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Posts Tagged ‘Brad Allison’

“Holiday Inn” at Fifth Avenue Theatre, Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 30, 2017

HolidayInn_783x340[1]

“Holiday Inn,” a favorite American musical that is based upon a 1942 movie of the same name, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, ends its run at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle tomorrow. It’s been playing there since 24 November. My Seattle family members and I went to see the performance on 16 December, and loved it, as we knew we would.

5th-theatre_interior_low

5th Avenue Theatre interior

To me, the most memorable of its 20 songs, written by Irving Berlin, are “White Christmas” (1942), “Easter Parade” (1933), “Cheek to Cheek” (1935), “Blue Skies” (1926), “You’re Easy to Dance With” (1941), and “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” (1942).

In the orchestra pit, Caryl Fantel was the conductor, and the trumpeters were Brad Allison and Paul Baron—the same two who played the musical, “Room With a View,” about which I posted a blog article on 6 June 2014 (see “Archives” in left column). They’re true pros.

For a spectacular virtual tour of the 5th Avenue Theatre, please see http://www.gotyoulooking.com/1fifthavenuetheatre/mht.html.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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“A Room With a View” Musical at Fifth Avenue Theater in Seattle

Posted by glennled on June 6, 2014

George and Lucy. Photo by Tracy Martin

George and Lucy. Photo by Tracy Martin

My wife and I “opened” our Christmas gift on the 19th of April—that’s when we went to see the musical, “A Room with a View,” at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle with tickets given to us by our daughter and son-in-law last December. We had great seats on the main floor, mid-way down toward the stage.

The musical is based on the 1908 novel by E. M. Forster, English author of novels, short stories, and essays. He was the author I probably would have concentrated on, had I gone for a post-graduate degree in English literature. To me, he was the academic, the professor, the critic, who tried to do what he studied, reviewed, and taught. That is, he tried to defy the adage, “Those who cannot do, teach.” To me, his novels are excellent but never literary masterpieces.

E. M. Forster, 1879-1970

E. M. Forster, 1879-1970

A Rome with a View, the third of sixth published novels, is said to be his lightest, most optimistic, and popular. Like most of his other works, this one explores the conflicts of propriety and class as Lucy Honeychurch faces the choice of a husband–the free-thinking, high spirited George Emerson or the repressed, snobbish aesthete, Cecil Vyse.

These characters sing all the way through this romantic musical comedy. But it’s a funny thing—none of the 20 songs is easily memorable. I like to come out of a musical humming a great tune. Not here, not this one. Where’s a song like “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” (Oklahoma!), “Tomorrow” (Annie), “Ya Got Trouble” (The Music Man), “What Do the Simple Folk Do?” (Camelot), “Get Me to the Church on Time” (My Fair Lady), and many more? Come on, guys, write a nice melody for your lyrics!

The 5th Avenue Theatre is renowned for producing and developing new musicals. Nine of the 17 new works which have premiered at The 5th since 2001, have later opened on Broadway. Whether “A Room with a View” will do so is yet to be determined. The 5th has more than 25,000 season subscribers. More than 300,000 audience members attend performances there each year. Incidentally, in The 5th Avenue Theatre Orchestra, the principal trumpet is Brad Allison, and Trumpet 2 is Paul Baron.

The production photos in this post are courtesy of The 5th Avenue Theatre. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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