SEATTLE: The 5th Avenue Theatre has announced its 2019-20 season, featuring six productions.
“Musicals are storytelling at its richest and most memorable,” said producing artistic director Bill Berry in a statement. “Spun through a rich weave of song, dance, acting, lighting, costumes, and sets, the immersive experience of great musicals creates a special time and place to recharge and reflect. Live musicals have the power to lift up our lives, sometimes even change them, and that’s something we never forget at the 5th. Whether you’re laughing and dancing with the sisters of Sister Act, you’re cheering for Jane Austen as she writes her greatest work in Austen’s Pride, or you’re wrestling with the fact and facade of Eva Perón in Evita, the 5th creates a space where light, hope, and joy are celebrated.”
The season will begin with the world premiere of Austen’s Pride, A New Musical of Pride and Prejudice (Oct. 4-27), with book, music, and lyrics by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs. The musical, which was developed as part of the 5th’s New Musical Development Program, follows Jane Austen as she writes her masterpiece novel. Igor Goldin will direct.
Next up will be Shrek the Musical (Nov. 26-Dec. 29), with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori. Based on the DreamWorks film, the show centers around an ogre who lives alone in a swamp and finds his home flooded with fairy-tale creatures. Shrek premiered at the theatre before opening on Broadway.
Following will be Stu for Silverton (Jan. 31-Feb. 23, 2020), with book by Peter Duchan and lyrics by Breedlove. The musical is based on the true story of Stu Rasmussen, who was launched into the national spotlight after becoming the nation’s first openly transgender mayor in Silverton, Ore., in 2008. Andrew Russell, who directed the show’s original staging at Intiman Theatre, returns to the helm. The 5th’s production will feature new choreography by James Alsop.
The season will continue with Sister Act (March 13-April 5), with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, and additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane. This musical comedy is about a disco diva who is put into protective custody in a convent after witnessing a murder. Lisa Shriver will choreograph and direct.
Next will be Once on This Island (May 12-24), with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. The piece centers around a fearless peasant girl in the French Antilles who is willing to risk everything for love. Camille A. Brown will choreograph.
The season will close out with Evita (June 12-July 3), with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Tim Rice, about the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón.
Also part of the programming, the 5th Avenue Theatre will present Jersey Boys (April 14-19), with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, and lyrics by Bob Crewe. The musical tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their journey from the wrong side of the tracks to stardom. Sergio Trujillo will choreograph, and Des McAnuff will direct.
The 5th Avenue Theatre, which has performed in the historic 1926 venue since 1980, takes as its mission “to nurture, advance, and preserve all aspects of America’s great original art form: the musical.”