Village’s ‘Tutor’ brings musical about novelist, teen muse to Everett

Edmund wants to write a novel.

The 30-something lives in a dive apartment in Manhattan. He’s a starving artist who at least can afford bowls of cereal.

Edmund figures he has the perfect formula for how to get that novel finished: Write all morning; tutor rich kids on the Upper Eastside in the afternoon to buy groceries.

“The Tutor” is Village Theatre’s latest production, 10 years after the show debuted at Village’s Festival of New Musicals in 2004. The witty, energetic pop musical comedy opens tonight at the Everett Performing Arts Center. As the show’s promoters say, it’s “full of family drama, creative angst and romantic blunders.”

Edmund isn’t having much success with his novel and his characters tell him so. In fact, they complain.

After lying about where he went to college (not Princeton), Edmund gets hired by the Princeton alumni parents to tutor their sullen earbuds-wearing trouble-maker, Sweetie. They want her to attend Princeton, too.

This teenager, who becomes a muse for the novelist, speaks with emotional honesty. Edmund’s novel gets better. His characters approve. Then Sweetie runs away from home.

Lucky for Village audiences, Eric Ankrim plays Edmund.

This talented actor-singer-director is well-known in Seattle regional theater circles. In the fall he will direct Village’s production of the Tony-award-winning musical “In the Heights.”

Ankrim just returned from New York following his Broadway debut in “First Date,” which he starred in during the show’s premiere at Seattle’s 5th Avenue.

He first played the role of Edmund in 2004 and 2005 when “The Tutor” had a brief run as a Village original developmental production.

Issaquah High School senior Katie Griffith, 17, plays Sweetie. She grew up on Village’s KidStage. With her part in “The Tutor,” Katie takes on her first lead actress role, and does well.

As do the rest of the small cast.

Beth DeVries, who most recently played Fantine in the Village production of “Les Miserables,” is great as Sweetie’s mother, Esther.

Hugh Hastings, who has appeared in 13 previous Village mainstage productions, plays Esther’s husband, Richard.

Especially delightful are Kirsten deLohr Helland and Matthew Kacergis, who have to make some amazingly quick costume changes between scenes as Edmund’s novel bounces them from era to era.

Helland, who played Eponine in “Les Miserables,” has the role of Edmund’s character Hildegarde in his novel, as well as the hippie chick Pippi, who Sweetie befriends at a protest rally. Their song, “Don’t Eat Your Friends” is an audience favorite.

Kacergis, who was Marius in the recent “Les Miz,” plays the novel character Sean, along with Sweetie’s immature boyfriend, Bo.

Andrew Gearle composed the music and Maryrose Wood wrote the book and lyrics.

“The Tutor” is directed by David Ira Goldstein, who recently directed “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Xanadu” for Village Theatre.

Jessica Low is the choreographer, Jeff Bell is the music director, Scott Fyfe is the scenic designer, Alex Berry is the lighting designer and Kish Finnegan is the costume designer. Paulette Buse stage manages.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

“The Tutor”

“The Tutor” is staged by Village Theatre through May 25 at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. For tickets, which range in price, call 425-257-8600. For more information, go to villagetheatre.org.

More in Life

The “Hamilton” marquee at The Paramount in Seattle. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
Seattle’s ‘Hamilton’ is everything it’s hyped to be and more

The blockbuster musical at The Paramount in Seattle runs through March 18.

Andrea Rosen, mother of two, quit eating sugar more than 1,000 days ago. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
How kicking her sugar habit changed a Mill Creek mom’s life

Andrea Rosen quit eating sweets 3 years ago, lost weight, felt better and her family also benefited.

Beer of the Week: Hazy IPA, 4-Ways

Four Snohomish breweries decided to brew a single malt hazy IPA made with four different hops.

Tiny book “Tonic” packed with with homeopathic remedies

Tanita de Ruijt’s recipes help support your body’s natural defences and heighten your state of mind.

Exceptional eggplant: 4 recipes with the funny-shaped veggie

By Daniel Neman / St. Louis Post-Dispatch Let’s face it, eggplant is… Continue reading

How to roast Brussels sprouts to crispy goodness

Toss these compact cabbages with toss with homemade sweet and sour vinaigrette.

Ambiguity of ‘The Invisibility Cloak’ by Ge Fei is tantalizing

The story of a man offered to build an incredible sound system delves into odd turns and noir.

These tasty enchiladas take only 5 minutes in the microwave

Serve this Mexican-inspired turkey and refried bean dish with fried corn on the side.

Peanut butter helps West African-style stew find the ‘sweet spot’

This recipe is a colorful medley of sweet potatoes, tomato, bell pepper and collard greens.

Most Read