Tag Archives: Village Theatre

A Rave for Snapshots in Everett!

Village Theatre’s sweet ‘Snapshots’ captures a marriage in time

By Gale Fiege
Herald Writer
EVERETT — After 20 years of marriage and a lifetime of friendship, Dan and Sue don’t really talk much anymore.

Their son is now grown and gone, Dan is a workaholic and Sue is ready to leave home.

She writes a note, grabs her suitcase from the attic and hopes to sneak away. But Dan returns from work early and finds her in the attic. Sue throws a blanket over the suitcase.

While standing there, the couple uncovers a box of snapshots. As they look through the photos, their memories come to life.

Village Theatre’s production of “Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook” — opening its three-week run tonight at the Everett Performing Arts Center — is a romantic (and touching) comedy, but it doubles as a clever way to celebrate the songs of award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz.

The musical features 26 songs from 12 shows including “Pippin,” “Wicked,” “The Magic Show,” “Godspell,” “Enchanted,” “The Baker’s Wife,” “Children of Eden,” “Personals” and “Reluctant Pilgrim.”

When Schwartz heard in the early 1990s about Michael Scheman’s and David Stern’s concept for the revue show, he gave his blessing. When they finally had a rough draft, Schwartz joined the project and adjusted some of his songs to better fit the story.

Village Theatre got involved in the project in 2005, when “Snapshots” made its debut in Issaquah as a Village Originals developmental production. Since then, the show has been staged in other small-scale theaters as the writers worked to polish the script.

Now, Village Theatre’s mainstage production marks the final stages of development.

Capable and well-known Village veterans Beth DeVries and Hugh Hastings play Sue and Dan.

The funny Mallory King is Susie, the child and the teen version of Sue. Ben Wynant plays Danny, Dan’s goofy younger self. With this production, King and Wynant also are returning to the Village stage.

New to Village Theatre, Tracy McDowell plays Susan and Jim DeSelm is Daniel — the college grad, young professional and then newly married couple.

At first, it’s easy to wonder about the time travel involved in the show, but it isn’t long before the audience is taken in by the talents of the cast and their ensemble work.

As usual, the Village Theatre scenic, costume, lighting and sound designers have done a great job and the directors and stage managers have pulled it all together.

See this musical. Laugh. Cry. Enjoy the music of Stephen Schwartz.

And don’t be surprised if you see couples holding hands as they leave the theater.

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

If you go

“Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook” opens Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 15 at the Everett Performing Arts Center. For tickets, call the box office at 425-257-8600. More at www.villagetheatre.org/everett.

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


And Another Rave for Snapshots!

talkin browadway

Two Songbook Musicals: Snapshots and American Idiot
Village Theatre and ArtsWest

Snapshots at Village Theatre and American Idiot at ArtsWest opened the same night last week, as varied as two such shows could be, as the former draws from the pen of Broadway and film giant Stephen Schwartz, while the latter dramatizes songs from the Green Day pop album of the same name. But both are worthy and able to fill the show-going needs of the two companies’ contrasting audience bases.

Snapshots, which Village first produced in a pocket-size workshop version in 2005, is an original story of the crumbling marriage of a fiftyish couple and looks back at them in their 20s and 30s. Thus the story is not quite backwards a la Merrily We Roll Along, but skips around in time. David Stern’s romantic, warm, funny, if rather thin book does borrow a bit from another Sondheim show, Follies, when the late-40ish couple questions the actions of their younger selves that led them where they are now (humorously in this show, the younger two pairs respond back to their criticisms). The Schwartz songs, with almost 50% of the lyrics new compared to their original form in the shows and films they are drawn from, are a feast for the ear, and generally land quite successfully in this conceit. The numbers are mostly from his lesser-known shows, such as Children of Eden and The Baker’s Wife, rather than, say, Godspell or Wicked. The newest song in the line-up is the utterly charming calypso number “That’s How You Know?” from the half live/half animated film Enchanted. The use of blended song medleys is a good idea, and there is also an inspired take on the cult favorite ballad “Meadowlark” involving all three of the versions of Sue (aka Susan and Susie). Direction of the show by Daniel Goldstein is smooth and well-paced, and if the show seems a bit overlong, well you pick which Schwartz songs to omit. I sure couldn’t.

Still, it is an apt and vital cast on whom the show relies, and that is exactly what the half dozen players here are. Beth DeVries and Hugh Hastings are the same pair who played Sue and Dan in the 2005 production, and also in a full production a few years later in Palo Alto. They know these characters inside out and have chemistry and ease onstage together, and their own life experiences have only enriched the depth and truth of their characterizations this go round. DeVries is as good a leading lady as you will find in all of Western Washington; her Sue is by turns warm and wry, and the songs she is assigned live in her vocal sweet spot. She also pairs well with both her “younger selves,” and the aforementioned “Meadowlark”, Sue’s leitmotif in the show, is ravishing as she anchors it with young Susie (Mallory King) and middle Susan ( Tracy McDowell) joining in. Hastings’ rich baritone serves him well on “All Good Gifts” and the stirring “Fathers and Sons” and he makes Dan a good guy, in spite of his obvious failings. The two cut a rug and get some jauntier material together strutting to Steve Tomkins’ kicky musical staging in “All For The Best.”

Ms. King’s Susie is, well, rather “Extraordinary” as the actress takes her from giggling girlhood to mid-20s indecision. Her rendition of “Lion Tamer” (an unfairly forgotten Schwartz charmer from his long-running The Magic Show) is a little slice of heavenly goodness, and her romantic other, diminutive Ben Wynant as Danny not only scores from the onset with “New Kid in the Neighborhood” but owns the show’s funniest moment in a number from a revue called Personals called “Movin’ in with Susan.” The only glitch in casting here, that Wynant is rather noticeably shorter than his alter selves, is easy to dismiss when watching this young man work the stage. Tracy McDowell (Susan) and Jim DeSelm (Daniel) are new to Seattle area stages and prove most welcome additions. DeSelm is a most affable young leading man type with a funnybone as well as vocal prowess, and McDowell is an attractive young leading lady with real depth and a radiant voice. The pair offer a smooth bridge between the youngest and oldest duos and offer “Endless Delights” (the song and their overall performances). Bravo to musical director R. J. Tancioco for his work with the cast and an amazingly full-sounding four-person band.

David Farley’s attic set design, overcrowded with cobwebs, forgotten mementos, and memories is spot on, as is the work of lighting designer and projections designer David Cuthbert, especially the projections. Farley also is billed as co-costumer with Tracy Christensen, and they coordinate the looks/time period appropriateness of the cast’s wardrobe skillfully. And an extra nod to sound designer Brent Warwick for making sure the many lyrics, old and new, are crisply and clearly heard.