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Seattle Spotlight: February 2007

The Buddy System logo
Billy Joe Huels
in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story
(© Rozarii Lynch)
Sometimes, you have to turn lemons into lemonade, as the saying goes. When 5th Avenue Theatre had to find a quick replacement for the now-postponed world premiere of Cry-Baby, they decided to mount the northwest premiere of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, (5th Avenue Theatre, February 13 - March 4). What's doubly exciting is that the show's cast is made up entirely from Seattle locals, notably the Dusty 45s' front man, Billy Joe Huels.

ArtsWest will present a very different sort of musical, Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story (February 28-March 24), about the infamous thrill killers. Stephen Dolginoff, who wrote the book, lyrics and music, performs as one of the two murdering miscreants, while his partner in crime is played by John W. Bartley, last seen in Tick, Tick...BOOM! Elsewhere on the musical front, Fire on the Mountain, a musical celebrating Appalachian coal miners, comes to the Seattle Repertory Theatre (February 22-March 24).

Thought-provoking productions this month include Tanya Barfield's critically acclaimed Blue Door, at Seattle Repertory Theatre (through March 4), which showcases Reg E. Cathey as a sleepless professor who inadvertently conjures four generations of ancestors (all played by Hubert Point-Du Jour) who tell stories of slavery, Black Power, and black identity. Theatre Off Jackson's presents We Are Not These Hands (February 8-March 3), a tale of street-wise teenagers grasping for a world they have only seen on computer screens, while Sexual Practices of the Japanese (OTB Mainstage, February 22-24) challenges racial stereotypes.

Told through reverse chronology, The Equation, (Balagan Theatre, through February 17) reveals a couple who attempt to adopt a Russian infant whose mother is still in the picture. Crumbs Are Also Bread (Washington Ensemble Theatre, February 16-March 12) delves into small town secrets slowly uncovered. Dust of Providence (The Experimental Theatre Project, February 23-March 10) picks up 14 years after the Salem Witch Trials. A Clockwork Orange Remixed, at the Open Circle Theater (February 2-24), remixes the classic movie as music remixers modernize classic music, while Piece of You (Live Girls Theater, February 9-24), retells a night James Dean and Barbara Hutton spent together. Tacoma Actors Guild presents David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize winner Proof (February 15-March 4), while Bainbridge Performing Arts presents Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig (February 2-18).

Frivolous fun abounds for The Odd Couple at Renton Civic Theatre (February 9-25). Edmonds Driftwood Players gives us two shows: Deathtrap (February 9-25), the perennially funny murder mystery; and Traffic Stop (February 18-26), Jeff Stilwell's premiere about a woman, a speeding car, and a small town cop. And Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor (SecondStory Repertory, February 16-March 10), about a group of television comedy writers, will have you laughing in your seat.

For those who like theater in tiny bites, On the Board's oldest program, 12 Minutes Max, is a showcase for artists, each of whom are given 12 minutes to try out new material and works-in-progress (February 18-19). You can catch up on Suzan-Lori Parks' ambitious 365 Days/365 Plays with the next marathon covering Weeks 9-12, February 5, at The Seattle Repertory Theatre. The fifth annual Seattle Festival of Improvisational Theater (February 15-18) imports improvisational artists from around the world to Seattle to perform and teach.

Finally, little ones can cavort with elves at Seattle Children's Theatre's Afternoon of the Elves (February 9-March 25).

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