ARLINGTON, VA.: Signature Theatre has announced its 2015–16 season, which will include two world-premiere musicals from Adam Gwon and Brian Feinstein, plus area premieres from Annie Baker and Bathsheba Doran, as well as Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show.
“Signature’s 26th season continues our commitment to presenting new works and reinventing great American musicals,” said Signature Theatre artistic director Eric Schaeffer in a statement. “We’re proud that this season also highlights daring new plays by female playwrights.”
The season will start with the musical comedy The Fix (Aug. 11–Sept. 20), from John Dempsey and Dana P. Rowe, about an ambitious mother who turns her son into the ideal politician so that he can become president. Schaeffer will direct.
The world premiere of the musical satire Cake Off, from Sheri Wilner, Julia Jordan and Adam Gwon, tells the story of Paul and Rita, who compete against each other in the 48th annual Twillsbury Bake-Off (Sept. 29–Nov. 22). The production will star frequent Signature actress Sherri L. Edelen and will be directed by Signature resident director/director of new work Joe Calarco. Cake Off will be presented as part the D.C.-area Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Signature previously produced the world premiere of Gwon’s The Boy Detective Fails in 2011.
Another world premiere will follow in Girlstar from Anton Dudley and Brian Feinstein (Oct. 13–Nov. 15), about a record producer who turns her niece into a pop star. Frequent Signature actress Donna Migliaccio will star, and Schaeffer will direct.
The holidays come with a side of Sharks and Jets in a revival of West Side Story (Dec. 5, 2015–Jan 24, 2016), from Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. Signature associate artistic director Matthew Gardiner will direct this 1950s riff on Romeo and Juliet.
Another Sondheim will follow with Road Show (Feb. 9–March 13, 2016), whose book is by John Weidman. The show, based on the real-life Mizner siblings and their travels across the country in the span of 40 years, previously played in the D.C. under the title Bounce in 2003, in a run at the Kennedy Center. Gary Griffin will direct the new revival.
Next is the D.C.-area premiere of Annie Baker’s The Flick (March 1–April 17, 2016), about three minimum-wage employees at a movie theatre. Calarco will direct.
Bathsheba Doran’s The Mystery of Love & Sex, in its D.C. premiere, follows (April 5–May 8, 2016). It tells of a pair of childhood best friends who toy with turning their long-standing friendship into a romance.
The season will close with Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s La Cage aux Folles (May 31–July 10, 2016). Based on the play by Jean Poiret, the musical follows club owner Georges and his partner Albin, a drag performer, whose domestic arrangement is thrown into question when their son announces his engagement to the daughter of ultra-conservative parents. Gardiner will direct.