Signature’s new season includes a new play and 3 new musicals

Arlington’s Signature Theatre will feature four world premieres among its eight 2013-2014 productions, the company announced today.

Included are the latest from Really Really playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo. Pride in the Falls of Autry Mill, which will run between October 15 and December 8, 2013, is the story of America’s ritziest suburb, and its underlying rot. Colaizzo examines in particular the disintegration of a prominent, seemingly perfect family. The company has not announced a director.

The Signature season will also feature the world premiere of the latest Grace Barnes-Matt Connor (Nevermore) musical, Crossing. Promising a score which includes gospel, pop, and rock, Crossing is a story of the twentieth century: people from different decades wait at a train station, and their stories intermingle. Signature Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer will direct this production, which will run from October 29 to November 14 of this year.

Schaeffer will also direct Iris Rainer Dart’s transformation of her novel “Beaches” to a musical of the same name. Beaches is the story of two women who become friends in childhood and remain friends through the terrible difficulties they confront. Dart has written the lyrics and co-written the book with Thom Thomas for this production, which will run from February 18 to March 14 of 2014. David Austin is the composer.

Actor Ed Dixon, whose subtle performance as a hard-boiled but vulnerable man in Signature’s Sunset Boulevard won him widespread acclaim, has penned the fourth world premiere in Signature’s season, Cloak & Dagger. This is a musical comedy about a hard-boiled but vulnerable detective with a zany new case. Four actors will, 39 Steps-style, play nearly twenty roles. Schaeffer is to direct this production, which will run from June 12 to July 6 of next year.

Signature will intersperse these four world premieres with a Washington-area premiere and three well-known and much-loved musicals. Tender Napalm, the story of two lovers who have created a bizarre fantasy world which masks a horrible truth, will be seen by Washington audiences for the first time. Phillip Ridley’s new play will run from March 18 to May 11, 2014, with Matthew Gardiner directing.

The Signature season will open with Miss Saigon, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Richard Maltby and Alain Boublil’s adaptation of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. This work, by the authors of Les Miserables, track the efforts of a Vietnamese woman and an American soldier, lovers during the war, to reunite in their broken hereafters. Schaeffer will direct this production, which will run from August 15 to September 22 of this year.

Sheri Edelen (Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) will be back at Signature for Gypsy, the story of famed burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. Mama Rose is the world’s most ferocious stage mother; when the younger of her two talented daughters (who became the movie star June Havoc, and wrote American Century’s recent production, Marathon ’33) defects from her tutelage, she directs her energies upon the elder – creating, you might say, havoc. Book by Arthur Larents, music by Julie Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, directed by Joe Calarco, Gypsy will run from December 17, 2013 to January 19, 2014.

Signature’s third blockbuster musical will be The Threepenny Opera, the Brecht-Weill parody of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. Matthew Gardiner will direct this production, which features “The Ballad of Mack the Knife.” The Threepenny Opera will run from April 22 to June 1 of next year.

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Tim Treanor About Tim Treanor

Tim Treanor is a senior writer for DC Theatre Scene. He is a 2011 Fellow of the National Critics Institute and has written over 600 reviews for DCTS. His novel, "Capital City," with Lee Hurwitz, is scheduled for publication by Astor + Blue in November of 2016. He lives in a log home in the woods of Southern Maryland with his dear bride, DCTS Editor Lorraine Treanor. For more Tim Treanor, go to


  1. It’s “Madama” Butterfly, not “Madame.”



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