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Seattle Spotlight: April 2007

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Allie Woods, William Hall Jr., and Todd Jefferson Moore
in Gem of the Ocean (© Chris Bennion)
It's a decidedly eclectic month in Seattle, with a rich variety of offerings in the area's theaters.

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents August WIlson's drama, Gem of the Ocean (April 5-May 6), directed by Phylicia Rashad, who played the pivotal role of Aunt Ester in the show's acclaimed Broadway run. This play is set in Pittsburgh at turn of the 20th Century, as a young man seeks redemption from his past.

The Intiman Theater kicks off its season with Thornton Wilder's classic play, The Skin of Our Teeth (April 28-June 2), a tribute to the indomitable human will not just to survive, but to persevere. Anne Scurria and Howie Seago lead the cast, under the direction of Bartlett Sher.

Sher is also the director of the Tony Award-winning musical The Light in the Piazza (Paramount Theatre, April 17-29), which returns to its premiere city as part of its national tour, starring Christine Andreas, David Burnham, and Katie Rose Clarke. In a related note, the Intiman -- the originator of Piazza -- will host a free public forum with Sher and the show's creators, composer-lyricist Adam Guettel and playwright Craig Lucas on April 9.

Another musical offering coming to Seattle as part of a North American tour is Edward Scissorhands (5th Avenue Theatre, April 25-May 13). This unique dance production by Matthew Bourne reimagines Tim Burton's beloved film, which tells the story of a boy who has scissors for hands.

Smaller glimpses of big musicals will be available this spring. Barnum (April 14-15) is doing flips at ShowTunes! Theatre Company; Edmonds Driftwood Players is showcasing Broads of Broadway (April 24-25), an homage to some of the women powerhouse singers on Broadway, along with a longer production of Oklahoma! (April 13-May 6); and Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt's beloved The Fantasticks (April 27-May 12) comes to the Redwood Theatre.

Mid-size theater productions include ArtsWest's presentation of On the Verge (April 11-May 5), a hilarious journey of three Victorian women through time and space; You Can't Take It With You (April 27-May 20), the classic American comedy at ReAct; and Moliere's Tartuffe (through April 21), as Ghost Light Theatricals turns to an 18th century classic to comment on 21st century personal aggrandizement.

Book-It Repertory Theatre presents the world premiere of an adaptation of Rhoda: A Life in Stories (April 17-May 12) by Rachel Atkins. Rhoda, starting as a 14-year-old, is a character in a series of stories by Ellen Gilchrist, whose Southern flavor has been compared to Carson McCullers.

You'll need to travel to State Theater in Olympia to see Pirandello's Enrico IV (April 26-May 19) as Harlequin Productions continues its season with a play about a man who thinks he's Henry IV of Germany and maybe he really is. If delving into mental health is fun for you, another opportunity will be Internal Monologue: A One Person Revival in Four Parts, Emerald City Scene's collaborative vision of four women inside one man's mind (April 6, 7, 13, 14).

Children (especially girls) will be thrilled to meet a living doll. In Addy: An American Girl Story (April 13-June 17) at the Seattle Children's Theatre. Cheryl West creates the story of a brave young slave girl who escapes with her mother to freedom, only to face new, unexpected challenges and the struggle to bring the rest of the family together.

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