5th Avenue’s dynamic production of “A Chorus Line” closes September 28th

Review from guest blogger, Jeanne Deller:

For those of you who have yet to experience “Chorus Line”  live, up close, and very personal , be sure to catch The 5th Avenue Theatre’s dynamic, often poignant, performance.

This cleverly cast and brilliantly directed production is a must see. This is your chance to catch an inside, in-depth sneak-peak into the highly-charged world of actors’ minds, hearts, and auditions – well beyond the glitz and glamour of actual performances. So true-to-life for those who dedicate their lives to the art of theatre and entertainment.

The company of A Chorus Line at The 5th Avenue Theatre.     Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

The company of A Chorus Line at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

The 5th Avenue Theatre’s gifted orchestra complements this fabulous chorus line in every beloved musical number throughout.  Fabulous orchestration, song, and dance! Don’t miss it – you only have until September 28th to see the show.

Chryssie Whitehead, in her long time connection with "A Chorus Line," continues to shine. Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Chryssie Whitehead, in her long time connection with “A Chorus Line,” continues to shine.
Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Richard Peacock plays Richie in A Chorus Line at The 5th Avenue Theatre.   Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Richard Peacock plays Richie in A Chorus Line at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Pirates of Penzance delivers an evening of love and laughter

For this review, Seattle Pockets welcomes Guest Blogger, Christopher Monsos.

The Pirates of Penzance have sailed far from the waters off Cornwall and are now plundering the coastline of Canada during the show’s run at The 5th Avenue Theatre through August 4th, 2013.

A twenty two year old pirate bound an overactive sense of duty is released from his indentured servitude and cast ashore. He quickly encounters beautiful maidens (not usually found on the high sea), romance, and tests that put this heightened sense of duty to the test.

With thirty minutes left on his piratical contract does he give this band of pirates tips on how to better plunder? Once released from piracy, can he fulfill his civic duty and turn his old crew in? What consequences arise when he is duty-bound to uphold follow through with his agreements… to the letter?

The 5th Avenue Theatre delivers a solid production of the comic opera, with an vocally powerful cast giving the Gilbert & Sullivan score and patter songs its full respect. Frederic (Hunter Ryan Herdlicka) delivers a performance as tight as his trousers, Mabel (Anne Eisendrath) hits incredibly high operatic notes with strength, and Ruth (Anne Allgood) delivers fantastic comedy – quickly becoming a favorite character. The Pirate King (Brandon O’Neill) found his swagger by the middle of Act 2. The cast is rounded out by a booming band of Pirates-slash-Canadian Mounties, a cunning Major-General (David Pichette), a shuffling Mountie sergeant (Jared Michael Brown), and the scene-stealing bevy of beautiful mavens that are Mabel’s sisters.

pirates

Opening night included some gags that could land harder if they were just slightly pulled back (hip thrusting, a decapitated Canadian goose as examples) and Act 2’s  set seemed oddly flat for what is possible with a static two-scene show.

The Pirates of Penzance delivers a solid and entertaining evening of love and laughter. Pay enough attention to the plot points being sung – but make sure you take moments to visually explore the scenes to catch some of the detail and comedic performances from the ensemble.

*****
GIVEAWAY! If we get 5+ comments on this blog post, we’ll give away a pair of tickets to the show!

Book of Mormon Lottery tickets for less than $30!

Update – tickets are just $25. Yeah I thought that price looked strange the first time I saw it too. The BAA FB page updated the price in a post after I shared this info.

Book of Mormon is offering a select number of “lottery” tickets during the run of the show at the Paramount Theatre Jan 8 – 20, 2013! This is a hot ticket item, so take advantage of this deal!

mormon1

FREE: 5th Avenue Theatre hosts RENT Spotlight night June 20

Get your free tickets to Spotlight Night at The 5th Avenue Theatre for the musical, RENT. Spotlight night is a behind the scenes look at the upcoming production, with special guests talking about the musical and live musical performances from the show.  Fun, free and informative! Get your free tickets, here. 

More info about RENT at The 5th Avenue, playing July 21 – August 19, 2012, here.

Cast of the production includes Daniel Berryman, Aaron C. Finley, Naomi Morgan (who is a doll and I cannot wait to see in the role of Mimi, which she is sure to ROCK), Jerick Hoffer, Ryah Nixon, Andi Alhadeff (a beautiful girl, inside and out, with a voice to match), Brandon O’Neill (so fun to watch), Eric Ankrim (who directed Balagan’s recent production of Spring Awakening), Sarah Rose Davis (comic-adorableness), Antonia Darlene, Kirsten deLohr Helland, Jimmie D. Herrod Jr., Diana Huey (so much talent and charm), Andrew Leonard, Trina Mills (awesome, sexy dancer), Casey Raiha, Heath Saunders, Patrick Shelton, Logan Benedict, Bryan Gula, Lindsay Hedberg, Henry Nettleton and Sarah Russell.

Wicked & Book of Mormon coming to Seattle 2012/2013

Broadway at the Paramount announced their season tonight!

I’ve been meaning to see Wicked for years now and can’t wait for this October when it returns to town. Brandon and I have been talking about seeing this show together since we first started dating and are definitely getting tickets. It seems like every time it’s been in town we’ve had something come up – this is a show you will not want to wait to buy tickets for, as it is bound to sell out.  Another buy-as-soon-as-you-can show: The Book of Mormon. They wow’ed me with their number on the Tony Awards on TV (sweeping the Tony Awards itself didn’t hurt this show’s popularity, either) and I’ll be sure to get tickets as soon as they go on sale. In my previous job, I sometimes had to order tickets in New York for this production for VIPs and it was a HOT ticket – very hard to wrestle tickets for, so I’ll be sure to snag some as soon as single tickets go on sale.

Here’s a number from The Book of Mormon, I Believe:

UPDATE: Sent a Facebook message to Brandon down the hall – it’s decided, we’ll definitely be seeing these shows when they come to town.   I’m pretty interested in seeing Sister Act – might be a girls night out for that one. Maybe bring mom and dad?

What shows are you excited for? Who do you think has a more vibrant season, The Paramount or 5th Avenue Theatre?

5th Avenue Theatre to bring back some of the BEST Musicals for 12/13 Season

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?

Season tickets and more information, here.

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!