‘Kinky Boots,’ ‘Carousel’ in 5th Ave’s 2014-15 lineup
Also on next season’s roster at the 5th Avenue in Seattle: the premiere of “Something Rotten!,” a musical comedy; “A Chorus Line”; “Grease.”
Seattle Times theater critic
“Kinky Boots,” the crowd-pleasing show honored with six 2013 Tony Awards, including one for best new Broadway musical, will be part of the 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2014-15 season, the theater announced Sunday night at an event for 5th Avenue subscribers.
The national tour of “Kinky Boots” features a score by Cyndi Lauper, and a book by Harvey Fierstein, about a drag performer who helps save a struggling shoe factory by designing some flashy footwear. It’s based on a 2005 film comedy of the same title. The 5th Avenue engagement runs Oct. 7-26.
Also on the season roster is the world premiere of “Something Rotten!,” a new tuner set in Renaissance England. “It’s about these guys who are trying to write a hit play but can’t compete with this very successful playwright William Shakespeare,” explains 5th Avenue Theatre executive producer and artistic director David Armstrong. “So they invent the first musical. It’s very, very funny.”
The show was cowritten by screenwriter-film director Karey Kirkpatrick (“Chicken Run,” “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) and British author John O’Farrell, with a score by Kirkpatrick and his brother Wayne Kirkpatrick, a Nashville record producer who has penned songs for Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and other country stars.
The director will be Casey Nicholaw, who staged Broadway’s megahit “The Book of Mormon.” “Something Rotten!” plays April 29-March 24, 2015.
Also in the 2014-15 lineup are new productions (featuring mostly local performers) of more familiar fare.
The season opens with a revival of the groundbreaking backstage musical “A Chorus Line,” using a Seattle cast but the original direction and choreography by Michael Bennett. (Sept. 3-28)
“A Christmas Story, the Musical,” which had a pre-Broadway tryout in 2010 at the 5th Avenue, will return in an encore staging. The show was inspired by the movie “A Christmas Story,” which was based on the childhood stories of radio raconteur Jean Shepherd. (Nov. 25-Dec. 31, 2014)
The poignant Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “Carousel” will be seen in a fresh mounting by 5th Avenue associate artistic director Bill Berry, with dances by Donald Byrd, the controversial head of Seattle’s Spectrum Dance Theatre. Byrd caused a stir in 2010 with some provocatively erotic numbers he devised for a 5th Avenue production of another R & H favorite, “Oklahoma!” (“Carousel” runs Feb. 5-March 1, 2015)
David Armstrong will stage a rare local version of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well & Living in Paris,” a cabaret-style tribute to the memorable songs of late French composer-singer Brel. The coproduction with A Contemporary Theatre will be presented at ACT, March 7-May 17, 2015.
Also on the schedule is a reprise of “Grease,” the musical that lampoons 1950s high-school culture and teen movie musicals. (July 9-Aug. 2, 2015)
According to Armstrong, the 5th Avenue Theatre retains one of the largest subscriber bases in the country (24,400 season ticket-holders). It operates on the largest budget of any Seattle resident theater, about $25 million annually.
Subscription packages for the 2014-15 season are now on sale; single tickets will go on sale on a later date (206-625-1900 or www.5thavenue.org).
Misha Berson: email@example.com
Information in this article, originally published Feb. 24, 2014, was corrected Feb. 24, 2014. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Casey Nicholaw was the director of “Secondhand Lions” at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Scott Schwartz directed that show.