Two of my favorite musicals of all time, Jersey Boys & Memphis, are coming back to The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle! Having worked at The 5th for 8+ years, I’ve seen a lot of shows, and these two are ones that are HUGE crowd pleasers that are not to be missed.
While The 5th isn’t presenting a brand new musical as they usually do (Memphis played The 5th Avenue before it became a major hit on Broadway), the 12/13 season is full of fun. They’re also bringing Elf, The Addams Family and The Music Man.
Other shows include Grey Gardens (in partnership with ACT Theatre) and Pirates of Penzance. The latter is billed in The 5th’s email newsletter as “One of the most popular musicals of all time.” I’m personally not a Gilbert & Sullivan fan, but classic musical lovers will be drawn to this show, I expect. And my fella is excited to check it out, if only because it’s one of the classics he’s never seen. “Isn’t that ‘Modern Major General’ song from that show?” He asked me tonight. Turns out, yes. “Hoarders meet the Hamptons” in Grey Gardens – casting will be everything in this intimate production…excited to hear more news about it in the coming months. Tempted to watch the Drew Barrymore version of the movie soon to check out the show.
Jersey Boys is electrifying and full of musical fun with the story and music of Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons. It’s a great show to take your date, best friend or mom to. Generations of people love this show and one can only hope we’ll see Seattle actor Jason Kappus in the role of Bob Gaudio for this production.
The Music Man is a movie that evokes fond memories of childhood for me – who wouldn’t fall in love with this story and music. The 5th Avenue’s orchestra is always fantastic and I can’t wait to hear them “trombone” away. I have a feeling this will be one of those productions where people walk away knowing that was the best production of The Music Man they will ever see.
Elf takes the stage for Nov 30 – Dec 31 – I haven’t heard much about this production but I’m glad to see the Seattle arts world will be gifted with a unique option for the holidays. As with most movies where the lead is so iconic to watchers (Gene Kelly in White Christmas, Tim Curry in Rocky Horror), the biggest challenge of this show is in the casting/directing and of course performance of the main character – Will Ferrell has some big pointy shoes to fill!
What can I say about Memphis? Not enough. The story alone is riveting and inspiring. Add in the incredible score and dancing that makes the audience jump out of their seats to dance in the aisles at curtain call, and you’ve got one of the best musicals ever made. I’ve seen this production multiple times and applaud The 5th for bringing it back to the theatre so soon – audiences who missed it before Broadway will be in for a treat, while the rest of us will feel like we’ve reconnected with old friends when the beloved (and rockin‘) characters take the stage.
Above all, don’t miss Memphis and Jersey Boys. If you saw them before, you probably won’t be hesitating to buy your tickets for a second time. These shows must be seen live for the full experience – the dancing, music and stories of each will be some of the best theatre you will see in Seattle all year. I may just have to relearn a little bit of the Jersey Boys choreography again soon.
Have you seen any of these shows, at The 5th or elsewhere? I’d love to hear your thoughts! What shows in particular are you most excited for?
Tonight, The 5th Avenue hosted a twitter chat during their season announcement party – check out hashtag #5th1213 to check it out! Kudos to Chris Marcacci at 5th Avenue Theatre for his hard work – they trended on Twitter in Seattle!