Favorite Female Friendships

By JORDAN LUSINK, Communications Coordinator

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the film Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, and in anticipation of our upcoming musical production of the same name, we’re celebrating some of our favorite female friendships, both in pop culture and in real life.

Oprah and Gayle

Gayle is Oprah’s right-hand woman. The Hamilton to Oprah’s George Washington. Their friendship has survived over 30 years, through marriages and divorces and kids and talk shows and magazines and basically everything. The fact that there are still rumors about whether they are in a more-than-platonic relationship (which both of them have stressed they would be super open about if they were “together,” or, as Oprah put it in an interview, “All my stuff is out there. People think I’d be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn’t admit it? Oh please”) just emphasizes how important it is to talk about and celebrate non-adversarial, platonic female friendships.

Anne and Diana

One of my favorite things to do each year, and it has been for over a decade, is watch the mini-series version of Anne of Green Gables. (RIP Jonathan Crombie. You’ll always be Gilbert Blythe to me.) This adaptation of one of my favorite book series about one of my favorite bookworms will always hold a special place in my heart, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the relationship between Anne Shirley and Diana Barry. They got up to some shenanigans, but when it came right down to it, they were there for each other. Diana defended Anne to her mother when she thought that Anne was a bad influence on Diana, and pushed Anne when her melodramatic inclinations got in her own way. Anne helped to bring excitement and drama, and was the first to call Diana a kindred spirit and her bosom friend, swearing eternal friendship.

Mary and Rhoda

The ladies behind the well-known quote from Romy and Michele, “I’m the Mary, you’re the Rhoda,” Mary and Rhoda first appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary (played by Mary Tyler Moore, obviously) was the eponymous lead who was a lead producer for the evening news. Her bestie, Rhoda (played by Valerie Harper), lived just upstairs from Mary and worked as a window dresser at a department store. These two thirty-somethings were both single and spent a fair amount of time talking about their dating lives. The pair reunited in 2000 for the made-for-TV film Mary and Rhoda. Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper were also close friends in real life.

Khadijah, Synclaire, Max and Régine of Living Single

Living Single was a TV show in the 90s about four professional women living in a Brooklyn brownstone. (Okay, technically three of them lived in the brownstone, and Max was a frequent guest at their abode.) Well before Sex and the City, these women were kickass and independent, focused on their jobs as professional women in the city and also trying to have relationships. (The title of the show IS Living Single.) This focus on relationships included maintaining friendships with each other, some of which began in childhood. The show launched Queen Latifah as Khadijah, an editor and publisher of a monthly magazine. Queen Latifah recently announced that a revision of the show with the original cast is in the works!

The Golden Girls (Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia)

Way before Sex and the City and Living Single, there was The Golden Girls. The show had and continues to be critically acclaimed, with each of the four stars have received an Emmy Award sometime during the seven seasons. The show centered on four older women living together, and was pretty clear in advancing and advocating for progressive values. Not only did the show have a pretty revolutionary portrayal of aging, the messages of feminism, advocacy for gay rights, and conversations about race and disability were common throughout the series. The legacy of the show continues to this day, though it’s been off the air for 25 years. (Issa Rae recently compared her new HBO series Insecure to The Golden Girls.) Reruns are played in syndication, and the entire series was recently added to Hulu so that a wider audience, including people who may have never seen the show before, can enjoy. Plus, everyone still knows the words to that theme song.

Jess and Cece

Whether you love or hate New Girl, Jess and Cece have one of the most awesome and supportive friendships on television. (Though most people don’t have a best friend who is a supermodel…) Though they are pretty close to being opposites, that just means they balance each other well. They’re also really good at calling each other on their BS. Their entire friendship is grounded in middle-school, and how they both felt like weirdos and outcasts, which is pretty much the basis for the best friendships.

Penelope and Salma

These two ladies have been friends for over 20 years. (For example, remember that show Punk’d with everyone’s favorite prankster Ashton Kutcher? Salma was pranked by Penelope in a restaurant in a 2005 episode.) They celebrated their friendship this January with matching Instagram posts, and there’s a long history of supportive and loving statements from and about each other. They’ve even shared the screen in the 2006 movie Bandidas, during the filming of which they almost died in a plane crash. Cruz said, “A thought came across my mind that if I were to die at that moment at least I’d die with my best friend.” Awwww.

Laverne and Shirley

“Schlemiel! Shchlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” Laverne and Shirley actually began their lives on Happy Days, originally introduced as Fonzie’s acquaintances before getting their own spinoff. The ladies were single roommates who works as bottlecappers and got into all sorts of shenanigans together, including a surprising amount of musical numbers throughout the years.

Tia and Tamera in Sister, Sister

Okay, so they’re actually twin sisters separated at birth and adopted by different families. The nature of that beginning often translated to their relationship focusing more on the friendship aspect of their sisterhood. As one of several series in the mid-90s focused on young adults (i.e. Boy Meets WorldBrotherly LoveMoesha, the list could go on), the show often addressed issues that young adults would deal with, including peer pressure and fitting in. A unique viewpoint from Sister, Sister, though, was the difficulty of the expectations people put on twins, and establishing an identity independent of a twin.

Romy and Michele

And last but certainly not least, one of our absolute top favorite duos: Romy and Michele. Much has been written about these two friends recently in celebration of the 20th anniversary, especially taking a look at what makes their friendship so strong. The two are super supportive of each other, endlessly positive and mostly content to be independent thinkers, regardless of what other people think about them. Though some may see them as merely dumb blondes, they are able to come up with a completely realistic formula for Post-It glue, their created backstories to explain the last 10 years are that of businesswomen (rather than saying they married rich or inherited money) and (spoiler) they parley their business skills and fashion acumen into a successful clothing store. Ultimately, the story is really about celebrating friendship, fashion and accepting yourself as you are.

What are your favorite female friendships? Let us know in the comments!

Click here to find out more and purchase tickets to the World Premiere of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion: The Musical.

Behind the Curtain at the Romy and Michele Photoshoot

We had a lot of fun during a Romy and Michele-filled week recently, during which we did a shoot with Seattle Weekly, an awesome video with our Romy and Michele, and a pre-production photoshoot. Take a look behind the curtain with these photos taken before and during that photoshoot, with our Romy and Michele, Cortney Wolfson and Stephanie Renee Wall.

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Special thanks to our amazing photographers, Mark and Tracy Photography, who took many of these behind-the-scenes photos.

Click here to find out more and purchase tickets for the World Premiere of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion: The Musical.

Meet the Director: Kristin Hanggi – Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Kristin Hanggi Headshot

Kristin Hanggi will be directing our world premiere of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. Kristin directed and developed the international smash-hit Rock of Ages and is also a film director! Find out more about Kristin below.

Is this your first time working with The 5th?
Yes, it’s my first time! And I’m so excited! Many of my friends and colleagues have worked at The 5th and have sung its praises, so I’m looking forward to get a chance to work on a new musical here. The 5th is so encouraging to the creative process and one of the best places to develop new works. Continue reading “Meet the Director: Kristin Hanggi – Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Northwest Women’s Show

The 5th Avenue Theatre spent the weekend at the Northwest Women’s Show, talking to attendees about our upcoming shows in the 2016/17 season. Folks were really excited to hear about our World Premiere musical, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion! Based on the popular 1997 movie about quirky best friends on their way to their 10 year high school reunion, we are proud to present the musical’s premiere to Seattle audiences first!

Continue reading “Northwest Women’s Show”

Tony Award Nominees and Winners in Our 2016/17 Season

Our 2016/17 Season is full of Tony nominees and winners. Take a look at the nominations and wins for each of the shows. (Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is a brand new musical so it hasn’t been nominated or won any awards…yet!)

Continue reading “Tony Award Nominees and Winners in Our 2016/17 Season”

Announcing Our 2016/17 Season!


Man of La Mancha

Not Seen on Our Stage in 20 Years!
October 7 – 30, 2016

Book by: Dale Wasserman
Music by: Mitch Leigh
Lyrics by: Joe Darion
Directed by: Allison Narver

One of the most epic and enduring musicals of all time, Man of La Mancha is a glorious affirmation of the unyielding resilience of the human spirit that will leave you breathless.

Inspired by one of the greatest novels in Western literature, Man of La Mancha enters the mind and world of the mad knight Don Quixote as he pursues his quest for the impossible dream. In a tale told by Cervantes himself in defense of his life’s work, Quixote is, against all odds, a man who sees good and innocence in a world filled with darkness and despair.

Featuring stirring classic songs including “The Impossible Dream,” Man of La Mancha is a multi-Tony Award®-winning theatrical masterpiece that blurs the line between dreams and reality in a powerful celebration of the imagination.



Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Disney’s Classic Brought to Life
November 23 – December 31

Music by: Alan Menken
Lyrics by: Doug Wright
Directed by: Glenn Casale

This holiday season, join us “Under the Sea” at The 5th Avenue Theatre for this spectacular production of the Broadway musical, Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Headstrong Ariel is no longer content to live on the ocean floor under her father, King Triton’s, rule. Convinced she’ll only find happiness on land, she sets off to find a world where she belongs, battling a sea witch and finding true love along the way.

Adults and children alike will revel in the Academy Award®-winning hits by the legendary Alan Menken including “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” This spectacular new production will feature dazzling costumes, a stunning pop-up book inspired set and visual effects that are pure magic. So trade in your fleece for flippers this winter and make Disney’s The Little Mermaid part of your world.



The Pajama Game

First Time at The 5th!
February 9 – March 5, 2017

Music & lyrics by: Richard Adler & Jerry Ross
Book by: George Abbott & Richard Bissell
Based on the novel 7 ½ cents by: Richard Bissell
Directed by: Bill Berry

Things are getting steamy at the Sleep Tite Pajama factory where handsome new superintendent Sid Sorokin is falling hard for Babe Williams, the all-too-alluring union rep. But sparks really fly when the workers go on strike for a 7½-cent pay raise, setting off not only a conflict between management and labor, but a battle of the sexes as well.

The show that defined Fosse style with seductive dance numbers such as “Steam Heat” and “Hernando’s Hideaway,” this critically acclaimed musical won three Tony Awards® including Best Choreography and Best Musical. The swinging score includes the timeless hits “Hey There (You with The Stars in Your Eyes)” and “There Once Was a Man” performed by a sensational Seattle cast. Don’t miss The Pajama Game done as only The 5th can do it.



Murder for Two

Northwest Premiere!
A Co-Production with ACT – A Contemporary Theatre
March 25 – June 4, 2017

Book by: Joe Kinosian & Kellen Blair
Lyrics by: Kellen Blair
Music by: Joe Kinosian

Get ready for a musical comedy to die for!

Everyone is a suspect in Murder for Two—a drop-dead funny murder mystery musical with a twist: One actor investigates the crime; the other plays all the suspects—and they both play the piano! A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery, this ninety-minute whodunit is a highly theatrical duet loaded with killer laughs. Called “Ingenious” by The New York Times, Murder for Two is the perfect blend of murder, music and mayhem!



The Secret Garden

A Co-Production with D.C.’s The Shakespeare Theatre Company
April 14 – May 6, 2017

Book & lyrics by: Marsha Norman
Music by: Lucy Simon
Directed by: David Armstrong
Based on the novel by: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Welcome to the hauntingly beautiful world of The Secret Garden, where hope is found blooming in the discovery of a magical garden long locked-away. Based on the beloved novel, The Secret Garden follows recently orphaned ten year old Mary Lennox, who is sent to live with her reclusive uncle in a crumbling mansion on the Yorkshire moors. When she discovers the key to a neglected garden, Mary renews life for herself and her sickly cousin, bringing the weary estate and its occupants back to exuberant life with the full force of spring.

With book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon, this captivating show will mesmerize audiences of all ages and transport you to a world where beauty and love blossom, and a forgotten seed of life can still flourish.



Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

World Premiere!
June 8 – July 2, 2017

Music & lyrics by: Gwendolyn Sanford & Brandon Jay
Book by: Robin Schiff
Directed by: Kristin Hanggi
Choreographed by: Kelly Devine

Two of the quirkiest and most endearing best friends in pop culture will make their musical theater debut at The 5th Avenue Theatre this season. Join us at the world premiere of the totally awesome new musical, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, based on the 1997 cult hit film. Romy and Michele are two inseparable best friends whose relationship is put to the test when they invent fake careers to impress people at their 10-year high school reunion.

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion features a creative team including Rock of Ages’ Kristin Hanggi and Kelly Devine, as well as a book by the film’s screenwriter, Robin Schiff. With an all new ‘80s and ‘90s pop-rock-inspired score, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is totally, like, the coolest thing since the invention of Post-its®.



Fun Home

2015 Tony Award® Winner
July 11 – 30, 2017

Music by: Jeanine Tesori
Book & lyrics by: Lisa Kron
Based on the graphic novel by: Alison Bechdel
Directed by: Sam Gold

Every once in a while a Broadway musical comes along that surprises, moves and excites audiences in ways only a truly landmark musical can. The “groundbreaking,” “life-affirming” and “exquisite” new musical Fun Home was the event of the Broadway season, receiving raves from critics and audiences alike, winning five 2015 Tony Awards including BEST MUSICAL and making history along the way. Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood. A refreshingly honest musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes, “Fun Home is extraordinary, a rare beauty that pumps fresh air into Broadway.” (New York Times).

You can get seven shows for the price of 6, and FREE parking, if you subscribe to our full season! We also have special subscription prices for those under 35. For more information, and to subscribe to our 2016/17 Season, click here.