The Visit is part of the DC-area Equity troupe's Kander & Ebb Celebration, to include full productions of the songwriters' Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Happy Time, as well as other performances and events.
"The Visit is the story of a truth-telling old woman, Claire Zachanassian and her thirst for revenge and blood," according to Signature. "Zachanassian had been driven from her hometown in disgrace when she was 17, betrayed by her lover. Several decades and seven husbands later, she has become the richest woman in the world, yet her hometown has fallen on hard times. When Zachanassian returns with an offer to save the town, salvation comes with an outrageous price tag."
Directed by Frank Galati and choreographed by Ann Reinking, who both created the world-premiere production in 2001 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, the musical is based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt's dark play of the same title. It will be performed in Signature's MAX Theatre.
This would seem to be the next best chance for the show to have a wider life beyond resident theatres. New York producers are expected to come to DC to check the show out. George Hearn is widely known for replacing Len Cariou in the original Broadway run of Sweeney Todd and playing the role on the road and in the TV presentation of it, with Angela Lansbury.
Rivera's casting had been previously announced. Rivera won two Tony Awards (for Kander and Ebb's The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman), and has seven additional nominations. Her stage career includes Call Me Madam, West Side Story, Bajour, Merlin, Bye Bye Birdie, Bring Back Birdie, Chicago, the revival of Nine and the specialty bio musical, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life.
Subscriptions are still available to the Kander & Ebb Celebration. For more information call (703) 820-9771 or visit www.signature-theatre.org.