Tag Archives: 5th Avenue Theatre

Gregory Award Voting!

2014 Gregory Awards People’s Choice 

Did you see Oliver! in November or December of 2013 at The 5th Avenue Theatre?  Help us nominate Grayson J. Smith as The Artful Dodger in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2013 holiday production of Oliver!!

Simply click here to be taken to the TPS Gregory Award nomination page to nominate Grayson J. Smith under the “Actor in Musical” category.  Voting ends Monday September 1st.

See Grayson J. Smith’s website here.

Here’s what people said about Grayson’s performance as The Artful Dodger:

“As the Artful Dodger who leads Oliver into the gang, Grayson J. Smith nails the character and proves an able young song and dance man.”

Talkin Broadway, David Edward Hughes

 

“… Artful Dodger (Grayson J. Smith) steals one scene after another.”

Seattle Weekly Arts, Kevin Phinney

 

“…“Consider Yourself” (led by young Grayson J. Smith’s delightfully raffish Artful Dodger)…”

The Seattle Times

 

“Oliver is at the heart of the play, but at the center of it’s spirit is the consummate performer Grayson J. Smith, the 12 year-old who plays the beloved character of the Artful Dodger.  Smith is the performer who puts it all together, not only is he a triple threat of singer/actor/dancer, but he exudes the youthful spirit of can-do-anything that is demanded by the role, and indeed, by the whole show.”

Drama in the Hood, Sarah Woolf

 

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Aladdin on Broadway

aladdin

The classic 1992 Disney film, Aladdin, has been transformed into a magical Broadway musical!  The musical debuted in 2011 at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.  In 2013 it ran a pre-Broadway tryout in Toronto.  On March 20 2014, the musical opened on Broadway in the New Amsterdam Theatre and is enjoying favorable reviews.

Aladdin, of course, is the story of a street urchin who falls in love with a princess.  Unfortunately, she can only marry a prince.  Solution?  Find a magical genie in a lamp that can grant wishes!

The cast includes Adam Jacobs as Aladdin (Broadway: Les Miserables, The Lion King), Jonathon Freeman as Jafar, who is also the voice of Jafar in the film, James Monroe Iglehart as Genie (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Courtney Heights as Jasmine (In the Heights, Mamma Mia!).  The cast also includes Seattle actors Brandon O’Neill and Don Darryl Rivera.

The cast recording will be released on June 17 2014, and is now available for pre-order.

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3 Gobblers…A Film Based on a True Story

3 Gobblers

3 Gobblers is a upcoming film set in 1935 about three brothers after being run out of Texas during the dust bowl.  The brothers live in a camp in California with hardly any food.  The story begins a few days before Thanksgiving, when the boys overhear their parents talking about not having anything special for Thanksgiving dinner.  Determined to find a solution, the brothers head out and happen to find three turkeys wandering around near a farm.  They decide to clobber the turkeys and take them home to surprise their mother.   Consequences come when the sheriff arrives.

It is based on a true story written by Joe and June Bussard.  3 Gobblers screenplay was written by Ashley Scott, who is also directing the film.

The cast includes Michael J. Smith as the boys’ father, Ollie Bussard, and Grayson J. Smith as the oldest brother, Ralph Bussard.  Grayson J. Smith recently appeared in the world premiere production of Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure at The 5th Avenue Theatre and will be performing as The Artful Dodger in The 5th Avenue’s upcoming production of Oliver!.  The son of Ralph Bussard, Harold Bussard, is the Executive Producer for the film, as well as part of the cast.  Victoria L. Smith, author of The By Kids for Kids Series, is also in the film as a camper.  Benson Kain will be portraying Joe Bussard, the youngest brother.

Grayson J. Smith is my younger brother, and we are so excited to begin shooting!

To learn more and to contribute to the making of the film, click:  “3 Gobblers Arctic Star Productions”

To view production photos and see what else Arctic Star Productions is up to, visit their Facebook page here.

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Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure

On September 7th at 8pm at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington the world premier musical, Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure performed for the very first time.

Based on the 2003 movie, young Walter is sent by his mother to live with two grouchy great-uncles he’s never met, he feels all alone.  But then Uncle Garth tells Walter a tall tale of his and Uncle Hub’s adventures in foreign countries to raise his spirits.  The story fills Walter’s summer with excitement.  It’s a tale of a princess, a sultan, treasure, sword fights and true love!  The story is so extraordinary, could it actually have happened?

The stellar cast includes Johnny Rabe as Walter, Gregg Edelman, Mark Jacoby, Jason Danieley, Jenny Powers, Kevin Earley, Kendra Kassebaum, and Sophia Anne Caruso.  A stunning ensemble backs up the leading characters.

Grayson J. Smith, recently seen as Michael Hobbs in ELF – The Musical at The 5th Avenue Theatre, is in the show as Walter’s understudy.  He also appears nightly as part of the ensemble.

The book is by Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes with music and lyrics by Zachary and Weiner.

I have seen the show twice, and it is truly astounding and wonderful!  Don’t miss out on this amazing adventure!  Tickets are being sold for the remaining performance.  Click the above Secondhand Lions picture to visit the 5th Avenue’s website.

Many criticize the fact that there is no lion in the show.  If we recall, the lion plays a very small part in the movie.  Some may argue that the lion saves Walter from Stan, Mae’s evil boyfriend.  In the musical, the uncles save Walter from Stan.  This result is even more satisfying.  The uncles are given a new fight, they protect their great-nephew without regard for the personal cost.  The lion in the movie was an interesting addition, but not a necessity for the musical.  This is evident, because the absence of a real lion in the musical does not damage or confuse the story line.

In reality, the logistical difficulty of a lion on stage is enormous.  A lion on stage with dozens of actors, crew members, and over 2,000 people in the audience, would create an unmanageable safety issue for all concerned.  It would be far too dangerous. Furthermore, if not a lion, some have suggested use of a puppet lion.  If one saw a puppet lion on the stage you would criticize it’s unrealistic appearance far more than no lion at all.  The title is Secondhand Lions, so why don’t you expect two lions then in the movie?

Metaphors are common in the arts, and the metaphor in Secondhand Lions is clear to me. I will explain the meaning of the title.  The “lions” the title refers to in both the musical and the movie are the two uncles who are grizzled and worn.  They fought a score of battles long ago, but now, old and grey, they can’t fight great battles anymore.  Walter turns up and gives them something new to live for.  They are “secondhand lions”, used already and being used once more to raise Walter into a fine man.  The title does not refer to a lion with four paws and a mane, as those without an ounce of imagination believe.

Below are links to performances of numbers from the musical by the cast:

See Zachary and Weiner perform “Sand” from Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure. 

See Johnny Rabe perform “Do Something for Me” from Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure.

See Johnny Rabe perform “Just Right” from Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure.

See Kevin Earley and Jason Danieley perform “Unlike Anyone I’ve Ever Known” from Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure.

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