5th Avenue Theatre Retrospective:
18 Years of Thrilling Musical Theater
A Room With A View
"Director David Armstrong takes a ton of awesome, admirable risks in this production, and the standout success, the thing that brought the house down halfway through act two, causing a near-riot of whooping and hollering and a genuine dynamic moment between characters, is the way Armstrong does the skinny-dipping scene. Three guys. Full frontal. A near-riot, I tell you. Of sheer delight.
The set is great, the cast is great, the score is great, the singing is great. The murder scene in the streets of Florence is staged perfectly—the lights, the blocking, the emotional whiplash—and the song George sings right after it, “Something Tremendous,” is something tremendous. "
“Room” sports a breathtakingly arboreal scenic design by Walt Spangler, an able new director (5th Ave artistic head David Armstrong), and a cast dominated by fine Seattle actor-singers. Composer-lyricist Jeffrey Stock’s lush score includes lovely arias and choral pieces, and draws knowingly on Italian opera and the oeuvres of Broadway masters Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim."
"David Armstrong presents the 1934 Broadway hit as a musical comedy, with slapstick, farce and pun-filled wordplay getting equal time with Cole Porter's well-known music and lyrics. He's also assembled a strong-voiced cast, headlined by Dee Hoty."
"Don't miss this boat - director David Armstrong captains a smash hit version of Cole Porter's vintage musical. "
"The show's director, new 5th Avenue Theatre artistic head David Armstrong, has applied a tap-happy verve and a bright coat of sheen to this vessel. The show looks divine, with a swiveling art deco shipboard set, swank '30s apparel and a cast of agreeable music comedy pros. Those Porter songs, meticulously staged by Armstrong with double-decker panache, seem as fresh and sparkly as a just-opened magnum of champagne."
Seattle Union Record
"The 5th Avenue's David Armstrong has created a new production of the Porter classic that's bright, often hilarious and relentlessly upbeat. Suffice to say it's fall-down funny and the cast sparkles through Armstrong's inventive choreography."
"Directed triumphantly by new artistic director David Armstrong. If this is the caliber of production we can expect from him i can't wait for the rest of the season."
Seattle Gay News
Arms and the Man
Seattle Shakespeare's ARMS AND THE MAN visits the past and finds the present. With wit, humor, and richness of production, the show presents a classic tale of a chance encounter that changes everything. From the pithy dialogue to the talented cast, Seattle Shakespeare has chosen well for its second show of the season. The cast blended into a wonderful ensemble that played off each other very well. David Armstrong 's direction moved them about in ways that were both interesting and entertaining without ever being contrived. Indeed, his vision with the show must be very close to the author's original intent. ARMS AND THE MAN is a fun night of theater. The story still holds truths for us today. Seattle Shakespeare's production reminds us why it is a classic.
Seattle Shakespeare’s second production of the year, Bernard Shaw’s ARMS AND THE MAN, is a charming success. The production is directed by David Armstrong at the intimate Center Theater, which was packed-full, of both bodies and laughs, this Saturday. While the plot is predictable and outdated, every line is delivered perfectly against