The theater season is a lot like a wedding: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. That’s what’s in store for South Sound audiences when the new season opens in the fall.
Let’s start with Tacoma Little Theater. Its season includes Steve Martin’s comedy “The Underpants,” a delightfully twisted comedy about a German woman who loses her bloomers during a parade in 1910. For something old that never dies, the theater is doing “Dracula,” adapted by Steven Dietz and directed by Pug Bujeaud. Also scheduled is “Exit Laughing,” a Southern Gothic farce about a night of bridge with three women and the ashes of the fourth, the last of whom recently passed away.
Lakewood Playhouse opens with “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance.” In between these is a season of great diversity including the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play “Doubt,” a drama about a priest accused of sexual misconduct by a nun. It was also an Academy Award-winning film with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep.
Tacoma Musical Playhouse’s 2016-2017 season opens with the wonderfully creepy and kooky musical “The Addams Family,” based, of course, on the popular television series. In this grown-up, updated version of the wacky show about a family of monsters, daughter Wednesday is now grown up and — heaven forbid — in love with a normal boy. For something old, there’s “Meet Me in St. Louis,” a holiday musical about the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and for something blue it’s “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.”
In what is becoming South Sound’s favorite holiday tradition, Centerstage in Federal Way will produce another Panto — this one a twisted retelling of the story of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Be prepared for cross-dressing villains, outrageous audience participation, and jokes that tickle kids on one level and delight adults on quite a different level.
Olympia’s Harlequin Productions will do Tracy Letts’ 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner “August: Osage County.” Sometimes called a black comedy, it is arguably more drama than comedy. Set in a farm house in Oklahoma, it gets into the heart of a family wracked by alcoholism, drug addiction and a myriad other dysfunctions.
Olympia’s popular children’s theater, Olympia Family Theater, will produce an original musical whodunit called “Fishnapped!” written by local actors-turned-playwrights Amy Shepard, Andrew Gordon and Daven Tillinghast. This world premiere musical is recommended for all ages and is scheduled for a spring premiere.
Bujeaud from Theater Artists Olympia says the theme of their upcoming season will be “sexy and sensual.” The season opens in October with their annual “An Improbable Peck of Plays,” a showcase of one-act plays by local playwrights. In December, Bujeaud will direct what she calls a “sexy” version of Moliere’s “A Physician in Spite of Himself.” Theater Artists is the South Sound’s riskiest fringe theater. Their productions are almost always outstanding.
Something borrowed is Olympia Little Theatre’s “Or,” which played not too long ago at Seattle Repertory Theatre and at Olympia’s Harlequin Productions. It is a strange, beautiful, madcap, gender-bending farce based on the life of Aphra Behn, England’s first female professional playwright, who also happened to be a spy. For something new (about something old), it’s “A Lollard in the Wind” by local playwright and actor John Pratt, an original play about Geoffrey Chaucer and his writing of “The Canterbury Tales.”
See Alec Clayton’s blog at alecclayton.blogspot.com for reviews of other area theatrical productions.
Tacoma Little Theatre: 210 N. I St., Tacoma, 253-272-2281, tacomalittletheatre.com.
Lakewood Playhouse: 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood, 253-588-0042, lakewoodplayhouse.org.
Tacoma Musical Playhouse: 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253-565-6867, tmp.org.
Centerstage: 3200 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way, 253-661-1444, centerstagetheatre.com.
Harlequin Productions: 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360-706-0151, harlequinproductions.org.
Olympia Family Theatre: 612 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360-570-1638, olyft.org.
Theater Artists Olympia: Midnight Sun Performance Space, 113 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, 360-292-5179, olytheater.com.
Olympia Little Theatre: 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia, 360-786-9484, olympialittletheater.org.