2011/12 Season | Signature Theatre

Xanadu

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  • Book by Douglas Carter Beane
  • Music & Lyrics by Jeff Lynne & John Farrar
  • Based on the 1980 Universal Pictures film
  • Directed & Choreographed by Matthew Gardiner

Washington Premiere

 

The award-winning instant cult classic musical comedy – featuring the hit songs “Magic,” “Suddenly” and “I’m Alive”

 

Grab your loved ones and glow sticks – as Signature turns the MAX Theatre into one big disco-heaven ball!
1980. Venice, California. Legwarmers are in and roller skates are way sexy.

Xanadu, the zany send-up of the cult film starring Olivia Newton-John, delivers rock-star hilarity in an electrifying tale of forbidden love. 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. However, when she emboldens struggling artist Sonny to create the first roller disco, Kira feels the artistic pull of her own.

“Heaven on wheels…outlandishly enjoyable.” — The New York Times

Brother Russia

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  • Book & Lyrics by John Dempsey
  • Music by Dana Rowe
  • Scenic Design Misha Kachman
  • Costume Design Kathleen Geldard
  • Lighting Design Colin K. Bills
  • Sound Design Matt Rowe
  • Orchestrations August Eriksmoen
  • Music Direction Gabriel Mangiante
  • Choreography Jodi Moccia
  • Directed by Eric Schaeffer

World Premiere

A world premiere rock musical from the award-winning creators of The Fix and The Witches of Eastwick.

In a desolate potato field north of Omsk, a comically fourth-rate Russian theatre troupe sets up its tents and wows the local farmers with rock-fueled adaptations of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Tonight, however, the company will toss classic literature aside to showcase the life story of their impresario and star, the seemingly immortal Brother Russia – more commonly known as Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin. Yes, that Rasputin: the hypnotic mystic who seduced and ruled the Tsar and Tsarina in the waning days of Imperial Russia.

“Dempsey’s lyrics are exceptionally witty, and Rowe’s music jaunty and tuneful, yet with the sophisticated sweep of a Sondheim.” — TIME Magazine

God of Carnage

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  • By Yasmina Reza
  • Translated by Christopher Hampton
  • Scenic Design James Kronzer
  • Costume Design Kathleen Geldard
  • Lighting Design Colin K. Bills
  • Sound Design Matt Rowe
  • Directed by Joe Calarco

Washington Premiere

The three-time 2009 Tony Award®-Winner, including Best Play

From the award-winning author of Art comes this shrewd and vicious comedy that gleefully flouts the perception of human “civility.”

Two upper-middle-class Brooklyn couples meet to discuss an incident of playground violence between their sons. Though the evening begins with polite pleasantries, it quickly descends into primal madness as tempers flare, loyalties shift and the parents devolve into children. Like last season’s Art, Reza ferociously and hilariously strips her affluent, over-achieving characters down to their savage core.

“An expert piece of stagecraft, and savagely funny.” — International Herald Tribune

 

Signature Theatre recognizes Jeffery Herrity as the artist for the photography seen in God of Carnage.

The Hollow

  • Book by Hunter Foster
  • Music & Lyrics by Matt Conner
  • Based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  • Scenic Design Derek McLane
  • Costume Design Kathleen Geldard
  • Lighting Design Chris Lee
  • Sound Design Matt Rowe
  • Orchestrations Michael Morris
  • Music Directon Gabriel Mangiante
  • Directed by Matthew Gardiner

From the composer of Nevermore and Partial Eclipse, The Hollow is a chilling musical reinterpretation of the classic thriller The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In a devout 18th century village, a mysterious stranger spreading radically new ideas challenges the traditional order. However, when rumors spread of a headless horseman murdering friends and neighbors, the townsfolk blame the outsider for this demonic curse.

The Boy Detective Fails

  • Book by Joe Meno
  • Music & Lyrics by Adam Gwon
  • Based on novel The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno
  • Scenic Design Derek McLane
  • Costume Design Kathleen Geldard
  • Lighting Design Chris Lee
  • Sound Design Matt Rowe
  • Orchestrations Andy Einhorn
  • Music Directon Gabriel Mangiante
  • Choreographed by Karma Camp
  • Directed by Joe Calarco

The Boy Detective Fails, based on Joe Meno’s acclaimed novel, tells the story of Billy Argo, “boy detective.” In the twilight of a childhood full of wonder, a broken-hearted Billy faces a mystery he can’t comprehend – the shocking death of his young sister and crime-solving partner, Caroline. Ten years later, a 30-year old Billy returns to his quiet New Jersey town after an extended stay at St. Vitus’ Hospital for the mentally ill. Although determined to solve the mystery of Caroline’s death and right old wrongs, he instead discovers a world full of unimaginable strangeness, beauty and love.

Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South

  • Written and performed by E. Patrick Johnson
  • Produced through special arrangement with Jane M. Saks
  • Scenic Design Klyph Stanford
  • Costume Design Kathleen Geldard
  • Lighting Design Curtis V. Hodge
  • Sound Design Matt Rowe
  • Music Direction Gabriel Mangiante
  • Directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj

Washington Premiere

Based on his award-winning and critically acclaimed book, E. Patrick Johnson stars in this new one-man exploration into the southern black gay community. A fascinating, validating oral history inspired by the author’s personal journey, Sweet Tea explores the perceptions, angst, triumphs and vulnerabilities of this minority within a minority. With passion and insight, Johnson reinforces the spoken-word tradition while challenging stereotypes – and finding humor, humanity and hope within.

Saturday Night

  • Book by Julius and Philip Epstein
  • Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
  • Music Direction Jon Kalbfleisch
  • Lighting Design Katrina Maurer
  • Directed by Matthew Gardiner

Sondheim. Signature’s Signature. Stephen Sondheim’s hidden gem Saturday Night (1953) is a Signature special concert event that will play for four performances only. Unproduced for almost 45 years, Saturday Night is the first musical Mr. Sondheim ever wrote. This romantic comedy surges with the composer’s unique musical voice and sophisticated lyrics. On the eve of the 1929 stock market crash, a group of Brooklyn boys despair their dateless Saturday nights. One of them dreams of Manhattan society life and hatches a get rich quick scheme which ultimately backfires. Features gems such as “Saturday Night,” “So Many People” and “What More Do I Need?”

A Second Chance

  • Book, Music & Lyrics by Ted Shen
  • Scenic Design Robert Brill
  • Costume Design Susan Hilferty
  • Lighting Design Jennifer Schriever
  • Sound Design Matt Rowe
  • Projections Design Rocco DiSanti
  • Orchestrations Bruce Coughlin
  • Music Direction Zak Sandler
  • Directed by Jonathan Butterell

World Premiere

From the director of Signature’s Giant comes this intimate new musical about unexpectedly finding love when you are least looking for it. Two savvy New Yorkers are seated next each other at a dinner party – he is mourning the recent loss of his wife; she is newly divorced. They share a passion for art. Neither wants nor feels that they deserve to find love – and yet they are irresistibly drawn to the other. This lyrical duet showcases their journey towards happiness against all the odds.

Listen to a song! I Can’t Wait – A Second Chance

Hairspray

  • Book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan
  • Music by Marc Shaiman
  • Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
  • Based on the 1988 film Hairspray by John Waters
  • Scenic Design Daniel Conway
  • Costume Design Kathleen Geldard
  • Lighting Design Colin K. Bills
  • Sound Design Matt Rowe
  • Music Direction Jon Kalbfleisch
  • Choreography Karma Camp and Brianne Camp
  • Directed by Eric Schaeffer

The 2003 Tony Award®-Winner for Best Musical

The world is spinning out of control…but all Tracy Turnblad wants to do is dance.

When she wins a coveted spot on “The Corny Collins Show,” Baltimore’s most popular teen dance program, the high school loser with the big heart, big personality and big hair proves everyone wrong and becomes a local TV celebrity. It seems like Tracy will have it all – the eye of heartthrob Link Larkin, the Miss Teenage Hairspray crown, even a modeling gig with Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway.

But is segregated Baltimore ready to embrace her demand for racial integration? And will her larger-than-life mother ever leave the house?

“Stocked with deliriously tuneful songs…Hairspray is as sweet as a show can be without promoting tooth decay.” — The New York Times

Click here to read the Hairspray Hairline blog and learn all about the backstage process!


Really Really

  • A play by Paul Downs Colaizzo
  • Directed by Matthew Gardiner
  • Scenic Design Misha Kachman
  • Costume Design Kathleen Geldard
  • Lighting Design Colin K. Bills
  • Sound Design Matt Rowe
  • Fight Director Casey Kaleba
  • New York Casting Stuart Howard & Paul Hardt
  • Production Stage Manager Julie Meyer

World Premiere

“The gem of this generation, and the upside to our selfishness, is the invincibility we espouse.”

Really Really

From one of the country’s most promising new voices comes this contemporary drama that pushes the edges and embraces the harsh reality of today’s youth.

At an elite university, when the party of the year results in the regret of a lifetime, one person will stop at nothing to salvage a future that is suddenly slipping away. In this quick-witted and gripping comic tragedy about “Generation Me,” it’s every man for himself.

Really Really contains nudity, strong language and explicit situations. For mature audiences only.