Director Eric Schaeffer will helm Grand Hotel, George Forrest and Robert Wright's musical based on the book by Vicki Baum, Jan. 8-Feb. 24, 2002, at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA.
Schaeffer is the artistic director of the small D.C.-area nonprofit that embraces new works and classics. He helmed the current London musical, The Witches of Eastwick, and Broadway's short-lived Putting It Together. He was recently made creative director of SFX Theatrical Group, which plans to develop new works.
Grand Hotel fills the TBA space in Signature's recently-announced 2001-2002 season. The musical, about a range of humanity checking into the Berlin hotel as the Nazis are taking power, has a book by Luther Davis and additional music and lyrics by Maury Yeston.
The 2001-02 Signature season 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, Aug. 28-Oct. 14. 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, Nov. 6-Dec. 16. The drama concerns three women from the Shetlands Islands who commune with each other and the sea while adrift on a boat.
The rest of the season includes:
• 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, June 4-July 14, 2002.
• Hedwig and the Angry Inch, in the musical's Washington, D.C., premiere, directed by Schaeffer, March 19 May 5, 2002.
• A free concert reading of Kander and Ebb's Flora, The Red Menace, June 19-23, 2002.
— By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson