5th Avenue Theatre in Collaboration with
The Seattle Men's Chorus
Presents The "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" Musical

Photo contributed by seattlegirl@aol.com
with Lucy Lawless as Dorothy
May 13-15, 2005 - 5 performances in
Seattle, WA


Lucy Lawless is Dorothy in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - About


In the first collaboration of its kind, The 5th Avenue Theatre and Seattle Men's Chorus join forces to present a concert version of the classic Jule Styne/Leo Robin musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

In our version of a concert staging, the leading actors will be backed by the entire 250-member Seattle Men's Chorus and accompanied by our full orchestra. With minimal but inventive settings, costumes, staging and lights, the emphasis can really be on the hilarious story and wonderful music. What a delight! This musical event is a great opportunity to experience a rarely produced musical in all its glory; it is sure to remind us why Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend!

5th Avenue Producing Artistic Director David Armstrong will direct the production and Seattle Men's Chorus Artistic Director Dennis Coleman will be the musical director. The production will feature a cast of outstanding musical theater performers from Seattle, Hollywood and Broadway — including none other than Faith Prince as Lorelei Lee and Lucy Lawless as Dorothy. Best known for her television role as Xena, warrior princess, Ms. Lawless is a musical theater star in her native New Zealand and played Rizzo in the Broadway revival of Grease. Faith Prince has made multiple TV appearances including the popular sitcom Spin City and has an extensive list of Broadway shows including Noises Off, Bells are Ringing and the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls.

Those who have never experienced a concert staging of a musical before are in for a real treat. This style of presentation has been enjoying a renewed popularity, from the City Center Encores! series in New York to the Reprise! series in Los Angeles. The informal atmosphere of the concert staging brings a sense of intimacy and an element of pure fun to the proceedings.

Don't miss this fabulous event! There will be ONLY five performances of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Friday May 13 at 8 pm, Saturday May 14 at 2 and 8 pm, and Sunday May 15 at 2 and 7:30 pm. Tickets, ranging in price from $27 - $77, go on sale January 10. Groups of 10 or more: call Karen Wren at 206-625-1418.

Related Articles


Parental Guidance

Information from 5th Avenue Theatre

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a musical adaptation of the novel and 1926 Broadway play by Anita Loos, ran for 740 performances when it opened in New York in December of 1949. With music by Jule Styne (Gypsy, Funny Girl) and lyrics by Leo Robin, the show starred the great Carol Channing assuring audiences that "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." The 1953 movie directed by Howard Hawks featured Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell as Lorelei and Dorothy.

A glittering gem of a show with a legendary score of stylish songs, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes tells the story of Lorelei Lee, blonde bombshell and gold digger, and her friend Dorothy Shaw, a street-smart, wise-cracking showgirl on vacation. As they board an ocean liner headed for Paris, Lorelei has her eyes open for eligible men ­ even though she is engaged to her wealthy "sugar daddy," Gus Esmond, America's "Button King." Dorothy, on the other hand, only wants to have fun with a fellow and isn't primarily interested in his bank account. When Lorelei receives a telegram from her intended that hints he is reconsidering their marriage because of rumors he's heard about her past, she decides to find a replacement among her shipmates. Together, Lorelei and Dorothy assess a number of potential prospects, including "Zipper King" Josephus Gage, English aristocrat Sir Francis Beekman, Henry Spofford, son of the richest widow in Philadelphia and the entire U. S. Olympic team.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is being produced in collaboration with the Seattle Men's Chorus; this 250-member group will be seen on stage as the musical's chorus! Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is suitable for most audiences, but concerned parents should read the following guidelines carefully, as we are aware that there are varying opinions at to what entertainment is appropriate for young people.

Adult Language:

Language is quite mild for the most part. The show's opening line is Dorothy's complaint, "Where the hell's Gus? We'll miss the goddam boat!" Lorelei immediately tells her friend not to "talk so unrefined." In the second act, however, Lorelei herself sings "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," in which she informs us that some men buy you jewelry and some men sigh that "to make you their bride they intend / But buyers or sighers / They're such goddam liars / Diamonds are a girl's best friend."

Subsequent language consists of a few "hell's" and "damns;" Gus, told the story of the man who "did Lorelei wrong," comments, "That son of a bitch!"


Gentleman Prefer Blondes contains quite a bit of drinking and references to alcohol. Henry's mother, Mrs. Spofford, is continually scheming to get hold of a drink, while her son attempts to enforce doctor's orders that she confine herself to milk; in the opening scene, she asks a steward for a "double," and grabs a glass with each hand. The glasses are taken away from her, but later she will consume a bottle of champagne in Lorelei's stateroom and have to sleep it off.

"It's High Time," a first-act number, is a party song in which everyone on board the ship is invited to imbibe (at least no one has to drive home).

Sample lyric:

The liquor is the real McCoy

It's high time that we all got stinkin'

High time we were gay

It's high time that we did some drinkin'

But in a strictly American way.

When the characters arrive in Paris, Henry orders a bottle of champagne at a night club "and milk for my mother." Dorothy pours drinks for everyone. Gus, who is jealous about Lorelei's relationship with Gage, gets drunk at the bar and challenges Gage to a fight. Mrs. Spofford, who has obviously had a few too many "little drinkies," cheers when the fight begins.

Risqué References:

Most such references in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes are humorous double entendres and do not contain vulgar language.

Gus is concerned about his fiancée's "roving eye" and counsels her, "Although I know that you care / Won't you write and declare / That though on the loose, / You are still on the Square."

Both Lorelei and Dorothy sing songs indicating racy episodes in their pasts. In "I'm Just a Little Girl from Little Rock," Lorelei tells us that a gentlemen took her out one night, "and after he taught me wrong from right / We moved to the right side of the tracks." She made more progress in her social climbing when she moved to New York where she pursued other "sugar daddies:" "I was young and determined / I was wined and dined and ermined." One day, she says, she will wear her fancy clothes back home to Little Rock and thumb her nose "at the one who done me wrong." On the other hand, Dorothy, in spite of her friend's advice, isn't interested in using her charms to acquire wealth and social status: in her song, "I Love What I'm Doing," she declares to the boys on the Olympic team:

You boys play for the love of the game

You take no pay and I'm just the same

I have my fun, though my funds are low

But come what may ­ I won't turn pro.

At one point, Lorelei sets her cap for Sir Francis Beekman, a married man whose wife is along on the cruise; his song, "It's Delightful Down in Chile," implies that he is quite willing to be led astray ("Don't you really think it's kinda silly / To travel willy nilly down to Chile / When in Paris men are slicker / And they spend their money quicker / On a chilly night?"). Lorelei and Sir Francis Beekman are seen dancing together; somehow she ends up with his wallet full of cash, a chinchilla wrap and Lady Beekman's diamond tiara.

In Paris, the philandering Sir Francis Beekman arrives at a nightclub with two girls called "Zizi" and "Fifi." Lady Beekman is furious to overhear him tell them that his income is "in the hands of an old Gorgon," meaning herself.

Gus arrives in Paris and is upset to find Lorelei at a nightclub with Gage, the "Zipper King." "Well, Blondie," he asks her, "who's the new bankroll? So he's crowned you queen of the zippers, has he? What did you have to do to rate that?" The Button King is even more outraged when he sees that Gage has had that new-fangled, daring, and convenient device ­ the zipper ­ installed in Lorelei's dress. "He's put zippers in all my dresses," she tells him. "Why, you disloyal, two-timing, double-crossing cheat!" he responds.

When Gus's new girlfriend, Simone, is introduced in the club's floor show as "the new sensation of the French cabaret," a jealous Lorelei says, "She's no sensation ­ she's just a French tart!" Simone's song tells of "a gal they called a 'chippie' / A gal they knew too well / She was a Miss in Mississippi / But now she's a mad'moiselle."

Gus is finally mollified when Lorelei explains that she only shot that man back in Little Rock "to save the only thing a girl ever has that's sacred" and that she only flirts with other men because she's "in demand / Because gentlemen prefer blondes / Like me." Gus resigns himself "to having you for life but no peace of mind / Because gentlemen prefer blondes / But the only blonde that I prefer / Is you!"


None. Gus and Gage are about to fight at one point, but are restrained by the other characters.

AUSXIP - Lucy Lawless Files * AUSXIP - Australian Xena Information Page
AUSXIP - Lucy Lawless Boogeyman Movie Site
Ghost House Pictures - News & Information