Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Miss Step throwback musical at Village Theatre by Kit Yan and Melissa Li. Feel good love letter to the 80s that emphasized the “T” in LGBT! Bodacious dance ensemble. Totally tubular spandex aerobic-inspired choreography/costumes. Jane Fonda would be so proud.
Synopsis from the Theatre: Pam Carter is an unremarkable trans woman, working as a toll collector on the New Jersey turnpike. When a family tragedy uncovers her late father’s secret passion for competitive aerobics, Pam decides to step into her father’s sneakers and vault herself on a remarkable journey. This sweet, fun, 80’s throwback musical is a comedy for family members of all ages and genders. So slap on that spandex, throw on a headband, and get ready to clap your hands for MISS STEP!
Reviewed Performance: 2/16/23 Evening – Sorry for the late review. Since this wasn’t a press ticket and there were only two more shows left on this short run, I didn’t prioritize the review.
World Premiere: “Pre-World Premiere” – It’s still in the development phase as part of the Village Originals Beta Series
Defined Plot/Storyline: Yes
Live Band/Orchestra: Yes – There was only a keyboardist and a drummer. I didn’t even notice there were so few musicians during the show. I was shocked there were only two band members listed in the playbill I read after the show.
Recommendation: See it!
Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes
Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now: Absolutely! I’d love to compare and contrast this developmental production with the final world premiere production.
Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4.5 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)
Equity Actors: 9
Total Number of Actors: 14
Length (Including Any Intermission): 2 hours but it felt like the perfect length
Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts
- Transgender/Queer Representation: This musical normalized LGBT+ characters/actors especially those who are trans. I like how the song “Unremarkable” punctuated how commonplace it was to be trans in this world. However, it felt like the cast was missing a bisexual character and it wouldn’t hurt to add another trans man. I thought it was interesting when an audience member from the aftershow talkback pointed out the juxtaposition between an older trans woman character who subscribed to traditional gender binary roles while her child supported a more modern non-binary gender role.
- Cassi Q Kohl: I didn’t know Cassi Q Kohl (who played Cindy) had such a powerful voice! I’ve only seen her in Village Theatre’s previous production Cinderella where she played the fairy godmother. I guess her previous role didn’t let her showcase her voice as much.
- Ending Reveal: The revealing twist at the end with the father was pretty cleaver.
- Emcee: I previously saw Joel Domenico on-stage in Verlaine and McCann’s Land of the Sweets – The Burlesque Nutcracker as the charismatic emcee. He reprised a similar role in Miss Step as the competition emcee and as part of the energetic dance ensemble.
- 1980s Theme: As someone born in the 80s, it was fun being reminded of elements that were popular in my childhood like Michael Bolton, John Stamos, kazoos, Operation boardgame, ankle warmers, headbands, Madonna, leotards, New Kids on the Block, wrist slappers, corny humor, the ThighMaster, and effortless plot resolutions.
- Second Act Ballad: Janet (played by Bobbi Kotula) sung a wonderful ballad with a lovely melody. The playbill said the song was called “He Was My Trophy” but I thought it was called “It Wasn’t Me.” Since this was a dynamically-changing beta musical still in development, they might have added/changed the ballad after the playbill went to press.
- Microphone Queuing: There were numerous instances when the microphone turned on late. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that it was because of the dynamically-changing nature of a beta musical in development.
- Accompaniment Key: There were 1-3 songs in the beginning that felt like the accompaniment key didn’t match well with the transgender performers’ best vocal range. The song(s) need(s) to be transposed.
- Deadbeat Reasons: The show didn’t explained well why the dad left his family. The few potential reasons I gathered during the second act didn’t seem like compelling enough reasons to leave a family.
- First Act Ballad: There was a slower song that Pam (played by MJ Rawls) sang in the beginning that either started too abruptly from a more energetic scene or ended too abruptly to a more energetic scene. I don’t remember.
Theatre Company: Village Theatre
Venue: Village Theatre – Hunt Family Theatre First Stage
Venue Physical Address: 120 Front St N, Issaquah, WA 98027
Ticket Affordability Options: Pay-what-you-will on 2/16/23
Dates: February 11 to 19, 2023
Seating: Assigned Seating
Parking: Free street parking and free lot parking. If you park in the lot, make sure the spot is not reserved for a business. As a last resort, you can always find parking at the library (10 W Sunset Way, Issaquah, WA 98027) but it’s a little far. Remember, there’s a bottom floor parking lot under the library’s main parking lot that most non-locals don’t know about.
Like/Comment/Share my Social Media Posts About this Performance:
Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube
Buy a Ticket or Learn More:
- https://web.archive.org/web/20230129204532/https://villagetheatre.org/shows/miss-step/ – Village Theatre took down the original page after the show’s run
Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video
Cast and Production Team: See after pictures and video below
@showsiveseen "Miss Step" throwback #musical at Village Theatre by @kityanpoet & Melissa Li. Feel good love letter to the #80s that emphasized the "T" in #LGBT! Bodacious dance ensemble. Totally tubular #spandex #aerobic-inspired choreography/costumes. Jane Fonda would be so proud. Review: showsiveseen.com/4076. Photos by @nikkilong_. #theatre #aerobics #1980s ♬ Jump (Originally Performed by Van Halen) [Instrumental] – Backing Track Central
|Gail||Kathryn Van Meter *|
|Pam Carter||MJ Rawls *|
|Janet||Bobbi Kotula *|
|Cameron Carter Sr||Ethan Carpenter *|
|Cindy||Cassi Q Kohl *|
|Rachel Weissman||Bridgid Abrams *|
|Pauline||Irene Rising *|
Nehemiah Hooks *
Tori Gresham *
|Director & Co-Choreographer||Connor Gallagher|
|Co-Choreographer||Jay Jackson “Laganja Estranja”|
|Writer/Composer||Kit Yan and Melissa Li|
|Scenic Designer||Jason Sherwood|
|Costume Designer||Chelsea Cook|
|Lighting Designer||Chih-Hung Shao|
|Sound Designer||Erin Bednarz|
|Projection Designer||Ahren Buhmann|
|Stage Manager||Jessamyn Bateman-Iino|
|Gender Consultant||Josephine Kearns|
|Dance Arrangements||David Dabbon|
|New York Casting||Judy Bowman|
|Music Director||Elisa Money|
|Assistant Director||Charlie Johnson|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Kallen Pishue|
|Assistant Scenic Designer||Jeremy Hollis|
|Production Assistants||Liam Nellis, Lainie Schwartz|
|Vocal Coach||Danny Kam|
|Head Stage Carpenter||Andrew Long|
|Head Lighting Engineer||Zac Andersen|
|Head Sound Engineer||Alex Wren|
|Wardrobe Lead||Malena Langlie|
|Projection Technician||Ahren Buhmann|