Hello darkness, my old friend, it’s theater time again. Fall, after all, not only brings sunsets at 5 p.m., but also the start of most theater seasons.
Perennial favorite “The Wiz” opens on Fifth Avenue on November 19, directed by Kelli Foster Warder. Kataka Corn stars as Dorothy, and, if I can see them sharing the stage with Nicholas Japaul Bernard (scarecrow stunt double, last reviewed in this article for his performance in the ACT/Fifth co-production of “Choir Boy”), I am inside.
At the Seattle Center until November 20, aptly by Seattle Shakespeare, is “Macbeth,” directed by ACT artistic director John Langs. The theater provides plenty of content warnings, including plenty of gore, gore, murder, and suicide.
We’ll get into more holiday shows next month, but Black Friday is trying to rebrand itself by focusing more on theater than deals. Opening that day, we have “Mr. Dickens and His Carol” at Seattle Rep, “A Very Die Hard Christmas” at Seattle Public Theater, “Q Brothers Christmas Carol” at ArtsWest and, for traditionalists, “A Christmas Carol” at ACT.
But what really excites me about the Seattle theater scene are all the bands you might not have heard of: LANGSTON, Wayward Works, Pork Filled Productions, Pony World, Sound, Taproot, Dacha (including this writer is a member of the company), Reboot. Many of these groups focus on inclusive casting and ticketing, with sliding scales allowing attendees to choose a price that works for them, sometimes even for free.
James Baldwin’s “The Amen Project” is on stage in Seattle for the very first time, presented by LANGSTON and the Williams Project and directed by Reggie D. White. The production, which will run Nov. 2-20, follows the Williams Project’s “Summer of Baldwin,” which included a free book club and event at The Frye — the kind of community building I like to see.
Opening November 4, Reboot Theater Company presents “Jesus Christ Superstar,” directed and choreographed by Harry Turpin. I don’t know if this counts as a holiday play or not, but the rock opera will at least set the stage for some delicious family discussions about turkey and stuffing.
Another spin on a true classic hits the stage November 4: “Not/Our Town,” from the Pony World Theater at 12th Avenue Arts. The new adaptation, written and directed by Brendan Healy, depends on audiences seeing how closely it resembles the 1938 original, but attendees also don’t need to be familiar with “Our Town” to enjoy it. (If you want to be, Cornish Students present “Our Town” on November 5 and 6 at the Raisbeck Auditorium.)
Dacha Theater will feature a weekend-long staged reading of the super-queer new play “Girls School Memory Play” (working title). I’m thrilled to be part of the cast and honored to work with director Leah Sainz-Jones and writer Donovan Olsen to bring this play to the stage. Visit us at West of Lenin, November 17-20.
I’m running out of space and need to promote myself, so I’ll end with this: theater is for everyone, so show up and make it yours!