Robert Preston's Life Explored in New Musical, Ya Got Trouble! in Pacific Northwest, May 26-June 12 | Playbill

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News Robert Preston's Life Explored in New Musical, Ya Got Trouble! in Pacific Northwest, May 26-June 12 The Village Theatre's "Village Originals" season in Issaquah, Washington, hosts a developmental production of the new biographical musical, Ya Got Trouble!, focusing on Music Man actor Robert Preston May 26-June 12.
Mark Sparks as Robert Preston in Ya Got Trouble!
Mark Sparks as Robert Preston in Ya Got Trouble!

Subtitled An Affair with Robert Preston—A Musical, the show is conceived by Mark Sparks, with story by Bob De Dea & Mark Sparks, and a book by Bob De Dea, featuring the music of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, Meredith Willson, and many others.

Performances play First Stage, 120 Front Street, the Village Theatre's home in Issaquah, WA, in suburban Seattle.

The show is concurrent with the troupe's production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man on its Mainstage. Robert Preston was the indelible star of the original production of The Music Man and its film version. His credits over the years included B pictures, war movies, Broadway musicals I Do! I Do! and Ben Franklin in Paris and a late-career star turn as a warm-hearted drag queen in the movie "Victor/Victoria."

"Preston, portrayed by Mark Sparks, had a long and storied career on stage and film, and this tune-filled solo turn co-stars dozens of Hollywood and Broadway luminaries...and Preston dishes the dirt on every one!" according to the Village Originals announcement. "This intimate evening of live theatre is a unique new look at a legend, based on exclusive interviews and exhaustive research…"

Songs in the evening are plucked from musicals Preston starred in, including stage shows The Music Man, I Do! I Do!, Ben Franklin in Paris and We Take the Town, and the film "Victor/Victoria." "Seven years in the making, Ya Got Trouble! got its start when Sparks began thinking about the actor who first brought Harold Hill and other signature Preston roles to life," according to production notes.

Sparks stated, "To me, there seemed to be a cadence, a character to the roles that was similar. I was fascinated that pieces created by completely different teams of writers had a feel that related so well to each other. Or was it that my interpretation of those roles was so greatly influenced by Preston? A bit of research and I was hooked on the idea of this project."

Sparks and De Dea interviewed dozens of Preston's contemporaries. Some of the most inspirational were Gregory Peck, Buddy Hackett, John Cullum, John Springer (Preston's PR man) and the writing duo of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.

The Village run is the first time that the show is in the hands of a complete production staff.

Ya Got Trouble! is directed by Rita Giomi, a Seattle-based director with over 25 years experience.

Set design for Ya Got Trouble! is by Village Theatre properties master Roger Anderson. Costume design is by costume shop manager Deane Middleton and lighting design is by Richard Schaefer.

The piano-and-voice production is musical-directed by Jim Fisher.

For information, call (425) 392-2202 or visit


Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. 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 16,000 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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