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"It’s not just the gorgeous costuming and set design. It’s not only the sparkling voices, the intricate melodies and rhythms or dance that express joy so well it brought a broad grin to my face. It isn't just the charming folk tales and vignettes of the simple life of rural Ghana. My Heart is the Drum has an important message for you....It reaches a place that needs to be reached. It left me with heightened awareness and renewed hope.” Edmonds Beacon


"Set in Ghana in 2000, this promising musical features a yearning, percussive score by composer Phillip Palmer and a winning assortment of ballads and comic songs from lyricist Stacey Luftig." Seattle Times


“Damn near transcendent … It doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore theater buff, a dabbler or a newbie. Just see it. ...Every plot "twist" is hard-earned by the reality of the setting.....The show's conflicts aren't acute; they're mounting tensions that refuse to ease up." The Eastside Scene


"By the time the final curtain falls on Village Theatre’s world premiere of 'My Heart is the Drum,' you’ll know you’ve just witnessed something extraordinary. To say the musical production was a tour de force is not just hyperbole. Usually the term is reserved for singling out one particular performance. But the entire cast of 'My Heart is the Drum' is so memorable, the accolade must be shared from the tallest dancer to the youngest extra." Issaquah Press


“My Heart Is the Drum is a musical with great staging, costumes, music, dance and singing. It’s also a musical that ventures into tough issues like sex trafficking, prostitution and AIDS and grapples with the roles and rights of girls and women—all of which make for terrific fodder for discussion with teens.” Parent Map


"It sounds heavy, but the reality is these issues make for good discussions with high school students. The story also is full of light, courage, hope and even comedy; the music is gorgeous and the singing is spot on.” Everett Herald


“…beautiful, well-done, even sumptuous…gorgeous in its simplicity, from beginning to end…the music seemed as comfortable as an old shoe, the tunes and lyrics lovingly fit to each character and each situation." Drama in the Hood


"This heart-wrenching-yet-inspiring musical is laden with African rhythms and both endearing and loathsome characters. Although at times the heart literally aches during this performance, it is a very necessary story so worth the telling." Heed the Hedonist


"The technical elements are gorgeous. The set (Carey Wong) and costumes (Karen Ann Ledger) are vibrant and beautiful. The music feels authentically and pulsatingly Ghanaian. The cast is winning, with Gypsy Rose Lee award-winner Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako in the lead. Sonia Dawkins’ choreography is quite wonderful. And there is a tiny dancer, Lydia Delane Olson, who is a revelation at such a young age." Miryam’s Theater Musings


"The "Director Schele Williams fills the stage with the rhythms of Africa and impressions of its landscape..... Carey Wong's scenic design combines with Aaron Copp's lighting to create magnificent visual images. One massive tree, a baobob perhaps, dominates many of the scenes. It's a splendid evocation, especially when the stage is bathed in Copp's elegant shifting pastel shades." Arts Stage - Seattle Rage



"My Heart Is the Drum has everything a great musical should have: a gorgeously complex yet accessible score; rich storytelling; compelling, well-developed characters; and a vibrant setting that draws us into both the charm and the underbelly of a world that's foreign to most Americans." Akron Beacon Journal 



Full reviews


The Eastside Scene: Transcendent ‘My Heart Is the Drum’ haunts with reality of AIDS crisis

The Issaquah Press: Village Theatre's 'My Heart Is the Drum' is extraordinary

Edmonds Beacon: The power of love and hope

The Everett Herald: Reality, life lessons run deep in Village Theatre’s ‘My Heart is the Drum'

Parent Map: Show and Tell: ‘My Heart Is the Drum’ at Village Theatre

Heed the Hedonist: Village Theatre’s World Premier of My Heart Is The Drum Now in Everett Until May 22nd

Drama in the Hood: My Heart Is a Drum World Premier in Issaquah



Other Press

NAMT: Festival Show Update: My Heart Is the Drum

Akron Beacon Journal: Rich ‘My Heart is the Drum’ at Kent State made of best musical theater has to offer


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