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Friday, July 26, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Theater Preview

John Kaufmann's starry show combines his passions

Seattle Times theater critic

Looking for some off-the-beaten-track summer shows to consider? Here's a few:

"Starball." There are not too many solo performers who are also planetarium supervisors.

In fact, John Kaufmann is unusual in his double role as professional stargazer and stand-up gabber. And the fact that he's finding ways to meld his passions for astronomy and theater may make him one-of-a-kind.

In his new show "Starball" (described as "A Jungian Astronomy Spectacular"), Kaufmann offers a tour of the night sky. Helped out by the original music of Dan Dennis and lots of (voluntary) audience participation, he will connect dreams and myths with constellations.

Unlike his last piece, "Linger," this 55-minute show is suitable for children (ages 9 and up) and adults. And it takes place, natch, at Kaufmann's workplace: the Smith Planetarium, inside the Pacific Science Center.

Opens Thursday, plays Thursdays-Sundays through Aug. 25 at the Pacific Science Center, Seattle Center; $12, 206-634-9018.

"It's a Perfect Relationship." Some appealing local cabaret talents take the stage in this new Cabaret de Paris revue of show tunes on the theme of "intimate" relationships, crafted by major Broadway songsmiths: Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jason Robert Brown, et al.

The trio of featured singer-actors under David Edward Hughes' direction includes Kathryn Arnett, Tracy Coe and Louis Hobson, who recently knocked 'em dead as the über-hippie Claude in a 5th Avenue Theatre production of "Hair."

Plays Thursdays-Saturdays through Aug. 3 at Crepe de Paris Restaurant, Rainier Square, Seattle; $18/show only, $45/show and dinner, 206-623-4111.

"Women With Balls." OK, the title is, uh, rather suggestive. But this one-act musical is subtitled a "tribute to strong women of history" — from Joan of Arc to Joan Baez, Eleanor Roosevelt to Mother Teresa, complete with slides, songs and "a token male piano player."

The brazen comic revue, written by Donna Rae Davidson and directed by Joanne Klein, was seen at the 1998 Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival, and more recently at the Mae West Fest. It starts a stand-alone, two-week run in Seattle this weekend.

Opens tonight and runs Thursdays-Sundays through Aug. 11 at the Bathhouse Theatre, 7312 W. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle; $20 tonight, $10-$12 rest of the run, 206-325-6500.

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com.

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