New Voices

If the idea seemed unlikely a decade ago, it's now inarguable: The Northwest is booming musical theater territory. Tony winners like Hairspray and The Light in the Piazza premiered in Seattle (at the 5th Avenue and Intiman, respectively), a Tony and Pulitzer Prize went to Next to Normal, which first took shape at Issaquah's Village Theatre, and even ACT is getting into the act with its recent First Date. Smaller but still important is Contemporary Classics, which since 2003 has produced low-budget, high-quality stagings of contemporary musicals. (Its moving, unpretentious take on Andrew Lippa's john & jen was one of 2005's best shows.) The 13th installment of its New Voices features the work of up-and-coming composers and lyricists, with 19 songs performed by some of the city's finest and a six-piece band. The long list of vocal talents includes nine members of the 5th's current production of Rent, as well as proven crowd-pleasers like Billie Wildrick, who's made her name here as several scrumptious Sondheim heroines (such as the befuddled Cinderella of the 5th's Into the Woods), and Cayman Ilika, still fresh in the memory for knocking audiences out of their seats with her rendition of "Bill" as Julie in the Village Theatre's ambitious 2009 Show Boat. With such fetching help, these new composers may be well on their way to calling themselves veteran Broadway songsmiths. STEVE WIECKING

Mon., Aug. 13, 7:30 & 10 p.m., 2012

 
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