A new production of Simply Sondheim, directed and choreographed by Matthew Gardiner, will be part of Signature Theatre's 2021 Signature Features season, five fully staged plays and musicals made exclusively for the screen and professionally filmed in HD on set (with safety protocols).
Heading the cast of Simply Sondheim, which includes over 30 of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's songs, are Tony nominee Norm Lewis (The Phantom of the Opera, The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess), Solea Pfeiffer (Hamilton, Gun & Powder), Conrad Ricamora (How to Get Away with Murder, Here Lies Love), and Tony nominee Emily Skinner (The Cher Show, Side Show), who will be joined by D.C. artists Awa Sal Secka (Gun & Powder), Bobby Smith (Assassins), Tracy Lynn Olivera (Assassins), and Donna Migliaccio (Sunday in the Park with George). The actors will be backed by a 16-piece orchestra, led by Jon Kalbfleisch, playing new orchestrations by longtime Sondheim collaborator Jonathan Tunick.
Following will be The Jam: Only Child, in which 2020 Tony nominee Daniel J. Watts (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) recounts his life as the only child of a single mother. Obie winner Lileana Blain-Cruz (The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA The Negro Book of the Dead) directs, with sound design by DJ Duggz.
Signature Theatre Associate Artistic Director Gardiner will also direct Mark Sonnenblick's Off-Broadway hit Midnight at The Never Get, chronicling New York cabaret crooner Trevor Copeland’s love affair with songwriting partner Arthur during the social turbulence and upheaval of the 1960s. Sam Bolen, Max Friedman, and Sonnenblick conceived the production; Angie Benson is the music director.
In the spring, Signature will present After Midnight: Celebrating the Duke Ellington Years. Directed and choreographed by Jared Grimes (After Midnight) with music direction by Mark G. Meadows (Signature Vinyl), the production features the sounds of Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, and Harold Arlen, framed by the poems of Langston Hughes. Nova Y. Payton will star in the song-and-dance revue. After Midnight, seen on Broadway in 2013, was conceived by Jack Viertel. Streaming for After Midnight will be provided by Broadway on Demand.
The season will conclude with Dominique Morisseau's Detroit ’67, which follows two siblings whose lives are overturned by a stranger with a secret during a tumultuous summer amidst the 1967 race riots. It is the second play in Morisseau’s The Detroit Project, a trilogy of plays examining the sociopolitical history of the Motor City.
Shows will be released on an ongoing basis throughout the winter and spring with specific dates to be announced. Marquee TV is the global streaming partner for the series.
“We're thrilled to bring a Signature season to our audience and the world,” says Managing Director Maggie Boland. “These five shows exemplify a talented mixture of Signature's favorite artists and new faces. We are so grateful to our staff, Board, and community for all their work to make this possible while upholding total commitment to everyone's health and safety.”
For more information visit SigTheatre.org/SubscriptionFAQ.