Sunday, December 19, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Eastside Theater Venues

The following is a list of selected Eastside theater venues and companies that offer staged productions on a regular basis.


Bellevue Civic Theatre (see under Renton Civic Theatre)

Bellevue Opera Who They Are: The artists formerly known as the Peccadillo Players in Seattle became the Bellevue Opera: A Project of the Peccadillo Players five years ago. The company has a strong penchant for Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and has performed all 14 since the Players came together in 1972, including works librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan wrote without each other. They're semi-professional; everyone onstage is a volunteer. "It's for people who love Gilbert and Sullivan and people who like Broadway shows," says artistic director and general manager Penelope Vrachopoulos. Where They Perform: The Theater at Meydenbauer Center Next Show: "H.M.S. Pinafore," starts Mar. 31. Average Ticket Price: $15 Contact Information: Bellevue Opera, 8726 N.E. 11th St., Bellevue, 425-454-1906.

Encore Playhouse

Who They Are: This group of semi-professional community-theater actors started up in 1992, performing comedy, light drama and musicals - they just finished a bill of Tom Stoppard's "The 15-Minute Hamlet" and "The Real Inspector Hound." Currently they're searching for a new stage and rehearsal space.

Where They Perform: No permanent location now, but their next show will be produced at Bellevue's Theater at Meydenbauer Center.

Next Show: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," starts Feb. 4.

Average Ticket Price: $10

Contact Information: Encore Playhouse, Bellevue, 425-453-1690.

The Theater at Meydenbauer Center

What It Is: Part of a large downtown Bellevue complex, the 410-seat Theater at Meydenbauer Center hosts a variety of performing arts events, including productions by such locally based companies as the Chaspen Opera Theater, the Bellevue Opera, Encore Playhouse, and the Bellevue Civic Theatre.

Next Show: Shakespeare's "The Tempest," performed by the Immediate Theatre (Opens Jan. 29)

Average Ticket Price: $9-$12

Contact Information: The Theater at Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. Sixth St., Bellevue, 425-450-3810.

Velato's Cabaret

Who They Are: The opening of Velato's Cabaret in Bellevue's Doubletree Hotel last May marks the sixth venue utilized by Cabaret Productions. You may know the company for its dinner-paired original musical revues, such as the Seattle-spoofing "Forbidden Xmas" and the nostalgic "King of Cool: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole." The 1999 Velato's shows have all been imported from Cabaret de Paris in Seattle , but next year the company plans to grow its own shows in Bellevue.

Where They Perform: Velato's Cabaret, Doubletree Hotel, Bellevue.

Current Show: "Forbidden Xmas: Eastside Edition" (through Dec. 23)

Average Ticket Price: $16-$45.

Contact Information: Velato's Cabaret, Doubletree Hotel, 300 112th Ave. S.E., Bellevue, 425-450-4154.


Village Theatre

What It Is: Noted for its increasingly polished versions of old-style Broadway musicals and occasional dramas, this expanding theater empire now boasts a $4.2 million budget, a thriving drama program for youths (Kidstage) anchored at the 222-seat First Stage, and a mainstage season that shuttles productions between the 488-seat Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah, and the Everett Performing Arts Center. The Village also presents an annual holiday revue at Kirkland Performance Center.

Where Performances Are: The Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. North, and First Stage, 120 Front St. North, both in Issaquah. The Village also brings shows to the Kirkland Performance Center and the Everett Performing Arts Center.

Current Show: "The Pirates of Penzance," through Jan. 2.

Average Ticket Price: $20-$35.

Contact Information: Village Theatre, 303 Front St. N., Issaquah, 425-392-2202


Boomer Classics

Who They Are: Veteran theater designer Shelley Henze Schermer invented this new troupe, which will dedicate each season of three productions to the works of a different modern playwright. This year it's the eloquent British author Tom Stoppard. (Future candidates include Sam Shepard, A.R. Gurney and Joe Orton.) The shows, featuring professional actors, will have short runs in Kirkland and Seattle.

Where They Perform: Kirkland Performance Center, and A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle.

Next Show: "Replay>Tom Stoppard>Radio." Opens Jan. 13.

Average Ticket Price: $12

Contact Information: Boomer Classics c/o Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave. Kirkland, 425-893-9900.

Eastside Musical Theatre

Who They Are: This community musical theater group, a spin-off of Bellevue Opera, began performing shows two years ago at Lake Washington High School, but now has moved to Kirkland Performance Center, where they recently presented a sparkling rendition of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods." Co-founded by artistic director Shawna Avery and Dan Reinking (brother of Broadway star Ann Reinking), the troupe currently mounts two shows per year in Kirkland, but hopes to expand to three in the future.

Where They Perform: Kirkland Performance Center.

Next Show: "The Secret Garden," opens May 11.

Average Ticket Prices: $15-17

Contact Information: Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, 425-893-9900.

Kirkland Performance Center

What It Is: Now in its second year of operation, this new 400-seat municipal arts facility offers an eclectic menu of 250 theater, dance and music events per season, by groups from around the Puget Sound (from Seattle Children's Theatre to Booomer Classics) and beyond. "The demand from the local arts community to use this facility is overwhelming," says its director Steve Lerian.

Current Show: "Holiday Extravaganza," by Issaquah's Village Theatre, runs through Dec. 26.

Average Ticket Price: $6-$25.

Contact Information: Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, 425-893-9900.

Studio East and Storybook Theatre

Who They Are: Studio East productions is the culmination of students' work at Studio East Training for the Performing Arts. The student body numbers 2,500, and the productions are all family-friendly, as are the adult-acted, kid-oriented shows of Studio East's other company, Storybook Theatre.

Where They Perform: At Studio East in Kirkland, and also at Kirkland Performance Center, Everett PUD (Public Utilities District) Auditorium in Everett, and Carco Theatre in Renton (1717 Maple Valley Highway).

Next Show: Storybook Theatre, at Kirkland Performance Center: "Three Little Pigs" (starts Jan. 22). At Studio East: "Fiddler on the Roof" (opens March 3)

Average Ticket Price: $6-10

Contact Information: Studio East and Storybook Theatre, 402 Sixth St. S., Kirkland, 425-827-3123.

Mercer Island

Youth Theatre Northwest

Who They Are: For 16 years, this organization has run a busy training program for young people, and presented full-scale, all-youth performances of multicultural, folk and literary works, and Broadway musicals. This year 1,200 youths are involved, and the company is offering its six-show season in a newly-renovated 215-seat theater.

Where They Perform: Youth Theatre Northwest, in the former North Mercer Island Middle School.

Current and Next Show: "The Nightingale" (last show today at 2 p.m.), and "Many Moons" (opens Feb. 4).

Average Ticket Price: $9

Contact Information: Youth Theatre Northwest, 8805 S.E. 40th, Mercer Island, 206-232-2202.


SecondStory Theatre

Who They Are: These are new kids on the block, a professionally-oriented ensemble quartered in a 130-seat playhouse at a Redmond shopping center. The group is planning a slate of 12 comedic and dramatic shows for 2000 and runs an active kids' theater wing (SPROUTS).

Where They Perform: Redmond Town Center.

Current and Next Show: "The No Hole Holiday" (last show today at 4:30 p.m.). The satirical revue "I Know What You Did Last Millennium" opens in January.

Average Ticket Price: $7-10

Contact Information: SecondStory Repertory Theatre, 16587 N.E. 74th St., Redmond, 425-881-6777.

Redwood Theatre

Who They Are: Although all their performances unfold at the Redmond Senior Center, this group emphatically insists it is not a senior-citizens-only theater. In fact, Redwood is a 13-year-old community troupe that started in Woodinville, and focuses on popular plays, mysteries and comedies.

Where They Perform: Redmond Senior Center, 8730 160th Ave. N.E., Redmond.

Current Show: "Steel Magnolias," starts Feb. 4.

Average Ticket Price: $8-10

Contact Information: Redwood Theatre, P.O. Box 108, Redmond, 206-525-3493.


Carco Theatre

Who They Are: This 300-seat municipal auditorium just off the Maple Valley Highway hosts a variety of community-based arts events, including musical, dance and theater performances by groups such as Studio East, the Valley Community Players.

Next Show: The Seattle Mime Theatre's "Up for Grabs." Plays Feb. 6.

Average Ticket Price: $5-8

Contact Information: Carco Theatre, 1717 Maple Valley Highway, Renton. 425-430-6706.

Renton Civic Theatre

Who They Are: The 12-year-old company is one of the few community theaters that has managed to score its own performance space in Renton. And the members are just launching a new satellite season of shows at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, under the aegis of Bellevue Civic Theatre. In both cities, they'll concentrate on well-known and original dramas and musicals.

Where They Perform: Renton Civic Theatre, and Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

Current Show: "A White Porcelain Christmas" starts Jan. 2 (in Redmond)

Average Ticket Price: $15-20

Contact Information: Renton Civic Theatre, 507 S. Third St., Renton, 425-226-5529.

Valley Community Players

Who They Are: For the past 35 years, the Valley Community Players have been staging mystery thrillers, light dramas and musicals. Entirely volunteer-run, this is the oldest community theater group in King County. They just finished runs of "Driving Miss Daisy" and the mystery, "Act of Imagination."

Where They Perform: Carco Theatre, 1717 Maple Valley Highway, Renton.

Current or Next Show: Call for information.

Average Ticket Price: $13

Contact Information: Valley Community Players, 231 1/2 Main Ave. S., Renton, 425-226-5190.


Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theatre

Who They Are: Since 1966, this semi-professional theater outfit has been mounting family-oriented plays and musicals at an outdoor stage on a 100-acre property. Although they have offered more productions each year, in 2000 they're scaling down to one summer show.

Where They Perform: Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theatre, 36800 S.E. David Powell Road, Fall City

Next Show: "Oliver," starts in July.

Average Ticket Price: $5-13

Contact Information: Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theatre, P.O. Box 516, Bellevue, 425-222-7044.


Woodinville Repertory

Who They Are: This one's just a baby. It was started last year by Peg Phillips, the TV actress from "Northern Exposure" and "Seventh Heaven," when she decided Woodinville needed some culture. With a full professional cast, the popular new group puts on dramas, comedies and musicals, and is hoping to secure its own space soon.

Where They Perform: Leota Junior High, 19301 168th Ave. N.E., Woodinville

Next Show: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," starts Dec. 30.

Average Ticket Price: $12

Contact Information: Woodinville Repertory, P.O. Box 2003, Woodinville 98072. 425-481-8502.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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