It may seem that all Seattle’s a stage as the performing arts community presents its absoutely overflowing calendar for the 2007-08 season. And diversity is the word.
There’s great literature becoming great theater. There are new musicals to see. Hot-ticket Broadway shows coming to town. Funny men to laugh with and serious topics to learn about. And yes, for those who must have their classics, there’s Shakespeare, Moliere and Oscar Wilde.
Find your favorite theater. Your favorite show. Your favorite topic. Dive in:
ACT Theatre continues to wrap up its 2007 season with a story about the loss of a son because of mistaken identity and a comedy about marriage. ACT’s 2008 season begins in the spring.
ACT’s shows are performed at Allen Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle, unless otherwise listed. Ticket information: 206-292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org.
“The Mojo and the Sayso”: Aug. 31-Sept. 30. Aishah Rahman’s story of a black family’s strength and faith are tested as they search for a talisman powerful enough to guide them through their grief and isolation after their younger son is shot down in a case of mistaken identity.
“Andrea Sings Astaire”: Sept. 21-Oct. 7, at the Bullitt Cabaret, 700 Union St., Seattle. ACT goes intimate with cabaret star Andrea Marcovicci, who pays homage to the vocal legacy of Fred Astaire, Hollywood’s dancing man.
“The Women”: Oct. 5-Nov. 11. Clare Boothe Luce’s super-stylish 1930s comedy about marriage, gossip, divorce and friendship among a group of back-stabbing ladies who lunch.
Book-It Repertory Theatre
Book-It Repertory Theatre dedicates itself exclusively to performing literature. The theater’s new season includes two modern-day best-sellers by Northwest authors, “Snow Falling on Cedars” and “The Highest Tide,” and two timeless classics, “Peter Pan” and “Persuasion.”
All shows will be presented at the Center House Theatre, 305 Harrison St., Seattle. Information: 206-216-0833, www.book-it.org .
“Snow Falling on Cedars”: Sept. 18-Oct. 14. David Guterson sets this gripping tale in the San Juan Islands in 1954 where an American-Japanese fisherman is accused of murder.
“Peter Pan”: Nov. 27-Dec. 23. Using J.M. Barrie’s prose, Book-It presents a fresh version of this classic about the boy who doesn’t want to grow up. His hot-tempered pixie pal, Tinker Bell, and the Darling children travel to Neverland where they explore new galaxies, lush jungles, and oceans with fearsome pirates and fearless fairies and where childhood lasts forever.
“Persuasion”: Feb. 5-March 2. In her final novel, Jane Austen wraps romance around a battle that pits desire against convention, cutting to the heart of the social and gender issues of early 19th century England. It’s been eight years since Anne Elliot rejected her naval officer fiance, after being convinced he was not worthy by her family. But she still struggles with her rekindled and unwavering devotion.
“The Highest Tide”: April 15-May 10. Miles O’Malley is a 13-year-old challenged by his short stature and his lust for the girl next door, but always turns to life among the waters of Puget Sound for comfort. The Nisqually Earthquake is about to shake up his home town of Olympia, and his world. Author Jim Lynch brings this story about the sea of change that adolescence brings.
Civic Light Opera
Civic Light Opera has been around long enough to present its 30th season this year. But something new is its name: Seattle Musical Theatre presented by Civic Light Opera. Still, the product is the same: lots of quality classical musicals all season long.
Civic Light Opera is at 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, and most performances are at the Magnuson Community Center, 7110 62nd Ave. NE, Seattle. Box office information: 206-363-2809, www.seattlemusicaltheatre.org.
“Fiddler on the Roof”: Sept. 14-30. Tradition lives on in Anatevka, where poor dairyman Tevye instills the importance of tradition into his five daughters, despite changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of czarist Russia. The celebrated score includes “Sunrise, Sunset,” “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Matchmaker.”
“Seussical: the Musical”: Nov. 16-Dec. 2. Subtle themes are backed up by a musical alphabet soup of styles including jazz, Latin, funk and gospel as Horton the elephant tries to make others believe that a person’s a person, no matter how small while trying to save the people of Whoville.
“The Fantastiks”: March 14-30. It’s difficult to “Try to Remember” a time when “The Fantastiks” wasn’t playing. And now the longest-running musical in the world can be heard locally as audiences swoon while watching this timeless fable of lovers who become disillusioned, only to rekindle a more meaningful love.
“Annie Get Your Gun”: May 9-25. Sharpshooter Annie Oakley meets up with Frank Butler as the two battle for bull’s-eyes and gender superiority in this Wild West love story with ageless tunes such as “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Doin’ What Comes Naturally.”
Ghost Light Theatricals
This small, nonprofit theater company has a goal of doing ensemble-based work that is accessible yet challenging to artists and audiences, whether the production is a classic or contemporary piece.
Ghost Light’s new Web site has yet to be unveiled, so their new season wasn’t posted. The Web site did indicate a November performance of Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz &Guildenstern Are Dead.” Keep checking the Web at www.ghostlighttheatricals.org for updates.
The 5th Avenue
The 5th Avenue decided to stuff its 2007-08 season with six musicals packed with great stories and superb scores, two of which were written by the masters of modern musical theater.
The 5th Avenue Theatre is at 1308 Fifth Ave., Seattle. Box office: 206-625-1900, 888.5TH.4TIX, www.5thavenue.org.
“Lone Star Love”: Sept. 8-30. Oh, what a cowboy won’t do in this new musical that sets Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in post-Civil War Texas. That’s right. There’s Falstaff, who has his wandering eyes on two wealthy wives, and cattle ranchers, wiley women and dirt-kickin’ dances.
“Into the Woods”: Oct. 19-Nov. 10. From Stephen Sondheim comes this fairy tale that leaves you, well, excited and scared. Excited by a score of songs that include “I Know Things Now,” and “Giants in the Sky,” and a little bit scared as the Baker and his Wife journey into the woods to lift a witch’s curse. Along the way, they encounter Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Jack, of the beanstalk. Do they all live happily ever after?
“Whistle Down The Wind”: Nov. 13-Dec. 2. From one master to another, this Andrew Lloyd Weber production tells the tale of a young Louisiana girl who hides a mysterious stranger from the town which is determined to capture an escaped felon. The score captures the sounds of the South blues, gospel, country and down-home rock ‘n’ roll.
“Jersey Boys”: Dec. 5-Jan. 12. What else do you need to know but the music includes these hits: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh, What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” That’s the backdrop to this blue-collar success story about four boys, The Four Seasons, who wrote their own songs, sold 175 million records and became one of the greatest sounds in pop music. It’ll be hard to sit still during this one.
“Mame”: Feb. 9-March 2. Auntie Mame is a madcap Manhattan socialite who finds her style slightly cramped when she becomes guardian of her orphaned nephew.
“Cabaret”: March 25-April 13. The worlds of decadent Berlin in the 1930s and the Third Reich collide in this masterpiece of musicals set inside the steamy Kit Kat Klub with a cast of characters including an English nightclub singer, an American writer, a German landlady and a Jewish shopkeeper.
Intiman Theatre continues its 35th anniversary season this fall with the American Cycle production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Most performances are at the Intiman Theatre at 201 Mercer St., Seattle. Information: 206-269-1900, www.intiman.org.
“To Kill a Mockingbird”: Sept. 14-Oct. 28. Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story reveals the themes of innocence and family while following Atticus Finch, a lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in 1930s Alabama. The story is told through the eyes of Finch’s young daughter, Scout.
“Black Nativity”: Nov. 28-Dec. 28. This will be the 10th anniversary holiday production of this Langston Hughes’ expression of faith through song and dance. The production features gospel performances by the Total Experience Gospel Choir and the Black Nativity Choir, modern and traditional choreography performed by an ensemble of dancers, and an on-stage band.
Mirror Stage Company
Mirror Stage’s Feed Your Mind season of staged readings highlights new voices and topical issues. To keep its reputation of theater that “gets people talking,” Feed Your Mind hosts a discussion with the artists and the audience following performances to further explore current issues. Shows are either at the Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle, or the Rendezvous JewelBox Theatre and Grotto, 2232 Second Ave., Seattle. Information: 206-686-2792, www.mirrorstage.org.
“Spare Change”: Sept. 14-16. Author Mia McCullough asks this question: Can one person really help another? In this case, it’s an upwardly mobile husband who decides to rescue a homeless mother, who may or may not want rescuing, while the man’s newly pregnant wife tries to understand why.
“365 Plays/365 Days Week No. 49”: Oct. 15-21. In November 2002, Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks wrote a play a day for 365 days.
“Cradle of Man”: Nov. 17-19. The drama of what makes us humans and humane unfolds when two American couples meet near Olduvai Gorge, the birthplace of mankind.
“Leaf”: Jan. 12-14. A forensic pathologist partners with a local reporter to determine the cause of a friend’s death only to discover how we depend on the human memory to give us immortality.
“Last Train to Hicksville”: Feb. 9-11. Just because a veteran comes home doesn’t mean the war is over.
“The Tashnuba Project:” April 12-14. In June 2005, a Muslim was deported from Queens, New York on the suspicion she was a potential suicide bomber. This work explores the ramifications of the Patriot Act on civil rights and the implications for immigrants and non-immigrants in the United States today.
Seattle Arts &Lectures
This lecture series features original talks by six writers. All lectures take place at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. Information: 206-621- 2230, www.lectures.org.
Orhan Pamuk: Oct. 15. Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk won the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. In his novel, “The White Castle,” Pamuk delineates the cultural and religious borders between East and West, Muslim and Christian.
Diane Ackerman: Nov. 19. Ackerman is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of the nonfiction bestsellers “A Natural History of the Senses” and “An Alchemy of Mind.” She brings poetry to science and science to poetry.
Colson Whitehead: Jan. 14. Whitehead’s most recent work is “The Colossus of New York: A City in 13 Parts,” vignettes of the city’s inner and outer landscapes.
Mary Oliver: Feb. 4. Oliver’s poetry is known for imagery that brings nature into clear focus and transforms our everyday world into a place of magic. She’s the author of dozens of volumes, among them “Thirst,” “Blue Iris and “Why I Wake Early,” is a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Lannan Foundation Literary Award winner.
Richard Powers: March 5. Powers won the 2006 National Book Award for the neuro-cosmological adventure “The Echo Maker.” “Plowing the Dark” is based on virtual reality environments and set in Seattle.
John Banville: April 29. Banville, from Ireland, wrote “The Sea” which was awarded the U.K.’s Man Booker Prize in 2005. From 1986 through 1999, Banville worked as a journalist. Banville also writes crime novels under the pseudonym Benjamin Black.
Seattle Children’s Theatre
Seattle Children’s Theatre performs in the Charlotte Martin and Eve Alvord theaters, both at 201 Thomas St., Seattle. Ticket information: 206-441-3322, www.sct.org.
The season lineup is:
“Disney’s High School Musical”: Sept. 14-Nov. 24. Ages 8+/Grades 3+. Everyone should be able to soar to their own potential. That’s the theme in this music-packed story about high school’s social strata, with Troy and Gabriella, who never thought they could feel this way about each other, or about singing. Troy’s a jock and Gabriella’s a brain. But the two decide to take a chance, break free, and try out for the school musical. The school’s reigning musical diva, Sharpay, has other plans.
“The Big Friendly Giant”: Oct. 19-Dec. 30, Ages 4+/Grades PreK+. Children’s writer Roald Dahl brought us “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and this giant classic based on an unlikely friendship between Sophie and a lovable giant who eats “snozzcumbers,” not little girls.
“The Neverending Story”: Dec. 7-Jan. 27, Ages 8+/Grades 3+. The young boy Bastian escapes reality in the pages of his amazing book about a place called Fantastica that is in grave danger because The Nothing engulfs everything in its path. But a boy in the story who is Bastian’s age becomes the unlikely hero as he travels through the Swamp of Sadness, the cave of a giant spider, and the maze of the Southern Oracle. The boy even bests the werewolf who is bent on the destruction of imagination itself. But for the boy and Bastian, imagination lives on.
“Hamlet”: Jan. 25-Feb. 24, Ages 11+/Grades 6+. Youngsters can find themselves relating to the young Prince Hamlet and his passion and sense of family. Skakespeare’s Hamlet has returned to Denmark to find his father the king murdered, by his Uncle Claudius, who has now regained the crown and married Hamlet’s mother. Hamlet goes mad, or does he?
“The Hundred Dresses”: Feb. 22-April 6, Ages 8+/Grades 3+. The lesson of dealing with bullies is shown through the story of Polish immigrant Wanda Petronski, who just wants to fit into small-town America in the 1930s. But Wanda is teased by a school bully and Maddie doesn’t stop it. The Petronskis move to get away from the town’s prejudices, and Maddie is wracked with guilt. She gets another chance, though, to not let her fear get the best of her, and makes an unlikely friend in the bargain.
“According to Coyote”: March 14-May 4, Ages 6+/Grades 1+. Coyote takes audiences on a haunting and funny journey through American Indian lore. He’s the trickster of the animal kingdom and plays tricks on the rocks, dances with the stars, and creates the tribes.
“Busytown”: April 25-June 15, Ages 4+/Grades PreK+. Go ahead and ask your child: Wouldn’t it be great to visit Busytown and see Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm in action? And here’s your chance. With some elegant puppetry, this Richard Scarry classic will come to life with Huckle Cat as tour guide.
Seattle Public Theatre
The new season for Seattle Public Theatre brings us lots of S-rated material: The Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris), Strawberry, as in baseball player Darryl Strawberry, and satire. OK. There’s also another “S”: songs. Seattle Public Theatre is based in The Bathhouse, a historic brick building on the northwest shore of Green Lake at 7312 W. Greenlake Drive N. Box office: 206-524-1300, www.seattlepublictheater.org.
“Halcyon Days”: Sept. 27-Oct. 21. This satire has biting comedy and skewering politics as it tracks the fallout after the United States invaded the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada and spun the event into a warped and manipulated version of truth.
“The Santaland Diaries”: Nov.29-Dec. 24. Sardonic Sedaris uses all his writing talents to share this special Christmas gift of his experience working as a Macy’s elf during the store’s busiest holiday. For mature elves only.
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”: Dec. 6-24. This is the kind of happy-ending tale one wants to see during Christmas.
“Three Days of Rain”: Jan. 31-Feb. 24. Richard Greenberg uses sharp and witty language in this production for three actors, who play characters in the present day as well as their parents three decades before during three days of rain that changed everyone’s lives forever.
“The Sweetest Swing in Baseball”: March 20-April 13. This new play focuses on artist Dana Fielding, who tries to commit suicide after an extremely disappointing gallery show. She winds up in a mental ward but her insurance only covers so much. She hatches a plan with her fellow inmates to take up the personality of Darryl Strawberry, who was said to have the sweetest swing in baseball but who also struggled with rejection from fans.
“Spokesong”: May 15-June 8. Set in and around a bicycle shop in Belfast, this comedy concerns shop operator Frank, who dreams of peace in Northern Ireland through the superior transportation of a bike. This is part romance, part musical and part spirited social history.
Seattle Repertory Theatre
The Seattle Repertory Theatre kicks off its fall calendar with Shakespeare, then continues with offerings from Moliere, Greek mythology and John Denver to present a stunningly diverse 2007-08 season.
The Seattle Rep is home to three stages: the Bagley Wright Theatre, the Leo K Theatre and the PONCHO Forum at 155 Mercer St., Seattle. Information: 206-443-2210, www.seattlerep.org.
“Twelfe Night, or What You Will”: Sept. 13-Oct. 20. A haunting comedy by Shakespeare in which we see the inhabitants of Illyria set awhirl by the absurdities of love.
“Murderers”: Oct. 4-Nov. 4. It’s an unlikely location for a band of murderers: the Riddle Key Retirement Community in Florida, but such is the setting for this twisted tale about Gerald, Lucy and Minka and their reasons for committing such a crime.
“The Cook”: Nov. 1-Dec. 1. Gladys is a young cook and a woman of great spirit who makes a solemn vow to her mistress who flees in the night that she will protect the beautiful house she has worked in all her adult life as the Cuban Revolution is unleashed around her.
“Birdie Blue”: Nov. 15-Dec. 16. Birdie Blue takes us inside her life, past and present, as it parallels the history of contemporary African-American life, from the fields of Mississippi to the streets of Chicago.
“The Breach”: Jan. 10-Feb. 9. This play taps conspiracy theories, loss and nascent hope as it weaves together the unique and separate lives of three Katrina survivors.
“By the Waters of Babylon”: Jan. 31-March 2. This is a love story about the reclusive and beautiful Catherine and Arturo, the gardener, who has come to rescue her neglected garden.
“The Imaginary Invalid”: Feb. 21-March 22. Moliere is at his best here, telling the hilarious satire of a hypochondriac who wants his daughter to marry a doctor but who gets a dose of love triangles, double entendres and mistaken identities.
“How? How? Why? Why? Why?”: March 13-April 19. Kevin Kling, a regular contributor to NPR, uses his skill for storytelling to examine his life after a debilitating motorcycle accident.
“The Cure at Troy”: April 3-May 3. This is a classic Greek adventure involving archer Philoctetes who sets off for Troy but receives a wound in his heel that will not heal and he’s left to die a slow death by exposure … but does he?
“Back Home Again”: Dec. 5-24. This holiday concert special features the music of John Denver as played by Dan Wheetman, who was a member of Denver’s band for seven years, and Randal Mylar. The concert features modern and traditional Christmas carols as well as Denver’s most memorable hits.
Seattle Shakespeare Company
Seattle Shakespeare Company is serving up its usual meal of fine classics from the Bard but is throwing in a little Moliere and a new work this season for some spice.
Seattle Shakespeare Company is at 305 Harrison St., Seattle. Box office: 206-733-8222, www.seattleshakespeare.org.
“Pericles”: Oct. 24-Nov. 18. This is indeed an epic journey that involves a murder plot, a narrow escape, a frightening sea voyage, a shipwreck, exotic lands and a competition for the hand of a princess … and that’s just the first half.
“Chamber Julius Caesar”: Jan. 2-27. Two political factions vie for the attention of the citizenry which spins out of control and into a war.
“Swansong”: Jan. 7-23. This new comedy by Patrick Page tells about the friendship between Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare. The Bard of Avon has been dead for seven years and the public has all but forgotten him. Jonson wrestles with feelings of guilt, envy, and fear that history will forget his own work as he attempts to compose a poem for the first folio of his friend’s great plays.
“The Miser”: March 12-April 6. Moliere’s story is about cheapskate Monsieur Harpagon who would rather marry off both his children than part with a cent.
“All’s Well That Ends Well”: June 4-29. This is a tribute to feminine strength as well as a love story about Helena, a poor physician’s daughter who is pursuing Bertram with faith that her heart can beat all the odds.
Seattle Theatre Group
The 2007-08 season for the Seattle Theatre Group is a diverse tapestry of performing arts that includes Tony Bennett, “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and comedian Jim Gaffigan. The season begins Sept. 10.
Seattle Theatre Group operates the historic Paramount and Moore theaters. The Paramount is at 911 Pine St., Seattle, and The Moore is at 1932 Second Ave., Seattle. Information: 206-467-5510.
“Silent Movie Mondays: Charlie Chaplin Triple Play”: Sept. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, The Paramount. Chaplin is considered the pioneer of the silent film era. On each Monday he’ll appear in three of his classic movies starting with “The Floorwalker,” “The Fireman” and “The Vagabond” on Sept. 10. With Dennis James on the mighty Wurlitzer organ.
“An Evening with Tony Bennett”: Sept. 14, The Paramount. The legendary singer has more than 50 million records sold worldwide, more than 100 recordings to his credit and 13 Grammy Awards.
“Martha Graham Dance Company”: Sept. 29, The Moore. This performance is part of the dance company’s 80th anniversary season and it promises to be a seminal collection of Graham’s dance masterworks.
“Ed McMahon: Memories of the Tonight Show”: Sept. 29, The Paramount. McMahon reveals his experiences on American’s famous late-night talk show, complete with video clips of highlights and bloopers.
Jethro Tull: Sept. 30, The Paramount. This night of progressive rock is accentuated by the distinctive vocal style and lead flute work of front man Ian Anderson and rock guitarist Martin Barre.
Shaolin Warriors: Sept. 30, The Moore. In this choreographed production, the warriors bring skill and the stunning movements of Kung Fu.
Spectrum Dance Theatre with Special Guests Koresh Dance Company: Oct. 5-6, The Moore. American Stories by Donald Byrd, with the Koresh Dance Company of Philadelphia performing “Living in East Podunk.” Byrd’s “protest dance/theater,” will be performed with music by Tin Hat.
“An Evening with the Legend George Jones”: Oct. 7, The Paramount. Country music artist and Grammy-Award winner Jones is known for his distinctive voice that evokes emotions of lost love, grief and hardship.
“Monty Python’s Spamalot”: Oct. 10-28, The Paramount. Based on “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” this show features dancing divas, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and one legless knight.
Daniel Bernard Roumain: Oct. 12, The Moore. Musician and composer, Roumain and his band, The Mission, present a work written for violin, piano, electronics and video.
“An Evening with Harry Shearer”: Oct. 19, The Moore. Shearer is known for his work on “The Simpsons,” and “Saturday Night Live,” and he comes to Seattle with his satirical thoughts on politics, the media and pop culture.
Seattle Symphony: Oct. 15, The Moore. The symphony performs a historic program of works in celebration of The Moore Theatre’s Centennial Series.
“Justin Roberts and Not Ready for Naptime Players”: Oct. 27, The Moore. A rising star in children’s music, Roberts has made a name for himself as a performer and composer of alternative kids music.
“The Tiger Lilies The Misery Guts Tour”: Oct. 27, The Moore. Be transported back in time to Berlin’s cabarets of the 1920s.
Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company: Nov.2-3, The Moore. This engagement features “One Shot,” a new work by modern dance choreographer Ronald K. Brown.
Jim Gaffigan: Nov.3-4, The Paramount. Considered one of the popular touring comedians today, Gaffigan returns to Seattle with new material.
Oak Ridge Boys’ “Christmas Cookies Tour”: Dec. 4, The Moore. The boys bring on their classic hits like “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” and “Thank God for Kids.”
KZOK Bob Rivers Show, “Twisted Christmas Party”: Dec. 13, The Paramount. This is a non-traditional, multigenerational lineup of talent that has it all: rock, contemporary comedy, magicians and a question and answer session with the Bob Rivers Show.
Broadway Bound, “Singin’ in the Rain”: Jan. 18-19, The Moore. Broadway Bound Children’s Theatre is bringing this classic based on the 1952 film with Gene Kelly and with the same high energy, music and dancing. It’s family friendly for ages 5 and up.
“Riverdance”: Jan. 29-Feb. 3, The Paramount. This celebration of Irish music and dance provides a family evening of sight and sound.
Buck Howdy: Feb. 2, The Moore. Everything Buck and his cowgirl sidekick BB do is sweet as spare-rib sauce, whether it’s leading a “Hokey Pokey” or singing one of his own tunes.
“Hot Java, Cool Jazz”: Feb. 8, The Paramount. Here’s the best and the brightest jazz performers from area high schools.
David Crowe’s “Laugh Lovers Ball”: Feb. 14, The Paramount. If you’re looking for a new way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, then spend a funny, romantic evening with several local and national comics for what’s being billed as an “evening of sophisticated silliness.”
The Kingston Trio: Feb. 22, The Moore. These guys from California set the stage for the folk music revival and their three-part harmony and crisp sound made them one of the top groups in the country.
“Club Cruz Control”: Feb. 15, The Moore. Seattle-based choreographer Daniel Cruz shows off his innovative hip-hop style that blends jazz, African and modern.
“A Year with Frog and Toad”: March 14-15, The Moore. This musical follows two great friends, the cheerful Frog and the grumpy Toad, as they learn life lessons such as the importance of friendship.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: March 28-30, The Paramount. As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, this company that promotes the African American cultural experience will perform works from its classic repertory, including the signature piece “Revelations.”
Arlo Guthrie, “Together at Last”: April 5, The Paramount. This folksinger with a social consciousness will sing his political messages with humor.
Luis Bravo’s “Forever Tango”: April 11-13, The Moore. This dance spectacular traces the history of tango through music, dance and dramatic vignettes.
Marjane Satrapi: April 14, The Moore. Best known for her graphic novel “Persepolis,” Iranian-born Satrapi brings her cultural insight and humor to Seattle.
Dave Brubeck and Ramsey Lewis: April 25, The Paramount. West Coast Cool-man Brubeck who took jazz into the jet-set shares the stage with jazz pianist Lewis.
Dan Zanes and Friends: April 26, The Moore. It’s one big music party for kids when Dan Zanes and Friends show up to share a unique set of Broadway standards, West Indian folk music, fiddle tunes, rock and roll and soulful originals.
The Capitol Steps: April 26, The Paramount. Priding themselves on putting the “mock” in Democracy, this group of former Senate staffers strive to satirize the people and places that employed them.
“More Music @ The Moore[“”]: May 9. This is the seventh annual performance that features exceptional local teens who represent a diverse genre of music.
Mark Morris Dance Group: May 16-18, The Paramount. This celebrates the debut of Mark Morris’ “L’Allegro,” which includes Handel’s pastoral ode set to the poetry of John Milton. Music director and conductor Gerard Schwarz will lead the Seattle Symphony through this work.
“Silent Movie Mondays”: June 2, 9, 16, 23, The Paramount. Silent Movie Mondays continues with a Douglas Fairbanks festival.
“Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”: June 26, The Paramount. Test your knowledge by playing along at a live taping of National Public Radio’s news quiz, with host Peter Sagal and official judge and scorekeeper Carl Kasell.
“Dance This”: July 19, The Paramount. The 10th annual show takes the audience on a geographic world tour of diverse dance styles, traditional and contemporary.
Taproot closes out its 31st season on the Wilde side with a little Oscar Wilde and then a November presentation of “A Christmas Carol.” Information: 206-781-9707, www.taproottheatre.org. Taproot Theatre is at 204 N. 85th St., Seattle.
“The Importance of Being Earnest”: Sept. 26-Oct. 27. This Oscar Wilde escapade of romance and mistaken identities follows two couples who are challenged to be earnest, or is it Ernest?
“A Christmas Carol”: Nov. 16-17; Nov. 23-Dec. 29. The ladies of the Farndale Dramatic Society got their hands on this Christmas classic and now there are missing actors, an appearance by Santa and audience participation in this play within a play that brings a comic twist to this Dickens story.
Town Hall of Seattle prides itself on fostering cultural expression and an exchange of ideas through arts, education, humanities and civic programs. Last year, the group presented 375 events attended by thousands of people. This new season also provides a wide variety and selection of events in various genres, ranging from comedy and science to music and drama. There’s no room to list all the events here but we’ll provide quite a choice. Town Hall Seattle is at 1119 Eighth Ave. For more information and to view their event calendar, go to www.townhallseattle.org.
Filipino Comedy Concert: “Porkchop Duo”: Sept. 9. This is the comedy duo of Porky and Choppy, who perform a feel-good standup routine based on funny adaptations of popular songs.
Richard Wiseman “Quirkology”: Sept. 11. Psychologist professor Richard Wiseman has written a new book “Quirkology,” in which he describes the signs that give away a liar, the secret science behind speed-dating and personal ads, and what a person’s sense of humor reveals about their mind.
Rick Steves: “Travel as a Political Act”: Sept. 13. As an Edmonds-based travel writer, PBS host, and businessman, Steves believes that thoughtful travel is a powerful way for Americans to become better world citizens.
“Presidents of the United States of America”: 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sept. 15. This acoustic performance by Seattle’s own pop group provides funny popular singles such as “Lump,” “Peaches” and “Kitty.” Appropriate for children 5 and over.
Robert Reich, “Supercapitalism”: Sept. 20. Former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, Reich is a best-selling author, commentator and professor of public policy whose new book “Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life,” argues that business and politics are best separated because thinking of corporations as citizens is just legal fiction.
Alice Walker: “Why War Is Never a Good Idea”: Sept. 24. Author of “The Color Purple,” Walker’s new book is for children and is a heartfelt poem which explores the destructiveness of war.
Steven Pinker on “The Stuff of Thought”: Sept. 26. Pinker is a Harvard psychology professor and science writer known for his work on how children acquire language.
Tenth Annual Bungalow Fair: Sept. 29-30. The fair features craftspeople in metal, tile, glass, textiles, ceramics and lighting; antique dealers; architects and interior designers.
Northwest Sinfonietta: “Beethoven Revealed”: Oct. 5. The chamber orchestra of Northwest Sinfonietta explores the legacy of Beethoven. The first concert features “Symphony No. 4.” Pianist Byron Schenkman joins the orchestra for a performance of Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 11.”
Fado-Portuguese Folk Music 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6. Fado music is the heart of the Portuguese soul and could be the oldest urban folk music in the world. Appropriate for children 7 and older.
Virtuoso Piano Series: Eun Joo Chung: Oct. 6. Korean-born Eun Joo Chung performs “Mozart, Schumann, Chopin and Ravel: Message in the Masters.”
Garrison Keillor: Oct. 8. Author, humorist and host of “A Prairie Home Companion” reads from his new work, “Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel.”
“A Quiet Night with The Mekons”: Oct. 10. Punk rock band The Mekons celebrate their 30th anniversary and release of their latest album, “Natural,” and perform a special acoustic set.
Chris Matthews: Oct. 16. Matthews is host of MSNBC’s “Hardball.”
Jennifer Ackerman: Oct. 22. Science writer Ackerman’s latest book, “Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body,” explores a new way of looking at how the body works.
Kevin Bales: “Ending Slavery”: Oct. 29. Bales’ latest book, “Ending Slavery-How We Free Today’s Slaves,” explains the simple but effective actions governments, international organizations, businesses and individuals can take to end slavery for good.
Jay Inslee: “Apollo’s Fire”: Nov. 4. U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee has written “Apollo’s Fire,” which lays out the path to stop global warming and gain energy independence.
The Saturday Knights: 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10. This underground rap group presents music done with their tongues firmly pressed in their cheeks. Appropriate for children 7 and older.
“An Inconvenient Truth”: 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Nov. 17. To help children understand the science of climate change, Lisa Shimizu, of KEXP 90.3 FM and “The Climate Project,” present a 40-minute slide show especially designed for children 8 to 12.
Tom Brokaw: “Aftershocks of the ’60s”: Dec. 10. Brokaw, bestselling author and veteran broadcaster, brings a pivotal time in American history to life.
Messiah Family Matinee: Dec. 22. The Tudor Choir and Seattle Baroque Orchestra present George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” designed especially for families. Appropriate for ages 6 and older.
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Seattle’s noted ballet company brings on its 2007-08 season with a bodacious batch of Balanchine, followed by several selections from Shakespeare, rounding off with a full round of Robbins, with bits of Chopin, Stravinsky, Sendak and Glass sprinkled throughout. It’s a season packed with lots to choose from, old and new.
Performances are at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle. Information: 206-441-2424, www.pnb.org.
“First Look”: Sept. 15. This season preview performance and party gives a peek at what the rest of the season holds with a taste of “Romeo et Juliette,” by Jean-Christopher Maillot, a bit of the gravity-defying work called “Caught,” and some of the comedic “The Concert,” in addition to two more ballet previews from the new season. If you want the fun to continue in red-carpet style, be part of a black-tie multicourse backstage dinner. Partygoers can keep the party going by attending an onstage dance featuring a soul funk revue and the unveiling of a photo shoot showcasing PNB dancers dressed by Mario’s.
“All Balanchine”: Sept. 20-30. In PNB’s performance of “Square Dance” with music by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli, choreographer George Balanchine said he was trying to show the “supple sharpness and richness of metrical invention” of the American style of classical dancing. Last performed by PNB in 1985, “Square Dance” weaves together 17th-century court dance and American country dancing and has a celebrated male solo. Also on tap for the evening is “Prodigal Son,” by Sergei Prokofiev which emphasizes the themes of sin and redemption, and “Ballet Imperial,” by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, where Balanchine presents this technically demanding and elegantly phrased ballet as homage to its Russian roots.
“Contemporary Classics”: Nov. 1-11. “Agnon,” by Igor Stravinsky celebrates the choreography of Balanchine along with his partnership with Stravinsky as the two extend this ballet’s classical heritage into a modern day piece. The work “Kiss” also will be performed, a work that includes lots of airborne pirouettes. There’s also a performance of “Caught,” a PNB premiere which has been called a gravity-defying work that is done on a darkened stage with a strobe light that illuminates a dancer’s perfectly timed leaps. Finally, “In the Upper Room,” with music by Philip Glass and choreography by Twyla Tharp, a blend of classical and modern dance, showcases the dancer’s stamina and physicality.
“Nutcracker”: Nov. 23-Dec. 29. This family favorite takes the talents of PNB founding artistic director Kent Stowell and pairs them with the skilled children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak (“Where the Wild Things Are”) and blends them into a beautiful display of costumes, sets and choreography, putting this storybook tale of a Christmas fantasy on beautiful display.
“Roméo et Juliette”: Jan. 31-Feb. 10. This West Coast Premiere brings the music of Prokofiev and the choreography of Jean-Christophe Maillot into a contemporary full-length ballet. The three-act production of Shakespeare’s love story was premiered in 1996 by Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, where Maillot is resident choreographer and artistic director. His contemporary interpretation has been hailed throughout the world as one of the most beautiful adaptations of Shakespeare’s work. Prokofiev’s score is frequently called his masterpiece.
“Director’s Choice”: March 13-22. The evening begins with a work by choreographer Ulysses Dove called “Vespers,” with music by Mikel Rouse. It is inspired by memories of Dove’s grandmother and the small wooden building where she worshiped. Six dancers in wooden chairs assemble and reassemble themselves in brief, bursting and spinning solos that seem to convey urgency and restraint. That is followed by a work called “Fur Alina,” with choreography by Edwaard Liang. It’s an intricate piece by this former New York City Ballet soloist that shows an intimate yet enigmatic relationship between a pair of dancers. Next is “Sense of Doubt,” with music by Philip Glass and choreography by Paul Gibson. This is Gibson’s fourth work and is a contemporary dramatic mood-setter with resonate and cohesive movements. Ending the evening is a piece called “One Flat Thing, Reproduced,” with music by Thom Willems and choreography by William Forsythe, who uses an obstacle course as a metaphor for adversity in this work for 14 dancers that moves on, over and around a dozen tables.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: April 3-13. With music by Felix Mendelssohn and choreography by George Balanchine, this Shakespearean comedy concerns the romantic adventures, quarrels and reunions of two pairs of mortal lovers and the king and queen of the fairies. It is set against an enchanted PNB landscape as the audience enjoys the misunderstandings and mayhem that’s woven through the layers of Martin Pakledinaz’s designs and Balanchine’s crafted sequences.
“Laugh Out Loud! Spring Dance Festival”: April 17-20. Artistic Director Peter Boal observed that comedy is an education in technique and timing. So he figured what could have more potential for a comedic education than dance. This Spring Dance Festival alternates two mixed-bill programs and a one-night-only special performance topped off with a backstage bash party. Choose among selections by Chopin and Mendelssohn and Mozart to works that have been choreographed by Jerome Robbins, Susan Stroman or Christopher Wheeldon. There are six performances of family-friendly works, from the new to the surefire.
“All Robbins”: May 29-June 8. Robbins is certainly known for more than just “West Side Story.” This evening showcases some of the vast repertoire of Robbins’ genius. Beginning with “Fancy Free,” a comic ballet about three sailors on leave, Robbins gives us this classic American character ballet. This is followed by “In the Night,” with music by Chopin in which Robbins features three couples in varying stages of relationships and who eventually meet in a dance for six. Finally in “The Concert (or, “The Perils of Everybody”), Robbins presents us with balletic comedy that is set at an all-Chopin concert where the attendees allow their minds to wander and then their inner thoughts of fantasy, foibles and insecurities become revealed.
The 2007-08 season for the Seattle Symphony hasn’t even begun yet, but its first concert is already sold out. That’s what happens when you kick off with someone like world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who helps ring in this year’s season of delights during the symphony’s 10th Annual Opening Night Concert &Gala Sept. 15.
Though you can’t see or hear that show, there’s plenty of season left with lots of variety to choose from.
You could travel to distant planets as the symphony performs music from favorite science fiction films and television programs, such as “Star Wars,” “Superman” and “Star Trek.” Speaking of “Star Trek,” the program features narration by actor George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu. There’s also a laser show.
Other highlights of this Seattle Symphony season include an organ recital by Joseph Adam, cathedral organist at St. James Cathedral in Seattle since 1993, who will play some of the best of Bach. There’s also a concert featuring Handel’s “Water Music,” a holiday pops concert, a recital by Gil Shaham, internationally recognized as one of today’s most talented violinists. For you Broadway lovers, there’s a concert devoted to musical theater legends Richard Rodgers and Irving Berlin, and the season ends with a concert full of Wagner and Mahler.
The symphony is also offering lots for the younger crowd. Its Discover Music! Program for children ages 5 to 12 features a concert called “From Soccer to the Symphony,” where kids can learn how the symphony also plays as a team. There’s also a special holiday concert, or they can hear the classic “Peter and the Wolf.” For the even-younger crowd, the symphony continues its Tiny Tots series where all ages are welcome to “Follow the Instrument Road,” to meet brassy instruments on the way to Emerald City, or hear a retelling of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” or go “Sailing the Musical Seas,” during a concert that focuses on seals, salmon and sailors.
For tickets call 206-215-4747 or toll-free 1-866-833-4747 or for a look at the Seattle Symphony’s complete season schedule go to www.seattlesymphony.org.
Cappella Romana this year will present rare music from Finland, topical music about the environment and some interesting selections from the island of Cyprus as this vocal chamber ensemble continues to combine its passion with scholarship for musical traditions and contemporary music. This season’s concerts are at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle. Information: 866-822-7735, www.cappellaromana.org.
“A Time for Life”: Nov. 3. “A Time for Life” is a new work by Robert Kyr that explores a contemporary and critical societal issue: living in harmony with the environment. Early music ensemble Medieval Strings joins Cappella Romana.
“Arctic Light: Orthodox Music from Finland”: Jan. 12. Composer and conductor Ivan Moody directs this program of music rarely heard outside Finland. The music combines choral sound with the richness of Russian and Byzantine singing.
“Cyprus: Between Greek East and Latin West”: May 17. The island of Cyprus stands at a crossroads between East and West. Alexander Lingas leads Cappella Romana in an exploration of 15th- and 16th-century Cypriot music in Byzantine and Western styles, including music composed for the Royal Court of Cyprus (c. 1308-1432).
Seattle Baroque Orchestra
Seattle Baroque Orchestra will present five concerts during its 2007-08 season. All concerts are performed at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; 206-322-3118, www.SeattleBaroque.org.
Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”: Oct. 13-14. Reviewers have said Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is unmatched for its invention, beauty and virtuosity. This performance features Ingrid Matthews as soloist. The all-Vivaldi program also includes concertos and sonatas for cello, viola d’amore and violin.
“A Brandenburg Christmas”: Dec. 1-2. This concert celebrates the music of Bach, Handel and Telemann by offering some of their most festive works: Bach’s fifth “Brandenburg Concerto,” Handel’s joyous “Opus 3 No. 3 Concerto Grosso,” and Telemann’s “E Minor Concerto” for flute and recorder.
“If Music be the Food of Love”: Feb. 9-10. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and this concert will celebrate love during an intimate program of beautiful love songs from England, France and Spain.
“Uncommon Grounds”: March 15-16. The ground bass, or repeating bass-line pattern, is heard in all sorts of music from the classics to boogie-woogie. This is a sampling of some of the best ground-bass sound around during the 1600s.
“Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona”: April 12-13. This Pergolesi classic is a complete comic opera in miniature, for two singers, mime and string orchestra. The story line involves the gleeful trampling of social class conventions.
Seattle Choral Company
Seattle Choral Company opens its 26th season with a little bit of the Irish with music from the Celts. Information: 206-363-1100, www.seattlechoralcompany.org.
“Celtic Nights”: Oct. 26-27, Saint Mark’s Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave. E., Seattle. “Celtic Nights” was inspired by the choral sounds of the Irish group Anúna, and its director, Michael McGlynn, who bridges the gap between classical and popular music with a sound that recaptures and revitalizes the ancient music of Celtic Ireland. Listeners will experience ancient Celtic lore, traditional Irish songs and new works in a cathedral setting.
“American Muse”: Feb. 9-10, Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle. This is a concert where classical American composers find their inspiration in American pop culture and produce a show filled with often ironic and definitely eclectic selections. Among the selections is one by Oakland composer Paul Crabtree, who leads off the program with his “Five Romantic Miniatures from The Simpsons.” Yes, the Simpsons cartoon series, in which Crabtree has composed sweeping sounds based on lyrics straight out of the Simpsons’ mouths. Another selection is from Philip Glass’ highly successful “Songs from Liquid Days,” which remains his only real song cycle and was created by enlisting four of New York’s most respected pop songwriters Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, David Byrne and Laurie Anderson. Other choral works on the program include “Brief Eternity” by Bobby McFerrin with lyrics by Don Rosler; “Presidential Suite” by Jack Gottlieb with lyrics by seven American presidents, and “Afro-American Fragments” by William Averitt with lyrics by Langston Hughes.
“Fauré Requiem”: April 19, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. This concert provides a rich tapestry of sacred and secular choral works. Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem” is suffused with warmth and consolation. Composer Eric Whitacre is a young star in contemporary concert music and here presents his “Five Hebrew Love Songs” dedicated to his wife, the Jerusalem-born soprano, Hila Plitmann. The lyrics, written by Plitmann in Hebrew, are love poems, each capturing a moment shared between author and composer while on vacation in the Swiss Alps. Also on the program, the women of Seattle Choral will present “From Behind the Caravan: Songs of Hâfez.” The men’s voices will be spotlighted in the Latin mass, “Messe cum jubilo.”