The conceptual revue covers 70 years of history. Ray Roderick, who co-created (with Michael Berkeley) and directed and choreographed previous regional productions of I Love a Piano, again directs and choreographs the production, which is not an Arena-produced show, but a touring package booked into the Arena season.
According to Arena notes, "I Love a Piano captures the spirit of America from the ragtime era of the early 20th century through the swinging elegance of the 1920s and '30s. From the songs that inspired a nation through the Great Depression to the innocent optimism of the 1950s, I Love a Piano embarks on an exuberant journey through musical family fun."
The songbook includes "Puttin' on the Ritz," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Change Partners," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "God Bless America" and "White Christmas."
The company includes Tom Bruett, Talia Corren, Ryan Lammer, Emily Mattheson, Alix Paige, Ashley Peacock, Michael Turay and Jason Weitkamp.
The independently produced I Love a Piano is presented by Eva Price of Maximum Entertainment, Off-Broadway Booking and Lawrence Toppall. Roderick adapted the script and directed a new touring version of the Broadway and London musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the current national tour. He was also associate director of A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden for six years, working with original director Mike Ockrent. He was associate director for Susan Stroman's Broadway revival of The Music Man, and directed its three-year North American tour. He co-wrote and directed Heaven Help Us! (Carbonell Award nominee, Best New Work), A Christmas Survival Guide and I Love New York (Bistro Award, Best Musical Revue). Berkeley (co-conceiver, musical arranger) is composer-lyricist-librettist of Imagine That! and Off the Wall (licensed through Miracle or 2 Productions) and Dirty Doing in Deadwood, and co-writer (with Roderick) and composer-lyricist of Rip Van Winkle: A Musical Legend.
The I Love a Piano creative team includes Stephen Purdy (musical supervisor), Stacey Boggs (lighting designer), J Branson (scenic designer), Demetrius T. Grandel (sound designer) and Ellie Mooney (associate choreographer).
Tickets may be purchased online at www.arenastage.org or by phone at (202) 488-3300.
With construction underway on Arena's 47-year-old Southwest DC theatre campus, Arena Stage has launched ARENA RESTAGED, "a two-year festival celebrating the rich mosaic of our nation's voices" to "take place throughout the time it takes to finish the expansion of the new theatre complex, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater."
At the new Center, the two existing performance spaces — the Fichandler Stage and the Kreeger Theater — will be fully renovated and a new 200-seat space dedicated to premiering American theatre, The Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, will be added. Arena Stage at the Mead Center is scheduled to open for the 2010-11 season.
To allow for a "timely and cost-effective renovation," Arena currently operates out of Arena Stage in Crystal City (1800 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA) and at the historic Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, Washington, DC).