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Theatrical presentations are on the daily docket for Bumbershoot as usual this year — with an emphasis on comedy, solo spiels and far-fetched and/or gory tales by Seattle performers. For some relief from the crowds or the (fingers crossed) bright sunshine, you can slip into Seattle Center’s Center House Theatre in the Armory for a laugh interlude. (Shows run in rep: consult the Bumbershoot schedule in this issue in print, or go to for details):

“Alligators & Debutantes”

The Moonshine Revival Tent consists of playwright-storyteller Bret Fetzer, composers and singers Sari Breznau and Eric Padget, and singers Christine Longe and Jillian Vashro. Their show (seen earlier at Annex Theatre) is devoted to strange and fantastical fairy tales that are “distinctly America” and embellished with music.

“I Can Hear You … But I’m Not Listening” and “Family Affair”

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Ubiquitous local performer-writer-director Jennifer Jasper returns to Bumbershoot, with two separate shows. “I Can Hear You” is a serio-comic solo piece about growing up as the middle child in a kooky family of five daughters. “Family Affair” is a cabaret event (presented monthly at the Rendezvous/Jewel Box Theatre) where theater artists, musicians and others offer stories inspired by their families.

“The Death of Brian: A Zombie Odyssey”

Bring on the undead! This journey through a man’s ghoulish obsessions has been toured far and wide with the world-traveling Seattle troupe theater simple. The spoofy piece has won praise at fringe fests for its “cringe-worthy gross-outs” and “other favorite zombie tropes, philosophies and laughs.”

“Fussy Cloud Puppet Slam”

Imaginative puppetry can captivate child and adult alike. Aimed strictly at adults, this R-rated cabaret of arty puppet vignettes is part of an emerging international “puppet slam” circuit. It features works by local artist-puppeteers — wizards of strings, shadows, socks and rods.

“Present Your Present with a Present”

You’ve seen those lengthy infomercials on TV about how to instantly gain wealth and health? Lance Banks (aka comic Wallace Fessler) is a clean-cut know-it-all who presents multimedia mock-seminars with PowerPoint and video displays. Stick with Lance, and you’ll find your “ultimate potential and solve the riddle of success.” (In your dreams …)

“Blood Squad”

More comic gore, from this Seattle-based improv group that creates, on the spot, grisly live shows inspired by slasher flicks and other horrific film genres. Their motto: “No blood, no props, no costumes, no mercy.” (Even without the red stuff, this isn’t for young folk.)

Misha Berson:

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