SEATTLE -- After a dark season, the popular series of original musicals in workshop, renamed "Village Originals," returns with a three-show season: 4:00 AM Boogie Blues (Feb. 26-Mar. 15), After The Fair (Apr. 23- May 10) and Monte Cristo (June 11-28).
4:00 AM Boogie Blues, with a libretto by Marsha Myers, and music and lyrics by Jim Owen, is an a cappella jazz-tinged show about a woman being kept awake nights by "The Boogies," mischievous voices that remind her of the mess she' s made of her life.
After The Fair, first performed at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's New Musicals Festival, has a book and lyrics by Stephen Cole, and music by Matthew Ward. The musical, based on a novella by Thomas Hardy, focuses on two couples whose lives are forever altered by love, jealousy and a romance that blossoms 'after the fair.'
Monte Cristo, commissioned by the Village Theatre, is set in a 1930s Cuban cigar factory, to a Latin flavored score by Seattle composer Richard Gray (who also wrote the show's book), and based loosely on The Count of Monte Cristo.
Gray is the only Seattle author to be showcased this season, but all three projects are being presented in direct collaboration with their creators. Two of the shows from the 1996 Village series (then called "First Stage"), Bootlegger, by Bruce Monroe, and The January Book, by Scott (Das Barbecu) Warrender, are being given new productions in March.
Bootlegger will be a Village Theatre Mainstage production Mar. 19-April 26, and The January Book will be presented in a revised workshop by American Musical Theatre Ensemble at North Seattle Community College, dates to be announced.
The Village Theatre First Stage is located at 120 Front St N. in Issaquah. For information, call (425) 392-2202.
-- By David-Edward HughesSeattle Correspondentes