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Spotlight Night at The 5th to Focus on Bernstein, 3/22


The 5th Avenue's enormously popular Spotlight Night series, a free event that continues to attract record crowds, finishes up the 2009-2010 season on Monday, March 22 by focusing on the genius of Leonard Bernstein, composer of our two upcoming shows On The Town and Candide, and providing a sneak peek at the many events coming up in the city-wide Seattle Celebrates Bernstein! Festival.

Hosted by The 5th Avenue's Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, the evening includes the backstage histories of these two landmark works by Bernstein, one his first musical from 1944 and the other his mid-career masterpiece, composed in 1956 but only finding success on the Broadway stage in 1974. The evening will also function as an unofficial "kick-off" to Seattle Celebrates Bernstein!, a festival where an unprecedented consortium of 19 of the region's leading arts organizations have joined forces to celebrate the life and music of the legendary American composer/conductor/writer/activist. Armstrong will provide a sneak peek of the incredible potpourri of concerts, theatrical performances, lectures, film screenings and special events that make up this unique, first-of-its-kind arts festival.

Then in the second part of the evening, a host of Seattle's finest singers help us review the life and glorious songs of Bernstein's theatrical works, including selections from West Side Story, Wonderful Town, Trouble In Tahiti, Mass, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, On The Town and Candide. Joining us on the stage are a number of Seattle performers beloved by audiences at The 5th, including Greg McCormick Allen, Anne Allgood, Candice Donehoo, Mary Jo DuGaw, Brandon O'Neill, Matt Owen, Sarah Rudinoff, Billie Wildrick and guest artists Laura Griffith, Joe Aaron Reid and the Seattle Women's Chorus.

Finally Armstrong is joined by On The Town's director Billy Berry and musical director Ian Eisendrath to provide an inside look at how they approach the challenges and rewards of translating a musical from the '40s to the tastes of a contemporary audience.

Spotlight Night begins at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 22. The event is free, but attendees must reserve their tickets. They can do so over the phone by calling 206-625-1900/toll-free 888-5TH-4TIX (584-4849), in person at the box office at 1308 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, or online at

Spotlight Night is sponsored by US Bank. Performances and guest appearances are subject to change.

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 Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernie Griffin and Producing Director Bill Berry, 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

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