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Originally published Friday, March 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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It takes a Village to stage this ambitious lineup

The Village Theatre's 2008-09 season will feature a new regional staging of the big Disney musical "Beauty and the Beast," as well as two...

Seattle Times theater critic

The Village Theatre's 2008-09 season will feature a new regional staging of the big Disney musical "Beauty and the Beast," as well as two lesser-known contemporary tuners, an Oscar Wilde comedy and a vintage Broadway show.

This ambitious season for the Village, which opens shows with a run in Issaquah and then transports them to the Everett Performing Arts Center, will start in September with "Saint Heaven," a bluesy new work scored by Keith Gordon and written by Martin Casella about love and religion in small-town Kentucky during the 1950s.

In November, the Village tackles the blockbuster "Beauty and the Beast," based on the animated Disney film, complete with dancing cutlery and teapot. The show racked up more than 5,000 performances on Broadway, and the tour came to Seattle, but this will be its first revival by a local professional company.

Next, in January, the Village will mount Wilde's familiar wit-a-thon, "The Importance of Being Earnest," followed in March by "Stunt Girl," a musical based on the adventures of the intrepid Nellie Bly, a pioneering female reporter.

The season concludes with a May offering of "Show Boat," the landmark Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II show that spans four decades, beginning in the 1880s, in the lives of entertainers performing in a floating theater on the Mississippi River. The score includes such standards as "Ol' Man River" and "Bill."

Further information about the Village Theatre's season: www.villagetheatre.org or 425-392-2202.

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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