5th Avenue Theatre's A CHORUS LINE Begins Rehearsals
Rehearsals start today at The 5th Avenue Theatre for one singular sensation: the celebrated Broadway triumph, A Chorus Line. Kicking off the company's 2014/15 season, this thrilling 5th Avenue production has plucked fabulously talented dancers from many of Seattle's chorus lines and is putting them center stage, including Greg McCormick Allen, Taryn Darr, Gabriel Corey, Trina Mills, Mallory King, Connor Russell, Sarah Rose Davis, Taylor Niemeyer, Eric Esteb, and many others. The 5th is also pleased to welcome back Los Angeles triple-threat Chryssie Whitehead in the role of Cassie. Whitehead turned heads and shook audiences with her smoking performance of Lola in Damn Yankees. Broadway's Andrew Palermo makes his 5th Avenue debut as Zach.
A Chorus Line plays September 3-28, 2014 (press opening September 11) at The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101). Tickets (starting at $29) may be purchased online at www.5thavenue.org, by phone at 206-625-1900, or at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle. A Chorus Line is the musical for everyone who has ever put it all on the line in pursuit of their dreams. Winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this mega-hit captures the very soul of musical theater, and is one of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever.
"A Chorus Line is one of the most innovative and exciting musicals I have ever experienced," said 5th Avenue Theatre Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong. "It is a privilege to bring this show to life here in Seattle, and with so many of our city's sensational dancers in the spotlight."
The radiant Chryssie Whitehead returns to The 5th Avenue Theatre as Cassie. Whitehead wowed Seattle audiences in 2012 as Lola in The 5th Avenue and Paper Mill Playhouse's co-production of Damn Yankees. She gained national attention as Kristine in the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line with her audition process captured on film for the documentary Every Little Step. She also portrayed Kathy in the cast of Company starring Neil Patrick Harris, filmed live with the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center (now in PBS Great Performances) and was a member of the Radio City Rockettes. In addition to dozens of regional theater credits across the country, numerous television credits including Grimm, Private Practice, Warehouse 13, Happy Endings, Switched at Birth, Castle, The Mentalist, and Grey's Anatomy.
Andrew Palermo joins the cast as Zach. Palermo's performing credits include roles in the original Broadway companies of Wicked and Annie Get Your Gun (Bernadette Peters revival), as well as How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Matthew Broderick revival). He is primarily a director and choreographer, with credits including Allegiance at the Old Globe, The Other Josh Cohen at Paper Mill and SoHo Playhouses, The Frank Loesser Songbook performed with the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center, The Mikado at Carnegie Hall, Miss Julie at Geffen Playhouse, and dozens of others. He is the co-founding artistic director of dre.dance with Taye Diggs and an assistant professor of drama at UC Irvine.
Tacoma native Greg McCormick Allen will tread the boards in his 23rd production at The 5th as Larry, following productions including Monty Python's Spamalot, ELF - The Musical, Guys and Dolls, On the Town, and White Christmas. He recently portrayed Mr. Braithwaite in Billy Elliot with the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine and the Grasshopper in Seattle Children's Theatre's production of James and the Giant Peach. Seattle audiences will be lucky enough to see him as Bert in Mary Poppins at Village Theatre. Allen has been seen at theaters across Puget Sound including ACT- A Contemporary Theatre, Bellevue Civic Theatre, Kirkland Performance Center, and Seattle Repertory Theatre, to name a few.
Katrina Asmar makes her 5th Avenue debut as Morales. She recently toured Australia and the US with In the Mood!, a 1940's musical revue. Hippodrome State Theater credits include Carrie and Cindy Lou inThe Marvelous Wonderette. University of Florida credits include Velma Kelly in Chicago, Lola in Damn Yankees, Pam in Baby (also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and Alaura Kingsley in City of Angels.
Scott Brateng returns to The 5th Avenue stage in the role of Greg. Brateng has performed in many 5th Avenue productions including Oliver!, Secondhand Lions, Damn Yankees, and Cabaret. Brateng has regional credits including Village Theatre, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre Under the Stars, North Shore Music Theatre, The Muny, and Denver Center Theatre Company.
Gabriel Corey has performed at The 5th many times before, and returns to play the role of Mike, a role he played nearly ten years ago at the age of 15. He has most recently been seen on The 5th Avenue stage in productions of The Music Man as Tommy Djilas, as well as roles in Hello, Dolly; ELF - The Musical; Damn Yankees; Guys and Dolls; Oliver!; and Monty Python's Spamalot.
Seattle's own Taryn Darr returns to The 5th portray the role of Val - the same role she played in The 5th's 2003 production, for which she was widely acclaimed. Darr plays the part September 3-13. She has appeared many times on The 5th Avenue stage including Judy Haynes in White Christmas, as well as roles in ELF -The Musical and Monty Python's Spamalot. She was a sensational hit as Roxi Hart in Village Theatre's Chicago, and has performed all over Seattle.
Bellevue native Sarah Rose Davis joins the cast of A Chorus Line as Maggie. She has performed in a dozen other 5th Avenue productions including A Christmas Story, The Musical; Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella; Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!; Hairspray in Concert; Pirates of Penzance; and Monty Python's Spamalot. Most recently, Davis made a splash in Issaquah and Everett as the iconic Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.
Stephen Diaz makes his 5th Avenue debut as Paul. The Portland resident has Broadway credits including roles in the West Side Story revival directed by Arthur Laurents as well as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Regionally, he has appeared in Disney's Aladdin at Hyperion Theatre, and the West Coast premiere of Cats. He has worked with choreographers including Patrick Delcroix, Stephen Petronio, and Donald McKayle, as well as danced the works of William Foresyth, Alonzo King, and Matthew Bourne.
Seattle native Eric Esteb steps up to play the role of Don. Esteb made his 5th Avenue debut in 2003 as one of the cut dancers in A Chorus Line. Since that time he has been seen in numerous chorus lines at The 5th Avenue Theatre, including Monty Python's Spamalot, Secondhand Lions, Damn Yankees, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, and Guys and Dolls. Most recently, Esteb was the puppeteer operating the phenomenal Audrey II puppet in the ACT/5th Avenue co-production of Little Shop of Horrors. He is also a part of circus aerial duo, the Innamorati and has performed with Teatro ZinZanni and many other venues in Seattle.
Everett native Paul Flanagan plays the role of Al and returns to The 5th Avenue stage where he made his 5th debut in the ensemble of Oliver! Seattle audiences have also seen Flanagan in Fiddler on the Roof and Chicago at Village Theatre. Flanagan recently returned home to Seattle after a stint in New York where he played Al in the national tour of the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line.
Meaghan Foy takes over the role of Val following Taryn Darr's departure - September 14-28. Previous 5th Ave credits include Memphis, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Mame. Other credits include Cloaked, Bye Bye Birdie, The Music Man, and Annie at Village Theatre, as well as The Producers and Evita at Point Park University. Meaghan graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Point Park and now lives in New York City.
Charlie Johnson returns to The 5th Avenue Theatre to play the role of Bobby. He has been seen here previously in Monty Python's Spamalot, ELF - The Musical, and Hairspray in Concert. He has performed in regional theaters across the country including roles at Paper Mill Playhouse, Maltz Jupiter Theater, North Carolina Theater, and Flat Rock Playhouse. He recently debuted his one-man show, Charlie, or Change, in New York.
Bellevue native Mallory King steps up to the line as Kristine. King grew up training at PNB and received a BFA in musical theater from Brigham Young University. King has performed in 5th Avenue productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, The Music Man and Oliver! She has also performed with Village Theatre, Showtunes Theatre Company and Couer d'Alene Summer Theatre.
In her 5th Avenue debut, McKayla Marso takes the stage to play Judy. Marso has performed in national tours of Monty Python's Spamalot and The Wizard of Oz. She has performed regionally across the country in productions of Chicago, Cabaret, and My Fair Lady.
Seattle native Trina Mills returns to The 5th Avenue stage to play Sheila. She has performed at The 5th many times, including roles in West Side Story, Mame, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, White Christmas, Guys and Dolls, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, RENT, ELF - The Musical, Oliver!, and Monty Python's Spamalot. A student of ballet and dance from the age of 3, Mills earned a BA in acting from WWU. In addition to performing at theaters throughout the region, Mills spent eight years as a Seattle Sea Gal, including three years as squad leader.
Taylor Niemeyer, who plays Bebe in A Chorus Line, most recently played Zaneeta Shinn in The 5th Avenue's hit The Music Man. She has performed in productions of Big River and Annie Get Your Gun at Village Theatre and The Drowsy Chaperone at Seattle Musical Theatre. She can be seen this holiday season at Village Theatre in Mary Poppins.
Local new-comer Richard Peacock makes his 5th Avenue debut as Richie. The recent Cornish College of the Arts graduate had the opportunity to perform in Xanadu at Village Theatre. The aspiring dancer has worked with esteemed choreographers including Camille A. Brown, Iyun Ashani Harrison, Timothy Lynch and Wade Madeson.
Seattle native Connor Russell steps up to the line to play Mark, and has performed at The 5th Avenue in productions of Disney's Aladdin, Music Man and Hairspray in Concert. A local staple, he has also been seen at Village Theater in productions of Funny Girl, 42nd Street, and The Who's Tommy, as well as High School Musical at Seattle Children's Theatre and Zanna Don't with Contemporary Classics. He is a regular with Contemporary Classics' hit series, "New Voices." He recently starred in the award-winning web series The Hinterlands.
Momoko Sugai makes her 5th Avenue debut as Connie. She has played the role previously at the Olney Center - a production that received the 2014 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Musical. Additional regional credits include HAIR at Seacost Repertory Theater, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Performance Riverside, and Godspell, Nunsense, The Rocky Horror Show, and Once on this Island at Mysterium Theater.
Joining the show as the cut dancers are Kyle Bernbach, Ulyber Mangune, Nick Perry, Sarah Shepler, Michael Stumpfig, and Indeah Thomaier. Sydney Buckley, Ethan Carpenter, and Carly Herbert join the cast as swings.