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Norm Lewis to Star as 'Don Quixote' in MAN OF LA MANCHA at 5th Avenue Theatre

Just announced, Norm Lewis will star in the iconic dual roles of Cervantes/Don Quixote in the legendary Broadway musical, Man of La Mancha at The 5th Avenue Theatre. This new production is the first of The 5th Avenue Theatre's 2016/17 season and also features Don Darryl Rivera as Sancho and Nova Payton as Aldonza.

This enduring musical was written byDale Wasserman with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. This production features women in three prominent creative roles and is directed by Seattle's own Allison Narver.

Man of La Mancha runs October 7-30, 2016 (press night Thursday, October 13, 2016) at The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Avenue, Seattle). For single tickets (starting at $29) and information, visit, call the Box Office at (206) 625-1900 or visit the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle.

"This is a thrilling new production of the Broadway classic, Man of La Mancha," said 5th Avenue Theatre Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong. "This show emphasizes the universal and timeless themes of fighting for freedom and truth against forces of oppression."

One of the most epic and enduring musicals of all time, Man of La Mancha is a glorious affirmation of the unyielding resilience of the human spirit that will leave audiences breathless. Inspired by one of the greatest novels in Western literature, Man of La Mancha enters the mind and world of the mad knight Don Quixote as he pursues his quest for the impossible dream. In a tale told by Cervantes himself in defense of his life's work, Quixote is, against all odds, a man who sees good and innocence in a world filled with darkness and despair. Featuring stirring classic songs including "The Impossible Dream," Man of La Mancha is a multi-Tony Award-winning theatrical masterpiece that blurs the line between dreams and reality in a powerful celebration of the imagination.

Norm Lewis makes his 5th Avenue Debut as Cervantes/Don QuixotE. Lewis made history in May of 2014 as the first African American Phantom in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle award nominations for his performance in The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess. Lewis' Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, Disney's The Little Mermaid, LES MISERABLES, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon and The Who's Tommy. His West End credits include LES MISERABLES and LES MISERABLES: The 25th Anniversary Concert, which aired on PBS. Lewis has worked extensively Off-Broadway and in regional theatres across the country. He has been seen on PBS in the Live From Lincoln Center productions of Showboatwith Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis: Who Am I?, and New Year's Eve: A Gershwin Celebration with Diane Reeves, as well as American Voices with Renée Fleming and the PBS Special First You Dream - The Music of Kander & Ebb. His film credits include Winter's Tale, Sex and the City 2, Confidences,Preaching to the Choir and the upcoming film, Magnum Opus. His television credits include Chicago Med, Gotham, The Blacklist, and Blue Bloods, as well as in his recurring role as Senator Edison Davis on the hit drama Scandal. Lewis's solo album is entitled "This is The Life."

Don Darryl Rivera joins the cast as Sancho. A Seattle native, Rivera was last seen at The 5th as Iago in the world premiere of Disney's Aladdin, and later reprised the role on Broadway. His regional work includes Seattle Children's Theatre, Taproot Theatre Company, Intiman Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, Children's Theatre Company, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Chicago Children's Theatre. Rivera's playwriting and composing credits include Harold and the Purple Crayon (book) and Adventures withSpot (co-composer). He received his BFA in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts.

Nova Payton returns to The 5th as Aldonza. She was last seen giving an unforgettable performance inA Night With Janis Joplin. Her work in DC includes Diner, Elmer Gantry, Crossing, Defying Gravity: Making of a SuperNOVA, Dreamgirls, The Best Little Whorehouse..., Xanadu, Hairspray (Signature Theatre); A Year with Frog and Toad (Imagination Stage); Freedom's Song (Ford's Theatre); Godspell(Olney Theatre Center); Ain't Misbehavin' (Washington Savoyards); Happy Elf (Adventure Theatre);Kiss Me, Kate (Shakespeare Theatre). Payton's regional credits include Dreamgirls (Milwaukee Rep);Dreamgirls (Prince Music Theatre). She was seen in the national tours of 3 Mo' Divas (PBS Special) and Smokey Joe's Café.

Joining the cast are Allen Fitzpatrick as The Innkeeper (Governor), Eric Ankrim as Dr. Carrasco (Duke), Jose Gonzales as The Barber, Brandon O'Neill as Pedro, David Quicksall as Captain of the Inquisition, Nick DeSantis as Padre, Lauren Du Pree as Antonia and Marlette Buchanan as Maria/Housekeeper.

The ensemble includes Skizzo Arnedillo, Jade Curtis, Sarah Rose Davis, Eric Esteb, Davione Gordon, Wilson Mendieta, Annie Morro, Richard Peacock, Steven Sofia and Dane Stokinger.

Director Allison Narver returns to The 5th as director of Man of La Mancha. Allison's work has been seen at The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Intiman, Seattle Children's Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, New Century Theatre Company, Annex Theatre, Alice B. Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Portland Center Stage. Nationally, Narver's work has been seen at Studio Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Boise Contemporary Theater, Circle X Theatre, Redcat, Portland Stage Company and Yale Repertory Theatre. In New York, her work has been seen at Kirk Theatre, Public Theater, The New Victory Theatre, Ars Nova and The Women's Project. Narver is the former Artistic Director of Empty Space Theatre, Annex Theatre and Yale Cabaret. She has an MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama.

Choreographer Maria Torres makes her 5th Ave debut with Man of La Mancha. Her work has been seen on Broadway in On Your Feet (Associate Choreographer) and on Broadway and the National Tour of Swing!(Tony/Drama Desk/Lucille Lortel/TheaterWorld noms). Her Off-Broadway credits include The Donkey Show (A.R.T.), Celia: The Life & Times of Celia Cruz, Four Guys Named Jose (Carbonelle nom), Latin Heat, Mambo Kings, Salso Kingdom and The Skin of Our Teeth (Public Theater). Torres's additional credits include the International Tour of Disney's Golden Mickeys, DJ Live Show (Clio Award), the US tour of Don Omar "King of Kings." Her film work includes Dance With Me (Alma nom), Disney's Enchanted (Critics Choice), El Cantante (Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony), Fugly (John Leguizamo),Physical Attraction (short), Loving Brooklyn (feature). Her work on TV includes So You Think You Can Dance (Fox), America's Got Talent (NBC), Turn: Washington's Spies (AMC) and Latin Billboard Awards(Telemundo). Her current projects include Havana Music Hall (development) and Passion (immersive theater).

Music Director Cynthia Kortman Westphal returns to The 5th as Music Director of Man of La Mancha. Her Broadway credits include A Christmas Story: The Musical, The Lion King, The Gershwin's Fascinating Rhythm andMiss Saigon. Her regional work includes Gershwin's Fascinating Rhythm at Hartford Stage and Arizona Theatre Company, Randy Newman's Faust at The Goodman Theatre and North Shore Music Theatre. Westphal's national tours include A Christmas Story: The Musical and two tours as pianist with opera singer Andrea Bocelli. She played with the Wicked, Spamalot, Les Miserables, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Peter Pan, and Annie national tours in Detroit. Her TV credits include Good Morning America, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Great Performances: Copland's America on PBS. Her albums include The Lion King - Original Broadway Cast Recording and Celluloid Copland with Eos Orchestra. In addition, Westphal is an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at University of Michigan.

The creative team includes Matthew Smucker (scenic design), Harmony Arnold (costume design),LB Morse (lighting design), Christopher Walker (sound design) and Mary Pyanowski Jones (hair and makeup design).

Additional staff includes Hattie Andres (assistant director), John Callahan (associate music director),Skizzo Arnedillo (assistant choreographer), Bob Franklin (assistant lighting designer), Julia Welch(assistant scenic designer), Siri Nelson (costume design assistant), Geoffrey Alm (fight choreographer) and Ken Travis (sound consultant). The stage management staff includes Michael Egan (production stage manager), Kate Jordan (assistant stage manager) and Quy Ton (production assistant).

The nonprofit 5th Avenue Theatre is acclaimed as one of the nation's leading musical theater companies and is especially renowned for its production and development of new works. Since 2001, the Seattle-based company has produced 17 new musicals. To date, nine (including the sensational hit Disney's Aladdin) have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 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. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, this nonprofit theater company attracts an annual attendance of more than 300,000, including over 20,000 subscribers - one of the largest theater subscriptions in North America.

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 programs that serve over 83,000 youth each year.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy

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