Theater switches to edgier material

  • By Theresa Goffredo / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, September 7, 2006 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the New Everett Theatre has moved.

Not physically. The theater has moved its focus to better serve those who want to vary their cultural diet from musicals and classics to more edgy, thought-provoking theater.

Take their new season, for example, which kicks off with the cult-hit “Rocky Horror Show,” a science-fiction-comedy-horror-musical. That production is followed up with a drama about death row inmates and a thriller about a successful woman whose life becomes unraveled by a stalker.

The move to a new focus seems to be working. The theater is already selling tickets to “Rocky Horror,” which doesn’t open for three weeks. And theater director Victoria Walker has never seen so much foot traffic at the box office.

“We have generated this whole buzz,” Walker said of the theater’s new slogan: “Theater on the Edge.”

“This is grown-up theater,” said Lori Hughes, who is part of the theater’s management team.

The New Everett Theatre group is the resident company at the Everett Theatre at 2911 Colby Ave., formerly known as the historic Everett Theatre. In its 106 years, the theater has undergone various transformations, from a plush opera house when it first opened in 1901, to a triplex movie house in 1979, then restored back to a theater. That restoration is still ongoing with the help of volunteer labor and corporate and private donations.

The restoration is physical and philosophical.

Last season, the theater took a chance by showing “The Vagina Monologues,” and the place sold out. That sent a loud message to Walker: Give the audience what it wants.

“They are asking for this kind of theater. They loved ‘The Vagina Monologues’ and they told us, ‘This is what we want,’ ” Walker said.

Though serving a niche for more moody theater, the New Everett still will include on its menu musicals and classics; both are planned for the upcoming season.

Walker also is working on a partnership that would bring smaller comedy and musical acts from the Paramount Theatre in Seattle to Everett, as a further way to serve the Snohomish County community.

“Then people here would totally not have to go to downtown Seattle for their entertainment,” Walker said.

For more information about the New Everett Theatre and the upcoming season, go to or call 425-258-6766.

The new season lineup is:

“Rocky Horror Show,” Sept. 29-Oct. 15. This ageless classic bursts at the seams with such memorable melodies as “Sweet Transvestite,” “Damnit Janet” and “Time Warp.” Fish out your fishnets for this bold bash.

“Miracle on 34th Street,” Nov. 24-Dec. 10. This classic has Santa Claus proving his existence, and his sanity, before a judge.

“The Exonerated,” March 9-25. Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s true-life stage play about six characters sentenced to death row for years who get their cases re-examined and then must be reintroduced to life on the outside.

“The Velveteen Rabbit,” April 7-22. The rabbit is offered a chance to become real, but will he leave the boy he loves, who is dying of scarlet fever.

“Boy Gets Girl,” May 4-20. This chiller follows a woman whose life of accomplishment is quickly destroyed by a disturbed admirer.

A world premiere original play, June 8-24. The New Everett Theatre will host the premiere of an original script to be announced at a later date.

Other theater companies in Snohomish and Island counties and their upcoming seasons include:

The Driftwood Players

The Players will present some laughs, some thrills and an enduring message this season at the company’s intimate Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St., Edmonds.

Mainstage show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

For more information: 425-774-9600,

The mainstage season lineup is:

“The Seven Year Itch,” Sept. 8-24. This classic American comedy is about staying young.

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” Nov. 24-Dec. 17. This poignant play for young and old reaffirms the beauty and joy of life.

“Deathtrap,” Feb. 9-25. This thriller has twists, turns and sudden shocks. It’s the famous mystery with an infamous twist.

“Oklahoma,” April 13-May 6. This classic is a Rodgers and Hammerstein first collaboration and set the standard for musical theater.

“Don’t Drink the Water,” June 15-July 1. Woody Allen’s comedy takes the audience inside an American embassy behind the Iron Curtain as a family plots its escape.

Edmonds Center for the Arts

Jeff Vaughn has been hired as the new technical director for the soon-to-open Edmonds Center for the Arts.

“I can’t wait to play a part in building a first-rate performing arts center for Edmonds,” Vaughn said. “There is so much to be excited about and I want to build a great reputation as a venue that takes good care of the artists who appear on our stage. I couldn’t be happier to be on board.”

The center will have its grand opening in January with pre-season events starting in October. The center is in the former home of Edmonds High School and Puget Sound Christian College.

Vaughn joins other members of the center’s leadership team, which includes executive director Joseph McIalwain, director of operations Diane Gordon and director of marketing Jan Steadman.

Northshore Performing Arts Center

The Northshore Performing Arts Center Foundation holds its 2006-07 season at its relatively new digs on the Bothell High School campus at 18125 92nd Ave. NE in Bothell. Northshore Performing Arts Center Foundation is a nonprofit organization that, for the past decade, has been dedicated to building this state-of-the-art performing arts center, in partnership with the city of Bothell and the Northshore School District. The NPAC Foundation operates under the belief that the performing arts nourish innovation, encourage economic vitality, inspire and challenge young people and enhance the quality of life.

For more information, go to or call 425-489-6018.

The season (see also dance and music):

“Sophisticated Ladies, The Duke Ellington Broadway Musical,” Oct. 28. The Tony Award-winning tribute to the musical genius of Duke Ellington wowed Broadway when it debuted in 1980. Direct from New York, a swinging cast is accompanied by an 11-piece jazz orchestra.

“Me! Me! Me! Dynamo Theatre,” Oct. 29. A poignant story that tackles rejection at school, with a cast of astounding acrobat-actors. The tale is brilliantly staged and creatively told, with little dialogue, but lots of surprising action, all inside a classroom. It’s aimed at families and children 8 to 12.

Baxter Black, Jan. 6. Cowboy, poet, large animal veterinarian and self-described sorry team roper, Black is a true American original. Since 1982, he has been rhyming his way into the national spotlight, and now stands as the best-selling cowboy poet in the world.

“In the Mood, A 1940’s Musical Review,” Jan. 7. With a Big Band orchestra, singers and dancers, “In the Mood” is a retro 1940s musical. The show harkens to the last time all of America was listening and dancing to the same kind of music.

The Northwest Savoyards

This Everett community theater troupe mounts three musical theater productions this season at the PUD Auditorium, 2320 California Ave. in Everett.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees.

Tickets for the NW Savoyards’ 2006-2007 season are available by calling 425-953-1413. The package price for all three shows is $54 for adults and $46 for seniors, students and military personnel. For more information, visit

This season, the Savoyards are partnering with the Everett Symphony to offer a combination “Symphony &Savoyards” package consisting of three symphony concerts and two theatrical presentations. For more information, contact the Everett Symphony office at 425-258-1605 or 1-866-CON-VIVO, or visit

“The Mikado,” Oct. 20-Nov. 12. The company kicks off the season with a trademark Gilbert &Sullivan operetta.

“The Sound of Music,” Jan. 26-Feb. 18. A perennial favorite, the Rodgers &Hammerstein musical will captivate audiences.

“Guys &Dolls,” May 25-June 17. Frank Loesser’s Broadway fable wraps up the season.

Village Theatre

Village Theatre opens its 2006-2007 mainstage season with “Evita,” starring award-winning actor Jennifer Paz, who played the lead role in the national tour of Miss Saigon, as Eva Pern.

“Each year, ‘Evita’ is consistently voted as the No. 1 musical our patrons want to see on stage,” said Robb Hunt, executive producer for Village Theatre.

Village Theatre productions are staged at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett. For more information go to or call 425-257-8600.

“Evita,” Oct. 27-Nov. 12. This Tony Award-winning masterpiece with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber sets the story of Argentina’s beloved, controversial Eva Pern to an irresistible Latin beat. The stirring tale of one strong woman’s rise from poverty to power is a bracing journey of redemption and a moving meditation on the perils of pride and fame.

“Bye Bye Birdie,” Jan. 5-21. Kim MacAfee and the rest of Sweet Apple, Ohio have their lives turned upside-down by pop idol Conrad Birdie’s arrival, while his manager, Albert, juggles publicity pressures, a marriage-minded sweetheart and a meddling mother.

“Shadowlands,” March 2-18. The drama is about “Chronicles of Narnia” author C.S. Lewis, a venerated Christian theorist and confirmed bachelor, who thought he knew all about God’s plan for him, until he fell in love.

“Once Upon a Time in New Jersey,” April 27-May 13. Swing back to 1956 New Jersey and the days of doo-wop, James Dean, poodle skirts, and ponytails in this romantic, funny and tuneful new musical.

“The Who’s Tommy,” June 29-July 15. With music and lyrics by Pete Townshend, this rock odyssey follows the tale of a young boy’s journey to triumph with such Who hits as “Pinball Wizard,” “See Me, Feel Me,” and “I’m Free.”

Pied Piper

Village Theatre’s Pied Piper season promises a professional performing arts series for young people and their families. “Performing arts play such a critical role in how children learn and see the world around them,” said Kati Nickerson, director of education for Village Theatre. The new Pied Piper season will include the following performances for schools and the general public.

“Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon”: School performances for grades 2-5 on Oct. 16-17; public performances Oct. 15. Amber Brown is a feisty young girl who shares Oreos and the same sense of humor with her best friend Justin. When his family prepares to move to another state, the two third-graders learn some valuable lessons about the virtues of patience and the meaning of friendship.

“Willy Wonka”: School performances Dec. 7-8; public performances Dec. 9-10. This musical adapted from Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” invites audiences to take a journey with live actors and puppets into the limitless wishes of four greedy children, the secrets of a scrumptious chocolate factory, and the honesty of a hopeful heart.

“Four Score &Seven Years Ago”: School performances for grades 3-8 on Jan. 22 at Everett Civic Auditorium and Jan. 23 at McIntyre Hall at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon. This musical is set in Gettysburg in the summer of 1863. A recently escaped slave named Lemuel befriends Jacob, a young Confederate soldier. The two men are of different races and on different sides of the Civil War, but they have much to teach each other about bravery and loyalty.

“Portland Taiko”: School performances Jan. 31 at McIntyre Hall and Feb. 1-2 at Everett Performing Arts Center; public performances Feb. 4 at Everett Performing Arts Center. Portland Taiko is a premiere North American taiko ensemble, educating students about Japanese culture through the ancient tradition of taiko drumming. Taiko is a dynamic and evolving performing art that combines rhythm, movement, energy, and culture into a single art form.

“Harry the Dirty Dog”: School performances March 8 for children up to second grade at Everett Civic Auditorium. The classic children’s book is about mud-loving mutt Harry, a little white dog with black spots who turns into a little black dog with white spots and returns home to find that his family doesn’t recognize him.

“Junie B. Jones”: School performances for grades K-3 March 26 at Everett Civic Auditorium and March 27 at McIntyre Hall; public performances March 25 at Everett Civic Auditorium. This touring musical is about outspoken and lovable Junie B. Jones, about new friends, new glasses, sugar cookies, the annual kickball tournament and other angst-ridden first-grade situations.

“Swimmy,” “Inch By Inch,” “Frederick”: School performances for children up to second grade May 3-4 at Everett Civic Auditorium. Author Leo Lionni’s collage of children’s books are ideally suited for Mermaid Theatre’s unique approach to stage adaptation. These three Caldecott Honor books Mermaid has chosen for its tribute are among Lionni’s most beloved works. Their images are strikingly beautiful, and their texts are whimsical yet wistful.

“Cam Jansen”: School performances for grades 1-4 May 21-22 at Everett Performing Arts Center and May 24 at McIntyre Hall; public performances May 20 at Everett Performing Arts Center. An all-new musical, fashioned from the familiar characters and story conventions from David A. Adler’s series of best-selling books about Jennifer “Cam” Jansen’s extraordinary talent for solving crimes.

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts boasts five entertaining, thought-provoking plays as it celebrates its 10th anniversary for the 2006-07 theater season. WICA is at 565 Camano Ave. in Langley on Whidbey Island.

For information:, 360-221-8262.

“Little Women,” Dec. 1-16. This American classic by Louisa May Alcott is directed by Deana Duncan.

“Seven Keys to Baldpate,” Feb. 9-24. A mysterious melodramatic ragtime farce is by George M. Cohan and directed by David Ossman.

“The Three Sisters,” April 13- 28. By Anton Chekhov and directed by Jason Dittmer.

“Cabaret,” June 8-23. This musical is by Kander and Ebb and directed by Ned Farley.

Whidbey Playhouse

Whidbey Playhouse begins its fall season with a farce and ends with a musical, all at the Whidbey Playhouse, 730 SE Midway Blvd., in Oak Harbor.

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $14. The season is subject to change.

Call the box office at 360-679-2237 for further information, group discounts, and reservations, e-mail or check the Web site at

“Exit the Body,” Sept. 15-30. A mystery writer rents a New England house believed to be the rendezvous point for jewel thieves and stolen jewels.

“The Christmas Story,” Dec. 1-16. A nostalgic tale of Ralphie growing up in the 1940s. He wants nothing more than a Red Ryder Ranger Model Air Rifle (a BB gun) for Christmas, but everyone tells him it will “shoot your eye out.” The play is by Philip Grecian, based on Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story.”

“Footloose,” Feb. 2-24. When a teenager relocates to a small rural town, he must adjust to a ban on dancing. The musical is propelled by an Oscar-nominated top 40 score.

“Over the Tavern,” April 13-28. This heartwarming comedy deals with a Polish-American family growing up in 1959 working class Buffalo, N.Y. Four children are caught between the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and their emotionally distant father. Only their mother, with her good sense, sanity and wry humor, keeps this family afloat.

“Forever Plaid,” June 8-30. A musical comedy about The Plaids, a clean-cut quartet of high school friends who dream of recording an album. Their trip to see the Beatles takes a terrible, yet funny, turn.


Northshore Performing Arts Center

NPAC, at the Bothell High School campus, 18125 92nd Ave. NE, presents:

“The Nutcracker,” Nov. 26 and 27, Dec. 2-3. Ballet Bellevue, accompanied by a 36-piece professional orchestra, will perform this holiday favorite.

Everett Symphony Orchestra

The Everett Symphony Orchestra will use the innovative incorporation of ballet into this season’s repertoire to perform two ballets this season at Everett Civic Auditorium, 2415 Colby Ave.:

“The Nutcracker,” Dec. 9-10, with Olympic Ballet Theatre.

“Sleeping Beauty,” May 18. Teaming up with Ballet Bellevue to bring this stunning performance.


Cascade Symphony Orchestra

The symphony presents its 45th season with “Symphonic Treasures,” which includes five symphony concerts this 2006-07 season on Oct. 23, Nov. 19, Jan. 15, March 5 and April 23. The symphony returns home to the newly remodeled Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds, with music director Michael Miropolsky at the podium.

For more information, go to or call 425-776-4938.

The season lineup is:

“Gems,” Oct. 23. An evening of symphonic favorites by Dvorak, Sibelius, Brahms, J. Strauss and others. Elisa Barston, violin Bruch: Concerto in G Minor for Violin and Orchestra.

“The Bear,” Nov. 19. Chamber Orchestra of Cascade Symphony does Tchaikovsky: Children’s Album, Op. 39; Boccherini: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, with Amos Yang, cello.

“1812,” Jan. 15. Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain; Bartok: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with Arie Schachter, viola; Bizet: Music from “L’Arlesienne”; Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture.

“Cascade Ensembles Concert.” Two performances featuring chamber ensembles from the Cascade Symphony with the program to be announced. The first concert is Feb. 11 at Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers St., Edmonds. The second is Feb. 16 at Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Church, 8109 224th St. SW, Edmonds.

“Carmina Burana,” March 5. Glazunov: Suite from the Ballet “Raymonda” Op. 57a; Orff: Carmina Burana, with Choir of the Sound, Judy Filibeck, music director.

“Concert for Children (and parents),” April 14. Tchaikovsky: Children’s Album; Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals.

“New, Old Names,” April 23. Paine: Overture to Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” Op. 28; Cosma: Concerto for Euphonium and Orchestra (Northwest premiere) with Adam Frey, euphonium; Beethoven: Symphony No. 7.

“Cascade Symphony Celebration,” May 13. Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1; Rachmaninov: Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18; Alexander Ardakov, Piano; Elgar: Nimrod from Enigma Variations; Dvorak: Slavonic Dance in G minor; Glinka: Valse Fantasia; Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1; J. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Waltz at Benaroya Hall, Seattle.

Everett Chorale

The Everett Chorale celebrates its 41st year as the county’s premiere vocal ensemble. Music director Lee Mathews leads the Chorale in performing a variety of music. Performances often feature outstanding area vocal and instrumental soloists and ensembles, including the Choral Arts Orchestra.

Performances are at Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett.

The 2006 -2007 season:

“Sweet Songs of Christmas,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3 p.m. Dec. 3.

“Touches of Sweet Harmony,” 7:30 p.m. March 24 and 3 p.m. March 25.

“I Hear Music In the Air,” 7:30 p.m. June 2 and 3 p.m. June 3.

Everett Symphony

In June, the Everett Symphony Orchestra hit a high note when it performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Symphony members are still on a high, this time about their new season, so much so they are shouting, “Uncork the champagne.”

The symphony is planning parties to augment this upcoming season, which promises to be the best yet, with special concert events to help them live up to a promise that they’ve got something for everyone.

Most performances are at Everett Civic Auditorium, 2415 Colby Ave., under the direction of music director Paul-Elliott Cobbs.

Get ready for Spider Saloff, a nationally acclaimed jazz vocalist performing Gershwin favorites. And that’s not all. With Viennese waltzes, Wagner, Beethoven and Brahms, there’s a lot to choose from.

The season kick-off bash is at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the symphony’s rehearsal room at 2710 Colby Ave., in downtown Everett. The Pre-Pops Parties, a new tradition, and the Night Before New Year’s Eve event, a local favorite, are all part of this festive season’s offerings. All include food and drink and the chance to chat with artists and patrons.

Call the executive office for more information at 425-258-1605 or go to

The season lineup:

“Opening Night: A Night of Drama,” Oct. 6. Classical selections.

“BOO!!!” Oct. 27. The Explore Music I children’s concert with narration by Cliff Lenz.

“A Night in Vienna,” Nov. 10. Pops concert.

“Messiah Sing-A-Long,” Dec. 17 (at First Presbyterian Church, Wall Street and Rockefeller Avenue).

“Night Before New Year’s Eve Celebration,” Dec. 30. Tony Ventrella.

“Of Emperors and Masters,” Jan. 19. Pawel Skrzypek.

“The Mozart Effect,” Feb. 9. Chamber music concert with David Sogg, bassoon.

“Duel of the Fates,” March 2. Classical concert featuring violinist Fred Chu.

“Peter and the Wolf,” March 30-31. The Explore Music II children’s concert with narration by Cliff Lenz.

“Spider Sings Gershwin,” April 13. The second pops concert with Spider Saloff.

Northshore Performing Arts Center

On the Bothell High School campus at 18125 92nd Ave. NE in Bothell. Information:, 425-489-6018.

The center is hosting these musical shows for its upcoming season:

The Yellowjackets, Oct. 8. The quintessential jazz fusion band celebrates 25 years of visionary, improvisational jazz.

Rita Coolidge, Oct. 13. This two-time Grammy winner recorded such 1970s hits as “Fever,” “We’re All Alone,” “One Fine Day,” “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher &Higher,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “All Time High” and “Superstar.” Coolidge will perform songs from her “And So Is Love” release, a collection of jazz standards and more.

“Huun Huur Tu, Throat Singers from Tuva,” Nov. 2. Out of the Siberian steppes of Tuva, near Mongolia, this throat-singing group has enchanted audiences around the world. Their music encapsulates navigational information that enables this horse-centered nomadic people to traverse Asian trade routes.

Celtic Fiddle Festival, Nov. 5. Sold-out tours and standing ovations give testimony to the electricity and excitement generated by these three great fiddle stylists. Kevin Burke (Ireland), Christian Lemaitre (Brittany) and Andre Brunet (Quebec) combine their talents, musical traditions and spontaneous humor.

Great Big Sea, Nov. 19. This band draws disparate threads of folk and pop music together, while their shows are a storm of powerful singing, driving rhythms and soaring melody. They combine the traditional music of their isolated Newfoundland home with a myriad of pop influences.

Sno-King Community Chorale

This season’s concert lineup is:

“Holiday Concert,” Dec 16, Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds. Traditional seasonal music and a presentation of the musical “The Magic of Music” written by Debra DeMiero. This drama features music by Bach, Mozart, Brahms and Gershwin.

“Concert for Children – Of All Ages,” Feb. 10, Edmonds Center for the Arts. The first half of this concert will be directed at children of all ages and will feature guest artist Greta Matasa. Songs such as “Sesame Street,” “Talk to the Animals,” “High Hopes,” and, from Mary Poppins, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” The second half of the concert will be a patriotic extravaganza.

“Spring Concert,” March 17, Edmonds Center for the Arts. “Mass in Time of War” by Joseph Haydn with guests the Bravo Chorale from Vancouver, Wash.

Vancouver Performance, April 1. The chorale will be guest performers in Vancouver with the Bravo Chorale.

“Pops Concert,” June 16 and possibly June 17, Edmonds Center for the Arts. “South Pacific” will be the featured musical. The chorale accompanied by a soloist will sing a selection including “A Cockeyed Optimist,” “Twin Soliloquies,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “There Is Nothing Like A Dame,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out-a-My Hair,” “I’m In Love With a Wonderful Guy,” and “Younger Than Springtime.”

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