South Sound Fall Theater Preview

Now that the kids are back to school, what better way to continue to inspire a love of learning than sampling a live performance of a great work of art? Throughout the South Sound, the classics have strong representation this autumn, starting with, of course, Shakespeare.

The legendary Renaissance playwright seems to be all over the South Sound this fall. First up, get a complete refresher with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare at Tacoma Little Theatre. Three actors cover the greatest hits of all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in only 97 minutes! Then there’s Henry V at The State Theater in Olympia. This historical drama follows the young prince as he becomes a mature man and embarks on a successful conquest of France. Finally, round out your Shakespearean experience with Hamlet at Theatre on the Square in Tacoma and behold the ill-fated protagonist as he fights madness and tries to reclaim the throne of Denmark.

If Shakespeare is too heavy for your taste, you’ll find other great classics in store. There’s Gilbert and Sullivan’s lighthearted opera The Pirates of Penzance at the Rialto Theater in Tacoma; the hysterical dark comedy Arsenic and Old Lace at Lakewood Playhouse; and an adventure to the magical world of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Olympia Family Theater. All three shows are strong choices for a quality afternoon or evening of live theater for all ages.

Other excellent family offerings this fall include Andrew Tyson: Piano and Garrison Keillor, both at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia. While the Rialto Theater hosts the music and dance from ¡Fiesta, Familia, Folklore! These entertainers are certain to leave lasting impressions on all ages.

Looking for a night off from the family? For a ladies’ night, spend an evening with the gossipy women of Truvy’s Beauty Parlor in Steel Magnolias at Tacoma Little Theatre, or rock out with the all-female punk band made famous in the Seattle original Angry Housewives at Capital Playhouse. For date night, it won’t get any more raucous than when the groundbreaking Broadway musical Green Day’s American Idiot comes to the Pantages in Tacoma.
With so many choices this fall, the question becomes which shows will you see? Expand your family’s knowledge base and love for art with a trip to the theater. HILLARY RYAN