Want to see a show? Each week, Seattle Times critics offer a few opinions. We haven’t seen them all (some haven’t opened yet), but here are excerpts from reviews and best guesses.
Northwest New Works
Here’s a riddle for you: What’s 34 years old but doesn’t age? Answer: Northwest New Works, the annual showcase of new work at On the Boards from dancers, theater-makers, performance artists, musicians and artists from pretty much any medium you can imagine. Shows that started as 20-minute sprouts at NWNW have grown to be some of the most memorable performance events Seattle has ever seen, by the likes of choreographer Amy O’Neal, solo performer Allen Johnson (RIP), the dance/design team zoe | juniper and three decades’ worth of others. On deck this weekend: boylesque experimenter Waxie Moon; Vancouver, B.C.-based choreographer Vanessa Goodman; the Seattle-based Nikola Tesla Projekt (featuring the band Kultur Shock); and PETE, from Portland, which describes its short theater piece “Deception Unit” as: “kitchen-sink realism … slowly suffocated with a pillow of subtext, and the narrative goes into witness protection.” What does that mean? There’s only one way to find out: Show up. June 9-18, On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $16-$34 (206-217-9886 or ontheboards.org).
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‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’
In this newish comedy by Matthew Lopez, which premiered in New York in 2015, a young Elvis impersonator figures out how to make more bucks — as a drag queen. The career move makes sense in the abstract: fancy outfits, lip-syncing, makeup. What else is an Elvis impersonator than a performer in drag? But the play takes place in the Florida panhandle, where not everybody shares that point of view. This production is directed by David Bennett and stars some great local actors, including Charles Smith, Timothy McCuen Piggee and Adam Standley. June 9-July 12, ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $20-$68 (206-292-7676 or acttheatre.org).
Sen. Al Franken at Town Hall
True story: I was drinking scotch and smoking cigars with political operatives at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul. My skin was stinging from pepper spray and bruises were starting to form around my rib cage, courtesy of police officers at a protest I’d been reporting on earlier that day. I sneaked into the Republican Party’s party after borrowing a tie and jacket from the guy I was staying with in town. The young Republicans were deriding comedian/politician Al Franken, saying “he’s a joke” and they were “going to bury him.” The joke’s on you, boys. Nine years after that night, Senator Franken is coming to Town Hall for a bit of politics and a bit of comedy, and to talk about his arc from “Saturday Night Live” to Congress. The event is sold out, but Town Hall has line-at-the-door standby tickets. June 16, Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5 (206-652-4255 or townhallseattle.org).
When they’re at their best, plays tell you more about yourself than about themselves. In Robert O’Hara’s “Barbecue,” two families — one white, one black — arrange emergency interventions for an addicted family member, each one a volatile alcoholic and fan of smoking stimulants (meth or crack), nicknamed “Zippity Boom.” Both families have one member scheming to send Zippity to a rehab facility in Alaska, with everyone else questioning that decision. But the plot is as twisty as a corkscrew doing a double back-flip and, in an interview, O’Hara requested no spoilers. Through June 25, Intiman Theatre at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S., Seattle; $20-$50 (intiman.org).
Brendan Kiley: 206-464-2507 or firstname.lastname@example.org