From left, Noah Hinsdale, Griffin Birney and Sydney Lucas in Fun Home at the Public Theater in 2013. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

5th Avenue Theatre Sets a Slate of Musicals for 2016–17 Season

The theatre’s 90th season will include classic and contemporary tuners.

SEATTLE: The 5th Avenue Theatre has announced its 2016–17 season, which will feature seven new musicals.

“This year, we are proud to celebrate the 90th anniversary of this historic theatre in downtown Seattle with a spectacular season that truly covers the breadth and depth of our great indigenous art form—The Musical,” said executive producer and artistic director David Armstrong in a statement.

The season will begin with Man of La Mancha (Oct. 7–30), with book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, and music by Mitch Leigh. The musical follows Cervantes and his fellow prisoners of the Spanish Inquisition as they reenact the tale of Don Quixote. Allison Narver will direct.

Just in time for the holidays will be Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Nov. 23–Dec. 31), with book by Doug Wright, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater. Glenn Casale will direct.

Next will be The Pajama Game (Feb. 9–March 5, 2017), with book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell, and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. Based on the novel 7 ½ Cents by Bissell, the musical is about a labor furor over a 7 ½ cent pay raise at a pajama plant. Producing artistic director Bill Berry will direct.

Following will be Murder for Two (March 25–June 4, 2017), a coproduction with A Contemporary Theatre (ACT), with book by Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian, music by Kinosian, and lyrics by Blair. In the two-hander murder mystery, one actor investigates the crime and the other plays all of the suspects.

Next up will be The Secret Garden (April 14–May 6, 2017), a coproduction with Shakespeare Theatre Company, with book and lyrics by Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon. Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the musical follows a young orphaned girl who is sent to live with her estranged uncle. Armstrong will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion (June 8–July 2, 2017), a book by Robin Schiff (who penned the screenplay), and music and lyrics by Gwendolyn Sanford and Brandon Jay. The tuner follows two inseparable friends whose relationship is put to the test at their 10-year high school reunion. Kelly Devine will choreograph, and Kristin Hanggi will direct.

The season will close with Fun Home (July 11–30, 2017), with book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, and music by Jeanine Tesori, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about grappling with her relationship with her father and discovering her own sexuality.

The 5th Avenue Theatre opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. Today, the company’s programming of classic and new works attracts an annual attendance of more than 300,000, including more than 25,000 subscribers.

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