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New Musical THE LAMPLIGHTER Closes Out 5th Avenue Theatre's 20/21 Digital Season

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The musical features a book by Sara Porkalob, music and lyrics by Justin Huertas, and story by Kirsten “Kiki” deLohr Helland.

The 5th Avenue Theatre has announced that The Lamplighter, a new musical with a book by Sara Porkalob, music and lyrics by Justin Huertas, and story by Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland, Huertas, and Porkalob, concludes the trio of Musical Radio Plays it will produce in its 2020/21 digital season.

Porkalob, Huertas, and deLohr Helland are Seattle-based actors and creatives who have all previously performed at The 5th Avenue Theatre; Porkalob in Rock of Ages, Huertas in Grease, and deLohr Helland as Maria in Rogers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, among others. The Lamplighter marks their debut as creators at The 5th. Released as a vivid, multi-episode podcast series that will be available for streaming in July of 2021, this production of The Lamplighter is only available as a part of an Essential 5th Digital Collection subscription.

The Lamplighter is directed by Desdemona Chiang, who also directed this season's first Musical Radio Play, Half the Sky. The Lamplighter has an ensemble cast that features Tyler Rogers (The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion at ArtsWest; White at Theatre 22), Arika Matoba (Urinetown at The 5th/ACT; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Village Theatre), Sarah Russell (Kiss Me, Kate at The 5th; Dreamgirls at Village Theatre), Varinique "V" Davis (Howl's Moving Castle at Book-It Repertory Theatre; Twelfth Night at Seattle Rep) and Adam Fontana (Bulrusher at Intiman; Howl's Moving Castle at Book-It Repertory Theatre).

"I love how The Lamplighter embraces imagination-both through the magical story it tells and the way musical radio plays provide a unique way for us to flex our own imagination and conjure our own experience of the story," said Bill Berry, The 5th Avenue Theatre's Producing Artistic Director. "I'm grateful that we've had this opportunity to collaborate with Sarah, Justin, and Kirsten. I've long admired their work as performers and creatives and it's exciting to work with the three of them together as a creative team."

In a magical land, the world's Lamplighter-collector of stories and caretaker of the stars-and her daughter Rosemary live in a house on a cliff at the edge of the ocean, content with continuing the work of generations of Lamplighters before them. But when the Lamplighter doesn't return home one morning, Rosemary must set out on an epic quest to find her mother before all of the stars in the night sky burn out. A multi-generational musical fairy tale about adventure, magic, and the power of love, The Lamplighter reminds us that all of our stories are worthy and that the stories we need to hear are often the ones we least expect.

About the Cast

Tyler Rogers makes his debut at The 5th Avenue Theatre. He has participated in The Lamplighter twice now; at The 5th and in the first staged reading in 2018. You may also have seen him in The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion at ArtsWest or White at Theatre22.

Arika Matoba (she/her) returns to The 5th Avenue Theatre. She won the Gregory Award Outstanding Performance in a Musical (2019) for her portrayal of Little Sally in Urinetown (The 5th Avenue Theatre/ACT Theatre co-production). She is also known for her roles as Marcy Park in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Village Theatre) and Little Red in Into the Woods (Village Theatre). In her free time, Arika drinks cold brew, takes care of her many plant babies, and studies ASL. Represented by The Actors Group.

Sarah Russell (she/her) returns to The 5th Avenue Theatre with The Lamplighter. Russell is a Seattle based performer, teaching artist, and advocate for racial equity and social justice. She has been performing professionally for over ten years. You may have recently seen her in Seattle Rep's Virtual Public Works production of Twelfth Night as Olivia. Other credits include Kiss Me, Kate at The 5th Avenue Theatre; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Village Theatre; Urinetown at ACT; and she would have performed in Sister Act at The 5th last March.

Varinique 'V' Davis makes her debut at The 5th Avenue Theatre. She studied at The National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is a recipient of the Miranda Family Fellowship and Scholarship. Born and raised in Seattle, V's credits include Book-It Repertory Theatre's 2019 production of Howl's Moving Castle, Office Hour (ArtsWest), SALTY (ReAct Theatre), and Twelfth Night and As You Like It (Seattle Rep Public Works).

Adam Fontana makes his debut at The 5th Avenue Theatre with The Lamplighter. Seattle credits: Bulrusher (Initman), Howl's Moving Castle (Book-It). NY credits: Civil War (Off B'way and Tour); Chance Wayne in Sweet Bird of Youth and Tulsa in Gypsy (Gallery Players); Henry in Next to Normal (Hangar Theatre). CO credits: Elf: The Musical (Arvada Center); Lysander in A Midsummer Nights Dream, Bert in Mary Poppins, Adam in The Shape of Things, Dick in Dames at Sea and Jinx in Forever Plaid (Merely Players).

For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit www.5thavenue.org.


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