(Sunday, March 4, 2012 – SEATTLE, WA) Standing in front of a packed house of more than 2,000 subscribers, 5th Avenue Theatre Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong announced the seven productions making up the celebrated Seattle musical theater’s 2012-13 season. Featuring an exciting mix of contemporary musicals and timeless classics, plus Seattle’s first peek at some of Broadway’s greatest new hits, The 5th Avenue’s dynamic 32nd season will feature something for everyone.
The 2012-13 season opens with the triumphant return of the Tony Award-winning Memphis (September 18-October 7), now on its first national tour. The musical premiered at The 5th Avenue Theatre in January of 2009 in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse before jetting off to Broadway where it won four 2010 Tony Awards (including Best Musical). Still playing in NYC, the musical will celebrate its one thousandth performance on March 14. The rock ‘n’ roll musical takes audiences on an incredible journey through the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated ’50s. A young white DJ named Huey Calhoun falls in love with everything he shouldn’t: rock ’n’ roll and an electrifying black singer. Memphis is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupts when a DJ’s vision meets a singer’s voice and the music changes forever. The show features a Tony-winning score, with music by Bon Jovi’s founding member and keyboardist David Bryan and lyrics by Bryan and Joe DiPietro, who also wrote the musical’s book. Memphis is based on a concept by George W. George, with direction by Tony nominee Christopher Ashley andchoreography by Sergio Trujillo, who is currently represented by three shows on Broadway (Memphis, Jersey Boys and The Addams Family – all appearing at The 5th this season).
Arriving in time for a particularly ghoulish Halloween is the Seattle premiere of The Addams Family (October 24 – November 11), based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams. This hit Broadway musical features an original story that is every father’s worst nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents have never met. Everything will change for the whole Addams family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday's "normal" boyfriend and his parents. The Addams Family, which began its Broadway performances in March of 2010 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and performed through December 2011, immediately became one of Broadway’s hottest tickets. The Addams Family features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. The production is directed and designed (sets and costumes) by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, with production supervision by Jerry Zaks and choreography by Sergio Trujillo. The production features lighting design by Natasha Katz (Aladdin), sound design by Acme Sound Partners and puppetry by Basil Twist.
Ringing in the holidays is the candy cane comedy ELF – The Musical (November 30 – December 31). The 5th Avenue production will be the first post-Broadway production of this wildly successful 2010 holiday musical, ELF – The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young boy who, as an infant, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. Raised as an elf, Buddy is blissfully ignorant of his humanity until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York to find his real father, a man desperately in need of a transfusion of Christmas spirit. This holiday hit boasts a book by Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Thomas Meehan (Hairspray), with music by Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and lyrics by Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer, Aladdin) and is based on the New Line Cinema film by David Berenbaum starring Will Ferrell.
Following its long-standing tradition of staging classic musicals, The 5th Avenue Theatre will mount a spectacular production of The Music Man (February 7 – March 10). When con man Harold Hill rolls into River City, Iowa, with a scheme to fool the locals into buying uniforms and instruments for a fictional boy’s band, he gets more than he bargained for. While the rest of town is suckered in by Hill’s plan to clean up the town's youth, the town’s librarian Marian sees right through his act, but finds herself falling head-over-heels in love with him in spite of herself. With book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Wilson, The Music Man features countless beloved songs including “Ya Got Trouble,” “Goodnight My Someone,” “’Til There Was You,” and of course, “76 Trombones.” In 1958, the musical took home a staggering 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and racked up a grand total of 1,375 performances on Broadway before dropping the curtain a final time in 1961. It has since had two Broadway revivals (1980, 2001). The 2012-13 5th Avenue production will star Seattle native and Broadway performer Noah Racey as the charismatic and charming Harold Hill, who teams up with a cast of Seattle stars. Bill Berry will direct this gem from the Golden Age of Broadway.
In the spring, The 5th Avenue will again mount a co-production with ACT – A Contemporary Theatre: Grey Gardens (March 16-May 26). Not since Mama Rose and Gypsy has there been a mother-daughter duo as utterly unforgettable as Edith and Edie Beale, Jackie Kennedy’s outrageous and reclusive relatives. From the height and grandeur of an Edie’s high society East Hampton engagement party, to the sensational tabloid headlines about the reclusive cat ladies living in a run-down mansion that rocked the Kennedy clan in 1973, Grey Gardens is by turns, brilliantly twisted, bizarrely beautiful, and madly entertaining. This true-story-turned-musical won three out of its ten 2007 Tony Award nominations. The creative team behind Grey Gardens includes Doug Wright (book), Scott Frankel (music), and Michael Korie (lyrics). The musical is based on the cult-hit documentary film Grey Gardens (created by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Miffie Meyer, and Susan Froemke).
The 5th Avenue Theatre is thrilled to announce the return of the smash hit Jersey Boys (April 4 - May 11). This fantastic Broadway sensation brought audiences to their feet in 2007 when it became the highest attended show in 5th Avenue history. The Seattle Times declared “Jersey Boys is more than a vastly entertaining musical. It is something of a revelation.” Jersey Boys is the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about rock ‘n’ roll hall-of-famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. The musical tells the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sound, and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they reached the age of 30. Jersey Boys features Four Seasons hits “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh, What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” to name just a few. The Jersey Boys creative team comprises two-time Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff, book writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, composer Bob Gaudio, lyricist Bob Crewe and choreographer Sergio Trujillo. “It will run for centuries!” proclaims Time Magazine.
Closing its 32nd season is a music-lover's delight that has not been seen on The 5th Avenue stage since 1980: The Pirates of Penzance. This W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan classic will run July 11 – August 4, and will be directed by 5th Avenue Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong. This punchy, outrageous comedy boasts a fanciful story and some of the wittiest, most memorable music in musical theater history. On the coast of Cornwall, a band of tender-hearted pirates celebrates the coming-of-age of Frederic, who was mistakenly apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday. About to seize his freedom, Frederic vows to devote his life to the extermination of piracy, that is, until the brash Pirate King points out a leap year loop hole that threatens to keep Frederic apprenticed to the pirates for 63 more years. With such well-known songs as “Poor Wand'ring One” and, of course, the tongue-twisting treat “The Very Model of the Modern Major General,” it’s no wonder that The Pirates of Penzance has been delighting audiences since its first performance in 1879.
More about The 5th Avenue Theatre
The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of the nation's premier incubators for new musical theater. Since 2001, the celebrated company has produced 14 new musicals. Five have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 14 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis). 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 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 mainstage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach programs which include: The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theatre, 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.
Special thanks to The 5th Avenue Theatre 2012-13 season co-sponsors Safeco Insurance and US Bank, and media sponsor The Seattle Times.
FOR CALENDAR EDITORS:
The 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2012-13 Season includes:
September 18-October 7, 2012 (Tour)
Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro
Music and Lyrics by David Bryan
Based on a Concept by George W. George
Directed by Christopher Ashley
Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo
The Addams Family
October 24 – November 11, 2012 (Tour)
Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Based on characters created by Charles Addams
Directed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch
Production Supervision by Jerry Zaks
Choreography by Sergio Trujillo
ELF – The Musical
November 30 – December 31, 2012 (5th Avenue Theatre Production)
Book by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan
Music by Matthew Sklar
Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Based on the New Line Cinema Film written by David Berenbaum
Special thanks to ELF production sponsor Peoples Bank
The Music Man
February 7 – March 10, 2013 (5th Avenue Theatre Production)
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Wilson
Book by Meredith Wilson and Franklin Lacey
Directed by Bill Berry
Choreography by Bob Richards
Starring Noah Racey as Harold Hill
March 16 – May 26, 2013 (A co-production between The 5th Avenue Theatre and ACT – A Contemporary Theater)
Book by Doug Wright
Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie
April 4 – May 11, 2013 (Tour)
Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Music by Bob Gaudio
Lyrics by Bob Crewe
Directed by Des McAnuff
Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo
The Pirates of Penzance
July 11 – August 4, 2013 (A 5th Avenue Theatre Production)
Book and Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Directed by David Armstrong
WHERE: The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Avenue, Seattle)
Online -- Beginning Sunday, March 4, at 9 PM
· Visit www.5thavenuetheatre.org
By Phone -- Beginning Monday, March 5, at 10 AM
· Call 206-625-1900 or Toll-free 888-5TH-4TIX (584-4849)
In Person -- Beginning Monday, March 5, at 10 AM
· Visit the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101