The story of the controversial “Mad Monk,” Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, will be directed by artistic director Eric Schaeffer.
The cast will feature John Lescault (Signature’s Art and The Lieutenant of Inishmore) as Rasputin, Natascia Diaz (Kiss of the Spider Woman at Signature and Savage in Limbo at MetroStage), Doug Kreeger (Signature’s The Visit), Amy McWilliams (Signature’s The Witches of Eastwick and Urinetown) and Tracy Lynn Olivera (Les Misérables and Merrily We Roll Along at Signature) with Erin Driscoll, Stephen Gregory Smith, Rachel Zampelli, Russell Sunday, Kevin McAllister and Christopher Mueller. Performances will continue through April 15.
The new musical features music by Dana Rowe and book and lyrics by John Dempsey, the award-winning creators behind The Fix (1998) and The Witches of Eastwick (2007).
“Dana Rowe and John Dempsey have created magic on stage before with two astounding musicals here at Signature – The Fix and The Witches of Eastwick – that audiences really loved,” director Schaeffer said in a statement. “We are thrilled to present their newest world premiere of Brother Russia with their distinct, infectious sound. Signature has assembled a remarkable cast and design team to bring this original musical to life. Only John and Dana could create an exciting, new telling of the famous Rasputin story in their own original way.”
"In a desolate potato field north of Omsk in southwestern Siberia," press notes state, "a comically fourth-rate Russian theater troupe sets up its ratty tents and wows the local farmers with rock-fueled adaptations of from great Russian writers such as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Tonight, however, the company tosses classic literature aside to showcase the life story of their impresario and star, the seemingly immortal Brother Russia – more commonly known as Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin. Yes, that Rasputin: the hypnotic mystic who seduced and ruled the Tsar and Tsarina in the waning days of Imperial Russia." The creative team includes includes Jodi Moccia (choreographer), Misha Kachman (set designer), Kathleen Geldard (costume designer), Colin K. Bills (lighting designer) and Matt Rowe (sound designer). Gabriel Mangiante is the music director, and orchestrator August Eriksmoen will conduct the seven-piece band.
For tickets call (703) 820-9771 or go to www.signature-theatre.org.