Broadway in Seattle
Whether you live in Seattle or are just visiting, you definitely ought to consider experiencing some theater. Seattle, Washington has a thriving Broadway scene and offers plays and musicals for just about everyone. Seattle is located between Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and Lake Washington and is home to two of the best coffee companies in the United States – Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee. Under that mild, cloudy climate has grown a magnificent community of performing artists that is extremely popular, and is a famous stop for national Broadway plays and musicals. Seattle has around twenty live theater venues, a number of them being associated with fringe theatre, but many that host national Broadway tours.
The magnificent 5th Avenue Theater has been around since the roaring 20s, captivating their audiences with vaudeville shows featuring top performers. It went from vaudeville to showingmovies until it started to decline in the late 1970s. Fortunately, the theater recovered and following a $2.6 million renovation, re-opened in 1980. Today it hosts top quality musical revivals, Broadway shows and touring Broadway musicals. It also puts forward a number of education and outreach programs.
The 5th Avenue Theater currently hosts approximately 150 musical performances on stage each year. The 2007-2008 schedules include a wonderful listing of top shows including: the hugely popular musical Jersey Boys, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Whistle Down The Wind and The Four Seasons.
Operated by the Seattle Theatre Group, a not-for-profit performing arts organization, the Paramount & Moore Theatres present vibrant programming and maintains an extensive Education and Community program.
The Paramount & Moore Theatres is currently hosting Young Frankenstein, the inspired remake of the Mary Shelley classic created by funnyman Mel Brooks, It follows the journey of Frederick Frankenstein, who in present day is an esteemed New York brain surgeon and professor. He inherits the dreaded Frankenstein castle and laboratory and faces a life changing dilemma”. Does he remain a respected professor in New York or does he stay in Transylvania and carry on his grandfather, Victor Frankenstein’s insane experiments? This story is told as comedy and as a result presents a brilliant and entertaining show that has remained a classic since its inception. It features music and lyrics by the three-time Tony Award winner Mel Brooks and is directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. Even if you didn’t care for the original Frankenstein, if you’ve never seen the Mel Brooks version, you won’t want to miss it. It is funny, bright and well worth it. You will have a wonderful evening of song and wit.
Taproot Theatre celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2006. Its mission statement has remained simple: it exists to create theater that explores the beauty and questions of life while providing hope to our search for meaning.
With that said, Taproot presents a number of wonderful shows like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Importance of Being Earnest, an Oscar Wilde classic, and the Farndale classic retelling of A Christmas Carol. When the Farndale Dramatic Society gets into it, anything can happen; missing actors, Santa Claus dropping in and audience participation that makes any performance memorable and fun.
The 2007-2008 seasons begins in October with the Bernard Herman Symphony, an outreach concert for the family featuring Mozart, Rachmaninoff, with a Piano Concerto No. 2 in C with Denice Grant, as well as the music of Hermann. It will be held at the Meany Theatre on October 21st. Bernard Herman is famous for composing musical scores for movies such as Taxi Driver and Cape Fear.
Another must-see live performance is the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker Ballet. There is an Evening of Opera featuring singers from the prestigious Seattle’s Opera Young Artists singing arias from Mozart, and later in the season, Vivaldi, and Schurmann’s Six Studies of Francis Bacon and more. If you love fine music, this is a must stop on your tour of Seattle.
Another hilarious musical showing in Seattle is Spamalot. Directed by none other than Mike Nichols, Monty Python’s Spamalot features a new score with lyrics and music by Idle and composed by Jon Du Prez who also composed “A fish Called Wanda”. If you’re a Monty Python fan and enjoyed their Holy Grail movie, then you are absolutely going to love the mirthful stage version. Following the legendary tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, this comic classic once again “raises silliness to an art form”, recreating their no-holds-barred movie on stage in what’s guaranteed to be a smash hit.
If you are going to Seattle or live there, you are privy to a thriving and vibrant theater scene that offers everything from ballet, symphony and opera to serious theatre and uproarious musical. Whether you are tourist or resident, you owe it to yourself to take a gander at the performing arts offerings. Seattle is often regarded as the birthplace of grunge music, and has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption and constant rain. It is becoming known for its theater, arts and performances.