5th Avenue Co-Production Of MEMPHIS Gathers Eight Tony Nominations

By: May. 04, 2010
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This year's Tony nominations include a healthy showing for a musical developed last year at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre during its pre-Broadway run: Memphis. A co-production between The 5th and La Jolla Playhouse, this original musical by David Bryan (music and lyrics) and Joe DiPietro (lyrics and book) tells the story of a white DJ whose love of black music helped bring about the birth of rock n' roll.
Memphis has been nominated for Best Musical, Best Book (DiPietro), Best Original Score (DiPietro, Bryan), Best Actor in a Musical (Chad Kimball), Best Actress in a Musical (Montego Glover), Best Costume Design (Paul Tazewell), Best Direction of a Musical (Christopher Ashley), and Best Orchestrations (Daryl Waters, Bryan).
In addition to these nominations, Memphis has also received nominations for seven Outer Critic Circle Awards (including Best Musical), seven Drama Desk Awards (including Best Musical), two Drama League Awards (including Best Musical), and two Astaire Awards, giving it the most award nominations of any show on Broadway this year.
Chad Kimball, who plays the role of DJ Huey Calhoun, is a Seattle native and a graduate of Roosevelt High School, whose acclaimed musical theatre program led by Ruben Van Kempen has produced dozens of theatre professionals in the last 30 years. Playing his great love Felicia is Montego Glover, a Chattanooga Tennessee native who was described as a "powerhouse" by the Seattle Times.
New York critics have declared Memphis "an exuberant musical with classic values…immensely gratifying" (New York Post), "the very essence of what a Broadway musical should be" (AP), "an original, authentic, and extraordinary show (Newsday) and "the biggest hit on Broadway this year or any other year!" (WOR Radio)
This strong showing for another musical developed at The 5th Avenue helps bolster the Theatre's reputation as one of the preeminent companies in the country for new musicals. Over the past 10 years the 5th Avenue has produced nine new musicals, including the Tony-award winning Hairspray and the upcoming Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can. This commitment to new musicals will continue in the 2010-2011 Season with our productions of A Christmas Story and Vanities, two new musicals that will receive developmental productions at The 5th.
Season subscriptions to The 5th Avenue's 2010-2011 Season are available by calling 206-625-1900/toll-free 888-5TH-4TIX (584-4849), at our website 5thavenue.org, and in person at the box office at 1308 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.
Special thanks to The 5th's 2011 Season Co-Sponsors Safeco Insurance and US Bank.
The 5th Avenue Theatre is Seattle's premier musical theater. In 1980, the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre began producing and presenting top-quality live musical theater for the cultural enrichment of the Northwest community. The 5th Avenue Theatre maintains a subscription audience of over 25,000 and an annual attendance of more than 287,000. It ranks among the nation's largest and most respected musical theater companies. The Theatre is committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its Educational Outreach Program which includes: The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue High School Musical Theatre Awards, the Student Matinee Program and Spotlight Nights. Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, the exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. Today, under the leadership of Managing Director Marilynn Sheldon and Producing Artistic Director David Armstrong, The 5th Avenue Theatre continues to achieve the highest standards in all aspects of artistic endeavors and facility operations, while preserving its artistic, architectural and historic legacy. Visit www.5thavenue.org.


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