William Hall Jr., Michelove René Bain, and
Hubert Point-Du-Jour in The Breach
(© Chris Bennion)
William Hall Jr., Michelove René Bain, and
Hubert Point-Du-Jour in The Breach
(© Chris Bennion)
Exciting, substantial productions abound this month. For example, Seattle Repertory Theatre showcases two plays: The Breach (January 10-February 9) focuses on the calamity of Hurricane Katrina, and By the Waters of Babylon by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan (January 31-March 2) is a love story set on a hot Texas day. ArtsWest offers the Seattle premiere of The Retreat From Moscow (January 9-February 2) William Nicholson's acclaimed play about a 33-year marriage facing its end, and at Odd Duck Studio, David Natale's solo show The Westerbork Serenade (January 7-28), tells the true story of Jewish cabaret performers held by the Nazis in the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork.

On The Boards showcases two fascinating imports. In Radiohole's Fluke (January 10-13), the four member avant-garde ensemble physically upends Moby Dick. Meanwhile, Hey girl! by Societas Raffaello Sanzio (January 31-February 3), which is inspired by a group of girls waiting at a bus stop, traces womanhood through a series of riveting images punctuated by jaw-dropping theater magic.

Multiple Shakespearean experiences are available this month. A gritty, in-the-dirt style Hamlet is being done by Eclectic Theatre Company (January 10-February 2) and a lean, 90-minute version will be produced by Seattle Children's Theater (January 25-February 24). Taproot presents As You Like It (January 30-March 1) set in the 1960s hippie era of transformative politics, and Romeo and Juliet debuts at Balagan Theatre (January 31-February 23). Seattle Shakespeare Company contrives Chamber Julius Caesar (January 1-27), as well as Swansong (January 7-23) by actor Patrick Page, in which Ben Jonson hesitates as he is ordered to compose a poem for the first Folio of his friend Shakespeare's great plays.

The Capitol Hill Arts Center hosts renowned monologist Mike Daisey in Monopoly! (January 18-February 3), which explores the warped genius of inventor Nikola Tesla and his war with Thomas Edison over electricity, followed by How Theater Failed America (February 8-10), which takes stock of the dystopian state of theater in America. The CHAC also presents Vesta, a play by Bryan Harnetiaux (January 18-February 3) that focuses on a woman's declining health and ultimate passing.

Elsewhere, Richard Greenberg's acclaimed drama Three Days of Rain (January 31-February 24) comes to Seattle Public Theatre. Steven Berkoff's Kvetch (January 17-February 16), a dark comedy on the anxieties of a modern couple where the audience is privy to the characters' thoughts, is at Theater Schmeater. Village Theatre trips along with Neil Simon's beloved comedy Barefoot in the Park (January 23-March 7), while Showtunes warbles Promises, Promises (January 19-20), the musical take on Billy Wilder's The Apartment, written by Simon with a score by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Finally, Grace and Glorie (Bellevue Civic Theatre, January 25-February 2) tells of a cancer patient and a hospice worker in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Children might enjoy Twelfth Night's annual production of Amahl and the Night Visitors (January 4-6); The Three Pigs sing about the wolf at StoryBook Theater/Studio East (January 25-March 2); and The Brave Little Tailor swats flies at SecondStory Repertory (January 18-February 3).