Fun things to do this week in Olympia, Lacey and beyond

“Piano Battle” is a classical piano concert and a comedy show in which pianists Paul Cibis (left) and Andreas Kern (right) alternately display their abundant chops and cut on one another.
“Piano Battle” is a classical piano concert and a comedy show in which pianists Paul Cibis (left) and Andreas Kern (right) alternately display their abundant chops and cut on one another. Courtesy photo

April 5 and 6

‘Old Friends’ reunite for cabaret

Inspired by New York City cabaret shows, “Old Friends” blends musical theater classics — including numbers from “Rent,” “Hair” and “Wicked” — with such surprises as the improvisational “15 Musicals in 15 Minutes.” The show, the first from Brenda Amburgy’s Second Act Productions, features entertainers with whom she’s worked over the years, including musical director Troy Arnold Fisher. Hear the music at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at The Hub at Lacey, 676 Woodland Square Loop. Tickets are $45 and include light appetizers and a drink voucher. Get them at brownpapertickets.com/event/4072106, and find out more at facebook.com/2ndActProductions/.

April 5-13

Shakespeare in trouble

Part history, part mystery, part love letter to William Shakespeare, Saint Martin’s University’s “Equivocation” finds the bard beset by political intrigue. The 2009 drama, directed by Kathy Dorgan and starring Brian Tyrrell and Jason Haws, opens Friday at the State Theatre, 204 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, and the production continues through April 13. Tickets are $12; for next Wednesday’s performance, pay what you can. Get tickets at brownpapertickets.com/event/4188906.

April 6

Pianists play rough

“Piano Battle,” a touring show stopping Saturday in Olympia, is a classical piano concert and a comedy show in which pianists Paul Cibis (the dignified one, who dresses in black) and Andreas Kern (the wild white-clad one) alternately display their abundant chops and cut on one another. (Samples from a Q&A found on pianobattle.com: Asked to name his favorite place on earth, Kern replied, “Far away from Paul.” Asked for his cell phone’s ringtone, Cibis confessed, “A rehearsal recording of Andreas messing up the beginning of the first Chopin Etude.”) Get ready for the rumble at 7:30 p.m. at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia. Tickets are $20-$42. Find details at 360-753-8586 or washingtoncenter.org.

April 6

Genre-blending Dreamers

Danish folk-meets-classical combo Dreamers’ Circus visits Olympia Saturday as part of Emerald City Music’s creative chamber series. Hear the award-winning trio, which aims to make magic and evoke memories through music, at 7:30 p.m. at the Minnaert Center for the Arts at South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia. Tickets are $10-$43. Get more information at 360-753-8586 or washingtoncenter.org, and hear the guys collaborate with the iconic Swedish folk group Väsen at youtube.com/watch?v=OyRR5b8qipM.

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Sam Miller Courtesy photo

April 6

From grief to guffaws

How does a comedian deal with death? By joking about it, of course. That’s the idea behind the frankly named “Dead Mom, Dead Dad,” a comedy (tragicomedy?) show at 7 p.m. Saturday at Octapas Cafe, 414 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Emmett Montgomery of Seattle and Olympia’s Sam Miller, both known for telling the sometimes-painful truth in their acts, team up to tackle the tough topic. Montgomery is grieving the recent death of his mom, and Miller has been developing new material about his father’s death. Also on the bill: storyteller Elizabeth Lord and comedian El Sanchez. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Find details and get tickets at eventbrite.com/e/dead-dad-dead-mom-a-comedy-show-about-grief-and-sadness-tickets-59017309361.

April 7

The view from ‘The Bubble’

Everyone lives in some kind of bubble, where people know what to expect and follow a kind of unwritten and unexamined code. In their new show “The Bubble,” storyteller/impresario Elizabeth Lord and actress/burlesque performer Lauren O’Neill aim to poke fun at local bubbles and at themselves. The pair — both Olympia icons with a finely honed sense of the absurd — promises surprises, special guests and game-show elements in the 21-and-older show at Cryptatropa Bar, 421 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Check out what they’re up to at 7 p.m. Sunday (and on the first Sundays of June, August, October and December). Tickets are $5-$10 at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

April 11-14

The fairer season

Spring brings with it not only flowers but also fairs and festivals, and Thursday brings the start of the Washington State Spring Fair, billed as the state’s largest celebration of the season. The fair, which boasts racing pigs, performing dogs and monster trucks along with carnival rides and plenty of deep-fried food, happens April 11-14 at the Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. SW, Puyallup. Tickets are $8-$12, with free admission for children 5 and younger. Find out more at thefair.com.