October 21, 2014
Tickets are now available for Village Theatre’s production “Mary Poppins.”
Based on the timeless books of P.L. Travers and complete with all the beloved songs from the Academy Award-winning Disney film, “Mary Poppins” tells the tale of the flying nanny.
October 7, 2014
I had several qualms about Roger Brooks’ tourism presentations to the good people of Issaquah. However, I completely agree with his basic advice that the city should choose one aspect and focus on that as the main draw to get outsiders to visit and spend their money.
He left this up to residents and city leaders to decide what that main draw would be, advising it should be a year-round affair that would guarantee a unique and beneficial experience that would keep people coming back. In two remarkably similar presentations, Brooks said Issaquah tourism dollars could go to highlight the divergent trail system or maybe even the penchant for paragliding.
I would like to offer my humble opinion and say Issaquah should prop up its fantastic theater culture as the focus for tourism.
September 23, 2014
Village Theatre begins its season at the top.
“In the Heights,” a rousing, energetic feature about a largely Dominican-American neighborhood in New York City, opened the 2014-2015 season with a raucous performance Sept. 18.
Though the story itself relies heavily on old “gotta-get-outta-here” tropes and steers well clear of anything approaching the gritty reality of living in an urban environment, the spirit of the music, the talent of the cast and exuberance of the dance brightly shines.
August 19, 2014
The rhythm takes over in “In The Heights,” a Broadway dance spectacular that brings the passion and power of Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood to Village Theatre.
Set in a community where everyone knows your business, things are about to shake up as romances bloom, dreams are challenged and one winning lottery ticket threatens to change everything.
Nominated for 13 Tony awards, winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical and nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “In The Heights” is a fun and fresh hip-hop musical with an infectious salsa beat.
Two members of the national “In the Heights” touring cast will be a part of this regional production: Perry Young as Usnavi and Kyle Robert Carter as Benny.
July 15, 2014
Village Theatre presents its 14th annual Festival of New Musicals Aug. 8-17.
The festival invites Village Originals members to help critique the theater’s upcoming original musical productions. For example, the musicals “Next to Normal” and “Million Dollar Quartet” got their start through the Village Originals program and went on to win multiple Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize between them.
June 3, 2014
Who says 13 is unlucky?
The Downtown Issaquah Association’s annual ArtWalk returns June 6 for its 13th season, after having successfully transformed the city’s main corridor into the Eastside’s premier arts destination.
Karen Donovan, Downtown Issaquah Association executive director, said ArtWalk remains as popular as ever after 13 years.
“It’s just a great place for families to come down to check out the art and the live music, and kids activities with painting,” she said.
May 20, 2014
No cloud rains on Village Theatre’s latest parade.
In its last production of the 2014-2015 season, the regional theater brings “Funny Girl” to the stage in all its roaring glory. Recounting the life of vaudeville and Broadway star Fanny Brice, the 1964 musical (music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart) takes the audience on a whirlwind, rags-to-riches journey of Brice’s life.
The classic story, with Brice famously portrayed by Barbra Streisand on stage and screen, is well-known and I should note immediately that I find it lackluster. Struggling, gutsy girl meets boy. Gutsy girl struggles less, and then weds boy. Boy turns rotten. Girl stays gutsy.
May 13, 2014
The May 15 return of “Funny Girl” to Village Theatre brings milestones behind the scenes.
Issaquah’s regional professional theater has kept much of the same talent since 1993, the last time it put on the musical featuring the life and career of a Broadway star set in the early 20th century.
But those people at the helm of the lavishly involved show bring decades more experience to this year’s production. Both the costume designer and the master scenic artist worked on the show 20 years ago, and for everything that has stayed the same, they have seen many things change.
March 25, 2014
Somewhere between the song about erectile dysfunction and the giant painted backdrop of the Matterhorn, I wondered where “The Tutor” lost its way.
The new show at Village Theatre, which opened March 20, begins interestingly enough. It tells the story of Edmund, the titular tutor, who teaches dumb rich kids to allow constant work on his never-finished novel. Things take their inevitable turn when he lands a gig tutoring Sweetie, a rebellious teenager who provides just the right spark to loosen Edmund’s creativity.
Developed as part of the Village Originals Series of New Musicals, “The Tutor” fell flat after a promising start.
March 18, 2014
Village Theatre’s latest fare educates its lead as well as the character she plays.
In the new musical “The Tutor,” opening March 20, 16-year-old Katie Griffith plays a sullen teenage rich kid who gets taken under the wing of an aspiring novelist looking to make a quick buck by educating wealthy high schoolers on the side. The tutor, played by Eric Ankrim, may have bitten off more than he can chew with his newest charge.
“He tutors stupid rich kids and he gets me — a punk rocker who couldn’t care about less,” Griffith said. “Chaos ensues.”
While she has had a great amount of experience within the Village Theatre community, this will mark the first time the Issaquah High School student will play the lead on the main stage.