Scott Parkinson and Ted Deasy in The 39 Steps
(© Craig Schwartz)
Scott Parkinson and Ted Deasy in The 39 Steps
(© Craig Schwartz)
Seattle Repertory mysteriously opens Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (September 25-October 24), a juicy spy saga with a dash of Monty Python featuring four people playing over 150 characters in the comedy smash. This engagement precedes the official national tour kick off, and stars Claire Brownell, Scott Parkinson, Ted Deasy and Eric Hissom.

Chasing Nicolette (Village Theater, September 16-November 22) features book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, and music by David Friedman, and charts the love between a Christian count and a Muslim princess in a time of war, hatred, and prejudice -- except that the year happens to be 1224, and the entire script is in verse. Seattle Musical Theatre has The Producers (September 18-October 4), where Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom sing and dance their way through the greatest show biz scam ever.

ACT throws a long pass with Runt of the Litter, written and performed by former pro-football player Bo Eason (September 18-October 11). Fact and fiction overlap as a ruthless defensive back takes a look back at his life and career. ArtsWest presents Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone (September 9-October 3), in which Jean answers the cell phone of the corpse at the next table.

Book-It Repertory basks in the Southern sun with A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (September 16-October 11). In it, slothful Ignatius J. O'Reilly, writer, cultural critic, bastion of morality, ventures out into the working world to support his despairing mother. Matthew Barber's Enchanted April (September 25-October 24) brings British and Italian warmth to Taproot Theatre, when an enchanting Italian holiday captivates the hearts of two British housewives on a drizzly London afternoon in 1922. Edmonds Driftwood Players opens the door of The Secret Garden, featuring book and lyrics by Marsha Norman, and music by Lucy Simon (September 11-October 4).

Theater Schmeater starts from the beginning with Arthur Miller's The Creation of the World and other Business (September 11-October 10), featuring the book of Genesis, God battling Satan, Adam battling Eve, and Cain battling Abel. Strawberry Theatre Workshop brings down the house with Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill (September 11-October 12) with powerhouse actress/singer Felicia Loud as Billie Holliday.

Elephant's Graveyard by George Brant (September 3-26 at Balagan Theatre) is based on true events of the collision of a circus and a tiny 1916 Tennessee town. SiS Productions continues tradition with Sex in Seattle 17: Coming Clean (September 18-October 17). Tess, Jenna and Elizabeth get a little divine inspiration in how to deal with the men in their lives. SUBPRIME!: Inside the Heart of the Mortgage Meltdown (September 11-19), written and performed by Norman Bell, is loosely based on the author's actual experiences working for a subprime mortgage company in 2005. Pork Filled Players present Pork to the Future (September 18-October 3), a sketch comedy show with an 80s theme.

No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre (Stone Soup Theatre, September 25-October 10) is the original existential play with four characters who have no way out. Bad Actor Productions spoofs the almost indescribable movie The Legend of Billie Jean in Billie Jean: the Legend (Open Circle Theater, September 4-26). The Attic Theatre let's us get caught in The Mousetrap (Meydenbauer Center, September 18-26). Centerstage Theatre makes Contact, with music by Peter Sipos, lyrics by Amy Engelhardt, and book by Alan Bryce (September 25-October 18), adapted from Carl Sagan's tale of a young woman who journeys to the future.

New seasons of children's shows begin at Seattle Children's Theatre, starting with Mysterious Gifts: Theatre of Iran (September 25-October 11) in which Iranian performer Yaser Khaseb will mesmerize with his storytelling. Also, The Moonpaper Tent tells the story of Anansi and the Sleeping Stone (September 2-18), an Ashanti folktale retold in Moonpaper Tent's unique style, using movement, mask work and percussion music.