Beaver Lake thespians take on the task of ‘Shrek’

March 25, 2014

Carol Woodman has directed the annual Beaver Lake Middle School musical for 15 years, and she’s never had as much help as she’s got this year.

While middle-school drama clubs don’t typically have the same participation levels as their high-school counterparts, that might not be the case at Beaver Lake, where 89 students have been cast in roles for this year’s musical, “Shrek.”

That means Woodman, who teaches art and drama at the school, needs a lot of behind-the-scenes assistance.

By Neil Pierson Alexis Jucht (left) plays Princess Fiona and Hammer Shalawylo plays Donkey in Beaver Lake Middle School’s ‘Shrek.’

By Neil Pierson
Alexis Jucht (left) plays Princess Fiona and Hammer Shalawylo plays Donkey in Beaver Lake Middle School’s ‘Shrek.’

“It’s a big undertaking,” she explained. “High school has some advantages that middle school doesn’t have, and that has to do with kids who can sew and help make costumes, kids who can help make sets. We have to depend upon the parents to help do everything.”

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Young actor readies for encore in ‘The Music Man’

February 5, 2013

Josh Feinsilber rehearses at The 5th Avenue Theatre as Winthrop Paroo in 'The Music Man.' By Jeff Carpenter/The 5th Avenue Theatre

Josh Feinsilber rehearses at The 5th Avenue Theatre as Winthrop Paroo in ‘The Music Man.’ By Jeff Carpenter/The 5th Avenue Theatre

River City, Iowa — a Main Street, U.S.A., hamlet created as the setting for Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” — is almost home for performer Josh Feinsilber.

The fledgling actor and Pacific Cascade Middle School sixth-grader portrayed shy Winthrop Paroo in a July 2012 youth production at Village Theatre and is poised to return to stage in the role as The 5th Avenue Theatre rolls out “The Music Man” on Feb. 7.

Josh, 12, is eager to slip into the role again after a turn in Village Theatre’s “Fiddler on the Roof” — a record-setting smash for the Issaquah playhouse.

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Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is Jan. 17

January 8, 2013

King County officials and employees plan to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in a community celebration Jan. 17.

Scheduled speakers at the event include King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Council Chairman Larry Gossett.

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King County to host Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration

January 1, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 1, 2013

King County officials and employees plan to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in a public celebration from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 17.

The public is invited to join the celebration at The 5th Avenue Theatre in downtown Seattle. Scheduled speakers at the event include King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Council Chairman Larry Gossett.

The celebration is scheduled to include musical performances by The Sound of the Northwest and opera soloist Cheryse McLeod Lewis, and the MLK Employee Singers.

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Newcastle actor’s film debut is ‘All I Want is Christmas’

November 6, 2012

Ashton Herrild, of Newcastle, plays antagonist Jack the Jerk in a still from the locally-shot film ‘All I Want is Christmas.’ By Laurie Clark Photography

Newcastle actor Ashton Herrild isn’t mean or rude, but that may be hard to believe for audiences who saw him star as the bully Scut Farkus in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2010 production of “A Christmas Story, The Musical!”

The 15-year-old Liberty High School sophomore is a hardworking student who enjoys doing a little acting on the side.

But for some reason, the charismatic teen keeps getting cast as an antagonist.

“I think it comes with the red hair,” he said as he smiled and pointed to his ginger locks. “You see a lot of movies with red-haired bullies just because they may be different.”

Fortunately, Ashton doesn’t mind, and it’s a good thing because he was cast as Jack the Jerk in his film debut, “All I Want is Christmas.”

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‘Little Shop of Horrors’ feeds school record for Liberty drama awards

June 12, 2012

Photos from Issaquah School District At left, seniors Sierra Hunt (Audrey) and Tucker Goodman (Seymour) perform in Liberty High School’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ Above, carnivorous plant Audrey II (Sheady Manning-Bruce, Natalie Gress and Addison Halpin-Higman) convinces Goodman to feed it.

Liberty High School performers — and a scene-stealing, man-eating plant — snapped up more awards than any other high school drama program in a statewide competition June 4.

The school received four trophies for a recent production of “Little Shop of Horrors” in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s annual awards to recognize musical theater at high schools across the Evergreen State. The honor is akin to a Tony Award for student performers and productions.

“Little Shop of Horrors” garnered awards for Outstanding Music Direction for choir director Robin Wood, Outstanding Scenic Design, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and the top honor, Outstanding Overall Musical Production.

“We have a strong production team and strong talent,” said Katherine Klekas, longtime Liberty drama program director. “I think that was what made this one so special is that it was consistent across the board.”

The campy musical revolved around a carnivorous plant, Audrey II, a puppet comprised of limbs and vines crafted for the performance.

Jeremy Dodd earned the Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role honor for a turn as a floral shop proprietor.

The sophomore donned a bald cap and extensive makeup to transform from a teenager to the curmudgeonly Mr. Mushnik.

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Liberty High School drama program lands statewide theater honors

June 5, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. June 5, 2012

Liberty High School performers — and a scene-stealing, man-eating plant — snapped up more awards than any other high school drama program in a statewide competition Monday.

The school received four honors for a recent production of “Little Shop of Horrors” in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s annual awards to recognize musical theater at high schools across the Evergreen State. The honor is akin to a Tony Award for student performers and productions.

“Little Shop of Horrors” garnered awards for Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Scenic Design, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and the top honor, Outstanding Overall Musical Production.

Jeremy Dodd earned the Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role honor for a turn as a floral shop proprietor in “Little Shop of Horrors.”

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‘Little Shop of Horrors’ scares up drama nominations

May 29, 2012

The scene-stealing, man-eating plant in “Little Shop of Horrors” scared up 13 nominations for the Liberty High School drama program in a statewide competition.

The bevy of nominations is for The 5th Avenue Theatre’s annual awards to recognize musical theater at high schools across the Evergreen State. The honor is akin to a Tony Award for student performers and productions.

The drama program at Liberty, the Patriot Players, presented “Little Shop of Horrors” in late April and early May. The campy musical revolved around a carnivorous plant, Audrey II, a collection of limbs and vines crafted especially for the Liberty performance.

The program received nods for Outstanding Overall Musical Production, Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Musical Direction and Outstanding Choreography.

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A plant steals the show in Liberty High School’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

April 24, 2012

Pam Edmonds (left) is Audrey and Tucker Goodman is Seymour in Liberty High School’s production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ By Tom Corrigan

This is likely to be the only play put on by any high school where the actors have a good chance of being upstaged by a plant.

A very lively, talking, singing plant, but still a plant.

Liberty High School is presenting the musical spoof “Little Shop of Horrors” at the school starting April 27. There are five more shows through May 5.

For those who don’t know, “Little Shop” is based on the exceptionally cheesy, cult horror movie of the same name. At its center is a plant that feeds on human blood. In the musical, it’s all tongue in cheek, of course.

“It’s definitely been an experience,” said senior Sheady Manning-Bruce, 17, who actually plays the plant, Audrey II.

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‘First Date’ musical features Liberty High School alumna Vicki Noon

February 28, 2012

Local actress Vicki Noon, a Liberty High School alumna, returns to a Seattle stage after starring as sharpshooter Annie Oakley in Village Theatre’s “Annie Get Your Gun” and Elphaba on a “Wicked” national tour.

The cast of original musical “First Date” — a co-production between ACT – A Contemporary Theatre and The 5th Avenue Theatre — includes Noon. The sexy comedy follows a couple on a blind date as old boyfriends, ex-fiancées, friends and relatives intrude.

“First Date” runs from March 10 to May 20 at ACT – A Contemporary Theatre in the Falls Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle. Purchase tickets at The 5th Avenue Box Office, 206-625-1900 and www.5thavenue.org, or the ACT Ticket Office, 206-292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org.

Noon started her career at age 13 in the title role of “Violet” at ACT – A Contemporary Theatre. She also played Sophie in the North American tour of “Mamma Mia!” Noon’s Village Theatre credits include a 2006 production of “Cats” and a 2005 staging of original musical “Play It By Heart.”

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