The new autobiographical family drama by composer-lyricist-librettist Ricky Ian Gordon — known for his opera The Grapes of Wrath and the musicals Dream True and My Life With Albertine — is expected to feature Farah Alvin (Nine, The Look of Love, Pirates!, Kuni-Leml), Marc Kudisch (9 to 5, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Bells Are Ringing), Judy Kuhn (Rags, She Loves Me), Jessica Molaskey (Parade, A Man of No Importance), Matthew Risch (Pal Joey, Legally Blonde), Diane Sutherland (She Loves Me, 1776, Cats) and Tony Yazbeck (Gypsy, A Chorus Line, White Christmas). Signature has not made an official announcement about casting. Rehearsals begin shortly in New York City before the cast moves to Arlington, VA.
Tina Landau, a frequent collaborator with Gordon, will direct the production, to play May 18-June 13 at The MAX Theatre in Signature's complex in Arlington. Patrick Vacariello is the music director.
According to Signature notes, "Sycamore Trees is the moving story of his family's struggles and their reliance on each other through good and bad."
Gordon said in production notes, "When my father came home from World War II in 1945, my family lived in a crowded tenement in the Bronx, poor and with bed bugs. Then my parents got the idea to move to the suburbs where the dream of life flowering in a clean and spacious environment promised to be the answer. It wasn't. This is the story of a family and what happened to them…and music is its heartbeat and inner life."
Gordon is the second recipient of the American Musical Voices Project Award, which helps present a new work of musical theatre on Signature's stage. Sycamore Trees is sponsored by the Shen Family Foundation and is a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.
For more information, visit http://www.sig-online.org.