SEATTLE: The 5th Avenue Theatre has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring seven productions. This will be producing artistic director Bill Berry’s first season, and he will work closely with managing director Bernadine C. Griffin.
“The 5th Avenue Theatre is where great musicals are born,” said Berry in a statement. “When selecting a season, we want to tell big, powerful, important stories, stories that lift the spirit, stories that fill you with feeling. This season, as we do every season, we want to tell you stories that remind you what it means to be human and we want to tell them in spectacular, breathtaking ways.”
The season will kick off with Come From Away (Oct. 9-Nov. 4), by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. The musical, about thousands of airline passengers stranded in Newfoundland on 9/11, was developed at 5th Avenue Theatre in 2014. Christopher Ashley will direct.
Following will be Annie (Nov. 23-Dec. 30), with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan, about an orphaned girl in New York City who finds a home with a billionaire. Billie Wildrick will direct.
Next up will be Rock of Ages (Feb. 1-24, 2019), with book by Chris D’Arienzo and orchestrations and arrangements by Ethan Popp, about a romance between a small-town boy and a city girl who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their dreams of Hollywood. The musical features songs by Styx, Foreigner, Joan Jett, REO Speedwagon, and more.
Following will be Little Dancer (March 22-April 14, 2019), with music and lyrics by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics and book by Lynn Ahrens. The musical, based on the impressionist masterpiece by Edgar Degas, is set in the backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet. Susan Stroman will choreograph and direct.
The season will continue with Urinetown (April 6-June 9, 2019), a coproduction with A Contemporary Theatre, with book and lyrics by Greg Kotis, and music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann. The political satire is set in a fictional future where a drought leads a town to use pay-per-use amenities. Berry will direct the show at ACT.
Next will be West Side Story (May 31-June 23, 2019), with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a classic musical about a romance that blossoms between members of two warring street gangs in New York City. The production, helmed by Berry, will be produced in association with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Also part of the programming will be The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (April 23-28, 2019), with music and lyrics by Rob Rokicki and book by Joe Tracz, which follows the son of Poseidon as he discovers his own powers that he cannot control. This will be a one-week engagement of the national tour.
The 5th Avenue Theatre, which first opened as a movie palace in 1926, produces musical theatre and focuses on developing new work.