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
December 28, 2010
The economy lurched from the recession, population growth all but stalled and Issaquah — after cutbacks and setbacks in 2009 — defied the odds to reach major milestones throughout 2010.
Momentum returned in 2010 after a year spent in a holding pattern. Set against the backdrop of a fragile recovery, leaders cut the ribbon on businesses and roads, laid the foundation for preservation and construction, and marked tragedies and successes. Read more
July 13, 2010
The curtain has fallen for a downtown Issaquah landmark.
Crews brought down the outdated, frontier-era First Stage Theatre last week, as Village Theatre readies to build a modern facility on the same site.
Foushée & Associates, a Bellevue contractor, started to disassemble the building in late June, and completed the task July 8. Before the teardown, workers salvaged material from the old theater to be used in the planned building.
Plans for the soon-to-be-constructed theater call for better seating, more space onstage and backstage, and a similar façade to the former structure.
Theater executives launched a capital campaign to fund the First Stage reconstruction, after they realized the extent of decay to the 1913 theater and shelved renovation plans.
Crews detoured pedestrians through wooden scaffolding built adjacent to the street for the duration of the project. The sidewalk closure runs through March 2011.
The first Village Theatre show — “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” — opened there in 1979. Until the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre — referred to as the Mainstage — opened, First Stage Theatre housed the Issaquah theater. KIDSTAGE and the Village Originals programs occupied the space after Village Theatre built the Mainstage in the early 1990s.
July 8, 2010
NEW — 4:15 p.m. July 8, 2010
Crews brought down the outdated, frontier-era First Stage Theatre on Thursday afternoon, as Village Theatre readies to build a modern facility on the same downtown Issaquah site.
Foushée & Associates, a Bellevue builder, started to disassemble the building in late June, and completed the task Thursday. Before the teardown, workers salvaged material from the old theater to be used in the planned building.
June 29, 2010
The effort to replace the original Village Theatre — the frontier-era relic known as First Stage Theatre — inched ahead last week.
Crews closed the sidewalk in front of the historic building, and detoured pedestrians through wooden scaffolding built adjacent to the street. The sidewalk closure runs through March 2011.
Plans call for the existing structure to be razed in coming weeks, and for a modern theater to replace the almost century-old building at 120 Front St. N.
Crews from contractor Foushée & Associates, a Bellevue builder, started to disassemble the building last week. Construction should start on the new theater in July, theater spokeswoman Michelle Sanders said.
The builder intends to incorporate wood and other components, such as the iconic sign, from the historic theater into the planned building. Executives intend for the First Stage building to be LEED certified.
May 4, 2010
The local economy has improved since last year, but increased retail offerings and high-profile construction projects could help the city rebound in the months ahead.
Economic Development Manager Dan Trimble said the city had progressed beyond the economic doldrums of last year. Joe’s — the longtime sporting goods retailer — closed as the city grappled with dual real estate and building construction slowdowns brought on by the recession.
“In 2010, we started to see the economic recovery start to take hold,” Trimble told City Council members April 27. “We’ve had some new retail moving in, both big and small. Construction activity has been returning.”
Swedish Medical Center started construction on a campus in the Issaquah Highlands late last year, and Best Buy and Sports Authority will open Issaquah stores in the months ahead. Sports Authority will occupy the old Joe’s space, and Best Buy will fill vacant space in the bustling East Lake Center shopping complex anchored by Fred Meyer and The Home Depot.
Sports Authority should generate $85,000 to $100,000 annually in sales tax revenue for the city; Best Buy should pull in $100,000 to $200,000, city Finance Director Jim Blake said in a May 1 conference call with council members.