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'Anne of Green Gables' at SecondStory Rep

Michael Brunk, NW Lens

Anne of Green Gables, beloved literary character, comes to life in dramatic fashion at the current SecondStory Rep production.  Anne’s energy and enthusiasm for life fills the stage and warms our hearts just like it did in the book. Her spunk, grit, determination, and boundless creativity make her a perfect mighty girl role model. She will steal your heart and have you pledging to be bosom friends forever before the end of Act I.
Turning a classic novel into a musical show is more than a little daunting. Yet Anne makes the transition to stage and singing without a hitch. The songs are catchy and move the story along so that there isn’t a single wasted moment. The novel and show span several years as Anne grows from a skinny adolescent into a young woman.  Thoughtful costuming by Jocelyne Fowler produces looks that are more than believable for both ages. The small cast of nine is almost alarmingly perfect. They are all the epitome of their character(s) both in appearance and attitude. Zoe Foster’s portrayal of Diana was one of my favorite parts of the show. Diana can easily be overshadowed by Anne, but Foster made her interesting in a way that made their friendship even more believable. Pat Sibley as Marilla pulled off the Herculean task of making the aloof and sensible Marilla a lovable character. And Emily Brooks as Anne was simply stellar. Her energy and flair for the dramatic were authentically Anne.
My own thirteen-year-old daughter was a little less than enthused about heading out to the show after a long week at school. But by the end of the opening song, she turned to me with a big smile, and mouthed the words, “I like it” which is high praise from a teenager. Afterwards, she had compliments to go around. She loved Lacey Krueger as Josie Pie, especially her “slow clap” when Anne wins the scholarship. She also loved Anne’s duet with Diana, “Making Up for Lost Time” and Anne’s duet with Gilbert, “First Day at the Academy.” Laughing, she added, “thanks to Mr. Phillips (played by Danny Lacker), I think I know how to use a colon now.” Her final assessment of the show – it was cool.
SecondStory Repertory is a small theater nestled among the shops at Redmond Town Center, making it super easy to plan an evening of dinner and a show. With a run time of one hour and forty-five minutes, including a ten-minute intermission, the show is a perfect length.  Endearing, thoughtful, funny and sweet, the show is as captivating as its namesake. It is equally enjoyable for both ardent fans of Anne and those meeting her for the first time. Shows like this don’t come around that often, so don’t let this one slip by. Recommended for ages 7 and up. 
Where: SecondStory Repertory 7325 166th Ave NE Suite F250, Redmond, WA 98052
When: Thurs., Fri. Sat. @ 8:00 pm now through November 18
Cost: $24 Student/Senior $30 Adult
Contact:  www.SecondStoryRep.org or 425-881-6777
Kelly Rogers Flynt is a freelance writer based out of Lake Forest Park. She is the parent of two teens, ages 13 and 16, who, just like Anne, have a flair for the dramatic.
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