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Sunday, March 26, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Theater

New "Cry-Baby," "Scissorhands" highlight season at 5th Avenue

Seattle Times theater critic

A Broadway-bound musical based on "Cry-Baby," a 1990 movie by "Hairspray" filmmaker John Waters (starring Johnny Depp as a seductive 1950s bad boy) will have its world premiere at 5th Avenue Theatre next season.

The intriguing 2006-07 lineup also includes the Seattle debut of "Edward Scissorhands," a dance-theater work based on another quirky Depp film (one directed by Tim Burton).

And there's more teen angst on tap at the downtown Seattle theater, with a run of "West Side Story."

"Cry-Baby" (set to play Feb. 13-March 4, 2007) will have a book by Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell, who co-authored the smash musical "Hairspray" (which also premiered at the 5th Avenue), and a score by Adam Schlesinger (of the pop group Fountains of Wayne) and David Javerbaum.

"Edward Scissorhands," from celebrated director-choreographer Matthew Bourne, won raves in London, and comes to the 5th Avenue on its first U.S. tour (April 25-May 13, 2007).

Also on the 2006-07 calendar: "Bombay Dreams," the touring Bollywood musical (Sept. 12-Oct. 1); "Company," Stephen Sondheim's urbane tuner about marriage and singledom, directed by 5th Avenue artistic head David Armstrong (Oct. 17-Nov. 5); "White Christmas," based on a vintage Danny Kaye-Bing Crosby film with an Irving Berlin score (Nov. 28-Dec. 17); Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot," starring Michael York as King Arthur (March 20-April 8, 2007); and "West Side Story," a 50th anniversary staging of the 1957 show, directed by Bill Berry (May 29-June 17, 2007).

Though 5th Avenue's subscription numbers have dwindled a bit in recent years (following national trends), the theater still has an enviable 24,000 subscribers currently.

And Armstrong says strong single ticket sales for such recent shows as "The Wedding Singer" and "The Sound of Music" emboldened him to offer seven shows next season, instead of the usual six.

"It's the best way to get the breadth and variety we want in our programming," he says.

There's an extra incentive to subscribe: buyers can get all seven shows for the price of six. For orders and more details, call 206-625-1900, or visit www.fifthavenuetheatre.org

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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