Village bringing ‘Cats,’ ‘Dolly’ to its stage

  • By Mike Murray / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, March 31, 2005 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Four musicals, including “Cats” and “Hello Dolly!” and the drama “On Golden Pond,” will be presented as part of the Village Theatre’s 2005-06 season.

Village Theatre, based in Issaquah, presents its five-performance season at its main stage theater in Issaquah and at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett.

The season opens in Everett on Oct. 28 with “Once on This Island,” a Caribbean infused musical version of a story that inspired “The Little Mermaid.” Next up is Village Theatre’s version of Broadway’s long-running hit “Cats,” followed by “On Golden Pond,” the only nonmusical of the season.

The world premiere of “Girl of My Dreams,” a Village Originals musical set during World War II, is followed by the Broadway classic “Hello, Dolly!” which closes the season.

Each year Village Theatre asks its patrons what they would like to see the following season. This time, they wanted shows that are new to Village Theatre, said Steve Tomkins, artistic director.

Four of the five-shows in the upcoming season fit the bill; only “On Golden Pond” has been done by the company before.

The new season also gives the Village Theatre staff some fresh technical and production challenges, Tomkins said.

Among those challenges will be staging a couple of Broadway classics: “Cats” and “Hello, Dolly!” The later is a throwback to a Broadway era when big splashy musicals didn’t rely on the high-tech special effects of today.

“I needed my big old-fashioned musical and “Hello, Dolly!” was an appropriate choice,” Tomkins said.

“Cats” was a technical marvel when it opened on Broadway, but some of the special effects have worn thin over the years and this musical doesn’t need all the “smoke and mirrors” to succeed, Tomkins said.

“Once on This Island” is a Tony-winning musical that opened on Broadway in 1992. Tomkins likes this musical for its story, about two very different classes of people on the same island, and for a score that is set to a Caribbean beat.

“Girl of My Dreams” is a World War II-era musical about a struggling USO troupe. The music is true to the era, a time that has come to be known for its “greatest generation,” Tomkins said.

Most everyone knows “On Golden Pond” because of the hit movie, but the original play is funnier than the movie and less the star turn that it became for the famous father-daughter team of Henry and Jane Fonda.

“It’s a beautiful piece of theater,” Tomkins said. “Well-written, heartwarming, enduring and funny.”

The season:

“Once on This Island,” book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty, Oct. 28-Nov. 13.

“Cats,” music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jan. 6- 22.

“On Golden Pond,” by Ernest Thompson, March 3-19.

“Girl of My Dreams,” book and lyrics by Peter Ekstrom and Steve Hayes, book and additional lyrics by David DeBoy, music by Peter Ekstrom, April 28-May 14, 2006.

“Hello, Dolly!” book by Michael Stewart, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, June 30-July 16, 2006.

For subscription information, call 425-257-8600,

Intiman season begins: Seattle’s Intiman Theatre’s 2005 season opens April 22 with Charles Ludlam’s landmark comedy “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” opening a season of five plays that includes “The Grapes of Wrath,” the second production in the theater company’s five-year American Cycle series. The annual holiday show “Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play” will be presented in December.

Each show includes low-cost previews and one pay-what-you-can performance.

The season:

“The Mystery of Irma Vep,” April 22-May 22. Ludlam’s spoof of Victorian melodrama, classic horror films and Gothic romance was inspired by the sensationalistic and often gruesome cheap novels called “Penny Dreadfuls” from Victorian England. The play is a tour de force for two actors, who play eight roles including men, women and monsters.

“The Three Sisters,” Anton Chekhov, adaptation by Craig Lucas, June 10-July 9. Intiman underscores its classic roots with a new production of Chekhov’s masterpiece about three sisters far away from their beloved Moscow and longing to return home.

“The Tricky Part,” July 15-Aug. 13. A new play written and performed by Martin Moran details his recovery from sexual abuse as a Denver teenager.

“Intimate Apparel,” by Lynn Nottage, Aug. 19-Sept. 24, was the winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle and Outer Critics Circle awards for best play of 2004. Esther, an illiterate but independent black seamstress in early 20th century New York, earns her living sewing “intimate apparel” for wealthy socialites uptown, and women of ill repute downtown. All the while, she longs for companionship and love.

“The Grapes Of Wrath,” based on the novel by John Steinbeck and adapted by Frank Galati, Oct. 7-Nov. 13. Galati’s adaptation of the epic story of Tom Joad and his journey across the dustbowl America of the Great Depression won a 1990 Tony Award for Best Play.

National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” will broadcast a story on Intiman Theatre on April 7 as part of its “American Stages” series. The broadcast can be heard on KUOW (94.9 FM) and KPLU (88.5 FM).

Intiman Playhouse is located at 201 Mercer St. at Seattle Center. Ticket and season information, 206-269-1900,

Village Theatre artistic director Steve Tomkins.

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