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Seattle Spotlight: August 2008

What the Shrek logo
Christopher Sieber, Chester Gregory II, Sutton Foster,
Brian d'Arcy James, Kecia Lewis-Evans, and
John Tartaglia star in Shrek the Musical
(© Joan Marcus)
Excitement builds this month, as Seattle waits for the secrets of Shrek The Musical (5th Avenue Theatre, August 14-September 21) to be revealed. Based on the popular animated film, the Broadway-bound production from DreamWorks Theatricals features book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), music by Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change), and direction by Jason Moore (Avenue Q). Brian d'Arcy James stars in the title role, with the cast also including Chester Gregory II as Donkey, John Tartaglia as Pinnochio, Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad, and Kecia Lewis-Evans as The Dragon.

A Chorus Line (August 5-10) gets exposed at the Paramount, as would be Broadway dance stars audition. The national tour stars Michael Gruber (last seen as "Bob" in 5th Avenue's White Christmas) in the pivotal role, Zach. Twelfth Night Productions gets the rhythm with Gershwin's Crazy For You (August 7-17), a high energy tuner about a well-to-do playboy whose dream in life is to dance.

Intiman goes Hollywood with the 2007 hit comedy, The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane (August 15-September 13), when an agent knows her star client's secret love for a boy. Four local actors star: Neal Bledsoe as Mitchell, the closeted movie star; Quinlan Corbett as Alex, the "rent-boy" who loves Mitchell; Megan Hill as Ellen, Alex's girlfriend, who has secrets of her own; and Christa Scott-Reed as Diane, Mitchell's ambitious agent.

Intimate Exchanges (August 15-September 14) will be glimpsed between Seattle favorites Marianne Owen and R. Hamilton Wright at ACT Theatre, directed by Kurt Beattie. Alan Ayckbourn's social comedy, about a wife of a prep-school headmaster who chooses to change her life, will be shown with four different endings on different performance nights.

Next Stage presents The Nexus Project: 10 Minute Play Festival (August 16-September 7), featuring 10 minute plays inspired by and supporting local charities and written by local playwrights Scot Augustson, Lenore Bensinger, Joy McCullough-Caranza, Mike Daisey, Ki Gottberg, Elizabeth Heffron, Marya Sea Kaminiski, Mark Kension, John Longenbaugh, Paul Mullin, S.P. Miskowski, and Stephanie Timm.

Psychiatry gets a comedic going over in Psychopathia Sexualis by John Patrick Shanley (August 21-September 13) at Harlequin Productions. A young artist, engaged to a Texas cowgirl, has his precious socks stolen by his psychiatrist. Balagan Theatre brings back the 80s with Howard Korder's comedic drama, Search and Destroy (August 21-September 13), about a man's quest to turn a self-help book into a movie, starring busy local actor, Gabriel Franken.

The K of D, An Urban Legend (through August 9), by Laura Schellhardt, received ACT Theatre's 2006 New Play Award and is being produced and performed by Renata Friedman, under the direction of Seattle Rep Literary Manager Braden Abraham. Friedman becomes 16 characters in a play about Ohio teens in a hot, sticky summer, who notice strange happenings around town. Young Americans' Theater Company will produce Women and Wallace by Jonathan Marc Sherman (August 7-17), the darkly funny story of a boy learning to cope with his mother's suicide and his relationship with women.


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