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‘Venus in Fur’

Does the name Leopold von Sacher-Masoch ring a bell?

The Austrian author is best known for inspiring the term “masochism” (the erotic interplay of pain and pleasure), and for his lusty 1870 novella, “Venus in Furs.”

The heralded Broadway play “Venus in Fur” (singular), by David Ives, is a risqué take on an audition that turns into a sexy power struggle between a modern director and an actress trying out for his adaptation of the Sacher-Masoch classic.

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“Venus in Fur” is being staged across the country this season, and Seattle Repertory Theatre is mounting the play’s local debut in a coproduction with Arizona Theatre Company. Directed by Shana Cooper, and featuring East Coast actors Michael Tisdale and Gillian Williams (pictured), it begins previews Friday, Feb. 7, opens Wednesday, Feb. 12, and runs through Sunday, March 9, at Seattle Rep, Seattle Center (206-443-2222 or

Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic

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