By DAVID ARMSTRONG, Executive Producer and Artistic Director
As always, there are many connections this season between the shows and artists that are nominated for Tony Awards and The 5th Avenue Theatre.
Topping the list, of course, is Best Musical nominee Come From Away. We are so proud to have co-produced with Seattle Rep the developmental lab production of this show as part of our New Works Program — and there are many, many other 5th Avenue connections as well: The show’s Music Supervisor is our own Resident Music Director Ian Eisendrath, ably assisted by Chris Ranney, who is a regular at The 5th. Several long-time 5th Avenue favorites are featured in the cast including Kendra Kassebaum, Rodney Hicks, and Chad Kimball.
The leading producers of the show are, of course Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff (current Board member and former Chair) in collaboration with his partners Sue Frost and Randy Adams, all of whom worked with us on Memphis and First Date.
Joining them on the producing team are a host of 5th Avenue Board members and supporters including Stephen P. and Paula Rosput Reynolds, Sheri and Les Biller, Laura Little, Cynthia Stroum, Bill and Linda Potter, Rosemary and Kenneth Willman, Ann Ramsay-Jenkins, Wanda Herndon and Eileen Glasser Wesley.
In the category of Best Original Score we have several significant connections. Recent Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul started their careers here at The 5th with our premiere of A Christmas Story and are Tony nominated this year for Dear Evan Hansen. (Adam Quinn, who has assistant directed several times here at The 5th, is also serving as the creative assistant on Dear Evan Hansen.)
Tim Minchin who made a memorable appearance on our stage at the Spotlight Night for Matilda last season is nominated for Groundhog Day. And Irene Sankoff and David Hein are nominated for their Score as well as their Book for Come From Away.
Nominated for Best Scenic Design of a Play is David Gallo who is currently designing our co-production of Beatsville opening this week as Asolo Repertory, and previously designed Memphis and the Broadway production of First Date. Best Lighting Design of a Musical nominees include Howell Binkley (A Christmas Story and Memphis) and Natasha Katz (Aladdin and Scandalous on Broadway.)
Best Direction of a Musical nominees include Come From Away’s Christopher Ashley who directed Memphis, and Best Choreography nominees include 5th Avenue veterans Kelly Devine (A Christmas Story) and Denis Jones (ELF, Damn Yankees).
We send our warmest congratulations to them all!
Photo credits: top photo, Matthew Murphy; middle photo, Chris Bennion.