Kids' Theater Review: 'Oliver!' at Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater


If you are looking for a unique outdoor entertainment experience this summer, don't miss Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater’s production of Oliver!, playing weekends through August 25.

Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater is a theater company that stages its shows in an amphitheater on a 95-acre parcel of land along the Snoqualmie River. The theater isn't just using the land for performance; it's actively working on preserving it: restoring bridges and paths and improving the salmon creek in Snoqualmie Creek. The combination of musical theater plus the natural setting makes a perfect day's outing. This production of Oliver!, a musical inspired by the Dickens classic, features an energetic cast. Justine Stillwell as Nancy and Kelsie Engen as Oliver are particular standouts, each gifted with a beautiful singing voice and giving nuanced and moving performances. My 11-year-old son enjoyed the show very much, especially the performances of the cast’s “orphans” played by talented local child actors. He was also dazzled by how close the stage is to the audience and enjoyed the concession stand’s freshly popped popcorn.

Parents of younger kids should know that the show’s second act contains some dark scenes, including a murder and a shooting, so best suited for families with kids ages ten and up.

In addition to an entertaining live production of the Broadway hit musical, you can enjoy, for an additional fee, enjoy a delicious meal. Steak, salmon, chicken or vegetarian entrees are available for adults for $18 and kids can order a hot dog meal for just $5. Meals must be purchased at the time of ticket purchase on the theater’s website.

If you enjoy hiking and camping, consider joining Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater as a member (starting at $95 a year). Members enjoy access to the theater’s property year round, which includes a private beach along the Snoqualmie River, perfect for fly fishing and sunbathing and camping. A membership also entitles you to two theater tickets a year and the chance to help preserve almost 100 acres of beautiful old trees and open spaces. More information on the theater’s website.

If you go ...

When: Oliver! shows on weekends through Aug. 25: Saturday performances at 2 pm and 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. only.

Where: 36800 David Powell Road, Fall City, WA

Tickets: $20 adult; $18 senior/student; $10 child (ages 5–12)/children 4 and under free. Tickets and dinners can be purchased online.

Dinner: $18 for BBQ (steak, salmon or chicken); $14 for vegetarian lasagna; $5.00 for a child's hot dog

Tips: If you are going to an evening performance, bring a light jacket, some bug spray, a blanket to provide the wooden seats some padding and a flashlight so you can navigate the climb back up to the parking lot with ease.

About the author: Kathleen F. Miller is a Sammamish-based freelance writer and mother of two.

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