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The odd, the quirky and the fabulous

March sneak peek at local theaters

Clockwise from left: Lanita Grice, Kate Ayers, Dana Winter, Jesse Morrow and Heather Christopher in Playhouse Creatures. Photo courtesy Theater Artists Olympia

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Hilarity, innovation and all-around fabulousness meets South Sound theater patrons this month in performances that seldom get reviewing because there are so few opportunities to see them, starting with Theater Artists Olympia's Playhouse Creatures in the intimate space of The Midnight Sun. This one started its run in February and has only two more performances. It's the story of four actresses in London during the reign of King Charles II who are among the few female actors allowed on stage after a long period when women were barred from acting. It combines humor and tragedy with sexuality and bits from Shakespeare worthy of a Saturday Night Live skit, and it is a tour de force for four of the best actors you're liable to see on stage this year: Kate Ayers, Heather Christopher, Lanita Grice and Jesse Morrow as the famous actress Nell Gwyn. Seating is limited, so it is best to get advance tickets online.

Playhouse Creatures, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday through March 4, The Midnight Sun, 113 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, olytheater.com

Tacoma Little Theatre's "Off the Shelf" staged readings are one-night-only performances of shows that seldom get full runs, often because they are too risky or too challenging for the average theater-goer. With that in mind, TLT offers free admission to their season ticket holders and $10, admission for everybody else. Their next "Off the Shelf" reading will be Brecht on Brecht directed by Suzy Willhoft. Brecht on Brecht is in two parts. The first half explores the life and philosophy of Bertolt Brecht and his advice to actors. the second half features excerpts from his dramatic works such as The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Jewish Wife and Fear and Misery of the Third Reich plus songs and poems. It is sure to be an entertaining and challenging evening.

Brecht on Brecht, 7:30 p.m., March 16, Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N. I St., Tacoma, 253.272.2281, tacomalittletheatre.com

Longtime local actor Syra Beth Puett, known for her performances as Miss Daisy in Driving Miss Daisy at Dukesbay Theatre, as Queen Eleanor in The Lion in Winter at Lakewood Playhouse and On Golden Pond at Tacoma Little Theatre, will do a one-woman play with the intriguing title My Husband Liked Beverly Better. Spoiler: "Beverly" is a character Puett played on stage.  My Husband Liked Beverly Better is the story of Puett's life over 50 years in theater, written and performed by Puett and directed by Doug Kerr. The show reveals reasons she became involved in theater.

My Husband Liked Beverly Better, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday,  2 p.m. Sunday, March 17-19. Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. SW, 253.588.0042, lakewoodplayhouse.org

Finally, Tacoma Musical Playhouse does something unique to South Sound theaters, and that is their "Behind the Curtain" performances. Before each of their mainstage shows they do a one-night-only 90-minute preview with musical highlights and talk from cast and crew - often with the director or TMP founder and managing artistic director Jon Douglas Rake. Not only do audience members get to see great entertainment, they learn about the inner workings of the theater and the history of the show. Best of all, it's free. TMP's next big show is the crowd-pleasing insanity (with song and dance) of Monty Python's Spamalot.

Monty Python's Spamalot "Behind the Curtain", 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 12, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 Sixth Avenue, Tacoma, 253.565.6867, tmp.org

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