The 2001-02 season of the Signature Theatre of Arlington, VA, will feature a world premiere musical about the life of Billy the Kid and the area premiere of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
The Signature, which is known for its unveiling of new musicals and fresh takes on old ones, will begin next season with Outlaws: The Ballad of Billy the Kid, which will bow in September. Alastair King and Perry Liu wrote the music to the Western-flavored show, while the lyrics are by Liu and the book by Liu and Joe Calarco. Busy Liu also conceived of the project. Calarco will also direct.
The theatre's second slot will be filled by the U.S. premiere of Scottish playwright Grace Barnes' Zander's Boat. The drama concerns three women from the Shetlands Islands who commune with each other and the sea while adrift on a boat.
Artistic director Eric D. Schaeffer, who has been making a name for himself in New York and London with Putting It Together and The Witches of Eastwick, respectively, will return to Arlington in early 2002 to direct a new production of an existing musical. A spokesperson for the company said the show would be one of three pieces: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, Jerry Herman's Mack and Mabel or Robert Wright and George Forrest's Grand Hotel.
The rest of the season will proceed as follows: • The Diaries, a new play by John Strand, Signature's Playwright-in Residence, about the observations of a German officer based in occupied Paris in World War II.
• Hedwig and the Angry Inch, in the musical's Washington, D.C., premiere, directed by Schaeffer.
• A free concert reading of Kander and Ebb's Flora, The Red Menace, June 19-23, 2002.
—By Robert Simonson