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Originally published August 30, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Page modified August 31, 2012 at 4:05 AM

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Bumbershoot picks: Theater offerings include improv, 'Bed Snake'

A sampling of the sketch and improv comedy, shortie works by Seattle playwrights and more available for theater fans at Bumbershoot 2012.

Seattle Times theater critic

Bumbershoot 2012

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 1-3, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle. Advance tickets: single-day $45, any-day $50, three-day $125, single-day Gold Pass (VIP perks) $125, three-day Gold Pass $300, single-day Platinum Pass (more perks) $200, three-day Platinum Pass $475. Day-of tickets: $55 per day general, $25 seniors; children 10 and younger do not need a ticket. Info and tickets: www.bumbershoot.org.

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BUMBERSHOOT

Want a summery sampling of local sketch and improv comedy, shortie works by Seattle playwrights and more? Stick close to the Center House Theatre at the Armory during Bumbershoot.

The cozy indoor venue hosts a daily dose of acts curated by Theatre Puget Sound, the local stage organization that has been coordinating local theater offerings at Bumbershoot since 2003.

Here's a handy guide to what's on at the Center House:

Improv and Sketch Comedy

SketchFest Seattle aims to tickle your funny bone with a bill of several sketch troupes: Ubiquitous They, The Entertainment Show and Charles (aka Charlie Stockman and Chuck Armstrong). 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

If it's tech-geek humor that gets you, consider NerdProv, a group that describes itself as "taking your nerdiest suggestions and bringing them to new comedic life." 3:45 p.m. Monday.

And for ever-enterprising Wing-It Productions, the current presidential-election antics should provide ample inspiration for improvisational yuks based on audience suggestions in the "Election Show." 5 p.m. Saturday, 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Finally, there's "Miss Fanny's Fun Box." (3:45 p.m. Saturday, 5:15 p.m. Monday) We don't know much about this, except:

a) It's a parody of the shifting tide of children's TV shows (from Miss Fanny's homey one, to something called "Extreme Toddler Cage Match");

b) It is the creation of writer-comic-actor Kate Jaeger; and

c) Don't assume it's appropriate for actual children.

The Ramayana Youth Ensemble

This fall, ACT Theatre will unveil its production of "Ramayana," a multimedia theater spectacle inspired by legends from the sacred Hindu text of the title.

But meanwhile, 20 teenagers have been working under ACT's auspices with artist-teachers from Asia (India, Indonesia, Thailand) to create their own performance based on the same ancient work. Employing live music, puppetry and dance, the troupe of local 14- to 19-year olds will perform their piece at Bumbershoot. 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Monday.

Sandbox Radio

Under the direction of Leslie Law, Seattle's Sandbox Artists Collective periodically enlists a group of writers to conjure up short works of radio theater.

Add poetry, live music and sound effects, and (of course) a group of versatile actors, and you've got not only a live radio broadcast but also a podcast available to the public online.

For the Bumbershoot edition, the crew performs "greatest hits" from previous Sandbox Radio performances. 7 p.m. Monday.

LG! Cabaret — Just Dance Edition

The gals from Seattle fringe-theater company Live Girls! offer a cabaret-style event that showcases "female performers in multiple disciplines."

The theme is popular dance movies and TV shows ("Footloose" maybe? "Dancing With the Stars"?) and there will be tributes/spoofs of the latter in a variety spree of music, movement and comedy. 7 p.m. Sunday.

Washington Ensemble Theatre

The edgy Capitol Hill troupe WET brings to Bumbershoot its 2012 hit, "Bed Snake," a rockin', rappin,' Faustian tale about a wannabe musical star who sells his soul to one beautiful and dangerous devil in exchange for fame. The high-energy show features actor-creators Noah Benezra and Hannah Victoria Franklin. 6:45 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com

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