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Seattle Spotlight: August 2009

A Magical August logo
Judith Roberts
A memoir, an homage to opera, a search for intelligence, and a monologue comparing a South Sea island to the island of Manhattan are some of the diverse offerings this month.

Broadway veteran Judith Roberts stars in Intiman Theatre's The Year of Magical Thinking (August 21-September 20), based on Joan Didion's award-winning memoir about the death of her husband, and in the same year, her daughter. ACT Theatre revives the 1992 Seattle Opera commissioned Das Barbecü, featuring book and lyrics by Jim Luigs, and music composed by local musical maven Scott Warrender (August 1-September 6). Relocated to Texas and ramped up to breakneck speed, the show tells the story of Wagner's Ring Cycle in 90 minutes.

The Last Cargo Cult is a new monologue by nationally acclaimed monologist Mike Daisey (August 7- 22), as he tells the true-life story of his time on a remote South Pacific island whose inhabitants worship America at the base of a constantly erupting volcano, and compares that island with the island of Manhattan. Balagan's Terri Weagant is in The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, by Jane Wagner (August 8-29), as Trudy the bag lady tries to explain modern American material society to an alien committee.

Theatre Machine cleans up with The Maids by Jean Genet (August 6-22), inspired by the true story of sisters Lea and Christine Papin who brutally murdered their employer and her daughter in Le Mans, France in 1933. It's swinging at SecondStory Repertory as they present Last of the Red Hot Lovers by Neil Simon (August 28-September 19). Mating Dance of the Werewolf by Mark Stein mystifies and horrifies at Harlequin Productions (August 20-September 12).

Pony World Productions, a new company renting Annex Theatre debuts with Emerald and the Love Song of the Dead Fishermen by Brendan Healy (August 6-August 29), in which a corporate barista sets off to find her dead father on a mythic island. Jesse Putnam's The Masters (August 6-30), at Odd Duck Studio, focuses on a reclusive ex-advertising pro recruited by a team of deceased masters (led by Vassily Kandinsky) to be "the one" who will move their "monumental art" forward.

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