Arts News

On Broadway (With A Little Help From Seattle)

Local names light up New York stages

By Steve Wiecking April 20, 2009

Hobson (left) helps his patient get “Next to Normal.” (courtesy Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

Seattlelites (and former Seattleites) continue to add sparkle to the Great White Way. They just had a great week in The New York Times. Last Thursday, Louis Hobson, for years the Young Male Lead of the 5th Avenue Theatre (his last gig there was as Tony in a fine West Side Story), found himself pictured (however darkly) in the photo supporting venerable theater critic Ben Brantley’s rave review of the new musical Next to Normal (a show whose lyricist, Brian Yorkey, workshopped his Making Tracks at the Village Theatre). Brantley also said Hobson "suavely played" his dual role as two doctors attending to the show’s lead character, a woman with bipolar disorder. (Bipolar disorder being all the rage.)

Friday’s Times saw Intiman Theatre artistic director Bartlett Sher, whose Tony-winning South Pacific revival is still running strong at Lincoln Center (it’ll travel here to the 5th Avenue next year), praised for his direction of yet another Lincoln Center revival—written by yet another longtime Seattleite, no less: the late, great August Wilson. Brantley’s review for the Sher staging of Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone was yet another rave from a sensible critic not prone to illogical outbursts.

And New York’s 75th annual Drama League Awards nominations will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday, April 21) by a trio of actors including Cheyenne Jackson—the bright-eyed, big-voiced, buff-bodied veteran of several musicals at both Issaquah’s Village Theatre and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre (where he was last seen in gold hot pants playing the hunky "monster" of The Rocky Horror Show). Jackson himself won a Drama League Award last season for his work in the musical spoof Xanadu.

Not bad for this old backwater town, eh?

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