TheatreWorks Presents Schwartz's 'Snapshots' Starting 6/18

TheatreWorks, the nationally-acclaimed theatre of Silicon Valley, opens its 39th season with the dazzling West Coast Premiere of Snapshots, the latest musical from legendary Broadway (Wicked) and Hollywood (Enchanted) composer Stephen Schwartz. Book author David Stern and composer Stephen Schwartz will be in residence at TheatreWorks to work on Snapshots with TheatreWorks founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley, who will helm the newly-revised production. Beth DeVries, who starred in the Snapshots World Premiere in 2005 at Village Theatre in Seattle, reprises her role as Sue. Also featured are Molly Bell, Brian Crum, Michael Marcotte, Courtney Stokes, and Ray Wills. Snapshots plays June 18 through July 13 (press opening: June 21) at TheatreWorks at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets ($26-64) and information, the public may call (650) 903-6000 or visit theatreworks.org.

In Snapshots, Sue is ready to leave Dan until she stumbles upon a box of old photos chronicling their 30-year relationship. The snapshots, which seemingly come to life, re-enact their lives as teenagers, upwardly-mobile 20-somethings, and their current mid-life crisis, prompting the couple to re-examine their life together. A bittersweet "musical scrapbook" of a marriage that's lost its way, Snapshots introduces new songs, including the title song "Snapshots" and "Making Good" (a song snipped from Wicked during the rehearsal process), combined with some of Schwartz's most cherished hits, including "Popular" from Wicked, "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin, and "All Good Gifts" from Godspell, transforming the remnants of love into the musical of a lifetime.

Stephen Schwartz (music and lyrics) began his musical career studying piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music while in high school. Upon graduation from Carnegie Mellon, he became a producer for RCA Records, but soon began to work in the Broadway theatre. His first major song credit was the title song for the play Butterflies Are Free in 1969, which was eventually used in the movie. In 1971, Schwartz wrote the music and new lyrics for Godspell, for which he won several awards, including two Grammys; he followed this success in 1972 by penning music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Pippin, followed by The Magic Show in 1974, and The Baker's Wife in 1976. Schwartz's next Broadway project was a musical version of Studs Terkel's Working in 1978, which he adapted, directed, and contributed four songs, winning a Drama Desk Award for Best Director; Personals (1985), and lyrics to Charles Strouse's music for Rags (1986) followed. Additionally, Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for John Caird's Children of Eden (1991), and opened the hit Broadway musical Wicked in 2003. For the silver screen, Schwartz collaborated with composer Alan Menken on the scores for the 2007 Disney animated feature Enchanted, which received three Academy Award nominations, and the features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, for which he received Academy Awards. He also provided songs for DreamWorks' first animated feature The Prince of Egypt, for which he won another Academy Award for the song "When You Believe." In 2008, Schwartz was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. TheatreWorks has enjoyed several collaborations with Schwartz, including a hit production of Working, a BATCC Award-winning production of Rags, and collaboration on the play My Àntonia, for which Schwartz penned special music.
 
David Stern (book and concept) began his career working on the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, Nick & Nora, and Big; he also penned the plays Dreams & Stuff and Finders of Lost Luggage. He transitioned into radio by writing for NPR's The 1990's Radio Hour and migrated west to write for movies including, Geppetto for Disney, The Muppets Return for Henson Productions, Wish for Dreamworks, First Daughter for New Regency Films, The Magic Brush for Miramax, and Hotel Transylvania for Sony Pictures Animation. He is currently putting the finishing touches on Geppetto and Son, the stage adaptation of Geppetto, as well as writing a new musical, three movies, and a novel. His movie Open Season 2 will be released in January 2009.

TheatreWorks has assembled an extraordinary ensemble for Snapshots, including Beth DeVries, who makes her TheatreWorks debut. DeVries, who was featured in the World Premiere production of Snapshots at Village Theatre, reprises her role as Sue. In addition to the Village Theatre, where she has appeared in numerous productions (Barnum, The Secret Garden, Six Wives), DeVries' credits include roles at A Contemporary Theatre and Seattle Children's Theatre, among others. Also making his TheatreWorks debut is Broadway actor Ray Wills as Sue's husband Dan. Wills' Broadway credits include Wonderful Town and The Producers, and he has appeared in productions at Manhattan Theatre Club and Circle in the Square. His numerous television credits include roles on the hit NBC drama Law and Order, as well as turns on the daytime dramas As the World Turns, The Guiding Light, and All My Children.

Portraying 20-something incarnations of Sue and Dan are Molly Bell and Michael Marcotte. TheatreWorks veteran Molly Bell's credits include Merrily We Roll Along, A Little Princess, Memphis, and Bat Boy at TheatreWorks; additional regional credits include productions at American Musical Theatre of San Jose and 42nd Street Moon. Michael Marcotte was featured in the national tours of Mame and South Pacific, and in The Human Race Theatre Company production of Snapshots; additional credits include productions at the Guthrie Theater.
 
Courtney Stokes and Brian Crum round out the cast as the teenage Susie and Danny. Stokes appeared in TheatreWorks' World Premiere of A Little Princess, as well as the company's acclaimed revival of Into the Woods and productions of A Little Night Music and Jane Eyre. Crum was featured in the Broadway tours of Altar Boyz and Wicked.

TheatreWorks founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley, who helmed the company's recent multi record-breaking World Premiere musical Emma and acclaimed production of Caroline, or Change, directs Snapshots. Kelley earned Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for TheatreWorks' productions of Ragtime, Rags, Another Midsummer Night, the West Coast Premiere of Jane Eyre, and the Sondheim classics Sunday in the Park with George, Pacific Overtures, Into the Woods, and Sweeney Todd. Additionally, he is the recipient of Bay Area Drama-Logue Awards for his direction of Pacific Overtures, Ah, Wilderness!, and Once in a Lifetime, and Back Stage West Garland Awards for his direction of Side Show and Sunday in the Park with George. Since founding TheatreWorks in 1970, Kelley has directed over 150 productions for the company.

Following the West Coast Premiere of Snapshots, TheatreWorks continues its 39th season in July with the Silicon Valley's first look at John Patrick Shanley's gripping play Doubt, A Parable. In August, the company presents the first post-Broadway production of the scandalously entertaining Tony Award-winning musical Grey Gardens, followed by Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson's final play, Radio Golf. In October. Off-Broadway sensations Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda of the rock band GrooveLily return to TheatreWorks for the holidays (in a co-production with City Theatre in Pittsburgh) with the World Premiere musical Long Story Short in December, followed by the Regional Premieres of Tony Award-winning farceur Ken Ludwig's Twentieth Century in January, and the sizzling Broadway hit musical It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues in March. The Regional Premiere of Lisa Loomer's Distracted closes the season in April.

With nearly 10,000 subscribers and over 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast from across the country. 



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