Meet the Dreamers: Eric and Marlette

Two more cast members are running where the brave dare not go: Eric Ankrim as Duke/Carrasco and Marlette Buchanan as Maria/Housekeeper!

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Eric Ankrim

Eric will be very familiar to our audiences. You may have seen him last year at The 5th in both our revisal production of Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon and as clever ladder-climber J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (for which he received a Gregory Award nomination). Other 5th Avenue credits include Jacques Brel… (also Gregory Award-nominated), CarouselFirst Date (another Gregory Award nomination!), Oklahoma, RENTInto the WoodsThe Rocky Horror Show and Miss Saigon. After originating the role of Aaron in First Date in Seattle, Eric also went with the show to Broadway!

molm_marlette-buchanan-webMarlette Buchanan

You may recognize Marlette from her previous role treading the boards at The 5th in Carousel. She’s been seen in many other regional productions, including Violet (ArtsWest), Passing Strange (ACT/Sidecountry), Once On This Island (Village), Ain’t Misbehavin’RagtimePorgy and Bess (Seattle Opera), Tin Pan Lady and Show Boat (Village). You may also have seen her in numerous television and film roles, including The DetailsFreedom Riders and Seattle’s Stars. Marlette is a graduate of Boston University and Fisk University.


Don’t miss Eric, Marlette and the rest of our dreamers in this epic, inspirational musical. Man of La Mancha runs October 7-30, 2016. Click here to find a full cast listing, more about the show and to purchase tickets.

Meet the Dreamers: Allen and Jose

Two more cast members are fighting the unbeatable foe with us: Allen Fitzpatrick as The Governor/Innkeeper and Jose J. Gonzales as The Barber!

molm_allen-fitzpatrick-webAllen Fitzpatrick

Allen is no stranger to our stage. You saw him most recently in our revisal production of Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon last season, and as the big boss himself, J.B. Biggley in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying last season. Allen has over 40 appearances on Seattle stages to his name, 22 of those at The 5th (including Sweeney in Sweeney Todd). Allen has also been in 10 Broadway shows, including Les Misérables42nd StreetDriving Miss DaisyThe Scarlet PimpernelPassionMemphisSweet Smell of Success and Damn Yankees. He is the Artistic Director of the Icicle Creek New Play Festival. You can find out more about him on his website.

molm_jose-j-gonzales-webJose J. Gonzales

Jose is making his 5th Avenue debut with Man of La Mancha. He is a professional jazz pianist and singer, and has been involved in the theater scene in Seattle since 1989. His credits include In the HeightsThe Gypsy KingIn the Penal ColonyA Streetcar Named Desire and Nine.

 


Don’t miss Allen, Jose and the rest of our dreamers in this epic, inspirational musical. Man of La Mancha runs October 7-30, 2016. Click here to find a full cast listing, more about the show and to purchase tickets.

 

Meet the Director: David Armstrong – The Secret Garden

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David Armstrong will be directing our spring production of The Secret Garden, which is a co-production with D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company being performed there this fall. He recently directed our revisal production of Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon.

What has been your favorite directorial experience?
Every show is my favorite when I am doing it but looking back I would say that our 5th Avenue production of Candide was one of my favorite experiences. The musicals that are very open to interpretation are usually the most rewarding.

Why this show? What is intriguing or interesting about it to you?
There are very few plays or musicals that I have directed more than once over the course of my career, but this will be my fourth time directing The Secret Garden (although I have not directed it since 1999). Everything about this show draws me in—the moving story, the incredible music and lyrics and most important the effect it has on the audience. To make people both laugh and cry in the same show is very satisfying. The musical expands several of the narrative threads and minor characters, and amplifies the Gothic mystery aspects of the novel. Like most stories, in that genre, our heroine Mary Lennox is brought to a big, dark, gloomy mansion—where secrets hide behind every door—and is thrust into a complicated relationship with a moody, tortured, romantic hero. Continue reading “Meet the Director: David Armstrong – The Secret Garden

Meet the Dreamers: Eric, Sarah and Wilson

Continuing our introductions of the amazing Man of La Mancha cast, here are three more of our dreamers: Eric Esteb, Sarah Rose Davis and Wilson Mendieta!

Eric Esteb

molm_eric-esteb-webWe are glad to have Eric back with us for this production. Most recently you may have seen him in our revisal production of Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon, but he’s been on our stage a number of times over the years. When not performing at The 5th, Eric performs in Duo Rêves as an aerialist and dancer with his partner Quynbi. See video of their work together at duoreves.com. Eric will be stepping in as Juan, in addition to contributing to the ensemble.

 

molm_sarah-rose-davis-webSarah Rose Davis

Sarah may be familiar to audiences at The 5th: she starred as Rosemary in our production of How to Succeed… last season! Other 5th Ave credits include A Chorus Line and Grease. You may have also seen her as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at Village Theatre. Find out more about Sarah at her website. Sarah will be portraying Fermina in the show, in addition to her part in the ensemble.

Wilson Mendieta

We are stoked to have Wilson in Man of La Mancha for his 5th Ave debut! Wilson has been seen on Broadway or on tour in Man of La ManchaBombay DreamsChicago. He’s been off-Broadway in Celia. You may also have seen him in one of his TV roles, on Law & OrderAll My ChildrenDancing with the Stars. Wilson is the Director of the Musical Theater Program at the University of Washington. Find out more about Wilson at his website. He will be Tenorio in our production, as well as his role in the ensemble.


Don’t miss Eric, Sarah, Wilson and the rest of our dreamers in this epic, classic musical. Man of La Mancha runs October 7-30, 2016. Click here to find a full cast listing, more about the show and to purchase tickets.

The Life of A ‘Revisal’: An Interview With the Paint Your Wagon Creative Team

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Over the course of several years, Director David Armstrong, Writer Jon Marans, Music Supervisor and Vocal Arranger Ian Eisendrath and Choreographer Josh Rhodes worked together to develop and re-write a new version of the Lerner and Loewe musical, Paint Your Wagon. I sat down with them recently to talk about the process of recreating a classic. Continue reading “The Life of A ‘Revisal’: An Interview With the Paint Your Wagon Creative Team”

Meet the Pioneers: Armando and Jennifer

Joining Robert Cuccioli and Kendra Kassebaum are our younger couple-in-love: Armando (Justin Gregory Lopez) and Jennifer (Kirsten deLohr Helland). Armando is an arriero–which is kind of a pioneer-style mailman–who is begrudgingly befriended by the surly Ben Rumson (Cuccioli). Armando is down on his luck having recently lost his mule when Rumson stumbles upon him and helps him get to No Name City. Turns out, Ben has a young, beautiful, assertive daughter called Jennifer. When Jennifer gets to town, it’s basically love at first sight between her and Armando. Gorgeous duets follow. But will Ben be on board with their love? How will Armando tell his new best friend Ben that he’s in love with Ben’s daughter? These are the questions.

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We are pleased to welcome Justin Gregory Lopez, making his 5th Avenue debut! Justin worked on our developmental lab of Paint Your Wagon last fall, but is an actor and award-nominated nightclub entertainer usually based in New York. Justin has been seen in the Off-Broadway production of bare, and regionally in productions of In The HeightsEvitaThe Fantasticks. Justin also worked on the Broadway megahit Hamilton when it was still in development and called The Hamilton Mixtape. Justin can be seen in film and TV as a guest star on Law & Order: SVU and in the film Learning to Drive starring Ben Kingsley.

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Kirsten deLohr Helland is portraying Jennifer Rumson in this production, and will be quite familiar to 5th and Seattle audiences. Kirsten joined us earlier this year as Maria in The Sound of Music and last season as Rizzo in Grease. Around town, she was recently seen in American Idiot at ArtsWest and in Lizard Boy at Seattle Rep (written by and co-starring Kirsten’s bestie Justin Huertas). Kirsten is also half of the folk-rock duo Hanschen & Ilse with Justin.

Don’t miss Justin and Kirsten, and all the other gold rushers, in our ‘revisal’ production of Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. The show runs June 2 through June 25. Visit our website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Photos by MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Meet the Pioneers: Cayla Woodling

Performing opposite previously announced leading man Robert Cuccioli is 5th Avenue Theatre regular Kendra Kassebaum, joining the cast as Cayla Woodling. In this newly updated book and storyline, Cayla is one of two wives of Jameson Woodling. When the Woodlings arrive in town to gamble, Ben Rumson (Cuccioli) doesn’t appreciate the way that Jameson treats his ladies. Turns out, Cayla doesn’t appreciate the way that she’s treated either. The next day, when the Woodlings come back to cheat the other gamblers out of their money to recoup the losses of the previous day, Cayla stands up for herself and does whatever she has to do to escape Jameson’s clutches.

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Kassebaum will be familiar to 5th Avenue audiences. She just finished up her role as Sara Jane Moore in our ACT c0-production of Assassins. 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.

Don’t miss Kendra, and the whole flock of pioneers, in our ‘revisal’ production of Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. The show runs June 2 through June 25. Visit our website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Photo by MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY

NextFest at The 5th

NextFest 2015 BeatsvilleWhat a thrilling summer it was atThe 5th Avenue Theatre! Over four weekends in July and August, The 5th held its first-ever New Works festival–NextFest!  Circles donors had the opportunity see and hear eight new musicals at various stages of development—from a first read-through to a fully staged studio presentation. The festival allowed our donors a chance to see and hear the work of established and up-and-coming writers, lyricists, & composers while fully engaging in the development of new musicals.

Continue reading “NextFest at The 5th”