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Friday, April 9, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Theater

Arts briefs: 'Princesses' will debut at 5th Ave.

The 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company will present a pre-Broadway run of the new musical "Princesses" in 2005.

Inspired by the Victorian novel "The Little Princess," by Frances Hodgson Burnett, "Princesses" will run May 31-June 19 at 5th Avenue Theatre. It replaces the canceled tour of the rock musical "We Will Rock You" on the 5th Avenue's 2004-05 subscription season.

"Princesses" focuses on jaded girls at a modern private school who perform a student version of "The Little Princess." The score is by composer Matthew Wilder and lyricist David Zippel, who also wrote the songs for the Disney animated film "Mulan."

The 5th Avenue is selling subscription packages, from $66 to $350.75. Orders and information: 206-621-PLAY or www.5thavenuetheatre.org. Single tickets to "Princesses" and other 5th Avenue 2004-05 offerings (including a return run of "Hairspray") go on sale later this year.

Children's Fest branches out

The 2004 Seattle International Children's Festival is adding a series of night performances at Consolidated Works to its regular shows at Seattle Center (May 10-15) and Tacoma's Rialto and Pantages theaters (May 16-17).

The annual youth-oriented festival will showcase 17 dance, theater and musical acts from 14 countries, including the Mexican tropi-punk group Los de Abajo, the African drumming group Badenya les Freres Coulibaly and Scotland's Shona Reppe Puppets.

SICF's weekday shows are aimed at pre-reserved student groups. But public tickets ($9-$15) are now on sale for the ConWorks evening shows (May 5-9) and for the "family day" weekend events at the Seattle Center (May 15) and Tacoma (May 16). Tickets and full details: (206) 684-7346 or www.seattleinternational.org.

Play prizes awarded

August Wilson's new drama "Gem of the Ocean" has been honored in this year's American Theater Critics Association/Steinberg New Play contest.

The top ATCA/Steinberg award of $15,000 went to "Intimate Apparel," a play by Lynn Nottage about a black seamstress in 1905 New York. The drama is now playing Off Broadway in a staging by former Seattle Rep director Daniel Sullivan.

Carson Kreitzer's "The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer" and Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean" received finalist citations in the contest, and awards of $5,000. ATCA's Osborn Award, honoring work by lesser-known writers, went to "The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow," by Rolin Jones.

Frye gets interim director

Seattle's Frye Art Museum has announced the appointment of a new interim director, Midge Bowman, a nonprofit management consultant who will preside over the museum until a permanent director is found. The former director, Richard West, retired last August.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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