Eastside native Brandon Ivie, fresh off his hugely success directorial run of “A Christmas Story” late last year, is returning to The 5th Avenue next month to direct its newest musical “Jasper in Deadland” and he’s bringing with him Broadway talent.
Last week, actor Matt Doyle, who’s starred in Broadway’s productions of “War Horse,” “Spring Awakening” and “The Book of Mormon” was cast in Ivie’s production, which kicks off April 30.
Doyle has also had a recurring role on the hit TV show “Gossip Girl.”
The new musical, which revolves around Jasper, a teenager who has to travel through the underworld facing gods and monsters in search of his best friend and true love Agnes, was created in the spirit of “RENT” and “Spring Awakening,” said creators Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster.
The “modern day retelling of Orpheus” is scored with musical inspiration from artists ranging from Green Day to Adele, which provides an ideal vehicle for the cast of 14 to show off their vocal ranges and the story’s ability to transition to numerous locations, Ivie said.
Ivie, who made his “Off-Off-Broadway” directing debut with the original production of “Jasper in Deadland,” in the spring of last year, said the work done on it in New York took the show to the next level and he’s excited to showcase it in Seattle.
“I love it because it’s why you go to the theatre,” he said of the show and it’s many set pieces. “We’re going to give you slices of Deadland your mind can relate to and then take you the rest of the way.”
Ivie added the show, with its roots in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Norse legends and fables, really explores what it means to be truly alive.
Originally slated to show “Something Rotten!” this spring, 5th Avenue staff chose “Jasper in Deadland” as its replacement when “Something Rotten!” was selected to run on Broadway.
Ticketholders to “Something Rotten!” at the 5th Avenue Theatre will receive a voucher in the mail to see the show on Broadway before Sept. 7, 2015 and will also have their tickets exchanged automatically into equivalent seats for performances of “Jasper in Deadland,” according to 5th Avenue spokesperson Bridget Summers.
Ivie said the show is an ideal replacement and offers audiences the opportunity to experience new work.
David Armstrong, 5th Avenue Theatre’s executive producer and artistic director, said he couldn’t be more pleased to showcase the new musical.
“Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster are two of the most exciting young talents working in the theatre today and The 5th has a very successful track record in providing emerging theater artists like these with a large scale playing field in which they can thrill and amaze us. What ‘RENT’ is to ‘La Boheme,’ this show is to the Orpheus myths and legends.”
The show runs April 30-May 24. Tickets, which start at $29 each, may be purchased at www.5thavenue.org, by phone at 206-625-1900 or at the box office, 1308 5th Avenue in Seattle.