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Originally published Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 9:48 AM

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Village Theatre's new-musicals festival includes 'Lizzie Borden'

The Village Theatre's 12th Annual Festival of New Musicals will take place Aug. 10-12, 2012, in Issaquah.

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The Village Theatre's 12th Annual Festival of New Musicals will take place Aug. 10-12 in Issaquah. This year's in-process musicals will receive fully sung, low-tech performances.

One show, "Lizzie Borden," will be open to the general public; the others will be open only to Village Originals members (memberships start at $75) and invited guests.

Numerous musicals in past festivals have gone on to the company's mainstage ("Iron Curtain," next season's "Trails"), and some have reached Broadway ("Million Dollar Quartet"; "Next to Normal").

"Lizzie Borden" makes a rock musical out of the true saga of the New England woman who became a 19th-century celebrity after murdering her parents with an ax. Writers are Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt. (The show contains mature content, and parental discretion is advised.)

The fest's other shows: "Hello Out There" by Eric Price and Frank Terry, is a coming of age musical about several youths who "take advantage of the newborn Internet to transform themselves into an unlikely trio of online stock advisors." "Oneida," by Beth Blatt and Daniel Green, is drawn from the true story of the 1848 Oneida Community in New York, an idealistic venture in community living.

"Great Wall," by Kevin Merritt and Kevin So, with David Henry Hwang, uses an R & B-influenced score to depict a young Asian-American pianist who overcomes bigotry and family pressures to seek pop music stardom. "The ToyMaker," by Bryan Putnam, concerns an American doll collector seeking out a European toy-maker whose village was destroyed by the Nazis in World War II. "Johnny Baseball" by Richard Dresser, Robert Reale and Willie Reale takes a new look at a famous baseball legend, the Curse of the Bambino, and entwines it with the 1920s story of a young white pitcher's love for a black jazz singer.

"Lizzie Borden," the only show open to the public, will be performed at the Village Theatre's First Stage, 120 Front St. N., Issaquah. Performances are 10 p.m. Aug. 10 and 5 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12. Tickets: $20-$25 (425-392-2202 or www.villagetheatre.org).

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