Hijinks, hilarity ensue in ‘Chasing Nicolette’

September 22, 2009

By Kathleen R. Merrill

Kate Jaeger (Nun), Tanesha Ross (Nicolette), Nick DeSantis (Valere) and Matthew Kacergis (Aucassin) star in Village Theatre’s production of ‘Chasing Nicolette.’ By by Jay Koh/Property of Village Theatre

Kate Jaeger (Nun), Tanesha Ross (Nicolette), Nick DeSantis (Valere) and Matthew Kacergis (Aucassin) star in Village Theatre’s production of ‘Chasing Nicolette.’ By by Jay Koh/Property of Village Theatre

How do you spell fun? C-H-A-S-I-N-G N-I-C-O-L-E-T-T-E.

That’s Village Theatre’s production of “Chasing Nicolette,” playing now on the local mainstage until Oct. 25.

Or maybe it’s N-I-C-K D-E-S-A-N-T-I-S.

That’s Nick DeSantis, the actor who plays Valere and nearly steals the show with his hilarity, hijinks and outrageousness.

You honestly may never see anyone funnier on a stage.

But every cast member is great and you’ll find yourself enjoying the particular vocal and comedic talents of each and every one. The voice of Timothy McCuen Piggee (playing King) is especially deep and sultry.

The silliness begins in the first scene with the musical’s 10 characters singing about life in the year 1224. It continues throughout the production, never really letting up.

Even the more serious scenes had people laughing out loud, such as every time the audience catches up with Brian Demar Jones (playing Nemur) as he continues his search for Nicolette.

Just try to keep a straight face.

Or when Nicolette (the silky-voiced Tanesha Ross) sings of her love (and food) in the number “You’re Always on My Mind.”

The voices are exceptional and although the harmonies are particularly sweet, the solos are even more so.

This musical features one of the best and hilarious sword fights ever. And a dungeon has never been so funny. You’ll leave with a sore throat and a belly ache from laughing so much throughout the entire production.

The musical’s program seems to apologize for the play being in verse, but you’ll be so entertained by it that you might not notice all of the rhymes unless you’re really paying attention for them.

The costumes are delicious with their jewel-toned, luxurious fabrics. You’ll drool over them if you love fashion.

And although set designer Scott Fyfe says in the program that he doesn’t necessarily want people to say, “What a great set,” you can’t help but think it. His revolving castle turns at the perfect speed and characters go from one facet of it to another seamlessly. You can’t help but notice how ingenious the design of it is.

Favorite scene: Valere and his arms in the dungeon. You’ll want to hold that gum or mint in your hand for this one, so you don’t swallow it.

Favorite song: “You Have to Lie,” sung by DeSantis, accompanied by Matt Wolfe (playing Montescu). Hear it now on the “Chasing Nicolette” page on the theater’s Web site.

Bravo to Peter Kellogg (book and lyrics), David Friedman (music), Steve Tomkins (director) and R.J. Tancioco (musical direction) for this gem. You’ll want to see it again and again.

If you go

‘Chasing Nicolette’

2, 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m.

Sept. 17 – Oct. 25

$34 – $59 for adults

Francis J. Gaudette Theatre

303 Front St. N.

Call 392-2202 or

go to www.villagetheatre.org.

Kathleen R. Merrill: 392-6434, ext. 227, or editor@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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