Did you hear about the Polish Admiral who wanted to be buried at sea? Five sailors drowned digging his grave. What do you do if a Pole throws a hand-grenade at you? Take the pin out and throw it back. How do you get a one-armed Pole out of a tree? Wave to him.
Young Jaisu, the hero of David Ives' Polish Joke, receiving its world premiere at Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre in season 2001, is desperate to escape the ancestry that leaves him the victim of exactly such jokes. He changes his name and moves away from home, but he still discovers, in this comedy from the author of Mere Mortals and All in the Timing that you can never run away from who you really are.
Polish Joke will run in ACT's Falls Theatre July 6-Aug. 5 with an opening July 12. Jason McConnell Buzas directs.
Season 2001 at ACT also sees two west coast premieres - Charles L. Mee's Big Love and S.M. Shephard-Massat's Waiting to Be Invited. Mee's play, an audience fave at last season's Humana Festival in Louisville, is an adaptation of Aeschylus' The Suppliant Women, bringing this tale of 50 women forced to marry 50 brothers to modern Italy. Shepard Massat takes a real life civil rights incident for Waiting to Be Invited, commemorating four Atlanta men who decided to test desegregation by taking their break at a "whites only" lunch counter.
Big Love, directed by Brian Kulick (The Wax, The Winter's Tale at the Public Theatre) runs April 20-May 20 in the Falls Theatre. Waiting to Be Invited plays Aug. 17-Sept. 16 in the Allen Theatre with Israel Hicks directing. Also in the season will be Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winner Dinner With Friends (May 25-June 24), directed by Gordon Edelstein in the Allen, Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical classic A Little Night Music (Sept. 18-Oct. 14 at the 5th Avenue Theatre), a new adaptation of Eduardo de Filippo's Grand Magic (Oct. 19-Nov. 18), directed by Mladen Kiselov (Side Man) and the regular return of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 23-Dec. 23) in the Allen Theatre.
A Contemporary Theatre subscribers will have the opportunity to get tickets to three ACT co-sponsored events: Peter Brook's Hamlet, Jackie Mason in Much Ado About Everything and Shockheaded Peter. Hamlet runs at the Mercer Arena April 6-19 before traveling further in the U.S. Jackie Mason, on tour with his hit Broadway show, stops in Seattle Aug. 6-19. Finally, the British and New York smash Shockheaded Peter brings comic and gruesome children's tales (to eerie music) to the Moore Theatre, Oct. 24-28.
For subscription information, call (206) 292-7676. A Contemporary Theatre is located at Kreielsheimer Place at the corner of 7th Avenue and Union Street. A Contemporary Theatre is on the web at http://www.accttheatre.org.
— By Christine Ehren