And the Winners Are…

The winners of the 2016/17 Subscriber Choice Awards have been announced.

At the end of every season, we ask our subscribers to vote for their favorite performers, designs, and musical moments from throughout the last season. We are proud to share the winners of the 2016/17 Subscriber Choice Awards.

The cast of Disney's The Little Mermaid at The 5th Avenue Theatre - Photo Credit Mark KitaokaFavorite Production
The Little Mermaid

Diana Huey as Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid at The 5th Avenue Theatre - Photo Credit Mark KitaokaOutstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role
Diana Huey as Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Richard Gray stars in Murder for Two - Photo Credit Mark KitaokaOutstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role
Richard Gray as The Suspects in Murder for Two

Fun Home
Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Abby Corrigan as Medium Allison in Fun Home

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Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Don Darryl Rivera as Sancho Panza in Man Of La Mancha

Greg McCormick Allen and Shaunyce Omar in The Pajama Game - Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka
Outstanding Female Actor in a Featured Role
Shaunyce Omar as Mabel in The Pajama Game

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Outstanding Male Actor in a Featured Role
Melvin Abston as Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Bea Corley stars as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden - Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka
Outstanding Performance by a Child Actor
Bea Corley as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden

Dynamic Duo Chris DiStefano and Richard Gray in Murder for Two - Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka
Outstanding Direction
Daniel Knechtges for Murder for Two

Sarag Rise Davis and the company of The Pajama Game - Photo Credit Tracy Martin
Outstanding Choreography
Bob Richard for The Pajama Game

20161007_TMartin_0119Outstanding Music Direction
Cynthia Kortman Westphal for Man Of La Mancha

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Outstanding Set Design
Anna Louizos for The Secret Garden

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Outstanding Lighting Design
Mike Baldassari for The Secret Garden

20161123_TMartin_4817Outstanding Costume Design
Amy Clark & Mark Koss for Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Outstanding Musical Moments
“The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha
Performed by Rufus Bonds Jr.

Outstanding Musical Moments
“Steam Heat” from The Pajama Game
Performed by Taryn Darr with Ryan Patrick Kelly and Davione Gordon

Outstanding Musical Moments  
“Hernando’s Hideaway” from The Pajama Game
Performed by Sarah Rose Davis and the company of The Pajama Game

Outstanding Musical Moments
“Lily’s Eyes” from The Secret Garden
Performed by Tam Mutu and Josh Young

2017 Theatre Impact Award
Deborah Engelbach

2017 Theatre Impact Award
Misha Berson

 


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Matt Owen on Holiday Inn

5. Matt Owen as Ten Hanover in Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn at The 5th Avenue Theatre - Photo Credit Mark KitaokaWhat was the first show you were in at The 5th?

The first show was Anything Goes in 2000. Where has the time gone???

How many shows have you done at The 5th in total?

I think Holiday Inn makes 20…or 21? Not exactly sure!

How do you feel you have evolved as an artist over the years?

Hmmm…tough question. I feel like I basically grew up performing at the 5th. My first show I did here was when I was 17 years old. I think with age comes confidence—knowing where my strengths lie, understanding how to better communicate with my fellow artists both on and off the stage. And like anything…the more you do something, the better you get. I feel like I should have a deeper more profound answer for this, but I’m sure Eric Ankrim’s answer will be very impressive…so…maybe I’ll just go with, “Whatever Eric said.”

7. Matt Owen and Taryn Darr in Holiday Inn at The 5th Avenue Theatre - Photo Credit Mark KitaokaWho are some of the people you have acted for or with who have inspired you or motivated you to be better, particularly at The 5th?

Working with a truly amazing group of people. I adore these folks. David directed my first professional show (Anything Goes 17 years ago), and Jamie Rocco and I have worked together many times. Also this cast, crew, and orchestra? C’mon! I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. The 5th has always been my home away from home, and I feel so lucky to get to spend the holidays here.

What is it like to be in a holiday show at The 5th?

Holiday shows are always great. There’s just a positive energy in the air. The audiences really get excited, and being in Seattle (where I grew up, but no longer live) during the holidays is just special. Also, there are usually FAR more delicious backstage sweets. And seeing as I’m playing the “dancing role” in this show…I think I’m entitled to a cookie…or 50.

Lightning Round:

  • Favorite holiday?  Thanksgiving. Hands down.  Perfect excuse to eat my face off.
  • Favorite cold-weather beverage? Does Scotch count?
  • Cake or pie?  No question.
  • Underrated musical?  One of the best books of a musical ever written.
  • Favorite thing about Seattle at the holidays? Getting to spend time with my wonderful family…and pie.

Holiday Inn plays The 5th Avenue Theatre November 24 – December 31. Click here for tickets.

Photo credit Mark Kitaoka

Taryn Darr on Holiday Inn

What was the first show you were in at The 5th?

My first show was Gypsy in 2001(with Matt Owen!) I played a Hollywood Blonde and the front end of the cow, respectively.

2. Taryn Darr as Lila Dixon in Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn at The 5th Avenue Theatre - Photo Credit Mark KitaokaHow many shows have you done at The 5th in total?

I’ve lost count. I do, however, remember exactly where I was when I got my first offer at the 5th. I was home for Christmas in Gresham, Oregon. I cried tears of joy. I continue to be grateful for every moment I get to spend on this stage.

 How do you feel you have evolved as an artist over the years?

When I first started my career, the “gift” I gave myself after each show was to have the poster of the production framed. Maybe I thought I wasn’t going to be doing this that long (I had initially set out to be an archeologist), but needless to say, I ran out of both funds and wall space to continue that treat-yo-self idea. So with that, I’ll say I’ve grown to have a wee more confidence in myself and to know solidly where my strengths are as an artist.  That said, there are things that still terrify me, so there’s always something to work on.

Who are some of the people you have acted for or with who have inspired you or motivated you to be better, particularly at The 5th?

Oh, there are too many to name! I’ve been so fortunate with my time here in Seattle as well as New York City to have worked with some absolutely AMAZING artists and creatives. My nearly 20-year career as a triple threat has been shaped immensely by just watching others—seeing artists work tirelessly to develop a scene, sing with grit and guts, appear to dance so tall when they’re really so short, or chew scenery like it’s taffy. So many friends in this business are, simply by just being themselves, master classes on musical theatre.

What are you looking forward to about Holiday Inn?

The fabulous dancing! The stunning costumes! My hilarious friends! This swoon-worthy era! And the cookies! Any cookies.

What is it like to be in a holiday show at The 5th

A holiday show at the 5th is truthfully very busy! My family lives in Oregon and when I’m doing a show there just isn’t quite enough time to get down there for Christmas. What’s wonderful though, is that the 5th Avenue always makes everyone feel like family with its own holiday traditions. The tree-trimming party is my favorite—just the coziest, most joyful day. Cast, crew and creative gather together in the lobby on a break during one of our long technical rehearsals. We trim the tree, take lots of “family” photos, and usually end up eating so much that when we head back to rehearsal, our costumes magically have shrunk.

6. Matt Owen and Taryn Darr in Holiday Inn at The 5th Avenue Theatre - Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Lightning Round:

  • Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. Food, friends and football! (Go Hawks!)
  • Favorite cold-weather beverage? Whatever goes with bourbon
  • Cake or pie? Peach pie and German Chocolate cake. I don’t do this one or the other nonsense.
  • Underrated musical? Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party
  • Favorite thing about Seattle at the holidays? (A show at the 5th!) The twinkly lights everywhere. The crisp, salty air coming off the Sound. Two open lanes and extra attendants in the parking garage.

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn plays November 24 – December 31 at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Click here for tickets.

Photo credit Mark Kitaoka.


 

Meet The Assassins: Leon Czolgosz

Meet the Actor: Brandon O’Neill

Brandon O’Neill joins the cast as Leon Czolgosz.  He has performed on the ACT stage in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Ramayana for which he received both a Broadway World Award and a Footlight Award, and First Date, which earned him a Gregory Award nomination. He has been seen recently at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Carousel, The Pirates of Penzance, for which he received a Gregory Award nomination, Guys and Dolls which earned him a Footlight Award, and many others.

O’Neill’s regional work includes Seattle Rep (A View From The Bridge), Casa Manana (Miss Saigon), North Shore Music Theatre (Joseph…) and the Ordway Center (Pirates of Penzance and Cabaret). O’Neill originated the role of “Kassim” in Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway. His voice can be heard nightly on Broadway and in London as The Voice of the Cave of Wonders. He can also been seen as Uldren Sov in Bungie’s epic video game franchise, Destiny.

Meet the Assassin: Leon Czolgosz

Born in 1873, Leon Czolgosz was the son of Polish immigrants. A steel worker by trade, the poor working conditions and low wages led to him become interested in socialist and anarchist ideologies. After losing his job and battling depression, he immersed himself further into the study of socialism and anarchy, believing that there to be great inequality and injustice in the American system and a complicit government.

Inspired by Gaetano Bresci, a European anarchist that had assassinated King Umberto I of Italy, Czolgosz set his sights on President William McKinley whom he assassinated in 1901. After the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Congress informally requested that the Secret Service provide presidential protection. A year later, the Secret Service assumed full-time responsibility for presidential protection.


Come see Assassins, performed at ACT—A Contemporary Theatre. Visit our website, and search March 18-April 7 for best availability.

Photo by Tracy Martin of MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Meet The Assassins: Emma Goldman

Kjerstine Anderson WebMeet the Actor: Kjerstine Anderson

Kjerstine Anderson makes her 5th Avenue and ACT debutas Emma Goldman in Assassins. Her regional work includes seven seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Into the Woods (Little Red Riding Hood), The Unfortunates, My Fair Lady, The Servant of Two Masters, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Distracted, Cyrano de Bergerac, As You Like It, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Winters Tale. She was seen at Cal Shakes in King Lear (Cordelia/The Fool) and in the Idaho Shakespeare Festival/Great Lakes Theater Festival in The Taming of The Shrew (Bianca). She was seen recently in Seattle in Book-It Repertory Theater’s Sense and Sensibility (Elinor).

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Meet the Assassin: Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism who also interacted several times with Leon Czolgosz. She has appeared as a character in two musicals, Assassins and Ragtime, and has also appeared as a character in multiple films. Known as “the most dangerous woman in America” for her anarchist and feminist  ideals in a conservative time period, Goldman is now recognized as being far ahead of her time. She was a prolific writer, penning countless pamphlets and articles on a diverse range of subjects, ultimately authoring 6 books.


Come see Assassins, performed at ACT—A Contemporary Theatre. Visit our website, and search March 18-April 7 for best availability.

Photo by Tracy Martin of MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Meet The Assassins: John Hinckley

Meet The Actor: Frederick Hagreen


Frederick Hagreen  is elated to make his ACT debut playing John Hinckley in  Assassins. His recent Seattle credits include critically acclaimed Come From Away (Seattle Rep); American Idiot, Really, Really (ArtsWest); Jasper in Deadland, Pirates of Penzance (5th Avenue Theatre); Mary Poppins, and Les Miserables (Village Theatre), among others.

Meet The Assassin: John Hinckley Jr.

John Hinckley, Jr. developed an obsession with a young Jodie Foster after watching the 1976 film Taxi Driver, about the same time in his life that he was first prescribed anti-depressants and tranquilizers to deal with “emotional issues.” Hinckley was so driven by his obsession with Foster that when she entered Yale University, he quickly moved to New Haven, enrolling in a Yale writing class in order to slip poems and messages under her door. After failing to develop meaningful contact with Foster, he developed a scheme to impress her by assassinating the president. He initially trailed President Jimmy Carter from state to state before being arrested in Nashville on a firearms charge. He returned home, penniless.

Despite continued treatment for his depression, Hinckley’s mental health did not improve and he developed a new plan around newly-elected president Ronald Reagan. On March 30, 1981, Hinckley shot a .22 caliber revolver six times at Reagan as he departed the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.  While he did not hit the president directly, a bullet ricocheted off the limousine door and seriously wounded Regan in the chest. Hinckley’s shots also wounded a police office, a secret service agent, and press secretary James Brady, who was hit in the side of the head and paralyzed on the left side of his body.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982 and has been confined to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. since that time. His obsession with Foster continues today.


Come see Assassins, performed at ACT—A Contemporary Theatre. Visit our website, and search March 18-April 7 for best availability.

Photo by Mark Kitaoka of MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Meet The Assassins: Sara Jane Moore

Meet the actor: Kendra Kassebaum

5th Avenue Theatre regular Kendra Kassebaum joins the cast as Sara Jane Moore. Previous 5th Ave and ACT credits include Jacques Brel…The Secret Garden, A Little Night MusicCompanyCinderella, ELF.   Her work on Broadway and in New York includes Wicked (Glinda), RENT (Maureen), Assassins (Ensemble/Squeaky Fromme us), Leap of Faith (Sam)MTC’s The Receptionist (Lorraine), and Roundabout Theatre’s A Little Night Music (Petra). Her local work includes critically acclaimed Seattle Rep’s Come From Away.  Kassebaum’s regional credits include the Actors Theater of Louisville, Sundance Writer’s Lab, San Jose Rep, Ordway Center, Florida Stage, St. Louis Muny and the Arizona Theatre Company. Her film and recording credits include The Other WomanLeap of Faith and the Grammy-nominated Assassins cast recording.

Meet the Assassin: Sara Jane Moore

Sara Jane Moore made history for trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford just 17 days after Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s attempt in 1975. Moore was an accountant and involved in radical left wing politics.  Because of this connection to radical groups, she became an FBI informant.

The day before the assassination attempt, Moore had been picked up by police on an illegal handgun charge. She was released, but the police confiscated her weapon. The following morning she purchased a new handgun in haste and assumed a place among the crowd outside the St. Francis Hotel. She was about 40 feet away from the president when she fired and narrowly missed—the sites on her new .38 caliber revolver were six inches off! When she realized that she missed, she raised her arm to fire again and Oliver Sipple, a former Marine wrestled her to the ground after knocking the pistol out of her hand.

After her sentencing, Moore stated “Am I sorry I tried? Yes and no. Yes, because it accomplished little except the throw away the rest of my life. And, no, I’m not sorry I tried, because at the time it seemed a correct expression of my anger.” Moore was released on December 31, 2007 a the age of 77 after serving 32 years of her life sentence at the federal women’s prison in Dublin, California.

Come see Assassins, performed at ACT—A Contemporary Theatre. Visit our website, and search March 18-April 7 for best availability.

Photo by Tracy Martin of MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Meet The Assassins: The Proprietor

Meet the Actor: Nick DeSantis

Nick DeSantis joins the cast as The Proprietor in his ACT debut  He has been seen onstage in Seattle at The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theatre and ArtsWest.  His favorite roles include Sunday in the Park… (Franz), ELF (Mr. Greenway), Les Misérables (Thenardier), No Way to Treat A Lady (Kit Gill), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Lumière) and I Am My Own Wife.

Meet the Assassins: The Proprietor

The Proprietor is one of the handful of non-historical figures in Assassins. A gun salesman who provides the characters with their weapons at the beginning of the show, the Proprietor plays on the ambitions, motivations and ramblings of the would-be assassins by acting as the pioneer  of all assassins, enticing them to enter a tawdry carnival. He invites them to play a game, promising that their problems will be solved by killing a president.

Come see Assassins, performed at ACT—A Contemporary Theatre. Visit our website, and search March 17-April 7 for best availability.

Photo by Mark Kitaoka of MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Meet The Assassins: Lee Harvey Oswald

Meet the actor: Nathan Brockett

Nathan Brockett joins the cast as Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald is thrilled to make his ACT and 5th Ave debut with this show and team. He is a recent transplant to the Northwest from Austin, TX where he graduated with a BA in Theatre Performance and just completed a two-year Meisner acting program. Brockett’s Recent Seattle credits include The Rocky Horror Show at SMT, Zapoi! at Annex Theatre, and the Gregory Award-winning production of Into the Woods with STAGEright.

Meet the assassin: Lee Harvey Oswald

Born in 1939, Lee Harvey Oswald was a former US Marine sniper who, following a troubled military service, defected to the Soviet Union before returning to the United States with a Russian wife and baby daughter a few years later. They settled in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas where he struggled to maintain a job and at one point (just eleven days before the assassination), attempted to return to the Soviet Union via Cuba.

On November 22, 1963, according to five different government investigations, Oswald assassinated President Kennedy as he traveled by motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Oswald was charged with the assassination of President Kennedy on November 23 and was murdered the following day by Jack Ruby, a night club owner, while being transferred from the police station to the county jail. Due to Ruby’s actions, Oswald’s motive for assassinating the president was never made clear.

After the assassination Kennedy, presidents stopped riding in open cars, with efforts to make vehicles presidents are transported in more secure from different forms of attack. Some of the features now standard in presidential limos may include armor plating, bullet proof windows, and an interior that is sealed off from the outside world to reduce risks of a chemical attack.

Meet The Assassins: John Wilkes Booth

 

Meet the Actor: Louis Hobson

Louis Hobson is a regular on The 5th Avenue stage, with performances in Jacques Brel, Jasper in Deadland (cast album), A Room with a View, Spamalot, West Side Story, Miss Saigon, Hair, and Pippin. His Broadway credits and Cast Albums include Next to Normal (2010 Pulitzer Prize), Bonnie & Clyde, Leap of Faith, and The People in the Picture. Hobson can also be seen in films and on television including C.O.G. (Sundance 2013), Laggies (Sundance 2014), Lucky Them (TIFF 2014), The Man in the High Castle (Amazon), and opposite Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic (Sundance 2016).  Hobson is the president & co-founder of Indie Theatrical, with stage and entertainment properties currently in development in the U.S., Asia and South America. indietheatrical.com

Meet the Assassin: John Wilkes Booth

Arguably the most well-known presidential assassin in our nation’s history, John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor and Confederate sympathizer. Born in 1838 into a prominent theatrical family, Booth made his stage debut at the age of 17 and quickly developed a reputation as an outrageous scene stealer, strikingly handsome and intensely physical onstage.

As Civil War began to tear the country apart, Booth continued to perform extensively across the country. He was very vocal about his opposition to Abraham Lincoln and his support for slavery, and at one point was arrested in St. Louis  for “treasonous remarks” against the president and the government. In late 1864, he even developed a plot to kidnap President Lincoln and smuggle him into Richmond in an effort to bring victory to the South. A last minute change in plans on the part of the president foiled the plan.

On the morning of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Booth learned that the President and First Lady would be attending a performance of the play Our American Cousin that very evening.  Fueled by this disdain for Lincoln, Booth would become the first person in the history of United States to assassinate a president, shooting the President in the back of the head.

Photo by MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY