Thursday, May 8, 2014

Selecting a Season - Part I

Next year is Signature Theatre’s 25th Anniversary and to celebrate we have put together one of our most ambitious, exciting, and star-studded seasons to celebrate. What follows in this post is a breakdown of what to expect in the first half of this coming season, some things to consider with each show, and additional resources to investigate to get yourself even more excited for the stellar season you have coming your way.  

Sunday in the Park with George (August 5 - September 21, 2014)

Signature launches its 25th Anniversary season with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize- winning Sunday in the Park with George. 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 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.

Additional resources: Complete Works of George Seurat, Art Insitute of Chicago, Neo-Impressionism at the Phillips Collection, and Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters

Book by James Lapine | Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim | Directed by Matthew Gardiner

Elmer Gantry (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 on the MAX stage in an adventurous new reimagining.

Additional resources: PBS Sinclair Lewis, Sinclair Lewis Books, and Elmer Gantry Theatrical Trailer

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 in the ARK theatre. 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.

Additional Resources: Chelsea Handler Book, Tucker Max, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell Book, Assholes Finish First Book, Hilarity Ensues Book

By Laura Eason | Directed by Aaron Posner

Diner (December 9, 2014 - January 25, 2015)

Nine-time Grammy Award Winner Sheryl Crow and Academy Award-winning original screenwriter Barry Levinson makes a stunning debut with the world premiere musical adaptation of the landmark movie Diner. 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 in the MAX to transform Diner’s groundbreaking evocation of burgeoning adulthood and friendship for the stage.

Additinal resources: Diner Trivia, Roger Ebert Review, and Vanity Fair Article on Diner

Book by Barry Levinson | Music & Lyrics by Sheryl Crow | Directed & Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall

We will be back soon with the other half of our season preview and guide where we will be highlighting Kid Victory, Soon, Simply Sondheim, and Cabaret.


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