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Seattle Spotlight: May 2008

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Andrew Weems stars in Namaste Man
World premieres abound this month! Intiman's Namaste Man (Lost and Found in Kathmandu), written and performed by Andrew Weems (May 30-June 22), is an autobiographical play that draws upon Weems' unconventional childhood in Africa and Asia. Annex Theatre presents S2 by Seattleite Edward Mast, about a teen hustler getting in way over his head. The 10,000 Things (WET, May 23-June 16) is a new play by Seattleite Paul Mullin that weaves together science, futurism, philosophy, and politics. Eclectic Theatre Company gets The Shaft (May 9-24), as Daniel gets stuck in an elevator with John in this new work by Jonathan Shock.

If you like a good tuner, you've got lots to choose from this month. Bouncing into town is the national tour of Disney's High School Musical (May 20-25) at the Paramount. You can Sail Away with Showtunes! Theater Company (May 3-4), Noël Coward's cruise ship romantic comedy. Seattle Musical Theatre draws Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun (May 9-25). Centerstage Theatre introduces its scaled down version of My Fair Lady (May 9-June 1). Northwest Savoyards drags The Music Man by Meredith Willson (May 30-June 15) out of the library. Not least, is an opulent Aida at Village Theatre (May 14-July 27), Elton John and Tim Rice's contemporary opera, with pharaohs, princesses, and forbidden love. Also, Spokesong (May 16-June 8) sings and speaks at Seattle Public Theater, while bicycling through a bit of Irish history.

The U.S. premiere at Balagan of Take Me With You, written and performed by Godfrey Hamilton (May 22-June 1), includes a male/male love story and the chaos of American life in Los Angeles. 2004 Tony winner for Best Play of the Year, I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright (Artswest, May 14-June 7) gives a star turn to Nick DeSantis, as a real-life transsexual who died in 2002, after enduring Nazis, communism and East German repression -- or did she?

Taproot journeys Over the River and Through the Woods (May 14-June 14) with an Italian-American family sticking together in good times and bad. Lisa Kron's Well (ReAct, May 2-June1) is a touching play about recovering from illness in which Lisa's mother keeps interrupting, offering snacks to the audience and interjecting her own versions of Lisa's story. Pork Filled Players are on the rise with Living Dead in Denmark (May 1-24), the hit of the 2007 National Asian American Theatre Festival.

Local peace activist/filmmaker Andrew Himes brings his monologue performance Revival! to CHAC (May 3-24). Himes, growing up in the segregated South, was a witness to the hatred and violence in the struggle for racial justice. Nebunele Theatre reprises Medea Knows Best (CHAC, May 8-25) back from a successful presentation in San Francisco. Completely unfaithful to Euripides' classic tragedy, Medea peers through the lens of a 50's television show with DooWop chorus. Outsider's Inn Collective updates another classic story with Phaedra by Matthew Maguire (May 8-17).

Neil Simon's London Suite complicates life at Bellevue Civic Theater (May 2-10). Other Places, a collection of three plays by Harold Pinter (May 8-May 31) is revealed by The Community Theatre as Victoria Station, Family Voices, and A Kind of Alaska probe how truth and reality is fragile at best.

Outside the Box, Stone Soup's 2nd Annual Playwrights' Festival (May 22-June1) delivers ten northwest playwrights wrestling with characters that live outside traditional mores. Six more new plays debut at Quickies Volume 9, a play festival of women writers at Live Girls Theater (May 2-24).

For the kids, SecondStory Rep conjures Aladdin and the Magic Lamp (May 2-18), Alice in Wonderland finds her way to Tacoma Musical Playhouse (May 17-25), and witches are routed by The Wizard of Oz at Studio East (May 30-June 22).

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