Cast Announced for Glorious New Production of
Meredith Willson’s The Music Man
at The 5th Avenue Theatre
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Director Bill Berry; Choreographer Bob Richard
February 7-March 10, 2013
(Friday, January 11, 2013 – SEATTLE, WA) The 5th Avenue Theatre is thrilled to announce the cast for its glorious new production of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, a loving valentine to musical theater. The 5th’s exuberant staging features a cast of 29 adults and 16 children, not to mention a full 20-piece orchestra, bringing this musical masterpiece to booming brassy life with the full force and excitement of a parade. Seattle native and seasoned Broadway pro Noah Racey returns home to star as Professor Harold Hill alongside Laura Griffith as Marian (the librarian) Paroo singing such celebrated songs as “Til There Was You,” “Seventy Six Trombones,” and “Ya Got Trouble.” This all-star cast also features a host of Seattle’s finest actors, including Anne Allgood, Jeff Steitzer, Laura Kenny, Richard Gray, Darragh Kennan, Joshua Feinsilber, and many others.
Meredith Willson’s The Music Man plays February 7-March 10, 2013 (press opening February 14) at The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101). Tickets (starting at $31.00) may be purchased online at http://www.5thavenue.org, by phone at 206-625-1900, or at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle.
“The Music Man is without a doubt one of the greatest musicals ever written,” says Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong. “It has permeated every corner of our culture, from a Beatles cover of ‘‘Till There Was You’ to a parody on the television show Family Guy. The 5th is proud to bring this joyous iconic show back to our stage for the first time since 1995 in a fully realized production as you have never seen it before.”
About the Director
Bill Berry was widely acclaimed in 2012 for his hit productions of RENT and First Date (the second 5th Avenue show in collaboration with ACT – A Contemporary Theatre.) Berry has also directed 5th Avenue Theatre hit productions of On the Town, West Side Story (Seattle Times Footlight Award), Wonderful Town (Seattle Times Footlight Award), Smokey Joe’s Café and The Wizard of Oz. He also directed On the Town at Paper Mill Playhouse. His re-imagined production of Cabaret received awards in St. Paul and Houston and has been performed at The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Ordway, the American Musical Theatre of San Jose, and Theatre Under The Stars. He is the producing director of The 5th Avenue Theatre where he also directs the education and outreach programs.
About the Cast
Seattle native Noah Racey returns from the Great White Way to The 5th Avenue Theatre to play Harold Hill, the spellbinding traveling salesman. A graduate of Roosevelt High School, Racey made his Broadway debut in the 2001 revival of Follies, and has since appeared in Thoroughly Modern Millie (where he was also Associate Choreographer), Never Gonna Dance, andCurtains. Racey’s choreography credits include the world premier of Turn of the Century at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and the 2008-09 White Christmas national tour. Racey recently choreographed The 5th Avenue’s productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Guys and Dolls.
Starring as Marian (the librarian) Paroo, Laura Griffith is another Broadway star and 5th Avenue favorite. She has previously performed at The 5th in productions of Candide, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, A Little Night Music, and The Rocky Horror Show. Griffith has appeared on Broadway in several critically acclaimed and innovative productions, including the Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, and Sweet Smell of Success. She toured the country in The Light in the Piazza, and was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for her performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C..
Anne Allgood joins the cast as Mrs. Paroo, with Joshua Feinsilber as her son Winthrop. Allgood has appeared on Broadway in Carousel, The Most Happy Fella, The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, and Imaginary Friends. She's starred at every major Seattle theater, including appearances in ten 5th Avenue productions, including Candide, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, and Titanic: The Concert. Feinsilber makes his 5th Avenue debut. He has performed previously in Village Theatre’s productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Annie Get Your Gun.
Jeff Steitzer and Laura Kenny play the formidable first couple of River City: Mayor and Mrs. Shinn. Steitzer returns to The 5th where he appeared previously in Titanic: The Concert and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The talented actor has performed on Broadway in the Tony-nominated revival of Inherit the Wind and also played the dual roles of Admiral Boom and the Bank Chairman in Mary Poppins. Laura Kenny again steps into the shoes of Mrs. Shinn. Widely considered her signature role, she has played Mrs. Shinn throughout the country, and even played the part in The 5th Avenue’s 1995 production of The Music Man. Other 5th Avenue credits include Guys and Dolls, Mame, and The Secret Garden. Kenny was just seen as Yente in Fiddler on the Roof at Village Theatre and will appear in Assisted Living at ACT. Both of these Seattle stars have worked at major houses in Seattle including Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, and ACT Theatre.
Richard Gray plays the role of Marcellus Washburn. Gray spent 2012 playing The Waiter in First Date (5th Ave/ACT collaboration), Max Bialystock in The Producers (Village Theatre), The King in Big River (Village Theatre) and many roles in ELF (5th Avenue). He has acted in more than a dozen 5th Avenue mainstage production, musical directed five, and played keyboards for another eight.
Darragh Kennan makes his 5th Avenue Theatre debut as the traveling salesman Charlie Cowell. Kennan is the co-artistic director of New Century Theatre Company, and is a favorite of the major Seattle theater houses, including Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Seattle Children's Theatre. Kennan teaches for Freehold Theatre Lab and Seattle Children's Theatre.
The River City School Board (and iconic barbershop quartet) is made up of Seattle favorites Hugh H. Hastings (Olin Britt), Eric Polani Jensen (Oliver Hix), Greg Stone (Ewart Dunlop), andAaron Shanks (Jacey Squires). The “Pickalittle” ladies are played by Mary Jo DuGaw (Maud Dunlop), Cheryl Massey Peters (Alma Hix), Antonía Darlene (Ethel Toffelmeir), and Karen Skrinde (Mrs. Squires).
Young lovers Tommy Djilas and Zaneeta Shin are played by Gabriel Corey and Taylor Niemeyer. Jasmine Harrick appears as Zaneeta’s little sister Gracie. Abi Brittle plays piano student Amarylis.
Filling out the citizens of River City are ensemble members David Alewine, Blaine Boyd, Taryn Darr, Nick DeSantis, Brittany Jamieson, Mallory King, Corinna Lapid Munter, Matthew Steven Lawrence, Alana Peters, Connor Russell, Ben Sasnett, and Jenny Shotwell. The youth and teen ensemble includes Maddox Boyce, Lauren Carlos, Dakota Daley, Katie Griffith,Shaye Hodgins, Melissa Maricich, Andrew Murray, Corbit R. Sampson, Tyler Sorensen, Brandon Weglin, Christian West, Allison Verhofstadt, and Nat Zang.
About the Music Director
Joel Fram returns to The 5th from Broadway, where he was most recently the music director for Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson (a musical that had its pre-Broadway engagement at The 5th as Saving Aimee.) Fram has worked extensively in New York and London, conducting the Broadway productions of Wicked, Sweet Smell of Success, The Music Man, James Joyce’s The Dead, Jumpers, and Cats; the West End company of Wicked; and Forbidden Broadway at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He created musical arrangements for the ballet Pictures from an Exhibition for both the Young Vic and Sadler’s Wells Theatre. U.S. national tours and regional credits include Falsettos, Cats, A…My Name is Alice (cast album) and the world premiere of two Andrew Lippa musicals, The Little Princess (cast album) and john & jen (cast album). At New York’s Symphony Space, he created the award-winning “New Voices” concert series and, for Stephen Sondheim’s 75th birthday, he co-produced and curated the 12-hour marathon “Wall to Wall Stephen Sondheim.”
About the Choreographer
Bob Richard returns to The 5th Avenue Theatre where he has previously choreographed hit productions of West Side Story, On the Town, and Cabaret, among others. His work has been seen on Broadway in How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical!. Additionally, he has choreographed for such television shows and events as LazyTown with Turner Network Television, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, and The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He has choreographed all over the country at theaters including North Shore Music Theatre, The Old Globe Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, and the Ordway Performing Arts Center. He has been the resident choreographer at Sacramento Music Circus for the last 14 years, staging more than 30 productions. He is the founding artistic director of The American Musical Theatre Dance Company.
The Design Team
The design team for Meredith Willson’s The Music Man includes Martin Christoffel (Set Design), Gregory Poplyk (Costume Design), Mary Pyanowski (Hair and Makeup Design), Tom Sturge(Lighting Design), and Ken Travis (Sound Design). Also on the team are Eric Ankrim (Associate Director), Mathew Wright (Assistant Director), David Alewine (Assistant Choreographer)Faith Seetoo (Associate Music Director and Associate Conductor), and Christian DeAngelis (Associate Lighting Design).
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. 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). 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 Student Matinee Program, and Spotlight Nights. These programs serve 65,000 students each year.
For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit http://www.5thavenue.org.
FOR CALENDAR EDITORS:
WHAT: The 5th Avenue Theatre is thrilled to announce the cast for its glorious new production of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, a loving valentine to musical theater. The 5th’s exuberant staging features a cast of 29 adults and 16 children, not to mention a full 20-piece orchestra, bringing this musical masterpiece to booming brassy life with the full force and excitement of a parade. Seattle native and seasoned Broadway professional Noah Racey returns home to star as Professor Harold Hill alongside Laura Griffith as Marian (the librarian) Paroo singing such celebrated songs as “Til There Was You,” “Seventy Six Trombones,” and “Ya Got Trouble.” This all-star cast also features a host of Seattle’s finest actors, including Anne Allgood, Jeff Steitzer, Laura Kenny, Rich Gray, Darragh Kennan, Jeff Feinsilber, and many others.
WHEN: Previews: February 7-13, 2013
Opening Night: Thursday, February 14, 2013 (press night)
Closing Performance: Sunday, March 10, 2013
SHOW Tuesdays & Wednesdays – 7:30 PM
TIMES: Thursdays & Fridays – 8:00 PM
Saturdays – 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM
Sundays – 1:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Added performance on Thursday, February 28 at 1:30 PM.
No evening performances on March 3 and 10, 2013.
WHERE: The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Avenue, Seattle)
TICKETS: For single tickets (starting at $31) and information, please visit http://www.5thavenue.org or call the Box Office at (206) 625-1900. Tickets may also be purchased at (888) 5TH-4TIX.
Special thanks to The 5th Avenue Theatre 2012/13 season co-sponsors Safeco Insurance and US Bank, and media sponsor The Seattle Times. Additional thanks to production sponsors Wells Fargo, Puget Sound Energy, and the Washington State Arts Commission. Additional thanks to media sponsors KCTS and Encore Media Group.