|Ensemble - Photo Credit: Chris Bennion|
Who would not want to be part of that synchronized energy? As a jazz musician* I have some understanding of how those dancers feel. I love ensemble work, rhythm, and syncopation. But in this life at least, I will have to accept the fact that I'll never become a star in a musical, singing my heart out, arms and legs caught up in the beat. It may be too late for that, but I can still have the next best thing: a night at the 5th Avenue.
It's amazing how intimate an auditorium with 2,115 seats can feel. I've watched shows from various spots, always awed by the grandeur and majesty of this place, but this week my balcony seat offered a different sensation. I could better appreciate the entire space from that perspective and felt embraced by the warmth and texture of the sculpted ceiling and walls, features of the Chinese decor of this historic theater that first opened in 1926. It is now considered a national treasure. Sitting just that much closer to the famous dome—exactly like the one in the throne room of the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City in Beijing, only twice as large— I could look right into the dragon's eyes. I could see in more detail, the massive chandelier suspended from the grip of his teeth. A huge Wurlitzer pipe organ once accompanied Vaudeville shows in this theater, and I could imagine getting a glimpse of the pipes hidden behind the ornate screens on opposite walls.
Most importantly, I had a perfect view of the stage, even from the balcony. And there was plenty to see in that candy store of colorful costumes and crazy characters, whose exaggerated actions, accents, and antics imbued Frank Loesser's perennial hit Guys and Dolls, with fresh energy.
|Miss Adelaide (Billie Wildrick) and the Female Ensemble - Photo Credit: Chris Bennion|
Todd Buonopane, who played the part of Nicely Nicely-Johnson, is known to many because of his appearances on the hit TV comedy 30 Rock. His character stole the show many times. Watch him here singing "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat."
With only a little over a week to go before the show closes, your chance of seeing this entertaining and memorable production could slip away if you don't reserve tickets now. It was well worth the trip from Tacoma and an evening parking rate of only $6 in the adjacent Hilton Hotel parking lot, didn't hurt a bit. Order your tickets online here, or call (206) 625-1900. Don't miss it.
Copyright 2011 Candace J. Brown