Performances began Nov. 6 and play Signature's Max Theatre through Dec. 2. The piece features a cast of three Broadway artists — two with strong dance backgrounds.
Stephen Lee Anderson, who plays the choreographer Emil, recently appeared in Broadway's Wicked, Fiddler on the Roof and Julius Caesar. The two dancers both come directly from A Chorus Line on Broadway: Tyler Hanes was Larry, the matter-of-fact director's assistant, and Chryssie Whitehead was Kristine, the dancer who cannot sing.
According to Signature, "The Studio focuses on Emil, a brilliant, reclusive choreographer who is struggling to produce his greatest, and perhaps last, dance work. Haunting him are memories of the great choreographer Balanchine, and composer Stravinsky's amazing and scandalous music 'The Rite of Spring.' Two dancers — a newcomer Lisa, talented but insecure, and a veteran Jackie, who knows it all — come together both in and out of the studio as Emil creates with them. Through the actor/dancers' movements and their words — their fights with doubts, their struggles for expression, their striving for perfection in this sexy and sweaty world, the audience witnesses not only art, but its creation."
Christopher d'Amboise is the son of the lauded dancer and teacher Jacques d'Amboise. In this new piece, he "has cracked open the door to the dance studio to give the audience an intimate glimpse into the agony and passion of creating art. In The Studio, what words cannot express, dance can." The Studio was originally produced at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA.
As a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, d'Amboise worked closely with both George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, originating works as well as performing major repertoire. On Broadway he earned a Tony Award nomination co-starring with Bernadette Peters in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance. As a choreographer, he works both in theatre and ballet. He has created over 80 works seen worldwide.
D'Amboise has written a new adaptation of the classic Cole Porter musical Can-Can, as well as a new musical about Fred and Adele Astaire entitled Hang onto Me. He directed and choreographed Up the Avenue, an original comic act starring Bill Irwin and (sister) Charlotte d'Amboise at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Tickets to The Studio are $41 to $63 and are available through Ticketmaster at (703) 573-7328 and www.ticketmaster.com. For information call (703) 820-9771 or visit www.signature-theatre.org.
Under co-founder and artistic director Eric Schaeffer, Signature has been nominated for 216 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the professional theatre and has been honored with 54 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Musical in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2005, and 2006, and Outstanding Play in 1999.