Village Theatre’s ‘Foreigner’ feels like an old friend

January 28, 2014

Much of the success of Village Theatre’s latest production, “The Foreigner,” rides on the shoulders of actor Erik Gratton. Or, dare I say, his face?

When he first shuffles on set, Gratton must be channeling Droopy from the 1940s MGM cartoons. That he can maintain that hang-dog look while co-star Patrick Phillips prattles on, laying the background for the plot, lets the audience know they’re in for something special.

By Tracy Martin/Village Theatre Erik Gratton (left, as Charlie) listens in on a conversation between Jonathan Crimeni (Reverend David) and Angela DiMarco (Catherine) in a scene from the Village Theatre production of ‘The Foreigner.’

By Tracy Martin/Village Theatre
Erik Gratton (left, as Charlie) listens in on a conversation between Jonathan Crimeni (Reverend David) and Angela DiMarco (Catherine) in a scene from the Village Theatre production of ‘The Foreigner.’

In a play, written by Larry Shue, filled with over-the-top characters from the early ’80s South, Gratton’s interaction with them hinges upon his successful take of a man of a thousand faces.

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New York transplant Brian Yorkey returns home to direct ‘The Foreigner’

January 21, 2014

Angela DiMarco (left) as Catherine Simms, Eric Ray Anderson as Owen Musser and Patrick Phillips as Sgt. Froggy LeSueur appear in a scene from the Village Theatre production of ‘The Foreigner.’ By Mark Kitaoka/Village Theatre

Angela DiMarco (left) as Catherine Simms, Eric Ray Anderson as Owen Musser and Patrick Phillips as Sgt. Froggy LeSueur appear in a scene from the Village Theatre production of ‘The Foreigner.’ By Mark Kitaoka/Village Theatre

A Village Theatre alum has come home to takes audiences south with “The Foreigner.”

Brian Yorkey, celebrated playwright, lyricist and director, has returned to direct the two-act comedy play, which opens Jan. 23. He could not be happier.

“I always love to work here,” Pulitzer prize winner Yorkey said of Issaquah and Village Theatre. “This is home to me. Also, it’s a play I’ve loved since I was a teenager.”

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Sustainability film series presents ‘Trashed’

January 21, 2014

The city of Issaquah’s Office of Sustainability presents the documentary “Trashed” as part of its free Sustainability Film Series from 6:30-9 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center, 700 Second Ave. S.E.

“Trashed” examines the crisis of trash, highlighting how garbage threatens our health and the environment. The film will be followed by a panel discussion of local experts, including King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson.

Some images may not be suitable for young children.

Learn more at www.issaquahwa.gov/sustainability or by calling 837-3400.

 

 

KIDSTAGE revisits popular musical ‘Trust Me’

January 7, 2014

Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE TeenSelect program’s latest production, “Trust Me,” brings the musical full circle for several of those involved.

Regan Morris, a 16-year-old student at Issaquah High School, has been involved in KIDSTAGE since she was 9. Her brother Collin played the original lead role in the musical’s debut in 2006. She is excited to play the primary love interest in the tale.

By Greg Farrar Bryan Sevener (left), in the role of commanding officer Markus Brennan, gets punched by Trent Moury, in the role of Turner, as they learn the choreography of a fight scene during a street-clothes rehearsal for the KIDSTAGE production of ‘Trust Me’ at Village Theatre’s First Stage.

By Greg Farrar
Bryan Sevener (left), in the role of commanding officer Markus Brennan, gets punched by Trent Moury, in the role of Turner, as they learn the choreography of a fight scene during a street-clothes rehearsal for the KIDSTAGE production of ‘Trust Me’ at Village Theatre’s First Stage.

“This was my favorite production my brother was in,” Morris said. “He was such an inspiration to me and was the reason I got into theater.”

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Teen writer pens imaginative, adventurous debut

January 7, 2014

Most 12-year-olds spend their summer vacations riding their bike, swimming and trying not to think about school, but Sammamish resident Jacqueline O’Hara sat with her computer and wrote.

During her 2012 summer break, O’Hara authored several small stories, which she began piecing together into a bigger novel. Eighteen months later, the results are available for everyone to read. Tate Publishing picked up O’Hara’s story, “When Circles End,” and released it Dec. 31.

By Neil Pierson Jacqueline O’Hara, a Pine Lake Middle School student, holds her debut novel ‘When Circles End.’

By Neil Pierson
Jacqueline O’Hara, a Pine Lake Middle School student, holds her debut novel ‘When Circles End.’

“It was just kind of a way to stay ready for school when summer ended,” the now 14-year-old O’Hara said of writing the novel.

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White House hosts student technology video contest

January 7, 2014

The White House is looking for student-produced videos that highlight the power of technology in schools.

The first-ever White House Student Film Festival is a video contest created just for students in kindergarten through 12th grades. Finalists will have their short films shown at The White House and may also be featured on The White House Website, YouTube channel and social media pages.

Films must be under three minutes and should address at least one of the following themes:

  • How you currently use technology in your classroom or school.
  • The role technology will play in education in the future.

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Videographer promotes Washington state parks

December 24, 2013

DiscoverWashington 2013100 copyThe Eric Jensen family purchased a 27-foot travel trailer in 2006, and joined a couple of associations of parks catering to RVers, only to discover they wanted something more.

Jensen said the associations didn’t have the best properties for the outings.

“We decided we wanted the kids to have some great experiences with camping,” the Issaquah resident said. “This was real important to us.”

They started looking for other places to set up on their ventures out of Issaquah.

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Enjoy the biggest, freshest selection at Aji Sushi & Grill

December 24, 2013

The Bento Box (above) at Aji Sushi & Grill is a great lunch deal at only $9.95. The Double A roll (right), like the other sushi rolls at Aji, is a delicious work of art.  Photo by Kathleen R. Merrill.

The Bento Box (above) at Aji Sushi & Grill is a great lunch deal at only $9.95. The Double A roll (right), like the other sushi rolls at Aji, is a delicious work of art. Photo by Kathleen R. Merrill.

The spoiling of the customer at Aji Sushi & Grill in the Issaquah Highlands starts with the warm hand cloths brought to your table when you first arrive. It continues with impeccable service.

The restaurant has not only sushi but also numerous Korean dishes.

One way to judge a sushi place is by its California roll, one of the most popular menu items for people who love sushi, and for people who don’t. The California roll at Aji is beautifully made. You get eight large pieces for $4.95 and the blend of ingredients is perfect.

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Mary, Queen of Peace hosts interfaith holiday concert

December 17, 2013

Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church and Temple B’nai Torah present a holiday interfaith concert from 7-8:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Mary, Queen of Peace, 1121 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish.

The guests of honor are Tent City 4 residents.

The concert features:

  • The Interfaith ensemble from Temple B’nai Torah, led by Cantor David Serkin Poole and music director Glenn Lestz, performing popular Christmas songs.
  • Musical ensembles from Mary, Queen of Peace, led by liturgical music director David Yackley, performing sacred and secular Christmas songs.

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Tis the season for peppermint bark

December 17, 2013

If the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has just about overwhelmed you and the thought of making one more treat or wrapping one more gift is more than you can bear, I hear you.

Every year, with the best intentions, I set out to make and bake an ambitious list of treats and goodies. Every year, I fail miserably to accomplish even a fraction of what I intend. Life, work, holiday merry making and all the other responsibilities just simply get in the way.

PeppermintBarkFood 2013120 copy

By Maria Nelson
Don’t let your sweet tooth go into the new year before trying this recipe for holiday crispy curnch peppermint bark.

I’ve made peace with doing less over the years, and as my children have gotten older I’ve realized that really the most important thing is just to make a priority of enjoying the season. Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way for us to do that.

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