Issaquah and Everett, WA – This winter, Village Theatre is set to produce the Tony Award-winning thriller SLEUTH, written by Anthony Shaffer. This production will have one preview performance in Issaquah on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, and will officially open the following day, running January 20-February 27, 2011 in downtown Issaquah at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, and March 4-27, 2011 in downtown Everett, at the Everett Performing Arts Center.
Broadway legend, prestigious award-winner, and current Issaquah resident Martin Charnin (Shadowlands, 2007) returns to Village Theatre to direct SLEUTH. Charnin has worked in the theatre industry for over 40 years as a lyricist, composer, and director. His work has earned him Tonys, Grammys, Emmys, Drama Desk Awards, gold and platinum records, and the Peabody Award for broadcasting. Arguably his most famous work is the beloved Broadway hit Annie, which he created, wrote lyrics for, and directed. Annie is the 23rd longest running musical in Broadway history and subsequent to its opening in 1977, Charnin has directed 19 companies of the show with great success. He has been involved with Village Theatre on various levels over the years, from directing a Mainstage production and Village Originals Festival readings, to developing his own new musical through Village Theatre’s new works program.
Of SLEUTH, Charnin comments, “Sleuth belongs to a genre of fast disappearing thrillers that once populated every season. There were shows like Dial M For Murder and Deathtrap and Wait Until Dark, which all had extensive runs on Broadway, and subsequently in regional theatres. The trick in all of them, as a director, is to be more than one step ahead of the audience. A well-written thriller makes a specific demand on the viewer’s intellect and ability to calculate and put the clues together, so the audience is involved in a different way; they are not only following the characterizations, but the intricacies of the plot. One of the great satisfactions, for an audience, has always been the attempt to figure out ‘whudunnit’ before the curtain comes down. The great mysteries take you to the penultimate page and then pull the rug out from under you one last time. Sleuth is, in my opinion, two acts in a rug factory.”
SLEUTH boasts an all-star cast led by two of Seattle’s most prolific actors, David Pichette and M.J. Seiber. Pichette has most recently appeared as Polonius in Seattle Shakespeare’s Hamlet as well as in Candide at 5th Avenue Theatre—both performances received incredible audience and critical acclaim. He has an extensive professional resume and the public following to back him up as one of the Seattle greats. Seiber returns to Village Theatre after playing Paul Bratter in the 2007 production of Barefoot in the Park. Most recently he appeared in The Lieutenant of Inishmore (ACT), Glengarry Glen Ross (Seattle Rep), and Lyle the Crocodile (Seattle Children's Theatre). He is an artistic associate and founding member of New Century Theatre Company and appeared in 2008's The Adding Machine (Gregory Award for Production and Theatre).
Village Theatre’s production of SLEUTH has scenic design by Martin Christoffel (5th Avenue: West Side Story, …Joseph); lighting design by Alex Berry (The Gypsy King, Beauty and the Beast); costume design by Footlight Award-winner Melanie Burgess (Chasing Nicolette, Lost in Yonkers); and sound design by Gino Scarpino (The Full Monty).