Murney, Gamble, Lewis, Scott, Blickenstaff and Clow Sing First You Dream in DC Area

News   Murney, Gamble, Lewis, Scott, Blickenstaff and Clow Sing First You Dream in DC Area Broadway's Norm Lewis, Julia Murney, James Clow, Heidi Blickenstaff and more are featured in Signature Theatre's First You Dream: The Kander & Ebb Concert Sept. 10-27 in Arlington, VA.
Julia Murney and Heidi Blickenstaff
Julia Murney and Heidi Blickenstaff Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The concert at the 2009 Tony Award-winning regional theatre boasts 40 new K&E songs and new orchestrations by Tony Award winner William David Brohn (Wicked, Miss Saigon, Ragtime).

The cast, directed by Signature artistic director Eric Schaeffer, includes Blickenstaff (The Little Mermaid, [title of show] and DC's Meet John Doe), Clow (Assassins, Company), Lewis (The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, and the title role in Signature's Sweeney Todd), Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party), Matthew Scott (Jersey Boys, A Catered Affair and the title role in Signature's Ace) and Signature favorite Eleasha Gamble (Into the Woods, Urinetown, and the Sondheim Award Gala).

David Loud (Curtains, Steel Pier, And the World Goes 'Round) provides musical supervision and vocal arrangements. Scenic concept is by Eric Schaeffer.

Signature's resident musical director Jon Kalbfleisch conducts, with lighting designs by Mark Lanks, costume coordination by Kathleen Geldard and choreography by Karma Camp.

* According to Signature, "With First You Dream Signature continues its intimate relationship with the works of the great Broadway songwriting team of Fred Ebb and John Kander which received national attention during Signature's acclaimed 2008 'Kander & Ebb Celebration.' This world premiere theatre event will feature music from 15 of Kander and Ebb's musicals and movies, starting from their 1965 musical Flora, the Red Menace through hits like Cabaret and Chicago to their most recent shows, Curtains and The Visit."

The theatrical concert will play Signature's MAX Theatre; a 20-piece orchestra will be heard.

First You Dream: The Kander & Ebb Concert is sponsored by the Bernard Family Foundation.

The first performance of First You Dream: The Kander & Ebb Concert on Sept. 10 is Signature's Third Annual American Musical Concert Benefit with a special reception honoring John Kander. For admission to the benefit, contact Emily Hill at (571) 527-1828 or events@signature-theatre.org.

Performances of First You Dream continue through Sept. 27. Show times are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 PM, Thursday and Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sunday at 2 PM and 7 PM. The press performance is Sept. 12 at 8 PM.

Tickets for First You Dream are $60 and $65 and are available by calling Ticketmaster at (703) 573-SEAT (7328) or visiting www.signature-theatre.org.

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The John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics) collaboration of four decades has created hit songs and beloved Broadway and film scores. One of their first collaborations became a hit song for Barbra Streisand, "My Coloring Book," earning them a Grammy nomination. In 1965 the pair worked on their first Broadway show Flora, the Red Menace. Produced by Hal Prince and directed by George Abbott, Flora also introduced a rising new star — Liza Minnelli. Their canon includes Cabaret (Tony Award for music and lyrics), The Happy Time, Zorba, 70 Girls 70, Chicago, The Act, Woman of the Year (Tony Award for music and lyrics), The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award for music and lyrics) and Steel Pier. They wrote original material for the Academy Awards, and TV's "Liza with a Z" and HBO's "Liza Minnelli's Steppin' Out" (both Emmy winners), "Baryshnikov on Broadway," "Goldie and Liza Together"; the movies "Funny Lady," "Lucky Lady," "New York, New York," "Steppin' Out" and "Chicago," the movie. In 1985 their song "New York, New York" became the official anthem of New York City. At the time of the death of Ebb, Kander and Ebb had several projects in different stages of completion waiting in the wings, including Curtains, which played on Broadway in 2007 and 2008, The Visit which had a successful run at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and at Signature Theatre starring Chita Rivera, All About Us (a musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder's play The Skin of our Teeth) and The Minstrel Show (to be seen in 2009-10 at Vineyard Theatre). Currently running on Broadway is their hit revival of Chicago.

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