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Saturday, November 3, 2012 - Page updated at 05:00 a.m.

Local shows of note: 'Antony and Cleopatra,' Tom Lehrer tunes, Mexico City troupe

By Misha Berson
Seattle Times theater critic

Some far-ranging shows of interest are popping up on local stages soon, from a visiting Mexican troupe addressing immigration to a sultry "Antony and Cleopatra" to a revue of Tom Lehrer's wickedly satirical ditties.


Teatro Línea de Sombra makes its Seattle debut at On the Boards next week with a multimedia piece about a man who, fleeing his own country of Mexico, vanishes near the U.S. border.

The award-winning theater company, based in Mexico City and led by experimental director Jorge A. Vargas, uses a highly visual, semiabstract palette of techniques in its nonlinear productions.

"Amarillo" employs video cameras, live actors, film snippets, dance, bilingual monologues, music and such striking props as large bags of sand to explore the plight of those who become literally or metaphorically lost as they attempt to journey from one land and cultural identity to another.

On the Boards has presented several worthy Latin American troupes in recent years, and for this outing will offer a master class, taught by Vargas, and copresented by local Latino company eSe Teatro. OTB also will launch a live video version of the show, for screening in several rural communities around the U.S.

Thursday-Nov. 11 at On the Boards, Seattle; $25 (206-217-9888 or

"Antony and Cleopatra"

He is a celebrated general and one of the triumvirate ruling Rome after the death of Julius Caesar.

She is an Egyptian queen, and a world-renowned beauty.

They meet, and the rest is history, as the tempestuous love affair of Mark Antony and Cleopatra combusts into betrayal, treachery and suicide, and a battle for geopolitical domination.

William Shakespeare's version of the saga, his romantic tragedy "Antony and Cleopatra," is having a rare local staging by Seattle Shakespeare Company at Intiman Playhouse.

Top director John Langs tackles the work, with a noted Seattle acting couple in the leads (Hans Altwies and Amy Thone).

And there's renewed interest in this love story, thanks in part to a 2010 best-selling biography (Stacy Schiff's "Cleopatra: A Life"), which portrays the Egyptian monarch as a woman who relied less on her glamour than her wits to become a political power broker in the ancient world.

Friday-Nov. 18 at Intiman Playhouse, Seattle Center; $27-$40 (206-733-8222 or

"Poisoning Pigeons in the Park — And

Other Relevant, Radical and Risque Songs by Tom Lehrer"

"Every Sunday you'll see/My sweetheart and me/As we poison the pigeons in the park. ... "

Tom Lehrer spent much of his life teaching mathematics at University of California, Santa Cruz. But his second career as a sardonic musical satirist brought him far more notoriety.

Though Lehrer retired from public performance long ago, he cut several popular comedy records of his tunes in the 1950s and '60s that remain in circulation. And his songbook has been revived in a widely produced stage show, "Tomfoolery."

How do Lehrer's sly, stinging odes of irreverence, like those lacerating the nuclear age ("We Will All Go Together When We Go"), religion ("The Vatican Rag"), race relations ("National Brotherhood Week") and modern education ("The New Math"), hold up in 2012?

Judge for yourself, with this new revue staged by veteran Seattle director Arne Zaslove, with musical direction by John Engerman.

Through Nov. 17 at the Market Theatre, Seattle; $15-$18 (800-838-3006 or

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