Discover the Meaning of Love in the Midst of Memory Loss
The contemporary musical, “How Can I Love You,” offers an intimate portrait of enormous struggle as three families experience their loved-one’s journey into dementia. At turns both heartbreaking and humorous, this one-act play takes us on an odyssey through memory loss, ultimately delivering love and acceptance to these families and friends. Brimming with beautiful pop songs, powerful dance, and uplifting music, this production is a wondrous work of love. As dusk settles in behind the performers, you’ll be enchanted by the sun setting on the memories of these central characters, and become invested in the tales being told onstage.
A Simple Story of Love
“How Can I Love You” tells the story of three families dealing with their loved one’s memory loss and migration into dementia. A doting husband looks after his former gospel singer wife. A cantankerous, beleaguered wife laments the loss of her husband. And an “at odds” mother and son duo come to terms with one another as they struggle with their fading Mother and Grandma. The story takes place around a subway station and a nursing home, with each of the families searching for ways to come to terms with their loved one‘s fading memories. Ultimately—through story and song—they come to appreciate that what they loved about their person is still there.
A Professional Performance by Pacific NW Creatives
HCILY has assembled a team of professional theatre artists and experts to stage this medium-scale production. The pedigree is strong, from the Playwright and Composer to the actors and crew. A massive collection of collaborators is responsible for bringing this contemporary musical to vibrant life.
Eric Ankrim is a Seattle based Actor/Director/Husband/Father of Four/Coach, who couldn’t be more thrilled to help usher in the return of live musical theatre to Washington state and beyond! Eric has acted on Broadway (First Date), and on many stages in the Seattle area (5th Avenue, Village, Seattle Rep, ACT, ArstWest, and more), as well as directed professionally across the country. Thank you for supporting the arts!
Rand Bellar is a LA based music producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He works as a record producer and songwriter for major label artists along with his indie-pop band Limón Limón, where he is also the keyboardist and drummer. As the composer of “How Can I Love You,” Rand brings the contemporary sounds of modern pop to the world of musical theatre.
Dr Bryan is a (retired) board-certified neurosurgeon and serial entrepreneur. Prior to retirement from Neurosurgery, he led the Neurosurgery Northwest Group. Hospitals at which he practiced included; Swedish, Seattle Children’s, Northwest and Stevens Hospitals.
In addition to Dr Bryan’s passion for neurotechnology, he is involved in additional successful business and ventures in the arts (many with his wife, Carol), including founding: The Gorge Amphitheatre – acquired by MCA concerts (part of Universal Studios), Cave B Estate Winery, Spinal Dynamics Corporation, Whoosh Innovations, Familigia Vineyards, Picker Technologies, and Columbia River Reserve. Vince and Carol Bryan are world travelers and lovers of life.
Cy Paolantonio (Choreographer) is a multiracial, multidisciplinary artist whose varied skills and adaptability have enabled her to work in many different capacities in many different environments. In the span of 18 years, Cy has worked at notable venues such as The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, The 5th Ave, Village Theatre, NYMF, NY Fringe, The Smithsonian, The Arad Fort in Bahrain, Carnival Cruise Lines, NBC, BET, MTV/SXSW/The Bowery (touring as a dancer with Steven Van Zandt), as well as commercial work. Cy tries to balance artistic pursuits with family life – you can follow her antics on the ‘gram @mamasemamacy. She is known for exclaiming quite often, “Don’t tempt me with a good time.”
Nathan Young and production company Ignite Creative, bring this experience to us. Nathan has been with How Can I Love you since the first reading where he served as Music Supervisor to the project. He comes with years of music and production experience. His company Ignite Creative produces large corporate events as well as special theatrical experiences. Nathan also serves as the Producing Artistic Director for the Seattle based Showtunes Theatre Company.
Jimmy was born in Honolulu, HI and moved to the Pacific Northwest as a toddler as a result of his farther’s Military orders. His strong passion for the arts began at a very young age. Already singing and dancing by the age of two, Jimmy began his formal dance training at the age of 8 while attending Elk Plain School of Choice. An arts elementary. That allowed him to study all disciplines of dance. If you are local to the greater Seattle area you may have seen Jimmy acting on stage at Village Theatre, Tacoma Musical Playhouse and ACT Theatre. As a Director/Choreographer, you may have seen his work with Showtunes Theatre Company, Seattle Rep, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, Theatre Puget Sound and Tacoma Arts Live. “I believe that movement should make you feel good. It should feel good ON you. It shouldn’t matter the style, the music, the people, etc. That is how I try to create. Hopefully you always leave with a good feeling after moving with me!”
A 2010 Gregory Award and 2011/2014 Gypsy Rose Lee award recipient, Tancioco is a vocal coach, arranger, and composer who enjoys educating youth and cultivating new musicals. Select musical direction credits include: Urinetown, Mamma Mia!, Grease, Jasper in Deadland, Little Shop of Horrors, RENT, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Hair (The 5th Avenue Theatre); She Loves Me, …Howard Barnes, Hairspray, Newsies, Dreamgirls, Pump Boys and Dinettes (Village Theatre); As You Like It, The Odyssey, Here Lies Love (Seattle Rep); Head Over Heels, Violet (ArtsWest); The Spitfire Grill(Showtunes!); Daddy Long Legs, Bright Star (Taproot Theatre); Spring Awakening (Balagan). Music Supervisor: Lizard Boy (Seattle Rep).
Laurel Nichols loves sunshine and new musicals, so she’s in the perfect place! Prior to the pandemic, Laurel was working in NY on the Broadway musical, Mrs. Doubtfire. She is thrilled to return to the industry with this beautiful show and incredible group of humans. Regional credits: The 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT Theatre, Village Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre. Many thanks to Noah, Blaire, & Madisen. Love to Mr. Nichols! More backstage adventures: @laurelleemarie
Madisen Crowley is delighted to be working with the HCILY team on such a wonderful show! A PNW native, Madisen graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland WA. Some of her previous projects include: Indecent and True West with the Seattle Rep’s Professional Arts Training Program, Take Me Out with The Strawberry Theatre Workshop, The Master and Margarita with theater simple. Madisen would like to thank everyone who has made the return to live theatre possible, and those who could return with us.
Blaire Smith is honored to be a part of this production. Although she calls Seattle home, she has shared her love of theatre on stages all over the world. Her most recent credits include Village Theatre KIDSTAGE, Plank Island Theatre, and Missoula Children’s Theatre, where she acted and directed in 49 states and 12 different countries. She believes theatre and creative storytelling have the power to unite and empower all people, especially in such disconnected times. She is an advocate for the arts and arts education and would like to thank her family for their constant support, the stage management team, and the entire cast and crew for this opportunity to make great art!
Noah Sarkowsky is thrilled to be back in the world of theater and a part of the HCILY team. Past credits include, Off Broadway: Victory Dance (New Victory Theater), Aunt Jack (Unstoppable Theater), Eat The Devil (OYL), Food for the Gods (La Mama), Village Theater KIDSTAGE: Shrek, 9 to 5, Playing Fair, and Peter Pan, 5th Avenue Theatre: RSP Spamalot, Carousel, How to Succeed…, The Pajama Game, ACT Theatre: Bad Apples. Thanks to the entire SM Team!
Michael is a Seattle based costume designer thrilled to be making live work again. Regional and local: The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, Intiman Theatre Festival, Live Girls! with ACT Lab, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle Musical Theatre, and West of Lenin. Commercial: Amazon Twitch, Microsoft Studios.
Bob De Dea
Bob De Dea is a well-known writer, composer, actor and director who’s been seen on stage as Ferdinand Pecora in the one-man play, The Reckoning: Pecora for the People, Hannay in The 39 Steps, Felix in The Odd Couple, Harold in The Full Monty, The Baker in Into the Woods, Buddy in Follies, Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Lenny in Rumors, Jesus in Godspell and Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.
Like most performers when COVID-19 hit, Tori had many gigs lined up for the year of 2020 at theatres such as Village Theatre and The 5th Avenue. The last year has been all about putting pause on becoming a better performer and all about becoming a better human. Tori currently works with seniors as an activities coordinator at Aljoya Mercer Island Retirement community. In fact, she just finished her training for caring after residents with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Mari, graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City, began her professional career in The New York Shakespeare Festival production of Twelfth Night at The Delcorte. Mari originated the role of Elizabeth in John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation. Subsequent Broadway appearances include Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Moira in Brian Friel’s Translations. Up Against It, with Todd Rundgren (NY Public Theater). Mari has been awarded 5 Gordo Awards (Best Actress 2005-2012), 3 Gregory awards: Best Actress in a Play 2017, 2019 Best Supporting Performances Musical and Play.
Nathaniel is new to Seattle and he couldn’t be more thrilled to call it “home.” Nathaniel’s quarantine hobbies have included: strawberry cheesecakes, key lime pies, sewing one shirt, learning 25 German words a day, and screenwriting between naps and playing his vinyl. Regional Acting Credits: Urinetown (ACT co-production with The 5th), Indecent (Seattle Rep), Annie and Sister Act (The 5th Avenue Theatre), and The Manadala of Sherlock Holmes (at BookIt Repertory Theatre).
Billie Wildrick takes real joy in her vibrant, multi-faceted creative career as an actor, singer, director, and voiceover artist – which is based in beloved Seattle, but has taken her to New York/Broadway, DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Co., Twin Cities’ ORDWAY, Asolo Rep in Florida and beyond. Billie has received 4 noms, a Gregory and three Footlight Awards for her work onstage at 5th Avenue, ACT, Village Theatre, Seattle Children’s. Billie’s most recent directing credits include Annie at 5th Avenue, Champagne Widow at Café Nordo, Guys and Dolls at Village. Billie takes ongoing life lessons at the church of Maya Angelou + L. Cohen albums.
Alexandria Henderson is incredibly excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel of such a tough season in life. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music – Vocal Performance. During the pandemic Alexandria kept busy developing her craft with the Atlantic Acting School’s Global Virtual Conservatory. Pre-pandemic credits include Lydia Languish in The Rivals – Seattle Shakespeare Company, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde – Showtunes Theatre Company, and Lorrell Robinson in Dreamgirls – Village Theatre (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical Gregory Award recipient).
Born and raised in Eastern Washington and proud member of the AAPI Community. Broadway: Aladdin (Original Broadway Cast), A Bronx Tale (first replacement), Voice of Cave of Wonders Worldwide. West End: Aladdin (Disney’s Upcoming Film) 4-time Gregory Award Nominee. Select Regional: Pride & Prejudice, A View From the Bridge; Seattle Rep. Dracula, Oslo, Urinetown, Assassins, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; ACT Theatre. Beatsville, Asolo Rep. Carousel, Pirates of Penzance, Guys and Dolls; 5th Avenue, Beatrice and Benedict; Seattle Opera. 2018 Act Theatre Core Company, The Crow in Bungie’s Destiny 2.
Callie is a Seattle based performer and teaching artist. She loves to dance and has trained in a variety of styles through programs at the Joffrey Ballet School and International Dance Academy. Select credits include Matilda the Musical, ensemble/ Miss Honey u/s (Village Theatre), Piggie, Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In A Play (Secondstory Rep.) and the original HCILY workshop production. She is incredibly thankful to be part of this cast and experience.
Sade Aset is a choreographer and director who currently resides on the lands of the Duwamish Tribe. She graduated with a BFA in Acting/Directing and a minor in dance at Pacific Lutheran University. She is grateful to be working with a collaborative, inspiring team. Recent credits include “but why” and “La Conscience de Tabatha Grace”.
Nicholas Japaul Bernard
As a black, queer, and disabled artist Bernard hopes to make space for others like him within Theatre en masse. Originally from Rochester New York, Bernard has been in Seattle for 4 years now and has had the opportunity to be on a variety of stages. Past roles include Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Artswest), Ja’Keith in Rock of Ages (The 5th Avenue Theatre), and Davey Battle in Take Me Out (Strawberry Theatre Workshop), Citizen 3 (Citizen an American Lyric) He would like to thank his friends for their undying support and thank his family for letting a fruity little limp wrist boy swish his way into theatre—his home
“You own everything. Everything is yours.” – Junior Labeija
Nick Watson is ecstatic to be returning to the Theatre after such a crazy year! BFA in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts. Other work: Guys and Dolls (Character Swing) with Village Theatre; Free Boy (James Tilton) with 5th Avenue’s AMT. The Unsinkable Molly Brown with Showtunes; Murder Ballad (Michael) with Side Country Theatre; Bright Star (Standford), Baskerville (Actor 2), Big Fish (Karl the Giant) with Taproot; Sweeny Todd (Pirelli), Violet (Billy Dean/ Virgil) with ArtsWest; Sound of Music with 5th Ave.
Iris Elton is honored to be a part of the premiere of “How Can I Love You”! Highlighted productions include Cubamor, In The Heights, Take Me America, The Full Monty and 2018, 2017, 2016, 2011, & 2009 Festival of New Musicals (Village Theatre). Also seen in X-mas: A Merry Mutant Musical Spectacular (Pocket Theater), Working!, George M!, Annie Warbucks (Showtunes! Prod), Funked Up Fairytales (Depot Theatre – NY), New Voices 9, 10, 12, 18 (ACT & Seattle Rep) – Enthusiastic to be a part of developing New Musicals paving the way for important stories in the future of live theatre! Iris studied acting at CUNY, HB Studios (NY), and the NY School for the Dramatic Arts. #grateful. All my love to C&H.
Actor and jazz pianist, Jose Gonzales has composed and performed music for several theatrical productions in Seattle. He has been the music director for Passing Strange at ACT and SandBox Radio Live at various locations, and band leader for Tommy at the UW. As a professional actor, Gonzales has performed in all the major local theaters: ACT, Intiman, The Seattle Rep, 5th Avenue, Benaroya Hall, The Village Theatre, and The Seattle Children’s Theatre. Most recently, Gonzales was seen in 5th Avenue’s production of Man of La Mancha as the Barber. Career highlights include originating the role of Franz Kafka for the premier production of the Phillip Glass opera, In the Penal Colony at ACT Theatre, and working with Eric Ankrim in In The Heights and The Gypsy King at the Village Theatre. Gonzales wishes to express his gratitude at once again being able to perform in front of a live audience.
Nik Hagen is thrilled to be back on stage. It’s been a hard year plus, and he hopes we have all learned to be patient with ourselves and each other. Time heals, but does not erase. Here’s to moving forward with reverence and appreciation for the things and people we hold most dear.
Suzy Hunt is a proud member of Actor’s Equity for forty one years. Beyond happy to join this lovely company in a new musical. Suzy has performed on Broadway, regional theatres and many of the Seattle stages. Plum roles include Big Edie in Grey Gardens, Fraulien Schneider in Cabaret, Carrie in Trip to Bountiful, and The Countess in The Women. She dedicates this performance to her grandson Ethan off to study theatre in his first year at college.
Christian Quinto is honored to be a part of this storytelling along with these incredible artists! He made his Seattle theatre debut in The Odyssey (Public Works Seattle’s inaugural production). Quinto was born and raised in the Philippines, then moved to Hawai’i, but now calls Seattle home. Select credits: As You Like It, Twelfth Night (Seattle Rep), Office Hour, The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion, Jane Eyre (ArtsWest), She Loves Me (Village Theatre), Daddy Long Legs (Taproot Theatre), White (Theatre22), and Pageant (ASTC). “Huge mahalo to Eric and RJ for believing in me, and for my family and friends for their endless love and support!”
Varinique ‘V’ Davis is thrilled to play Pearl Angel. She studied at the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center and is a recipient of the Miranda Family Fellowship and Scholarship. “I am incredibly lucky and most proud to connect with my talented friends again, through performing inspiring art. I would not be the artist I am today without Black influence, culture and experience. For this, I’m eternally grateful.” V’s credits include Book-it Repertory Theatre’s 2019 production of ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’, Office Hour‘ (ArtsWest), ‘The Lamplighter’ (5th Avenue Theatre) and the 2020 virtual Public Works production of ‘Twelfth Night’ (SeattleRep).
How Can I Love You will be performed rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable for all dates. They may be transferred to another show date with no penalty by emailing email@example.com
Purchase Tickets Now
Taking place from July 15 through July 25, there is much to see and do at this year’s annual fête. We encourage you to make plans post haste to join us for this popular event. Seating is limited due to spacing considerations, so act now to take advantage of an opportunity to see outdoor live theatre in a most impressive setting.