XANADU Closes Signature's 22nd Season, Running Now thru 7/1


Signature Theatre closes out its 2011/12 season sporting funky legwarmers and wielding neon glow sticks with the Washington premiere of the musical comedy hit Xanadu. Beginning performances tonight, May 6th, Xanadu will be transforming Signature's MAX Theatre into one big disco-ball heaven – complete with satin shorts and roller skates! Nominated for four Tony Awards® (including "Best Musical"), the musical features a Book by Douglas Carter Beane, with Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Xanadu will play at Signature from tonight May 6, 2012 through July 1, 2012. Tickets are now on sale.

Directed and choreographed by Signature's Associate Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner (Really Really, [title of show]), the production stars Erin Weaver (Arcadia at Folger Theatre) as the Greek Muse Kira, with Charlie Brady (South Pacific on Broadway), Sherri L. Edelen (Hairspray, Les Misérables, Side Show at Signature), Nova Y. Payton (Signature's Hairspray), and Harry A. Winter (Signature's Sunset Boulevard, The Boy Detective Fails, Allegro). Mark Chandler, Jamie Eacker, Kellee Knighten Hough, and Nickolas Vaughan round out the cast for this zany send-up to the 1980 cult classic film.

"Doug Carter Beane's hysterical send-up of all things 80s is one of the most joyous, silly and at the same time intelligent musical comedies to be written in the past several years," said Gardiner. "Combine the biggest train wreck of a film, that fantastic Electric Light Orchestra score, and MR. Beane's inspired script and you have a hilarious evening of theatre. A bit Greek drama, a bit camp and a whole lot of fun."

It is 1980 in Venice, California. Legwarmers are in and roller skates are way sexy. Kira, one of seven quirky Greek muses, is sworn to three things: to inspire mortals, never reveal her identity and never, ever fall in love. When she emboldens struggling artist Sonny to create the first roller disco, Kira feels the artistic pull of her own.

Signature's Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer stated, "From Ichabod Crane to Tracy Turnblad…From Rasputin to disco balls, Signature's season has never been so daring and eclectic. There is no better way to close out our season than with this highly entertaining show featuring some of Washington's greatest talents."

The creative team for Xanadu includes Misha Kachman (set designer), Kathleen Geldard (costume designer), Chris Lee (lighting designer), Matt Rowe (sound designer), and Gregory VanderPloeg (Skating Coach). The Associate Choreographer is Brianne Camp and the Music Director is Gabriel Mangiante.

Xanadu is sponsored by The Bernard Family Foundation.

Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar
Based on the 1980 Universal Pictures Film
Directed and Choreographed by Matthew Gardiner
May 8, 2012 – July 1, 2012

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. There will be no matinee performance on Saturday, May 12. Tickets are now on sale starting at $63. Single tickets are available at the Signature Box Office or by calling Ticketmaster at (703) 573-SEAT. Student discount tickets are $30 and must be purchased the week of the performance. Signature is also offering "$22 for Tuesdays," making available $22 tickets to the first two public Tuesday performances on May 8th and May 15th.


Charlie Brady (Sonny Malone) SIGNATURE: Glory Days in concert. BROADWAY: Lincoln Center Theater: South Pacific. OFF-BROADWAY: Playwrights Horizons/Vineyard Theater: The Burnt Part Boys (cast recording). NATIONAL TOURS: South Pacific, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!. REGIONAL: Guthrie Theater: The Master Butcher's Singing Club; Weston Playhouse St Ex; North Shore Music Theater: Les Misérables; Barrington Stage Co.: The Burnt Part Boys, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick; The St Louis Muny, Kansas City Starlight, Walnut Street Theater. EDUCATION: Carnegie-Mellon University.

Mark Chandler (Thalia/Cyclops/et al) SIGNATURE: Giant, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Glory Days. DC AREA: Adventure Theatre: You're a Good Man Charlie Brown; Studio Theatre: Reefer Madness (Helen Hayes Award, Best Musical); NATIONAL TOURS: Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow u/s). REGIONAL: Arizona Broadway Theatre: Sunset Blvd; Orlando Repertory Theatre: Winnie the Pooh, Amelia Bedelia. TV: The View (ABC); EDUCATION: Catholic University of America, BM, Musical Theatre (2009).

Jamie Eacker (Euterpe/Thetis/et al) SIGNATURE: Hairspray (Tammy, u/s Amber), Chess (Ensemble/Assistant Choreographer). NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL TOUR: The Kennedy Center: The Phantom Tollbooth; Phoenix Entertainment: Grease (China). DC AREA: Teatro 101: The Wild Party, Queenie; Ford's Theatre: A Christmas Carol; Studio Theatre: Grey Gardens, Jerry Springer: The Opera; Kennedy Center: NSO POPS with Marvin Hamlisch; Washington Savoyards: The Music Man; Olney Theatre: Joseph…, Fiddler On the Roof; Keegan: DMLRR-The Oresteia; Toby's Dinner Theatre: Hairspray, Aida, The Wizard of Oz, George M!, Footloose, Grease; Imagination Stage: Miss Nelson Is Missing. EDUCATION: The American Musical and Dramatic Academy of NYC.

Sherri L. Edelen (Calliope/Aphrodite) SIGNATURE: Hairspray, Side by Side by Sondheim, Walter Cronkite is Dead., Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables (Helen Hayes Award), Urinetown, Elegies (Helen Hayes nomination), Side Show (Helen Hayes Award). DC AREA: Kennedy Center / Sondheim Celebration: Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along; Shakespeare Theatre: Design for Living; Olney Theatre: She Loves Me (Helen Hayes nomination); Rep Stage: Kimberly Akimbo; Round House Theatre: The World Goes 'Round, The Diary of Anne Frank; Arena: Cabaret (Helen Hayes nomination); REGIONAL: NY Fringe Festival: Citizen Ruth; Arden Theatre: Our Town; Caroline, or Change (Barrymore nomination); Philadelphia Theatre Co.: The Light in the Piazza (Barrymore Award), Elegies (Barrymore nomination); Stages St. Louis: The Music Man, Annie Get Your Gun.

Kellee Knighten Hough (Erato/Hera/Eros/et al) NATIONAL TOURS: Fame the Musical. DC AREA: Shakespeare Theatre: Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Rock Opera; Ford's Theatre: A Christmas Carol; Parade; Presidential Gala; The Civil War (Helen Hayes Award nomination Outstanding Supporting Actress). REGIONAL: Flat Rock Playhouse: For the Glory; Merry-Go-Round Playhouse: Little Shop of Horrors; North Shore Music Theatre/Goodspeed Opera House: Abyssinia (dir. Stafford Arima). TV: Praise the Lord! (Live), TBN (featured soloist). OTHER: Clark Eno Orchestra (featured soloist). EDUCATION: American Musical and Dramatic Academy (NYC); Xavier University of Louisiana, BS, Biology Pre-Med (New Orleans).

Nova Y. Payton (Melpomene/ Medusa) SIGNATURE: Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle, 2012 Helen Hayes Nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Resident Musical). NATIONAL TOUR: 3 Mo' Divas (PBS Special, DVD and CD); Smokey Joe's Café (BJ). DC AREA: Washington Savoyards: Ain't Misbehavin' (Nell); H Street Playhouse: Black Nativity; Adventure Theatre: Happy Elf (Mrs. Claus/Gurt). REGIONAL: Prince Music Theatre: Dreamgirls (Effie, 2005 Barrymore Nominee, Best Lead Actress in a Musical); Flat Rock Playhouse: Smokey Joe's Café (BJ).

Nickolas Vaughan (Terpsicore/Hermes/et al) SIGNATURE: Hairspray, Tamar on the River (21/24 workshop). DC AREA: Studio Theatre: Marcus Or The Secret of Sweet, F***ing A; Kennedy Center: The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog, Locomotion, Barrio Grrrl!, U.G.L.Y. A New Musical (Page-to-Stage festival); Kay Theatre: Shadowboxer (world premiere); Ira Aldridge Theatre: A Chorus Line, Working, Company, Saint Lucy's Eyes. REGIONAL: Hangar Theatre: The Piano Lesson; DANCE: Kennedy Center: Dangerous Liaisons; Aaron Davis Hall: This Woman's Work. EDUCATION: Howard University, BFA, Musical Theatre.

Erin Weaver (Kira) DC AREA: Folger Theatre: Arcadia (Thomasina, Helen Hayes Award), The Tempest (Miranda), The Comedy of Errors (Luciana); Round House Theatre: A Murder (Mary), A Mystery & A Marriage, A Wrinkle in Time (Meg). NATIONAL TOUR: Les Misérables. REGIONAL: Cal Shakes: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Arden: Into The Woods; Two River: Our Town; Mary's Wedding; You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown; People's Light: The Miser, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Treasure Island, Jack & The Beanstalk, Robin Hood, Gossamer. EDUCATION: University of the Arts, BFA with honors.

Harry A. Winter (Danny Maguire/ Zeus) NATIONAL TOURS: Gigi, Jolson: the Musical. DC AREA: Allegro, 110 in the Shade, Sunset Boulevard, Racing Demon, The Laramie Project, Circle Mirror Transformation, Pins and Needles, and Bringing Up Amy.

Subscription packages (of 3-shows and up) are now available for purchase for Signature Theatre's upcoming 2012/13 season. This 23rd season features classic Broadway musicals such as Dreamgirls, Hello, Dolly! (a co-production with Ford's Theatre), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Stephen Sondheim's Company. The Pulitzer-prize winning play Crimes of the Heart, Dying City, and Shakespeare's R&J are also featured in Signature's exciting new season of reinvention. For more information and to purchase season tickets, please contact the Signature Box Office at (703) 820-9771 or go to our website at www.signature-theatre.org.

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 38 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, 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 72 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region's professional theater and has been honored with 305 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 the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.

Signature Theatre is located at 4200 Campbell Avenue (22206) off I-395 at the Shirlington exit (#6). 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.


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