Village Theatre will start its 2014-15 season with the first local staging of “In the Heights,” a hit Broadway musical with a hip-hop/salsa beat set in the Latino enclave of Manhattan’s Washington Heights. Eric Ankrim will direct the piece, which has a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It will play Village’s Issaquah theater Sept. 18-Oct. 26, and the Everett Performing Arts Center, Oct. 31-Nov. 23.
Next up, Village presents visions of flying nannies and tap-dancing chimney sweeps in the local regional premiere of “Mary Poppins,” the cross-Atlantic smash based on the stories of P.L. Travers, as portrayed in the Walt Disney movie musical. Steve Tomkins and Kathryn Van Meter direct. (Issaquah Nov. 13, 2014-Jan. 4, 2015; Everett Jan. 9-Feb. 8, 2015)
Mark Brown’s “Around the World in 80 Days,” a zany small-cast adaptation of the famed Jules Verne novel, follows. David Ira Goldstein is staging the play for Arizona Theatre Company, and will also mount it at the Village. (Issaquah Jan. 22-March 1, 2015; Everett March 6-29, 2015)
“No Way to Treat a Lady,” a musical-comedy thriller based on a William Goldman novel about “a publicity-crazed actor turned serial killer,” arrives next. The show was workshopped at Village in 1990 and was later seen Off Broadway. (Issaquah March 19-April 26, 2015; Everett May 1-24, 2015)
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The season closer is “Cabaret,” the groundbreaking Broadway musical with a John Kander-Fred Ebb score, set amid the gritty demimonde of Weimar-era Berlin. Last staged at Village in 1995, it will be newly directed by Brian Yorkey. (Issaquah May 14-July 3, 2015; Everett July 10-Aug. 2, 2015)
Village artistic director Steve Tomkins says he’s especially excited about tapping local Latino talent for “In the Heights,” which will be choreographed by Seattle dancer and “In the Heights” national touring cast member Daniel Cruz.
“Latinos haven’t been as visible a part of the Seattle theater scene as they should be, and this show is a chance to help change that,” Tomkins notes.
“Mary Poppins” is a challenging choice, Tomkins agrees, given the glossy special effects of the Broadway version. “Actually, the way it’s written you can do a lot of the magic tricks, or a little. We’ll be doing all we can. And Mary Poppins will definitely fly.”
The Village boasts a combined Issaquah-Everett total of 18,400 subscribers (second only, locally, to the 5th Avenue Theatre). A recent run of “Les Miserables” broke company box-office records.
Tomkins believes musical theater is thriving in the area. “I think we’re at a high time right now; we’ve turned a corner. There’s an energy in people about trying new things out, and our talent pool is growing. That’s healthy and exciting.”
Misha Berson: email@example.com