Marc Kudisch, Julia Murney Lead Signature's Sizzlin¬' Summer Cabaret Series
Virginia's Signature Theatre heats up during the dog days of summer with their annual Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret, a 3-week series featuring thirteen individual acts sure to keep things red hot. Headlining the talented array of solo artists assembled will be Tony Award® nominee Marc Kudisch (Broadway's 9 to 5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, andThoroughly Modern Millie) with his What Makes Me Tick cabaret coming straight from Feinstein's. Broadway star Julia Murney (Elphaba in Wicked and a Drama Desk nominee for The Wild Party) will also be performing for two nights with her own mix of renowned stage songs.
Other solo performances featured in the Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret include Sandy Bainum (Signature's Sunset Boulevard and Show Boat), Erin Driscoll (Signature's [title of show] and Sweeney Todd), Peter Fox (the cabaret shows Everything's Coming Up Sondheim and Let Me Be the Music), Will Gartshore (Show Boat, Urinetown at Signature), Bob McDonald (Signature's Putting it Together and Anyone Can Whistle in Concert), Colleen McHugh (AfterDark Award for "Outstanding Cabaret Artist" and selected as Chicago's "Best Cabaret Artist, 2001), and Lauren Williams (Into the Woods, A Funny Thing Happened... at Signature).
Signature will also be celebrating the magic of Irving Berlin with two performances of Let Me Sing and I'm Happy (The Music of Irving Berlin), a collection of Berlin favorites. The show, originally produced by Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, features D.C. favorites Sherri L. Edelen (Les Miserables, Side Show), James Gardiner ([title of show], Chess), Matt Pearson (See What I Wanna See, Lost Songs of Broadway cabaret), and Bayla Whitten (Chess, Merrily We Roll Along) singing Berlin standards such as "Check to Cheek," "Blue Skies," and "Always."
The 21/24 Signature Lab, now in its third year, jumpstarts the series with a presentation of the new musical I Capture the Castle on July 16th and 17th. The 21/24 Signature Lab, an initiative for the creation of Musical Theatre Works by young composers, is part of Signature's celebrated American Musical Voices Project: Next Generation. Based on the renowned novel and film by Dodie Smith (One Hundred and One Dalmatians), I Capture the Castle features music by Next Generation Composer Award recipient Peter Foley - with lyrics by Marion Adler and book by Kenneth Vega. Helen Hayes Award winner Aaron Posner (Folger Theatre's Comedy of Errors and Arcadia) will direct this charming, coming-of-age tale of an eccentric artistic family who move into a decaying English castle in the 1930's.
The 21/24 Acting Company features Alexis Bronkovic, Zack Colonna, Lauren Culpepper, Susan Derry, Natascia Diaz, James Gardiner, Helen Hedman, Eric Hissom, James Konicek, Tim Rogan, and Danny Yoerges.
Signature's Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer stated, "With the impressive collection of talents we have assembled, this year's Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret promises to be a scorcher. Signature is always extremely proud to be home to new musicals, and our 21/24 program allows us to continue our efforts as a leading force in supporting exciting new work by emerging young composers."
The Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret also includes the debut of Open Mic Night on July 20th, giving anyone and everyone a chance to show off their singing chops in front of an audience. Promising singers can sign up to perform beginning at 7:00pm in the Signature Theatre lobby. The finale of the Cabaret series brings the return of the very popular Revenge of the Understudies, with performances by a host of talented performers who have understudied at Signature this past season, including Jonathan Atkinson, Bill Diggle, Katie Grace Heidbreder, Greg Maheu, Gia Mora, Chris Mueller, Gannon O'Brien, Kirstin Reigler, Tim Rogan, Rachel Schur, and Nadine Zahr.
SIZZLIN' SUMMER CABARET SCHEDULE
21/24 Lab: I Capture the Castle (MAX Theatre) Saturday, July 16 at 8:00pm
21/24 Lab: I Capture the Castle (MAX Theatre) Sunday, July 17 at 8:00pm
Open Mic Night Wednesday, July 20 at 8:00pm
Will Gartshore: All the King's Men Thursday, July 21 at 8:00pm
Will Gartshore: All the King's Men Friday, July 22 at 7:30pm
Peter Fox: Be Yourself (Everyone Else Is Taken) Friday, July 22 at 9:30pm
SIGNATURE'S TARGET OPEN HOUSE Saturday, July 23 from noon - 10pm
Marc Kudisch: What Makes Me Tick Wednesday, July 27 at 8:00pm
Marc Kudisch: What Makes Me Tick Thursday, July 28 at 8:00pm
Let Me Sing & I'm Happy: The Music of Irving Berlin Friday, July 29 at 7:30pm
Let Me Sing & I'm Happy: The Music of Irving Berlin Friday, July 29 at 9:30pm
Bob McDonald: What About Bob? Saturday, July 30 at 9:30pm
Julia Murney Wednesday, August 3 at 8:00pm
Julia Murney Thursday, August 4 at 8:00pm
Lauren Williams: What Would Doris Do? Friday, August 5 at 7:30pm
Erin Driscoll: Coming Into Focus Friday, August 5 at 9:30pm
Sandy Bainum: Great Songs Seldom Heard Saturday, August 6 at 7:30pm
Revenge of the Understudies Saturday, August 6 at 9:30pm
Tickets for 21/24 Signature Lab are $20 general admission.
Tickets for all other cabarets are $25 general admission.
Signature is offering a special All-Access Pass for $125 to the first 100 callers. The All-Access Pass allows patrons to see all the cabarets at no additional cost - subject to availability.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by calling Ticketmaster (703-573-SEAT) or visiting www.signature-theatre.org.
All-Access Passes MUST be purchased at the box office (703-820-9771).
ABOUT THE AMERICAN MUSICAL VOICES PROJECT (AMVP)
Signature Theatre's American Musical Voices Project is the largest single musical
theater commissioning and producing initiative of any U.S. theater. Founded in May
2006 and funded by The Shen Family Foundation, the AMVP demonstrates Signature's commitment to producing full productions of world premiere Musical Theatre Works. Through the AMVP, Musical Theater Composer Grants have been awarded to Ricky Ian Gordon, Michael John LaChiusa, Joseph Thalken, Adam Guettel and Jeanine Tesori. Each of the grants includes a commission to create a new full-length musical, with a commitment for full production as part of Signature Theatre's mainstage season. In April 2009, Giant by Michael John LaChiusa received its world premiere at Signature Theatre. Ricky Ian Gordon's Sycamore Trees premiered in May 2010, and Joseph Thalken's musical, And the Curtain Rises premiered in March 2011.
As part of the AMVP, Musical Theater Leadership Awards have been made to four
individuals in recognition of their extraordinary influence on and contribution to the
advancement of new musical theater, orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, composer Adam
Guettel, singer/actress Audra McDonald, and director/musical director/orchestrator
In June 2008, the AMVP added The Next Generation program. That year, emerging composers Matt Conner, Adam Gwon, & Gabriel Kahane each received a commission to write new musicals for Signature Theatre and honorees Peter Foley and Marisa Michelson were given grants for the development of their musical ideas. In July 2009, the Theatre launched "21/24 Signature Lab," three weeks of rehearsal & performances of new works by The Next Generation composers. Also announced as part of The Next Generation segment of the AMVP were two additional musical commissions awarded to Peter Foley and Marisa Michelson, as well as honoree grants given to Chris Miller and Scott Davenport Richards for the development of future musical ideas. In 2010, Miller and Richards were awarded commissions through The Next Generation program, and Joshua Schmidt and Joshua Rosenblum were named honorees.
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 32 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 theatre luminaries as Chita Rivera, George Hearn, Hunter Foster, Emily Skinner, 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 72 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region's professional theater and has been honored with 293 nominations.
Signature is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and by a gift from Arlington County through the Arlington Commission for the Arts and the Cultural Affairs Division of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources.
Signature Theatre is located at 4200 Campbell Avenue (22206) off I-395 at the Shirlington exit. After the exit, blue Signature signs mark the way to the theatre. Free parking is available in two adjacent public garages. Please note that Campbell Avenue is a new street and some GPS online mapping systems do not yet recognize Signature Theatre's address. For directions visit http://signature-theatre.org/map.htm.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos