CITIES: CONVERSATIONS IN THE COURT OF THE KHAN The cerebral physicality of UMO Ensemble meets composer Amy Denio, director Robin Lynn Smith, Marco Polo, and

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CITIES: CONVERSATIONS IN THE COURT OF THE KHAN The cerebral physicality of UMO Ensemble meets composer Amy Denio, director Robin Lynn Smith, Marco Polo, and Kublai Khan in a must-see new work inspired by Italo Calvino's celebrated book Invisible Cities. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy, 217-9888. $16- $18. Opens Thurs., June 7. 8 p.m. Thurs.- Sun. Ends Sun., June 24.

DINNER WITH FRIENDS Call us bourgeois, but the fact that Donald Margulies' comedy-drama about marriage and friendship (for which R.E.M.'s Peter Buck has composed original music) won the Pulitzer Prize piques our interest. A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union, 292-7676. $10- $42. Pay-what-you-can matinee 2 p.m. Sun., June 3. Previews Fri., June 1- Wed., June 6. Opens Thurs., June 7. 7 p.m. Sun. and Tues.- Thurs.; 8 p.m. Fri.- Sat.; matinees 2 p.m. Sat.- Sun. and Thurs., June 14. Ends Sun., July 1.

THE DYING GAUL Powerhouse Laurence Ballard portrays a movie producer locked in a dark embrace with his wife, his male screenwriter lover, and the Internet. Playwright Craig Lucas' anger is bound to set a few tongues wagging. Seattle Center, Intiman Theatre, 269-1900. $10- $42. Previews Fri., July 20- Tues., July 24. Opens Wed., July 25. 7:30 p.m. Sun. and Tues.- Thurs.; 8 p.m. Fri.- Sat.; matinees 2 p.m. Sat.- Sun. and Wed., Aug. 15. Ends Sat., Aug. 18.

GREAT MEN OF SCIENCE, NOS. 21 & 22 Local comic dynamos Burton Curtis and Lori Larsen, among others, in a work that premiered at Los Angeles' cutting-edge Circle X Theatre? We'll bite. Glen Berger's play celebrates two brilliant minds from 18th-century France. The Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont N., 547-7500. $18- $28. Pay-what-you-can preview 7:30 p.m. Mon., June 4. Also previews Fri., June 1, Sat., June 2, and Tues., June 5. Opens Wed., June 6. 7:30 p.m. Sun. and Tues.- Thurs.; 8 p.m. Fri.- Sat.; matinees 2 p.m. select Sat.- Sun. Ends Sun. July 15.

HOTHOUSE 2001 Annex's annual new play experiment—the culmination of a lab project in which four short pieces are developed by writer-director-actor ensembles in two weeks—makes for a lively way to bid adieu to the company's current digs (their farewell party is June 30). Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth, 728-0933. $12. 8 p.m. Thurs., May 24- Sat. May 27. Matinee 2 p.m. Sat., May 27. Ends Sat., May 27.

MISS GOLDEN DREAMS ACT's intimate Bullitt performances regularly uncover theatrical gems, and this one, a world premiere of Joyce Carol Oates' Marilyn Monroe meditation, could be the season's stunner. A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union, 292-7676. $10- $16. Previews Aug. 2. Opens Fri., Aug. 3. 7:30 p.m. Sun. and Wed.- Thurs.; 8 p.m. Fri.- Sat. Ends Wed., Aug. 29.

RESIDENT ALIEN OK, so we already mentioned On the Boards, but we couldn't resist Bette Bourne (frequent Bloolips visitor) in his Obie-winning turn as Quentin Crisp. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy, 217-9888. $16- $18. Opens Thurs., July 12. 8 p.m. Thurs.- Sun. Ends Sun., July 22.

SANDRA BERNHARD No one slices through layers of pop culture like this provocateur; it's a good bet her latest monologue-and-rock-music Love Machine works in similarly cutting ways. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine, 628-0888. $18.50- $38.50. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., June 7.

STRAY Printer's Devil Theatre takes its first full-production bow under the new leadership of Stephen Hando with company member Heidi Shreck's original piece about two exiled women and the refugees they attract. First Christian Church, 1632 Broadway, third floor, 860-7163. $10- $12. All Wed. performances, except opening night, are pay-what-you-can. Previews Wed., May 30- Sat., June 2. Opens Wed., June 6. 8 p.m. Wed.- Sat. Ends Sat., June 30.

 
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