Queen of Country S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E-S in New Musical, Play It by Heart, Slated for Pacific Northwest in 2005

News   Queen of Country S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E-S in New Musical, Play It by Heart, Slated for Pacific Northwest in 2005
A revised version of the new country-flavored musical, Play It by Heart, will twang its way into Village Theatre, the Washington state troupe devoted largely to musical theatre, in 2005.

The company's 2004-05 season was announced March 23. It includes The Secret Garden, South Pacific, The Music Man and the non-musical entry, Steel Magnolias.

Play It by Heart — with book by Village's associate artistic director Brian Yorkey, music and lyrics by David Spangler and Jerry Taylor — had an earlier developmental staging by Village Theatre, an Equity-affiliated Pacific Northwest company.

Run by executive producer Robb Hunt and artistic director Steve Tomkins, Village Theatre operates its Mainstage season out of two locations: the 488-seat Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah, and the 520-seat Everett Performing Arts Center in Everett.

The Mainstage Season consists of five productions, typically four musicals (including one new musical) and one play. The season runs from September to July with 30 total weeks of production in Issaquah and 15 total weeks of production in Everett.

The Village Originals Program is based in Issaquah, at the troupe's original 200-seat space, First Stage (a former vaudeville house). For more than seven years, Village Originals has been dedicated to the creation and development of new musicals. The 2004-05 Village Originals season will be announced later this spring. Play It by Heart was first seen as a Village Original show in a fully-staged developmental run. Now revised, it hits the Mainstage (March 16-April 24, 2005 in Issaquah, April 29-May 15, 2005 in Everett).

Play It by Heart "is full of life, from heartfelt hoedown to glorious gospel to timeless two-step," according to the announcement. "Facing the twilight of a storied career, the country's reigning queen of country music struggles to stay true to the music she loves in a changing world.  Her meddling mother and her up-and coming pop-star sister challenge her at every turn... but a secret from their past is soon to change all of their lives forever.  Filled with humor and high drama, it's a compelling, vital American story set to a classic American sound."

Writer Yorkey's musical works include Making Tracks (book and lyrics) and The Wedding Banquet (book and lyrics) and the Jonathan Larson Award-honored Feeling Electric (book and lyrics, with music by Tom Kitt).

Artistic director Steve Tomkins stages South Pacific (Sept. 15-Oct. 24 in Issaquah, Oct. 29-Nov. 14 in Everett); Yorkey directs Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon's The Secret Garden (Nov. 10, 2004-Jan. 2, 2005 in Issaquah, Jan. 7-23, 2005 in Everett); Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias plays Jan. 19-Feb. 27, 2005 in Issaquah, March 4-20, 2005 in Everett; and Tomkins helms The Music Man (May 11-June 26, 2005 in Issaquah, July 8-24 in Everett).

For season ticket information, visit Village Theatre at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front Street North, Issaquah, or call the box office at (425) 392-2202. The Village Theatre at the Everett Performing Arts Center is located at 2710 Wetmore Avenue, Everett. That box office is (425) 257-8600. Visit the website at www.villagetheatre.org.


Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest, according to company notes. "What began in 1979 with the vision of a small group of dedicated theatre artists has grown into one of the region's best attended resident theatres, with over 15,000 subscribers to the current season and 165,000 projected total attendance, performances on four stages in the Seattle area, youth education programs serving over 36,000 young people annually, and a nationally recognized program that has enabled the development of over 45 new musicals."


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