‘Broadway at Boren’ kicks off Newcastle Days

September 4, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 4, 2015

Max Willoughby needed to get in character.

So, the 10-year-old Newcastle resident let out a repeated “ribbit.” He was, after all, playing a frog in one of the numbers at the upcoming musical revue, “Broadway at Boren.”

By Christina Corrales-Toy Candace Larson, a choreographer for the ‘Broadway at Boren’ musical performance, leads local actors through rehearsal at the Seattle Revival Center on Aug. 29. ‘Broadway at Boren’ is at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Lake Boren Park.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Candace Larson, a choreographer for the ‘Broadway at Boren’ musical performance, leads local actors through rehearsal at the Seattle Revival Center on Aug. 29. ‘Broadway at Boren’ is at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Lake Boren Park.

Willoughby joined five other local performers at the Seattle Revival Center on Aug. 29 for rehearsal of the show at Lake Boren Park. A cast of community members will dance and belt out tunes from various hit musicals in the hourlong “Broadway at Boren” spectacular at 7 p.m. Sept. 11.

“There’s going to be some dancing, and hopefully some fun costumes, and just something that everybody can enjoy,” director Mary Rudd said. “We’ll see how much fun we can cram on one stage in an hour.”

“Broadway at Boren” represents the opening act of the city’s expanded 2015 Newcastle Days celebration. Rudd held auditions for the show at the end of July and came up with a group of talented multigenerational residents to take the stage.

“We’ve really got quite a spread as far as diversity of what the community here represents,” she said. “We’re really excited that we can include pretty much everyone who came to audition.”

On Aug. 29, choreographer Candace Larson led the gathered performers through a routine set to the song, “Mama Will Provide,” from the musical “Once on This Island.”

Audience members can expect to hear music from “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Les Misérables,” and “Hello, Dolly!” as well, Rudd said.

When the city decided to expand Newcastle Days to two days this year, they were looking for some sort of family-friendly entertainment to kick it all off.

Community Activities Commissioner Tony Ventrella connected Rudd, who worked alongside him on projects at Redmond’s Evergreen Family Theatre, with Wendy Kirchner, the city’s community activities liaison, and the idea for “Broadway at Boren” was quickly born.

Discussions began in May, Rudd said, which didn’t leave a lot of time to plan for a full-fledged production.

“We needed a quick turnaround and this was the fastest, quality show we could think of mounting, so here it is,” she said.

Rudd has a background in theater and a degree in performing arts. She doesn’t live in Newcastle, but is close enough to consider it home. It’s where the mother of three does most of her errands.

The hope is that the musical performance sparks a creative bug in the community that will allow for future productions, Rudd said.

“As long as there’s interest and as long as there’s an audience, and as long as there’s support for it, we will keep the ball rolling,” she said. “We are really excited about the amount of talent in this area.

“We want to bring that true community theater experience to the Newcastle area so that people can participate and learn about all the transformative things that theater can do for your life.”

Seattle Revival Center donated rehearsal space in the month leading up to the performance.

The show begins at 7 p.m. Sept. 11. Immediately after “Broadway at Boren,” UC7, a five-piece classic rock cover band, will play from 8-9 p.m. Food vendors will be on site through both performances.

“It’s just a family-friendly night of music to get you excited for the next day,” Kirchner said.

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