Told you once (told you a hundred times)

It is every parent's worst nightmare: a beer-guzzling, cigarette-smoking eight-year-old daughter who likes to play "surrogate mother"

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We Told You So

Our performing-arts critics urge you to see Told You Once and the chamber-music-for-the-masses ensemble Simple Measures.

Told you once (told you a hundred times)

It is every parent's worst nightmare: a beer-guzzling, cigarette-smoking eight-year-old daughter who likes to play "surrogate mother" dressed in slutty clothing. Told you once (told you a hundred times), the latest brainchild of Juliet Waller Pruzan, directed by Carys Kresny, is a reflection on the pros and cons of raising children with creative imaginations. And like any reflection worth its two cents, it passes easily through the looking glass, observing the disparate worlds of children and adults from both sides. When the conservative Mrs. Sparks (Therese Diekhans) hires Gary (Daniel Christensen) to act as her personal narrator, questions are raised as to the chronically worried father's parenting abilities. His daughter, Tapestry, keeps for company three affable—if inappropriate—government-sponsored imaginary friends. Disapproving, Mrs. Sparks forms a plot to "rescue" the wayward daughter. With Beckett-like absurdity, the concrete world of adults is portrayed as a place where the most minor of acts results in outrageous consequences. In keeping with a child's ability to transform the ordinary into the all-powerful, a single shoe turns out to be Tapestry's deus ex machina. Not all fun and games, the play also conveys the heartache of watching a child grow up and out of reach. Poisonous Toy Theater at the Chamber Theater, 915 E. Pine St., 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $12-$15. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Sat. May 6. SUZANNE BEAL

Simple Measures

This ensemble's February concert at Interbay's Q Café brought out about 50 people to enjoy their informative, non-intimidating outreach to chamber-music newbies: people who, for example, had probably never been only 10 feet away from a contrabassoon before. Director/cellist Rajan Krishnaswami led a Q&A after each piece (Beethoven, Brahms, and others), engagingly breaking that fourth wall. This weekend, soprano Terri Richter and baritone Morgan Smith join the group for vocal works from Puccini to Cole Porter, including Schubert's song "The Trout" and the quintet he quoted it in. Various venues; 206-283-6058 or www.simplemeasures.org for details. $20-$25. 7:30 p.m. Fri. April 21-Sat. April 22, 7 p.m. Sun. April 23, 7:30 p.m. Mon. April 24. GAVIN BORCHERT

 
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