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The dating game

theater goes on an outing

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The missus and I have been married for 10 years now, so we are far removed from the whole dating scene. Yeah sure, we have solicited the services of the neighborhood baby-sitter and grandparents from time to time to go to dinner before seeing a show. But that’s not the same as a date since we spend all of our conversation talking about our children and the logistical challenges ahead in their regard instead of about the regular “date stuff” we used to talk about when we were “on the market” back when Bill Clinton was in the White House.

That is a fact that we spent a bit of time talking about following two recent performances. We saw Avenue Q at Seattle’s Paramount Theater in June and found ourselves shamefully laughing at one particularly graphic scene of prolonged puppet sex that involved the hand puppets downing shots of everything in sight before hammering away at each other’s bodies like they were house framers on a deadline. It was hilarious and is well worth the ticket price whenever it pays a visit again — although it is clearly not a show for children. There are robust Muppet-loving moments that should be reserved for adults.

Then came the news that Joseph Scrimshaw’s Adventures in Mating is taking to the stage at Theater Schmeater. The show runs through July. The play centers on the mixed bag of magic and horror that is the iconoclastic first date.  Miranda (played by Alyssa Keene) and Jeffrey (Daniel Wood) are dining in Café Serendipity, where the normal uncertainties and unpredictability of any new relationship is tinged by the whims and cruelties of the audience. Michael White plays their waiter. The secret ingredient to the show’s success is that the audience gets to go along and participate in the fun. An “interactive” play, this work has the audience deciding on Miranda and Jeffrey’s next moves.

The box office success of last year’s production of the show, coupled with the company’s expectations for this year’s edition, could push Adventures in Mating into the fabled, seldom visited nether regions of summer cash cow-dom for the niche theater.

Peter Pan

For a show a little closer to home, Capital Playhouse is staging its version of Peter Pan this weekend only. Something of note for this show is that Flying by Foy, the company best known for bringing theatrical flying to Broadway in 1950, will be doing the stage magic for the production so Peter, Wendy, John, Michael — and even Liza — will float magically across the stage to Never Never Land in ways generally left to the imagination during performances at local theaters.

Capital Playhouse regular Naomi Seifter will play the title role while Jeff Kingsbury will take on the role of Captain Hook. The playbill is filled out with Jerod Nace as Smee, Stephanie Nace as Wendy, and Riana Nelson as Ms. Darling.

[Theater Schmeater, through July 26, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, $12-$15 at, 1500 Summit, Seattle, 800.838.3006]

[Capital Playhouse, 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, also 2 p.m. Sunday, $10-$15, South Puget Sound Community College’s KJM Center for the Arts, 2011 Mottman Road, Olympia, 360.943.2744,]

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