Port Townsend gets spotlight in Key City show

PORT TOWNSEND — Key City Public Theatre’s annual Artist CoLab features “City of Dreams” on Thursday through Sunday.

Shows are at 7 p.m. each day with 1:30 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday at the theater, 419 Washington St., Port Townsend.

Tickets are $45 for premium, $40 for select, $35 for general seating. Pay-what-you-wish dates are the 7 p.m. Thursday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday shows.

“City of Dreams” takes its title from the guide to Port Townsend edited by Peter Simpson.

It will showcase each of 10 dancers who have chosen to make Jefferson County their home, according to Kat Agudo, audience services manager.

“As well as celebrating salient characteristics of each individual, the piece will also affirm community and shared values,” Agudo said.

The featured dancers are Abbie Doll, Aili Emilia, Lauren Ehnebuske, Lisa Flores, Ashley A. Friend, Don Halquist, Anna Hansen, Camille Hildebrandt, Rae Kala and Stephanie Sanders.

Choreographer/dancer Bill Evans and composer/musician Linda Dowdell first worked together in Seattle in the Bill Evans Dance Seattle School and Company.

In the early ’80s, they worked in Port Townsend in summer residencies produced by Centrum.

Their last performance then was in August 1984 in the Joe Wheeler Theatre.

Both artists now live on the Olympic Peninsula.

In the past few years, they have worked together again in performances at Fort Worden and at Key City Public Theatre.

“City of Dreams” is their latest collaboration.

When asked to suggest a composer who has written a range of works that might be right for this project, Dowdell suggested Harold Arlen.

Evans found a recording of a benefit performance in New York City in which a number of iconic Broadway veterans sang Arlen’s songs. The album creates a sense of community while also highlighting each performer.

“Evans found it just right for this new work and created a solo highlighting personal strengths of each of the 10 dancers in this show,” Agudo said.

He then asked Dowdell to create and perform original arrangements for group dances that explore community and thread the 10 solos together.

The 90-minute show will offer a dance/music journey through a wide range of emotions and moods, Agudo said.

It will begin with Dowdell playing an original arrangement of Get Happy and end with her performance of Over the Rainbow.

Other Arlen songs are This Time the Dream’s on Me, With the Warm Sun Upon Me, A Woman’s Prerogative, Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home, When the Sun Comes Out, It’s Only a Paper Moon, The Eagle and Me, I Wonder What Became of Me, Accentuate the Positive, Come Rain or Come Shine and Don’t Like Goodbyes.

For more information, see KeyCityPublicTheatre.org, email boxoffice@ keycitypublictheatre.org or go in person during box office hours from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

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