Another Rave Review for Snapshots

Love, Laughter and Tears at Village Theatre

Snapshots, A Musical Scrapbook with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Village Theatre, Issaquah through October 18, Everett October 23-November 15, 2015

By Alice Kaderlan

It’s not a new story. The spark has gone out of Sue and Dan’s marriage, at least for Sue, and she’s decided to leave. Dan is clueless; he’s as content as ever and shocked to discover Sue in the attic gathering up a suitcase and a few other things for her departure. The attic is full of memories, captured in old photos and objects from the couple’s 20 years together. Gradually, as they go through the items in the attic, they relive happier times and ultimately, not surprisingly, rekindle the connection between them.

The Cast of Snapshots Snapshots Production photo. © 2015 Tracy Martin.  Property of Village Theatre.

Even though we know from the very beginning where the plot is going, David Stern’s book and Stephen Schwartz’s endearing songs and lyrics keep us engaged in this bittersweet tale.

The production is a hybrid– not quite a full musical but more than a revue – and uses a wide range of songs from Schwartz’s original musicals. There are tunes from “Pippin,” “Wicked,” “Godspell,” “The Magic Show” and many lesser known Schwartz musicals, all woven skillfully together by Stern and his co-creator Michael Scheman in a way that makes perfectly logical sense.

Stern and Scheman have come up with a clever conceit to dramatize Sue and Dan’s history. As the couple pores through the items they uncover in the attic, their younger selves come alive in the form of Mallory King and Ben Wynant as the pair during childhood, Tracy McDowell and Jim DeSelm as they transition into adulthood. All six are believable and vocally impressive; the younger cast members are particularly memorable portraying the peripheral characters who meander in and out of the couple’s life.

Director David Goldstein elicits touching, occasionally hilarious performances from his actors and moves them around Village Theatre’s cramped stage in a way that never feels claustrophobic. David Farley’s inventive set allows for projections that capture the joy and heartache of Sue and Dan’s life together and Monique Walker’s clever props turn the stage into a delivery room, college dorm, children’s schoolyard and any number of other locations.

Although few of the songs are memorable out of context they are all tuneful and the lasting effect of “Snapshots” is like that of a cool summer breeze, gentle and soothing.