DINER, KID VICTORY, SIMPLY SONDHEIM World Premieres, Plus CABARET, 'SUNDAY IN THE PARK' and More Set for Signature Theatre's 25th Anniversary Season
Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre announces its 25th Anniversary season, illustrating its commitment to provide theater artists a home to create, explore and reinvent new works.
"This season is more than just celebrating our 25 years as a respected regional theatre in America" stated Signature's Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. "It's about collaborating with artists that we have such passion for, as well as producing revivals that were pivotal in the history of this theatre. John Kander, Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson, Greg Pierce, Mel Marvin, John Dempsey, Dana Rowe, Kathleen Marshall, Liesl Tommy and Aaron Posner are all coming to Signature to create. We will truly be celebrating throughout the entire year with these wonderful artists."
The 2014/15 season will bring three new musicals to life in world premieres at Signature beginning with the world premiere of the Sheryl Crowand Barry Levinson penned musical adaptation of the 1982 movie Diner (December 9, 2014 - January 25, 2015). Diner's book will be authored by the movie's Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director Barry Levinson, with direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.
"I love Barry Levinson's film, Diner," said nine-time Grammy Award Winner Sheryl Crow, "so, when Barry called and asked if I'd like to join him to create a new musical version of the story, I jumped at the chance. Working together has been a total joy. In my hometown of Kennett, Missouri, we didn't have musicals coming through our town, but we saw all the movie musicals. I didn't know they all came from Broadway! My favorites were West Side Story, Oklahoma and My Fair Lady. I still can't believe I will have the opportunity to work on a brand new musical with Barry. Working together with our director, Kathleen Marshall, we have really been working hard on expanding Diner to allow it to sing while remaining true to this story of these young men and women coming of age in Baltimore. And to think we are going to premiere it so close to Baltimore, where the story took place, at Signature Theatre, which has birthed so many new musicals, well, I couldn't be happier."
A giant of the musical theater canon and frequent Signature artist, John Kander, joins Signature for the world premiere of Kid Victory (February 17 - March 22, 2015), his second collaboration with his new writing partner Greg Pierce (book and lyrics). "Greg and I are thrilled that Kid Victory will come to life at this theatre we love so much," said Kander. A co-production with The Vineyard Theatre, Kid Victory will be directed by Liesl Tommy (Associate Artistic Director at Berkeley Rep, director of Appropriate currently Off-Broadway).
Nick Blaemire, known to Signature's audiences for the quirky and youthful musical Glory Days, brings his new musical Soon to the ARK stage (March 10 - April 26, 2015). "Growing up in DC, I fell in love with theater seeing shows at Signature," says Blaemire. "They try things. Signature takes chances on material and people. It's an honor to be associated with that kind of collaborative risk-taking again, and I can't wait to get back down there to make something brand new with them on Soon.
A new play will get its DC area premiere in Signature's ARK Theatre (October 7 - November 9, 2014). Laura Eason's Sex with Strangers wascalled "the next red-hot Chicago play" and "the best drama I've seen about the seismic changes in the arts-media landscape" by the Chicago Tribune after its' Steppenwolf premiere.
The 2014/15 season also affirms Signature's passion to stage inventive new productions of classic musicals; the season opens on August 5 with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George (August 5 - September 21, 2014), directed by Matthew Gardiner, who will also take the reins directing Kander & Ebb's Cabaret (May 12 - June 28, 2015).
In October, the musical version of Sinclair Lewis's best-selling novel Elmer Gantry gets a new production directed by Signature's Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer (October 7 - November 9, 2014). Schaeffer previously collaborated on Elmer Gantry in Chicago with authors John Bishop (book), Mel Marvin (music) and Bob Satuloff (lyrics), and some new material will be incorporated into this fresh reimagining.
Signature also announces a world premiere event, Simply Sondheim (April 2-19, 2015). In honor of the 25th anniversary and long partnership with Stephen Sondheim, Sondheim has given Signature permission to create a one-time celebration of his music and lyrics. Featuring a 16-piece orchestra and 6 "signature" performers, this event will run only two and a half weeks, only at Signature Theatre, and will never be seen again. Jonathan Tunick will create all new orchestrations and the work will be directed by Eric Schaeffer, choreographed by Matthew Gardiner with musical supervision and vocal arrangements by the show's co-conceiver with Schaeffer, David Loud.
A number of special events round out Signature's 25th Anniversary- the annual free Open House (August 2, 2014); The 25 Year Journey: A Conversation with Peter Marks and Eric Schaeffer (September 14, 2014); a special 25th Anniversary Concert (October 20, 2014); a Signature in Sondheim's World exhibit in the lobby (spring 2015); and the 2015 Sondheim Award Gala (April 2015).
Signature will close the celebration of its 25th year, and kick off its 2015/2016 season in an all-new production of The Fix, the inside-Washington musical satire. Featuring a book by John Dempsey and music by Dana P. Rowe (the creators of Brother Russia and The Witches of Eastwick), the show quickly became a favorite among Signature's artistic team during its U.S. premiere at the Theatre in 1998, cementing a long-standing relationship with Dempsey and Rowe.
Signature will present several cabaret performances in the 2014/15 Season. In the summer, audiences can escape the heat in the air-conditioned ARK for Sizzlin' Summer Nights Series (July 9 - 26, 2014); A four-show Cabaret Series (Signature Sisters, October 21-25, 2014; Signature Tenors, February 24-28, 2015; Gone Country, April 7-11, 2015; and Donna Migliaccio, May 19-23, 2015). Signature's popular Holiday Folliesreturns December 12-23, 2014.
Signature offers flexible subscription options for the 2014/15 season. Subscription packages are now on sale. Custom packages can be created for 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, or the full 7-show season. Patrons who subscribe will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to Simply Sondheim.
Package prices begin at $184. Benefits of subscribing include first choice of seats, savings over individual ticket prices, fee-waived ticket exchanges and discounts on extra tickets. Season tickets are now on sale by calling Signature's Box Office at 703 820 9771 or by visitingwww.signature-theatre.org. The Cabaret Series subscription package, Sizzlin' Summer All-Access Pass, and Holiday Follies are also available for purchase.
Single tickets for the entire season will go on sale July 1, 2014.
SIGNATURE THEATRE'S 2014/15 SEASON:
Sunday in the Park with George
August 5 - September 21, 2014
Inspired by the painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat, Sunday in the Park with George brings art to vibrant life. In the intimate MAX Theatre, Sondheim and Lapine's stunning masterpiece merges past and present into beautiful, poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art.
Written by the team behind Into the Woods and Passion, and featuring the songs "Finishing the Hat," "Children and Art" and "Putting it Together," Sunday in the Park with George is a special 25th Anniversary celebration of Sondheim - Signature's signature.
Book by James Lapine
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Matthew Gardiner
October 7 - November 9, 2014
The charismatic, but completely broke, salesman Elmer Gantry stumbles upon a struggling religious tour, led by pious evangelist Sister Sharon Falconer. Falling for Falconer, Gantry joins the troupe as a preacher and, with a little showmanship and theatrics, transforms the revival into the hottest ticket in town. However, inspired by Falconer's earnestness and his reawakened spirit, Gantry inserts one spectacle too many and risks blowing up the entire operation.
Fiery and passionate, with a rich blues, folk and gospel-infused score, Elmer Gantry brings the evangelical charlatan of Sinclair Lewis's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to life in a new reimagining.
Book by John Bishop
Lyrics by Bob Satuloff
Music by Mel Marvin
Based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis
Directed by Eric Schaeffer
Sex with Strangers
October 14 - December 7, 2014
A raging snowstorm traps strangers Olivia, an unsuccessful, yet gifted, thirty-nine-year-old writer, and Ethan, a tech-addicted and wildly successful young blogger, in a secluded cabin. Opposites instantly attract, undeniable chemistry ignites and sex is imminent. As the dawn rises, however, what could have just been a one-night-stand transforms into something more complicated when online exploits interfere with their real-life connection.
Starring Holly Twyford (The Little Dog Laughed), Sex with Strangers is a sexy, provocative and intimate exposé that playfully explores what happens when private lives become public domain.
Written by Laura Eason
Directed by Aaron Posner
December 9, 2014 - January 25, 2015
Christmas, Baltimore: 1959. A circle of childhood friends reunite for the upcoming wedding of one of them. Well, only if his fiancée passes a football trivia test. From the comfort of their all-night diner, the men, now in their early-twenties, confront the realities of adulthood: marriage, careers, money and the ever-mysterious opposite sex. But no matter where life takes them, they know they're welcome back at the diner, the one place they'll always belong.
Infused with swinging 1950s rock and roll sound, three-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall joins Crow and Levinson to transform Diner's groundbreaking evocation of burgeoning adulthood and friendship for the stage.
Book by Barry Levinson
Music & Lyrics by Sheryl Crow
Directed & Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall
February 17 - March 22, 2015
Seventeen-year-old Luke returns home after vanishing a year ago. Profoundly changed, Luke and his parents struggle to adjust to life following his disappearance. Only finding solace with Emily, the quirky proprietor of an offbeat garden shop, Luke grapples with a past undone and a coming of age that came too late to a boy who just wants to fade away.
The second collaboration between Kander (Chicago, Cabaret) and Pierce (Slowgirl), Kid Victory is a hauntingly mesmerizing original musical about what it means to disappear.
Music by John Kander
Book & Lyrics by Greg Pierce
Directed by Liesl Tommy
A Co-Production with The Vineyard Theatre
March 10 - April 26, 2015
It is the hottest summer in human history and, in a few short months, all water on earth will evaporate.
In response, twenty-something Charlie has taken to her couch with only her beloved possessions: peanut butter, Wolf Blitzer and Herschel, the fish. Her mother, roommate and sometimes-boyfriend all attempt to persuade her to leave her apartment and enjoy life. However, as Charlie's memories take over, more complicated reasons for her self-inflicted hibernation emerge as she confronts her deferred dreams and considers the possibility of life and love just outside her door.
Filled with Blaemire's (Glory Days) trademark quirky style and reminiscent of past Signature contemporary musicals [title of show] and The Last Five Years, Soon's youthful humor, energy and wit deliver a searing and sardonic commentary on what to do with the time you have left.
Book, Music & Lyrics by Nick Blaemire
Directed by Matthew Gardiner
May 12 - June 28, 2015
Willkommen to the Kit Kat Club, the hottest nightclub in seedy, prewar Berlin; here, life is beautiful.
American writer Cliff Bradshaw travels to Berlin searching for inspiration. He finds it in English club performer Sally Bowles and they begin a torrid affair. However, outside their door, the Nazis' impending rise to power heralds a brutal end to their decadent way of life.
Featuring the treasured songs "Maybe This Time," "Willkommen," "Don't Tell Mama" and the title song, Kander and Ebb's Tony Award®-winning masterpiece graces the Signature stage for the first time in twenty years.
Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the Play by John Van Druten
and Stories by Christopher Isherwood
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Broadway Production Directed by Harold Prince
Produced for the Broadway Stage by Harold Prince
Directed by Matthew Gardiner
Special 25th Anniversary Events:
April 2 - 19, 2015
An original tribute celebrating Stephen Sondheim and Signature Theatre's special partnership over the last 25 years. With special permission from Sondheim himself, this completely new revue created by Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and David Loud plays only at Signature and will never be seen again.
Whether you'd like to race Into the Woods with Sweeney Todd and a few Assassins, enjoy A Little Night Music at the Follies on a Saturday Night, or simply relish a Sunday in the Park with George, you'll be in good Company when six Signature favorites and a gorgeous 16-piece orchestra take the stage to honor the genius himself, Stephen Sondheim.
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Musical Supervision & Vocal Arrangements by David Loud
Choreographed by Matthew Gardiner
Directed by Eric Schaeffer
Signature's Open House
August 2, 2014
Kick off the 25th Season with Signature's Annual Open House. Starting at noon, come enjoy performances every fifteen minutes, special ticket offers and a grand finale concert.
The 25 Year Journey: A Conversation
September 15, 2014
FREE, reserve tickets by calling 703 820 9771 starting July 1.
25th Anniversary Concert
October 20, 2014
With 50 singers and a 25-piece orchestra, this one-night-only event pays musical tribute to the past 25 years of Signature history. For more information and tickets, contact Signature Theatre's Development Office at 570 527 1828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sizzlin' Summer Nights Series
July 9 - 26, 2014
Signature opens our air-conditioned doors once more for the annual Sizzlin' Summer Nights Series. With a different concert act each night, there's always something to keep you entertained!
Cabaret Series - 4 show series
October 21 - 25, 2014
The fabulous ladies of Signature doll up in the swinging style of the Andrews Sisters. With a few tight harmonies and a whole lot of doo-woppin', the gals instill a unique contemporary twist to such jitterbugging classics as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "If They Could See Me Now."
February 24 - 28, 2015
Following the success of Jersey Boys on the Great White Way, Signature takes our own spin on the famous high belting tenors from America's past and present. From Frankie Valli to Michael Jackson to Justin Timberlake, four delightful gentlemen serve up some delicious barbershop treats.
April 7 - 11, 2015
Break out your flannel and Stetson, because Signature is throwing a hoe down! From Alabama to Patsy Cline, with samplings of Dolly Parton, the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks and maybe even Carrie Underwood,
Signature samples the full spectrum of country flavor.
May 19 - 23, 2015
Signature staple and co-founder Donna Migliaccio takes center stage for a musical journey through some of her favorite roles. From Sweeney Todd's Mrs. Lovett to The Music Man's Mrs. Paroo to Gypsy's Mazeppa, Donna's distinctive voice and sparkling wit make for an unforgettable, riotous evening!
December 12 - 23, 2014
The popular holiday cabaret returns! Tune that piano to the key of glee for a jolly festivity featuring special guest performers, buckets of cheer and all your cherished yuletide tunes.
ABOUT SIGNATURE: Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company in Arlington, Virginia dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 43 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces.
In addition to hosting the finest talent from the DC metropolitan area and New York, Signature has been home to such theater luminaries as Chita Rivera, Christine Lahti, George Hearn, Hunter Foster, Emily Skinner, Ann Reinking, Marc Kudisch, Judy Kuhn, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the company's signature composer, Stephen Sondheim. Since its founding in 1989, Signature has won 82 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region's professional theater and has been honored with 340 nominations.
Subscriptions/Groups: (703) 820-9771; Single Tickets: Ticketmaster (703) 573-SEAT (7328). Signature Theatre is located at 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA. For mre information, visit www.signature-theatre.org.