Centerstage Theatre’s 2017-18 season begins Sept. 22. The season features everything from an Agatha Christie favorite to a panto of “Beauty and the Beast.” Photo courtesy CenterStage Theatre

Centerstage Theatre in Federal Way kicking off new season with a classic

Centerstage Theatre is kicking off its new season on Sept. 22, providing a variety of performances, from classic plays to fairy tales with a twist.

Centerstage is starting off strong with “Witness for the Prosecution.” Regarded as writer Agatha Christie’s best work, this drama has Leonard Vole standing accused of murdering a rich widow. It follows the trial, which includes witness testimonies intended to leave the audience surprised.

The opening play begins at 8 p.m. Sept. 22. It will be performed 13 times, with its final performance at 2 p.m. Oct. 8.

“It’s a classic play. We’ve never done Agatha Christie before, and this is known for being probably her best play. It’s a drama and very suspenseful,” Centerstage Managing Director Angela Bayler said.

The next performance is a panto, short for pantomime. Starting at 2 p.m. Nov. 25, Centerstage Theatre will perform the classic fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast,” but with a twist.

“We call it a fractured fairy tale,” Bayler said.

The panto has become a holiday tradition for Centerstage Theatre. Modern music will be incorporated, as well as a man dressed as a woman, and a female in a male’s role. The play is for all ages and requires some audience participation.

The play will be performed 14 times, with its final performance at 7 p.m. Dec. 21.

Next is a much newer play. This darker comedy called “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” begins with a women eating in a cafe when the cell phone of the man next to her rings. There’s one problem: The man can’t pick up the phone because he’s dead.

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” opens with its first show at 8 p.m. Jan. 28, 2018, and will be performed 12 times. The final performance is at 2 p.m. Feb. 11.

“This comedy is newer than the other plays and has a dark twist to it. It is probably for ages 16 and up, definitely not a kids show,” Bayler said.

The fourth performance is a musical called “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” a comedy-based sci-fi. It is based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” with rock and roll music all people will recognize.

The musical will have its first performance at 8 p.m. March 16. The last performance is March 31. It will be performed 12 times.

“We are doing this in conjunction with Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare,” Bayler said. “Theaters in Seattle and surrounding areas are all doing one Shakespeare-based show.”

The final musical is “The Pajama Game.” Set in a pajama factory, workers go on strike because of their wages.

“It’s your typical musical, with a love story involved,” Bayler said. “Probably people who are in high school and up would enjoy it the most.”

The first performance will begin at 8 p.m. May 18 and will be performed 13 times. The final performance will be at 2 p.m. June 3 and will wrap up Centerstage’s season.

For a complete list of performances and times, go to www.centerstagetheatre.com.

Tickets cost $29 for adults per show, $25 for seniors (65+), $25 for military, $15 for youth (18-25) and $12 for children 17 and under. VIP tickets cost $50.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the only show which has different pricing. Tickets costs $35 for adults, $30 for seniors (65+), $30 for military, $15 for youth (18-25) and $12 for children 17 and under. VIP tickets cost $50.

Five show season passes are also available to purchase, costing $127 for adults, $109 for seniors and $109 for military.

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