Stage Highlights

We've got tickets for Re-Bar's Fete, Columbia City Cabaret, and Menotti's operas. Have you?

Fetes de la Nuit

Eet ees vis ze subject of ze love zat most of ze vignettes in zis show are. . . how you say . . . concerned. Five men and five women, many of them fresh-faced Cornish alumni, zip through this sophisticated, Gallic-flavored froth by Charles L. Mee, which comprises a couple dozen blackout sketches and monologues (most comic, some serious, some sexy), a little music, and two brief, giddy dance numbers. Spoofing only the broadest French clichés (baguettes, accordions, pompous intellectuals), none of the skits draw blood, and all carry a slight perfume of charming absurdity thanks to the cast's Pepe le Pew accents—which take the edge off even an out-of-left-field S&M anecdote that otherwise would have been disconcertingly dark. Amorous couplings mix and match genders without being self-consciously naughty, which is a relief; the young cast's puppylike eagerness to entertain blends refreshingly with the material's deadpan, elegant silliness (and Re-bar's casual pierced-and-tattooed funkiness adds another flavor to the recipe). The laughs rise and sparkle like champagne bubbles; it's a trés sec cocktail for a summer evening. Strike Anywhere Productions at Re-Bar, 1114 Howell St., 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $10. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Ends Sun. July 16. GAVIN BORCHERT

Columbia City Cabaret

Tamara Dover, aka "Tamara the Trapeze Lady", gets great mileage out of the good-hearted naughtiness of her cabaret performance, as do many of the artists she's booked into this theater—but alongside the snappy patter is some very impressive aerial technique. There's a strong magical flavor to her work, as she distracts us from the mechanics of gravity, creating the illusion of flight while making her clothes disappear. Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 206-605-9920. $15. 9 p.m. Fri. June 30. Open run. SANDRA KURTZ

Puget Sound Opera

The local burgeoning of small-scale opera productions continues with a contrasting double-bill by Gian Carlo Menotti (who turns 95 on July 7): his love-triangle comedy Amelia Goes to the Ball, written in his early 20s, and the psychological/supernatural melodrama The Medium, which actually ran for over 200 performances on Broadway in 1947-48. These works, plus The Consul and of course Amahl and the Night Visitors, constitute his core achievement, popular and rewarding works with a firm place in the repertory. Whether he's written anything of lasting value in the last half-century is a dicier question, though few would dispute that, as Ned Rorem put it, Menotti "singlehandedly put opera on the map in America." Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 3940 Brooklyn Ave. N.E., www.brownpapertickets.com. $22. 7:30 p.m. Fri. June 30-Sat. July 1. GAVIN BORCHERT

 
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