The pandemic won’t stop ArtsWest Playhouse from presenting a holiday show. It’s happening online, starting in less than a week. Here’s the announcement:
In its World Premiere, Justin Huertas’s new holiday mini-musical A VERY MERRY KRAKEN TEA PARTY will be available for digital access beginning November 27, and is on sale now at www.artswest.org.
Featuring five new songs from powerhouse playwright/composer/lyricist Justin Huertas, A VERY MERRY KRAKEN TEA PARTY follows the characters of Justin’s 2019 ArtsWest hit THE LAST WORLD OCTOPUS WRESTLING CHAMPION. As winter hits, the octopus Nia and Lee formed together has mysteriously separated and both have come ashore just as Todd and David are getting ready to celebrate their first Christmas together. With a new problem to solve, and with Grace away on tour in Thailand, all try to figure out how to celebrate holiday love with each other while they remain apart.
“One of the beautiful things about the way Justin writes is that, even though he writes stories that have extraordinary given circumstances, he writes deeply human stories within that context,” said Artistic Director and THE LAST WORLD OCTOPUS WRESTLING CHAMPION director Mathew Wright. “I’m so excited that Justin has chosen to revisit the world and characters he created in OCTOPUS and find out what happens to them during the holidays – and amidst a global pandemic!”
“We learn from so many stories that love is the bow wrapped around the neatly wrapped Christmas gift, but what I’ve learned over the years is that love is also the wrapping and the box—the very act of tearing the present open in anticipation of the unknown is also love,” said creator Justin Huertas. “I was excited to bring these characters that I love so well back to the page and imagine what happens after their Happily Ever After. Setting it in present day 2020 also allowed me to explore what it means to connect at a time when connection is at its most challenging.”
The cast features the return of the original cast of THE LAST WORLD OCTOPUS WRESTLING CHAMPION – Rachel Guyer-Mafune (M. BUTTERFLY, ArtsWest), Christian Quinto (OFFICE HOUR, ArtsWest), Tyler Rogers (HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, Book-It Repertory Theatre), and Porscha Shaw (NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN, Seattle Repertory Theatre; SAINT JOAN, ArtsWest).
The Creative Team features creator Justin Huertas (LIZARD BOY), musical arrangements and musical direction by Steven Tran (HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, Book-It Repertory Theatre), and production design and editing by Cameron Lee (FOUND AMONG THE PAPERS OF THE LATE ICHABOD CRANE.)