April 17, 2012
Some teenage performers need audiences to go to Urinetown.
No, Urinetown is not a real place, at least not outside of a satirical musical with the same name.
Andrew Gryniewicz, a Sammamish Plateau resident and student at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, plays the psychopath Hot Blades Harry in the show.
(Gryniewicz starred as Edna in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE production of “Hairspray” last summer.)
The drama program at Gryniewicz’s school is presenting “Urinetown” the musical from April 27-29 at The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle. Tickets cost $15 to $28. Call 877-784-4849 toll free or go to www.stgpresents.org.
In “Urinetown,” a prolonged drought has caused a water shortage and a soulless corporation controls all toilets. Citizens must relieve themselves in public restrooms. Violators get sent to a penal colony called — you guessed it — Urinetown.
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 20, 2012
Performers from the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE program plan to join singers from the Seattle Men’s Chorus and the Seattle Women’s Chorus to present a concert to Seattle-area children and family members March 31.
See 20 or so KIDSTAGE performers ages 11-19 join the choruses on stage for a free hourlong performance at 2 p.m. at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle.
Before the concert, KIDSTAGE is offering free hands-on workshops at 1 and 1:30 p.m. for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Find the workshop space in McCaw Hall’s upper lobby in the Norcliffe and Allen event rooms. Call 206-388-1400 for reservations.
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.
March 6, 2012
Opportunities abound in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE program for children and teenagers interested in the performing arts.
The popular program includes a series of summer camps and theater classes for students of all ages.
In Issaquah, the class lineup includes popular classes throughout the summer. The summer camps in Issaquah start June 11.
The program makes KIDSTAGE students eligible for half-price single student tickets to any Village Theatre Mainstage production on sale during the course of the camp.
Village Theatre holds classes at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. N., the First Stage Theatre, 120 Front St. N., and the Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N.
Find a complete listing of classes on the Village Theatre website, www.villagetheatre.org/iss_summer2012_campschedule.php.
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.
January 3, 2012
September 9, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 9, 2011
The city Arts Commission seeks cultural organizations and programs for the latest round of arts grants.
The city offers grants each year for organizations to present performances and programs in public spaces and local schools.
Only projects inside Issaquah city limits or at Issaquah School District campuses qualify for funding. The deadline to apply for the grants is Nov. 4.
Commissioners awarded about $120,000 to 21 projects. The lineup included ArtWalk, Issaquah Farmers Market entertainment, Concerts on the Green, Shakespeare on the Green, performances at local schools and programs to help troubled youths.
July 26, 2011
“Hairspray” long ago earned a reputation for camp by casting a man in drag as mammoth matriarch Edna Turnblad.
The soon-to-open production at Village Theatre offers another gender bender: a male performer cast as a female character, in addition to Edna.
KIDSTAGE performers present “Hairspray” as a SummerStock production from July 30 to Aug. 7.
Andrew Gryniewicz, 15, a Sammamish Plateau resident and Bishop Blanchet High School student, stars as Edna, and Sheady Manning-Bruce, 17, a Renton resident and Liberty High School student, stars as smooth-as-silk television hostess Motormouth Maybelle.
Edna originated as a drag role. The drag queen Divine starred as Edna in director John Waters’ 1988 film and John Travolta donned a dress for the 2007 film musical.
The hefty heroine in the musical, Tracy Turnblad, is determined to sashay and shimmy on “The Corny Collins Show” — a segregated dance program in Baltimore — against unfavorable odds and Edna’s disapproval.
Kathryn Van Meter, “Hairspray” co-director and choreographer, adjusted the formula and cast a male performer as Motormouth, too.
The energy and sass Manning-Bruce unleashed during the audition tempted Van Meter to cast the actor in a less conventional role.
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.