Book-It play adapted from Allende novel

Isabel Allende wrote “The House of the Spirits,” a family epic that follows three generations of Trueba women as they struggle to establish their independence from a domineering patriarch who lusts for land and power while threatening the destruction of the family.

Book-It Theatre’s world premiere adaptation of Allende’s novel opens with two pay-what-you-will previews Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by an $18 preview Thursday. Opening night is June 8 at Seattle Rep’s Leo K. Theatre.

The political backdrop is the conflict between socialist and capitalist forces that ends in a military coup. The country of Chile is never named, but the story reflects the author’s homeland.

In 1973, military forces deposed the legally elected administration of President Salvador Allende – a cousin of Isabel Allende’s father – and Gen. Augusto Pinochet took over.

“The House of Spirits” has 18 actors, with Todd Licea as Esteban Trueba and Jennifer Sue Johnson as Clara del Valle in the leading roles.

“Picasso at the Lapin Agile”: There’s not much Steve Martin can’t do. He acts. He’s a comedic genius. He’s a writer of very funny stories, such as this work which features Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso.

The play is being performed by Everett Community College students and community members at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at Everett Community College.

The story follows Einstein and Picasso when they meet at a bar called the Lapin Agile in Paris in 1904. Each man has an amazing idea and the two carry on a lengthy debate about the value of genius and talent while engaging many other characters throughout the story.

Moscow Cats Theatre: They say you can’t herd cats. Well, who cares when you’ve got this group of superstar felines that can walk tightropes, do death-defying balancing acts, dance, do paw-stands, jump from great heights and negotiate complex mazes without a misstep.

The cats of the Moscow Cats Theatre will strut their furry stuff in shows set for Saturday and Sunday at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

This international spectacle from Russia, possibly unique in the world, features non-stop feline action melded into a non-verbal show. The “Cats” have been on “Good Morning America,” “CBS Early Show,” “Inside Edition,” and they’ve even purr-formed for Regis and Kelly.

Though the show also includes five clowns and one dog, the 35 cats are the stars. The cats are so glorified, they have their own traveling entourage of a vet, a kitty caretaker and a personal stylist.

“I Never Saw Another Butterfly”: Despite some tragic aspects, this play reveals the vibrancy and humor in children and conveys a powerful message about the human need to find beauty in a sometimes ugly world.

The show, with adult and child actors, runs through June 9 on the Martha Murphy Mainstage of Whidbey Children’s Theatre in Langley.

The play revolves around Raja Englanderova, 12, who was sent to Terezin, a Czechoslovakian ghetto and stopover for Jewish prisoners bound for Auschwitz.

There Raja finds teacher Irena Synkova who is secretly conducting art and writing classes for the camp children. At first Raja resists, but begins to see that her new teacher is teaching more than art: She’s teaching the children how to preserve their hope. In the end, Raja gains more strength than she ever knew she had because she realizes there is more at stake than just her own life.

South Whidbey Record photo

A scene from “I Never Saw Another Butterfly.”

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