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Originally published Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 6:22 AM

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STG sets 2014-15 season

Seattle Theatre Group, proprietor of the Moore, Paramount and Neptune Theatres, will bring Circus Oz, Dame Edna, Ira Glass and many other acts to Seattle next season.


Seattle Times theater critic

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In the 2014-15 subscription season, Seattle Theatre Group is offering more of its signature music, silent film, dance and Broadway musical series, as well as some new diversions, including an uproarious Australian circus, a jazzy art lecture by Art Spiegelman, and the latest farewell tour of Barry Humphries, otherwise known as the incomparable Dame Edna.

STG, the nonprofit organization that operates Seattle’s Moore, Paramount and Neptune theaters, is again selling choose-your-own season packages, made up of three or more events. Subscribers will also receive special ticket offers throughout the season.

Here are some highlights among the new attractions on the 2014-15 schedule (for dates, times and subscription information go to stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114).

Circus Oz, Australia’s punky cirque spectacular, will come to the Moore Theatre for the first time. The troupe mingles daredevil acts with heart-pounding music and plenty of irreverent Aussie humor, and it is suitable for all ages.

Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston. Famed cartoonist and graphic novelist Spiegelman, and the freewheeling sax man-composer Johnston hit the Moore with “Wordless!,” described as an “innovative hybrid of slides, talk and musical performance.”

Ira Glass and Dancers. Yes, National Public Radio’s Ira Glass, host of “This American Life,” is combining radio storytelling with creative movement by Monica Bill Barnes & Company. You’ll have to see (and hear) it to believe it.

Dame Edna & Barry Humphries’ The Final Tour. Dig it, possums! The hilarious Australian former housewife and talk-show hostess with the mostest Dame Edna swears this time she’s really about to hang it up — or so says her creator/alter ego Humphries. Expect sublime mockery, gorgeous gams and camp cheesery galore during her (latest) fond farewell at the Moore.

Bang on a Can Marathon. Touted Seattle music maker Jherek Bischoff is a co-artistic director and performer in this new music extravaganza by the Bang on a Can folks — who have pulled off similar events in New York City that offered as much as 27 hours of continuous live music by many artists. We’ll see how long they can keep it up at the Moore.

In addition, STG will host evenings of comedy with noted comics Brian Regan, Paula Poundstone and Lewis Black; the newest magic exhibition by Penn and Teller; and an “edible inevitable” audience with quirky Iron Chef host Alton Brown.

We’ll get our annual visit from the Mark Morris Dance Group (copresented this year by and at UW’s Meany Hall), and an ensemble work by hot modern choreographer-dancer Kyle Abraham (copresented at the Moore by On the Boards).

There will be no other engagements of nationally known dance companies in the season, which STG artistic director Josh LaBelle blames on “how the routing and scheduling worked out for the bigger companies we wanted to bring.”

The local arts celebrations Dance This and Global Party (formerly known as Global Dance Party) will return to the Moore, as will More Music @ the Moore.

The annual Starbucks Hot Java Cool Jazz showcase will mix it up at the Paramount, as will Silent Movie Mondays.

And the docket also includes a season of Broadway at the Paramount musicals (“Mamma Mia!,” “Phantom of the Opera,” etc.), Seattle Rock Orchestra concerts, a Balagan Theatre staging of “Tommy” and other performances.

LaBelle is also looking forward to implementing two major grants STG has received.

One is a $100,000 award from the Disney Co., for a Disney Musicals in the Schools program, which sends local teaching artists into public schools to work with students — you guessed it — on a Disney show.

The other, from the Murdoch Trust, gives STG $250,000 to create a “study of our historic facilities’ longtime needs,” says Labelle.

“There are improvements that will need to be made to keep these theaters alive and vibrant. The Neptune needs a new marquee, the Paramount will need new seats and carpeting, all kinds of stuff. “

Among other costs, the grant cover three years of salary for a new position at STG, for a building preservation expert devoted to working on the study, and ultimately on helping develop a future capital campaign to fund renovations.

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com



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