December 27, 2011
Renewal defined the year, as the community paused after a population boom and economic bust — and positioned Issaquah for the decades ahead.
Milestones from the last 12 months offer contrasts.
Leaders opened showcases for “green” design and concluded a milestone effort to preserve Tiger Mountain forestland. Tragedy left indelible impressions, too, as a gunman menaced downtown pedestrians on a September morning and turned a school campus into a crime scene.
December 27, 2011
Village Theatre’s teenage performers plan to stage the musical “Godspell” at First Stage Theatre soon — and theatergoers can purchase tickets now.
“Godspell” — a stage adaptation of the Gospel of Matthew — runs Jan. 7-22 at the theater, 120 Front St. N. Tickets cost $14 to $16. Call 392-2202 or go to www.villagetheatre.org.
Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak created” Godspell” in 1971. (Schwartz later wrote “Wicked” — a mega-musical about the Wicked Witch of the West.)
In “Godspell” — cast members range in age from 13 to 18 — performers examine parables of a community in a time of uncertainty. The characters test the values of brotherhood and friendship.
August 9, 2011
Original musical is a psychological thriller about online interaction
The rough-and-tumble environs of the Internet prompt too many comparisons to count.
In the electronic wilderness, the setting is similar to the Wild West, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, or a forest, dim and foreboding.
The original musical “Cloaked” re-imagines “Little Red Riding Hood” in such a boundless electronic wilderness. The result is a psychological thriller, a genre not often explored in a theater scene dominated by feel-good musicals.
“We wanted to write something that we felt we would like to see on a Broadway stage, but that wasn’t a story that you already knew the ending to — and that also made you think, that made you really ponder the world and the way that you see things and question our preconceived notions of things,” composer and co-lyricist Danny Larsen said. “We also wanted to put characters on stage who were not the usual leading roles that you would normally see.”
The bold piece is part of the Festival of New Musicals at Village Theatre. Organizers plan to open “Cloaked” to the public at First Stage Theatre — a departure from the festival format in the past.
Issaquah audiences last experienced “Cloaked” as a reading at the 2010 festival. The strong reaction the show received prompted organizers to invite the creators to stage the show for a developmental production.
July 12, 2011
“Chicago” the stage musical is not so far off from Chicago the Midwestern metropolis.
Chicago is a synonym for corruption and scandal. “Chicago” revels in corruption and scandal.
So, Chicago functions as a seamless setting as murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly pursue a disposable sort of fame afforded to celebrity criminals. Prohibition serves as the backdrop for the smart satire about celebrity and media manipulation.
The razzle-dazzle musical is the latest offering from KIDSTAGE, the long-running youth education program at Village Theatre. “Chicago” is managed from opening number to curtain call by student-actors in the program.
Director Jacob Moe-Lange, a Skyline High School graduate and University of California, Berkeley, student, debuts as director on the production.
“‘Chicago’ is not a subtle show. It is a very in-your-face show about a lot of things,” he said. “What I want the audience to walk away with is, I want them to have seen the show and recognize that what happens onstage is not isolated from what happens in their own lives.”
The musical named for the Windy City peddles camp and vamp in equal measures. Theatergoers can catch “Chicago” starting July 15.
May 3, 2011
The DownTown Issaquah Association’s 10th annual ArtWalk season kicks off May 6. The popular event, the first Friday of every month through September, invites visitors to meet local business owners, enjoy free music, watch artists in action, and shop and dine in downtown Issaquah after normal business hours.
ArtWalk draws hundreds of visitors to traditional art destinations such as artEAST’s Art Center and the newly expanded Museo Art and Design School on Front Street. In addition, nontraditional locations open their doors to the event throughout downtown Issaquah and Gilman Village.
Typically, the event ran from 5-9 p.m. in the past. But by popular request, that has changed.
“The event now runs from 5-8 p.m. with a soft close at 8,” said Annique Bennett, cultural events coordinator for the DownTown Issaquah Association. “Those with signs out front of their businesses can now pull them in and go home at 8, or they can choose to stay open as long as they want to.”
For May, artEAST opens a new exhibit, “150 Feet of Art,” at Up Front Art. More than 100 pieces of art on one-square-foot canvases will be displayed and available for purchase during the monthlong auction.
April 5, 2011
Village Theatre plans additional offerings at downtown venue
The curtain rises soon on the rebuilt First Stage Theatre in downtown Issaquah.
April 5, 2011
Some milestones trigger stomach-churning dread.
Turning 40 comes to mind, but turning, say, 18 or 21 does not.
The latest musical from the KIDSTAGE program at Village Theatre stares down another fraught numeral: 13, the year acne and angst transform cherubic children into temperamental teenagers.
The musical “13” offers a little more edge and sass than “High School Musical” and other shows geared for teenage performers. The show premieres at the rebuilt First Stage Theatre on April 7.
“Kids love the show” and the material, director and KIDSTAGE Programs Manager Suzie Bixler said.
Divorce upends life for Evan, a 12-year-old Manhattanite.
January 19, 2011
January 18, 2011
The color palette on the sign slicing the First Stage Theatre façade suggests a candy store.
Consider the rich chocolate and cream blended to form the soft-edged letters. Or the neon — as brash as Liberace — done up in bubblegum pink and spearmint green.
The restoration team at a Kirkland sign manufacturer spent weeks to restore the decades-old sign. Crews installed the refurbished sign on the façade Jan. 14, as the theater reconstruction project nears completion. Read more
January 4, 2011
The 1980s are back with Village Theatre KIDSTAGE’s production of “Footloose,” drawing audiences into a small California town that has a ban on dancing and many young, eager dancers trying to repeal the stifling law.
KIDSTAGE last performed “Footloose” in 2002, shortly after the musical made popular by the 1984 movie with Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest was turned into a stage show. Director Faith Russell and her colleagues chose it again for its high-energy music and dancing, and good take-home messages, Production Coordinator Helen Voelker said.
“The musical is about having an obstacle and overcoming that obstacle — and having a dance,” she said.
The play follows Ren McCormack (Jordon Bolden) and his mother Ethel (Joell Weil) when they move from Chicago, where Ren is the king of teenage dancers at Windy City nightclubs, to Bomont, Calif. Read more