Friday, May 28, 2010

High School Musical Awards happening soon!

Along with the glowing reviews for Candide (including this one from The Seattle Times), we’ve been getting some good coverage for the upcoming 5th Avenue High School Musical Awards:

Seattle Times

and some select articles from regional papers:

PNW Local News

Tri City Herald

Broadway Hour

The Olympian

Issaquah Press

It’s a great time to be part of The 5th Avenue family!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Giveaway for Kooza Tickets!

Update: Contest has ended - congrats to winner Rebekah K.

Want to check out the new Cirque du Soleil show, KOOZA? Email by 4pm today with the subject line KOOZA to enter to win a pair of tickets to the opening night premiere performance next Wednesday, June 2 @ 7:30 PM at Marymoor Park in Redmond. One entry per person. For details on the show, click here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Highlights of rehearsal from Lauren Smith, performance intern

written by Lauren Smith (Ensemble, Candide). Being a performance intern, she gets to be a part of our production of Candide while getting college credit.

An internship is often thought of as a thankless job. After spending the last month as a performance intern (and the last five in the Education Department) at The 5th Avenue Theatre, I will strongly disagree. The rehearsal process for Candide has been undeniably demanding. However, it has been full of many delights that make all of the hard work worthwhile. Naturally, I’m thrilled to be singing with some of the most talented actors in the area in my very favorite theater. That is an enormous joy.

Here are a few of the smaller joys that make me love what I do:

David Armstrong is a graceful man. Watching him decide what steps to include in “Easily Assimilated” was surely a highlight.

Hearing Anne Allgood’s accent in the initial reading. Beyond hilarious.

Listening to Laura Griffith sing “Glitter and be Gay” for the first time.(And the second. And the twentieth.

Congratulating our four Cornish interns on their graduation.

The stage managers really take care of us! I was pleased to see stations filled with pencils, pens, highlighters, cough drops and water set up for us throughout the rehearsal space. They really think of everything!

Being treated to a spontaneous performance of “All That Jazz” (complete with choreography) from Stanley and David P. spurred by Stanley’s sultry wall slide.

Joel Fram is not only a fabulous music director; he is King of the Camera. It’s a lot of fun watching him snap photos of goings-on onstage and off.

Mike McGowan frequently describing delicious dishes he cooks at home. Someone get that man a show on the Food Network!

The Female Ensemble’s dressing room is where it’s at. Our resident DJ, Corinna Lapid-Munter, is always willing to spin a “get pumped” tune to get us geared for our 10-out-of-12s.

Tech rehearsals can be rough, but I’m constantly in awe of what the designers and hardworking crew members have come up with. It’s incredible watching the tech elements build on top of each other.

After a long rehearsal, there’s nothing like a long dinner break to unwind, bond with the cast, and take advantage of the nearby happy hour appetizers!

The 5th Avenue’s house is easily one of the most gorgeous I’ve seen, so I was surprised that I fell even more in love with it when all of the lights were out. Standing on the stage, all I could see were the footlights illuminating the aisles. My stomach did back flips.

Many of our actors go shirtless at various points in the show. It’s very endearing watching them huddle for warmth.

Some members of the cast set out to rename Captain Vanderdendur. A couple of the more popular renditions included Captain Chicken Tender and Captain Kindergartener.

The entire Wandelprobe was a pleasure. The orchestra is jaw-dropping phenomenal. I couldn’t tell you how many people teared up when we ran through “Make Our Garden Grow.”

I’m so excited to open this beautiful production and I’m beyond honored to be part of it. Here’s to many more delightful moments in Candide!

Tickets to Candide are still available! For a special social media discount, click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The joys and challenges of music rehearsal

written by Billie Wildrick (Paquette in CANDIDE)

When someone is trying to calm you down and they say “go to your happy place," most people go to a tropical beach or a mountain vista or a cabin by the fire. I go to music rehearsal. I love music rehearsal more than maybe any other part of my job. And I love it most especially with The 5th’s own spectacular Ian Eisendrath (On the Town) and the wonderful Joel Fram (Candide). And it’s not because they’re mellow, gooey and kind. (Joel introduces himself at a meet and greet as Music Dictator.) But rather, it’s because they both work incredibly hard and in great detail on the score, and they expect the same investment from their singers. It is transcendent, the musicality specificity of emotional intention can bring to a score. The audience probably doesn’t know how much they have a musical director to thank when they can hear and understand every lyric in a show – how much a crisp, snotty “k” at the end of a word can provide in story telling.

Here is a copy of my music for the very last 12 bars of Candide – 12 bars out of a 300 page score.

Every circle and highlight and dynamic marking must be memorized along with the lyrics, notes and rhythms. And I’m sure there will be a few more marks before opening night. But that depth of technical precision and emotional investment is what makes it thrilling to the ear and the heart. Ian Eisendrath’s stirring work on “Sunday” in Sunday in the Park with George is another great example of this.

It’s such hard, detailed work requiring skill, practice and lots of focus. But for a singer who has strived and studied to speak the language of song, it’s like a student who fiercely loves and studies French getting to go live in Paris. Someone recently asked me what my favorite part of theatre is. Music rehearsal, and scene work for that matter, is better than applause and lights and costumes and a well-landed laugh. And I think that falling in love with the work and not the feedback or perceived “glamour” is what makes my life in the theatre so wonderful and satisfying. I’m a lucky girl!

Special blog offer for Candide still available. Details here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Contest Time - Karaoke Contest

Join Jet City Improv this Sunday for their second annual Karaoke Fundraiser, benefiting Wing It Productions and its Education Program for At-Risk Youth. Witness a hilarious karaoke competition and participate in their silent auction to help support the education program that brings free weekly improv classes to homeless and incarcerate youth.

5th Avenue Theatre fans are invited to enter to win 2 tickets to the event (value $40) by writing a comment on this blog, posting a note on our facebook page wall or sending us a message on twitter. Be sure to mention "karaoke" when you enter! Winner will be chosen at noon on Friday!

Are you a karaoke performer? They still have a few performance spots available! Visit their site for info on how to enter! They have great prizes for the contestants!

For more details and tickets, click here. Tickets are $20 and include one drink. 100% of the proceeds go to Wing It Productions' At Risk Youth Education Program.

For the Karaoke Facebook event page, click here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Vote once a day and enter to win a VIP package!

Each day you vote for The 5th, let us know you voted on the wall of our Facebook page or fill out the form on our website and you’ll be entered into a drawing for 10 tickets for you and your friends to come see Candide and have a private backstage tour! We will give away two of these packages! Your vote will help The 5th restore the luster of our magnificent lobby. Click here for more details and pictures of the project and don’t forget to VOTE!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Walk-on Role Experience!

by Gary Fuller, Board Member, on his experience with a walk-on role in On The Town

Imagine being a ‘Star’ of a 5th Avenue Theatre production! Imagine the cast of On the Town stopping by your dressing room for a photo-op! Imagine being on stage in front of 2,000 people in a glorious musical!

It happened to us last Friday when we appeared in walk-on roles during the Museum scene in On the Town. We were met at the Stage Door by Lonnie Angle, Special Projects Manager at The 5th Avenue and Jennifer Richard from Team Photogenic who was there to capture all of our backstage experiences. We signed the call sheet and were escorted to our dressing room, complete with our names on the door, a beautiful floral bouquet, special framed Playbill with OUR names above the title and a poster signed by the cast. After changing into our costumes we were met by our cast wrangler, Gabe Cory, who took us on stage, behind the closed curtain, to walk thru our role while the evening’s audience could be heard filling the auditorium on the other side of the curtain. Gabe explained all we had to do was keep out of the way of the moving 30’ tower which would be coming off stage as we entered, watch out for the dinosaur which was dropping from the fly space above us, follow Rich Gray’s lead to the very front of the stage as he led our ‘tour group’ through the museum, and, oh yes, do a stylized shuffle as we walked in unison with our group. Were our hearts racing a little faster as we realized we were going to actually perform? You bet!

While on stage, Laurel Horton, head carpenter at The 5th, described how the motorized set operated and how much activity goes on back stage during a performance. Although the stage looks pretty big when you’re sitting in the audience, it’s actually filled with scenery, props, cast, crew and dressing areas during the show. There’s not an inch of space that is not being used.

Since our scene was not at the top of the show, we relaxed in the Crew lounge and watched the show on a monitor, hearing all the scene, lighting and sound cues. At our appointed time, we were led to our place on back stage to join our fellow cast members. Rich Gray reminded us to follow him, did a warm up joke, and then we were ON! I’m not sure we really remember anything that happened while we were on stage other than we didn’t run into any scenery or fall into the orchestra pit. It’s very easy to see how actors can love their work. There is something magical about being on stage, filled with the brightest of lights and hearing the laugher of an audience. We also gained a greater appreciation of what it takes to be a performer. It’s far more than having acting, singing and dancing skills. Every moment of a production is so carefully choreographed and every single person on stage needs to be in the right place at the right time.

After successfully exiting the stage we were escorted back our dressing room, where we changed back into our street attire and then were taken to our seats in the theater to watch the remainder of Act I. At Intermission, we greeted our ‘Fans’ in the Producer’s Lounge at a champagne and dessert reception. We were grateful for all their kind words and allowing us to enjoy our brief moment in the spotlight.

Did we have a great time? Yes we did. Would we do it again? We’d be there in a heartbeat! We have so many people to thank for making our walk-on role an evening we will never forget.

Walk-On Roles are available at A NIGHT AT THE 5TH, our annual Fundraising Gala taking place on June 19, 2010. This fabulous experience is auctioned off during the Live Auction portion of the evening! If you’re interested in attending the gala or want more information, click here or contact Lonnie Angle in the Development Office at 206.625.1418 x271 or via e-mail at