Brief Encounters

21 SHOTS

Jewel Box Theatre at the Rendezvous, 2320 Second, 206-860-7163. $12. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Ends Sat., Oct. 26.

The latest from Printer's Devil is a whip-smart riff on the old mismatched roommates routine, with uptight Brian (Stephen Hando) finding his foil in struggling novelist Parker (Sean Nelson). The show is so slyly written that when it achieves deep significance—and, honestly, it does—the whole evening immediately and unexpectedly changes from a brisk romp to something profound and almost obscenely satisfying. Partial credit goes to Kip Fagan's direction and Hando's typically freakish performance, but let's all take a moment to grovel at the feet of playwright Daren Bos, who has created a rare, beautiful thing. Of all the countless plays about Art and Inspiration, almost none is actually inspired. This one is. CHRIS JENSEN

IN PURSUIT OF AN INKLING

Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th, 206-324-1062. $10. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 7 p.m. Sun. Ends Sat., Oct. 19.

YOU CAN'T FAULT him for overweening ambition: Writer-star David Sadka isn't looking for Truth or even a full-fledged Idea—all he wants is an inkling. He'd better keep looking. Throughout the course of this 70-minute one-man show, Sadka offers glimpses of his childhood in the South, his stint at Oxford, and his years on Wall Street. Then he talks about his journey into the Australian outback and his concurrent realization that—brace yourself—his soul is as deep as the ocean. The piece is part confessional, part ego trip; mostly, though, it's a discomfitting journey into one man's near-total lack of self-awareness. With "Craig" on the didgeridoo. CHRIS JENSEN

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine, 206-292-ARTS. $20-$60. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat.; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun., Oct. 13.

THIS ADAPTATION OF the beloved 'toon can be mildly pleasant, until some poor guy dressed as a cheese grater comes out to join the singing cutlery and, geez, you remember how Disney it all is. The artful success of Broadway's The Lion King notwithstanding, this is what you should expect from America's signature corporation—the show has bright moments and the sweet compassion of the Oscar-winning Ashman/Menken score, but it mostly plays like a less-than-thrilling theme-park attraction. And the film's perfect 85 minutes have been padded with completely unnecessary extra songs that will put to sleep toddlers who can't hold up for two and a half hours. A few engaging performances (Marc G. Dalio mugging happily as the narcissistic Gaston) aren't enough to keep you from wishing you were watching the movie again. STEVE WIECKING

ROAD MOVIE

Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren N., 206-382-4250. $15. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sun. Ends Sun., Oct. 13.

GODFREY HAMILTON'S one-man play about a grieving alcoholic, the revelatory love of the young man who rescues him, and the three women he meets on his cross-country journey back toward redemption has a heart but feels precious and indulgent. A baldly sentimental script that runs about a half-hour too long undoes the universal longing Hamilton evokes in his words ("I want to be courted, not just desired in hot corners after midnight"). Some better guidance would have helped: Director Lorenzo Mele should have cut the more effusive poetics ("You taste of the sea"—argh) and made Mark Pinkosh's solo turn more genuine—his women come off like drag queens, and everyone has ridiculously precise diction. STEVE WIECKING

 
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