I had to cut listings from this column, because, one, we’re doing full reviews of some of them later on and, two, there are too many shows going up this month. So know that these are my absolute top picks for May.
April 27 to May 13, at West of Lenin, directed by Mario Orallo-Molinaro, produced by Jet City Improv and Pork Filled Productions
Technically, this comedy show opened in April, but that means we need to feature it first, so you can catch it before it closes. Featuring Asian American and Pacific Islander talent from around Seattle, this hilarious improv-sketch show is the silliest way to celebrate AAPI History Month. May 4 and 11 are both pay-what-you-can nights.
‘In the Blood,’ ‘The Wolves’
May 3 to 7, at Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre, by Suzan Lori-Parks, directed by Kate Drummond and Nick O’Leary; May 25 to June 4, at Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse, by Sarah DeLappe, directed by Sunam Ellis
I’m combining these entries although it is taking up the same amount of space, because they are student productions, directed by University of Washington grad students (“In the Blood”) and alum (“The Wolves”). Both of these scripts challenge preconceptions of what is acceptable and who we should trust.
May 5 to 21, at ACT Theatre, by Hansol Jung, directed by Rosa Joshi
An adoption goes wrong, and a boy ends up raised by wolves. I think? This play looks magical and surreal, as the boy in question is in fact portrayed by a simple wood puppet. I’m intrigued by the tension I imagine exists in the room, in getting the audience to see the humanity of the puppet, and I wonder how that teaches us about seeing the humanity of others. Plenty of content warnings come with the show, so be sure to look those up.
‘Jeeves Takes a Bow’
May 17 to June 17, at Taproot Theatre, adapted by Margaret Raether, directed by Scott Nolte
As an unabashed fan of the Jeeves and Wooster books by PG Wodehouse and the classic BBC show, I needs must highlight this absolute G of an S. Bertie Wooster is a complete dunderhead in the best way, and his butler Jeeves is the butler of all butlers, so he manages consistently to get Bertie out of whatever mayhem he manages to befuddle his way into.
May 18 to 21, at On the Boards, by Takahiro Yamamoto
Theater is performance art, but not all performance art is the same. Attending one of these experiences will bring you into the creation of art in a way that sitting in a theater and watching actors just won’t do. “NOTHINGBEING” is about “the presence of nothingness and being” and will include a communal meditation.
Read more of the May 3-9, 2023 issue.