Cool off indoors with hot KIDSTAGE ‘Kiss Me Kate’

July 9, 2013

Now that Independence Day has rolled past and summer has officially kicked off, outdoor activities abound as the weather becomes more accommodating.

However, Village Theatre has something for those who enjoy a nicely air-conditioned event, indoors, free from the sun’s hot glare. The KIDSTAGE summer independent production series presents “Kiss Me Kate,” a fresh take on the Cole Porter classic musical.

By Jean Johnson/Village Theatre Shannon McEldowney (Lois/Bianca), Chandler Gerdes (Hortensio), Jake Nicholson (Bill/Lucentio), and Nick McCarthy (Gremio) perform the song ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’ in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE production of ‘Kiss Me Kate.’

By Jean Johnson/Village Theatre
Shannon McEldowney (Lois/Bianca), Chandler Gerdes (Hortensio), Jake Nicholson (Bill/Lucentio), and Nick McCarthy (Gremio) perform the song ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’ in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE production of ‘Kiss Me Kate.’

Director Tucker Goodman said the production should appeal to a wide audience.

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‘Chicago’

May 7, 2013

Village Theatre hopes to slay with killer musical,

Taryn Darr stars as Roxie Hart in Village Theatre’s musical production of ‘Chicago.’ By Mike Hipple

Taryn Darr stars as Roxie Hart in Village Theatre’s musical production of ‘Chicago.’
By Mike Hipple

How do you turn a story about murder in the 1920s into something sexy, modern and entertaining? That’s the question Village Theatre does not  have any trouble answering as the musical “Chicago” opens May 9.

After six weeks of production design and only four or five weeks of rehearsal time, the John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse musical will play through June 29 and then move out for an Everett run from July 5 through July 28. The traditionally dazzling show follows a murderer-turned-celebrity in prohibition-era Chicago with a satirical, darkly comedic eye.

When asked why Village Theatre decided to put on “Chicago,” Director Steve Tomkins had an easy answer.

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Village Theatre original ‘Trails’ debuts

March 12, 2013

When Village Theatre announces a new season, tucked in among the productions is usually something original that will have audiences eager to be the first to experience.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of other recent original musicals with their roots in Issaquah, such as “Next to Normal” and “Million Dollar Quartet,” comes “Trails,” opening March 14.

By Mike Hipple/Village Theatre Joshua Carter (left), in the role of Seth, and Dane Stokinger as Mike, appear in the Village Theatre production of ‘Trails.’

By Mike Hipple/Village Theatre
Joshua Carter (left), in the role of Seth, and Dane Stokinger as Mike, appear in the Village Theatre production of ‘Trails.’

“Trails” debuted with its first reading during Village Theatre’s 2011 season’s Festival of New Musicals.

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Young actor readies for encore in ‘The Music Man’

February 5, 2013

Josh Feinsilber rehearses at The 5th Avenue Theatre as Winthrop Paroo in 'The Music Man.' By Jeff Carpenter/The 5th Avenue Theatre

Josh Feinsilber rehearses at The 5th Avenue Theatre as Winthrop Paroo in ‘The Music Man.’ By Jeff Carpenter/The 5th Avenue Theatre

River City, Iowa — a Main Street, U.S.A., hamlet created as the setting for Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” — is almost home for performer Josh Feinsilber.

The fledgling actor and Pacific Cascade Middle School sixth-grader portrayed shy Winthrop Paroo in a July 2012 youth production at Village Theatre and is poised to return to stage in the role as The 5th Avenue Theatre rolls out “The Music Man” on Feb. 7.

Josh, 12, is eager to slip into the role again after a turn in Village Theatre’s “Fiddler on the Roof” — a record-setting smash for the Issaquah playhouse.

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Issaquah innovators earn business honor

January 29, 2013

Innovation in Issaquah is exemplified by a leading apparel manufacturer, a revolutionary process to transform garbage into fertilizer and a theater renowned for fostering Broadway-bound musicals.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and city leaders announced the Innovation in Issaquah honorees — apparel manufacturer SanMar, WISErg, a manufacturer of garbage-to-fertilizer harvesters, and the nonprofit Village Theatre — at a Jan. 24 ceremony and luncheon.

Leaders from the chamber and City Hall recognized the entrepreneurs’ accomplishments through the Innovation in Issaquah contest, a showcase for local businesses offering unique services. Honorees demonstrate innovation in product development, services, systems or strategies.

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‘Fiddler on the Roof’ sets Village Theatre sales record

January 29, 2013

By Jay Koh/Village Theatre Eric Polani Jensen stars as Tevye in Village Theatre’s record-setting production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’

Eric Polani Jensen stars as Tevye in Village Theatre’s record-setting production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ By Jay Koh/Village Theatre

Theatergoers embraced “Fiddler on the Roof” and propelled the classic musical to a Village Theatre sales record.

The spectacle centered on the godfearing milkman Tevye played at the downtown Issaquah theater through November and December, and then shifted to the Everett Performing Arts Center.

In Issaquah, a record 32,726 audience members attended the show, including more than 14,000 single-ticket buyers — a significant number for a playhouse reliant on seasonal subscribers.

In Everett, “Fiddler on the Roof” set more milestones. The show reached the revenue goals before opening night — a first for Village Theatre’s Snohomish County stage — and broke the sales record for single-ticket revenue two weeks before “Fiddler on the Roof” closed Jan. 27.

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Cheers! Downtown Issaquah wine celebration returns

January 29, 2013

Revelers can sip, snack and shop as the Downtown Issaquah Wine Walk series returns.

The popular winter and springtime event launched last February to attract people to downtown merchants even as the weather turns gray and soggy. Organized by the Downtown Issaquah Association, merchants host musicians, and offer sips from Washington vintners and hors d’oeuvres, during the monthly event that launches Feb. 1.

Though the event is designed to appeal to oenophiles — the 1-ounce wine pours remain limited to the 21-and-older crowd — creativity is showcased in arts-focused downtown, too. Highlights at the opening event include demonstrations by master glass blower Lenoard Whitfield at artbyfire and artEAST’s latest exhibit, “Stitch,” at UP Front Gallery.

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce honors business innovators

January 24, 2013

NEW — 1:40 p.m. Jan. 24, 2013

The most innovative businesses in Issaquah clothe people around the globe, transform garbage into fertilizer, and create productions for local and Broadway audiences.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and city leaders announced the Innovation in Issaquah honorees — apparel manufacturer SanMar, WISErg, a manufacturer of fertilizer harvesters, and Village Theatre — at a ceremony and luncheon Thursday.

Leaders at the chamber and City Hall recognized the entrepreneurs’ accomplishments through the Innovation in Issaquah contest, a showcase for local businesses offering unique services.

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Village Theatre sets intriguing drama in ‘The Mousetrap’

January 22, 2013

Mysterious guest Christopher Wren, played by Quinn Armstrong, passes his dark coat, light scarf and felt hat to Monkswell Manor’s proprietor Mollie Ralston, played by Hana Lass. By John Pai/Village Theatre

Mysterious guest Christopher Wren, played by Quinn Armstrong, passes his dark coat, light scarf and felt hat to Monkswell Manor’s proprietor Mollie Ralston, played by Hana Lass. By John Pai/Village Theatre

To enjoy some of the finer things in life, there are rules. For example:

  • The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.
  • What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
  • And, do not reveal the plot of “The Mousetrap.”

Each has its own reason to remain spoiler free. Village Theatre hopes its patrons adhere to the latter so subsequent audiences can enjoy its latest production, Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.”

What started as an 80th birthday tribute written for Queen Elizabeth in 1947, Agatha Christie thought her radio broadcast, “Three Blind Mice,” adapted for stage would have an uneventful eight-month run, tops.

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Village Theatre is set to spring ‘The Mousetrap’

January 8, 2013

Expect more than a month of snow — on the Village Theatre stage, at least — as the scene-setting snowstorm in “The Mousetrap” is re-created night after night.

The classic whodunit is considered mystery maven Agatha Christie’s masterpiece. “The Mousetrap” opens Jan. 16 as the lone play — the only nonmusical offering in the 2012-13 lineup — in the Village Theatre season.

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