Village Theatre blazes ‘Trails’ for next season

March 13, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

The musical “Trails” — a tale about childhood friends embarking on a journey along the Appalachian Trail — is poised for a premiere in the trailhead city, Issaquah.

“Trails” is the original offering in a lineup of classics Village Theatre plans to present during the 2012-13 season. The downtown Issaquah theater announced the lineup March 7.

The musicals “Big River” — “Huckleberry Finn” retold in musical form — and “Chicago” bracket the season. “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Mousetrap” complete the upcoming season.

“For years, we have listened to the feedback of our audience and our artists when selecting shows — this coming year is no exception and we think our patrons will be very pleased with this diverse lineup,” Executive Producer Robb Hunt said.

The season starts in Issaquah just after Labor Day. The productions then head to the Everett Performing Arts Center after the local engagements conclude.

“Big River”

Sept. 12 to Oct. 21

The hit Broadway musical “Big River” re-imagines “Huckleberry Finn” as a musical told from the protagonist’s perspective.

Roger Miller — a songwriter known for “King of the Road” — penned bluegrass, blues and country songs to accompany the journey. The musical earned Miller a Tony Award for Best Score. “Big River” author William Hauptman garnered Tonys for Best Book of a Musical — for the spoken dialogue — and Best Musical for the show.

What to know

Village Theatre Mainstage subscription packages offer five shows for the price of four. Season packages range from $120 to $250. The theater has discounts for seniors age 65 and older, and for youth patrons younger than 18.

Individual tickets go on sale intermittently throughout the season, starting in August. The theater plans to announce on-sale dates and prices throughout the season.

Tickets can be purchased at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre box office, 303 Front St. N., by phone at 392-2202 or at

“Big River” debuted on Broadway in 1985 and ran for more than 1,000 performances.

“Fiddler on the Roof”

Nov. 7 to Dec. 30

“Fiddler on the Roof” is Village Theatre’s offering for the holiday season.

The title for the classic musical comes from a line Tevye, a poor milkman, utters about holding on to Jewish and Russian customs: “Without tradition, our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.”

The musical debuted on Broadway in 1964 and turned songs such as “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “If I Were a Rich Man” into standards, and claimed a sackful of Tonys, including Best Musical.

“The Mousetrap”

Jan. 16 to Feb. 24, 2013

The murder mystery from the grand dame of crime fiction, Agatha Christie, created a taut thriller about a couple, guests, a detective and a stranger left stranded in a guesthouse.

Then, during a snowstorm, murder and mystery ensue. The play — the only nonmusical offering in the 2012-13 lineup — is noteworthy for a surprise ending.

“The Mousetrap” is the longest-running play in the modern era. The staging in London opened in 1952 and continues to run after more than 24,500 performances.


March 13 to April 21, 2013

The long-lost childhood friends in “Trails” reconnect as adults and embark on a 2,175-mile trek from Georgia to Maine along the Appalachian Trail.

The trail turns more difficult as the journey progresses and old secrets start to emerge. The tale — from author Christy Hall, lyricist Jordan Mann and composer Jeff Thomson — combines grit and humor.

“In both style and content ‘Trails’ is one of the most refreshing new musicals I have heard in some time,” longtime Village Theatre Artistic Director Steve Tomkins said. “For me, the show seems timely and relevant as here in the Northwest, walking the Pacific Crest Trail has become a new rite of passage for many local young adults. The quest for discovery of who we are and rediscovery of whom we wanted to be is extremely compelling.”

“Trails” comes to the regular season lineup after a stripped-down reading at Village Theatre’s 2011 Festival of New Musicals, a showcase for original shows.

“Happily I can say that this show was an undeniable audience favorite in our 2011 new works festival,” Tomkins said. “I’m eagerly waiting to share its catchy pop-country score and inspiring coming-of-age story with Village Theatre audiences.”


May 8 to June 29, 2013

The merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail close the season, as Village Theatre stages “Chicago” — a blockbuster musical renowned for saucy lyrics and sultry choreography.

“Chicago” introduced audiences to “All That Jazz” and “Cell Block Tango” as the razzle-dazzle musical satirizes celebrity.

The murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly pursue headline after headline — and share a marquee attorney, slippery Billy Flynn. Prohibition serves as the backdrop for the pop-inflected score.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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One Response to “Village Theatre blazes ‘Trails’ for next season”

  1. Wendy Saunders on July 21st, 2012 7:25 am

    I cannot express how excited I am for the premiere of TRAILS at Village Theatre. It has some of the most gorgeous music I’ve heard in a long time. Looking forward to sharing it with my children (who aren’t children anymore!).

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