "I have a hundred dresses at home," which starts the teasing "game."