A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Taproot Theatre presents holiday show ‘Le Club Noel’

November 13th, 2013 by Doree

Taproot Theatre’s holiday show, “Le Club Noel,” is an original Christmas play by local playwrights and frequent Taproot performers Candace and Sam Vance.

Le Club Noel-resized

Candace Vance and Faith Russell. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

Step into a 1930’s Parisian Cabaret and fall under the spell of Le Club Noel, where the band is hot and the songs sung by a beautiful chanteuse. Together they create music to awaken love in the coldest of hearts. With money scarce, and WWII on the horizon, this close-knit band of musicians reminds us that Christmas has always been a time for miracles.”

“Le Club Noel” runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 28, with low-price previews on Nov. 22-23.

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‘The Whipping Man’ opens at Taproot Theatre this week

March 26th, 2013 by Doree

Taproot Theatre‘s newest production, “The Whipping Man,” asks difficult questions about slavery, war and freedom.


Ryan Childers, William Hall, Jr. and Tyler Trerise. Photo by Erik Stuhaug, Taproot Theatre.

Can loyalty and freedom coexist? A Jewish Confederate soldier and two of his former slaves are left to observe Passover together in the wake of the Civil War, prompting the challenging examination and reconciliation of the past while revealing the fear and uncertainty of venturing into a new future. This is a poignant play that The New York Times experienced as, “Haunting, striking, and powerful.”

The show opens on Friday and runs through April 27, with previews this Wednesday and Thursday.

Note: According to Taproot, this play contains profane language and vivid descriptions of war and slavery. It is recommended for ages 16 and up.

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Christ the King Catholic School presents ‘Annie Jr.’ at Shoreline CC

November 20th, 2012 by Doree

Christ the King Catholic School’s middle school students will perform “Annie Jr.” at the Shoreline Community College Campus Theater on Dec. 13-15. The show is suitable for all ages.

Christ the King is at 415 N. 117th St. Shoreline Community College Campus Theater is at 16101 Greenwood Ave. N.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13 and Friday, Dec. 14; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door; or online.

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Taproot Theatre now selling subscriptions for 2013 season

October 28th, 2012 by Doree

Greenwood’s Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., is now selling subscriptions for its 2013 season, which runs from January through October (single tickets go on sale in January).

Jeeves in Bloom – Adapted by Margaret Raether from the stories of P.G. Wodehouse
Feb 1 – Mar 2, Previews January 30 & 31

Peace. Tranquility. The English countryside. Ahhh … Then Bertie Wooster pays a visit. While ducking romance, fleeing a cleaver-wielding chef and burgling his uncle, Bertie’s trail of mischief and mayhem is set right by his unflappable valet, Jeeves. Based on characters created by author P.G. Wodehouse, this confectionary treat is a delightful respite from the daily grind.

The Whipping Man –  By Matthew Lopez
Mar 29 – April 27, Previews March 27 & 28

Can loyalty and freedom coexist? A Jewish Confederate soldier returns from war to his house in shambles. Two former slaves greet him, one who stayed and one who is returning. As they observe Passover and remember the Jewish exodus from Egypt their shared pasts and secrets threaten the freedom of all three men.

Bach at Leipzig – By Itamar Moses
May 17 – June 15, Previews May 15 & 16

Leipzig, 1722. Germany’s most renowned music director is dead at the keyboard. As the country’s greatest organists descend to vie for the job, melodies of rivalry, trickery, and blackmail compose a fugue of plots and counterplots. Rooted in history but reveling in flights of fiction Bach at Leipzig is deliciously scored with wild and witty revelations.

Illyria – Book, Music and Lyrics by Peter Mills, Adapted by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
July 12 – Aug 10, Previews July 10 & 11

This musical adaptation of Twelfth Night has all the hilarious hijinks and unrequited love of Shakespeare’s famous comedy. A mistaken identity sets off a chain of events that has everything topsy-turvy. As these classic characters sing of romance and shenanigans, you’ll be transported to a mythical land of love.

The Matchmaker – By Thornton Wilder
Sept 20 – Oct 19, Previews Sept 18 & 19

Thornton Wilder’s hit comedy about love, money and the love of money has matchmaking busybody Dolly Levi brokering true love for a wealthy businessman. Will anyone get what their heart desires? Unlikely circumstances and hilarious complications bring surprises at every corner in this play that inspired Hello, Dolly!

Patrons can buy tickets online or through the box office at 206-781-9707 or email box@taproottheatre.org. The box office is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12-5 p.m., and until show time on performance nights.

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Taproot Theatre imagines if Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis came to tea

March 7th, 2012 by Doree

Just imagine the conversation that Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis could have if they’d ever met. That’s what Taproot Theatre is doing in its latest production, “Freud’s Last Session,” running March 23 through April 21.

“Freud’s Last Session” was written by Mark St. Germain.  The play opened in New York in July 2010, is currently the longest running Off-Broadway show this season, and won the 2011 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play.

Matt Shimkus as C.S. Lewis and Nolan Palmer as Sigmund Freud. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

Taproot’s production is directed by Producing Artistic Director Scott Nolte, and stars Nolan Palmer as Sigmund Freud and Matt Shimkus as C.S. Lewis.

Science and religion, body and soul, reality and fantasy, nothing is off limits in the award winning play, Freud’s Last Session, making its West Coast premiere at Taproot Theatre this March. Air raid sirens sound overhead, C.S. Lewis is a young and rising academic star and Sigmund Freud has invited him for tea. What could possibly come next?

Mark St. Germain’s distinguished new play that Entertainment Weekly called, “… spirited, witty and eminently engaging” was suggested by the bestselling book The Question of God by Armand Nicholi, Jr., a Harvard professor who for over thirty-five years has taught a course comparing the writings, biographies and philosophies of both Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis.

C.S. Lewis was a Christian apologist who wrote books such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis and a staunch advocate for the atheist worldview. Even though it is unlikely Freud and Lewis ever met, the conversation presented is historically and ideologically sound, musing about issues that were important to Freud and Lewis and remain important today.

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Christ the King students perform ‘Grease’ flash mob at Northgate

February 17th, 2012 by Doree

Students from Christ the King Catholic School in Broadview, just north of Greenwood, recently performed a flash mob at Barnes & Noble at Northgate Mall to promote the school’s upcoming production of “Grease.”

You can see a YouTube video of the flash mob here.

The students will perform “Grease” on March 29-31 at Shoreline Community College Campus Theater, 16101 Greenwood Ave. N. Tickets are $10. Call 206-364-6890.

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Greenwood resident Benjamin Cournoyer to be part of chorus in ‘A Chorus Line’

January 31st, 2012 by Doree

Benjamin Cournoyer, who recently moved to Greenwood, will be a chorus member in Seattle Musical Theatre’s production of “A Chorus Line” at Magnuson Park from Feb. 10 – March 4.

A Chorus Line follows a group of desperate to work actor/dancers through their audition experience for a spot on the synchronized dance chorus of an upcoming Broadway production. Ironically, Director Zach uses the audition to mine each of their very unique personal events that shaped their lives as dancers.

This will be Cournoyer’s fourth production with SMT. His other credits include: Bob Cratchit in “Scrooge: The Musical” at Capital Playhouse; a pirate and a policeman in STAGEright’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance”; Ninian Edwards in “Lincoln in Love” at Village Theatre’s 2010 Festival of New Musicals; Woof in “Hair” at The Historic Everett Theatre; and Richard III at Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio.

Performances are Friday through Sunday, with one Thursday night show. Tickets are $35-$40 with special rates for seniors, students and group sales. Tickets can be purchased online, or by calling the box office at 206-363-2809.

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Taproot Theatre opens season with Molière’s ‘Tartuffe’

January 23rd, 2012 by Doree

Taproot Theatre opens its 2012 season with Molière’s “Tartuffe,” running Feb. 3-March 3, with previews on Feb. 1-2.


 Jesse Notehelfer, Frank Lawler, and Don Brady. Photo by Erik Stuhaug, Taproot Theatre.

Molière’s comic masterpiece brings us the imposter Tartuffe, a con artist extraordinaire who oozes piety and charm. Will his hypocrisy be discovered before Orgon’s household is turned on its head? This famous farce is a cautionary tale told with lightning-quick wit, complete with star-crossed lovers, a badgering grandma and a plot that could be ripped from the headlines C or a Saturday night comedy show.

Tartuffe scandalized many of Molière’s contemporaries and was banned in 1664. Molière himself believed that, “As the duty of comedy is to correct men by amusing them, I believed that in my occupation I could do nothing better than attack the vices of my age by making them ridiculous…” and in his first appeal to the King wrote that, “since hypocrisy is, without doubt, one of the most common, the most harmful, and the most dangerous of these, I thought, Sire, that I would render no small service to all the honorable men of your kingdom if I were to make a comedy that would discredit the hypocrites and present all the artificial gestures that these worthy folk display…”

“Tartuffe” is directed by Karen Lund and features a cast of Charissa Adams, Don Brady, Ryan Childers, Solomon Davis, Nathan Jeffrey, William Hamer, Frank Lawler, Ruth McRee, Jesse Notehelfer and Josh Smyth.

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Phinney Ridge resident cast as Artful Dodger in West Seattle production of ‘Oliver!’

August 5th, 2011 by Doree

Phinney Ridge resident Eric McIntosh is playing the role of the Artful Dodger in Twelfth Night Productions’ “Oliver!” at West Seattle High school. A portion of the proceeds from the show will be donated to Treehouse, which provides services for foster kids.

Eric McIntosh, far left. Photo courtesy Twelfth Night Productions.

It is often said that life imitates art. In the world of Charles Dickens, we see the timeless story of despair and hope and a deep desire for belonging. Oliver Twist’s world is one of poverty and despair, much like many neighborhoods in our city. Times have changed since the days of the workhouse, but our understanding of the life of those living in poverty still remains a challenge. We no longer force those who are poor and homeless into the poor conditions of a workhouse, but the images of those struggling to survive day to day rings true today. Oliver Twist’s message is as important today as it was when Dickens first wrote it. The story is an important reminder that life cannot exist without hope, and that we all need to find the light for ourselves and others.

In addition to donating proceeds from Oliver!, TNP will also help facilitate a back-to-school drive for Treehouse, collecting school supplies, backpacks and new or gently used clothing items for kids in foster care. Please bring these items with you to the high school on the day of performances. There will be a collection area for them at that time.

“Oliver!” plays at West Seattle High School at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 5-6, 12-13, and 19-20, and at 3 p.m. on Aug. 7, 14, and 21. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students & seniors, and are available online at Brown Paper Tickets and at West Seattle High School, 3000 California Ave SW, on performance days.

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Taproot’s ‘Something’s Afoot’ begins tonight, next season lineup announced

July 13th, 2011 by Doree

Tonight is the first preview of Taproot Theatre’s latest production, the murder-mystery musical “Something’s Afoot.” Official opening night is Friday.

Natalie Anne Moe and Jenny Cross. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

And Taproot has announced the lineup for its 2012 season, which includes two regional premieres, a musical, and a comedy about family vacations:

Taproot Theatre’s 2012 opens with Molière’s Tartuffe (translated by Richard Wilbur), a fast -paced farce that will have audiences rolling with laughter and rhyming in couplets (February 1-March 3).

Next comes the regional premiere of Freud’s Last Session, the off-Broadway hit by Mark St. Germain. Two of the 20th century’s greatest minds―C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud―spar to the end in this fictional meeting (March 21- April 21).

In the spring, Taproot Theatre gets in vacation mode with Leaving Iowa. By Tim Clue and Spike Manton, this warm and funny celebration of the classic family road trip reminds us that sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination (May 16- June 16).

Then it’s Chaps, which is perhaps your only chance to see a British cowboy croon at the moon, in this musical by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner, with vocal arrangements by Malcolm Hillgartner and Chip Duford (July 11-August 11).

Finally, Taproot Theatre wraps up its 2012 Season in the fall with the regional premiere of Dorothy Sayer’s Gaudy Night, adapted by Frances Limoncelli. Sayers’ signature wit, insight and charm will delight you in this dazzling mystery (September 19-October 20).

Current subscribers can resubscribe for next season now; subscriptions open to the general public on Oct. 3. Single tickets go on sale in January.

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Taproot Theatre presents a musical ‘whodunit’ with ‘Something’s Afoot’

June 28th, 2011 by Doree

“Something’s Afoot,” a murder mystery opening at Taproot Theatre Company on July 15, begins by letting you know who didn’t do it.

Jenny Cross, Natalie Ann Moe, and Tim Tully. Photo by Erik Stuhaug, Taproot Theatre.

“The butler didn’t do it!” So starts this murder mystery musical that has been delighting audiences for decades. When wealthy Lord Rancour is found dead at his lakeside estate, the race to find out whodunit begins. Filled with booby-traps and belted songs, this hilarious spoof hums along as you play armchair detective to a zany cast of characters.

Directed by Scott Nolte, “Something’s Afoot” runs July 15 through Aug. 13, with previews July 13-14.

“Murder mysteries have always been a big hit among our patrons, since the early days of Taproot Theatre,” Nolte said in a press release. “So, we got to thinking, what better way to celebrate our 35th Anniversary Season and say thanks for the years of support than to present a murder mystery musical? This clever spoof honors the mystery greats like Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers.”

“Something’s Afoot” premiered in 1972 at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Taproot’s production features Dale Bowers, Gerald B. Browning, Ryan Childers, Jenny Cross, William Hamer, Ian Lindsay, Natalie Anne Moe, Deanna Sarkar, Pat Sibley and Tim Tully.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2 p.m. Saturday matinees. There’s a pay-what-you-can performance on July 20, and post-play discussions on Wednesday nights (except for the preview night). Taproot Theatre is at 204 N. 85th St.

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Shakespeare in the Park this summer

June 12th, 2011 by Doree

GreenStage presents Shakespeare in the Park at several outdoor locations this summer, including nearby Lower Woodland Park. Performances are free, but donations are accepted after each show.

The performance area at Lower Woodland Park is at Aurora Avenue North and North 60th Street, in the meadow on the east side of Highway 99, just south of the lawn bowling and horseshoe pits, near picnic shelter #6.

“Antony and Cleopatra,” directed by Patrick Bentley, plays at Lower Woodland Park at 7 p.m. Friday, July 15, and 3 p.m., Saturday, July 16.

Shakespeare’s beautiful telling of one of history’s greatest and most ill-fated romances. It is two years after the death of Julius Caesar and a new Caesar, Octavius, is coming into his own. Aging Mark Antony, one of the three rulers of Rome, lives a lavish life of passion and indulgence with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. As Octavius and Rome pressure him to return to his duties, Antony and Cleopatra struggle to keep their own power while sharing a passion that tests their allegiances and begs the question, “What is life without love?”

“The Tempest,” directed by Michael D. Blum, is at Lower Woodland Park at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 14, and 7 p.m., Saturday, July 16.

On an isolated, magical island, Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan and self-taught sorcerer lives in banishment. For years, his only company has been his brave young daughter, an airy magical spirit and an enslaved monster. Despite the passage of time, Prospero hungers for revenge and the opportunity comes when a powerful storm shipwrecks his usurping brother,  other nobles, and some very colorful characters  on the island. Shakespeare’s final and most personal play, The Tempest is a powerful and often funny story of love, forgiveness and redemption.

See GreenStage’s website for the full schedule at all parks.

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