The announcement of Tony Award nominations raised a round of cheers this morning in the Emerald City as The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Broadway hit A Christmas Story, The Musical received three nods from the American Theatre Wing, including Best Musical. Additionally, Carolee Carmello received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance in Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, which premiered at The 5th in 2011 as Saving Aimee.
“The development of new musicals is an integral part of The 5th Avenue Theatre’s mission,” said 5th Avenue Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong. “It is an incredible honor to see works developed right here in Seattle, on our stage, receive the American Theatre Wing’s highest recognition for artistic excellence and for outstanding performances.”
Since 2002, The 5th Avenue Theatre has sent seven new musicals to Broadway (Hairspray, The Wedding Singer, Shrek: The Musical, Memphis, Catch Me If You Can, A Christmas Story, The Musical, and Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson). These seven musicals have garnered a total of 14 Tony Awards. Hairspray and Memphis each captured top honors: the Tony Award for Best Musical.
A Christmas Story, The Musical earned nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of Musical, and Best Original Score. The musical was a runaway hit when it played at The 5th Avenue Theatre in December of 2010. In 2011, the show launched a five-city holiday tour before landing on Broadway in 2012 where it became an absolute holiday sensation. Time Magazine called it “one of the top ten plays and musicals of 2012,” while the Associated Press named the show “A Christmas Miracle!” The New York Times raved “You’d have to have a Grinch-size heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face.”
Carolee Carmello, who received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical, was universally recognized for her powerhouse performance as the superstar evangelist Sister Aimee in Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, directed by The 5th’s Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong. Her remarkable voice belted through the rafters at The 5th Avenue pre-Broadway engagement (called Saving Aimee) in September of 2011, with the Seattle Times proclaiming “Broadway actress Carolee Carmello is a helluva performer.” And Broadway agrees! The New York Times applauded her performance, saying “The gloriously gifted Carolee Carmello thrills us with the purity and power of her voice.” USA TODAY simply called her “irresistible.”
The 5th Avenue is looking forward to the coming season on Broadway, with two new Broadway premieres on the way. Starting this July, the Longacre Theatre will host the Broadway run of First Date, directed by The 5th Avenue’s Producing Director Bill Berry. The 5th gave First Date its world premiere in 2011, presenting it in collaboration with ACT – A Contemporary Theatre. Then spring of 2014 will see the opening of Disney’s Aladdin, the theatrical sensation that captivated Seattle audiences in the summer of 2011. These two musicals will mark the eighth and ninth Broadway premieres of The 5th Avenue’s repertoire of new musicals.
A Christmas Story received an additional six Drama Desk Award nominations, including a nomination for Outstanding Musical. The holiday hit also earned two nominations from the Outer Critics Circle, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical. Scandalous earned a Drama Desk Award nod for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for Carolee Carmello’s knock-out performance.
About The 5th Avenue Theatre
The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of the nation's premier incubators for new musical theater. Since 2002, the celebrated company has produced 14 new musicals. To date, seven have moved on to Broadway premieres, including the recent debuts of Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson (formerly Saving Aimee) and A Christmas Story, The Musical! These seven Broadway musicals have earned a combined 14 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis). Two more have been announced for Broadway – First Date (July, 2013) and Disney’s Aladdin (Spring, 2014). The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway.
Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. In 1980, the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre began producing and presenting top-quality live musical theater. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Director Bill Berry, The 5th Avenue Theatre attracts an annual attendance of more than 287,000 and ranks among the nation’s largest and most respected musical theater companies.
In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach program which includes: The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater, the Rising Star Project, Curtain Up, the Student Matinee Program, and Spotlight Nights.
For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit www.5thavenue.org.