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July 25, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Theater galore: 10 local productions worth your time

Way back when, summer was truly doldrumsville regarding theater. A smattering of outdoor productions, a long drive to Ashland, Ore. — those were the options for Seattleites. Fast-forward to July 2013: major theaters are bustling with shows, and smaller ones are, too. So are the parks and the amphitheaters. Seems you can’t throw a rock without hitting a production. Some current shows worth a look:

1 Shakespeare by GreenStage/Wooden O

GreenStage’s “King Lear” is free in local parks through Aug. 17: www.greenstage.org; Wooden O’s “Henry V” is free in local parks through Aug. 11: www.seattleshakespeare.org

Ashley Flannegan  and Vince Brady as Lear in "King Lear."

Ashley Flannegan and Vince Brady in “King Lear.”/GreenStage

 

It’s hard work battling jet noise, car horns and the shifting weather while staging the Bard’s deep tragedies or complex history plays. Fortunately for regional audiences, GreenStage and Wooden O troupes are up to the task. GreenStage has a terrific King Lear this summer thanks to Vince Brady in the title role, and  David S. Hogan is an excellent Henry with Wooden O. See them both for free — such a deal. Reviews here.

2 Gilbert & Sullivan galore

“The Gondoliers,” by Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, through July 27, Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theatre, www.pattersong.org

“The Pirates of Penzance,”  through Aug. 4, 5th Avenue Theatre;  www.5thAvenue.org

 

Brandon O'Neill in "The Pirates of Penzance"/Tracy Martin

Brandon O’Neill in “The Pirates of Penzance”/Tracy Martin

Merry pirates and dashing Venetian boatmen are on Seattle stages this week, borne along by the snappy songs of G&S. (Review of “Pirates” here.) Of note:”Pirates” features Washington native Brandon O’Neill as the dashing Pirate King.

3 'Illyria'

Through Aug. 10, Taproot Theatre Company, Seattle; taproottheatre.org

Helen Harvester and Mark Tyler Miller in "Illyria." /Erik Stuhaug

Helen Harvester and Mark Tyler Miller in “Illyria.”/Erik Stuhaug

Illyria” is based on Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night,” and this local staging is “a summer tonic — and a good fit for the compact stage and family audience at Taproot Theatre,” writes Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson. The cast includes Don Daryl Rivera and other fine local musical-theater talent.

4 Intiman Theatre Festival

Through Sept. 15, Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center; intiman.org

"Stu for Silverton."/Chris Bennion

“Stu for Silverton.”/Chris Bennion

Year 2 of the Intiman Theatre Festival has brought an interesting slate of productions, including Dario Fo’s “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!”; Alice Childress’ more-timely-than-ever “Trouble in Mind”; the premiere of the true-life musical “Stu for Silverton”; and the old, old favorite, “Lysistrata.” Find reviews here.

5 'Rapture, Blister, Burn'

Through Aug. 11, ACT Theatre, Seattle; www.acttheatre.org

Gina Gionfriddo’s take on the friendship between, and contrasting lives of, a single female college professor and her best friend, a stay-at-home wife and mother; complicating things is the SAHM’s husband, who is the prof’s old flame. Review here.

Jeffrey Frace and Kirsten Potter in "Rapture, Blister, Burn."/Chris Bennion

Jeffrey Frace and Kirsten Potter in “Rapture, Blister, Burn.”/Chris Bennion

Comments | More in List, The week ahead | Topics: 5th Avenue Theatre, Gilbert & Sullivan, Greenstage

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