Performance Picks

MISALLIANCE

The eloquently talky first act of Sharon Ott's production plays way too slow, but that only makes it sweeter when the aeroplane hits the English countryhouse roof and Shaw's subversive sex farce hits the fast lane. Thrill-crazy Hypatia (Jennifer Erin Roberts, right) has aristocrat Bentley (Oliver Wadsworth) at her bill and coo. But she spurns the sensibly sexless match to chase the hunky aviator (Hans Altwies, left) who's dropped in, leaving her rich suitor to the butch Polish aviatrix Lina Szczepanowska (Suzanne Bouchard). Hypatia's and Bentley's papas should be aghastexcept they're not erotically impeccable themselves. Her underwear-magnate dad Tarleton (William Whitehead) tends to exceed his briefsas proven by another interloper, his wannabe Socialist assassin Gunner (Eric Ray Anderson). Anderson splutters funnily. Roberts chatters faster than Roz Russell in His Girl Friday. Bouchard amuses without selling out feminism. Only Wadsworth annoys. At the opening, I sat next to invaluable esthete Bagley Wright, who recently wrote a right-on article lamenting Seattle's too- generous, applause-happy audiences. But he had no problem applauding this show. I second that emotion. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 206-443-2222. $10-$46. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Sun.; 2 p.m. matinees Sat.-Sun. and Wed. Oct. 29. Ends Sat. Nov. 1. TIM APPELO

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY

Martha Graham carved her works out of her own bone and sinew, exploring the human psyche with the delicacy of a neurosurgeonand the tenacity of a shark. The company that bears her name and safeguards her dances shares that single-minded devotion, and having survived a legal tangle, returns to performing with their zeal intact. The program features treasures from the 1930's to the '50s, including the transcendent "Diversion of Angels." Meany Theater, UW Campus, 206-543-4880. $40. 8 p.m. Thur. Oct. 23-Sat. Oct. 25. SANDRA KURTZ

SEATTLE BAROQUE

In 1993, keyboardist Byron Schenkman and violinist Ingrid Matthews (above) launched a rather daring experiment, even in a city as early-music-friendly as Seattlea period-instrument orchestra. Their first concerts left audiences exhilarated; since then, they've expanded to present chamber music and harpsichord solo repertory alongside larger works. Their anniversary season focuses on Bach: music he wrote, music that inspired him, and music by colleagues like Telemann, whose cantata Packe dich, gelähmter Drache ("Get back, lame dragon") joins Bach's elegiac Harpsichord Concerto in F Minor on this weekend's season-opening concerts. University Christian Church, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 50th St., 206-322-3118. 8 p.m. Fri. Oct. 24. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third and Union, 206-322-3118. 8 p.m. Sat. Oct. 25. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, 425-893-9900. 7 p.m. Sun. Oct. 26. $18-$29. GAVIN BORCHERT

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