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Originally published September 7, 2010 at 11:01 PM | Page modified September 24, 2010 at 12:09 PM

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Fall Arts Guide | Theater: cornucopia of premieres, Broadway hits

This fall in Seattle theater: Expect drama like "God of Carnage," musicals like "In the Heights" and children's fare such as "Lyle the Crocodile."

Seattle Times theater critic

Deal: Theater week grows up to be Arts Crush

What started as a local "theater week" presented by Theatre Puget Sound will expand to the whole of October this year.

The newly renamed Arts Crush festival wants to woo you into theaters (and other arts venues) with scores of free classes and other events (like open rehearsals to watch "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Spectrum Dance Theater and the Cascade Symphony orchestra), as well as two-for-one ticket offers every Tuesday and Friday in October at participating theaters.

Arts Crush kicks off on Oct. 3 at Seattle Center's Fisher Pavilion, with ticket offers and special performances. And discount deals go online the evening of Oct. 4. CQ Details: www.artscrush.org.

Autumn is always the busiest time in Seattle-area theater, with all the larger, mid-sized and many of the fringe companies going full blast.

During the fall season, one thing to keep an eye out for is the enticing array of Seattle premieres of heralded contemporary plays and new Broadway hit musicals.

Flagship Seattle Repertory Theatre opens its 2010-11 season with the Tony Award-winning "God of Carnage" (Oct. 1-24), Yasmina Reza's barbed comedy about well-heeled, overprotective parents going ballistic over their kids' schoolyard spat.

ACT Theatre continues its focus on leading British playwright Martin McDonagh, with the local debut of "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" (Oct. 15-Nov. 14), his savage comedy about a volatile IRA hitman.

Neil LaBute's provocative Broadway study of male-female dynamics, "reasons to be pretty" (Sept. 8-Oct. 2) gets an airing at West Seattle's ArtsWest. And Seattle Public Theatre introduces a Theresa Rebeck thriller, "Mauritius" (Oct. 1-24), set in the rarefied world of stamp collectors.

As for musicals new to local stages, the 5th Avenue Theatre brings in a tour of the vivacious, Tony-honored salsa-and-rap tuner, "In the Heights" (Sept. 28-Oct. 17) while Paramount Theatre hosts the hot ballroom revue "Burn the Floor" (Sept. 14-19). And for the younger set, the Kevin Kling-Richard Gray musical romp "Lyle the Crocodile" (Nov. 18-Jan. 9) is set to regale local young'uns at Seattle Children's Theatre.

Few major world-premiere works are slated, but look out for Intiman Theatre's new take on Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic wronged-woman saga, "The Scarlet Letter" (Oct. 22-Dec. 5), scripted by leading dramatist Naomi Iizuka.

Teatro ZinZanni - Love, Chaos & Dinner

A three-hour evening of cirque, comedy and cabaret with a five-course dinner designed by celebrated Northwest chef Tom Douglas. The latest edition brings back the inimitable clowns Christine Deaver and Kevin Kent, portraying a bawdy vaudeville couple (who like to mess with the audience).

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Jet City Improv

Improvisational comedy and music.

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TheatreSports

Improv comedy.

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The Green Sheep

The return of the delightful, very accessible interactive show for very young kids based on the color and shape learning book for preschoolers, "Where is the Green Sheep?"

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Dinner with Friends

SecondStory Repertory opens its 2010-11 season with Donald Margulies' Pulitzer prize-winning Off-Broadway play which tracks the tensions and ties between two troubled modern couples.

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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

An Olympia staging of Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of the bone-chilling Robert Louis Stevenson story about a proper Victorian physician, Dr. Jekyll, whose rampaging alter ego is the monstrous Mr. Hyde.

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Playborhood

An evening of improvisation where characters from different theatrical genres interact.

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The Swan

Artattack tackles Elizabeth Egloff's drama about a Nebraska woman's emotional-erotic journey, after a swan crashes into her living room window.

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Sleuth

Anthony Shaffer's mystery play about the cat-and-mouse rivalry of two whodunit writers. Staged by Tacoma Little Theatre.

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Once in a Lifetime

An Edmonds staging of the Kaufman and Hart comedy about three vaudeville performers who try their luck in 1930s Hollywood.

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A Doctor in Spite of Himself

A classic Molière comedy, timed to mirror our national health-care debate. Christopher Bayes directs and Broadway actor Daniel Breaker ("Passing Strange") in a new version of the romp.

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reasons to be pretty

ArtsWest opens its 2010-11 season with the Seattle premiere of Neil LaBute's Broadway play about male machismo, female insecurity over their looks and other conflicts and concerns among factory co-workers and their significant others.

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206-938-0339

Rapture of the Deep

Balagan Theatre stages a "surreal play-with-music" based on playwright Eric Lane Barnes' experiences growing up in the shadow of his dead Uncle Jimmy.

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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

"Life is pandemonium." Renton Civic Theatre stages William Finn's ebullient and snarky Broadway musical riff on a real-life spelling bee.

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The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

In John Bishop's murder mystery, a group of Broadway types assembles to give a backer's reading. Staged by the Driftwood Players.

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Camelot

"Camelot! Camelot! I know it sounds a bit bizarreā€¦" The Broadway musical hit, based on T.H. White's "The Once and Future King," imagines the realm of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and the Knights of the Round Table.

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Arcana

A collection of six short plays and two monologues about the state of modern relationships by John Logenbaugh, inspired by the Major Arcana of the Tarot.

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Chicago

"Come on babe, why don't we paint the town..." A community staging of Bob Fosse's jazzy flapper show.

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Dixie Swim Club

An Olympia staging of a comedy about the annual reunion of five female college friends.

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The Mouse That Roared

A community staging of Christopher Sergel's comedy about a tiny nation that whimsically declares war on the United States.

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Sex in Seattle 18: An Everyday Kind of Love

SIS Productions presents another installment in the nation's longest running theater serial, exploring the loves of lives of Seattle's own Asian-American gal pals.

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206-323-944

The Lady with All the Answers

Before there was Dr. Phil or Judge Judy, there was trusted advice columnist Ann Landers, who imparts her wit and wisdom in this one-woman play by David Rambo, a writer and producer on TV's "C.S.I: Crime Scene Investigation" series.

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Les Miserables

A student version of the Broadway musical based on the famed Victor Hugo novel.

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Burn the Floor

International dance tour show features 20 champion dancers presenting theatrical ballroom dancing.

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877-784-4849

Cirque du Soleil: Alegria

The ever-enthralling Cirque du Soleil stops in Tacoma for a week with a "baroque ode to the energy, grace and power of youth."

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The Full Monty

"Let it go..." The Village Theatre opens its 2010/11 season with this clever, boisterous Broadway musical that borrows the plot of the same-titled hit film but successfully moves the action from industrial England to economically depressed Buffalo, N.Y., where a group of discouraged, unemployed men join forces to produce a male strip-tease show.

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Judy Sings Judy

"Somewhere, over the rainbow..." Local performer Judy Ann Moulton, backed by a 12-piece orchestra, sings the songs of Judy Garland.

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Five Gold Rings

The North American premiere of a family drama about love and emptiness by Joanna Laurens.

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The Glass Menagerie

Theater Schmeater stages Tennessee Williams' breakthrough work, a visceral and poetic "memory" play about a restless young man and his family, struggling through the Depression in a shabby St. Louis apartment. Directed by J.D. Lloyd.

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The Belle of Amherst

Maria Glanz encores her graceful, well-praised portrayal of Emily Dickinson in a return engagement of Sound Theatre Company's production of William Luce's one-woman bio-drama about the famed poet.

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206-856-5520

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Unspeakable Horrors

An improvised play based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

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425-881-6777

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