Arts and Entertainment

Musical brings out ‘Chocolate Confessions’

 

Actress and playwright Joan Freed portrays Divinity and several characters in her original performance “Chocolate Confessions,” which plays Olympic Theatre Arts’ Spotlight series Aug. 3-5. Submitted photo

 

As a sweet treat for your funny bone, actress and playwright Joan Freed of Lake Oswego, Ore., brings her one-woman musical “Chocolate Confessions” to Sequim.

 

She appears at Olympic Theatre Arts’ Spotlight series Aug. 3-5.

 

Freed assumes the role of an eclectic group of women: chocolate shop owner Coco Bliss, romance enthusiast Divinity, country belle Dixie Chick, and more.

 

A latecomer to performing, Freed first created “Crossword Puzzle,” a more traditional musical theater offering.

 

“It was comic but went to some serious places,” Freed said. “I felt like for my next show I wanted something pure comedy.”

 

Freed said her love of a variety of songs and genres seemed like a logical match for different characters to share their stories through new lyrics and the music of her favorite songs. In “Chocolate Confessions,” Freed parodies popular songs to fit her characters and scrumptious theme, such as “Craving Nine to Five” and “It’s Still Rocky Road to Me.”

 

For her transition from character to character, she never leaves the stage and quickly changes from a lounge singer to a biker.

 

“Each character has its own personality and people are intrigued to see the change,” Freed said.

 

“There’s an underscoring for the entire show, so timing is essential. I practice those and have it down to about 15 seconds per costume change.”


Sweet beginning

 

“Chocolate Confessions” premiered in Lake Oswego 10 years ago and Freed has taken it across the country and mostly in the Pacific Northwest.

 

“I so admire the audience,” she said. “In this day and age you can get entertainment in a million ways. People who go to the trouble to dress up, pay for a ticket and come down to the theater, I don’t take that for granted.”

 

Freed said her performance can appeal to anyone, but she said the musical material might appeal most to baby boomers and up.

 

“Twenty-somethings might not pick up the same references,” she said.

 

“However, a lady brought her 9-year-old son to a show once and she told me later that he had been imitating all of the characters at home.”

 

Freed said some of her show’s biggest fans are men, too, and that men consume more chocolate than women.

 

“There’s a lot of vignettes to the world of chocolate,” she said. “People are bound to learn some things like the creation of M&Ms and chocolate chip cookies.”

 

In the decade of performing, Freed’s own sensibility to chocolate hasn’t wavered.

 

“I still love it. All types,” she said. “I love it all. I’m promiscuous with my chocolate.”

 

Along with “Chocolate Confessions,” Freed has seen time in major productions in the Northwest such as in “Gypsy,” “The Producers” and “Menopause: the Musical.”

 

For now, she plans to keep the chocolate flowing.

 

“I take it as it comes,” she said. “It seems to entertain people and I find it very satisfying to make people laugh and share the songs that I think are fun.”

 

“People can enjoy it in a way that generates no calories,” she said.

 

Her next original musical is tentatively called “Santa Claus-trophobia,” from the perspective of Mrs. Claus being fed up with life at the North Pole.

 

Read more about “Chocolate Confessions” at www.chocolateconfessions.com.

 

Freed is a part of Olympic Theatre Art’s Spotlight series, which brings in out-of-area professional performers for special events, such as “An Evening with Mark Twain.” OTA’s next special event is a concert with a live Celtic band on Oct. 11.

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