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Originally published Friday, October 12, 2012 at 5:31 AM

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Corrected version

New local shows for kids, fantasy fans and cocktail sippers

Up for some theater this week? Shows in the wings include the fantastical drama "The Skriker," the children's play "Danny, King of the Basement," cocktail theater a la Chef Nordo, and more.

Seattle Times theater critic

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The abundant fall theater scene continues, with new productions of a darkly fantastical fairy-tale by English playwright Caryl Churchill, a timely play for young people, a Café Nordo show and a batch of ArtsCrush festival events. Here's a roundup:

"The Skriker": A teenage single mom and her disturbed sister tangle with an insidious and vengeful spirit creature in Churchill's surreal, scary 1994 play. Noted Seattle film and stage director Janice Findley, with choreographer Pat Graney, composer Paul Hansen, actor Mary Ewald and others, conjures Churchill's modern, low-rent London and vertiginous, folkloric underworld in this fascinating and sinister yarn. The show depicts a phantasmagorical human battle with a ruthless shape-shifter (played by Ewald), over the fate of an ecosphere threatened with extinction.

Runs Oct. 19-Nov. 11 at Erickson Theatre Off Broadway, Seattle (800-838-3006 or

"Danny, King of the Basement": In Canadian author David S. Craig's award-winning play, young Danny and his frazzled, sporadically employed mother have a less than ideal life, to be sure. Money is very tight. They are often on the move, and close to homelessness.

But despite such hardships, and his difficulties with literacy, the intrepid Danny stays strong, upbeat and, after moving into a new basement apartment, bonds with other kids in distress through let's-pretend games — until some setbacks trigger a desperate journey to seek out his estranged father.

Seattle Children's Theatre stages the local premiere of the 75-minute one act, in a production aimed at young audiences.

Runs Thursday-Nov. 18 at Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center (206-441-3322 or

Café Nordo's "Somethin' Burning": Seattle's elusive Chef Nordo's pop-up bistro resurfaces in the International District, with an "immersive dining experience featuring craft cocktails, Nouvelle Roadhouse cuisine, and a deeply sincere special agent bent on finding the truth in a small town penetrated by insidious darkness," according to the show's producers.

Entertaining, delicious and a little northwest of wacky, these Nordo evenings of dish, drink and drama have attracted quite a following, so be sure to reserve ahead.

Runs Friday-Nov. 18 at Theatre Off Jackson, Seattle (800-838-3006 or

ArtsCrush: The monthlong, area-wide performing and visual arts festival sponsored by Theatre Puget Sound has slated an assortment of theatrical events over the next week, many of them low-cost or free.

We've spotted a few appealing prospects on the calendar:

"8," a play by Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black ("Milk"), about a federal-court case for gay marriage equality, presented in a reading at Bellevue Community College (7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18).

"Poof!," Lynn Nottage's fiery one-act about a woman whose abusive spouse spontaneously combusts, is performed by BrownBox Players at Rainier Valley Cultural Center, Seattle (3:30 p.m. Sunday; also on Oct. 21 and 28).

"Rancho Mirage," a workshop reading of Seattle playwright Steven Dietz's latest script by New Century Theatre Company, with NCTC members on hand for a post-show discussion (7 p.m. Tuesday, at Seattle Repertory Theatre).

More details and a complete ArtsCrush calendar:

Information in this article, originally published Oct. 12, was corrected Oct. 12. A previous version of this story listed the wrong performance date for the play '8.' The performance is Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7:30, not Saturday.

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