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Category: stage – musicals


Tacoma Musical Playhouse launches capital campaign to support orchestra pit, bigger stage and acoustic enhancement; $1 million already raised

The Tacoma Musical Playhouse has just announced the launch of the public phase of a $1.27 million capital campaign to renovate the theater. The 19-year-old community theater has already raised $1 million in grants and private donations.

Among the renovations planned are enlargement of the stage and backstage areas, the creation of an orchestra pit (currently musicians play under an overhang to the side), acoustic enhancements to the auditorium walls and moving the sound booth to audience level.

“These changes will allow us to grow our productions and programs, and greatly enhance the TMP patron’s theatergoing experience,” says Jon

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The Christmas Revels in medieval Haddon Hall (aka Tacoma’s Rialto) is full of joy, marvelous music and spirits of the best kind.

The Christmas Revels. From left: Harold Smelt, Tony Curry, Keith Dahlgren, Sophie Clements and Kate Witt. Courtesy photo.

It’s the 20th anniversary of the Puget Sound Revels, and so you’d expect a bigger production than most years. What you get, though, in this year’s Christmas Revels – set in 12th century England, and performed in Tacoma’s Rialto Theater – is a professional production that has the best music, most interesting plot and highest production values of any Revels in the last eight years.

Creating a professional-looking Revels isn’t easy. All but a few of the cast are amateurs who rehearse their folk-songs and dances after their day-job is over, and there’s a children’s chorus (16-strong this year), many of whom have never been on stage before. Sets are built by family members, costumes are sewn by friends. Even the paid musicians are sometimes a grab-bag.

But this year it all comes together with a resounding hurrah. Most successful of all is the plot, something the folk-tradition-based Revels doesn’t often come with, and this is spun out with engaging skill by five talented actors. Read more »


Tacoma Musical Playhouse announces 2012/13 season

Tacoma Musical Playhouse has just announced its new season, which spans musical theater from classics like “The Sound of Music” to the movie-based “Legally Blonde.”

Opening the season in September is “Chicago,” the award-winning, 15-year-running Kander and Ebb Broadway musical about a murdering chorus girl in Prohibition-era Chicago. After a holiday run of the ever-popular “The Sound of Music,” about the singing Von Trapp family, the season continues with “The Musical of Musicals,” five musicals in one with each having the same plot but different musical style. “Legally Blonde,” about a sorority star who goes to law school, is

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“Cats” fills Seattle’s Paramount this week with great ensemble singing and dancing, and plenty of pyrotechnics

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer from "Cats." Photo: Joan Marcus.

Bursting back into the glamorous Seattle Paramount Theater this week is “Cats,” the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on T.S. Eliot’s “Book of Practical Cats.” Touted as the original production, this “Cats” makes a splash largely due to its excellent ensemble singing and dancing, as well as some laugh-out-loud highlights – despite a whole lot of unnecessary pyrotechnics.

As everyone discovered when this musical hit the London (then New York) stage and changed musical theater forever, “Cats” relies on atmosphere rather than plot – and this production well and truly delivers. With the original set and costume design by John Napier, the larger-than-life garbage pile and fuzzed-up cat faces from sleek Siamese to mangy cur are kicked up a notch by some brilliant make-up, which you get to see up close as the cats (sorry, that would be ‘cast’) dart into the audience, hissing in faces to great effect at the start. Read more »


“Cats” comes to Seattle’s Paramount beginning April 17, with cast Meet-and-Greet at Woodland Park Zoo

The cast of "Cats." Photo: Joan Marcus.

Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer, Macavity, Old Deuteronomy and all the rest of show-biz’ favorite felines are back in town next week with a run of “Cats” at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre from April 17-22. The 1981 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber inspired by T.S. Eliot’s “Book of Practical Cats” poetry became one of the longest running-shows in Broadway history – and this incarnation goes back to the original, with the inclusion of the psychic twin cats Coricopat and Tantomile. You can also meet the cast along with the real big cats next Thursday at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Just in case you’ve been missing the “Cats” boat for the last 30 years, read this: “Cats” doesn’t actually have a plot. It’s a loose collection of cameo roles of individual street cats in London, each with their own song, dance and character. Read more »


Kitsap Forest Theater goes to “Oklahoma!”

There aren’t many theater companies performing outdoors around here – Seattle’s Greenstage Shakespeare in the Park, or “The Sound of Music” at Leavenworth – and if you want a theater that’s literally in the woods, you need the Kitsap Forest Theater, who just opened the summer season with “Oklahoma!” last weekend.

Nestled in a natural amphitheater with earth seating, ferny backdrop, surrounding acres of Douglas firs and rhododendrons and a quarter-mile hike down from the parking lot, the Kitsap Theater isn’t highly professional but it’s a magical venue that’s been dishing out fun theater for 88 years.

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“Aladdin” will be newest screen-to-stage premiere at 5th Avenue Theatre

The 5th Avenue Theatre announced Thursday it will premiere a new stage production of Disney’s “Aladdin”. The new musical will close the 2010-11 season

The musical is adapted from Disney’s 1992 animated feature film of the same name. The show previews on July 7 and runs through July 31.

(NOTE: In a previous version of this post I suggested this production was bound for Broadway. Currently, there are no plans for this production to run on Broadway.)

From the press release:

“Aladdin” will feature a cast and creative team drawn from Seattle and Broadway. Several

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Follies parody Tacoma in one-night stand

By C. R. Roberts
The News Tribune

They earned a rousing standing ovation at a recent anniversary bash hosted by City Club, and now they’re back for a one-night stand at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.

The “Grit City Fab Follies” will hit the West Tacoma stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 6.

The satirical revue reprises the songs sung at the City Club event – with the addition of another handful of tunes likewise written by Tacoma native Doug Mackey and sung by a sextet comprising high school students from throughout Pierce County.
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