Arlington’s Signature Theatre, a Tony-award winning company which specializes in musicals, will be awash in harmony for its August 4th open house.
The noon-to-10pm celebration will feature free concerts by Emily Skinner (a featured player in Signature’s Witches of Eastwick who went on to star in Broadway’s Billy Elliot); Natascia Diaz (who won a Helen Hayes Award for her performance in MetroStage’s musical Rooms); Rob Britton Lyons (from Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet) and Heidi Blickenstaff (whom we met in Ford’s Meet John Doe, and who went on to star in Broadway’s [title of show]). Seating is on a first come basis.
The Open House, which will take place at Signature’s 4200 Campbell Avenue digs, will also feature three master classes. Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer will lead a class in acting out a song. Tracy Lynn Olivera, a longtime Signature favorite known for her operatic voice, will give a master class in vocal performance. And longstanding Signature choreographer Karma Camp will lead a dance master class. Although the students have been pre-selected, the instructors will handle questions and answers afterward.
At 3:45 p.m. the company will stage its own “Signature Idol” competition, when a panel of celebrity judges picks a single artist among six finalists to perform in the Broadway on the Plaza Concert, the production at the 8.30 p.m. climax of the open house. The celebrity judges include Schaeffer, Blickenstaff, Music Director Chuck Mead (Million Dollar Quartet), and Robert Aubry Davis, the WETA classical-music expert who did his own star turn as Edna Turnblad in Signature’s Hairspray.
Mead, in addition to discharging his judicial responsibilities, will bring his band, the Grassy Knoll Boys, to perform in the Max at 2.30 p.m. and 4.45 p.m. The open house also features the Bitter Dose Combo, a gypsy swing ensemble.
The day will also feature DC performers singing songs from their audition books in cabaret style, a Family Cabaret full of kid-friendly songs, a summer concert on the Plaza, excerpts from the upcoming Signature season, all-day (and free!) cotton candy, sno-cones, popcorn, water, moon bounce, Skee-ball and basketball hoops on the Plaza, and all-day (and not free!) adult beverages in Ali’s bar in the Mead Lobby.
Signature has published a schedule of the day’s events here.
Those attending will also be able to purchase 50% select performances of mainstage shows in the new season, as well as special subscription discounts. These offers will only be available in person at the Open House on Saturday, August 4.