- Book by Michael Slade
- Music by Joseph Thalken
- Lyrics by Mark Campbell
- Directed by Kristin Hanggi
- Music Directed by Boko Suzuki
- Choreography Josh Walden
- Scenic Design Beowulf Boritt
- Costume Design Kathleen Geldard
- Lighting Design Colin K. Bills
- Sound Design Matt Rowe
- Orchestrations Joseph Thalken
AMERICAN MUSICAL VOICES PROJECT: PART THREE A WORLD PREMIERE
Partly historical. Totally hysterical.
The world premiere musical comedy And the Curtain Rises loosely re-imagines the theatrical bedlam surrounding the creation of the first American musical. Set in 1866, this classic backstage tale follows novice producer William Wheatley as he finds his production in shambles: bruised egos, secret plots, romance, some skimpy costumes, an uncompromising author, and a cast on the verge of revolt. All is complicated when a French ballet troupe is forced to seek refuge in his theatre after a fire erupts in an adjacent theatre. Rather than throw in the towel and count his losses, Wheatley decides to take control and turn lemons into lemonade. Filled with outrageous characters and rich melodies, and reveling in the chaos and camaraderie of the theatre, And the Curtain Rises is a lovely valentine to an unique American art form
“Signature’s American Musical Voices Project is the most ambitious embrace of new musical theater in the DC region.”
-The Washington Post
Erik Altemus (George C. Boniface) OFF-BROADWAY: Matt in The Fantasticks. REGIONAL: Muny: Annie, Meet Me in St. Louis, Camelot;Musical Theatre Guild of Los Angeles: Parade; University of Cincinnati: Jesus in Godspell, Passion, Cabaret, The Cradle Will Rock. TV: HBO: Miraculous Year (Pilot). FILM: American Film Institute: The Newman Shower.EDUCATION: BFA, Musical Theatre, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) 2009. www.erikaltemus.com
Anna Kate Bocknek (Marie Bonfant) NEW YORK: MOMA: Balcony Scene. REGIONAL: American Stage: Othello; Theater at Monmouth: Once Upon a Mattress; Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati: The Frog Princess; Bigfork Playhouse: Anything Goes; Grease; Crazy for You; Hello, Dolly!; Chicago; Washington Ballet Internship 2005. EDUCATION: BA, James Madison University.
Kristen Calgaro (Justine) NEW YORK: New York Classical Theatre: Much Ado About Nothing; Broadway Workshop: Brigadoon. NATIONAL TOUR: Dr. Dolittle (w/ Tommy Tune). DC AREA: Kennedy Center: Broadway: 3 Generations; Bay Theatre: The Glass Menagerie. REGIONAL: Goodspeed: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; North Shore: Cinderella; 5th Avenue: White Christmas; Sierra Rep; White Christmas; Deertrees: Out of Sterno. TV: Law and Order. FILM: Kumare, South by Southwest Film Festival, March '11. EDUCATION: University of Virginia, Religious Studies & Spanish, Phi Beta Kappa. UPCOMING: Cape May Stage; The Understudy.
Kevin Carolan (C.H. Morton) BROADWAY: Chicago, 10th Anniversary Celebration, The Ritz, Dirty Blonde. OFF-BROADWAY: Encores!: Pardon My English; NYMF: Have A Nice Life (Best Ensemble Performance, 2006). NATIONAL TOUR: Chicago, Dirty Blonde. DC AREA: Ford's Theatre: Kudzu!. REGIONAL: Barrington Stage: A Streetcar Named Desire; Goodspeed: Happy Days! A New Musical; Berkshire Theatre Festival: Morning's At Seven; George Street Playhouse: Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Studio Arena Theatre: A Thousand Clowns; Wilma Theatre: Dirty Blonde; American Stage Company: The Butter And Egg Man, Lucky Guy. TELEVISION: The Middle, Boardwalk Empire (dir. Martin Scorsese), Curb Your Enthusiasm, White Collar, Fringe, Sonny With A Chance, Spin City, All My Children, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: CI, Trinity (recurring). COMEDY: Member: Friars Club, The Improv (Miami), Upright Citizen's Brigade (NYC): Gravid Water.
Alma Cuervo (Mme. Grimaud) BROADWAY: includes Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), Cabaret (Schneider), Titanic (original Ida Straus), The Heidi Chronicles, Ghetto, Quilters; Is There Life After High School?, Censored Scenes From King Kong, Bedroom Farce, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. NATIONAL TOURS: Wicked (Morrible), My Fair Lady, Cabaret, M. Butterfly. OFF-BROADWAY: Sondheim and Weidman's Road Show (directed by John Doyle). REGIONAL: Recent: Cincinnati: The Three Sisters (Sarah Ruhl's adaptation); Huntington: The Miracle At Naples;Northern Stage: The Year of Magical Thinking. AWARDS: OBIE for Uncommon Women and Others; Barrymore for The Beauty Queen of Leenane (PTC); PHOEBE for Wit (Theatre Virginia). TV: Norman Lear's a.k.a. Pablo (series co-star), Law and Order, Criminal Intent. EDUCATION: BA from Tulane; MFA from Yale Drama.
Nick Dalton (William Wheatley) BROADWAY TOURS: Hair (Europe), Hairspray (Las Vegas), Legally Blonde (1st National). NYC/OFF-BROADWAY: NYMF: Trails, Don Imbroglio, Liberty; York Theatre: Its Not What I Say, Ethan Frome (by Adam Gwon); Musicals Tonight!: Ernest in Love, Love From Judy; Active Theatre Company: Romance Romance. REGIONAL: Walnut Street Theatre: Fiddler on the Roof (Barrymore nomination); North Shore Music Theatre: The Three Musketeers; Ogunquit Playhouse + Gateway Playhouse: The Full Monty; Mill Mountain Playhouse: Funny Thing Happened..; Arizona Broadway Theatre: Jekyll + Hyde (title role); Mason Street Warehouse: Wicked City (by Chad Beguelin and Matt Sklar). TV: Host of Zoo Sounds (ABC & PBS), All My Children. FILM: Liszt For President (Euro Indie Winner). EDUCATION: Western Michigan University. Proud member of AEA. www.nickdalton.org
Suzanne Darling (Gabrielle) NATIONAL TOUR: Radio City Christmas Spectacular. INTERNATIONAL TOUR: 42nd Street. REGIONAL: Debbie Does Dallas The Musical; Carnegie Hall: Holiday Spectacular with Elaine Stritch; Avery Fisher Hall: You Oughta Be In Pictures (w/ Karen Ziemba); Brooklyn Lyceum: All Is Full Of Love (world premiere). TV: Love Is Blind (pilot).
Erick Devine (Jeremiah Burnett) BROADWAY: Ragtime, Seussical, Cats, Sid Caesar & Co. OFF-BROADWAY: Enter Laughing, Anne of Green Gables, Lucky Stiff, (all 3 on CD), A Winter's Tale. ENCORES: Of Thee I Sing, Allegro. NATIONAL TOUR: Big River (Deaf West), Ragtime, White Christmas, Me & My Girl (Helen Hayes nomination), Annie Get Your Gun (w/Cathy Rigby), Grand Hotel. DIRECTED: HMS Pinafore, Candide (both w/Kristin Chenoweth), Anything Goes (w/Kelli O'Hara), ...Molly Brown (w/Cathy Rigby), Annie Warbucks (w/Gavin MacLeod), 1776, ...Forum, Most Happy Fella, Compleat Wks of WmShkspr (Abridged), Der Fledermaus, Miracle on 34th Street.
William Diggle (James Timoney) SIGNATURE: Sunset Boulevard. DC AREA: Olney Theatre Center: Call of the Wild (World Premiere); Ford's Theatre: Lincoln in Love (World Premiere Reading); Kennedy Center TYA: Chasing George Washington (National Tour). REGIONAL: Texas Shakespeare Festival: Amadeus, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing; Wayside Theatre: The Matchmaker; Kiss Me, Kate;, A Christmas Carol; Totem Pole Playhouse: I Love You, You're Perfect…; Prather Entertainment: White Christmas, Hello Dolly!; Monomoy Theatre: Macbeth, Oklahoma!, A Servant of Two Masters, The Butter and Egg Man, Noises Off!. EDUCATION: University of Houston PTTP: MFA. WilliamDiggle.com.
Greer Gisy (Regine) REGIONAL: Queens Theater in the Park: One Ride; Knoxville Coliseum: Nutcracker; Clayton Center: Coppelia. NYC: March, Broadway on Broadway, Carnegie Hall Presents: Jaccom, The Knocks. TV: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, A Dance for Life. FILM: Step Up 3D.
Laura Keller (Jacqueline) REGIONAL: Goodspeed Opera House, Reprise! (LA), Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: A Funny Thing Happened...Forum; Riverside Theatre: La Cage Aux Folles; St. George Theatre: On the Town; CRT: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. EDUCATION: The Rock School for the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Rachel Schur (Simone) TOURS: Phoenix Entertainment: FAME!, NETworks Tours: A Chorus Line. REGIONAL: The Papermill Theatre: Seussical, West Side Story. DC AREA: Toby's: West Side Story, Oklahoma!; MetroStage: CabarYAY. EDUCATION: James Madison University, BA, Musical Theatre.
Jennifer Smith (Rose Morton) BROADWAY: 11 shows including original companies of La Cage Aux Folles, The Producers, and The Drowsy Chaperone. TOURS: Young Frankenstein. REGIONAL: Goodspeed: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Miss Jones). TV: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order Criminal Intent. FILM: Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Producers. AWARDS: 2008 inductee into the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame, Lubbock, TX.
Brian Sutherland (Roman Korda) BROADWAY: The Sound of Music, 1776, Victor/Victoria, Steel Pier, Cats, Dance a Little Closer, A Change in the Heir, 110 in the Shade (NYC Opera). TOURS: The Light in the Piazza, Disney's On the Record, Cabaret (w/Joel Grey), 42nd Street (European tour). DC AREA: Arena Stage: Guys and Dolls, Fords Theatre Shenandoah. REGIONAL: St. Louis Rep: Kiss Me, Kate; Fantasticks; Pittsburgh Public: Man of La Mancha; Guthrie Theatre: Pirates of Penzance; Coconut Grove Playhouse: Breaking Legs; Cincinnati Playhouse: She Loves Me; Indiana Rep: Enter the Guardsman. UPCOMING: Film: Burning Blue.
Sean Thompson (Charles Barras) SIGNATURE: Sunset Boulevard. REGIONAL: Walnut Street Theatre: The Eclectic Society, Cinderella; Arden Theatre Company: Candide, A Year With Frog and Toad; Bristol Riverside Theatre: Honey Brown Eyes (reading); Prince Music Theater: Jamaica; Wilma Theater: The Life of Galileo; Mauckingbird Theatre Company: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Flashpoint Theatre Company: The Little Dog Laughed; Media Theatre: Oliver!, Sean Thompson In Concert; Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center: The Seduction of Sheila Valentine (concert reading); Shawnee Playhouse: Camelot, Wit; Maples Repertory Theatre: Oklahoma!, Run For Your Wife, CLUE The Musical, Barefoot in the Park; Great Plains Theatre: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. EDUCATION: Temple University, 2008, Theater and English, Cum Laude.
Rebecca Watson (Millicent Cavendish) BROADWAY/NY: By Jeeves (dir. Alan Ackybourn) The Cocoanuts, Romeo and Juliet, Tim and Scrooge, Disney's Hercules. TOUR: Moon Over Buffalo. REGIONAL: Berkeley Rep: To The Lighthouse (World Premiere/American Theatre Critics Nomination); Portland Stage: Julius Caesar (Cassius); Goodspeed: 1776, Me and My Girl, Annie Get Your Gun; Barrington Stage: Ring Round the Moon; Studio Arena: The Snow Ball; Indiana Rep.: The Miser; Kimmel Center, PA: I'll Be Seeing You (World Premiere); Arkansas & Connecticut Rep.: Into the Woods; Alabama Shakespeare Festival: Major Barbara, Measure for Measure, The Cherry Orchard, Twelfth Night; PaperMill & Pioneer: Peter Pan; Arizona Theatre Co./Phoenix Symphony: Oklahoma!. TV: Cupid, Third Watch, Law & Order, Guiding Light, All My Children, As the World Turns. FILM: By Jeeves. www.RebeccaWatson.org.
Michael Slade (Book) NEW YORK: Roundabout Theatre: Under a Red Moon (reading starring Kate Burton and Billy Crudup); Lucille Lortel Theatre: 2007 New York International Fringe Festival: Bye, Bye, Big Guy (music by David Evans, lyrics by Faye Greenberg); MCC: Thanksgiving (directed by Marcia Jean Kurtz. TOURS: Theatreworks/USA: ten musicals including Superfudge, Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, The Great Brain, The Three Pigs; Radio City Music Hall: Pokemon Live!. REGIONAL: Vittum Theatre, Chicago, IL: And a Child Shall Lead (published by PlayScripts); 2nd Street Theatre, Bend, OR: Garden Politics; Baltimore Theatre Project: Jesse's Head. TV: One Life to Live (Emmy nomination), Another World (Writers' Guild Award nomination), Passions, Days of Our Lives. NOVELS: The Horses of Central Park (Scholastic Hardcover, Apple Paperback; ISAR award).
Joseph Thalken (Music, Orchestrations) THEATRE MUSIC: Was (Book & Lyrics by Barry Kleinbort –The Human Race Theatre Company, Dayton; American Musical Theatre Project, Northwestern University: National Alliance for Musical Theatre; Lincoln Center Theater Workshop), Harold & Maude – an Intimate Musical (Book & Lyrics by Tom Jones – The Papermill Playhouse; Theatre Works, Palo Alto; Human Race Theatre Company, Dayton; Cain Park, Cleveland; Owl Spot Theatre, Tokyo; NAMT), Next of Kin (libretto by Martin Moran – Inner Voices: Solo Musicals 2011), Songs From An Unmade Bed (Lyrics by Mark Campbelll – New York Theatre Workshop), Palais Mascotte (Stadttheater Aachen, Germany). CONCERT MUSIC & COMMISSIONS: Baby Face Nelson and the Femme Fatale (Northwestern University), Tales of Music & Magic (Skaneateles Festival), Indian Summer (Jim Pugh, trombone), Five Duets for Two Tenors (Euro Games), Fahrvernügen (Peter Sachon, cello), Go Forth In Peace and In The Beginning (St. Pauls United Church of Christ, Chicago). AWARDS: The American Musical Voices Project, the Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Commendation Award, the Constance Klinsky Award, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts. BROADWAY (conductor): Victor/Victoria (Julie Andrews & Liza Minnelli), Gypsy (Patti LuPone. CONCERTS & RECORDINGS: Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Polly Bergen, Kristin Chenoweth, Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, B. J. Ward, Denyce Graves, Elizabeth Futral, Pamela Myers, Sally Martin, Michael Crawford, Howard McGillin, Jason Danieley, Nathan Gunn.
Mark Campbell (Lyrics) PRODUCTIONS: New York Theatre Workshop (and 9 other cities around the country): Songs from an Unmade Bed; Wolf Trap Opera: Volpone (music by John Musto); New York Festival of Song: Bastianello/Lucrezia (music by Musto/William Bolcom); National Gallery of Art/University of Maryland: Later the Same Evening (music by Musto); Transport Group: The Audience; American Place Theatre: Splendora (music by Stephen Hoffman); AWARDS: First recipient of the Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, 2 Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, 3 Drama Desk Award nominations, Rockefeller Foundation Award, Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, Grammy® nomination. RECORDINGS: Songs from an Unmade Bed (Ghostlight Records), Volpone (Wolf Trap Recordings), Later the Same Evening (Albany Records), Bastianello/Lucrezia (Bridge Records). UPCOMING: Virginia Opera: Rappahannock County (music by Ricky Ian Gordon); Wolf Trap Opera: The Inspector (music by Musto); Glimmerglass Festival: Later the Same Evening; Minnesota Opera: Silent Night (music by Kevin Puts).
Kristin Hanggi (Director) BROADWAY: Rock of Ages (Tony nomination for Best Direction). OFF-BROADWAY: Rock of Ages. NEW YORK: Bare, Catch the Fish (NY Fringe Best Play). TOURS: Rock of Ages (Toronto, Australia, National Tour). REGIONAL: LA: Bare (Ovation, L.A. Weekly Award), Corpus Christi (Ticketholder Award), Pussycat Dolls Live At The Roxy (with Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and Charlize Theron). FILM: Dear Dumb Diary (Zucker Productions, with Ariel Winter), Naomi + Ely's No Kiss List (with Hayden Panettiere), Shopping for Boys (Paramount, with Mena Suvari and Amy Smart). EDUCATION: M.A. from USC, B.A. from UCLA.
Josh Walden (Choreographer) NEW YORK: NYMTF: Walden Dance Theatre: All Is Love (2006 Direction/Choreography honorable mention), DR2 Theatre, The New York International Fringe Festival, Doonce Theatre Company, Theatreworks USA, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, D.A.R.E., Tisch School of the Arts. DC AREA: The Kennedy Center. REGIONAL: Sacramento Music Circus, Bay Street Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Gateway Playhouse, Riverside Theatre in FL, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, Morag Productions for the Seabourn Sun Cruise Ship. PERFORMANCE: BROADWAY: 42nd Street, La Cage aux Folles, A Chorus Line, Ragtime.
Boko Suzuki (Music Director) BROADWAY: Rent. OFF-BROADWAY: The Kid. REGIONAL: Sunset Boulevard, The Who's TOMMY, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon. OTHER: Wicked (1st National, San Francisco), Mamma Mia! (1st National), Swing! (1st National, L.A. Drama Critic Circle's Award nomination), The Stillborn Lover (composer, Stratford Festival), Naomi's Road (composer, YPT, Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination).
Beowulf Boritt (Scenic Design) BROADWAY: The Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages, Sondheim on Sondheim, …Spelling Bee, LoveMusik, The Two and Only. OFF-BROADWAY: More than 50 shows including: The Last Five Years, The Toxic Avenger, Miss Julie, Public, Roundabout, MTC, 2nd Stage, Vineyard, MCC, New Group, Pearl, American Place, Keen Company. INTERNATIONAL: London: Paradise Found; Beijing: Reel to Real; Edinburgh: Reel to Real. OTHER: 2 editions of the Ringling Brothers Circus.
Kathleen Geldard (Costume Design) SIGNATURE: Walter Cronkite is Dead. (world premiere), A Fox on the Fairway (world premiere), Chess, Sycamore Trees (world premiere), Sweeney Todd, I Am My Own Wife, Show Boat, See What I Wanna See, Les Misérables, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Happy Time. DC AREA: Woolly Mammoth Theatre: Eclipsed;Round House Theatre: Permanent Collection, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Eurydice, Orson's Shadow, Life x 3; Imagination Stage: The Neverending Story (2008 Helen Hayes nomination), Twice Upon a Time, The Hundred Dresses; Studio-Arena Theatre: Batboy; Olney: Da, Is He Dead?, Rabbit Hole, Of Mice and Men, Elephant Man, Having Our Say; Folger Theatre: Comedy of Errors, All's Well that Ends Well; Studio Theatre Secondstage; Everyman Theatre; Vineyard Playhouse; Theater J; Rep Stage. DANCE: Liz Lerman Dance Exchange: Nocturnes, The Farthest Earth From Thee, 613 Radical Acts of Prayer, Funny Uncles, Imprints on a Landscape: The Mining Project.
Colin K. Bills (Lighting Design) SIGNATURE: I Am My Own Wife. DC AREA: Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Associate Artist): The Vibrator Play, Clybourne Park, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Fever/Dream, Dead Man's Cell Phone; Round House Theatre: Eurydice, The Book Club Play; Studio Theatre: Circle Mirror Transformation, Radio Golf;Didactic Theatre, Forum Theatre, Imagination Stage, the Kennedy Center, Maryland Stage, MetroStage, Olney Theatre, The Smithsonian Institution, Synetic Theatre, Theatre for the First Amendment, Theatre J, Tsunami Theatre, The Washington Revels. REGIONAL: The Berkshire Theater Festival: Best Kept Secret; CENTERSTAGE: Working it Out; Contemporary American Theater Festival: Breadcrumbs, Lidless, The History of Light, 50 Words, Lonesome Hollow, My Name is Rachel Corrie; Intiman Theatre: All the King's Men; The Williamstown Theatre Festival: The Physicists. AWARDS: 2010 and 2008 Helen Hayes Awards, 2009 Princess Grace Theater Fellowship. EDUCATION: Dartmouth.
Matt Rowe (Sound Design) SIGNATURE: Sunset Boulevard, Walter Cronkite is Dead., A Fox on the Fairway, Chess, Sycamore Trees, [title of show], Sweeney Todd, Show Boat, First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb, Dirty Blonde, Giant, The Little Dog Laughed, Les Misérables, Anyone Can Whistle in Concert, The Visit, The Happy Time, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Glory Days, Merrily We Roll Along, The Witches of Eastwick. DC AREA: Kennedy Center: Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred); Nobody's Perfect.
William E. Cruttenden III (Production Stage Manager) SIGNATURE: Sunset Boulevard, Chess, I Am My Own Wife. OFF BROADWAY: Theatre Row: Perfect Harmony. DC AREA: Woolly Mammoth Theatre: Clybourne Park, Full Circle, Eclipsed, BOOM, Maria/Stuart, Measure for Pleasure, No Child…; Olney Theatre: Is He Dead?, Bad Dates, Of Mice and Men; Imagination Stage: Twice Upon a Time; Shakespeare Theatre: 2009 Will Awards. REGIONAL: West Virginia Public Theatre: Doubt, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wedding Singer, CATS.
Kristy Matero (Assistant Stage Manager) SIGNATURE: Sweeney Todd, Signature's Sizzlin' Summer Concert Series 2007. DC AREA: Woolly Mammoth Theatre: The K of D, Full Circle, Antebellum, Boom, Maria/Stuart, How Theatre Failed America, If You See Something Say Something, Hell Meets Henry Halfway (with Pig Iron Theatre Company), Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (with The Neofuturists); The Kennedy Center: Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Seven Guitars, Jitney; Scena Theatre: The Importance of Being Earnest; Theatre Alliance: Ambition Facing West. REGIONAL: Actors Theatre of Louisville: Italian American Reconciliation, dark play or stories for boys, Mary's Wedding, The Chosen, Gone Missing (with The Civilians); Spoleto Festival USA: Flora or Hob in the Well, Louise, Amistad, Don Giovanni.