5th Avenue Theatre to Launch New Season with National Tour of COME FROM AWAY

5th Avenue Theatre to Launch New Season with National Tour of COME FROM AWAY

The 5th Avenue Theatre has announced an incredible six-show lineup for its 2018/19 season, which includes launching the national tour of the acclaimed sensation Come From Away, the timeless beloved musical Annie, rock 'n' roll hit parade Rock of Ages, the sumptuous West Coast premiere of Little Dancer, a lavish and loving staging of the iconic West Side Story and an exciting new collaboration with ACT - A Contemporary Theatre-Urinetown. Additionally, The 5th will host a one week run of the national tour of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.

"The 5th Avenue Theatre is where great musicals are born," said Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry. "In the world of musical theater, 'made at The 5th' is a mark of distinction that means artistic excellence and originality. When selecting a season, we want to tell big, powerful, important stories; stories that lift the spirit; stories that fill you with feeling. This season, as we do every season, we want to tell you stories that remind you what it means to be human and we want to tell them in spectacular, breathtaking ways." This is Berry's first season as the artistic leader of the organization, operating closely in collaboration with Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin.

The 5th Avenue Theatre will kick off its 2018/19 season by launching the national tour of the sell-out Broadway sensation, Come From Away (October 9 - November 4, 2018). In 2014, Come From Away underwent some of its earliest staging and performances in a developmental lab setting in the basement rehearsal halls at The 5th Avenue Theatre under the New Works Program. The show later went on to extended sold-out productions at La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. and the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto before opening on Broadway where it has played to packed houses for a solid year. The Tony Award®, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award-winner takes audiences into the heart of the remarkable story of 7,000 stranded airline passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that embraced them. On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved the world. This breathtaking new musical was written by Tony® nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year's Tony®-winning Best Director,Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, "It takes you to a place you never want to leave!"

Come November and December, The 5th Avenue Theatre is proud to announce that Annie will be home for the holidays (November 23 - December 30, 2018). In 1980, following its massive restoration from a movie palace to a state-of-the-art performance house, The 5th Avenue Theatre re-opened its doors with an extended run of the national tour of Annie with a return tour in 1986. Twenty-two years later, Annie, Sandy, Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan and the rest will return to Seattle in an original 5th Avenue Theatre staging certain to be one of the best theater trips any family can have. Laced with unforgettable stories and songs including "Tomorrow," "It's a Hard Knock Life" and "Easy Street," this is a musical experience that is cherished and remembered for a lifetime-no matter how old you are. The worldwide phenomenon features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan and will be directed by Seattle's own Billie Wildrick in her 5th Avenue Theatre directorial debut.

The 5th will launch the New Year with big hair and ripped denim when it creates a brand new staging of the campy rock sensation Rock of Ages (February 1-24, 2019). The '80s rock 'n' roll blast was nominated for five Tony Awards®, played for six years on Broadway and has sold out productions around the world. Rock of Ages tells the story of a small town girl and a city boy who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rocking romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Styx, Foreigner, Joan Jett, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and more with a book by Chris D'Arienzo and arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp. The New York Times raved "A seriously silly, absurdly enjoyable rock musical! About as guilty as pleasures get."

In spring, The 5th Avenue Theatre will bring to life a sumptuous new musical, Little Dancer (March 22 - April 14, 2019), based on the famed impressionist masterpiece by Edgar Degas and the unknown dancer who inspired it. This glorious new musical in development features some of the most sophisticated names on Broadway at the creative table with music and lyrics by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics and book by Lynn Ahrens (the team behind Ragtime and Once on This Island) and direction and choreography by five-time Tony Award® winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, Crazy for You).

The musical had its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2014 and has since continued development in private readings. Part fact, part fiction, and set in the glamorous and dangerous backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet, this magnificent new musical follows a young woman caught between the conflicting demands of life and art, and an artist with one last chance for greatness. Little Dancer is a glorious new work bound for the world stage; Seattle will have a front row seat at its creation.

In its ninth collaboration with ACT - A Contemporary Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre is creating a brilliant new production of the hilariously stinging comedy, Urinetown (April 6 - June 9, 2019) directed by Bill Berry. This outrageous social and political satire is set in a finctional future where a terrible 20-year drought has crippled the city's water supplies. The citizens must now use the public pay-per-use amenities owned and operated by Urine Good Company. Citizens who try to circumvent the peeing-fee by relieving themselves in the bushes risk being taken away to "Urinetown," a mysterious place where many have been sent but no one ever returns. With fee increases in the pipeline, the poor rise up to fight the tyrannical regime to make the public amenities free for all to use. With a storyline that feels uncomfortably close to home, Urinetown is an hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution. This musical features music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and book and lyrics by Greg Kotis.

The 2018/19 season will conclude with a lavish staging of one of Broadway's greatest works: West Side Story (May 31 - June 23, 2019). Directed by Bill Berry and produced in association with Spectrum Dance Theatre, this devoted recreation of a Broadway masterpiece is transcendent storytelling at its finest. When West Side Storyopened on Broadway in 1957 it revolutionized the musical theater art form, garnering five Tony® Award nominations and two Tony® Award wins (Best Set Design and Best Choreography). It has since had four revivals, three national tours and a best-selling film adaptation. The 5th Avenue Theatre is calling on the full breadth and depth of its artistic resources to stage an unforgettable production of West Side Story. This is musical theater as only The 5th can do it: with a cast of 40 of the finest performers in Seattle, a 25-piece orchestra and the highest levels of talent and artistic dedication bar none. The gifted ensemble of Spectrum Dance Theatre will recreate the astonishing original Jerome Robbins choreography in an unforgettable musical theater experience. West Side Story features music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents. It is based on a conception of Jerome Robbins. The students of The 5th Avenue Theatre Rising Star Project will later re-mount this professional production once the show has closed.

In addition to the six musicals in the mainstage season, The 5th will bring Seattle a one week engagement of the national tour of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (April 23-28, 2019). This "winning adaptation" (The Hollywood Reporter) of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is "electrifying!" (Newsday). The Greek gods are real, and they're ruining Percy Jackson's life. As a son of Poseidon, Percy has newly discovered powers he can't control, monsters on his trail, and is on an epic quest to find Zeus's lightning bolt to prevent a war between the gods. Nominated for 3 Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, The Lightning Thief is "mesmerizing" and proves "lightning can strike twice!" (TheaterMania). This season extra will be available at a discount to 5th Avenue Theatre subscribers.

The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of America's leading musical theater companies. We enrich the community we love with the art form we love-giving the Pacific Northwest a front-row seat to original powerhouse productions that go on to light up marquees and audiences all the way to Broadway. From the page to the stage, we bring passion and epic scale to every musical we create. With big talent. Bigger-than-life productions. And did we mention dazzle? As a nonprofit theater company and our region's largest performing arts employer, we spread the joy of great musicals with people of all ages across our region and state. Each year, we reach more than 75,000 young people through our nationally acclaimed education programs. Programs designed to develop new musicals ensure that the next generation of great musicals will be there to tell the stories that captivate tomorrow's audiences. On the national stage, we are a leading voice for the power of this American art form to lift the human spirit.

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From This Author Alexa Criscitiello

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