The 5th Avenue Theatre announced Dec. 23 that Jasper replaces the Broadway-bound Something Rotten! in its 2014-15 season. Performances will run April 30-May 24, 2015, with an official opening set for May 14.
"I could not be more pleased to have this dynamic new musical as the new addition to our season," said 5th Avenue Theatre executive producer and artistic director David Armstrong in a statement. "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 theatre artists like these with a large scale playing field in which they can thrill and amaze us. What Rent is to La Bohème, this show is to the Orpheus myths and legends."
Brandon Ivie (assistant director of Broadway's A Christmas Story, The Musical and First Date) helmed Off-Broadway's Jasper, which features a score by Oliver and a book by Oliver and Foster. Lorin Latarro (Waiting For Godot and Scandalous) choreographed. Both Ivie and Latarro will reprise their work in Seattle.
Jasper in Deadland, according to 5th Avenue, "takes audiences on a mythological thrill-ride through the underworld. As teenage Jasper faces gods and monsters in search of his best friend (and true love) Agnes, he learns to let go of the demons of daily life and embrace the music within. With a pulsating contemporary score and vibrant roots in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman, and Norse legends and fables, this spine-tingling, hair-raising, heart-stirring show explores what it means to be truly alive."
Prospect Theater Company presented the New York City premiere, which featured Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon) as Jasper, Allison Scagliotti (Off-Broadway debut, SyFy's "Warehouse 13") as Gretchen and Ben Crawford (Big Fish, Shrek The Musical) as Mr. Lethe. Performances ran through April 13 at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew. Click here to read the Playbill.com feature with Doyle and Scagliotti, who played the conflicted teenagers venturing through the underworld in Jasper in Deadland.
Casting for the 5th Avenue production has not yet been announced.
Jasper in Deadland, a musical on the shortlist for the 5th's 2015-16 season, was a recent addition to The 5th Avenue Theatre's New Works Program, recently undergoing a developmental table read in the theatre's rehearsal halls. The musical was commissioned in 2011 for the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program and premiered as part of the Los Angeles Festival of New Musicals.
Ticketholders to Something Rotten! at The 5th Avenue Theatre will have their tickets exchanged automatically into equivalent seats for performances of Jasper in Deadland and will also receive a voucher in the mail to see Something Rotten! on Broadway before Sept. 7, 2015.
The 5th Avenue Theatre has developed numerous shows that have gone to Broadway, including the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hairspray, Jekyll & Hyde, The Wedding Singer, Memphis, Catch Me If You Can, Scandalous, A Christmas Story, First Date and Aladdin.
Oliver is the recipient of both the Jonathan Larson Award as well as a Richard Rodgers Award for musical theatre. Read more about his work in Playbill.com's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.
Foster has previously written the books to four musicals, including the Outer Critics Circle-nominated Summer of '42 and Circus in Winter. He is a Tony nominee for his performance in Little Shop of Horrors and was recently seen in the Broadway musical The Bridges of Madison County.
The 5th Avenue Theatre is located at 1308 5th Avenue in Seattle, WA. Tickets (starting at $29) may be purchased starting Jan. 16, 2015, at 5thAvenue.org or by phone at (206) 625-1900.