The Issaquah, WA, Equity company is known as a growing voice of new musicals and revivals in the Pacific Northwest.
Schwartz ("Prince of Egypt," "Pocahontas," Wicked, Pippin, Godspell) has been in residence for Snapshots rehearsals in recent days. The project began over the past decade and has been seen in industry readings and workshops, and in a 1996 production at Westport Country Playhouse. Village Theatre is billing this as the world premiere of the new, improved, updated version of the property.
New scenes and recent Schwartz songs (including a Wicked trunk song) are part of the experience at Village Theatre's First Stage. Because of its developmental nature, the production is not open to reviewers. Performances continue to Dec. 23.
Snapshots has a book by David Stern and is directed by Randy Brenner, with musical direction by Steve Orich.
Snapshots is produced in association with Cardboard Belt Productions, Dee Gee Theatricals, and McCoy/Rigby Entertainment. They will presumably shepherd the show to a commercial future. Snapshots features some of Schwartz's best-loved songs and the debut of new ones written just for this production, according to production notes. This is billed as "the first-ever full production of this new version" of the show, which borrows numbers from Schwartz's songbook to create a new book musical.
"Snapshots depicts a moment of crisis in the life of a suburban couple," according to notes. "Just as Sue is preparing to leave her husband, she stumbles upon a box of old photos—snapshots—chronicling their 30-year relationship. Sue and Dan re-examine their life together through the photographs, which come to life, allowing them to relive many moments of their life together. Six actors play the two characters at various stages of life and love, from burgeoning teenagers to upwardly-mobile twenty-somethings to their current empty nest mid-life crisis. Snapshots captures human relationships, in all their complicated, imperfect beauty."
Expect favorite Schwartz songs — "Corner of the Sky," "All Good Gifts" and "Popular" — in new contexts, "sometimes with new lyrics."
Audiences will also be treated to a never-before heard song that was cut from the Broadway sensation Wicked, called "Making Good."
Schwartz has also written several new songs especially for this production, including the title number.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Randy Brenner, director of Snapshots, in production notes. "It's not a typical revue, and it's not a typical book musical. It is a hybrid musical unlike anything that's been done before, a compilation of Schwartz's songs that, with a distinct book and dialogue, tells a story about two very real characters."
"We couldn't be more thrilled to be producing a new work from a master like Stephen Schwartz," stated Robb Hunt, executive producer of Village Theatre. "It's a fantastic show, and we're glad that Village Originals could offer this development opportunity to its authors while bringing an exciting premiere to our audience."
The cast includes Mo Brady, Beth DeVries, Hugh Hastings, Louis Hobson, Abby Pollard and Billie Wildrick.
The creative team includes scenic designer Scott Fyfe, lighting designer Richard Schaefer and costume designer Harmony Arnold.
For more information, visit www.villagetheatre.org.