You may not consider this "breaking news," but I do—we have the inside scoop about the 5th Avenue Theatre's next season. No other media outlets have this yet. The 5th is going to make the official announcement at 10 am, at which point tickets will go on sale.
The next season will include a reimagined staging of Ragtime, a musical rarely produced because of its sheer size (more on that in a moment); INTERMISSION! THE MUSICAL!, written by the guy who wrote the Airplane and Naked Gun movies (who's also going to direct it); The Hunchback of Notre Dame, with music by Alan Mencken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz; Something Rotten!, which was supposed to be in the 5th Avenue's 2014/2015 season but was canceled because it went straight to Broadway; Ride the Cyclone, a co-production with ACT Theatre of a musical described as "satirical, macabre, creepy, campy, and hilarious"; Kiss Me, Kate, the Cole Porter classic; and Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, featuring almost two-dozen Irving Berlin songs.
I dug up a little bit more info about each production—here's what we know.
September 12 to October 1, 2017
In addition to Adam Pascal (who played Roger in the original production of Rent and who is wearing that gold codpiece above), the show also stars Rob McClure and Josh Grisetti as two brothers who are trying to write a hit play in the 1590s, but are stuck in Shakespeare's shadow. When a soothsayer tells them that the future of theater involves singing, dancing, and acting at the same time, they set out to write the world’s very first musical.
October 13 to November 5, 2017
A source at the theater says: "This is a musical that is rarely produced at the professional level due to the sheer size of it. It calls for a nearly 30-person cast and the orchestra is monstrous—not to mention the budget for sets and costumes. And then, recently, Theatre Latte Da in Minneapolis produced a streamlined version that was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. It had something like a 16-person cast and very little in the way of set.... We have hired that director, Peter Rothstein, to do that again for Seattle." But it will have a Seattle cast.
Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn
November 24 to December 31, 2017
A musical based on the film by Gordon Greenburg and Chad Hodge, it features songs by Irving Berlin such as "White Christmas" and "Easter Parade." It's going to be the 5th's holiday show, directed by David Armstrong.
INTERMISSION! THE MUSICAL!
February 9 to March 4, 2018
This is the world premiere of a new musical by Jerry Zucker, who wrote Airplane and The Naked Gun. He's also directing it. According to a source, Zucker "had been approached for years to turn Airplane into a musical, which he thought would be a terrible idea. And then he started thinking about 'What if I did write a musical?' And that's where this show came from. It will be very much in that over-the-top comedic vein. Two brothers get one of those emails telling them that a distant relative in a foreign country you've never heard of died, and left them a bunch of money. All they have to do is send their checking account and routing number and they will get this huge inheritance. But the brothers are orphans and are so excited to find out they had any family in the world at all that they buy plane tickets and fly to this country, fall in love, [and] get swept up in a military coup..."
Ride the Cyclone
March 9 to May 20, 2018
Here's a description of the plot: "When the St. Cassian High School Chamber Choir boarded the Cyclone roller coaster, the front axle broke, sending them to their tragic demise. Trapped in fantastical carnival-like purgatory, the recently deceased teens discover a mechanical fortune teller, who invites each of them to tell their tragic stories of a life interrupted, with the promise of a prize like no other." It will be directed by Rachel Rockwell.
Kiss Me, Kate
April 6 to April 29, 2018
The 5th is producing the Cole Porter classic as part of the city-wide Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare festival, with opulent sets and costumes from the critically acclaimed production by the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.
Hunchback of Notre Dame
June 1 to June 24, 2018
Says my source: "This musical, while it has all of the goods from the Disney movie, is not an adaptation of the Disney film. It stays more true to the book and is darker than the Disney film. This will be directed by Glenn Casale, who directed Little Mermaid for us." God, The Little Mermaid at the 5th was so good. No word yet on casting, but I'm told it's possible the 5th might be able to get John McGinty, a deaf actor who played the role recently in Sacramento—which was "the first time a deaf actor has played the role," according to the Sacramento Bee. Quasimodo is deaf.
Tickets go on sale today at 10 am at the 5th Avenue Theatre.