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Olympia’s fall theater scene

From a loveable bear to a loveable transvestite

Christopher Valcho as Mark Rothko and John Tuttle as Ken in Red at Olympia Little Theatre. Photo credit: Jim Patrick

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I know it's the oldest cliché in the book, but Olympia's fall theater scene has something for everyone, from mystery to comedy to children's fare to musicals, and various mixtures of all that.

Harlequin Productions' season runs later than other theaters, meaning as the fall season opens everywhere else, they are still running the last show in their 2018 season with a continuation of Ruthless!, through Sept. 15, followed by Dry Powder Oct. 4-27, and finally the 2018-2019 season opens with Stardust Christmas Groove, the 24th installment in the Stardust series of Christmas musicals, Nov. 29.

Ruthless! is a wonderful campy musical about a young girl who is willing to kill to be a star. A parody of such shows about show business as Gypsy, in this one it is the kid, not the stage mother, who is ruthless. But then everything changes and we discover people are not who they seem to be. Directed by Aaron Lamb and starring Charlotte Darling, Aubrey Thomas and Gregory Conn, Ruthless! is the funniest musical you're likely to see this year.

Olympia Family Theater starts their season with the delightful children's show Corduroy. Follow the popular bear on his delightfully destructive chase through every section of the department store in search of his missing button. OFT says, "Will the night watchperson find him and return him to his shelf before he can find his important button? Will Lisa ever convince her mother to let her give the bear a home? This enduring story stirs up the stage with a bustling rumpus of action and a tender tale of true friendship." Adapted for the Stage by Barry Kornhauser and directed by Jon Tallman, Corduroy opens Sept. 28.

From light hearted and silly to the most intense of dramas, we go to Red at Olympia Little Theatre. This two-man show is the story of the great Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko as he takes on the biggest challenge of his life, a group of large paintings for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York. In bad health and wracked with self-doubt, Rothko (Christopher Valcho) is locked in a battle over his artistic visions with his assistant, Ken (John Tuttle). Red is directed by Jim Patrick. It opens Sept. 20.

Following Red will be Clockwork, a wacky comedy musical directed by Robert McConkey, Oct. 26-Nov. 11.

Finally, we come to the next offering from Olympia's newest theater company, Broadway Olympia Productions: the one, the only, The Rocky Horror Show. Join innocent and naïve Brad and Janet as they stumble into the castle of Dr. Frank 'N' Furter, an alien, transvestite scientist with a manic genius and insatiable libido. It's an evening of horror, sci-fi and rock and roll.

RUTHLESS!, 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday, through Sept. 15, State Theater, 202 4th Ave. E., Olympia, $42 general, $38 senior/military, $25 student/youth, 360.786.0151,

CORDUROY, 7 p.m., Friday; 2 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 28-Oct. 21, with one Thursday show 7 p.m., Oct. 4, Olympia Family Theater, 612 4th Ave. E., Olympia, $19 adults, $16, 360.570.1638,

RED, 7:25 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 1:55 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 20-30, Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia, $9-$15, 360.786.9484,

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, 8 p.m., Oct. 31-Nov. 4; 2 p.m. matinee and midnight show, Nov. 3, The Capitol Theater, 206 5th Ave. SE, $20,

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