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12th Avenue Arts
The Nether (April 27–May 14): What if there were a virtual world where men could live out their most fucked up, rapacious fantasies? Would such a world pacify violent behavior? Or would it only serve as a refinery for that violence? Those are some of the questions playwright Jennifer Haley asks in The Nether. Haley's known for incorporating into her writing the tricks of Hollywood genre flicks, and this one's billed as a thriller. We'll see if the characters and dialogue suffer as a result of that choice, as former Stranger writer Brendan Kiley said they did when WET produced Haley's Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom back in 2009. RS
How I Learned to Drive (June 7–July 7): Paula Vogel won the Pulitzer Prize for this intense drama about trauma, manipulation, and freedom. Li'l Bit is our narrator, guiding us through memories of her scarred childhood and adolescence. The title refers to her driving lessons with Uncle Peck, a monstrous yet pathetic (and believable) man who molests her over the years with his wife's knowledge. Winding through past and present scenes, Li'l Bit makes us understand how her personality was warped by these atrocious acts—yet how Uncle Peck paradoxically gave her the tools to free herself.
18th & Union
Year of the Rooster (April 13–May 5): Olivia Dufault's play satirically examines cockfighting and toxic masculinity in America.
The Wolves (April 20–May 13): Ben Brantley at the New York Times says Sarah DeLappe's debut play, The Wolves, is like a Robert Altman movie about a suburban girls' indoor soccer team except in play form, and that's all I really need to hear to buy a ticket. In case you need more: Freehold Theater Lab's Christine Marie Brown will play the role of a soccer mom charged with wrangling up the likes of nine excellent up-and-coming actors. Those include Meme García, an excellent character actor and theater artist who's recently returned to the PNW after polishing up her classical chops at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and Rachel Guyer-Mafune, whose pluck and charm brightened Book-It's production of Howl's Moving Castle and WET's Teh Internet Is Serious Business. Sheila Daniels directs. RS
Until the Flood (June 8–July 8): The latest work by playwright, performer, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith focuses on the social unrest following the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The one-act drama highlights eight composite characters from the St. Louis region, who examine issues of race and social unrest from a variety of perspectives.
Crewmates (May 1–16): In Sameer Arshad's comedy, a Muslim man from a conservative background starts dating an atheist Asian American woman, and things go swimmingly—until the supernatural, disgusted by their lovey-dovey nature, starts interfering.
Hir (Through March 25): Hir isn't like the rest of Taylor Mac's plays, but it's the play that made Mac famous. That's because it looks like the style of play repertory theaters jizz over, which is kitchen sink realism. Hir, making its Seattle debut at ArtsWest, seems familiar to contemporary theatergoers: two kids and their parents sitting around their kitchen fighting. It's ultimately a clever, innovative play about gender (and theater) that audiences will continue to unpack for decades. CB
An Octoroon (April 19–May 13): This theater will continue its sharp reflections on race relations and history this season with An Octoroon, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins's play set in the latter days of American slavery, in which a young man inherits a plantation and falls in love with the titular "octoroon"—a woman with one-eighth black heritage.
The Ballard Underground
5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (May 15–June 2): In this comedy by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood, performed by the Fantastic.Z company, the widow members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein have to hide out in a bomb shelter when the Russians attack in 1956.
The Maltese Falcon (Through April 8): Book-It Repertory Theatre and Cafe Nordo collaborate on a stage version of the lush and gritty noir classic The Maltese Falcon, adapted by Jane Jones and Kevin McKeon.
Smoked! (April 26–July 1): Ray Tagavilla will star in an Eastwood-esque tribute to the Western, in which an ace shooter arrives in the town of Sauget to defend a farmer accused of "eco-terrorism." Paul Budraitis will direct a production that's paired with Chef Erin Brindley's four-course meal.
The Merchant of Venice (March 20–April 15): This is the year where Stranger Genius Award-winning actor Amy Thone plays all the challenging lead male roles in town, and we should all rejoice. I have a hunch that her performance of Shylock in Seattle Shakespeare's production of Merchant of Venice, the classic/infamous comedy about a merciless Jewish merchant who demands her pound of flesh, will resonate with the conversations swirling around the #MeToo movement. Desdemona Chiang will direct. RS
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (April 19–May 6): Book-It will stage a version of Junot Diaz's famed Pulitzer-winning novel about a "ghettonerd" Dominican boy growing up in gritty Paterson, New Jersey. Elvis Nolasco (American Crime) will star.
Everett Performing Arts Center
The Gin Game (Through March 25): One of the all-time chestnuts of the legitimate stage comes to Everett featuring two of Seattle's all-time favorites, Kurt Beattie and Marianne Owen, as aging residents of a nursing home, who sublimate the dread of death by playing cards and tearing each other apart with words. SN
Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theater
Goldie, Max and Milk (May 22– June 3): A single lesbian mother living on a shoestring budget resorts to the services of an Orthodox Jewish lactation expert in Karen Hartman's sharp comedy.
Angels in America Part II: Perestroika (April 24–May 6): The second part of Tony Kushner's "Gay Fantasia on National Themes" is like the 1980s' fever dream of illness, awe, terror, sex, and religion.
Lee Center for the Arts
Richard the Second (March 23): Everyone knows Richard III and the Henrys, but Richard II is one of Shakespeare's most complex studies of power, hubris, ambivalence, and the subjective nature of justice. And because the play is almost kinkily revealing about the male psyche in relation to power and competition, it's especially well-suited to the all-female cast treatment being served up by the excellent upstart crow collective. SN
Ghosts of Hell Creek (May 5–6): In collaboration with paleontologists Dr. Greg Wilson and Dr. Dave Evans, Ari Rudenko directs a prehistoric animal dance that combines Japanese butoh theater and Indonesian traditional/contemporary dance influences with "a science-based comparative examination of the anatomy, locomotion, and theoretical behavior of key extinct species featured in the performances."
On the Boards
Patti & The Kid (April 12–15): Described in the promotional materials as a dystopian "Western with Nerf guns," Frank Boyd and Libby King's Patti & The Kid follows two outlaws as they hide out from the Feds of the future in a vast desert. Along with Brooklyn-based theater company TEAM, King "has helped create and internationally tour four award-winning published plays: RoosevElvis, Mission Drift, Architecting, and Particularly in the Heartland." Boyd was the best part of WET's production of Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men, and his last show at On the Boards, The Holler Sessions, was favorably previewed by The Stranger and praised in the Seattle Times. This one should be good, too. RS
Jack & (May 10–13): We're anticipating that Jack & will use the formulas of sitcoms to criticize the prison system and the lasting damages it inflicts on released inmates. Director Kaneza Schaal and her leading actor, Cornell Alston, will make these clichés "intersect with real and imagined ceremonies for entering society."
NW New Works Festival (June 8–17): This festival invites artists from all over the region to freakify the stages of On the Boards over the course of two weekends.
Raisbeck Performance Hall
James and the Giant Peach (April 7–15): You may have seen the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, but have you witnessed a stage production directed by Marc Kenison, aka Waxie Moon?
The 2018 Generative Project (April 8–15): The Generative Project opens the sets of Achilles in Sparta and James and the Giant Peach for the use of director HATLO and her ensemble.
Seattle Public Theater
Ironbound (March 23–April 15): This play, spanning two decades, dramatizes the working-class struggle for safety through the story of a Polish immigrant woman. Ironbound won the Charles McArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical in 2015.
Seattle Repertory Theatre
The Great Leap (March 23–April 22): Here's another chance to get a sense of the work of Lauren Yee, the 20-year-old playwright who already has more than half a dozen works under her belt. This production bounces back and forth between 1971 China (feeling the after-effects of the "Great Leap Forward," and in the midst of the Cultural Revolution) and 1989 San Francisco.
Familiar (April 27–May 27): Wedding drama abounds in Tony-nominated Danai Gurira's Familiar (you also saw her in Black Panther): surprise guests, revealed secrets, and the tension that arises when a young woman wants to observe traditional Zimbabwean customs for her Minnesotan wedding.
Mac Beth (May 18–June 17): Seven women play all the Macbeth characters you know and fear in playwright/director Erica Schmidt's new adaptation.
SIFF Film Center
Royal Shakespeare Company: Twelfth Night (Through March 20): See a Royal Shakespeare production of the topsy-turvy, gender-bendy comedy Twelfth Night in a recorded performance.
The Horse in Motion Presents: Hamlet (April 12–29): Local theater company Horse in Motion will transform the Stimson-Green Mansion, a well-preserved 10,000 square-foot Tudor-style manse that stands out among the surrounding soulless condos on First Hill, into Hamlet's Elsinore. This immersive version will feature two different productions of the play running in the house at the same time, sword fights in the library, and ghostly theatrical surprises. RS
The Country Wife (March 23–April 14): This 1675 comedy by William Wycherly, adapted by Rachel Atkins, was saucy enough to be barred from the stage for nearly two centuries. A rake seduces married women hither and thither, pretending to be a eunuch to avoid suspicion.
Bibliophilia (April 19–21): This short festival, presented by Word Lit Zine in co-production with Theater Schmeater, will celebrate the way words can come alive as they're put on stage.
Shakespeare Dice: Hamlet (March 23–April 8): Eight actors have memorized the entire script of Shakespeare's Hamlet, and at this performance, presented by immersive/experimental theater company Dacha, an audience member will roll the dice and decide who will play which character. Events will take place at Freehold Theatre, the Russian Community Center, and an unnamed location on Bainbridge Island.
The Vagina Monologues (March 20–25): Celebrate Eve Ensler's campaign against violence towards women at this theatrical production of The Vagina Monologues.
West of Lenin
Big Rock (Through March 31): An artist joins her father on an isolated Pacific Northwest island after her latest opening. There, she meets an aspiring poet who may restore her faith in the power of art.
The 5th Avenue Theatre
Kiss Me, Kate (April 6–29): The 5th is producing the Cole Porter classic as part of the city-wide Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare festival, with opulent sets and costumes from the critically acclaimed production by the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. CF
Hunchback of Notre Dame (June 1–24): Says my source: "This musical, while it has all of the goods from the Disney movie, is not an adaptation of the Disney film. It stays more true to the book and is darker than the Disney film. This will be directed by Glenn Casale, who directed Little Mermaid for us." God, The Little Mermaid at the 5th was so good. CF
Erickson Theatre Off Broadway
Heathers: The Musical (April 6–15): Cinema's most famous mean girls will rule the stage in the theatrical version of the 1980s high school murder comedy.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
Say It Loud: Simply Me (March 23–24): Felicia V Loud will star in what sounds like a very gutsy a cappella performance work.
Todrick Hall: American (April 4): The dreamy young choreographer, singer, dancer, actor, and RuPaul's Drag Race guest judge Todrick Hall is swinging back through town with an all-new production. He'll also come to the Pantages Theater in Tacoma on April 5. CF
Taylor Mac: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged) (April 20): The uncategorizable playwright and performer Taylor Mac will dramatize the "trickle-up humanitarianism" of the era of queer revolution, performing protest anthems and rock music in a tribute to Bayard Rustin, Marsha P. Johnson, and other undersung activists. Mac's collaborators will include a band with singers Steffanie Christi'an and Thornetta Davis, as well as costume designer Machine Dazzle.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Live (April 1): If the prospect of a musical comedy sitcom made by a YouTube star about an unstable woman engaged in stalkerish behavior made you sigh and bemoan the decline of modern entertainment, oh no, love, you're not alone. And yet, over the course of three seasons, Rachel Bloom's show has become a powerfully funny, sharply observed, startlingly complex exploration of mental health, love, obsession, ambition, race, class, media, gender, and identity. More to the point, and I never thought I'd be the one to say this, but: The songs are fucking excellent. The lyrics are funny, smart, and more, and the melodies stick in your head like an ice pick. SN
Les Miserables (June 6–17): By the time this production makes it to Seattle, the 2012 film of Les Miserables will have been out for more than five years.
Second Story Repertory
Bye Bye Birdie (March 25): A rock star named Conrad Birdie disrupts life in a small Ohio town as he asks for one last kiss from one lucky girl before he goes off to war.
The Slate Theater
Little Shop of Horrors at Reboot (May 4–19): Expect inclusive casting at this production of the witty, grim horror musical about a nerdy, lovesick plant shop clerk, his vulnerable crush, and the mean green mother from outer space that insidiously takes over their lives.
Tacoma Musical Playhouse
My Fair Lady (May 18–June 10): Douchey professor Henry Higgins will once again turn Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle into a lady.
Base: Experimental Arts + Space
12 Minutes Max (May 20–21): On the Boards' longest running program is back, featuring 12 (surprisingly quick or unfortunately long) minutes of brand-new work from Pacific Northwest performers. RS
Romeo & Juliet (May 5): Everyone's favorite underage romance will be performed by the ARC Dance Company to Prokofiev's symphonic take on the classic tale.
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
Spring 2018 Cornish Dance Theater (April 20–21): Watch Cornish dancers perform works by Danielle Agami, Natascha Greenwalt, Wade Madsen, Sam Picart, and Deborah Wolf.
Beautiful Carcass (May 11–20): Beautiful Carcass, choreographed by Maya Soto to music by Nico Tower, promises "a bewitching carnival world" that expresses aspects of life as a person in a female-assigned body.
Transfigurate (June 8–16): Transfigurate, the final performance in Whim W'Him's 2017–2018 season, will boast three new works by Danielle Agami (formerly of Batsheva), Pascal Touzeau (ex-Ballet Frankfurt), and, as always, Whim W'Him's artistic director Olivier Wevers.
Erickson Theatre Off Broadway
BOOST Dance Festival (March 23–25): BOOST dance festival will seek to promote diverse contemporary performers who have fewer opportunities to showcase their talent than they deserve. See Daniel Costa Dance, Kimberly Holloway, Becca Smith, AU Collective, Melissa Sanderson, and Marlo Ariz Dance Project in action.
Director's Choice (Through March 25): There's just something about watching dancers drag 20 industrial-sized tables across the stage during William Forsythe's One Flat Thing that delights me every time. Other highlights of PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal's always excellent showcase: the ultra-gorgeous athleticism of Forsythe's Slingerland Duet, the almost percussive rhythm of the solo violin in Ulysses Dove's Red Angels, and the world premiere of PNB soloist Ezra Thompson's The Perpetual State. RS
Emergence (April 13–22): In Emergence, created by the Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, a "swarming, scurrying group of dancers" acts out the impulse towards social hierarchy. In Alejandro Cerrudo's Little mortal jump, genres collide and transform. Yuri Possokhov has his Pacific Northwest Ballet debut in RAkU. See these three modern works, all in one night.
Love & Ballet (June 1–10): Dance's many forms dramatize love's many forms in four works by prominent choreographers: Christopher Wheeldon (After the Rain pas de deux and Tide Harmonic), Justin Peck (Year of the Rabbit), and Benjamin Millepied (yes, the Black Swan guy—his piece is Appassionata).
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan (March 22–24): Lin Hwai Min is one of the most admired choreographers in Asia. His company Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will perform his latest work, Formosa, which will pay homage to his native island.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (April 19–21): Hubbard Street Dance Chicago company has been racking up enraptured reviews for 40 years. For this brief run in Seattle, they'll bring you choreography by Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe, Crystal Pite, and Nacho Duato.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet (May 17–19): Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardsen (So You Think You Can Dance) choreograph ballet- and hiphop-melding pieces for this ensemble. Expect high-energy, high-calibre dance drama and a soundtrack that draws on everything "from Bach to Bowie."
Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre: Betroffenheit (March 23–24): This deeply disturbing clown show created by two of the best dance companies around is back! Jonathan Young and Crystal Pite's Betroffenheit—a German word that refers to "a state of shock, trauma, and bewilderment"—features the living embodiment of Young's personal trauma of almost losing three of his family members in a cabin fire. Throughout the intense show, the clown-faced protagonist tries and fails and fails and fails to cope with their loss, reminding audiences how much work goes into the act of getting even just a little bit better. RS
On the Boards
Alice Gosti: Material Deviance in Contemporary American Culture (March 29–April 1): Seattle-based Italian American choreographer Alice Gosti produces durational performance art. Sometimes she wraps her head in toilet paper for eight hours straight and you get to think about how hard it is to even just communicate effectively with another person. Sometimes she transforms her dancers into water and has them perform for tourists on the waterfront and you remember in a sort of deeper way that bodies really are made of water. This time she's setting her dancers in a hoarder's dreamworld full of chairs and tables. RS
Black Bois (April 26–29): Choreographer and dancer Dani Tirrell's piece will interpret "how black men/bois grieve, show rage, express joy, and cry." Join this company and remember Kalief Browder, Tamir Rice, and other young black men and teenagers who died in prison or at the hands of police.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (April 27–29): See contemporary works from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater that touch on timely topics and "beloved classic Revelations."
Spectrum Studio Theater
H.R.3244: Dancing Towards a More Just and Equitable America, pt. 2 (May 5–13): This dance work will try to expose one of the horrifying hidden realities of today's society: human trafficking.
Velocity Dance Center
Guest Artist Series: Sean Dorsey (May 3–6): Sean Dorsey's work The Missing Generation honors gay and trans people lost to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s, based on oral history contributed by survivors.
Converge Dance Festival 2018 (May 25–26): The fifth annual Converge Dance Festival will stage works by eight choreographers who are just coming into their own or hitting mid-career. The featured artists will be Abigail Zimmerman, Angelica Delashmette, Emily Curtiss, Hope Goldman, Jordan Macintosh-Hougham, Jordan Rohrs, Stephanie Golden, and Warren Woo.
Cabaret & Burlesque
Romeo & Juliet (Through April 29): This cozy speakeasy, tucked under Pike Place Market, specializes in charismatic, cheese-cakey, nearly-nude entertainment (plus more covered-up brunch shows for the young and the prudish). Expect something a little sexier than your typical Shakespeare adaptation.
Columbia City Theater
The Emerald Titty (April 20–21): Get ready for naughty Seattle-based puns (long live the SLUT!) at the After Midnight Cabaret's tribute to all things Emerald, from miserable rainy winters to cheap hamburgers and "from Nirvana to Sir Mix-a-Lot."
Hamiltease (March 24): If you haven't gotten enough of Hamilton: An American Musical burlesque spin-offs, thank Vamptastic Productions with Sailor St. Claire for this sexy parody.
The Fourth Annual Seattle Boylesque Festival (April 13–14): Male and genderqueer burlesque dancers from across the globe will blast gender norms apart.
Kylie Minogue's Acid Playhouse (April 20): Uh Oh, Dolce Vida, Dolce Vida, Betty Wetter, Arson Nicki, and other popular local queens will shock your senses.
Art Haus 4.0 (Every First Saturday): The weirdo drag battles at Art Haus are shockingly brilliant, deeply strange, and delightfully incomprehensible. RS
Dina Martina: Cream of the Drawer (March 30–April 28): Here's how Stranger critics have described Dina Martina in the past: "Seattle's most gifted malapropist"; a "psycho-drag superstar"; and "a singer who cannot sing, a dancer who cannot dance, and a storyteller who seems to have situational brain damage." We've also given her creator, Grady West, a Genius Award. It's no insult to our colleagues to say that none of these descriptions quite encapsulate the Platonic essence of Dina. You'll have to see her for yourself.
Blame it on Bianca Del Rio (April 6 & 8): Bianca Del Rio, the most vicious RuPaul's Drag Race winner of all time, will wield her mean and hilarious sense of humor.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
The Golden Girls Live (March 22): Welcome four queens from San Francisco as they embody the Golden Girls: Heklina, Matthew Martin, D'Arcy Drollinger (who also directs), and Holotta Tymes. Sasha Velour (RPDR Season 9) is the guest star.
Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales in 'The Ginger Snapped' (April 7): Drag superstar Jinkx Monsoon (winner of season five of RuPaul's Drag Race) just put out her second record, The Ginger Snapped, which, like her first album, is a collaboration with musician and pianist Major Scales. The ginger in question is Jinkx, and the featured artists include Lady Rizo, Fred Schneider of the B-52's, and Amanda Palmer. CF
Mimosas Cabaret (Sunday): The drag diva titaness Mama Tits presides over another iteration of Mimosas Cabaret, featuring a short musical, plus songs, comedy, dance, and brunch.
Circus, Variety & Performance Art
Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery (Every first Sunday): On the first Sunday of each month, comedy, variety, and "a parade of wonder and awkward sharing" are hosted by the self-proclaimed "mustache wizard" Emmett Montgomery.
Spin the Bottle (Every first Friday): This is Seattle's longest-running cabaret and has seen just about everything—dance, theater, comedy, paper airplanes, tears, stunts, music, romance—from just about everyone.
Alan Cumming (May 3): The man who almost singlehandedly reinvigorated the musical Cabaret with his extroverted take on the role of the emcee also has his own variety show, which he's bringing to Seattle for one night only. CF
Broadway Performance Hall
SASS: SANCA's Annual Showcase Spectacular (April 6–8): Watch SANCA staff, students, alumni, and others in the circus community perform impressive acrobatic routines.
La Petite Mort's Anthology of Erotic Esoterica (Every last Friday): See "the darker side of performance art" at this eerie, secretive variety show with circus arts, burlesque, music, and more. Feel free to wear a mask if you'd rather not be seen.
Love, Chaos, and Dinner (Through April 29): Beloved circus/cabaret/comedy institution Teatro ZinZanni's latest show is led by first-time "Madame ZinZanni" Ariana Savalas, and features a duo on aerial trapeze, a magician, a "contortionist-puppet," a yodeling dominatrix, a hoop aerialist, and a Parisian acrobat.
David Blaine (May 16): Street magician David Blaine, who's submitted his body to such tortures as lengthy imprisonment in a six-ton block of ice and one million volts from seven Tesla coils, will take the Seattle stage.
The Magic Hat Presented by Emmett Montgomery and Friends (Monday): A weekly comedy variety show.
Intersections: A Celebration of Seattle Performance (March 22–25): Improv comedy queens Natasha Ransom, Jekeva Phillips (who made City Arts' Future List this year), and Kinzie Shaw are organizing a festival for performers who identify as LGBTQ+, are of color, and/or have disabilities. Come to see burlesque, improv, drag, theater, dance, and music acts, plus panels and a party.
Podcasts & Radio
LeVar Burton Reads Live! (May 6): Good God, can anything be more comforting than this in our anti-intellectual times? LeVar Burton of the beautiful, long-running kids' show Reading Rainbow will take you back to your bookwormish childhood—well, except that the short story he'll read to you will be more suited to adults. Past selections on Burton's eponymous podcast have included tales by Elmore Leonard, Laura Chow Reeve, and Neil Gaiman, but we don't know what he'll select this time.
Chapo Trap House (March 30): Still mainlining Pod Save America like some kind of establishment cuck? Try balancing your diet of Obama nostalgia with some premium Dirtbag Leftery from the Chapo Trap House guys. Will Menaker, Matt Christman, and Felix Biederman create a pretty fucking funny auditory environment for contemporary socialist thought. RS
Gabriel Rutledge (March 29–31): In a recent interview, Central Comedy Show's Henry Stoddard and Isaac Novak singled out Gabriel Rutledge as perhaps the Seattle area's funniest comic. Working in the familiar territory of family life and its countless frustrations and sorrows, Rutledge finds many quirky angles from which to squeeze distinctive humor out of everyday situations. DS
Jet City Improv
ASSBUTTS (Amazing Super Spectacular Bold Unscripted Terrific Theater Show) (May 19–June 30): Some of the city's finest performers will collaborate on instantaneous comedy scenes, with a different lineup every Saturday.
Laughs Comedy Club
Hannibal Buress (April 12–14): As famous for his acting credits as he is for accusing fellow comedian/actor Bill Cosby of rape, Buress is a masterly storyteller whose anecdotes keep accruing layers of hilarity as they go. DS
John Cleese: Why There Is No Hope (March 26): Join legendary comedic actor John Cleese (Monty Python's Flying Circus, A Fish Called Wanda) as he shares funny insights into the world, politics, and his life. There's no telling what the "Why There Is No Hope" tour portends with regard to John Cleese's 2018 persona. With so much omnidirectional sanctimony flying around these days, it'd be nice to think that a true laureate of inspired silliness might come back to reclaim his mantle. SN
Jeff Ross & Dave Attell: Bumping Mics (May 18): Two of the greatest comedians of the past 20 years, Jeff Ross (the "Roastmaster General") and Dave Attell (Insomniac), will perform.
Dylan Moran: Grumbling Mustard (March 27): You may know Moran from his British sitcom Black Books, his roles in Shaun of the Dead and Cavalry, or from your perverse love of all things mordant, cranky, wry, humorous, self-deprecating, and, above all, Irish. SN
Randy Rainbow (April 28): YouTube phenom Randy Rainbow is the master of the catty sick burn—which comes off especially blistering when his wit's aimed at the flaming hypocrites in the Trump administration. Rainbow's MO is to simulate interviews with major political figures, cleverly twisting their sincere responses into fodder for his own nasty retorts, while weaving in pertinent footage from news outlets and breaking into hilarious, parodistic song. DS
Kyle Kinane (May 8): The comedy world teems with schlubby, self-deprecating, bearded white guys, but Kyle Kinane ranks near the top of the heap of this species. He also can cook up some tasty food jokes, e.g., "Pho is a Vietnamese soup that answers the question, 'What would happen if a former child soldier poured hot rainwater over fish nightmares?'" DS
Trevor Noah (March 23): Blessing: South African comedian Trevor Noah has control of the bully pulpit of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Curse: He's had to follow Jon Stewart in that slot. It's hard not to seem a tad second-rate replacing a vastly influential and beloved political-satire legend, but Noah's gamely making a go of it. On a recent Daily Show, Noah took Florida's government to task for emphasizing porn control over gun control: "Wow. I think you guys are worried about the wrong kind of mass shooting." DS
Parlor Live Comedy Club Bellevue
Margaret Cho (March 29–31): It's safe to say Cho is a legend in the comedy world. A vocal supporter of Asian and LGBTQ+ rights, she won the American Comedy Award in 1994 and hasn't stopped since. Cho is a singular comic voice who must be seen to be believed.
Damon Wayans Jr. (April 5–7): Movie and television star Damon Wayans Jr. (Let's Be Cops, New Girl, Happy Endings, and much more) will spew funny words from his dashing face.
The Gay Uncle Time (Every first Wednesday): According to Stranger contributor Matt Baume, the Gay Uncle Time is "an avuncular variety show starring Santa-esque comedian Jeffrey Robert and a rotating cavalcade of local stars, drag queens, storytellers, and weirdos."
Theatre Off Jackson
Kondabolu Brothers Live Podcast Taping (April 30–May 1): Of Hari Kondabolu, Sean Nelson wrote: "You could make the case that his asides, self-edits, and ad-libs are as funny as the individual finished bits. Though the finished work is, all in all, a whole other level of funny." Now see him with his brother Ashok as they "get into heated conversations about gentrification" or "discuss the news of the day on a poorly constructed powerpoint."