Today - Sunday: Not-so-simple Simon
Some people dismiss Neil Simon’s work because it’s so popular, said Lynne Andreasen, who is directing the playwright’s “Plaza Suite” at Olympia Little Theatre. She sees genius in Simon’s ability to combine realism and absurdity. Having grown up in New York, she also appreciates his humor. “The New York sarcasm is very natural to me,” she said. “There’s a directness that comes from it.” The trio of comedies continues at 7:55 p.m. today, Saturday and June 17-19, and 1:55 p.m. Sunday and June 20 at 1925 Miller Ave. N.E., Olympia. Tickets are $10 for Thursdays, $12 for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Call 360-786-9484.
Tuesday: Film 'Field' trip
Portland filmmakers Nick Peterson and Mary DeFreese shot their feature film “A Field Guide to November Days” almost entirely using bicycles for transportation. They’re taking the film on the road by bicycle as well – on a 1,500-mile tour that began June 10 in Vancouver, B.C., and wraps up next month at the Mexican border. The Olympia stop is 9 p.m. Tuesday at Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia. Peterson, who directed the film, doesn’t just have environmental cred, either. Gus Van Sant has called him “one of the best young filmmakers I have come across in a long time.” Tickets are $8, $5 for Olympia Film Society members. Call 360-754-6670 or go to www.olympiafilmsociety.org.
Wednesday: Japanese dance
Bon Odori – a festival celebrating Japanese dance, tradition and continuity – has become a tradition in Olympia, too. And so have dance lessons offered before the festival. Two months of drop-in classes are available for those who want to learn the dances and join in at the July 31 festival; the classes also allow you to get a costume for the occasion. Classes run from 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays through July 21. Volunteers from the Olympia-Kato Sister City Association will sew traditional happi coats for anyone who wants one; bring 2-3 yards of lightweight cotton fabric. The free lessons will be in room 101 of the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. N.W., Olympia.
Thursday: Is he really funny?
“People say to me, ‘How funny are you?’ ” comedian Lamont Ferguson asks in a video on www.rooftopcomedy.com. “I say: ‘I don’t know. I can only tell you what other people have told me. And apparently, I am funnier than (excrement). You would think in a society as sophisticated as America there would be a better measuring scale.” Ferguson will headline Comedy in the Box at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. Tickets are $14.50. The show is for ages 21 and older. Call 360-753-8586.
Thursday: Psychedelic 'Kicks'
Harlequin Productions celebrated one of America’s favorite eras last year with “Sixties Chicks,” a musical revue with a bit of history. Harlequin is expanding on that theme with “Sixties Kicks.” It opens at 8 p.m. Thursday at the State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. “It’s a bigger show than last year, with more music and choreography,” said director Linda Whitney. Performances run through July 17. Tickets are $34-$37. Call 360-786-0151 or go to www.harlequin productions.org.
Thursday: Pretty hot
The weather, so far, has been anything but hot. But the temperature is likely to feel quite a bit warmer Thursday night at Tush Burlesque’s “Southern HOTspitality.” The women of Olympia’s only burlesque troupe are dreaming of (and dressing for) warmer climes. Shows are at 7 and 10 p.m. at The Royal Lounge, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia. Admission is $12 at the door. Call 360-705-0760.