April 10, 2012
The young performers in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE program look to Dr. Seuss for inspiration in “Seussical Jr.”
The musical runs April 13-29 at the First Stage Theatre, 120 Front St. N. Tickets cost $14 to $16. Call 392-2202 or go to www.villagetheatre.org.
The writers behind the landmark musical “Ragtime” created “Seussical Jr.” — a shorter version of “Seussical,” a onetime Broadway show based on the characters created by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.
“Seussical Jr.” features cherished characters, such as the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie LaBird and Whos aplenty. The musical styles in the show include a cornucopia — funk, gospel, Latin, pop, R&B and swing.
March 13, 2012
Teenage performers skewer beauty pageants in KIDSTAGE musical ‘Hot Mess’
“Hot Mess” — a fledgling musical about beauty pageants — is not afraid to address some ugly truths.
The creators poke a high heel behind the scenes at a beauty pageant in the comedy, the latest offering from Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE Company Originals program — a collaboration among young performers and theater professionals. The creators then perform the piece.
“Hot Mess” is due to receive a barebones reading — no costumes, no sets — at First Stage Theatre from March 23-25.
The team behind “Hot Mess” is a group of seven teenage girls, ages 14-17. Director Kiki Abba, a mentor and, more importantly, a grown-up, encouraged the girls to rely on personal experiences in the theater realm and the pressure cooker of high school to fashion the plot.
January 17, 2012
Adding to its list of events to draw more visitors to downtown, the DownTown Issaquah Association announces First Friday Wine Walk from 5-8 p.m. Feb. 3.
Wine Walk, following other popular events such as ArtWalk and a zombie invasion, will feature boutique wine tasting at six locations up and down Front Street.
“It should be fun,” said Karen Donovan, the association’s executive director. “I’m excited.”
Wineries will include Lodmell Winery in Walla Walla; Woodinville’s Smasne Cellars; and, Castillo de Feliciana. Several Wine Walk locations will feature live entertainment to include acoustic guitarist “Uncle Phil” Hansen; guitarist and composer Angelo Pizarro; vocal group Bodacious Ladyhood; and, pianist Meg Mann.
January 3, 2012
Months after professional actors re-imagined “Jesus Christ Superstar” on the Village Theatre Mainstage, teenage performers plan to raise the curtain soon on “Godspell” — a similar musical from the same era.
Both shows opened in 1971 and offered a contemporary — critics said blasphemous — perspective on the Gospels. In the years since, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Godspell” became rooted in pop culture.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” depicts the last days in Christ’s life. “Godspell” is structured as a series of parables.
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.