Member Profile: Helen Sing, the Chex Mix Queen

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Staging new musicals, hosting Broadway tours, and producing the best of classic musical theater takes energy, creativity, and resources. Ticket sales and subscriptions simply can’t cover it all. It’s thanks to the generosity of our Members who contribute to our annual fund that The 5th Avenue Theatre continues to grow and thrive. As a show of gratitude, our Members are invited to a variety of exclusive behind-the-scenes events. To learn more about how you can become a Member, click here.

Helen Sing has been a Member at The 5th since 2010. Take a look at her giving story!

The 5th: How long have you been a subscriber and donor at The 5th?

Helen: After The 5th Avenue Theatre re-opened, I saw Annie in July of 1980 with Reid Shelton as Daddy Warbucks. Since The 5th was booking primarily national tours, I saw Annie three years in a row from 1980-1982! I have attended shows from 1980 until the present. The 5th started their musical subscription season in 1989 (Season One, I believe) and I have been a subscriber since. I’ve been a donor at The 5th since 2010, I think!

Located backstage, the “show bricks” are an archive of theater dating back to Annie in 1980 at The 5th.

The 5th: Why support do you support The 5th?

Helen: I first started donating to The 5th after attending one of the season announcement Spotlight Season Nights. It was thoroughly entertaining.  Once I started to attend the Spotlight Nights with the fabulous Albert Evans and performances by your cast members, I saw how much work went into creating a show. 

In addition, I was impressed with your outreach to schools to expose more students to the arts. When I was in junior high school in Seattle, the school district took students to the Symphony and that opened up a new world to me. Also, once I found out that my Company provided matching funds, it encouraged me to donate to The 5th.  It was “free” money going to an excellent program. 

I took my youngest nieces when they were ages 10 and 8 & 1/2 to see musicals. Now in their late 20’s, they love going to The 5th. They are the future subscribers and donors who will keep the theater community in Seattle alive and flourishing.  Theater feeds your soul. 

Theatre feeds your soul

The 5th: What is your favorite memory of The 5th?

Helen: While words on the pages of a book can tell you a story or transport you to another land, attending a musical at The 5th not only tells that story, but it makes you believe you can dance in a chorus line or sing in perfect pitch, all in two and one-half hours! For those few hours, you can escape from the world around you. When it is done well, it can fill you with joy, make you examine your own beliefs, and tap into your many emotions.

My favorite memory was when Something Rotten! was supposed to be at the 5th in 2015, but bypassed The 5th and went straight to Broadway. The 5th provided ticket holders with ticket vouchers if you wanted to see it on Broadway. I planned a trip to New York City in 2015 to see the show and 3 other musicals. Something Rotten! had a clever song, “A Musical,” which contained references to so many musicals. The knowledgeable, theater-going New York audience gave that number a standing ovation in the middle of the show! 

The 5th: As a member, what has been your experience with the backstage tours?

Helen: What I enjoy about the backstage tours, is the opportunity to hear from a production member about their part in the show and their willingness to answer questions from the audience. I try to invite different friends or family members to attend so they can experience the “behind-the-scenes” secrets. I believe this adds to their enjoyment of the show itself and helps them to appreciate the talent it takes to put on a show, not just on the stage, but more importantly, behind the stage.

The 5th: You have a place of honor at all the Membership events you attend because of the Chex mix you bring! Tell us about the history behind the Chex mix.

Helen: I started making batches of Chex mix to give to the staff at the nursing home where my mother resided at the end of 2015-2016.  I gave a small bag to Jeanne Thompson, the former Membership Manager, at one of the Spotlight Nights. She shared it with some of your staff and at the next Spotlight Night, let me know that they liked it. Since 2016, while I generally make batches to give away as gifts at Christmas or other occasions, I have been primarily making batches for The 5th Avenue Theatre staff when I attend some of the donor events. When I went to New York City in 2019 to see four Broadway shows, I brought a gallon bag of Chex mix for Jeanne and visited with her at her new job!

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