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The 5th Avenue Theatre is amongst the nation's premier incubators for new musical theater. Since 2001, The 5th has premiered 17 new works, nine of which have subsequently opened on Broadway. They include Disney’s Aladdin; First Date; A Christmas Story, The Musical; Scandalous; Shrek; Catch Me If You Can; The Wedding Singer; and Best Musical Tony Award-winners, Hairspray and Memphis. The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically-acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway, as well as the latest touring offerings from New York.
Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. Back in the day, people eagerly lined up for first-class vaudeville shows, featuring the top touring entertainers of the day. The Theatre later transformed itself into a popular movie palace. In the late 1970s, The 5th Avenue Theatre fell on difficulty, but was saved from a wrecking ball by a visionary group of businesses and community leaders. In 1980, the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre began producing and presenting top-quality live musical theater.
Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, The 5th Avenue Theatre attracts an annual attendance of more than 300,000 and ranks among the nation’s largest and most respected musical theater companies.
In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach program that serves more than 74,000 each year through programs including The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater and the Rising Star Project. For adults, The 5th offers free-to- the-public events such as the popular Spotlight Night series, and pre-performance Show Talks with Albert Evans.