Tag Archives: Issaquah

Snapshots is a Hit!!

The reviews are in, and they are universal: Snapshots is a hit!

“The Schwartz songs, with almost 50% of the lyrics new compared to their original form, are a feast for the ear…”Talkin Broadway

“…despite the songs’ disparate sources, many share an emotional tenor — soul-bearing, bright-eyed, unashamedly sentimental…”The Seattle Times

“A lovingly crafted crazy-quilt of sound & story”Heed the Hedonist

“….Stephen Schwartz’s endearing songs and lyrics keep us engaged in this bittersweet tale.”Seattle PI

“Hysterically funny and heart-achingly poignant.” “The emotions will elicit tears of laughter and tears of sorrow.”Issaquah Press

“…it’s a truly universal story, which a lot couples can relate to.”Seattle Gay Scene


Make sure you buy your tickets now:

Issaquah: Now through October 18, 2015

Everett: October 23 – November 15, 2015

Tucson: November 28 – December 19, 2015

Phoenix: December 30 – January 17, 2016


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.

Snapshots in the Press!

New musical comes full circle

September 3, 2015

By David Hayes

NEW — 10:25 a.m. Sept. 3, 2015

After a decade in the works, Village Theatre debuts ‘Snapshots’ 

Some ideas are so audacious that they literally take years to bring to fruition.

By Mark Kitaoka/Village Theatre Hugh Hastings (left, as Dan) and Beth DeVries (Sue) star in the Village Theatre production of ‘Snapshots.’

Such was the case in 2005 when young writers David Stern and Michael Scheman and their longtime composer friend Stephen Schwartz proposed a new musical to Village Theatre.

A decade later, that idea has blossomed into “Snapshots,” a full musical production debuting this week.

Looking back, Stern said he’s amazed at the journey it took to bring the idea to life.

“This one of those projects, it started in my 20s, that I had to be young and naïve, and now look back on and say, ‘What was I thinking?’” Stern said.

Essentially, “Snapshots” intertwines the greatest hits from Schwartz’s catalog and intertwines them into a story of a couple looking back on their lives.

Stern, who has written for just about every medium from television to the stage, said few have tried what he and Schwartz set out to do. They found it to be one large jigsaw puzzle.

“We wanted to make this work, so we set the bar as high as we could as an original musical,” Stern said.

However, in his youthful exuberance, it wasn’t to be as easy as putting songs in a certain order while telling an interesting story.

“We discovered you had to answer all other sorts of questions and you needed a beginning, middle and end,” he said.

If you go

Sept. 10 to Oct. 18
Village Theatre
303 Front St. N.
$36 to $68

One of the challenges, Stern said, was incorporating the myriad styles of the songs of Schwartz’s career, as they evolved over the decades. “Pippen” and “Godspell” were from the 1970s, while “The Baker’s Wife” is a product of the ’80s and “Wicked” debuted in 2003.

To help them get the idea off the ground, Stern said he and Schwartz were lucky to have worked with Village Theatre Executive Producer Rob Hunt.

“Rob really supports new work, especially those in developmental production,” Stern said. “He knew there was a window we needed to make this work. He said when we’ve gone out and made it work, come back we’ll put it on the main stage. In this business, people always say something like that. Rob meant it.”

So, after letting the idea gestate for a decade, the duo gaining further life experience actually added more gravitas to the project. Stern was better able to identify with the central couple in the tale in their various stages of life.

“Parts of the puzzle I was able to rewrite more authentically,” he said.

“Snapshots” is a show about empty nesters basically reliving their relationship from age 11 to present. Stern said all ages in the audience should be able to relate to parts of the tale.

“Empty nesters relate with it, those in their 30s and teens also relate with the romantic love story. All ages respond to it,” Stern said. “It’s a photo album concept. A photo album of life’s big events — wedding, birth of a child, right of passage, altercations in life that bond and push us from and to our partner.”

With the tale solidified, the challenge of how to incorporate 26 songs from Schwartz’s 12-musical career remained. They turned for help to Steve Orich, orchestrator for “Jersey Boys,” who provided them the link they were missing through the orchestra’s rhythm section.

“Then, we tweaked the songs,” Stern said. “The more known songs, we messed with more. Like ‘Popular,’ we did in a medley for a guy and a guy, giving it a new sound and interpretation. Lessor-known songs we messed with less.”

Finally, the cast was kept to a minimum at six. But bringing the production full circle, the original actors who read the lead roles in the Village Originals in 2005 were recast for the main stage debut.

Stern said they’ve worked and tweaked “Snapshots” so much along the way over the last decade, to finally see it debut is a milestone everyone should enjoy.

“I think it will be a really fun and entertaining show,” he said. “Plus, who, doesn’t like musical theater?”